Exile in Dapitan
Rizal was implicated in the activities of the nascent rebellion and in July 1892, was deported to Dapitan in the province of Zamboanga. There he built a school, a hospital and a water supply system, and taught and engaged in farming and horticulture. Abaca, then the vital raw material for cordage and which Rizal and his students planted in the thousands, was a memorial.
The boys' school, in which they learned English, considered a prescient if weird option then, was conceived by Rizal and antedated Gordonstoun with its aims of inculcating resourcefulness and self sufficiency in young men. They would later enjoy successful lives as farmers and honest government officials. One, a Muslim, became a datu, and another, Jose Aseniero, who was with Rizal throughout the life of the school, became Governor of Zamboanga. In Dapitan, the Jesuits mounted a great effort to secure his return to the fold led by Father Sanchez, his former professor, who failed in his mission. The task was resumed by Father Pastells, a prominent member of the Order. In his letter to Pastells, Rizal sails close to the ecumenism familiar to us today.
"We are entirely in accord in admitting the existence of God. How can I doubt his when I am convinced of mine. Whoso recognizes the effect recognizes the cause. To doubt God is to doubt one's own conscience, and in consequence, it would be to doubt everything; and then what is life for? Now then, my faith in God, if the result of a ratiocination may be called faith, is blind, blind in the sense of knowing nothing. I neither believe nor disbelieve the qualities which many attribute to him; before theologians' and philosophers' definitions and lucubrations of this ineffable and inscrutable being I find myself smiling. Faced with the conviction of seing myself confronting the supreme Problem, which confused voices seek to explain to me, I cannot but reply: 'It could be; but the God that I foreknow is far more grand, far more...
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