Exile in Dapitan Essay Example
Exile in Dapitan Essay Example

Exile in Dapitan Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1035 words)
  • Published: May 20, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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During his exile in Dapitan from 1892-1896, Rizal resided in the remote town located in Mindanao and governed by the Jesuits. Though this four-year period may have seemed uneventful, it turned out to be incredibly fruitful for him. In Dapitan, he practiced medicine, conducted scientific studies, pursued artistic and literary endeavors, enhanced his language proficiency, established a school exclusively for boys, initiated projects for community development, invented a machine capable of creating wooden bricks, and engaged in farming and commerce. This marked the commencement of Rizal's exile in Dapitan.

The steamer Cebu transported Rizal to Dapitan along with a letter from Father Pablo Pastells to Father Antonio Obach, the Jesuit parish Priest of Dapitan. In the letter, Father Pastells informed Father Obach that Rizal could live at the Parish convent under cert


ain conditions: 1. Rizal had to publicly retract his errors regarding religion and make statements that were pro-Spanish and against revolution. 2. He had to participate in church rites and make a general confession of his past life. 3. He had to behave in an exemplary manner as a Spanish subject and a man of religion. Rizal did not agree with these conditions, so he ended up living in the house of the commandant.

The relationship between Captain Carnicero (the warden) and Rizal (the prisoner) was warm and friendly. Captain Carnicero was impressed by Rizal's admirable qualities and personality. He came to realize that Rizal was not a common criminal, much less a Filibustero. As a result, Captain Carnicero granted him complete freedom to go anywhere and even allowed Rizal to ride his chestnut horse.

On Captain Carnicero's birthday on August 26, 1892, Rizal wrote a poem

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called "A Don Ricardo Carnicero". On September 21, 1892, the mail boat Butuan arrived at the shore of Dapitan. Captain Carnicero, thinking that a high-ranking Spanish official was coming, dressed in his formal uniform and ordered the townspeople to gather at the shore. He himself hurried there with a brass band. However, the mail boat did not bring any Spanish officials; instead, it carried the Lottery ticket No. [the number is missing from the text].The second prize of 20,000 in the Manila Lottery, which was owned by Captain Carnicero, Jose Rizal, and Francisco Equilior, was won by the property 9736. Rizal received a sum of 6,200 from this win.

He gave 2,000 to his father and 200 for his friend Basa in Hong Kong, and the rest he invested well by purchasing agricultural lands along the coast of Talisay about one km away from Dapitan. Rizal’s winning in the lottery reveals his lighter side. He never drank hard liquor and he never smoked but he was a lottery addict. During his exile in Dapitan, Rizal had a long scholarly debate with Father Pastells on religion. It started when Father Pastells sent him a book by Sarda, with advice that Rizal should desist from his foolishness in viewing religion from the prism of individual judgment and self-esteem. In all his letters to Father Pastells, Rizal revealed his anti-Catholic ideas which he had acquired in Europe and embitterment at his persecution by the bad friars. According to Rizal, individual judgment is a gift from god and everybody should use it like a lantern to show the way, and self-esteem, if moderated by judgment, saves man from unworthy acts.

He also argued that the pursuit of truth may lie in different paths and thus "religions may vary, but they all lead to the light." Father Pastells tried his best to win back Rizal to the fold of Catholicism.

Catholicism, as explained by Father Pastells to Rizal, surpasses everything - reason, self-esteem, and personal judgment. He emphasized that no matter how intelligent a person may be, their understanding is limited, thus necessitating the guidance of God. Despite Rizal's criticisms of Catholic dogmas as misconceptions arising from rationalism and naturalism, misinterpretations and misguided beliefs, Rizal and Pastells maintained a strong friendship. In fact, Father Pastells presented Rizal with a copy of "Imitacion De Cristo," a renowned book authored by Father Thomas Kempis.

And Rizal reciprocated her gratefulness by giving her Jesuit opponent in a debate a bust of St. Paul that he had created. Additionally, Rizal expressed his displeasure with a French acquaintance in Dapitan, Mr. Juan Lardet, who was a businessman. This disagreement arose because Lardet had purchased many substandard logs from Rizal's lands. In a letter to Antonio Miranda, a merchant and friend of Rizal in Dapitan, Lardet conveyed his dissatisfaction with the business transaction. Miranda then forwarded the letter to Rizal, who noted that one of his weaknesses was sensitivity.

When he read Lardet’s letter, Rizal became enraged and decided to confront Lardet and challenge him to a duel. However, upon hearing about the incident, Carnicero, the commandant, advised Lardet to apologize instead of accepting the challenge. As a result, Lardet wrote a letter of apology to Rizal for his insulting comment. Rizal also had a close relationship with Father Sanchez, who was the only Spanish

priest to publicly defend Rizal’s controversial novel, Noli Me Tangere. Despite his inability to change Rizal's unconventional views on Catholicism, Father Sanchez enjoyed Rizal's company.

On his birthday, Rizal presented him with a valuable birthday gift, a manuscript called Estudios sobre la lengua tagala (Studies on the Tagalog language). Rizal also encountered a spy hired by the Recollect Friars, Pablo Mercado, who was actually Florencio Namanan from Cagayan de Misamis. Namanan was assigned to a covert mission in Dapitan, to observe Rizal's activities. Besides being a physician in Dapitan with numerous patients, mostly impoverished individuals whom he even provided with free medicine, Rizal's mother and sister also resided there. Rizal performed surgery on his mother's right eye.

Rizal gained fame as a Physician, specializing in eye care. Patients from all over the Philippines and even from Hong Kong sought his expertise. As a doctor, Rizal took an interest in local medicine and used medicinal plants as treatment for diseases. He would prescribe these plants to those who could not afford imported medicines. In Dapitan, Rizal took it upon himself to enhance the community and inspire its people to be more civic-minded. Additionally, Rizal served as a teacher during his time in Dapitan.

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