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Rizal in dapitan
Rizal lived in exile in far-away Dapitan, a remote town in Mindanao which was under the missionary jurisdiction
of the Jesuits, from 1892 to 1896. This four-year inter regnum in his life was tediously unexciting, but was
abundantly fruitful with varied achievements. He practiced medicine, pursued scientific studies, continued his
artistic and literary works, widened his knowledge of languages, established a school for boys, promoted
community development projects, invented a wooden machine for making bricks, and engaged in farming and
commerce. Despite his multifurious activities, he kept an extensive correspondence with his family, relatives,
fellow reformists, and eminent scientists and scholars of Europe, including Blumentritt, Reinhold Rost, A. B.
Meyer, W. Joest of Berlin, S. Knuttle of Stuttgart, and N.M. Keihl of Prague.

Heeding the commandant's advice, Lardet wrote to Rizal in French, dated Dapitan, March 30,1893 apologizing
for the insulting comment. Rizal, as a gentleman and a well-versed in pun donor (Hispanic Chivalric Code)
accepted the apology, and good relations between him and the Frenchman were restored.

It is interesting to know that one of the hero's weak- nesses is his sensitivity.

Rizal and Father Sanchez

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. He assigned Fr. Francisco de Paua Sanchez, Rizal's favorite
teacher at the Ateneo de Manila, to Dapitan. He was the only Spanish priest to defend Rizal's Noli Me Tangere
in public.

Upon his arrival, Fr. Sanchez lost no time in meeting his former favorite student. Of all the Jesuits, he was the
most beloved and esteemed by Rizal. They argued theologically in a friendly manner but all the efforts of
Sanchez were in vain.

Despite his failures to persuade Rizal to discard his unorthodox views on the Catholic religion, Fr. Sanchez
enjoyed the latters company and he even assisted Rizal in beautifying the town plaza. On his birthday, Rizal
gave him a precious birthday gift - a manuscript entitled Estudios sobre la lengua tagala (Studies on the Tagalog

Idyllic Life in Dapitan

Since August 1893, members of his family took turns in visiting him in order to assuage his loneliness in the
isolated outpost of the Spanish power in the Moroland. Among them were his mother, Sisters Trinidad, Maria,
Narcisa; and nephews Teodosio, Estanislao, Mauricio, and Prudencio. He built his house by the seashore of
Talisay, surrounded by fruit trees and another house for his school boys and a hospital for his patients.

Describing his life in Dapitan, Rizal wrote to Blumentritt on Dec. 19, 1893:
I shall tell you how we live here. I have three houses; one square, another hexagonal, and a third octagonal, all
of bamboo, wood and nipa. In the square house we live, my mother , sister Trinidad, a nephew and I; in the
octagonal live my boys or some good youngsters whom I teach arithmetic, Spanish and English; and in the
hexagonal live my chickens. From my house I hear the murmur of a crystal clear brook which comes from the
high rocks ; I see the seashore , the sea where I have small boats, two canoes or barotos, as they say here. I
have many fruit trees, mangoes, lanzones, guayabanos, baluno, nangka, etc. I have rabbits, dogs, cats,etc. I
rise early - at five - visit my plants, feed the chickens, awaken my people and put them in movement. At half-
past seven we breakfast with tea, pastries, cheese, sweetmeats, etc. Later I treat my poor patients who come to
my land; I dress, I go to the town in my baroto, treat the people there, and return at 12 when my luncheon awaits
me. Then I teach the boys until 4 P.M. and devote the after- noon to agriculture. I spend the night reading and

Rizal's Encounter with the Friar's Spy

During the early days of November 1893 Rizal was living peacefully and happily at his house in Talisay when
suddenly jolted by a strange incident involving a spy of the friars. The 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 a friend and a relative, showing a photo o f Rizal and a pair of buttons with the initials
"P.M."(Pablo Mercado) as evidence of his kinship with the Rizal family.

In the course of their conversation the strange visitor offered his services as a confidential courier of Rizal's
letter and writings for the patriots in Manila. Rizal, being a man of prudence and keen perception became
suspicious. Irked by the mpostor's lies, he wanted to throw him out of the house, but mindful of his duty as a
host and considering the late hour of the night and the heavy rainfall, he hospitably invited the unwanted visitor
to stay at his house for the night. And early the next day, he sent him a way.

Later, he learned that the rascal was still in Dapitan, telling people that he was a beloved relative of Dr. Rizal.
Losing his cool, he went to the comandancia and denounced the impostor to Captain Juan Sitges (who
succeeded Captain Carnacio on May 4, 1893 as commandant of Dapitan). Without much ado, Sitges ordered
the arrest of "Pablo Mercado" and instructed Anasticio Adriatico, to investigate him immediately.

The truth came out during this investigation and the real name of "Pablo Mercado" was Florencio Namanan. He
was a native of Cagayan de Misamis, single and about 30 years old. He was hired by the Recollect friars to a
secret mission in Dapitan to filch the letters and writings of Rizal which might incriminate him in the revolutionary
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movement. Commandant Sitges quashed the investiga- tion and released the spy. He promptly forwarded the
transcripts of the investigation together with his official report to Governor General Blanco who kept the
documents highly confidential. Rizal requested for a copy of the proceedings of the investigation but Sitges
denied his request. As now declassified and preserved at the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, these documents
contain certain mysterious deletions.

These documents have been quoted by three Rizalist biographers - Retana(1907), Palma(1949), and Jose
Baron Fernandez(1982). But none of these biographers quoted the text of another document which is more
reliable and valuable in clarifying the whole incident. It is Rizal's letter to his brother-in-law, Manuel T. Hidalgo
written in Dapitan, December 20, 1893, as follows:

My Dear Brother-in-Law Maneng,

I was unable to write you by the previous mail for lack of time, for the boat left unexpectedly.

With regards to Pablo Mercado, I tell you that he came here presenting himself as a courteous friend in order to
get from me my letters, writings, etc; but I found him out soon, and if I did not throw him out of the house
brusquely, it was because I always want to be nice and polite to everyone. Nevertheless, as it was raining, I let
him sleep here, sending him away very early the next day. I was going to let him alone in contempt but the
rascal went around saying secretly that he was my cousin or brother-in-law, reported him to the commandant
who had him arrested. It was revealed in his declaration that he was sent by the Recollects who gave him P72
and promised him more if he succeeded in wrestling from me my letter for certain persons in Manila. The rascal
told me that he was the cousin of Mr. Litonjua, son of Luis Chiquita, according to him and brother-in-law of
Marcia no Ramirez. He wanted me to write these gentlemen. He brought along besides a picture of mine, saying
that it was given to him by one Mr. Legaspi of Tondo or San Nicolas. I don't remember him exactly. It seems that
he belongs to a good family of Cagayan de Misamis. Be careful of him, he is a tall boy, somewhat thickset,
slightly squint-eyed, dark, slender, broad shoulders, and of impudent manners. He smokes much, spits more
and has thin lips.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Your brother-in-Law who loves you,

(Signed) Jose Rizal

Based upon all these available documentary sources the incident of the secret mission of "Pablo Mercado" in
Dapitan was not an "Assassination Attempt on Rizal". It was merely an espionage plot concocted by the friars.

As Physician in Dapitan

Rizal practiced 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 so poor that I even
have to give medicine gratis." He had, however, some rich patients who paid him handsomely for his surgical

In August 1893 his mother and sister (Maria) arrived in Dapitan and lived with him for one year and a half. He
operated on his mother's right eye. The operation was successful but Dona Teodora ignored her son's instruc-
tions by removing the bandages from her eyes, t hereby causing the wound to be infected.Thus Rizal told
Hidalgo his brother-in-law; "Now I understand very well why a physician should not treat the members of his
family. Fortunately, the infection was arrested and Dona Teodora's sight was restored.

Rizals fame as a physician particularly as an eye specialist pave way to patients from different parts of the
Philippines from Luzon, Bohol, Cebu, Panay, Negros, and Mindanao and even from Hong Kong. Because of his
ophthalmic skill he was paid P3000 by Don Ignacio Tuma- rongin for the restoration of his sight, P500 from an
Englishman and a cargo of sugar given as payment by a rich hacendero in Aklan, Don Florencio Azacarraga
who was cured of eye ailment.

Rizal became interested in local medicine and the use of medicinal plants. He studied their curative values for
the poor patients who could not afford to buy imported medicine, he prescribed the local medicinal plants.

Water System for Dapitan

Rizal held the title of expert surveyor (perito agrimensor), which he obtained from Ateneo. He supplemented his
training as a surveyor by reading engineering books. In Dapitan, he applied his knowledge in engineering by
constructing a system of waterworks in order to furnish clean water to the townspeople.

Without any aid from the government, he succeeded in giving good water system to Dapitan.

An American engineer, Mr. H. F. Cameron, praised Rizal's engineering feat in the

following words:
Another famous and well-known water supply is that of Dapitan, Mindanao, designed and constructed by Dr.
Rizal during his banishment in that municipality by the Spanish authorities... this supply comes from a little
mountain stream across the river from Dapitan and follows the contour of the country for the whole distance.
When one considers that Doctor Rizal had no explosives with which to block the hard rocks and no resources
save his own ingenuity, one cannot help but honor a man, who against adverse conditions, had the courage and
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tenacity to construct the aqueduct which had for its bottom the fluted tiles from the house roofs, and was
covered with concrete made from limed burned from the sea coral. The length of this aqueduct is several
kilometers, and it winds in and out among the rocks and is carried across gullies in bamboo pipes upheld by
rocks or brick piers to the distribution reservoir.

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 its people. He wrote to Fr. Pastells: " I want to do all I can do for this town."

Aside from constructing the towns first water system, he spent many months in draining the marshes in order to
get rid of malaria that infested Dapitan.

The P500 which an English patient paid him was used by him to equip the town with its lighting system which
consist of coconut oil lamps placed in dark streets of Dapitan. Electric lighting was unknown then in the
Philippines not until 1894 when Manila saw the first electric lights.

The beautification and remodeling of the town plaza with the help of Father Sanchez enhances the beauty as
jokingly remarked that it could "rival the best in Europe". In front of the church, Rizal and Fr. Sanchez made a
huge relief map of Mindanao out of earth, stones, and grass. This map still adorns the town plaza of Dapitan.

Rizal as Teacher
Since boyhood Rizal knew the value of good educa- tion. His exile in Dapitan gave him the opportunity to put
into practice his educational ideas. In 1893, he esta- blished a school which existed until the end of his exile in
July 1896. It began with three pupils and in the course of time the enrollment increased to 16 and later 21. In his
letter to Blumentritt on March 13, Rizal said that he had 16 pupils in his school and these pupils did not pay any
tuition. Instead of charging them, he made them work in his garden, fields and construction projects in the

Rizal taugh this boys reading, writing, languages (Spanish and English), geography, history, mathematics
arithmetic and geometry), industrial work, nature study, morals and gymnastics. He trained them how to collect
specimens of plants and animals, to love work, and to "behave like men".

Formal classes were conducted between 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. In Ateneo, the best pupil was called an "emperor"
and he sat at the head of the bench whereas the poorest pupil occupies the end of the bench.

During recess the pupils built fires in the garden to drive away the insects, pruned the fruit trees, and manured
the soil.

Outside the class hours, Rizal encouraged them to play games in order to strengthen their bodies. They had
gymnastics, boxing, wrestling, stone-throwing, swimming, arnis (native fencing), and boating.

Hymn to Talisay

In honor of Talisay, he wrote a poem entitled "Himno A Talisay" for his pupils to sing:


At Dapitan, the sandy shore

And rocks aloft on mountain crest
Form thy throne, O refuge blest,
That we from childhood days have known.
In your vales that flowers adorn
And your fruitful leafy shade,
Our thinking power are being made,
And soul with body being grown.

We are youth not long on earth

But our souls are free from sorrow;
Calm, strong men we'll be tomorrow,
Who can guard our families' right.
Lads are we whom naught can frighten,
Whether thunder, waves, or rain
Swift of arm, serene of mien
In peril, shall we wage our fights.

With our games we churn the sand,

Through the caves and crags we roam,
On the rocks we make our home,
Everywhere our arms can reach.
Neither dark nor night obscure
Cause us fear, nor fierce torment
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That even Satan can invent
Life or death? We must face each!

"Talisayans", people call us!

Mighty souls in bodies small
O'er Dapitan's district all
No Talisay like this towers.
None can march our reservoir.
Our diving pool the sea profound!
No rowing boat the world around
For the moment can pass ours.

We study science exact;

The history of our motherland;
Three languages or four command;
Bring faith and reason in accord.
Our hands can manage at one time
The sail and working spade and pen,
The mason's maul - for virile men
Companions - and the gun and sword.

Live, live, O leafy green Talisay!

Our voices sing thy praise in chorus
Clear star, precious treasure for us.
Our childhood's wisdom and its balm.
In fights that wait for every man,
In sorrow and adversity,
Thy memory a charm will be,
And in the tomb, thy name, thy calm.

Hail, O Talisay!
Firm and untiring
Ever aspiring,
Stately thy gait.
Things, everywhere
In sea, land and air
Shalt thou dominate.

Contributions to Science
Rizal found Mindanao a rich virgin field for collecting specimens. With his baroto (sailboat) and accompanied by
his pupils, he explored thejungles and 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 Scientist sent him scientific books and surgical instruments.

During his four year exile in Dapitan, Rizal built up a rich collection of concology which consisted of 346 shells
representing 203 species.

Rare specimens were discovered and named after him: Among these were Draco Rizali (a flying dragon),
Apogonia rizali (a small beetle),and Rhacophorus rizali (a rare frog).

Rizal also conducted anthropological, ethnographical, archeological, geological, and geographical studies as
revealed by scientist friend in Europe. There was no limit to his scientific versatility.

Linguistic Studies
A born linguist, Rizal continued his studies of languages. In Dapitan he learned the Bisayan, Subanon, and
Malay languages.

On April 5, 1896, his last year of exile in Dapitan, he wrote to Blumentritt: "Iknow already Bisayan and I speak it
quite well. by this time, Rizal could rank with the worlds great linguists. He knew 22 languages, as follows:
Tagalog, Ilokano, Bisayan, Subanon, Spanish, Latin, Greek, English, French, German, Arabic, Malay, Hebrew,
Sanskrit, Dutch, Catalan, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Swedish, and Russian.

Artistic Works in Dapitan

As an artist he contributed his painting skills 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 "procured from 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
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apple and the serpent' head. He also designed the exquisite curtain, which was painted in oil by an artist Sister
under his direction.

In 1894 he modeled a statuette representing the mother-dog killing the crocodile by way of avenging her lost
puppy and called it "The Mother's Revenge".

Other sculptural works of Rizal in Dapitan were a bust of Father Guerrico (one of his Ateneo professors), a
statue of a girl called "The Dapitan Girl", a woodcarving of Josephine Bracken (his wife), and a bust of St. Paul
which he gave to Father Pastells.

Rizal as Farmer
In Dapitan, Rizal bought 16 hectares of land in Talisay, where he built his home, school, and hospital and
planted cacao, coffee, sugarcane, coconuts 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, the total land holdings reached 70 hectares containing 6,000 hemp plants, 1,000 coconut trees, and
numerous fruit trees, sugarcane, corn, coffee and cacao.

He introduced modern agricultural methods to Dapitan farmers and imported agricultural machinery from the
United States.

Rizal as Businessman
Rizal engaged in business in partnership with Ramon Carreon on May 14, 1893, a Dapitan Merchant which has
a profitable business ventures in fishing, copra, and hemp industries. He invited his relative Saturnia and Hidalgo
to come to Mindanao for some business opportunities.

In a letter to Hidalgo, dated January 19, 1893, he expressed his plan to improve the fishing industry in Dapitan
and instructed Hidalgo to help him buy a big net for trawl fishing (pukutan) and send him two good Calamba
fisherman who could teach the Dapitan folks better methods of fishing.

One of his profitable business venture was the hemp industry. To break the Chinese Monopoly on business in
Dapitan Rizal organized on January 1, 1895 the Cooperative Association of Dapitan Farmers and according to
its constitution, its purpose were "to improve the farm products, obtain better outlets for them, collect funds for
their purchases and workers by establishing a store where in they can buy prime commodities at moderate

Rizal's Inventive Ability

Rizal was also an inventor and to remember that in 1887 while practicing medicine in Calamba, he invented a
cigarette lighter which he sent to Blumentritt and called it "sulpukan" made of wood and its mechanism is based
on the principle of compressed air.

In Dapitan, he i nvented a wooden machine for making bricks. This machine could manufacture about 6,000
bricks daily.

"My Retreat"
In February, Doña Teodora returned to Manila. During her long stay in Dapitan she saw how busy his talented
son was and regretted that he had neglected the Muses. She requested him to write poetry again, a poem about
his serene life as an exile in Dapitan and on October 22, 1895 he wrote "Mi Retiro" (My Retreat) which is
acclaimed by literary critics as one of the best ever penned by Rizal. It is as follows;

(The original version is in Spanish.)

By spreading beach where the sands are soft and fine

At the foot of the mouth in its mantle of green
I have built my hut in the pleasant grove's confine;
From the forest seeking peace and a calmness divine,
Rest for the weary brain and silence to my sorrow's keen.

Its roof of the frail palm-leaf and its floor the cane.
Its beams and posts of the unhewn wood;
Little there is of value in this hut so plain,
And better by far in the lap of the mount to have lain,
By the song and the murmur of the high seas flood.

A purling brook from the woodland glade

Drops down o'er the stones and around it sweeps,
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Whence a fresh stream is drawn by the rough cane's aid;
That in the still night its murmur has made,
And in the day's heat a crystal fountain leaps.

When the sky is serene how gently it flows,

And its zither unseen ceaselessly plays;
But when the rains fall a torrent it goes
Boiling and foaming through the rocky close,
Roaring unchecked to the sea's wide ways.

The howl of the dog and the song of the bird,

And only the kalao,s hoarse call resound;
Nor is the voice of vain man to be heard;
My mind to harass or my steps to begird;
The woodlands alone and the sea wrap me round.

The sea, ah, the sea! for me it is all,

And it massively sweeps from the world's apart;
Its smile in the morn to my soul is a call,
And when in the evening my faith seems to pall,
It breathes with its sadness on echo to my heart.

By night an arcanum; when translucent it glows,

All spangled over with its millions of lights,
And the bright sky above resplendent shows;
While the waves with their sighs tell of their woes -
Tales that are lost as they roll to the heights.

They tell of the world when the first dawn broke,

And the sunlight over their surface played;
When thousands of beings from the nothingness woke,
To people the depths and the heights to cloak,
Wherever its life-giving kiss was laid.

But when in the night the wild winds awake,

And the waves in their fury begin to leap,
Through the air rush the cries that my mind shake;
Voices that pray, songs and moans that partake
Of laments from the souls sunk down in the deep.

Then from their heights the mountains groan,

And the trees shiver tremulous from great unto least;
The groves rustle plaintive and the herds utter moan,
For they say that the ghost of the folk that are gone
Are calling them down to their death's merry feast.

In terror and confusion whispers the night,

While blue and green flames fit over the deep;
But calm reigns with the morning's light,
And soon the bold fisherman comes into sight,
And his bark rushes on and the waves sink to sleep.

So onward glide the days in my lonely abode;

Driven forth from the world where once I was known,
I muse o'er the fate upon me bestowed;
A fragrant forgotten that the moss will corrode,
To hide from mankind the world in me shown.

I live in thought of the loved ones left,

And of their names to my mind are borne;
Some have forsaken me and some by death are reft;
But now 'tis all one, as through the past I drift,
That past which from one never be torn.

For it is the friend that is with me always,

That ever in sorrow keeps the faith in my soul;
While through the still night it watches and prays,
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As here in my exile in my one hut it stays
To strengthen my faith when doubts o'er me roll.

That faith I keep and I hope to see shine

The day when the Idea prevails over might;
When after the fray and death's show decline.
Some other voice sounds, far happier than mine,
To raise the glad of the triumph of right.

I see the sky glow, refulgent and clear,

As when it forced on me my first dear illusion;
I feel the same wind kiss my forehead sore,
And the fire is the same that is burning here
To stir up youth's blood in boiling confusion.

I breathe here the winds that perchance have pass's

O'er the fields and the rivers of my own natal shore;
And mayhap they will bring on the returning blast
The sighs that loved being upon them has cast -
Messages sweet from the love I first bore.

To see the same moon, all silver's as of yore.

I feel the sad thoughts within me arise;
The fond recollections of the troth we swore.
Of the field and the bower and the wide seashore,
The blushes of joy, with the silence and sighs.

A butterfly seeking the flowers and the light,

Of other lands dreaming of vaster extent;
Scarce a youth, from home and love I took flight,
To wander unheeding, free from doubt of affright -
So in foreign lands were my brightest days spent.

And when like a languishing bird I was fain

To the home of my fathers and my love to return,
Of a sudden the fierce tempest roar'd amain;
So I saw my wings shattered and no home remain,
My trust sold to others and wrecks round me burn.

Hurl'd out into exile from the land I adore,

My future all dark and no refuge to seek;
My roseate dreams hover, round me once more,
Sole treasure of all that life to me bore;
The faiths of youth that with sincerity speak.

But not as of old, full of life and of grace,

Do you hold out hopes of undying reward
Sadder I find you; on your lov'd face,
Though still sincere, the pale lines trace
The marks of the faith it is yours to guard.

You offer now, dreams, my gloom to appease,

And the years of my youth again to disclose;
So I thank you, O storm, and the heaven-born breeze,
That you knew of the hour my wild flight to ease,
To cast me back to the soil whence I rose.

By the spreading beach where the sands are soft and fine,
At the foot of the mount in its mantle of green;
I have found a home in the [leasant grove's confine,
In the shady woods, that peace and calmness divine,
Rest for the weary brain and silence to my sorrow keen.

Rizal and Josephine Bracken

In the silent house of the night after the days hard work, Rizal was often sad. He missed his family and relatives,
his good friends in foreign lands, the exhilarating life in the cities of Europe and his happy days in Calamba. The
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death of Leonora Rivera on August 28, 1893 left a poignant void in his heart. He needed somebody to cheer
him up in his lonely exile.

In God's own time, Josephine Bracken an Irish girl of sweet eighteen, "slender, a chestnut blond, with blue eyes,
dressed with elegant simplicity, with an atmosphere of light gayety", born in Hong Kong on October 3,1876 of
Irish parents James Bracken, a corporal in the British garrison, and Elizabeth Jane MacBride which died during
her childbirth and so Josephine was an adopted daughter by Mr. George Taufer who later became blind.

No ophthalmic specialist in Hong Kong could cure Mr. Taufer's blindness and so Mr. Taufer and Josephine seek
the services of the famous ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Rizal.

They presented to Rizal a card of introduction by Julio Llorente, his friend and schoolmate.

Rizal and Josephine fell in love with each other at first sight. After a whirlwind romance of one month, they agree
to marry but for Fr. Obach, priest of Dapitan, refused to marry them without the permission of the Bishop of

When Mr. Taufer heard of their projected marriage, he flared up in violent rage trying to commit suicide but Rizal
prevented him from killing himself. To avoid tragedy, Josephine went away with Taufer to Manila. The blind man
went away uncured because his ailment was venereal in nature, hence, incurable.

Mr. Taufer returned alone in Hong Kong and Josephine stayed in Manila with Rizal's family. Later she returned
to Dapitan and since no priest would marry them, they held hands together and married themselves before the
eyes of God. They lived as man and wife.

Rizal and Josephine lived happily in Dapitan and for him Dapitan was a heaven of bliss.

Rizal wrote a poem for Josephine which runs as follows:

Josephine, Josephine
Who to these shore have come
Looking for a nest, a home,
Like a wandering swallow;

If your fate is taking you

To Japan, China or Shanghai,
Don't forget on these shores
A heart for you beats high.

In the early part of 1896 Rizal and Josephine was expecting a baby but unfortunately she prematurely gave birth
to an eight month old baby boy who lived only for three hours. The lost son was named "Francisco" in honor of
Don Fraancisco (the hero's father) and was buried in Dapitan.

Rizal and the Katipunan

While Rizal was mourning in the loss of his son, ominous clouds of revolution 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.

Dr. Pio Valenzuela was the emissary to Dapitan to inform Rizal of the plan of the Katipunan to launch a
revolution for freedom's sake. On June 15, Dr. Valenzuela together with a blind man Raymundo Mata (to solicit
Rizal's expert medical advice) left Manila on Board the Steamer Venus.

Dr. Valenzuela arrived in Dapitan on June 21, 1896 and he told Rizal of the Katipunan plan but Rizal objected to
Bonifacio's project to plunge the country in bloody revolution for two reasons: (1) the people are not ready for the
revolution (2) arms and funds must be collected before raising the cry of the revolution.

Volunteers as Military Doctor in Cuba

Rizal offered his services as a military doctor in Cuba due to the throes of a revolution and the ranging yellow
fever epidemic knowing from Blumentritt that there was a shortage of physicians to minister the needs of the
Spanish troops and the Cuban people.

Rizal wrote to Gov. General Ramon Blanco on Dec. 17, 1895 offering his services as a military doctor in Cuba.
Months passed and a letter from Gov. Blanco arrived in Dapitan dated July 1, 1896 notifying him of the
acceptance of his offer and at the same time to give Rizal a pass so that he could come to Manila where he
would be given a safe-conduct to Spain and his medical opera- tions in Cuba.

Great was Rizal's joy in receiving the news from Malacanang that at last, he was free! once more to travel to
Europe and then to Cuba. From this he wrote a heart-warming poem "El Canto del Viajero" (The Song of the
Traveler) which runs as follows:


Page 9 of 9 9
Like to a leaf that is fallen and withered,
Tossed from the tempest from pole unto pole;
Thus roams the pilgrims abroad without purpose,
Roams without love, without country or soul.

Following anxiously treacherous fortune;

Fortune which e'en as he grasps at it flees,
Vain though the hopes that his yearning is seeking
Yet does the pilgrim embark on the seas.
Ever impelled by the invisible power,
Destined to roam from the East to the West;
Oft he remembers the faces of loved ones,
Dreams of the day when he, too, was at rest.

Chance may assign him tomb on the desert,

Grant him a final asylum of peace;
Soon by the world and his country forgotten,
God rest his soul when his wandering cease!

Often the sorrowing pilgrim is envied,

Circling the globe like a sea-gull above;
Little, ah, little they know what a void
Saddens his soul by the absence of love.

Home may the pilgrim return in the future,

back to his loved ones his footsteps he bends;
Naught will he find out snow and the ruins,
Ashes of love and the tomb of his friends.

Pilgrim, bygone! Nor return more hereafter,

Dry are the tears that a while for thee ran;
Pilgrim, bygone! And forget thane affliction
Loud laughs the world at the sorrows of man.


On July 31, 1896, Rival'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 especially the other
pupils who were poor to accompany their beloved teacher to Manila. As farewell music, the town brass band
strangely played the dolorous Funeral March of Chapin.

As the steamer pushed out into the sea, Rizal gazed for the last time on Dapitan waving in farewell salute to its
kind and hospitable folks and with a crying heart filled with tears of nostalgic memories. When he could no
longer see the dim shoreline , he sadly went to his cabin and wrote in his diary: "I have been in that district four
years, thirteen days, and a few hours".

"I have always loved my poor country, and I am sure that I shall love her until death, if by chance men are unjust
to me; and I shall enjoy the happy life, contented in the thought that all I have suffered, my past, my present and
my future, my life, my loves, my pleasures, I have sacrificed all of these for love of her. Happen what may, I shall
die blessing her and desiring the dawn of her redemption."

Jose Rizal
"Not only is Rizal the most famous man of his own people, but the greatest man the Malayan race has

Ferdinand Blumentritt
"Dr. Jose Rizal was an exceptional man, unsurpassed by other Filipino heroes in talent, nobility of character and
patriotism. His exile in Dapitan possesses a keen sense of history and an aura of destiny. He himself kept and
preserved his numerous poetical and prose writings personal and travel diaries, scientific treatises and hundred
of letters written to, and received from, his parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and enemies. Indeed,
Rizal was a man of excellence, discipline and disposition........."