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Rizal in Macao

By | Jan. 2011
Page 1 of 5
Chapter 11
In Hong Kong and Macao
1888

Hounded by powerful enemies, Rizal was forced to leave his country for a second time in February 1888. He was then a full- grown man of 27 years of age, a practicing physician, and a recognized man-of-letters. The first time he went aboard in June 1882, he was a mere lad of 21, a youthful student in search of wisdom in the Old World, a romantic idealist with beautiful dreams of emancipating his people from bondage by the magic power of his pen. Times had changed. Rizal at 27 was an embittered victim of human iniquities, a disillusioned dreamer, a flustrated reformer.

The Trip to Hong Kong. On February 3, 1888, after a short stay of six months in his beloved Calamba, Rizal left Manila for Hong Kong on board the Zafiro. He was sick and sad during the crossing of the choppy China Sea. He did not get off his ship when it made brief stopover at Amoy on February 7. for three reasons: (1) he was not feeling well, (2) it was raining hard, and (3) he heard that the city was dirty. He arrived in Hong Kong on February 8.

During his stay in Hong Kong, a British colony, Rizal wrote a letter to Blumentritt, dated February 16, 1888, expressing his bitterness.

In Hong Kong, Rizal stayed at Victoria Hotel. He was welcomed by the Filipino residents, including Jose Maria Basa, Balbino Mauricio, and Manuel Yriarte, (son of Francisco Yriarte, alcalde mayor of Laguna).

A Spaniard, Jose Sainz de Varanda, who was a former secretary of Governor General Terrero, shadowed Rizal’s movement in Hong Kong. It is believed that he was commissioned by the Spanish authorities to spy on Rizal.

Hong Kong, wrote Rizal to Blumentritt on February 16, 1888, is a small, but very clean city. Many Portuguese, Hindus, English, Chinese, and Jews live in it. There are some Filipinos, the majority of whom being those who had been exiled to the Marianas Islands in 1872. They are poor, gentle, and timid. Formerly they were rich mechanics,...

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