5:30 – 6:00 p.m.
The Dean of the Cathedral, admitted on account of his dignity, comes to exchange views with Rizal. Fr. Rosell hears an order given to certain "gentlemen" and "two friars" to leave the chapel at once. Fr. Balaguer leaves Fort Santiago. Sources: Rev. Silvino Lopez-Tuñon, Fr. Rosell, Fr. Serapio Tamayo, and Sworn Statement of Fr. Balaguer.
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Fr. Rosell leaves Fort Santiago and sees Josephine Bracken. Rizal calls for Josephine and then they speak to each for the last time. Sources: Fr. Rosell, El Imparcial, and Testimony of Josephine to R. Wildman in 1899.
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Fr. Faura returns to console Rizal and persuades him once more to trust him and the other professors at the Ateneo. Rizal is emotion-filled and, after remaining some moments in silence, confesses to Fr. Faura. Sources: El Imparcial.
8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Rizal rakes supper (and, most probably, attends to his personal needs). Then, he receives Bro. Titllot with whom he had a very "tender" (Fr. Balaguer) or "useful" (Fr. Pi) interview. Sources: Separate testimonies of Fr. Balaguer and Fr. Pi on the report of Bro. Titllot; Fisal Castaño.
9:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Fiscal Castaño exchanges views with Rizal regarding their respective professors. Sources: Fiscal Castaño.
10:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Rizal manifests strange reaction, asks guards for paper and pen. From rough drafts and copies of his poem recovered in his shoes, the Spaniards come to know that Rizal is writing a poem. Sources: El Imparcial and Ultimo Adios; probably, Fiscal Castaño.
11:00 – 12:00 midnight
Rizal takes time to his hide his poem inside the alcohol burner. It has to be done during night rather than during daytime because he is watched very carefully. He then writes his last letter to brother Paciano. Sources: Testimonies and circumstantial evidence.
12:00 – 4:00 a.m.
Rizal sleeps restfully because his confidence in the goodness of God and the justness of his cause gives him astounding serenity and unusual calmness.
Dec. 30, 1986. 4:00 – 5:00 a.m.
Rizal picks up Imitation of Christ, reads, meditates and then writes in Kempis’ book a dectation to his wife Josephine and by this very act in itself he gives to her their only certificate of marriage.
5:00 – 6:15
Rizal washes up, takes breakfast, attends to his personal needs. Writes a letter to his parents. Reads Bible and meditates. Josephine is prohibited by the Spanish officers from seeing Rizal, according to Josephine’s testimony to R. Wildman in 1899.
6:15 – 7:00
Rizal walks to the place of execution between Fr. March and Fr. Vilaclara with whom he converses. Keeps looking around as if seeking or expecting to see someone. His last word, said in a loud voice: "It is finished"
7:00 – 7:03
Sounds of guns. Rizal vacillates, turns halfway around, falls down backwards and lies on the ground facing the sun. Silence. Shouts of vivas for Spain.
Peaceful Life in Dapitan
During the early part of his exile in Dapitan, Rizal lived at the commandant’s residence. With his prize from the Manila Lottery and his earnings as a farmer and a merchant, he bought a piece of land near the shore of Talisay near Dapitan. On this land, he built three houses- all made of bamboo, wood, and nipa. The first house which was square in shape was his home. The second house was the living quarters of his pupils. And the third house was the barn where he kept his chickens. The second house had eight sides, while the third had six sides.In a latter to his friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt, on December 19, 1893, Rizal described his peaceful life in Dapitan."I shall tell you how we lived here. I have three houses-one square, another hexagonal, and the third octagonal. All these houses are made of bamboo, wood, and nipa. I live in the square house, together with my mother, my sister, Trinidad, and my nephew. In the octagonal house live some young boys who are my pupils. The hexagonal house is my barn where I keep my chickens."From my house, I hear the murmur of a clear brook which comes from the high rocks. I see the seashore where I keep two boats, which are called barotos here."I have many fruit trees, such as mangoes, lanzones, guayabanos, baluno, nangka, etc. I have rabbits, dogs, cats, and other animals."I rise early in the morning-at five-visit my plants, feed the chickens, awaken my people, and prepare our breakfast. At half-past seven, we eat our breakfast, which consists of tea, bread, cheese, sweets, and other things."After breakfast, I treat the poor patients who come to my house. Then I dress and go to Dapitan in my baroto. I am busy the whole morning, attending to my patients in town."At noon, I return home to Talisay for lunch. Then, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., I am busy as a teacher. I teach the young boys."I spend the rest of the afternoon in farming. My pupils help me in watering the plants, pruning the fruits, and planting many kinds of trees. We stop at 6:00 p.m. for the Angelus"I spend the night reading and writing."
Rizal's First Christmas in Dapitan
After a short time, Jose Rizal began to enjoy the simple life of Dapitan.Rizal became prosperous. Aside from his lottery prize, Rizal earned more money by practicing medicine. Some rich patients paid him well for curing their eye ailments. He began to buy agricultural lands in Talisay, a barrio near Dapitan. He planned to build his house in this scenic barrio by the seashore.As Christmas came nearer, Rizal became more cheerful. His savings increased, for the cost of living in Dapitan was cheaper than in Calamba. His health improved. Many Dapitan folks, who were formerly indifferent to him, became his friends.No wonder, Rizal enjoyed his first Christmas in Dapitan. He was one of the guests of Captain Carnicero at a Christmas Eve dinner in the comandancia (house of the commandant). The other guests were three Spaniards from the neighboring town of Dipolog and a Frenchman named Jean Lardet. It was a merry feast. The guests enjoyed the delicious dishes prepared by the commandant’s native cook. With the exception of Rizal, they drank beer, for he disliked hard liquor. At midnight, Captain Carnicero, Rizal, and other guests went to church to hear the Mass of the Noche Buena.In a letter to his mother, dated January 5, 1893, Rizal described how he enjoyed his first Christmas in Dapitan. He said:"I spent a merry Christmas here. It could not have been merrier. I had a happy dinner on Christmas eve, together with my host (the commandant), three Spaniards from a neighboring town, and a Frenchman. We heard Mass at 12:00 midnight, for you know I go to Mass here every Sunday."
Rizal as a Farmer in Dapitan
To prove to his people that farming is a good a profession as medicine, Rizal became a farmer in Dapitan. In a letter to his sister, Lucia, on February 12, 1896, he said: "We cannot all be doctors; it is necessary that there would be some to cultivate the soil."During the first year of his exile (1893), Rizal bought an abandoned farm in Talisay, a barrio near Dapitan. This farm had an area of sixteen hectares and was rather rocky. It lay beside a river that resembled the Calamba River-clear fresh water, wide and swift current. In his letter to his sister Trinidad on January 15, 1896, Rizal said: "My land is half an hour’s walk from the sea. The whole place is poetic and very picturesque, better than Ilaya River, without comparison. At some points, it is wide like the Pasig River and clear like the Pansol, and has some crocodiles in some parts. There are dalag (fish) and pako (edible fern). If you and our parents come, I am going to build a large house where we can all live together."On this land in Talisay, Rizal actually built a permanent home. With the help of his pupils and some laborers, he cleared it and planted cacao, coffee, coconuts, and fruit trees. Later, he bought more lands in other barrios of Dapitan. In due time, his total land holdings reached 70 hectares. They contained 6,000 abaca plants, 1,000 coconut palms, many coffee and cacao plants and numerous kinds of fruit trees.On his lands, Rizal introduced modern methods of agriculture which he had observed during his travels in Europe and America. He encouraged the Dapitan farmers to replace their primitive system of cultivation with these modern methods. These modern methods of farming consisted of the use of fertilizers, the rotation of crops, and the use of farm machines. Rizal actually imported some farm machines from the United States.Rizal dreamed of establishing an agricultural colony in the sitio of Ponot near Sindangan Bay. This region contained plenty of water and good port facilities. He believed that it could accommodate about 5,000 heads of cattle and 40,000 coconut palms. It was also ideal for the cultivation of coffee, cacao, and sugar cane because of its fertile soil and favorable climate.He invited his relatives and friends in Luzon, especially those in Calamba, to colonize the Sindangan Bay area. Unfortunately, his plan of founding an agricultural colony in Sindangan Bay did not materialize, like that of his former project to colonize North Borneo. He did not get the support of the Spanish government.
Before Rizal was exiled in Dapitan, he already knew many languages. These languages were: Tagalog, Ilokano, Spanish, Latin, Greek, English, French, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Catalan, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Swedish, and Russian-19 in all.His knowledge of many languages was one aspect of Rizal’s amazing genius. Few men in history were gifted by God with such ability to learn any language easily. And one of these rare men was Rizal.To learn a new language, Rizal memorized five root words every night before going to bed. At the end of the year, he learned 1,825 new words. He never forget these foreign words because of his retentive memory. Rizal made a good use of his knowledge of many languages in his travels in Europe and America, in communicating with foreign scholars and scientists, and in his writings. Many times during his travels abroad, he acted as interpreter for his fellow travelers who belonged to various nationalities-Americans, British, French, German, Italians, Spaniards, Japanese and others.During his exile in Dapitan, Rizal increased his knowledge of languages. He studied three more languages- Malay, Bisayan and Subanun. On April 5, 1896, he wrote to his Austrian friend, Professor Blumentritt: "I know Bisayan already, and I speak it quite well. It is necessary, however, to know other dialects."By the end of his exile in Dapitan on July 31, 1896, Rizal had become one of the world’s great linguists. He knew 22 languages, namely, Tagalog, Ilokano, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, English, French, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Catalan, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, Russian, Malay, Bisayan, and Subanun.Rizal as a Painter in Dapitan
In Dapitan, Rizal demonstrated his talent for painting. Before the Holy Week of 1894, Father Vicente Balaguer, a young Jesuit parish priest, was worried. He needed a good backdrop (canvas oil painting behind the main altar) for the annual Lenten celebration. In his native city of Barcelona, Spain, a church had one that showed a colonnaded court, viewed from a wide open gate- a scene depicting the court of Pontius Pilate.Upon hearing of Rizal’s painting ability, Father Balaguer went to Talisay to talk with the exiled doctor. He was accompanied by a convent helper named Leoncio Sagario."Doctor," he told Rizal, "I need your help. I would like to have a beautiful backdrop behind the church altar that shows the spirit of the Holy Week. I’ve in mind something similar to one in a church in Barcelona."Father Balaguer made some rough sketches as he described the backdrop in the Barcelona church. " Can you paint in oil such a picture on a huge canvas, Doctor?" he asked."I’ll try, Father. You see, I haven’t done any painting for many years, but I’ll do my best."The following day, Rizal went to the Jesuit priest, bringing his own sketch based on the latter’s ideas. Father Balaguer was satisfied and urged Rizal to begin the painting job at once.The actual painting of the backdrop was a difficult task. Rizal obtained the help of two assistants-Sister Agustina Montoya, a Filipina nun from Cavite who could paint, and Francisco Almirol, a native painter of Dapitan.The trio-Rizal, Sister Montoya, and Almirol- made the sacristy of the church as their workshop. Rizal sketched in soft pencil the general outline of the picture, after which his two assistants applied the oil colors.Daily, Rizal supervised the work of his assistants. He himself put the finishing touches. He was glad to note that he still had the skill in painting.Father Balaguer was very much satisfied with the finished oil painting of the backdrop. " Beautiful, very beautiful," he said. He warmly thanked Rizal and his two assistants for the work well done.The gorgeous backdrop became a precious possession of the Dapitan church- Santiago Church. It was truly a masterpiece.Senate President Manuel L. Quezon saw Rizal’s painting masterpiece during his visit to Dapitan. He was deeply impressed by its majestic beauty. At one time General Leonard Wood, governor-general of the Philippines, saw it and said that it was truly "a Rizalian legacy".After the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, the beautiful backdrop was sent to the Museum of the Ateneo de Manila for safekeeping.Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Second World War when fires and bombs razed the city of Manila.
Rizal's Son Dies
By the beginning of 1896, Rizal was very happy. His beloved Josephine was heavy with child. Within a few months, she would give birth to a child. As an expectant father, Rizal had every reason to be cheerful and gay."I wish it would be a boy," he told Josephine."I also have the same wish," she replied.
"Let us hope and pray," said Rizal, " that it will be a boy. I will name him after my father.""Suppose," asked Josephine in joking manner, "that it will be a girl?""Then, I will name her after my mother."Unfortunately, Rizal and Josephine were not destined to have a child. One day in early March 1896, Rizal played a practical joke on Josephine, which frightened her terribly. As a result of her great fright, she gave birth prematurely to an eight-month baby boy.The baby was very weak and was gasping for breath. Seeing the baby’s condition, Rizal immediately baptized him Francisco in honor of his father. He did everything he could to save the life of his infant son, but in vain. All his knowledge and skill as a physician could not save little Francisco. Sorrowfully, Rizal saw his child die three hours after birth.With a heavy heart, he drew a sketch of his dead son. Then he buried him under a shady tree near his home. He prayed": "Oh, God, I give you another tiny angel. Please bless his soul.
"Rizal's Last Christmas in Dapitan
The Christmas of 1895 was one of the happiest events in Rizal’s life. It was because of the presence of Josephine, who proved to be a loving wife and a good housekeeper.She was now used to living a simple rural life in the Philippines. She was industrious and learned to cook all sorts of native dishes.In his letter to his sister, Trinidad, on September 25, 1895, Rizal praised Josephine, thus: "She cooks, washes, takes care of the chickens and the house. In the absence of miki for making pancit, she made some long macaroni noodles out of flour and eggs, which serves the purpose. If you could send me a little angkak, I should be grateful to you, for she makes bagoong. She makes also chili miso, but it seems to me that what we have will last for 10 years."On December 25, 1895, Rizal and Josephine gave a Christmas party at their home in Talisay. By a strange twist of fate, it proved to be Rizal’s last Christmas in Dapitan.Rizal roasted a small pig to golden brown over a slow fire. He also made chicken broth out of a fat hen. He invited all his neighbors. They all danced and made merry until dawn.Writing to his sister, Trinidad, on January 15, 1896, Rizal described his last Christmas party in Dapitan. "We celebrated merrily, as almost always. We roasted a small pig and hen. We invited our neighbors. There was dancing, and we laughed a great deal until dawn."Adios Dapitan
On the morning of July 31, 1896, his last day in Dapitan, Rizal busily packed his things. He was scheduled to leave the town on board the España, which was sailing back to Manila. He had sold his lands and other things he owned to his friend, mostly natives of Dapitan.At 5:30 in the afternoon, he and eight other companions embarked on the steamer. His eight companions were Josephine; Narcisa (his sister); Angelica (daughter of Narcisa); his three nephews, Mauricio (son of Maria Rizal ), Estanislao (son of Lucia Rizal), and Teodosio (another son of Lucia Rizal); and Mr. And Mrs. Sunico.Almost all Dapitan folks, young and old, were at the shore to see the departure of their beloved doctor. The pupils of Rizal cried, for they could not accompany their dear teacher. Captain Carnicero, in full regalia of a commandant’s uniform, was on hand to say goodbye to his prisoner, whom he had come to admire and respect. The town brass band played the music of the farewell ceremony.At midnight, Friday, July 31, 1896, the steamer departed for Manila. The Dapitan folks shouted "Adios, Dr. Rizal!" and threw their hats and handkerchiefs in the air. Captain Carnicero saluted his departing friend. As the steamer left the town, the brass band played the sad music of Chopin’s Farewell March.Rizal was in the upper deck, with tears in his eyes. He raised his hand in farewell to the kind and hospitable people of Dapitan, saying: " Adios, Dapitan!" He gazed at the crowded shore for the last time. His heart was filled with sorrow.When he could no longer see the dim shoreline, he turned sadly into his cabin. He wrote in his diary: "I have been in that district four years, thirteen days, and a few hours."
Rizal and the Propaganda Movement
To prove his point and refute the accusations of prejudiced Spanish writers against his race, Rizal annotated the book, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, written by the Spaniard Antonio Morga. The book was an unbiased presentation of 16th century Filipino culture. Rizal through his annotation showed that Filipinos had developed culture even before the coming of the Spaniards.While annotating Morga’s book, he began writing the sequel to the Noli, the El Filibusterismo. He completed the Fili in July 1891 while he was in Brussels, Belgium. As in the printing of the Noli, Rizal could not published the sequel for the lack of finances. Fortunately, Valentin Ventura gave him financial assistance and the Fili came out of the printing press on September 1891.The El Filibusterismo indicated Spanish colonial policies and attacked the Filipino collaborators of such system. The novel pictured a society on the brink of a revolution.To buttress his defense of the native’s pride and dignity as people, Rizal wrote three significant essays while abroad: The Philippines a Century hence, the Indolence of the Filipinos and the Letter to the Women of Malolos. These writings were his brilliant responses to the vicious attacks against the Indio and his culture.While in Hongkong, Rizal planned the founding of the Liga Filipina, a civil organization and the establishment of a Filipino colony in Borneo. The colony was to be under the protectorate of the North Borneo Company, he was granted permission by the British Governor to establish a settlement on a 190,000 acre property in North Borneo. The colony was to be under the protectorate of the North Borneo Company, with the "same privileges and conditions at those given in the treaty with local Bornean rulers".
Governor Eulogio Despujol disapproved the project for obvious and self-serving reasons. He considered the plan impractical and improper that Filipinos would settle and develop foreign territories while the colony itself badly needed such developments.
Rizal and the Katipuan
On June 21, 1896. Dr. Pio Valenzuela, Bonifacio’s emissary, visited Rizal in Dapitan and informed him of the plan of the Katipunan to launch a revolution. Rizal objected to Bonifacio’s bold project stating that such would be a veritable suicide. Rizal stressed that the Katipunan leaders should do everything possible to prevent premature flow of native blood. Valenzuela, however, warned Rizal that the Revolution will inevitably break out if the Katipunan would be discovered.Sensing that the revolutionary leaders were dead set on launching their audacious project, Rizal instructed Valenzuela that it would be for the best interests of the Katipunan to get first the support of the rich and influential people of Manila to strengthen their cause. He further suggested that Antonio Luna with his knowledge of military science and tactics, be made to direct the military operations of the Revolution.
The word "filibustero" wrote Rizal to his friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt, is very little known in the Philippines. The masses do not know it yet. Jose Alejandro, one of the new Filipinos who had been quite intimate with Rizal, said, "in writing the Noli Rizal signed his own death warrant." Subsequent events, after the fate of the Noli was sealed by the Spanish authorities, prompted Rizal to write the continuation of his first novel. He confessed, however, that regretted very much having killed Elias instead of Ibarra, reasoning that when he published the Noli his health was very much broken, and was very unsure of being able to write the continuation and speak of a revolution.Explaining to Marcelo H. del Pilar his inability to contribute articles to the La Solidaridad, Rizal said that he was haunted by certain sad presentiments, and that he had been dreaming almost every night of dead relatives and friends a few days before his 29th birthday, that is why he wanted to finish the second part of the Noli at all costs.Consequently, as expected of a determined character, Rizal apparently went in writing, for to his friend, Blumentritt, he wrote on March 29, 1891: "I have finished my book. Ah! I’ve not written it with any idea of vengeance against my enemies, but only for the good of those who suffer and for the rights of Tagalog humanity, although brown and not good-looking."To a Filipino friend in Hong Kong, Jose Basa, Rizal likewise eagerly announced the completion of his second novel. Having moved to Ghent to have the book published at cheaper cost, Rizal once more wrote his friend, Basa, in Hongkong on July 9, 1891: "I am not sailing at once, because I am now printing the second part of the Noli here, as you may see from the enclosed pages. I prefer to publish it in some other way before leaving Europe, for it seemed to me a pity not to do so. For the past three months I have not received a single centavo, so I have pawned all that I have in order to publish this book. I will continue publishing it as long as I can; and when there is nothing to pawn I will stop and return to be at your side."Inevitably, Rizal’s next letter to Basa contained the tragic news of the suspension of the printing of the sequel to his first novel due to lack of funds, forcing him to stop and leave the book half-way. "It is a pity," he wrote Basa, "because it seems to me that this second part is more important than the first, and if I do not finish it here, it will never be finished."Fortunately, Rizal was not to remain in despair for long. A compatriot, Valentin Ventura, learned of Rizal’s predicament. He offered him financial assistance. Even then Rizal’s was forced to shorten the novel quite drastically, leaving only thirty-eight chapters compared to the sixty-four chapters of the first novel.Rizal moved to Ghent, and writes Jose Alejandro. The sequel to Rizal’s Noli came off the press by the middle of September, 1891.On the 18th he sent Basa two copies, and Valentin Ventura the original manuscript and an autographed printed copy.Inspired by what the word filibustero connoted in relation to the circumstances obtaining in his time, and his spirits dampened by the tragic execution of the three martyred priests, Rizal aptly titled the second part of the Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo. In veneration of the three priests, he dedicated the book to them."To the memory of the priests, Don Mariano Gomez (85 years old), Don Jose Burgos (30 years old), and Don Jacinto Zamora (35 years old). Executed in the Bagumbayan Field on the 28th of February, 1872.""The church, by refusing to degrade you, has placed in doubt the crime that has been imputed to you; the Government, by surrounding your trials with mystery and shadows causes the belief that there was some error, committed in fatal moments; and all the Philippines, by worshipping your memory and calling you martyrs, in no sense recognizes your culpability. In so far, therefore, as your complicity in the Cavite Mutiny is not clearly proved, as you may or may not have been patriots, and as you may or may not cherished sentiments for justice and for liberty, I have the right to dedicate my work to you as victims of the evil which I undertake to combat. And while we await expectantly upon Spain some day to restore your good name and cease to be answerable for your death, let these pages serve as a tardy wreath of dried leaves over one who without clear proofs attacks your memory stains his hands in your blood."Rizal’s memory seemed to have failed him, though, for Father Gomez was then 73 not 85, Father Burgos 35 not 30 Father Zamora 37 not 35; and the date of execution 17th not 28th.
The FOREWORD of the Fili was addressed to his beloved countrymen, thus:
"TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT"
Noli Me Tangere
Spain, to Rizal, was a venue for realizing his dreams. He finished his studies in Madrid and this to him was the realization of the bigger part of his ambition. His vision broadened while he was in Spain to the point of awakening in him an understanding of human nature, sparking in him the realization that his people needed him. It must have been this sentiment that prompted him to pursue, during the re-organizational meeting of the Circulo-Hispano-Filipino, to be one of its activities, the publication of a book to which all the members would contribute papers on the various aspects and conditions of Philippines life."My proposal on the book," he wrote on January 2, 1884, "was unanimously approved. But afterwards difficulties and objections were raised which seemed to me rather odd, and a number of gentlemen stood up and refused to discuss the matter any further. In view of this I decided not to press it any longer, feeling that it was impossible to count on general support…""Fortunately," writes one of Rizal’s biographers, the anthology, if we may call it that, was never written. Instead, the next year, Pedro Paterno published his Ninay, a novel sub-titled Costumbres filipinas (Philippines Customs), thus partly fulfilling the original purpose of Rizal’s plan. He himself (Rizal), as we have seen, had ‘put aside his pen’ in deference to the wishes of his parents.But the idea of writing a novel himself must have grown on him. It would be no poem to forgotten after a year, no essay in a review of scant circulation, no speech that passed in the night, but a long and serious work on which he might labor, exercising his mind and hand, without troubling his mother’s sleep. He would call it Noli Me Tangere; the Latin echo of the Spoliarium is not without significance. He seems to have told no one in his family about his grand design; it is not mentioned in his correspondence until the book is well-nigh completed. But the other expatriates knew what he was doing; later, when Pastells was blaming the Noli on the influence of German Protestants, he would call his compatriots to witness that he had written half of the novel in Madrid a fourth part in Paris, and only the remainder in Germany."From the first," writes Leon Ma. Guerrero, Rizal was haunted by the fear that his novel would never find its way into print, that it would remain unread. He had little enough money for his own needs, let alone the cost of the Noli’s publication… Characteristically, Rizal would not hear of asking his friends for help. He did not want to compromise them.Viola insisted on lending him the money (P300 for 2,000 copies); Rizal at first demurred… Finally Rizal gave in and the novel went to press. The proofs were delivered daily, and one day the messenger, according to Viola, took it upon himself to warn the author that if he ever returned to the Philippines he would lose his head. Rizal was too enthralled by seeing his work in print to do more than smile.The printing apparently took considerably less time than the original estimate of five months for Viola did not arrive in Berlin until December and by the 21st March 1887, Rizal was already sending Blumentritt a copy of "my first book." Rizal, himself, describing the nature of the Noli Me Tangere to his friend Blumentritt, wrote, "The Novel is the first impartial and bold account of the life of the tagalogs. The Filipinos will find in it the history of the last ten years…" Criticism and attacks against the Noli and its author came from all quarters. An anonymous letter signed "A Friar" and sent to Rizal, dated February 15, 1888, says in part: "How ungrateful you are… If you, or for that matter all your men, think you have a grievance, then challenge us and we shall pick up the gauntlet, for we are not cowards like you, which is not to say that a hidden hand will not put an end to your life."A special committee of the faculty of the University of Santo Tomas, at the request of the Archbishop Pedro Payo, found and condemned the novel as heretical, impious, and scandalous in its religious aspect, and unpatriotic, subversive of public order and harmful to the Spanish government and its administration of theses islands in its political aspect.On December 28, 1887, Fray Salvador Font, the cura of Tondo and chairman of the Permanent Commission of Censorship composed of laymen and ordered that the circulation of this pernicious book" be absolutely prohibited.Not content, Font caused the circulation of copies of the prohibition, an act which brought an effect contrary to what he desired. Instead of what he expected, the negative publicity awakened more the curiosity of the people who managed to get copies of the book.Assisting Father Font in his aim to discredit the Noli was an Augustinian friar by the name of Jose Rodriguez. In a pamphlet entitled Caiingat Cayo (Beware). Fr. Rodriguez warned the people that in reading the book they "commit mortal sin," considering that it was full of heresy.As far as Madrid, there was furor over the Noli, as evidenced by an article which bitterly criticized the novel published in a Madrid newspaper in January, 1890, and written by one Vicente Barrantes. In like manner, a member of the Senate in the Spanish Cortes assailed the novel as "anti-Catholic, Protestant, socialistic."It is well to note that not detractors alone visibly reacted to the effects of the Noli. For if there were bitter critics, another group composed of staunch defenders found every reason to justify its publication and circulation to the greatest number of Filipinos. For instance, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, cleverly writing under an assumed name Dolores Manapat, successfully circulated a publication that negated the effect of Father Rodriguez’ Caiingat Cayo, Del Pilar’s piece was entitled Caiigat Cayo (Be Slippery as an Eel). Deceiving similar in format to Rodriguez’ Caiingat Cayo, the people were readily "misled" into getting not a copy o Rodriguez’ piece but Del Pillar’s. The Noli Me Tangere found another staunch defender in the person of a Catholic theologian of the Manila Cathedral, in Father Vicente Garcia. Under the pen-name Justo Desiderio Magalang. Father Garcia wrote a very scholarly defense of the Noli, claiming among other things that Rizal cannot be an ignorant man, being the product of Spanish officials and corrupt friars; he himself who had warned the people of committing mortal sin if they read the novel had therefore committed such sin for he has read the novel.Consequently, realizing how much the Noli had awakened his countrymen, to the point of defending his novel, Rizal said: "Now I die content."Fittingly, Rizal found it a timely and effective gesture to dedicate his novel to the country of his people whose experiences and sufferings he wrote about, sufferings which he brought to light in an effort to awaken his countrymen to the truths that had long remained unspoken, although not totally unheard of.
Rizal's Articles in La Solidaridad
La verdad para todos (The Truth for All) – May 31, 1889 Rizal’s irst article.
Verdades nuevas (New Facts) – July 31, 1889
Una profanacion (A Desecration) July 31, 1889 – A scathing attacked against the friars for refusing to bury Mariano Herbosa in the Catholic cemetary. The friars alleged that the deceased had not made any confession since his marriage to Lucia Rizal (1857-1919), Rizal’s elder sister.
Diferencias (Differences) – September 15, 1889
Filipinas dentro de cien anos (The Philippines Within One Hundred Years) – serialized in La Solidaridad on September 30, October 31, December 15, 1889 and February 1, 1890 Rizal prognosticated the Filipinos’ revolution against Spain winning their independence, but later the Americans would come in over its colonization.
Ingratitudes (Ingratitudes) – January 15, 1890. A reply to Gov. Gen. Weyler who in company with the Dominicans, visited the Provine of Laguna. The Governor told the people : "You should not allow yourselves to be deceived by the vain promises of ungrateful sons."
Sin nobre (Without Name) – February 28, 1890.
Sobre la nueva ortografia de la lengua tagala (On the New Orthography of the Tagalog Language) – April 15, 1890. Rizal’s advocacy of a new spelling in Tagalog.
Cosas de Filipinas (Things About the Philippines) – April 30, 1890.
Sobre la indolencia de los Filipinas (On the Indolence of the Filipinos) – serialized on July 15 to September 15, 1890. Rizal’s brilliant and masterly defense against the imputation of indolence of the Filipinos.