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FINE TIME IN

BELGIUM
BETTER IN BRUSSELS. Lifestyle in Brussels was
cheap. Nevertheless, the city was beautiful and
architecturally impressive. He boarded with the Jacoby
sisters Marie and Suzanne, whose household included a
niece who also had a name of Suzanne. He arrived in
Brussels together with Jose Albert.
The Jacobys were delighted with Rizals presence. He
easily became part of the family. Suzanne and Rizal
spent a lot of time together in just simple conversations.
In this atmosphere of a friendly company, Rizal
continued writing EL FILIBUSTERISMO, the sequel to
Noli Me Tangere.
Suzanne Jacoby
As his stay lengthened in the Jacoby residence,
affectionate sentiments soon filled the air between him and
Suzanne. Rizal was not in favor of whatever it is that he might
have made of Suzanne. His friend Valentin Ventura, to whom
Rizal sent a sculpture of a naked woman, had noticed a view
of romance going on in Brussels. He wondered who could
have been the model of Rizal for the sculptured woman.
In Brussels, Rizal was busy writing his second novel,
which served as the continuation of Noli. In Noli Me
Tangere, he initiated action by exposing the cancer present in
the society through as accurate depiction of the day to day
events in his country under the reign of Spanish oppression.
This leads up to El Filibusterimo, his call to revolution, which
is the last resort and ultimate resolution against oppression.
Valentin Ventura
Aside from writing the chapters of the sequel, he also
wrote articles for La Solidaridad and letters to his family and
friends. Being a physician, he spent part of his time in the
medical clinic. For recreation, he had gymnastics, target practice,
and fencing. When Jose Albert left the city, he was replaced by a
new boardmate, Jose Alejandrino.
LA SOLIDARIDAD. La Solidaridad became the voice
of the Propagandists. It heralded the attempt of the ilustrados
to push for liberal reforms in the Philippines. The fornightly
newspaper was founded by Graciano Lopez Jaena in Barcelona,
Spain on February 15, 1889. The idea was initially offered to
Rizal, but Rizal declined to found it that time for he was still
very busy finishing his Anotation of Morgas Sucesos de las Islas
Filipinas. Nevertheless, Rizal came to be a most valued adviser
and supporter to the newspaper.
Graciano Lopez Jaena
The three main personalities that put forward the endeavor were Jose
Rizal, Marcelo H. Del Pilar and Graciano Lopez Jaena. With Rizal far away,
Mariano Ponce became significant contributor to the works for the paper. To
protect the interest and welfare of the contributors and writers of the paper,
together with their families, against the vindictive scheme of the Spaniards,
the propagandists adopted various pseudonyms in La Solidaridad. Some
examples are the following:
Riza l- Dimasalang and Laong Laan
M. H. Del Pilar Plaridel
Mariano Ponce Tikbalag, Naning, and Kalipulako
Antonio Luna Taga Ilog
Jose Ma. Panganiban Jomapa
LA SOLIDARIDAD ARTICLES OF RIZAL. The first article of Rizal that appeared in the
first issue of La Solidaridad was entitled Los Agricultores Filipinos, which described in the deplorable
condition of the Filipino farmers. The following articles appeared in the later issues:
1. La Verdad Para Todos (The Truth For All)
2. Verdades Nuevas (New Truths) July 31, 1889
3. Una Profancion, an attack against the friars for refusing the burial of Mariano Herbosa in
Catholic cemetery.
4. Diferencias (Differences) Sept. 15, 1889
5. Filipinas dentro de Cien Anos (The Philippines A century Hence)
6. Ingratitudes (Ingratitudes) January 15, 1890
7. Sin Nombre (Without Name)
8. Sobre la Nueva Ortografia de la Lengua Tagala (On the New Orthography of the Tagalog
Language)
9. Cosas de Filipinas (Things About the Philippines)
10. Sobre la Indolencia de los Filipinos (On the Indolence of the Filipinos)
11. A la Defensa (To La Defensa)
12. Crueldad (Cruelty)
ANTI-GAMBLING POPE. Rizal received news from Juana Luna and
Valentin Ventura that many Filipinos in Spain were ruining the reputation of
their country by gambling too much. He reminded them that they did not arrive
in Madrid only to gamble. He advised them further that they should just
continue supporting the propaganda rather than wasting their money in games.
The gambling Filipinos in Madrid were angered when they learned of
Rizals comments trying to moralize them. Thereafter, to ridicule him, they
started calling him Papa (Pope) instead of Pepe.
Rizal wrote to M. H. Del pillar on May 28, 1990 to remind the Filipinos
in Madrid that they did not come to Europe to gamble but to work on things
for their peoples cause and their Fatherlands freedom. He reminded them that
their activities must not to only serve themselves but also their people who need
much their help.
THE SEQUEL. El Filibusterismo is Rizals novel on a nation that is on the
brink of a revolution. This is presented clearly as an alternative to the reform
efforts that led the Filipinos nowhere. In the story, Rizal was also clearly pointing
out the presence of dangers of taking an alternative that is based on hate and
vengeance. According to Rizals biographer Austin Coates, EL Filibusterismo is a
morality, a profound description of the mentality and climate revolt, with all the
urgency of its demands, and with all its shortcomings in their fulfillment But to
Spain it was a last and terrible thing.
Rizal, at this time, already wanted to go home. He was already being drawn
closer to his country by a strong force, which seeks the warmth of the love of his
parents and family. In any event, he felt that life for him in Europe had become
miserable and unbearable. His decision to be homeward bound would not be turned
aside. He was tired of Europe.
THE CALAMBA DEPORTATION OF 1890. From the time Rizal left
Calamba, the agrarian conflict therein had gone from bad to worse. From the very
start, Rizal had already questioned the right of the Dominicans in increasing the
land rent. He believed that the Dominicans had no justifiable reasons to impose
more on their tenants since they never really exerted any amount of agrarian
support to them anyway, and harvests did not really, at any way, improved at all. At
one point, when he discovered that the management had already gone too abusive,
Rizal advised his father and the other tenants to, finally, refuse paying. This is too
express to the management that the tenants have had enough and the abuse must
stop. Rizal promised that he would take care of the problem directly in Spain.
Accordingly, Don Francisco heeded his advise. It was a move that would just
enrage their enemy.
In 1890, the Dominicans filed a suit against the tenants of
Calamba. The suit was to dispossess the tenants of the lands that
they were renting from the order. Soon, upon the order of the
new Gov. Valeriano Weyler, the Rizal family and the other
Calamba tenants were persecuted and, finally, ejected from their
lands and homes in Calamba. The Calamba deportation affected
25 members of the Mercado family. Paciano and brothers in law
Antonio Lopez and Silvestre Ubaldo where even exiled to
Mindoro. Manuel Hidalgo was earlier thrown to Bohol.
The news reached Rizal, and it created mixed emotions of
sadness and anger on his part. In his letter to Soledad, he
expressed how guilty he felt for everything. He believed that he
was to be blamed for whatever happened to his family. Spains
hate on him had turned to his loved ones.
Gov. Valeriano Weyler
Rizal had definitely was left without choice. He needed to go home whatever
the dangers are. In a letter to MH Del Pilar, he expressed his death wish at an
early age. He believed that it is better to die early if it will do good to his people,
especially to his family. Dying at age of 30 for him would be enough, anyway, he
was ready for it even before. His name was Laon Laan, Ever Ready.
Before proceeding to Manila, Rizal prepared himself for Madrid. As he
promised, he will do everything to find justice for his family.
FRUSTRATED IN
MADRID
NO JUSTICE FOUND. Realizing the need to amend the events that
surrounded the Calamba agrarian situation, Rizal arrived to Madrid to call the
attention of the Minister Fabie of the Ministry of the Colonies and to protest
against the injustices commited by Gov. General Valeriano Weyler and the
Dominicans to the farmer tenants of Calamba. To heighten the pressure on the
government concerning the agrarian issue, through the Association Hispano-
Filipina, he asked for aid from some liberal news media in Spain like La Justicia, El
Dia, and El Globo to publish some articles on the issue. Marcelo H. Del Pilar, who
served as his lawyer and Dominador Gomez were there to assist Rizal.
The meeting Rizal had with the Minister was fruitless as no compromise
was reached. The newspaper El Resumen condemned the inaction.
PANGANIBAN DIES. Another disappointment
struck Rizal when he learned that his good friend Jose
Ma. Panganiban was already dying because of a lingering
illness. Like him, Panganiban was a staunch nationalist
who worked hard also for reforms in the Propaganda. In
tribute, Rizal wrote his Eulogy to Panganiban. Here,
Rizal expressed his mourn over the young amiable friend
whom he admired as an energetic patriot and one who
has a purest love for his native land. Jose Ma. Panganiban,
or Jomapa, died on August 19, 1890.
Jose Ma. Panganiban
FOR NELLYS HONOR. At a gathering of Filipinos
in August of 1890, Rizal had a heated conflict with Antonio
Luna. The two have been friends for years and it was only this
time that the two came against each other. The story goes that
while the party was going on and the wines were being served,
Antonio, already got too drunk. In the conversation where
Rizal was present, Antonio accidentally made some tactless
remarks about Nelly, a girl whom he had courted but chose
Rizal. Rizal was immediately offended by the remarks Antonio
expressed. This made him approach Antonio as he was
prepared to beat him. Rizal was paused by the other paisanos.
The two exchanged words which finally drove Rizal to
challenge Antonio to duel. Rizal offered Antonio the choice of
weapon, pistol or saber. Antonio chose saber.
Antonio Luna
They duel would have pursued and one of the heroes could have
died prematurely but, after a moment, when Antonio had already
recuperated from his intoxication, he approached Rizal and asked for
forgiveness. Being a longtime friend with times shared like brothers, Rizal
easily forgave Antonio with the incident already at their backs.
ANOTHER DUEL? Though it seems that Rizal was
already being suicidal at these times, he had no other way out.
Honor meant so much for him. This time it was for his familys
honor. Wenceslao Retana, a friar depending press member, one
time made some imprudent remarks against the Rizal family and
the Calamba tenants in the anti-Filipino newspaper La Epoca. He
mentioned that the family and the tenants only deserved what ever
happened to them for they continually have been defiant paying
the Dominicans their land rents.
Injured by such seemingly careless disposition of the part
of Retana, Rizal sent him a message challenging to a duel in any
weapon of the formers choice. To Rizal, Retana was left with two
choices, a public apology or die.
Wenceslao Retana
Retana, alarmed by the predicament he had got himself into, made a quick
public retraction and apology to Rizal and his family. From that time, Retana
ceased on attacking Rizal and even made friendly relations to the man. Retanan
would later, upon the death of Rizal, make a biography of his life. The biography
was, this time, was fair and objective, bestowing the man all the honors he
deserved.
NO MORE WAITING FOR LEONOR. Rizal was
already having a bad time in Madrid when he received a letter
from her informing him that she was getting married. The
news tore his heart apart. Of course, Rizal had girls from the
time he left Leonor. But Rizal never did get married. He was
still in love with Leonor. There was a part in Rizal that was still
assuming that Leonor would still wait. He still would have
married her. The news shattered Rizal so much he started to
grow thin while in Madrid. On a letter to Blumentritt, Rizal
accused friend since the UST days, and who had known the
affair, consoled Rizal by telling him that there are lots of girls
in the world. He even endorsed him to marry instead the
daughter of Piy Margall, another girl who was truly in love with
Rizal.
Leonor Rivera
On the part of Leonor, she was mad at him because of his silence. It
had been a long while for him. In the letter she sent, she expressed how much
she still loved him and that her marriage to another was not because of her lack
of love for him, rather, it was possibly because of his lack of love for her.
On whatever standards, traditional or modern, eleven years of wait is
too long. Leonor was already getting old and the time her lover went to the
Philippines, he did not even bother to see her. She was disappointed on his
silence and was not sure of whatever it was that was happening to him. Rizal
probably just could not understand that. Leonor married an Englishman in
Manila, Henry, Kipping, an engineer.

THE LEADER OF ALL FILIPINOS. A situation was taking place in the
Propagada circles. At a banquet at Calle de Atocha, Rizal, in his speech, called for
unity among the members of the Propaganda. He encouraged his fellow paisanos
to be more solid and compact in determining matters for the well-being of the
country. Furthermore, he emphasized that the discipline and a sense of sacrifice
are needed in every endeavor.
As a reaction to the speech, a proposal was put forward
by some paisanos to create a movement that would bind the
colony into a single entity in the aim of making all actions more
effective towards the redemption of the native land. They
proposed that a responsible be elected as a leader who would
become the undisputed and official representative of all Filipinos
abroad.
When Rizal learned the plan, he was in favor of it. He
already believed at this point that he was the one they were
referring to for he was the most outstanding Filipino in abroad
or in the islands. Little did Rizal know that there were those who
did not like him. Some thought that he was a self-righteous
individual, a dictatorial and a hypocrite. This group endorsed the
candidacy of M.H. Del Pilar.
Marcelo H. Del Pilar
When the first session on the matter begin, Rizal arrived
surrounded by those who had initiated the movement, and were
out to support him. Eduardo de Lete presided and introduced
to the members the plan. Rizal supported the idea. On the other
hand, del Pilar opposed the plan. He believed there was no need
for it since there were already entities to take care of every
necessity: the Association Hispano Filipina, to take care of the
political purposes and; the Centro de Propaganda, a patriotic
association formed in the islands. However, del Pilar arguments
refuted by the rest. A committee was later created to draw up
the statutes that would transform the colony into one
homogenous body. The committee was composed of Julio
Llorente, del Pilar and Rizal. The two agreed to choose Rizal as
head.
Julio Llorente
Eduardo de Lete
When the by-laws were drawn, del Pilar objected the provision which
stated that the Responsible would have control over the politics of the colony
and the editorial policies of La Solidaridad. Del Pilar contended that the La
Solidaridad was an entirely separate entity. Rizal, nevertheless, pacified del Pilar
when he said that he and his companions would vote for him anyway. This issue
then would be immaterial. To end this issue, the committee settled it by
amending the provision making the Soli the official organ which serve as a
guidance to the policy-making power of the Responsable.
The statutes were then read to the body in another meeting. Questions
and answers were exchanged to clearly point the authority of the Responsible
and the role of the Soli. At the end of the discussions, the moved to the agenda
of election.
Rizal and Del Pilar became two candidates. Both wanted to withdraw, but
the members insisted their nominations. The test of popularity was on. The rule of
election was that the candidate must have a 2/3 majority vote in order to be
declared winner.
In the first balloting, though Rizal had a slight majority, neither was able to
reach two-thirds. The same results were obtained in the second and third balloting.
The results in balloting did not change a bit. As the stalemate continued, both had
wanted to withdraw. However, according to their friends they should not so for
their honor and reputation were at stake here. A few moments passed and no
settlement was reached. Thinking that all these were just to ridicule him by pointing
out he was not that popular at all to become the Responsable. Rizal, already growing
impatiently publicly announced that he was leaving Madrid to work alone.
When the second balloting was over, it also resulted to
another deadlock. Rizal then counted his votes and said Good!
I see I have but nineteen friends in the colony. Farewell,
gentlemen, Im going to pack my back. Until we meet again!
He took his hat and left.
Ponce quickly turned to Lete, Sandiko, Antonio Luna
and others to shift their votes to Rizal. When all Pilaristas were
convicted, Dominador Gomez spoke in their behalf
announcing their change of vote for the sake of unity. This
made Rizal elected unanimously.
Dominador Gomez
The election continued up to the second day without Rizal. Lete won as counselor.
On the third day, realizing that he won as Responsible, Rizal was present upon the
insistence of friends. Modesto Reyes was elected as the other counselor since the
members could not agree once more between Apacible and Ponce. Before taking the oath
of office, Rizal in his acceptance speech admonished the paisanos for their lack of unity.
He blamed Lete for being the one who caused all the trouble. He also expressed his
disappointment with del Pilar who should have immediately withdrawn his candidacy to
avoid all the troubles. Being the leader of nationalist movement in Manila, it would have
been disappointing to receive the news of him being defeated as leader of the movement
abroad. Rizal reminded them that even the Centro de Propaganda in Manila looked up on
him as the author of all political thought that agitate the people. Though it may sound that
Rizal was being too proud of himself, what he proclaimed were, nevertheless, true. He
was, indeed, even at that time was already the most popular Filipino in the islands and
abroad.
A BIARRITZ INTERLUDE. After a month, being disappointed with
everything in Madrid, Rizal tried to cheer himself up by seeing Nelly in Biarritz.
In his brief stay, he finally made a decision to marry her. Edward Boustead,
Nellys father, was not against with the desire of the two to settle down, but to
protect his child he made some conditions to Rizal. First, that he would stay with
his daughter and abort his intentions to travel abroad. Second, that he would
practice medicine and leave politics. And thirdly, that he would be converted as a
Protestant before marriage. Nelly told him that his conversation would be most
important for her. Rizal, realizing that he would not be able to answer to these
conditions, not in the meantime, told Nelly that he would need to take some time
first to think about it.
PRINTING THE FILI. Rizal went back to Brusells by February 1891 to edit
and revise his El Filibusterismo. By end of May, it was ready for the press. Upon
learning that printing was cheaper in Ghent, Rizal, with Alejandrino, moved to the
city that July. He expected that the Centro de Propaganda would supply him the fund
needed for the printing of El Filibusterismo. Nothing, to his disappointment, ever
came. He had spent all his money to finish the novel. He also had nothing to pawn
anymore. All that he received from his countrymen was 1000 pesos as part of his
allowance from the society.
This was where it all would end. Rizal, in his letter to Basa, expressed that he
was tired of believing in his countrymen (paisanos). They have made his life
miserable with promises that never materialized. Rich people have pledged to finance
the publication of his book, and yet, when it was done, they had forgotten him. His
position as leader was only good for more than a month, and then, they have
abandoned him.
Rizal was only consoled when, finally, Valentin Ventura agreed to loan him
the money enough to finish the printing of the Fili. The novel was printed by F.
Meyer van Loo press. As a gesture of his appreciation, he gave the original
manuscript to Ventura. Rizal dedicated the novel in memory of the three martyrs
of freedom, Gomez, Burgos and Zamora.
RIZAL RESIGNS. Before leaving for Manila, Rizal sent a letter of his
resignation as a contributor to La Solidaridad. In his proclamation, he also sent a
message to his compatriots that he was giving up on his political leadership in
Spain and would from now on work on his own for the same endeavor. This news
sadden many in the Propaganda circle.
Before his departure from Europe, Rizal made a quick visit to Nelly to
say goodbye. Since he could not marry her yet, he might as well go back to the
Philippines to take care of the problems of his family. He, then, proceeded to
Marseilles for a trip to Hong Kong. Rizal boarded the ship SS Melbourne.
IN THE COMPANY OF FIRARS. Inside the SS Melbourne, of so
many passengers that he could have joined cabin with, it was a friar that came
to accompany him. He was Fr. Volunteri, an Augustinian who have spent
years in the Philippines. Rizal described him as a sort of Padre Damaso, only
kinder. He also met the Fr. Fuchs and many other friars on board who were
together with Fr. Volunteri.