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affect his studies in the University of Santo Tomas. His love for higher education proved to be greater than his love for a pretty girl. After finishing the first year of the course in Philosophy and Letters (1877-780), he transferred to a medical course. During the year of his studies in the university, which was under the Dominicans, rival education of the Jusuits, he remained loyal to Ateneo, where he continued to participate in extra curricular activities and where he completed the education course in surveying. As a Thomasian, he won more literary laurels, had more romances with girls, and fought against Spanish students. Mother’s position to higher education. After graduation with the highest position in Ateneo, Rizal had to go the University of Santo Tomas in order to prepare him self to a private career. The Bachelor of arts degree during Spanish times was equivalent to a high school diploma today. It merely qualified its holder to enter a university. Both Don Francisco and Paciano that Jose should pursue a higher learning. But Dona Teodora did not want him to study more. Evidently she had a premonition that to much knowledge would imperil his child life. In a family council in the Rizal’s home in Calamba, she vigorously objected to have her beloved Jose acquired a higher education. She was thinking of the safety of her son. She know the fate of Filipino intellectuals-Father Burgos, Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor, Jose Ma. Basa, and others of 1872-who were either executed or exiled by the Spanish authorities, and blamed their sad fate to their learning.
Fearful of the Spanish authorities who seem to frown on those Filipinos who learn to much, she warned her husband. “Do not send Jose again to Manila. If gets to know to much, they will cut off his head!” Jose, who was present in their family council when his mother said this, was shocked. He know her mother was a woman o education and culture: she even taught him and inspired him to write poetry; she came from a family of high learning – her own brother ( and his uncle) Jose Alberto Alonso had been educated abroad and could speak multiple Spanish, French, English and German. Rizal enters the university. In April 1877, Rizal, who was bearly 16 years old, matriculated in the University of Santo Tomas taking up Philosophy and Letters. He enrolled in this course for two reasons: (1) his father like it and (2) he was was “still uncertain ti what career to follow”. He had written to father Pablo Ramon, Recotr of the Ateneo, who had been good to him during his days in Ateneo, asking for advice in the choice of career. Unfortunately, Father Recto was in Mindanao and during those days it several months to travel a letter from Manila to Mindanao. Consequently during his first term (1877-78) in the University of Santo Tomas he studied Cosmology, Metaphysics, Theodicy and History of Philosophy. It was during the school term (1978-79) that Rizal took up medicine, enrolling simultaneously in preparatory medical course and the regular first year medical course.
The reason why he studied medicine were: 1.) he wanted to be a physician so that he may cure his mother’s failing eyesight. 2.) the Father Recto of the University, whom he consulted for a choice of career, finally answered his letter, and recommended medicine. Finishes Surveying course in Ateneo (1878). During his term in University of Santo Tomas (1877 – 78, Rizal also studied in Ateneo, he took the vocational course leading to a title of porito agrimensor (expert surveyor)). In those days it should be remembered, the college for boys in Manila offered vocational courses in agriculture, commerce, mechanics and surveying. Rizal’s unhappy days at UST. Rizal’s Ateneo boy wonder, found the atmosphere at the UST a suffocating to his sensitive spirit. He was unhappy of this Dominican Institution of high learning because (1) the Dominican processors were hostile to him, (2) the filipino students were racially discriminated, and (3) the method of teachings were obsolete and repressive. Decision to study abroad. After finishing the fourth year of his medical course, Rizal decided to study in Spain. He could no longer endure the rampant bigotry, discrimination, and hostility in UST. His uncle, Antonio Rivera, Leonor’s father, encourage him to go abroad. Both Paciano and Saturnina, whom he contacted secretly, were of similar opinion.
For the first time, Rizal did not seek his parent’s decision and blessing to go abroad, because he knew that they, especially his mother will disapprove his plan. He did not also bring his beloved Leonor in his confidence. He had enough common sense to know that Leonor, being a woman, and young and romantic at that, could not keep a secret. Thus, Rizal,s parent, Leonor, and the Spanish authorities knew nothing of his decision to go abroad in order to finish his medical studies in Spain, where the professors were more tolerant and understanding than those of the University of Santo Tomas.
Spain With his parent’s blessings and unknown to Spanish authorities, Rizal left Manila on May 8, 1882. He went to Spain where he completed his university study, improved his knowledge in language and arts. At that time, the government in Spain was a constitutional monarchy. Secret departure on Spain. Rizal’s departure in Spain was kept secret in order to avoid detection by the colonial officials and the friars. Even his own parents did not know that he was leaving. Only uncle Antonio Rivera, Paciano and sisters and some close friends knew. Paciano gave hin 700 pesos. Staurnina gave hima diamond ring which helped him very much during his days of poverty in Europe. To maintain his studies and Sojourn abroad, he needed a monthly allowance of 35 pesos, and this amount Paciano promised to send regularly through uncle Antonio. Rizal used a passport obtained by a cousin named “Jose Mercado”. To outwit the Spanish authorities, he went to Calamba ostensibly to attain the town fiesta. A crytic telegram by Manuel T. Hidalgo from Manila arrived, announcing that the Spanish steamer Salvadora was scheduled to sail Singapore. Early in Morning in May 1, 882, he left Calamba by carromata, reaching manila after 10 hours of travel. He had time to book travel. He had time to book passage on the Salvadora, to write farewell letters to his family and friends, and bid good-bye to his friends. The kind Jesuit father, whom he visited to say adios, gave him letters of recommendation to members of their Society in Barcelona. He said also a tearfull farewell meeting to his
beloved, Leonor. This proved to be their last meeting, for they were destined never to meet again. Singapore. During the voyage, Rizal keenly observe the persons and things around him and compared him with those in Philippines. He was the only Filipino on board. His fellow passengers were foreign travelers and some Spanish imployees and merchants returning to Spain. “Almost all of those men” he wrote, speaking of the Spanish travelers, “spoke ill of the country for which they have gone for pecuniary reasons”. After five days of sailing, the Salvadora reached the English colony in Singapore. For the first time, Rizal saw Singapore and was impressed by its progress and beautiful sights. He particularly admired “the confidence which the native Singapore seemed to have their government” surely a great contrast to “the fear of their shown in the Filipinos”. First trip through Suez Canal. In Singapore, Rizal boarded in Djemnah, a French steamer, which was sailing to Europe. It was Larger and cleaner than the Salvadora. He tried to Speak French in some passengers, but to his surprise, the bookish French which he learned in Ateneo could not be understood. He had to speak it with a mixture of Latin and Spanish words, aided with much gesticulation and frequent sketching on paper, to himself understood. A week after leaving Singapore, the steamer reached Point de Galle. In the morning of May 18, voyage was resumed, and in the afternoon on the same day the steamer docked at the Colomb, Ceylon.
From Colombo the steamer crossed the Indian Ocean to Café Guardafui in Africa. On May 18, he saw for the first time the coast of Africa. On June 2, he arrived in the city of Suez, the Red Sea terminal of the Suez Canal. Naples and Marseilles. From Port Said, the Djemnah proceed to its way to Europe. On June 11, Rizal reach Naples. On the night of June 12, the steamer docked at the French harbor of Marseilles. Barcelona. At Marseilles, Rizal took the train for the last lap for his trip to Spain. After the passport inspection on Port-Bou, Rizal continued his trip by rail, finally reaching destination, Bacelona. The Filipinos in Barcelona, some of whom were his schoolmates in the Ateneo, welcomed Rizal. They gave him parties at their favorite café in Plaza de Cataluna. “Amor Patrio”. In progressive Barcelona, Rizal wrote a
nationalistic esay entitled Amor Patrio (Love of Country). He sent this article to his friend in Manila, Basilio Teodor, who was a member a editorial staff of the Diariong Tagalog, the first manila daily to have tagalong section. Rizal’s Amor Patrio under his pen-name Laong Laan, appeared in print in Diariong Tagalog on August 20, 1982. It was published in two
texts – Spanish and Tagalog. Tagalog text was a Tagalog translation maid by M. H. del Pilar. Rizal’s moved to Madrid. While sojourning in Barcelona, Rizal received a sad news about the cholera that was ravaging Manila and provinces. According to Paciano’s letter, dated September 15, 1882, the Calamba folks were having an afternoon novellas to San Roque and nocturnal procession and prayers so that God may stop the dreadful epidemic, whish the Spanish health authorities were impotent to check. In one of his letters (dates May 26, 1882), Paciano advised his younger brother to finish his medical course in Madrid. Evidently, heeding his advised, Rizal left Barcelona in the fall of 1882 and established himself Madrid, the Capital of Sapin. Life in Madrid. On November 3, 1882, Rizal enrolled in the Universidad Central de Madrid ( Central university of Madrid) Medicine and Philosophy and Letters. “They ask me after verses”. In 1882, shortly after his arrival in Madrid, Rizal joined the Circulo hispano Filipinos ( Hispano-Philippine Circle), a Society of Spaniards and Filipinos. Upon a request of the members of the society, he wrote a poem entitled Me Piderm versos (They ask me for Verses). In this sad poem he poured out the cry of his agonizing hearts.
Rizal become a Mason. In Spain, Rizal came in contact with the liberal and republican elements, most of whom were Masons. Being young and lonely in foreign country, he was easily impressed by the way of the prominent Spanish attacked the government and the Church. In due time, his friends who were Masons persuade him to join Masonry. In 1883 he joined the Masonic Lodge Acacia in Madrid. His Masonic name was Dimasalang. Two reasons why he joined Masonry: 1.)The bad friars in the Philippines, by their abuses unworthy of their priestly habbit or calling, Rizal drove to desperation and Masonry. 2.)He needed the help of Masons to fight the bad friars in the Philippines, for Masonry, to Rizal, was a shield to used in his fight against the evil forces of tyranny.
Rizal became a master of Masons in Lodge Solidaridad on November 15, 1890. Later, on February 15, 1892, he became a Master Mason of Le Grand Orient France in Paris. Rizal’s salute to Luna and Hidalgo. At the National Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1884, both Luna and Hidalgo won signal honors for their country. They entered this art competition against many painters in Europe, and emerged triumphant.
Studies completed in Spain. Rizal completed his medical course in Spain. He was awarded the degree of Licentiate in Medicine by the Universidad Central de Madrid on June 21, 1884. The next academic year ( 1884-85) he studied and pass all subjects leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine. “Due to the fact that he did not present the thesis required for graduation nor paid the fees, he was not awarded his Doctor’s Diploma”.
Paris to Berlin After completing his studies in Madrid, Rizal went to Paris and Germany in order to specialized in ophthalmology. In Gay Paris (1885-86). Shortly after terminating his study in Universidad Central de Madrid, Rizal, who was then 24 years old and already a physician, decided to go to Paris in order to aquire more knowledge in ophthalmology. On his way to Paris, he stopped at Barcelona to visit his friend, Maximo Viola, a medical student and a member of a rich family in San Miguel, Bulacan. In October, 1885, Rizal was living in Paris, where his sojourned for about four months. He worked as an assistant to Dr. Louis de Weckert (1852-1906), leading French ophthalmologist. In Historic Heidelberg. After acquiring enough experience as an ophthalmologist in Dr. Weckert’s clinic, Rizal reluctantly left gay Paris, where he spent so many happy days. First letter to Blumentritt. On July 31, 1886, Rizal wrote his letter in German to Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, Director of the Ateneo of Leitmeritz, Australia. He had heard of this Australia ethnologist and his interest on Philippine language. Fifth Centenary of Heidelberg University. Rizal was fortunate to be sojourned in Heidelberg when the famous University of
Heidelberg held his fifth centenary celebration on August 6, 1886. it was two days before his departure, and he was sad because he came to love the beautiful city and its hospitable people. Rizal welcomed in Berlin’s Cientific Circles. Rizal was enchanted by Berlin because of its scientific atmosphere and the absence of race prejudice. Rizal’ s life in Berlin. In Berlin, Rizal was not a mere student or a curious tourist. He live in this famous capital for five reasons: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) To gain further knowledge in ophthalmologist. To further his studies in sciences and languages. To observe the conditions of German Nation. To finish his novel, Noli Me Tangere.
Rizal’s tour of Europe with Viola, 1887 After the Noli came off the press in Berlin, Rizal planned to visit the important places in Europe. Dr. Maximo Viola agreed to be his traveling componion. Rizal had received Paciano’s remittance of 1,000 pesos which was forwarded by Juan Luna to Paris. He immediately paid Viola the sum of 300 pesos which the latter kindly loaned so that the Noli could be printed. Having paid his debt, and with adequate fund in his pocket, he was ready to see Europe before returning to Calmba. First, he and Viola visited Potsdam, a city near berlin, which Frederick the Great made famous. The tour begins. At the dawn of May 11, 1887, Rizal and Viola, two brown-skinned doctors on roaming spree, left Berlin by train. It was an ideal reason fo traveling. Spring was in the air, and all over the Europe the flowers were blooming, the meadows were turning green and the villagers were humming with activity. According to Viola the luggage of Rizal included all the letters he had received from his (Rizal’s) family and friends. Their destination was Dresden, “one of the best cities in German.” Dresden. Rizal and Viola tarried for some times in Dresden. Their visit coincided with the regional floral exposition. Rizal was interested in botany, studied the “numerous plant varieties of extraordinary beauty and size.” They visited Dr. Adolph B. Meyer, who was overjoyed to see them. In the Museum of Art, which they also visited, Rizal was deeply impressed by a painting of “Prometheus Bound” and recalled seeing a representation of the same idea in an art gallery in Paris.
memories of his visit to Leitmeritz. He enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Blumentritt family. The proffesor’s wife Rosa, was a good cook, and she prepared special Australian dishes which Rizal liked very much. Prague. After Leitmeritz, Rizal and Viola visited the historic city of Prague. Vienna. On May 20, Rizal and Viola arrived in the beautiful city of Vienna, capital ofd Australia-Hungary. Danubian Voyage to Lintz. On May 25, Rizal and Viola left Vienna on a rivedr boat to see the beautiful sights of a Danube river. From Lintz to Rheinfall. The river viyage ended in Lintz. They traveled overland to Salz burg, and from there to Munich where they sojourned for a short time savor the famous Munich beer, reputed to be the best in Germany. Crossing the Frontier to Switzerland. From Rheinfall, they crossed the frontier to Schaffhausen, Switzerland. They continued their tour to Bassel, Bern, and Lausanne. Geneva. After sightseeing in Lausanne, Rizal and Viola left on a little boat, crossing the foggy Leman Lake to Geneva. Rizal in Italy. From Geneva, Rizal went to Italy. He visited Turin, Milan, Venice, and Florence. On June 27, 1887, he reached
Rome, the “City of the Ceasar”. After a week, he prepared to return in Philippines.
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