Exile in Dapitan

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Chapter 22
Exile in Dapitan, 1892-96

Rizal lived in exile in far away Dapitan, a remote town in Mindanao w/c was under the missionary jurisdiction of the Jesuits, from 1892-1896. This four year interregnum in his life was tediously unexciting, but was abundantly fruitful w/ varied achievements. He practiced medicine, pursued scientific studies, continued his artistic and literary works widened his knowledge of languages, established a school for boys, promoted community development projects, invented a wooden machine for making bricks and engaged in farming and commerce.

Beginning of Exile in Dapitan

The steamer Cebu that brought Rizal to Dapitan also carried a letter from Father Pablo Pastells, to Father Antonio Obach, Jesuit parish Priest of Dapitan. In this letter Father Pastells informed father Obach that Rizal could live at the Parish convent on the ff conditions:

1. “That Rizal publicly retracts his errors concerning religion, and make statements that were clearly pro Spanish and against revolution. 2. “That he performs the church rites and makes a general confession of his past life. 3. “That henceforth he conducts himself in an exemplary manner as a Spanish subject and a man of religion.”

Rizal did not agree w/ the conditions. Consequently he lived in the house of the commandant. The relation between captain Carnicero (the warden) and Rizal (the prisoner) were warm and friendly. Carnicero was charmed by Rizal fine qualities and personality. Carnicero came to know that Rizal was not a common felon, mch less a Filibustero. He gave him complete freedom to go anywhere, and permitted Rizal to ride his chestnut horse. On the occasion of the Captain’s birthday on August 26, 1892 Rizal wrote a poem, A Don Ricardo Carnicero.

Wins in Manila Lottery

(September 21, 1892 – The mail boat Butuan approach the shore of Dapitan. Captain Carnicero , thinking that a high Spanish officials was coming dresses in his gala uniform ordered the town folks to gather in the shore and he himself rushed there w/ a brass band. The mail boat brought no Spanish officials but the Lottery ticket No. 9736 jointly owned by Captain Carnicero, Jose Rizal and Francisco Equilior(Spanish resident of Dipolog, a neighboring town of Dapitan) won the second prize of 20,000 in the Government owned Manila Lottery.

( Rizal received a sum of 6,200. He gave 2,000 to his father and 200 for his friend Basa in Hong Kong, and the rest he invented well by purchasing agricultural lands along the coast of Talisay about one km away from Dapitan.

( Rizal’s winning in the lottery reveals his lighter side. He never drank hard liquor and he never smoked but he was a lottery addict.

Rizal-Pastells Debate on Religion

( During his exile in Dapitan Rizal had a long scholarly debate w/ Father Pastells on religion. It started when Father Pastells sent him a book by Sarda , w/ advice that Rizal should desist from his foolishness in viewing religion from the prism of individual judgment and self-esteem.

( In all his letters to Father Pastells, Rizal revealed his anti Catholic ideas w/c he had acquired in Europe and embitterment at his persecution by the bad friars.

( According to Rizal, individual judgment is a gift from god and everybody should use it like a lantern to show the way and the self esteem, if moderated by judgment, saves man from unworthy acts. He also argued that the pursuit of truth may lie in different paths and thus “religions may vary, but they all lead to the light.”

( Father Pastells tried his best to win back Rizal to the fold of Catholicism. Divine Faith, he told Rizal, supersedes everything, including reason, self esteem, and individual judgment. No matter how wise a man is, his intelligence is limited, hence he need the guidance of God. He refuted Rizal’s attack on Catholic dogmas as misconceptions of rationalism and naturalism, errors and misguided souls.

( in spite of their religious differences,...
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