Rizal's first trip abroad
The departure of Jose Rizal for Spain was kept secret from Spanish authorities, friars and even to his parents especially to his mother because she would not allow him to go. Only handful of family members and trusted family friends were informed. In order to avoid detection, he used the name Jose Mercado, name of his cousin in Calamba. Before his departure, he scribbled farewell letters to his parents and his sweetheart Leonor Rivera. On May 3, 1882 he boarded on Salvador bound for Singapore. He was the only Filipino passenger. The captain of the ship, Donato Lecha from Asturias Spain, befriended him although some Spaniards who spoke ill of the Philippines peeved him. To while away his boredom he played chess and always came out victorious for he was truly a good chess player. They landed on Singapore on May 9 and registered to Hotel de la Paz and spent a couple of days sightseeing.
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that took root in Europe and spread all over the world. Its “basic aims are to strive for moral betterment, work for the welfare of others, and bring about a universal league of mankind” (Watson in Licauco, 2008). Jose P. Rizal was a freemason who condemned the corrupt ways of the Church and upheld individual and national liberty.
When Rizal arrived in Spain in 1882, he found a country that was strongly influenced by Masonic thought. In 1868, less than twenty years before his arrival, Masons like Juan Prim led the revolution that set up a liberal government which advocated for education. Masonic principles like individual liberty, freedom of speech, equality, religious tolerance, separation of Church and State, and others were also made part of the laws. (Fajardo, 1996)
In 1884, Rizal began to write Noli MeTangere to expose the political and religious corruption of Philippine society. Later that year, he delivered a speech at a banquet organized in honor of Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, who had...
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