IN SUNNY SPAIN (1882-1885)
After finishing the 4th year of the medical course in the University of Santo Tomas (being disgusted) decided to complete his studies in Spain. At that time the government of Spain was a constitutional monarchy under a written constitution which granted human rights to the people, particularly freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. Another reason, which was more important than merely completing his studies in Spain. This was his “secret mission.”
Rizal’s Secret Mission
This mission whom Rizal conceived with the approval of his brother Paciano was to observe keenly the life and culture, languages and customs, industries and commerce, and governments and laws of the European nations in order to prepare himself in the mighty task of liberating his oppressed people from Spanish tyranny.
Secret Departure for Spain
Rizal’s departure for Spain was kept secret to avoid detection by the Spanish authorities and the friars. Only his old brother (Paciano), his uncle (Antonio Revira,father of Leonor Revira), his sisters (Neneng and Lucia), the Valenzuela family (Capitan Juan and Capitana Sanday and their daughter Orang), Pedro A. Paterno, his compadre Mateo Evangelista, the Ateneo Jesuit fathers, and some intimate friends, including Chengoy (Jose M. Cecilio). He used the name Jose Mercado, a cousin from Biñan. Before his departure, he wrote a farewell letter for his beloved parents and another one for his sweetheart Leonor Rivera. May 3, 1882, Rizal departed on board the Spanish steamer Salvadorabound for Singapore.
There were 16 passengers, including himself – “five or six ladies, many children, and the rest gentlemen. He was the only Filipino, the rest were Spaniards, British, and Indian Negroes. Rizal was the only Filipino in the Spanish steamer Salvadora. Donato...