Claim: Rizal cried while still in his mother’s womb
Facts: It has been a legend in Calamba, Jose Rizal’s hometown, that he was heard crying while inside the womb of his mother, Teodora Alonzo. This is shared on the Taga-Calamba website.
The legend said that Dona Teodora was inside sitting on the pew of St. John the Baptist Church just in front of their house while waiting to confess.
The silence was broken with the cry of an infant that the parish priest, Fr. Rufino Collantes, even looked out of his confessional curtain. He saw no infant, only the pregnant Teodora who was embarrassed by her unborn son.
The article by Gil Miranda went on to cite a medical article that said that fetuses can cry inside the womb as early as 28 weeks. The study recorded on ultrasound and videos the expressions of the fetuses related to crying.
A recent article from LiveScience agreed with the study that fetuses can cry inside the womb.
But for a priest to hear it?
“So, was this fetus crying in the womb? It depends on how you define crying. If you use the definition of ‘a loud inarticulate shout or scream expressing a powerful feeling or emotion,’ then you can say quite definitely that babies don’t cry in the womb,” Nadja Reissland, a developmental psychologist at Durham University in the U.K., told Live Science in an email, the article said.
So the crying of Rizal inside the womb and being heard by the confessor is apocryphal.
Why we fact-checked this: Science has a way of catching up with legends but then the legend may be too fantastical to be proven right.