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Rizal's Travel (Part - 2)
The Precedents of El FiliRizal Back to Hongkong
Rizal's Travel (Part - 2)
Rizal in HK
Rizal’s Trip to Hong-Kong
On February 28, 1888, a year after the publication of Noli Me Tangere, and six months after his arrival in the Philippines, José Rizal sailed from Manila again, by "advice" of the government. The controversy over the Noli took its toll on Rizal. He soon found that he had to travel abroad once again to guarantee his intellectual and personal freedom. He would have to go to some country where he would be free from spies or plots. As he prepared for his return to Europe, Rizal had an intensified sense of his own country. The reaction to the Noli and his own intellectual growth prompted him to look beyond the Philippines to all of Asia. Rizal decided to spend some time in London’s famed libraries, where he can find the sense of the Philippines he was searching for.53
Before he settled in London, Rizal spent some time in Hong Kong and in Japan. While Rizal was in Hong Kong in 1888, Governor Terrero had him watched and the Spaniards closely monitored all of Rizal’s activities.
Rizal in Hongkong
While in Hongkong, Rizal took time to inform his friend – Blumentritt of what had happened to him during his short stay in Calamba. Rizal said: “At last I can write freely. At last I can express my thoughts without fear of censorship from the chief! They forced me to leave my country. Half sick I left the house.” (Rizal’s letter to Blumentritt, February 16, 1888) Rizal's own story of his voyage to England, written to his friend Mariano Ponce after he reached London, will interest Filipinos and Americans alike. Nearly every sentence of the first paragraph was packed with fateful significance: "When I set forth I was already ill, and soon became seasick. We reached Hong Kong, which delighted me. There I was introduced to some leading Spaniards, one of them Varanda, Spaniard, who was, they said, Secretary to General Emilio Terrero.” Varanda was ordered by the Spanish government not to leave Rizal out of his sight, and he seldom did. The letter continues: “ I traveled about with him several days, especially on a trip which Varanda, Basa, and I took to Macao, to see that Portuguese colony; and to visit Mr. Lecaroz, in whose house we were guests.” Lecaroz, Jose Maria Basa, (had been exiled in 1872, a victim of Spanish vengeance for the uprising in Cavite, though he had not a shadow of guilt. A noble gentleman with a beautiful influence on Filipino youth, he became one of Rizal's most trusted friends from the time of this Hong Kong visit, and played a vital part in Rizal's career thereafter) and the other Filipinos of Hong Kong are partisans and promoters of the book Noli Me Tangere. In Hong Kong I investigated many important matters, for example concerning the riches of the Dominicans, concerning their missions, concerning the Augustinians, etc.” The study of the Dominicans which Rizal mentions, is to be remembered, because four years later a terrific arraignment of the wealth and greed of that society was found in his sister Lucia's baggage (That is, The Poor Friars), and led to Rizal's arrest, and ultimately to his execution. There I came to know D. Balbino Mauricio, an unfortunate man worthy of a better fate, and his acquaintanceship was useful for me, for it prepared me for a fate which may be much worse!" From this time onward Rizal alludes frequently to a presentiment that tragedy lies ahead. He began to see that perhaps one way to save his country would be to go back and let himself be crucified for her. Rizal in Japan
Rizal in Japan
As a result of the cloak and dagger surveillance, Rizal visited Japan. During his six...