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Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan 
© 2013 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, 1892.
 
In September 1892, Rizal and Carnicero won in a lottery. The Manila Lottery ticket no. 9736 jointly owned by Rizal, Carnicero, and a Spanish resident of Dipolog won the second prize of Php 20, 0000. Rizal used some part of his share (Php 6, 200) 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 1893 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.

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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 1892 to April 1893. 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. 115).
          In March 1895, 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. 133).

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 1893, 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 1895, 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 1895, 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 1895, 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 1895 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, 1896, 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, 1896. 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.” (© 2013 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@gmail.com)

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

 

Comments

Rizal as an exile in Dapitan

Rizal as an exile in Dapitan didn't let it him down instead its a another way for him to share his knowledge to the fellow filipino.

Rizal in Dapitan

Dr. Jose Rizal was amazing. instead of being depressed because he was exiled in Dapitan, he shared his knowledge to the people in Dapitan.

rizal in dapitan

Rizal is really an inspiration. Even his deportation in Dapitan makes me proud of him. He is a true national hero.

Rizal's Life contains

Rizal's Life contains devotion to serve His people. selfless motivation.

According in this article

According in this article Jose Rizal had a bitter sweet life in Dapitan. How did Jose Rizal had a bitter sweet life in Dapitan?

As for me Dr. Jose Rizal

As for me Dr. Jose Rizal shows and give us inspiration in every moments that he experienced.He show and teach us how to treasure life in every difficulties and happiness that we may felt. Life is a gift that we need to treasure and to be cherish. All circumstances in life our God's way for us to become stronger.

Ito ay sagot sa tanong ni Angelo Silva

As for me, Dr.Jose Rizal's life in Dapitan was not really easy because he have to do hard things to help him survive like, being so tired because of teaching his student's through out the day but at the end of the day he still need to take care of his plants and fruits. Jose Rizal is really a good person because even though he is having a hard time of his life in Dapitan, this will not hinder him to do what he loves and help other people.

sagot sa tanong ni angelo silva

Sa kabila ng mga pinagdadaanan ni Jose Rizal, nakakakita pa rin siya ng mga magagandang bagay na gawin para maging makabuluhan ang buhay niya sa dapitan. Tumutulong pa siya sa ibang tao ng walang hinihinging kapalit. Madami mang pagsubok ang nagaabang sakanya, nakakahanap siya ng solusyon at nalalagpasan ang mga ito kesa magmukmok lang. Si Dr.Jose Rizal ay tunay ngang bayani dahil sa mga nagawa niya sa sarili niya,sa pamilya niya at maging sa ibang tao.

sagot sa tanong ni angelo silva

Hindi naging balakid kay Rizal ang pagpapatapon sakanya sa Dapitan na gawin ang mga gusto niyang gawin. Iinuloy niya ang panggagamot at pagtuturo ng walang kapalit. Hindi man naging madali ang buhay nya sa Dapitan ay nakakagawa pa rin ng mga magagandang bagay sa ibang tao si Rizal. Mas gugustuhin niya pang lumaban ng walang dahas kesa lumaban sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng mga nakakamatay na armas.Mahirap man ang buhay niya sa Dapitan, nakakagawa pa rin siya ng mga bagay na makakapagpasaya sakanya at sa ibang tao at dahil dito minahal siya ng mga taong nakakasalumuha niya.

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Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet In Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, Would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan?

Dr. Rizal's Bitter Sweet life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

In reply to Emmanuel James Nadres

If I were Dr. Jose Rizal I would have not contented my self from living in exile at Dapitan. Because it would be so boring to stay in one place for a very long time. And I would want to explore more places and help more people.

"Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan"

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

"Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan"

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

"Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan"

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"
13

"Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan"

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

"Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan"

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

"Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan"

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

If you were Jose Rizal, would

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

My answer to Marianne Pizarro's Inquiry

Basing it on a Humanistic perspective, and assuming that Rizal was as dedicated to the filipinos as we claimed him to be; I'd say that I would not be satisfied. First of all, I was an exile, a refugee from my motherland. That reason alone is enough for me to seek redemption.

Furthermore, basing it on how Rizal would act, I would never be satisfied with my life, knowing, that my comrades back home are suffering under the iron wills of the oppressors. I might try to live my life as normally as possible, but I will never have a peaceful rest, knowing that many filipinos are suffering in their own land.

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life In Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

My answer to Cerbas

No, because i started something for my country even before i was sent to Dapitan so i will continue anything that can go on to my legacy :)

My answer to Jason Cerbas

No, because Im not contented being prisoned in Dapitan so i have to do something for my country.

"if you are Rizal,would you

"if you are Rizal,would you content your self with living simple life in Dapitan? why or Why not?"

Rizal's Life

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

Simple life of Jose Rizal

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

If I were Rizal I would be

If I were Rizal I would be contented in a simple life I've been living 'cause living simple is living happy but in the case of rizal he is so unselfish he didn't want himself to. Have that simple happy life that other didn't have so he rather go back to the warzone and fight for the freedom of his country.

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

"If you were Jose Rizal,would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

"If you were Jose Rizal,would you content yourself with living a simple life in dapitan?Why or Why not?"

"If you were Jose Rizal,

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

"If you were Jose Rizal,

"If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?"

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

HIST 3

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

HIST 3

If you were Jose Rizal, Would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

HIST 3

If you were Jose Rizal, Would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

HIST3: Rizal's Life and Work

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

The Exile Jose Rizal.

If you were Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

HIST3: Rizal's Life and Work "RIZAL IN DAPITAN"

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

Jose Rizal's Bitter Sweet Life in Dapitan

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or why not?

If you were Jose Rizal, would

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

HIST3

If you were Jose Rizal, would you content yourself with living a simple life in Dapitan? Why or Why not?

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