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Rizal's Exile in Dapitan, 1892-1896
Transcript of Rizal's Exile in Dapitan, 1892-1896
Rizal lived in exile in far-away Dapitan, a remote town in Mindanao which was under the jurisdiction of the Jesuits, from 1892 to 1896.
Reasons why Rizal exiled in Dapitan
According to Zaide (2008) there are four reasons:
Map of Dapitan
First, Rizal had published books and articles abroad which showed disloyalty to Spain and which were “frankly anti-Catholic” and “imprudently anti-friar”.
Second, A few hours after his arrival in Manila ”there was found in one of the packages a bundle of handbills entitled Pobres Frailes in which the patient and humble generosity of Filipino is satirized, and which accusation is published against the customs of religious orders”.
Third, His novel El Filibusterismo was dedicated to the memory of three “traitors” ( Burgos, Gomez, and Zamora), and on the title page he wrote that in view of the vices and errors of the Spanish administration, “the only salvation for the Philippines was separation from the mother country”.
Fourth, “The end he pursues in his efforts and writings is to tear from the loyal Filipino breasts the treasures of our Catholic Faith”.
Beginning of Exile in Dapitan
The steamer CEBU which brought Rizal to Dapitan carried a letter from Father Pablo Pastells, Superior of the Jesuit Society in the Philippines, to Father Antonio Obach, Jesuit parish priest of Dapitan. In this letter, father Superior Pastells informed Father Obach that Rizal could live at the parish convent on the following conditions:
First, “That Rizal publicity retract his errors concerning religion, and make statements that were clearly pro-Spanish and against revolution”.
Second, “That he perform the church rites and make a general confession of his past life”.
Third, “That henceforth he conduct himself in an exemplary manner as a Spanish subject and a man of religion”.
On September 21, 1892, the sleepy town of Dapitan burst in hectic excitement. The mail boat Butuan was approaching the town, with colored pennants flying in the sea breezes. Captain Carnicero, thining that a high Spanish official was coming, hastily dressed in gala uniform, ordered the town folks to gather at the shore, and himself rushed there bringing a brass band.
Wins in Manila Lottery
The mail boat, Butuan, brought no Spanish officials but the happy tidings that the Lottery Ticket No. 9736 jointly owned by Captain Carnicero, Dr. Rizal, and Francisco Equilior (Spanish resident of Dipolog, a neighboring town of Dapitan) won the second prize of 20,000 pesos in theGovernment-Owned Manila Lottery.
Rizal's share of the winning lottery ticket was 6,200 pesos. Upon receiving this sum, he gave 2,000 pesos to his father and 200 pesos to his friend Basa in Hong Kong, and the rest invested well by purchasing agricultural lands along the coast of Talisay, about one kilometer away from Dapitan.
Rizal's winnings in the Manila Lottery reveals an aspect his lighter side. He never drank hard liquor and never smoke but he was a lottery addict. During his first sojourn in Madrid from 1882 to 1885 he always invested at leadt three pesetas(the former currency of Spain) month in lottery tickets. "This was his only Vice," commented Wenceslao E. Retana, his first Spanish biographer and former enemy.
Rizal-Pastells Debate on Religion
Father Pablo Pastells
During his exile in Dapitan Rizal has a long and scholarly debate with Father Pastells on Religion. It started when Father Pastells sent him a book by Sarda, with advice that the latter (Rizal) should desist from his majaderas (foolishness) in viewing religion from the prism of individual judgement and self-esteem.
This interesting religious debate may be read in four letters written by Rizal, as follows: (1) September 1,1892; (2) November 11,1892; (3) January 9, 1893; and (4) April 4, 1893; and in Father Pastells' replies dated: (1) October 12, 1892, (2) December 8, 1892, (3) February 2, 1893, and (4) April (no exact date), 1893.
Rizal Challenge a Frenchman to a Duel
While Rizal was still debating with father Pastells by means of exchange of letters, he became involved in a quarrel with a French acquaintance in Dapitan, Mr. Juan Lardet, a business man. This man purchased many logs from the lands of Rizal. It so happened that some of the logs were of poor quality.
Father Pastells, aside from his personal efforts to persuade Rizal to discard his "errors of Religion", instructed two Jesuits in Mindanao- Father Obach, cura of Dapitan, and Father Jose Vilaclara, cura of Dipolog- to try their best to bring back Rizal within the Catholic fold. Furthermore, he assigned Father Francisco de Paula Sanchez, Rizal's favorite teacher at the Ateneo de Manila, to Dapitan.
Rizal and Father Sanchez
In Dapitan, Rizal had an exemplary life, idyllic in serenity. Since August, 1893, members of his family took turns in visiting him in order to assuage his loneliness in the isolated outpost of Spanish power in the Moroland. Among them were his mother; sisters Trinidad, Mauricio, and Prudencio. He built his house by the seashore of Talisay, surrounded by fruit trees. He had also another house for his school boys and a hospital for his patients.
Idyllic Life in Dapitan
During the early days of November 1893 Rizal was living peacefully and happily at his house in Talisay, a kilometer away from Dapitan. His mother, sisters Narcisa and Trinidad, and some nephews were then living with him. His blissful life was when suddenly jolted by a strange incident involving a spy of the friars. This spy with the assumed name of "Pablo Mercado" and posing as a relative, secretly visited Rizal at his house on the night of November 3, 1893. He introduced himself as afriend and relative, showing a photo of Rizal and a pair of buttons with the initials "P.M." ( Pablo Mercado) as evidence of his kinship with the Rizal family.
Rizal's Encounter with the Friar's Spy
Rizal practised medicine in Dapitan. He had many patients, but most of them were poor so that he even gave them free medicine. To his friend in Hong Kong, Dr. Marquez, he wrote: "Here the people are poor that I have even to give medicine gratis". He had, however, some rich patients who paid him handsomely for his surgical skill.
As Physician in Dapitan
Water System for Dapitan
Rizal held the title of expert surveyor (perito agrimensor), which he obtained from the Ateneo. He supplemented his training as a surveyor by his reading of engineering books, so that he came to know about engineering. In Dapitan, he applied his knowledge of engineering by constructing a system of waterworks in order to furnish clean water system in Dapitan.
Community Projects for Dapitan
When Rizal arrived in Dapitan. he decided to improve it, to the best of his God-given talents, and to awaken the civic consciousness of it's people. He wrote to Fr. Pastells: " I want to do all that I can fot this town".
Rizal as Teacher
Since boyhood Rizal knew the value of good education. During his travels abroad he observed the educational system of modern nations. He himself palnned to established a modern college in Hong Kong for Filipino boys so that he could train them in modern pedagogical cocepts, which were then unknown in the Philippines.
"Hymm to Talisay"
Rizal conducted his school at his home in Tasilay, near Dapitan, where he had his farm and hospital. His favorite rendezvous with his boys was under a talisay tree, after which the place was named. In honor of Talisay, he wrote a poem entitled "Himmo A Talisay" for his pupils to sing.
Contributions to Science
Rizal found Mindanao a rich virgin field for collecting specimens. With his pupils, he explored the junglesand coasts, seeking specimens of insects, birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, shells, and plants. He sent these specimens to the museum of Europe, especially the Dresden Museum. In payment for these valuable specimens, the European scientists sent him scientific books and surgical instruments.
A born linguist, Rizal continued his studies of languages. He wrote a Tagalog grammar, made a comparative study of the Bisayan and Malayan laguages, and studied the Bisayan (Cebuano) and Subanum languages.
Artisitic Works in Dapitan
Rizal continued his artistic puruits in Daoitan. He continued his painting skill to the Sisters of Charity who were preparing the sanctuary of the Holy Virgin in their private chapel. For the sake of economy, the head of the image was "procuredfrom abroad" . The vestments concealing all the rest of the figure except the feet, which rested upon a globe encircled by a snake in whose mouth is an apple, were made by the sisters. Rizal modeled the right foot of the image, the apple, and the sserpent's head. He also designed the exquisite curtain, which was painted in oil by an artist Sister under his direction.
Rizal as a Farmer
In Dapitan Rizal Devoted muc of his time to agriculture. He bought 16 hectars of land in Talisay, where he built his hom, school, and hospital, and planted cacao, coffee, sugarcane, cococnuts and fruit trees. "My Land," he wrote to his sister Trinidad,"is half an hour from the sea. It is very poetic and very picturesque. If you and our parents come I will build a big house we can all live in". Later, he acquired more lands until his total holdings reached 70 hectars, containing 6,000 hemp plants, 1,000 coconut trees, and numerous fruit trees, sugarcane, corn, coffee and cacao.
Rizal as Businessman
Aside from farming, Rizal engaged in business. In partnership with Roman Carreon, a Dapitan merchant, he made profitable business ventures infishing, copra, and hemp industries. He invited his relatives, particularly Saturnina and Hidalgo to come to Mindanao, for there "is vast and ample field for business" in the island. He particularly told Saturnina that in Dapitan she could profitably engage in the textile, jewerly, and hemp business .
Rizal's Inventive Ability
One little-known fact about Rizal was that he was also an inventor. It should be remembered that in 1887, while practising medicine in Calamba, he invented cigarette lighter which he sent as a gift to Blumentritt. He called it "sulpukan". This unique cigarette lighter was made of wood. "Its mechanism", said Rizal, "is based on the principle of compressed air".
In February, 1895, Doña Teodora, with her eyesight fully restored, returned to Manila. During her long stay in Dapitan, she saw how busy her talented son was regretted that he had neglected the Muses. She requested him to write poetry again.
In response to her request, Rizal wrote a beautiful poem about his serene life as an exile in Dapitan and sent it to her on OCtober 22,1895. This poem was "Mi Retiro" (My Retreat), which is acclaimed by literary critics as one of the best ever penned by Rizal.
Rizal and Josephine Bracken
In the silent hours of the night after the day's hard work, Rizal was ofter sad. He missed his family and relatives, his good friends in foreign lands, the exhilarating life in the cities of Europe, and is happy days in Calamba. the death of Leonor Rivera on August 28,1893 left a poignant void in his heart. He needed somebody to cheer him up in his lonely exile.
Rizal and the Katipunan
While Rizal was mourning the loss of his son, ominous clouds of revolution gradually darkened the Philippine skies. Andres Bonifacio, the "Great Plebeian," was showing the seeds of an armed uprising . The secret revolutionary society, called Katipunan, which he founded on July 7, 1892, was gaining more and more adherents.
Volunteers as Military Doctor in Cuba
Months before the Katipunan contacted him, Rizal had offered his service as military Doctor in Cuba, which was then in the throes of a revolution and a raging yellow fever epidemic. There was a shortage physicians to minister to the needs of the Spanish troops and the Cuban people. It was Blumentritt who told him of the deplorable health situation in war-ridden cuba and advised him to volunteer as army physician there.
"The Song of the Traveler"
Great was Rizal's joy in receiving the gladsome news fron Malacañg. At last, he was free! once more, he was going to travel- to Europe and then to Cuba. It was a joyous thought of resuming his travels that he wrote his heart warming poem "El Canto del Viajero" ( The Song of the Traveler ).
On July 31, 1896, Rizal's four-year exile in Dapitan came to an end. At midnight of that date, he embarked on board the steamer España. He was accompanied by Josephine, Narcisa, Angelica ( Narcisa's daughter), his three nephews and six pupils. Almost all Dapitan folks, young and old, were at the shore to bid him goodbye. Many wept as the steamer sailed away- especially pupils who were too poor to accompany their beloved teacher to Manila. As farewell music, the town brass band strangely played the dolorous Funeral March of Chopin. As it's mealancholy melody floated in the air, Rizal must have felt it deeply, for with this presentiment of death, it seemed an obsequy or a requiem.
Thats All Thank You For Listening :)...
Zaide, G.(2008).Jose Rizal Life, Works, and Writings of a Genius, Writer,Svientist, and National Hero.Quezon City:ALL-NATIONS Publishing Co.,Inc.
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