19th century Spain saw her empire crumble away as colonies like Chile, Peru, and Cuba rose in arms and achieved their independence.In the Philippines, Spain faced the threat of yet another revolution due to mourning social unrest among the natives.
Jose Rizal, at age 35 was the greatest political enemy of Spain in the Philippines with his exceptional linguistics ability and interest in the science and arts Rizal was most effective in his campaign for freedom as a writer.
His novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo were scratching indictments of Spanish Tyranny and church which came to acquire immense political power.
In Ghent, Belgium 1891 as Rizal narrates while he is writing the chapter of Simoun in his novel El Filibusterismo “My country has a social cancer that should be exposed to all Filipinos and to this; I intend to record your condition faithfully without prejudice. I shall fit the shroud that covers the evil, sacrificing everything to truth even vanity itself, for as your son I ‘am conscious of my defects and weakness. The books contain certain revelations so, scandalous that no one dares touch them. I have attempted that others refused to undertake. I tried to correct the slender which for centuries has been attributed to our nation.
Desiring our common welfare and searching for the best cure Rizal had done what the ancients did with their sick. They lay on the temple steps so that anyone who comes to pray might offer them as remedy. Rizal had unmasked hypocrisy which under the guise of religion has impoverished and brutalized Filipinos. He had distinguished true religion from false beliefs and those who exploit the Holy word that made us Filipinos believed in their lies which had put Catholicism to shame.
He had lifted the curtain to show the truth about our government, disclosing to our fellowmen our defects, our vices; our culpable and cowardly indifferences resulted in our own misery.
In his novels, he tried to correct the harmful accusations against Filipinos. He had bought out in the open the sad state of his country a grievances and frustrations. Crisostomo Ibarra, he had seen what Rizal seen. The persona of Rizal was also in Ibarra, for this reason they see as one. He asked foe reform but he failed and because of unexpected circumstances he was forced to assume another identity as Simoun.
Philippines 1895 this was the start of revolution with the leadership of Andres Bonifacio. The Katipunan, son of the people teared their cedula that shows that as from that moment then they were not as under of the Spaniards.
Rizal graduated from Ateneo Municipal de Manila. He obtained a Land Surveyor and Assessor Degree. He also studied Philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters. And, this was not all; he registered for the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery course in ophthalmology, but did not complete the course on account of indiscriminate behavior against Filipino students.
On July 6, 1892, he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago, on the charge of instigating unrest against Spain, he was exiled to Dapitan, in northwestern Mindanao. He remained in exile for four years, while he was in political exile in Dapitan, he practice medicine, he established a school for boys, promoted community development projects, he applied his knowledge in engineering by constructing a system of waterworks in order to furnish clean water to the towns people. In Dapitan he also met, fell in love and lived with Josephine Bracken.
In 1896, the Katipunan, a nationalist secret society launched a revolt against the Spaniards, although Jose Rizal had no connection with the organization, his enemies were able to linked him with the revolt. To avoid being involved in the move to start a revolution, he asked Governor Ramon Blanco tosend him to Cuba but instead he was brought back to Manila and jailed for the second time in Fort Santiago.
He advocated a political system that presented scope for Philippine's participation in the Cortes, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and equal rights for all citizens. In 1892, he legalized these social reforms, at the expense of being disbanded. He was openly declared 'enemy of the state' by the Spanish due to his rebellious nature and ideologies promoted in his novels. He was imprisoned in 1896, while his brother, Paciano, was tortured by the Spanish authorities. Due to his participation in the nascent rebellion in 1892, He was deported to Zamboanga. There, he not only helped the locals to build a school and hospital, but also led the effort towards incorporating a better water supply system.
He was supportive of self sufficiency of the youth and resourcefulness of farmers. The four years of exile were also ones that witnessed the development of the revolution back home. In spite of being elected as Honorary President of the Katipunan, he condemned the revolution.
He was an expert swordsman and a good shot. In the hope of securing political and social reforms for his country and at the same time educate his countrymen, Rizal, the greatest apostle of Filipino nationalism, published, while in Europe, several works with highly nationalistic and revolutionary tendencies. In March 1887, his daring book, NOLI ME TANGERE, a satirical novel exposing the arrogance and despotism of the Spanish clergy, was published in Berlin; in 1890 he reprinted in Paris, Morga’s SUCCESSOS DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS with his annotations to prove that the Filipinos had a civilization worthy to be proud of even long before the Spaniards set foot on Philippine soil; on September 18, 1891, EL FILIBUSTERISMO, his second novel and a sequel to the NOLI and more revolutionary and tragic than the latter, was printed in Ghent. Because of his fearless exposures of the injustices committed by the civil and clerical officials, Rizal provoked the animosity of those in power. This led himself, his relatives and countrymen into trouble with the Spanish officials of the country. As a consequence, he and those who had contacts with him, were shadowed; the authorities were not only finding faults but even fabricating charges to pin him down. Thus, he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago from July 6, 1892 to July 15, 1892 on a charge that anti-friar pamphlets were found in the luggage of his sister Lucia who arrive with him from Hong Kong. While a political exile in Dapitan, he engaged in agriculture, fishing and business; he maintained and operated a hospital; he conducted classes- taught his pupils the English and Spanish languages, the arts.
For many years now the name Rizal has overtones of rebel cries. He is regarded as the symbol of revolutionary sentiments. Rizal had written novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo that indicates no respect for Spain nor to the religious orders which are considered to be the indestructible bond of union between Mother Spain and Philippine Archipelago and these books along with other witness which criticized the colonial regime and with his campaign to secure for his country certain rights which serve as steeping stones to autonomy and eventually to independence and with his ascendancy over his countrymen.
He courted Josephine Bracken, an Irish woman. He did not marry her since
marriage would require him to embrace Catholicism, which was against the
revolution. 1896 witnessed a nationwide uprising in the Philippines, resulting in
the proclamation of a democratic republic. He chose to serve in Cuba, to help
victims of yellow fever. En route, Rizal was arrested in Barcelona and sent back to
Manila. He was tried before a court-martial on the charges of 'rebellion' and
'conspiracy'. He was convicted and sentenced to death.
“I go where no are nor butchers, nor oppressors slaves where faith does not
say where God is sovereign Lord:” -Rizal
The revolution claimed on June 12 1898 when General Emilio Aguinaldo raised the Philippines flag for the first time and declared independence. A few years later, Dr. Jose Rizal was declared as the National Hero of the Republic of the Philippines.
University of Rizal System
“Life and Works of Rizal”
Carreon, Clariza C.
Mr. Eduardo Alayon