The Life of Jose Rizal: Philippine Patriot HTML version
Notice of the granting of his request came to Rizal just when repeated disappointments
had caused him to prepare for staying in Dapitan. Immediately he disposed of his salable
possessions, including a Japanese tea set and large mirror now among the Rizal relics
preserved by the government, and a piece of outlying land, the deed for which is also
among the Rizalana in the Philippines library. Some half-finished busts were thrown into
the pool behind the dam. Despite the short notice all was ready for the trip in time, and,
attended by some of his schoolboys as well as by Josefina and Rizal's niece, the daughter
of his youngest sister, Soledad, whom Josefina wished to adopt, the party set out for
The journey was not an uneventful one; at Dumaguete Rizal was the guest of a Spanish
judge at dinner; in Cebu he operated successfully upon the eyes of a foreign merchant;
and in Iloilo the local newspaper made much of his presence.
The steamer from Dapitan reached Manila a little too late for the mail boat for Spain, and
Rizal obtained permission to await the next sailing on board the cruiser Castilla, in the
bay. Here he was treated like a guest and more than once the Spanish captain invited
members of Rizal's family to be his guests at dinner-Josefina with little Maria Luisa, the
niece and the schoolboys, for whom positions had been obtained, in Manila.
The alleged uprising of the Katipunan occurred during this time. A Tondo curate, with an
eye to promotion, professed to have discovered a gigantic conspiracy. Incited by him, the
lower class of Spaniards in Manila made demonstrations against Blanco and tried to force
that ordinarily sensible and humane executive into bloodthirsty measures, which should
terrorize the Filipinos. Blanco had known of the Katipunan but realized that so long as
interested parties were using it as a source of revenue, its activities would not go much
beyond speechmaking. The rabble was not so far-seeing, and from high authorities came
advice that the country was in a fever and could only be saved by blood-letting.
Wholesale arrests filled every possible place for prisoners in Manila. The guilt of one
suspect consisted in having visited the American consul to secure the address of a New
York medical journal, and other charges were just as frivolous. There was a reign of
terror in Luzon and, to save themselves, members of the Katipunan resorted to that open
warfare which, had Blanco's prudent counsels been regarded, would probably have been
While the excitement was at its height, with a number of executions failing to satisfy the
blood-hunger, Rizal sailed for Spain, bearing letters of recommendation from Blanco.
These vouched for his exemplary conduct during his exile and stated that he had in no
way been implicated in the conspiracies then disturbing the Islands.
The Spanish mail boat upon which Rizal finally sailed had among its passengers a sick
Jesuit, to whose care Rizal devoted himself, and though most of the passengers were