Dr. Jose Rizal's primary legacy is that of an icon for the nationalist movement in the Philippines that began in the late 1800s when the Southeast Asian archipelago country was still a Spanish colony. A prolific writer, Rizal also wrote two novels which focused on the oppression of the Filipino people by the Spanish colonizers: "Noli Me Tangere," or "Touch Me Not/The Social Cancer," and "El Filibusterismo," or "The Reign of Greed." Monuments to Rizal have been erected in the Philippines and many other countries throughout the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, China and Japan.
Rizal's writings and influence played an integral role in the Filipino independence movement. Almost every city in the Philippines has a street or avenue named after Rizal, and Seattle, Washington has a bridge and a park dedicated to him.
Rizal is remembered for his support of non-violence as a means of political reform, but he was also arrested by the Spanish authorities for his alleged involvement in a violent uprising which broke out in 1896. He was executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896.