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Dapitan

Despujol’s decree produced consternation among Rizal’s friends


and partisans, but they soon overcome it. On the same night that
decree appeared in the Gazette, a secret meeting was held in an
accesoria (apartment) on Azcarraga street. The apartment was
modest, and its tenant was a nearsighted old man, inoffensive and
sickly in appearance. His name was DeodatoArellano and his only
companions were his wife and a nephew, a daring young man teeming
with vitality, named Gregorio del Pilar. Deodato was a brother-in-law of
Marcelo del Pilar, editor of La Solidaridad, and the copies of this
fortnightly magazine came consigned in his name.
At the meeting there were only seven persons in all, including the
tenant of the place, but among the seven was the fiery Andres
Bonifacio. They spoke in a low voice as if they were afraid to be heard
or surprised. Only one sentiment animated all, and in a short time the
meeting was adjourned after they had arrived at a solemn accord: to
found th Katipunan, an association of the sons of the people to
promote the sepreration of the country from Spain.
The Filipino League did not live long although it was backed by the
name of Rizal. Not being steeped in the intimate feelings of the
founder, those who had obligated themselves to it, believing it to be a
new instrument to ask peaceably for reforms from the government,
considered it to useless and of little efficacy and gradually separated
from it to join the Katipunan, whose program seemed to them more
determined, more resolute, and more daring in its aims.
A week later Rizal arrived at Dapitan and was delivered in person
by an officer in transport to the commander of the post, Don Ricardo
Carnicero, Captain of the Infantry.
Despujol was in a way considerate towards Rizal. In a sealed
document brought by the officer of the boat, Rizal was authorized to
lodge in the mission-house of the Jesuits; or, if he preffered to live in
the mission-house; but in view of that the Jesuits required him, as a
condition precedent, to retract his religious and political ideas to
submit himself to spiritual exercises in accordance with the instructions
received from the head of the Mission, he asked that he be permitted
to live in the house of him.
The commander of the district, Don Ricardo Carnicero, was a man
who was dicreet and generous and one not lacking in talent, Rizal lived
with him and had one long conversation with him at table or during the
walks which the two took almost daily. Always affable, respectful,
gracious, and of exquisite conversation, Rizal soon won the good will
and then the cordial friendship of his keeper, so much so that the latter
permitted him all the liberties not incompatible with official
surveillance. Carnicero also benefited by this mutual confidence, as he
became acquainted with Rizal’s most intimate ideas and thought and
was able to use them as material for his official report to the Governor
General.
In one of their conversations Rizal reiterated the program of
reforms that he wanted for the Philippines, which he had expressed
previously in his writing. He wished to: (1) give representation to the
Filipinos to the Cortes; (2) secularize the friars, doing away with the
tutorship which the latter exercise over the government and the
country, and the distributing the curaries as they became vacant
among the clergymen, who could be Filipinos or Spaniards; (3)
improved and reform the Administration in all its branches; (4) foster
primary instruction, taking away all intervention of the friars and
giving the teachers more pay; (5) divide fifty-fifty the appointments in
the country between the Spaniards and the Filipinos; (6) create
schools arts and trades in the capitals of the provinces of more than
16,000 inhabitants; (70 permit freedom of religion and of the press.
When Carnicero, feigning to be a partisan of his reforms, called
attention to the impossibility of obtaining these reforms on account of
the great influence of the friars both in Madrid and in Manila, Rizal
answered:
“Do not think so. The influence of the friars is warning in all parts
of the world. I am bold enough to assure you that with the
government a little advanced, where there are five or six men like
Becerra, the friars would disappear. In Madrid they know perfectly well
all that the friars do here, so much so that in the first interviews I had
with Pi and Linares Rivas, when the latter belonged to the liberal Party,
they informed me of things which I, a native of this country, did not
know. I could cite to you many who, like and miracles of the friars in
the Philippines; but, as they tell me: “The bad government that
succeed one another in Spain are guilty of many abuses committed on
behalf of the religious corporations; the day things change, we will not
forget those gentlemen. ’In the Philippines, I regret to tell you, the
friars are disliked and they make themselves more repugment and
odious every day by their meddling in everything. The deportation of
my family is due to the denunciation of a friar.”
Because of the lack of physicians, Rizal practiced his profession in
the town, rendering his professional services to all persons who
solicited them, without changing the poor. He charged the others
according to their means. A rich English man who came to consult him
and whom Rizal operated on for paid him five hundred dollars, all of
which Rizal spent in endowing the town with electric lightings
In September, Rizal obtained more than six thousand pesos as
participation in the second price of the lottery of Manila, and he sent
the whole amount to his mother for her expenses and necessities.
Garnicero not only acceded to what Rizal asked him but even
offered him all kinds of stimuli, thinking that the more engrossed Rizal
might be in his project he less he would think politics and of his
friends. He try to induce him to establish himself in Dapitan with his
friends instead of Borneo since he seemed to like the district and there
were many abandoned lands there for lack of laborers. Rizal confided
to him that the English government offered him guaranties which the
Spanish government did not afford him. He feared that after
cultivating the lands for many years the friars might come and grab
them. Always the friars! But Carnicero persuaded him that the friars’
domination did not reach Dapitan and that he could rest assured that if
he brought his family and his friends they would not regret the change
of residence.
Perhaps because of this suggestions, Rizal planned to build a
house of his own, and for the present he asked for the lands that
where near the plaza, where he planted fruit trees of different
varieties. Later he acquired another parcel of land in Talisay which,
according to Carnicero’s report, was of great area and contained sixty
cacao plants, some coffee trees, and many fruit trees, and which cost
him 18 pesos in all. Carnicero proposed to Despujol to pardon Rizal’s
relatives who were in Jolo so that they might establish their residence
in Dapitan, and to persuade his sister Lucia and the cousin of hers who
were in Manila to go to Dapitan to live with Rizal. He also
recommended that Rizal be flatterd with hope of obtaining the position
of provincial doctor of the district so that he would not think of leaving
it. Rizal was contented with his new project and enjoyed his work in
agriculture. He wrote to his father, saying that if they should decide to
come with the family he would build a house and leave his books and
profession. From his retirement he witnesses with indifference the
passing of men and events.
Despujol who had done him so much harm; was relieved of his
office in the beginning of 1893. he was succeeded ad interim by the
second in command, Federico Ochando, and garnicero was also
relieved as a result of complaints preferred against him for his
excessive complacencies towards Rizal, and for being impious. His
successor was another captain of the infantry named Juan Sitges, who
assumed office on May 4, 1893. With Sitges things changed somewhat
for Rizal, at least in the first days. The new chief of the district
resented sharing his board and lodging with a drportee; and Rizal,
anticipating his desire, asked him to assign him to another house to
live. Sitges, then, made him move to a next house to the comandancia
and required his appearance three times a day. He took other
restricted measures such as prohibiting Rizal for visiting the boats and
taking walk outside the limit of the town proper. As confiscated a letter
from Blumentritt in which he spoke to Rizal only of things about his
familt, simply because he considered Blumentrit an enemy of Spain,
even though he himself acknowledged that in this letter it was the only
time he treated the Spaniars with indulgence and the first time in
which he did not give separatist advice.
But this harsh treatment did not last more than a few weeks.
General Blanco arrived in a short time to take over the reins of the
government of the islands; and whether by instruction received from
him, on his own initiative after seeing the docility demonstrated by
Rizal and his exemplary conduct, Sitges change his conduct and gave
Rizal the same liberties, if not a little more, as those given by his
predecessor.
About the middle of October, 1893, his mother and his sister
Trinidad joined him in Dapitan. Rizal was very much contented and,
desiring to celebrate Christmas, asked from Manila for a bale of
Japanese paper to make lanterns with which to decorate his garden
like those he saw as a child in Calamba, He now lived in new house he
near the seashore and at the foot of a mountain, covered with “eternal
verdure.”
Upon receipt of a card from Blumentritt greeting him for the New
Year, he wrote to his friend a poetic letter in which he narrated his
melancholies and his ordinary life
During Sitges’ command, Rizal not only enlarged the property
where he lived but also acquired other properties in different places to
plant coffee and hemp.
Sitges suspected that Rizal’s partisans communicated with him
about political matters, but he never had proof. Shortly after he took
possession of his office in June, 1893, Sitges suspected three
individuals who arrived in Dapitan with a licence to sell images, and
who, after disembarking, went to Rizal’s house. Sitges found out that
they came from Calamba and ordered them to return at the first
opportunity. He suspected those sellers of images because a servant of
Rizal came on the previous mail boat to bring images, when these
came not lacking in the town. This and the constant coming and going
to Rizal’s sisters since his mother resided in Dapitan gave Sitges the
impression that something was being hatched. For this reason he
ordered the search of the baggage of these persons on various
occasions, without being found anything forbidden.
The year 1893 ended with a mysterious event for Rizal, which
could not be cleared entirely.
We copy from the official report.
“On the 4 th [November, 1893] my attention was called to the
individual who, pulling his hat far down on his head and seemingly
trying to avoid being seen, crossed at dust the rice fields towards the
seashore and the lands of Rizal. The manner in which he passed,
through lands almost impassable, the hour, and the direction, made
me somehow suspect something that in that moment I could not tell
but which in the end seemed extraordinary. In this frame of mind I
came out to meet him from the opposite direction; but either because
before I crossed the river which runs through Rizal’s lands, he had
gone back or because he took another direction, I could not find him. I
returned to the comandancia thinking of the fact that had attracted my
attention.
“Two hours had not elapsed when Rizal appeared before me,
saying ( these are his words): ‘I regret to have to denounce, but I am
compelled to do so, on the one hand, by my ideas which were never
separatist, as on my words of honor I assured General Despujol; on
the other, by the old age and tranquillity of my mother who is now
beside me, where I have employed everything for her comfort and
entertainment and for that of my young sister; and, lastly, by the
obligation by which as a gentlemen I am bound to repay and the
generosity of the authorities, who respect the secrecy of
correspondence. I regret to denounce, and maybe I shall thereby
prejudice someone who still believe I am credulous and a fool to
expose my whole family to adversities. But I have no alternative but to
inform you that yesterday, at night-time, an individual named Pablo
Mercado, who say he is a relative of mine, came to me telling that he
came from Manila to find out my situation and necessities, offering to
send me all writings and correspondence that might be necessary for
my plans even if they should hang him, presenting to me a photograph
of mine and some buttons with the initials P.M.’
“At this point I dismissed him, and, accompanied by
gobernadorcillo, I proceeded to apprehend the said Pablo Mercado,
findings to his person the photograph referred to and a cedula with the
name of Florencio Namanan, with which document, order of
incommunication and presecution, I delivered him to the
gobernedorcillo. But I was greatly surprised by what I found out from
the investigation today, from which has resulted what could even be
remotely expected. . . .
“After the investigation Rizal appeared asking for the minutes of
the investigation, which I deemed it prudent not to give him.”
Here is an extract of that document:
“Tribunal of Dapitan,- Trial Against Pablo Mercado,-Judge: The
Gobernadorcillo, Don Anastacio Adriatico.
“The case is initiated by an official letter of Commander Sitges
dated November 6, 1893, ordering the gobernadorcillo to institute the
corresponding investigations to clarify the purpose of the coming to
this town of the individual Pablo Mercado.
“The same day this individual was interrogated. He said his name
is Lorenzo Namanan (as appears in his cedula attached to the record),
thirty years of age, single, and a native of Cagayan de Misamis. And he
added that he received instructions to get a photograph of Mr. Rizal in
order not to be mistaken when the occasion to talk to him should
come; to go around the towns of the district, come to Dapitan, and
gather all the way all books written by Rizal that he might find; to
know Rizal and to present himself as a political friend and a relative
commissions of his friends and relatives in Manila to find out his
situation and necessities; to offer to help him in this propaganda until
he succeeded in obtaining from him letters and writings of a separatist
nature, and that, in effect, a photograph of Rizal was left with him,
furnished by Estanislao Legaspi, a resident of Nos. 17-37 Madrid,
Manila, and a pair of buttons with the initials P.M. corresponding to the
name Pablo and the surname Mercado of Mr. Rizal, to inspire more
confidence in him by his supposed surname. That after going through
the towns where he had no other recourse but to steal two books that
he found, he came here on the 3 rd of this month, lodging in the house
of Teniente Ramon, and at dusk he left for the outskirts of the town,
arriving at the house of Rizal, from whom he tried to obtain writings
and succeeded only in being thrown out by him. That he then returned
to his house, where he remained hiding until last night, when the
politicomilitary commander arrested him in person, finding the cedula
and the photograph that is on the table.

In the year 1894 it seemed that Rizal completely forgot and forgotten
by all. He seemed to have realized his dream of being a humble
agriculturist engaged in planting abaca, coconuts, and coffee. He
thought of engaging not only agriculture but also in commerce. He
wanted to exploit the fishing industry of the district, and for the
purpose, he asked his brother-in-law Hidalgo for some fishing nets of
the kind used in Calamba to introduce them in Dapitan, where the
appliances and methods used by the natives were more primitive. At
the same time he associated himself with a Frenchman who resided in
Dapitan to exploit and sell the abaca produced in the district. His plan
was not precisely to get rich but to demonstrate to his countrymen the
value of developing the commerce and the small industries of the
country for their own benefit instead of leaving all the productive
activities in the hand of the Chinese.
But these and other projects for material development did not
usually bring happy results because he was not sufficiently free to
execute his plans, which could be vetoed or disapproved. Even if he
were free, the chanced of being pardoned or transferred to another
place could frustrate any plans, however will contrived they might
have been. But in the midst of this situation he did not keep his mind
or his pen idle; he became absorbed in scientific and artistic works, for
which his keeper gave him complete liberty. He had been occupied in
writing an original Tagalog grammar and learning the Visayan
language, in which he saw “traces of names more primitive in form
than the Tagalog, and yet the Tagalog conjugation contains in itself not
only all the forms of Visayan but also others.”
In 1894 his private correspondence indicated that he was in
constant communication with the sages of Europe who sought and
solicited his collaboration in diverse scientific matters. Doctor Rost of
the Library of London asked him to write philological articles for the
English magazines and, if possible, a comparative treatise on Philippine
dialects. The geographer Doctor Joest consulted with him about two
pieces of bamboo believed to have been used by the Moro chiefs of
Mindanao of ancient times for the transmission of written messages.
Dr. N. M. Khiel of Prague, who desired to publish a work of the fauna of
Mindanao, asked him for the collection of butterflies and even gave
him instructions as to how to catch, stuff, and export them. Doctor S.
Knuttel of Stuttgart solicited from him reports on the volcanic
eruptions in the Archipelago. Ferdinand Blumenttrit, his spiritual
brother, continued writing to him about his family and his works and,
as usual, always gave Rizal timely counsels about his situations. But it
was with Dr. A. B. Meyer of Dresten that he sustained the most
frequent correspondence and to whom he constantly sent boxes
containing samples of the flora and fauna of Mindanao to be studied
and the classified by the Eropean scientists. Because of his humble
means and the lack of experienced of his assistants, the insect and the
other animal specimen which Rizal sent did not arrive in good condition
in their destinations. Rizal collected all these materials and sent them
to Europe in exchange for scientific books which he in turn received
from Doctor Meyer.
The famous German amphibiologist, Professor Boettger, a great
connoisseur of the zoology of the Far East, discovered that the frog of
the collection sent by Rizal to Frunkfurt belong to a new species not
yet described and completely unknown to naturalist; and that learned
professor, in describing it, christened it with the name of Rhacophorus
Rizali. Another learned German zoologist, Dr. Carl M. Heller,
denominated a species of coleopatra discovered by Rizal in Dapitan
with the name of Apogonia Rizali.
Long accustomed to a wise distribution of his time, Rizal spent the
months absorbed in his occupation. Compared with the life he had led
abroad, that which he live here, although monotonous, he found
tranquil. He did not consider Dapitan less desirable than Calamba; on
the contrary, he found it better. It was, after all, a part of this country.
In his long meditation on the shores of the sea where he used to
spend many hours, he thought that, everything considered, his
banishment had been a blessing, and he thanked heaven for it.
“. . . So I thank you, O storm, and heaven-born breeze,
That you knew of the hour my wind fly to ease,
To cast me back down to the soil whence I rose.”
His present life was tranquil, peaceful, retired, and without glory,
but he believed it was also useful because he taught the children in the
school and the people of the town the best way of earning a leaving.
He had operated on his mother anew, and, thanks to the operation,
she could again read and write with facility. His fondness for sculpture
did not decline in Dapitan, and whenever an inspiration came to him,
he utilized his moments of leisure to model some statues. Among the
first sculptured works produced in dapitan are the bust of Father
Guerrico, who was superior of Mission of the Jesuits; a bust of General
Blanco; a Saint Paul, which he dedicated to Fr. Pablo Pastells; a
Dapitan girl; and the death of the crocodile.
The year 1895 brought him new complications. In the early part
of the year the fiesta of Talisay, where he lived, took place. He
composed a patriotic hymn which was sung by the pupils of the school.
Dapitan, October 13, 1895
After celebrating the fiesta, his mother left Dapitan, having been
called by his father who believed he was getting weaker every day and
was about to die. “Whether he will die without our saying each other, I
do not know. My deportation has lasted so long that I begin to lose the
hope of some day seeing myself free again.” “All agree with me that I
did not deserve this fate.”
In February of that year he became acquainted with Josephine
Bracken, and his soul, immersed in solitude, awakened eagerly to the
allurements of love. She was a girl of about nineteen, born in
Hongkong of an Irish mother and an English father. She was not
remarkably beautiful but was very attractive because of hear pleasant
countenance, her deep, blue, and dreamy eyes, and abundant golden
hair. When she was left an orphan, she became a dancer in one of the
café’s in Hongkong. Mr. Taufer, who was quite rich, knew her there and
took her not so much protect her as to have someone to take care of
him, for he had became blind. When Mr. Taufer went ot Dapitan to
place himself under the professional care of Doctor Rizal, she
accompanied him and passed for his daughter.
Miss Bracken and Mr. Taufer went to live in a house next to the
hospital. The old man suffered with double cataracts, and it seemed
that the operation required much time. The youth and exotic charm of
Josephine could not but impress Rizal, but as he suspected at first that
she was spy sent ot find out his movements, she was very much
reserved towards her. Later, however, they became very good friends
and Rizal declared sentiments to her. Mr. taufer, upon learning of the
affair, suffered an attact of desperation to tried to commit suicide with
a razor, which was avoided by Rizal’s opportune intervention. Mr.
Taufer then return to Hongkong and remained with Rizal’s mother in
Manila. Thence she returned alone to Dapitan to live with Rizal.
Rizal had great pity for the enamored Josephine, abandoned and
alone as she was. But his life with her was the subject of protests from
the Church, and Rizal, in order to avoid public scandal, decided to
marry her. But the Church would not sanction his marriage unless he
retract out of respect for the costumes of the people. Anyway he had
not been a very active figure in the high councils of freemasonry; he
could therefore submit himself without great pain to this demand of
the Church provided he could save love. Rizal wrote a form of
retraction agreed upon between him and Father Obach, and without
singing it sent it to the Bishop of Cebu for approval. It is not known
where the form of retraction landed; the fact is, that the approval dod
not come. And Rizal and Josephine continued to live as husband and
wife in the eyes of the public. Even his mother, who was religious and
devour, did not reproach him too much for his union with Josephine,
saying that “it is better to live in concubinage in the grace of God than
to be married in disgrace.”
Rizal thought that fate was playing a bad joke on him, but he
resignated himself to it. He revolution is rising in the dark and
foreboded that however far he was from it he would be implicated if he
remain in the country; that is why he decide to go far away, very far,
where the responsibility for one drop of blood could not reach him.
At the end of 1895 he again wrote to His Excellency asking for
his liberty or the review of the case, and if this were not possible, for
his enrollment in the army of Cuba. Blumentritt advised the latter
course and Rizal believed the advice good. But this application was
always undecided, even though he was a free mason, who had been
asked by a Manila lodge to place Rizal at liberty and permit him to go
abroad.
Near the end of June 1896, the katipunan, which had replaced
the league, thought of sending one of its members of Dapitan to confer
with Rizal and find out whether he was disposed to place himself at the
head of a revolutionary movement. Pio Valenzuela, a young physician
and cofounder of the Katipunan, was the one chosen to see Rizal. In
effect, he feigned to bring an eye patient to be treated in Dapitan,
where he arrived in July 1. Rizal did not know Valenzuela in Manila, or
if he did, he could not remember him. The fact is that when the two
were left alone, Valenzuela told the real purpose of his visit and
informed him of the number of persons affiliated with the Katipunan
and of the funds on which they counted to realize a revolution. If Rizal
wish to head it, they would facilitate his escape. The most popular
version about that conference was that Rizal became indignant upon
hearing the proposition of Valenzuela and almost threw him out of his
house. It seems, however, that no such thing occurred and that,
although Rizal refused to have anything to with the revolution because
it could not succeed under the conditions in which he was told it was to
be carried out, he did not treat Valenzuela anger. Although he said that
they must not count on him as to the escape because he would
thereby break his word of honor, he suggested that Luna be
approached if they needed a military leader.

The Death Sentenced and the Last Farewell

Rizal exerted his last effort to record his innocence in an indubitable


manner: when asked whether he had anything to say, he the contents
of the document which he himself had prepared and in which he said:

Supplement to My Defense
“Don Jose Rizal y Alfonso respectfully requests the Court Martial to
consider the following circumstances:
“First. With the respect to the rebellion. I had absolutely refrained
politics since July 6, 1892, until the 1st of July of this year when,
advised by Don Pio Valenzuela that an uprising was proposed, I
counseled against it, trying to convince him with reasons. Don Pio
Valenzuela parted from me apparently convinced; so much so that
instead of taking part in the rebellion later, he presented himself to the
authorities for pardon.
“Second. A proof that I did not maintain any political relation with
anybody that what someone said about my having sent letters through
my family is false, is the fact that was necessary to send Don Pio
Valenzuela under an assumed name, at considerable cost, when on the
same boat went five members of my family, besides two servants. If
what they pretend were true, what necessity was there for Don Pio to
attract attention of anyone and incur a large expense? Moreover, The
mere fact that Mr. Valenzuela went to inform me [of the uprising]
proves that I was not in correspondence [with its promoters], for if I
had been, I would have known it, because to make an uprising would
be too serious a thing to conceal from me. The fact that they took the
step to send Mr. Valenzuela proves that they were aware that I knew
nothing; that is it to say, that I maintained no correspondence with
them. Another negative proof is that they cannot show even one letter
of mine.
“Third. They cruelly abused my name and wanted to surprise me at
the last moment. Perhaps they would say that I was resigned me at
the last moment. Why did they not communicate with me before?
Perhaps they would say that I was resigned to, if not contented with,
my banishment, for I had rejected various prepositions which many
persons made to rescue me from that place. It was only in these last
months that, as a consequence of certain domestic affairs-having had
difficulty with missionary priest-I asked leave to go to Cuba as a
volunteer. Don Pio Valenzuela came to advise me to play safe, for,
according to him, I might possibly be implicated. Inasmuch as I
considered myself entirely innocent and was not posted on the how
and the when of the movement (aside from the fact that I had
convinced Mr. Valenzuela), I did not take any precaution but, when His
Excellency the Governor General wrote to me informing me of my
going to Cuba, I sailed immediately, abandoning all my affairs. And
that, notwithstanding the fact that I could have gone somewhere else
or could have simply remained in Dapitan, for the letter of His
Excellency was conditional. He said therin: ‘if you still persist in your
idea in going to Cuba. . . . ‘When the movement broke out, I was on
board the Castilla, and I offered myself unconditionally to His
Excellency. Twelve or fourteen days later I left for Europe. If I had an
uneasy conscience, I would have tried to slip away in any port of call,
especially in Singapore, where I went ashore and where other
passengers who had passports to the Peninsula remained. I had easy
conscience, and hoped to go to Cuba.
“Fourth. In Dapitan I had boats and I was permitted to make
excursions along the coast and to the settlement, which excursions
lasted all the time I wished, sometimes for one week. If I still had
intentions to engage in politics, I would have left even in the vintas of
the Moros whom I knew in the settlements. Neither would I have built
my small hospital, nor would I have bought lands, nor I would called
my family to live with me.
“Fifth. Someone had said that I was the chief. What kind of chief is he
who is not consulted as to the projects and who is only advised to
escape/ What chief is that who when he laws, the aims of which were
to promote commerce, industry, the arts, et cetera, by means of
union; this has been confirmed by witnesses who where not favorable,
but rather opposed to me.
“Seventh. The League did not live nor was it established, for after the
first reunion it was not taken up again; it died because I was deported
a few days later.
“Eight. If it was recognized b the other persons nine months later, as
they say now, I did not know it.
Ninth. The League was not an association with subversive ends, and
that is proven by the fact that they had to abandon it, organizing the
Katipunan, which perhaps better suited their purposes. If the League
could have left it but would have only modified it; for if, as some
pretend, I am the chief, out of consideration for me and for the
prestige of my name they would have preserved the denomination of
League. The fact that they laid it aside, name and all, and created the
Katipunan, clearly proves that they neither counted on me nor did the
League serve their purposes, as otherwise they would not have
another association when there was one already instituted.
“Tenth. With respect to my letters, if there be any bitter censures
therin, I request the Court to consider the time in which I wrote them
(1890); at that time we had been disposed of hours, camarins, lands,
et cetera, and on top of that all my brothers-in-law and my brother
were deported, as a consequence of a suit arising from an inquiry of
the Department of Finance, a suit in which, according to our lawyer,
Mr. Linares Rivas, we had the right on our side.
‘Eleventh. That I have suffered my deportation with resignation, not
for the reason alleged, which is inaccurate, but for what I might have
written. Asked the politico-military commanders of the district about
my conduct during these four years of my deportation; asked the
people, even the missionary priests themselves, in spite of my
personal differences with one of them.
Twelfth. All these facts and consideration destroy the ill-founded
accusations of those who have testified against me, with whom I have
asked the judge to be confronted. Is it possible that in one single night
I was able to line up all of the filibusterism, at a gathering which
discussed commerce, etcetera, and which did not go beyond that, for it
died subsequently? If the few who were present have taken my words
seriously, they would not have let the league die. Is it that those who
have formed part of the league that night founded the Katipunan? I
believe not. Who went to Dapitan to talk to me? They were persons
entirely unknown to me. Why was not an acquaintance sent in home I
would have had more confidence? Because those acquainted with me
knew very well that I have forsaken politics, they must have refused to
take a vain and futile step.
“In the City of Manila, on the 26 th day of December, 1896: The
Court Martial met on this day under the presidency of Lieutenant
Colonel Don Jose Tagores Arojana to try and decide the case instituted
against Don Jose Rizal Mercado y Alonso, accused of the crimes of
rebellion, sedition, and illegal associated; has examined it minutely
and carefully after the reading of the actuations made therein by the
Judge Advocate; and, having heard the accusation of the Fiscal, the
brief of the defense, and the supplement thereto read by the accused,
the Court Martial declares that the act complained of constitutes the
crimes of founding illegal associations and of promoting and inciting
rebellion, the first being a necessary means of committing the second;
it resulting that the accused Don Jose Rizal is responsible as principal.
“Wherefore, the court decides that it ought to condemn and
condemns the said Don Jose Rizal to the penalty of death; and in case
of pardon, the penalty, unless specifically remitted, shall carry wit it
the accessories of absolute, perpetual disqualification and subjection of
the accused to the surveillance of the authorities during his whole life,
to pay as indemnity to state the sum of 100,00 pesos, with the
obligation of transmitting the satisfaction of this indemnity to his heirs,
all in accordance with article 188, No. 2, in relation to No. 1 of 189,
and 230, in relation to 229, No. 1; 11, 53. 63, 80, 89, 119, 188, No. 2,
22, No. 1, 123, in relation to 11, No. 3, 122, and others of general
application of the Penal Code.
“It is so pronounced and ordered by the court martial, the
President and Members of the same signing: Jose Tagores, Braulio
Rodriguez, Ricardo Monus, Fermin Perez Rodriguez, Manuel Reguera,
Manuel Diaz Ezcribano, Santiago Izquierdo.”
“Manila, December 28, 1896. Confrormably to the foregoing opinion, I
approve the sentence dictated by the Court Martial in the present case,
in virtue of which the death penalty is imposed on the accused JOSE
RIZAL MERCADO, which shall be executed by shooting him at 7 o’clock
in the morning of the 30th of this month in the field of Bagumbayan,
and with the formalities which the law requires. For compliance and
the rest that may correspond, let this returned to the Judge advocate.
Captain Don Rafael Dominguez. Camilio G. de Polavieja.”
In the plenitude of the night, by the weak light of the lamp that
illumined his cell, thinking of the angel of death that flapped its black
wings around him, Rizal wrote a heartfelt farewell to his country.

Farewell thee well, motherland I adore, region the suns hold dear,
Pearl of the sea oriental, our paradise came to grief;
I go with gladness to give thee my life all withered and drear;
Though it will more brilliant, more fresh with flowery cheer,
Even then for thee would I give it, would give it for thy relief.

On many a field of battle, struggling mud of delirium,


Others give thee their lives, without a doubt or lament;
The place does not matters at all; cypress, laurel or lily may come,
The open arena of scaffold, a fight of cruel mattyrdon,
‘Tis the same if to that by one’s home, and his motherland he is sent.

I am dying now I behold how color is straining the sky,


Announcing the day at last beyond this dismal night;
If thou requirest scarlet with which thine aurora to dye,
Behold then, here is my blood, pour out as thine hour is nigh-
I give to thee for reflecting the gleam of thy natal light.
My dreams, while yet merely a child, or where nearing maturity,
My dreams, when a youth full of vigor at length I became,
Were to see thee were happier day, O jewel of the Orient sea,
Thine ebon eyes dried of their tears, thine uplifted brow clear and free
From the frowns and the furrows, the stains and the stigma of the
shame.

O dream that inspired my life, my ardent, enduring desire,


God bless thee!, this fervent soul cries, that soon in departing from
thee.
God bless thee! How lovely it is to fall and to lift thee higher;
To die and to give thee my life, here under thy sky expire,
And in thine enchanted terrain to sleep for eternity.

Of over my tomb thou beholdest, one day beginning to grow,


A slender and diffident flower peeping out through the crowding grass,
Draw it close to thy lips, and thy kiss, to my very soul shall go,
And I shall fell on my forehead, in the chilly tom below,
The tenderness of thy breathing, the warmth of its vapor pass.

Let the moon lok down upon me with her soft and tranquil ray;
Let the dawn sent forth her splendor on a swiftly fleeting wings;
Let the moaning wind above me murmur solemnly away;
And if a bird descending, on my cross alight, on day,
Let the bird his canticle of peace above me sing.

Let the sun turn the trains in the vapor with his ardent rays,
And carry them pure to heaven, my death knell ‘neath them passed.
Let some friendly person weep, for the premature end of my days,
And in the serene afternoons, while anyone for me prays,
O motherland, pray for me too, that I close to God my rest.

Pray for all of the others who haplessly died;


For those who were tormented with inimitable pain;
For our unhappy mothers who in bitter sorrow cried;
For orphans and widows and captives, by horrid torture tried;
And pray for thyself that thou mayest, thy final redemption gain.

And when in the night the darkness enwraps the graveyard round,
And only, only the dead remain there to watch with me,
Do not disturb their repose, their mystery profound;
If haply thou hearest a zither, or a psaltery resound,
‘Tis I, my motherland dear, I, who am singing to there.

And when in the end my tomb, forgotten by all men,


Has neither a cross nor a stone to keep its plane revealed,
Let any man plow it and spread it with his spade, and then
My ashes, before they resolve into dust upon thy flowery field.

Consign me to oblivion then, it matters naught,


This air, thy space, thy valleys I shall permeate,
My vibrant limpid notes shall to thine ear be brought,
Aroma, lights, and colors, songs with moaning fraught,
The essence of my faith shall constantly relate.

My idolized motherland, whose grieving makes me grieve,


Dearest Filipinas, hear my last farewell again!
I now leave all to thee, my parents, my loved ones I leave
I go where there are no slaves, a brute’s lash to receive;
Where faith does not kill, and where it is God who doth reign.

Farewell, my parents and brothers, parts of the soul of me,


Friends of my early childhood in the home now dispossessed,
Give thanks when I am at rest from this day of misery,
Sweet foreigner, my friends, my joy, farewell to thee,
Farewell, my loved ones all. . . To die is but to rest.

There waa not a single recrimination nor a hint pf hate for


anybody; he was thankful that he was going to rest from the “day of
weariness”. For death was not the end but a mere resting.
After he had finished writing these verses, he felt happy and
rested. He had already given all he could to his country: his talent, his
security, his felicity, his future. He could give no more. Let death come
soon!