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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 jurisdictionof the Jesuits, from 1892 to 1896. This four-year inter regnum in his life was tediously unexciting, but wasabundantly fruitful with varied achievements. He practiced medicine, pursued scientific studies, continued hisartistic and literary works, widened his knowledge of languages, established a school for boys, promotedcommunity development projects, invented a wooden machine for making bricks, and engaged in farming andcommerce. 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 apologizingfor 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'', instructedtwo 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 favoriteteacher at the Ateneo de Manila, to Dapitan. He was the only Spanish priest to defend Rizal's Noli Me Tangerein public.Upon his arrival, Fr. Sanchez lost no time in meeting his former favorite student. Of all the Jesuits, he was themost 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. Sanchezenjoyed the latters company and he even assisted Rizal in beautifying the town plaza. On his birthday, Rizalgave him a precious birthday gift - a manuscript entitled Estudios sobre la lengua tagala (Studies on the TagalogLanguage).
Idyllic Life in Dapitan
Since August 1893, members of his family took turns in visiting him in order to assuage his loneliness in theisolated 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, allof bamboo, wood and nipa. In the square house we live, my mother , sister Trinidad, a nephew and I; in theoctagonal live my boys or some good youngsters whom I teach arithmetic, Spanish and English; and in thehexagonal live my chickens. From my house I hear the murmur of a crystal clear brook which comes from thehigh rocks ; I see the seashore , the sea where I have small boats, two canoes or barotos, as they say here. Ihave many fruit trees, mangoes, lanzones, guayabanos, baluno, nangka, etc. I have rabbits, dogs, cats,etc. Irise 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 tomy land; I dress, I go to the town in my baroto, treat the people there, and return at 12 when my luncheon awaitsme. Then I teach the boys until 4 P.M. and devote the after- noon to agriculture. I spend the night reading andstudying.
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 whensuddenly jolted by a strange incident involving a spy of the friars. The spy with the assumed name of "PabloMercado" and posing as a relative, secretly visited Rizal at his house on the night of November 3, 1893. Heintroduced 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'sletter and writings for the patriots in Manila. Rizal, being a man of prudence and keen perception becamesuspicious. Irked by the mpostor's lies, he wanted to throw him out of the house, but mindful of his duty as ahost 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 (whosucceeded Captain Carnacio on May 4, 1893 as commandant of Dapitan). Without much ado, Sitges orderedthe 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. Hewas a native of Cagayan de Misamis, single and about 30 years old. He was hired by the Recollect friars to asecret mission in Dapitan to filch the letters and writings of Rizal which might incriminate him in the revolutionary