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Buhay Ni Rizal Sa Dapitan Essay Writing

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan 

© by Jensen DG. Mañebog

THE DEPORTEE could have stayed in the Dapitan parish convent should he retracted his ‘religious errors’ and made a general confession of his past life. Not willing to accede to these main conditions set by the Jesuits, Jose Rizal instead opted to live at commandant’s residence they called ‘Casa Real’.

The commandant Captain Ricardo Carnicero and Jose Rizal became good friends so much so that the exile did not feel that the captain was actually his guard. Later in his life in Dapitan, Rizal wrote a poem ‘A Don Ricardo Carnicero’ honoring the kind commandant on the occasion of his birthday on August 26,

In September , Rizal and Carnicero won in a lottery. The Manila Lottery ticket no. jointly owned by Rizal, Carnicero, and a Spanish resident of Dipolog won the second prize of Php 20, Rizal used some part of his share (Php 6, ) in procuring a parcel of land near the coast of Talisay, a barrio near Dapitan.

On a property of more than 10 hectares, he put up three houses made of bamboo, wood, and nipa. He lived in the house which was square in shape. Another house, which was hexagonal, was the barn where Rizal kept his chickens. In his octagonal house lived some of his pupils—for Rizal also established a school, teaching young boys practical subjects like reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and Spanish and English languages. Later, he constructed additional huts to accommodate his recovering out-of-town patients.

Daily life as an exile

During his exile, Rizal practiced medicine, taught some pupils, and engaged in farming and horticulture. He grew many fruit trees (like coconut, mango, lanzones, makopa, santol, mangosteen, jackfruit, guayabanos, baluno, and nanka) and domesticated some animals (like rabbits, dogs, cats, and chickens). The school he founded in started with only three pupils, and had about more than 20 students at the time his exile ended.

          Rizal would rise at five in the morning to see his plants, feed his animals, and prepare breakfast. Having taken his morning meal, he would treat the patients who had come to his house. Paddling his boat called ‘baroto’ (he had two of them), he would then proceed to Dapitan town to attend to his other patients there the whole morning.

Rizal would return to Talisay to take his lunch. Teaching his pupils would begin at about 2 pm and would end at 4 or 5 in the afternoon. With the help of his pupils, Rizal would spend the rest of the afternoon in farming—planting trees, watering the plants, and pruning the fruits. Rizal then would spend the night reading and writing.

Rizal and the Jesuits

The first attempt by the Jesuit friars to win back the deported Rizal to the Catholic fold was the offer for him to live in the Dapitan convent under some conditions. Refusing to compromise, Rizal did not stay with the parish priest Antonio Obach in the Church convent.

          Just a month after Rizal was deported to Dapitan, the Jesuit Order assigned to Dapitan the priest Francisco de Paula Sanchez, Rizal’s favorite teacher in Ateneo. Many times, they engaged in cordial religious discussions. But though Rizal appreciated his mentor’s effort, he could not be convinced to change his mind. Nevertheless, their differences in belief did not get in the way of their good friendship.

          The priest Pablo Pastells, superior of the Jesuit Society in the Philippines, also made some attempts by correspondence to win over to Catholicism the exiled physician. Four times they exchanged letters from September to April The debate was none less than scholarly and it manifested Rizal’s knowledge of the Holy Scriptures for he quoted verses from it. Though Rizal consistently attended mass in Dapitan, he refused to espouse the conventional type of Catholicism.

Achievements in Dapitan

Rizal provided significant community services in Dapitan like improving the town’s drainage and constructing better water system using empty bottles and bamboo joints. He also taught the town folks about health and sanitation so as to avoid the spread of diseases. With his Jesuit priest friend Sanchez, Rizal made a huge relief map of Mindanao in Dapitan plaza. Also, he bettered their forest by providing evident trails, stairs, and some benches. He invented a wooden machine for mass production of bricks. Using the bricks he produced, Rizal built a water dam for the community with the help of his students.

          As the town’s doctor, Rizal equally treated all patients regardless of their economic and social status. He accepted as ‘fees’ things like poultry and crops, and at times, even gave his services to poor folks for free. His specialization was ophthalmology but he also offered treatments to almost all kinds of diseases like fever, sprain, broken bones, typhoid, and hernia.

          Rizal also helped in the livelihood of the abaca farmers in Dapitan by trading their crops in Manila. He also gave them lessons in abaca-weaving to produce hammocks. Noticing that the fishing method by the locals was inefficient, he taught them better techniques like weaving and using better fishing nets.

As a scientist and philologist

Aside from doing archaeological excavations, Rizal inspected Dapitan’s rich flora and fauna, providing a sort of taxonomy to numerous kinds of forest and sea creatures. From his laboratory and herbarium, he sent various biological specimens to scientists in Europe like his dear friend Doctor Adolph B. Meyer in Dresden. In return, the European scholars sent him books and other academic reading materials.

          From the collections he sent to European scholars, at least three species were named after him: a Dapitan frog (‘Rhacophorus rizali’), a type of beetle (‘Apogonia rizali’), and a flying dragon (Draco rizali).

          Having learned the Visayan language, he also engaged himself in the study of language, culture, and literature. He examined local folklores, customs, Tagalog grammar, and the Malay language. His intellectual products about these subjects, he related to some European academicians like Doctor Reinhold Rost, his close philologist friend in London.

Spies and secret emissary

Not just once did Rizal learn that his ‘enemies’ sent spies to gather incriminating proofs that Rizal was a separatist and an insurgent. Perhaps disturbed by his conscience, a physician named Matias Arrieta revealed his covert mission and asked for forgiveness after he was cured by Rizal (Bantug, p. ).

          In March , a man introduced himself to Rizal as Pablo Mercado. Claiming to be Rizal’s relative, this stranger eagerly volunteered to bring Rizal’s letters to certain persons in Manila. Made suspicious by the visitor’s insistence, Rizal interrogated him and it turned out that his real name was Florencio Nanaman of Cagayan de Misamis, paid as secret agent by the Recollect friars. But because it was raining that evening, the kind Rizal did not command Nanaman out of his house but even let the spy spend the rainy night in his place.

          In July the next year, a different kind of emissary was sent to Rizal. Doctor Pio Valenzuela was sent to Dapitan by Andres Bonifacio—the Katipunan leader who believed that carrying out revolt had to be sanctioned first by Rizal. Disguised as a mere companion of a blind patient seeking treatment from Rizal, Valenzuela was able to discreetly deliver the Katipunan’s message for Rizal. But Rizal politely refused to approve the uprising, suggesting that peaceful means was far better than violent ways in obtaining freedom. Rizal further believed that a revolution would be unsuccessful without arms and monetary support from wealthy Filipinos. He thus recommended that if the Katipunan was to start a revolution, it had to ask for the support of rich and educated Filipinos, like Antonio Luna who was an expert on military strategy (Bantug, p. ).

Visited by loved ones

Rizal was in Dapitan when he learned that his true love Leonor Rivera had died. What somewhat consoled his desolate heart was the visits of his mother and some sisters.

          In August , Doña Teodora, along with daughter Trinidad, joined Rizal in Dapitan and resided with him in his ‘casa cuadrada’ (square house). The son successfully operated on his mother’s cataract.

          At distinct times, Jose’s sisters Maria and Narcisa also visited him. Three of Jose’s nephews also went to Dapitan and had their early education under their uncle: Maria’s son Mauricio (Moris) and Lucia’s sons Teodosio (Osio) and Estanislao (Tan). Jose’s nieceAngelica, Narcisa’s daughter, also had experience living for some time with her exiled uncle in Mindanao.

          In , Doña Teodora left Dapitan for Manila to be with Don Francisco who was getting weaker. Shortly after the mother left, Josephine Bracken came to Jose’s life. Josephine was an orphan with Irish blood and the stepdaughter of Jose’s patient from Hongkong. Rizal and Bracken were unable to obtain a church wedding because Jose would not retract his anti-Catholic views. He nonetheless took Josephine as his common-law wife who kept him company and kept house for him. Before the year ended in , the couple had a child who was born prematurely. The son who was named after Rizal’s father (Francisco) died a few hours after birth. (For detailed discussion on Rizal-Bracken relationship, look for the section “Josephine Bracken” under “Rizal’s love life”.)

Goodbye Dapitan

In , Blumentritt informed Rizal that the revolution-ridden Cuba, another nation colonized by Spain, was raged by yellow fever epidemic. Because there was a shortage of physicians to attend to war victims and disease-stricken people, Rizal in December wrote to the then Governor General Ramon Blanco, volunteering to provide medical services in Cuba. Receiving no reply from Blanco, Rizal lost interest in his request.

            But on July 30, , Rizal received a letter from the governor general sanctioning his petition to serve as volunteer physician in Cuba. Rizal made immediate preparations to leave, selling and giving as souvenirs to friends and students his various properties.

          In the late afternoon of July 31, Rizal got on the ‘España’ with Josephine, Narcisa, a niece, three nephews, and three of his students. Many Dapitan folks, especially Rizal’s students, came to see their beloved doctor for the last time. Cordially bidding him goodbye, they shouted “Adios, Dr. Rizal!” and some of his students even cried. With sorrowing heart, He waved his hand in farewell to the generous and loving Dapitan folks, saying, “Adios, Dapitan!”

          The steamer departed for Manila at midnight of July 31, With tears in his eyes, Rizal later wrote in his diary onboard the ship, “I have been in that district four years, thirteen days, and a few hours.” (© by Jensen DG. Mañebog)

Jensen DG. Mañebog, the contributor, is a book author and professorial lecturer in the graduate school of a state university in Metro Manila. His unique book on Rizal comprehensively tackles, among others, the respective life of Rizal’s parents, siblings, co-heroes, and girlfriends. (e-mail:jensenismo@woaknb.wz.sk)


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TAGS: Jose Rizal, Dapitan, Exile, Deportation, History, Philippine Studies, Filipino Heroes; Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

Si Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal ay ang Pambansang Bayani ng Pilipinas. Siya ay isinilang sa Calamba, Laguna noong Hunyo 19, Ang kanyang mga magulang ay sina G. Francisco Mercado at Gng. Teodora Alonzo.

Ang kanyang ina ang naging unang guro niya, maaga siyang nagsimula ng pag-aaral sa bahay at ipinagpatuloy niya ang kanyang pag-aaral sa Biñan, Laguna. Nakapag tapos siya ng Batsilyer sa Agham sa Ateneo de Manila noong Marso 23, na may mataas na karangalan. Noong ipinagpatuloy niya ang kanyang pag-aaral sa Unibersidad ng Santos Tomas at Unibersidad Central de Madrid hanggang sa matapos niya ng sabay ang medisina at pilosopia noong Natuto rin siyang bumasa at sumulat ng iba’t ibang wika kabilang na ang Latin at Greko. At nakapagtapos siya ng kanyang masteral sa Paris at Heidelberg.

Ang kanyang dalawang nobela “Noli Me Tangere” at “El Filibusterismo.” naglalahad ng mga pang-aabuso ng mga prayle sa mga Pilipino at mga katiwalian sa pamahalaan ng Kastila.

Noong Hunyo 18, ay umuwi ng Pilipinas si Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Nagtatag siya ng samahan tinawag ito na “La Liga Filipina.” Ang layunin ng samahan ay ang pagkakaisa ng mga Pilipino at maitaguyod ang pag-unlad ng komersiyo, industriya at agricultura.

Noong Hulyo 6, siya ay nakulong siya sa Fort Santiago at ipinatapon sa Dapitan noong Hulyo 14, Apat na taon siya namalagi sa Dapitan kung saan nanggamot siya sa mga maysakit at hinikayat niya ang mamamayan na magbukas ng paaralan, hinikayat din niya ang ito sa pagpapaunlad ng kanilang kapaligaran.

Noong Setyem bre 3, habang papunta siya sa Cuba upang magsilbi bilang siruhano at inaresto siya. Noong Nobyembre 3, ibinalik sa Pilipinas at sa pangalawang pagkakataon nakulong siya sa Fort Bonifacio.

Noong Disyembre 26, si Dr. Jose Rizal ay nahatulan ng kamatayan sa dahilang nagpagbintangan siya na nagpasimula ng rebelyon laban sa mga Kastila.

Bago dumating ang kanyang katapusan naisulat niya ang “Mi Ultimo Adios” (Ang Huling Paalam) upang magmulat sa mga susunod pang henerasyon na maging makabayan.

Noong Disyembre 30, , binaril si Dr. Jose P. Rizal sa Bagumbayan (na ngayon ay Luneta).

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