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LOOK: Critics Rank the Actors Who Played Jose Rizal on Screen

Who portrayed the national hero best? Here's what critics had to say!

Dr. José Protasio Mercado Rizal y Alonzo Realonda— or simply Dr. Jose Rizal— may have died on December 30, 1896, at the young age of 35, but his sacrifices and grandeur remain in the hearts of Filipinos.

Dr. Jose Rizal is not the Philippines’ national hero for nothing. He has done so many great things for the country’s independence and liberty from the Spaniards who colonized the country and oppressed our fellow Filipinos. (Read: These Video Games With Pinoy Heroes Could Be Your Next Favorite)

Over the years, many celebrities have portrayed the life of Jose Rizal in various TV shows and full-length films. Through these projects, many Filipinos have come to better appreciate the sacrifices of the national hero. (Read: LOOK: Critics Rank Every Actor Who Played Andres Bonifacio in Film)

This December 30, as we remember the life of Dr. Jose Rizal, My Pope Philippines take a look at some of the actors who were given the chance to play the role of the Gat Jose Rizal. 

Actors Who Played Jose Rizal: Alden Richards

Photos from Alden Richards Facebook and IMDb

Alden Richards once played Dr. Jose Rizal in the GMA primetime series Ilustrado directed by King Mark Baco. It was produced by GMA News and Public Affairs in 2014 and somehow gained praise from fans. (Read: Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Alden Richards’ religious collection!) However, some critics weren’t really pleased with the show’s casting, saying Richards was too “mestizo” to play the role of the dark-skinned hero. 

Actors Who Played Jose Rizal: Joel Torre

Photos from Jose Rizalino Torre Facebook and iflix Facebook

Before portraying the role of Dr. Jose Rizal in Mike de Leon’s 2000 film Bayaning Third World, veteran actor Joel Torre has already portrayed the Filipino hero’s literary counterpart, Crisostomo Ibarra, in at least two major film and television productions of Noli Me Tangere. While the actor was praised for his outstanding performances in these pieces, critics say that he had little resemblance with the national hero.

Actors Who Played Jose Rizal: Cesar Montano

Photos from JSLTV Network Asia Facebook and Faustin Job Ventura YouTube

For his role in Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Jose Rizal in 1998, veteran actor Cesar Montano did in-depth research and exposed himself in all things Rizal. (Read: Dr. Jose Rizal’s Quirkiest Dining Habits)

According to Montano, in order for him to give justice to the national hero, he studied fencing, painting, drawing, and sculpture, and took lessons on how to speak Spanish, French, German, and Latin. All of these seem to have paid off, as many critics were pleased with his portrayal of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Actors Who Played Jose Rizal: Albert Martinez

Photos from Albert Martinez Facebook and

Veteran actor Albert Martinez played the role of Dr. Jose Rizal in the Tikoy Aguiluz movie, Rizal Sa Dapitan, which premiered in 1997. Although Martinez is undeniably too fair-skinned to portray the national hero, their uncanny facial resemblance takes viewers into a more realistic viewing experience. 

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