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Rizals First Homecoming (1887-1888)

Rizals plans of coming back home


As early as 1884, Rizal wanted to go back to the Philippines for the following reasons:
Financial difficulties in Calamba Dissatisfaction with his studies in Madrid Desire to prove that there is no reason to fear going home. His belief that the Spanish regime will not punish the innocent.

Decision to return home


After five years of his memorable sojourn in Europe, Rizal returned to the Philippines. However, Rizal was warned by the following not to return to the Philippines because his Noli Me Tangere angered the friars:
Paciano Mercado Rizals adviser and only brother. Silvestre Ubaldo Rizals brother in law; husband of Olimpia. Jose Ma. Cecilio (Chenggoy) one of Rizals closest friends.

Rizal was determined to come back to the Philippines for the following reasons:
To operate his mothers eyes To serve his people who had long been oppressed by Spanish tyrants. To find out for himself how the Noli Me Tangere and his other writings were affecting Filipinos and Spaniards. To inquire why Leonor Rivera remained silent.

Rizal arrives in Manila


Rizal left Rome by train to Marseilles, a French port and boarded Djemnah, the same steamer that brought him to Europe five years ago. There were 50 passengers: 4 Englishmen, 2 Germans, 3 Chinese, 2 Japanese, 40 Frenchmen, and 1 Filipino (Rizal) When the ship reached Aden, the weather became rough and some of Rizals book got wet. In Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), Vietnam he transferred to another steamer, Haiphong, that brought him to Manila.

Happy Homecoming
When Rizal arrived in Calamba, rumors spread that he was a:
German spy An agent of Otto Von Bismarck the liberator of Germany. A Protestant A Mason A soul halfway to damnation

Paciano did not leave him during the first days after arrival to protect him from any enemy assault. Don Francisco did not permit him to go out alone

In Calamba
Rizal established a medical clinic. Doa Teodora was Rizals first patient Rizal treated her eyes but could not perform any surgical operation because her cataracts were not yet ripe. He painted several beautiful landscapes in Calamba. He translated German poems of Von Wildernath in Tagalog.

Doctor Uliman Rizal was called this name because he came from Germany.
He earned P900 in a few months and P5,000 before he left the Philippines.

Gymnasium was opened by Rizal for the young people He introduced European sports fencing and shooting to discourage them from cockfighting and gambling.

Sad moments while Rizal was in Calamba


Leonor Rivera Rizal tried to visit her in Tarlac but his parents forbade him to go because Leonors mother did not like him for a son-inlaw. Olimpia Mercado-Ubaldo died because of child birth.

Storm over the Noli Me Tangere


As Rizal was peacefully living in Calamba, his enemies plotted his doom. Governor General Emilio Terrero wrote to Rizal requesting to come to Malacaang Palace.
Somebody had whispered to his ear that the Noli contains subversive ideas. Rizal explained to him that he merely exposed the truth, but did not advocate subversive ideas. He was pleased by Rizals explanation and curious about the book, he asked for a copy of the novel. Rizal had no copy that time but promised to send one for him.

Rizal visited the Jesuits


Rizal visited the Jesuit fathers to ask for their feedback on the novel. He was gladly welcomed by the following friars:
Fr. Francisco de Paula Sanchez Fr. Jose Bech Fr. Federico Faura told Rizal that everything in the novel was the truth and warned him that he may lose his head because of it.

Governor-General Emilio Terrero a liberal minded Spaniard who knew that Rizals life was in jeopardy because the friars were powerful.
Because of this he gave Rizal a bodyguard to protect him.

Jose Taviel de Andrade


A young Spanish lieutenant who came from a noble family He was cultured and knew painting He could speak French, English and Spanish. They became good friends.

Attackers of the Noli


Archbishop Pedro Payo a Dominican Archbishop of Manila Sent a copy of the Noli to Fr. Gregorio Echevarria, Rector of the University of Santo Tomas to examine the novel.

UST and Rizal


The committee that examined the Noli Me Tangere were composed of Dominican professors. The report of the faculty members from UST about the Noli states that the novel was:
Heretical, impious and scandalous in the religious orders, and anti-patriotic, subversive of pubic order, injurious to the government of Spain and its function in the Philippine Islands in the political order.

Governor-General Terrero was not satisfied with the report so he sent the novel to the Permanent Commission of Censorship which was composed of priests and lawyers. Fr. Salvador Font Augustinian friar curate of Tondo was the head of the commission.
The group found that the novel contain subversive ideas against the Church and Spain and recommended that the importation, reproduction and circulation of the pernicious book in the islands be absolutely prohibited.

The newspaper published Fonts written report The banning of the Noli Me Tangere served to make it popular The masses supported the book.

Fr. Jose Rodriguez Augustinian Prior of Guadalupe


Published a series of eight pamphlets under the heading Questions of Supreme Interest to blast the Noli and other anti-Spanish writing. Copies of anti-Rizal pamphlets were sold after mass Many Filipinos were forced to buy them in order not to displease the friars.

Noli Me Tangere in Spain


The novel was fiercely attacked in the session hall of the Senate of the Spanish Cortes. Senators:
General Jose de Salamanca General Luis de Pando Sr. Fernando Vida

Vicente Barantes Spanish academician of Madrid who formerly occupied high government position in the Philippines bitterly criticized the novel in an article published in the Madrid newspaper, La Espaa Moderna.

Defenders of the Noli Me Tangere


Propagandists such as Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Antonio Ma. Regidor, Mariano Ponce rushed to uphold the truths of the Noli. Father Francisco de Paula Sanchez Rizals favorite teacher in Ateneo defended and praised the novel in public. Don Segismundo Moret former Minister of the Crown. Prof. Miguel Morayta- historian and stateman Prof. Ferdinand Blumentritt Rizals best friend

Rev. Fr. Vicente Garcia a Filipino Catholic priest-scholar, a theologian of the Manila Cathedral and a Tagalog translator of the famous Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis.
Under the pen name Justo Desiderio Magalang he wrote a defense of the novel published in Singapore.

Rizal cried because of his gratitude to his defenders especially to Fr. Garcia who defended him unexpectedly. He attacked Barantes by exposing his ignorance of Philippine affairs and mental dishonesty which is unworthy of an academician. Because of the interest of both enemies and protectors of the Noli the price of the book increased from five pesetas per copy to 50 pesetas per copy.

Agrarian Problem in Calamba


Influenced by the novel, Governor-General Emilio Terrero ordered a government investigation of the friar estates to remedy whatever inequities might have been present in connection with land taxes and with tenant relations. One of the friar estates affected was the Calamba hacienda by the Dominican order since 1883.

Upon hearing about the investigation, the people of Calamba asked helped from Rizal to gather facts and list the grievances so that the government might institute certain agrarian reforms.

Findings submitted by Rizal


The hacienda of the Dominican Order comprised not only the lands around Calamba, but the whole town of Calamba. The profits of the Dominican Order continually increased because of the arbitrary increase of he rentals paid by the tenants. The hacienda owner never contributed a single centavo for the celebration of the town fiesta, for the education of the children, and for the improvement of agriculture.

Tenants who spent much labor in clearing the lands were dispossessed of the said lands for flimsy reasons High rates of interest were arbitrarily charged the tenants for delayed payment of rentals When the rentals could not be paid, the hacienda management confiscated the work animals, tools, and farm implements of the tenants.

Friars Reaction
Rizals exposure to the deplorable condition angered the friars. The friars exerted pressure to Malacaang to eliminate Rizal. They asked Gov. Gen. Terrero to deport Rizal but the latter refused for there is lack of charges against Rizal in court. Anonymous threats in Rizals life alarmed his parents, siblings, Andrade his bodyguard, friends, and even Terrero, thus they all advised him to leave the country.

Rizals reasons for leaving the Philippines


His presence in Calamba was jeopardizing the safety and happiness of his family and friends. He could not fight better his enemies and serve his countrys cause with greater efficacy by writing in foreign countries.

Himno Al Trabajo
A poem for Lipa shortly before Rizal left in 1888, he was asked by a friend to write a poem in commemoration of the towns cityhood. Himno Al Trabajo (Hymn To Labor) title of the poem dedicated to the industrious people of Lipa.

Farewell Philippines
On February 3, 1888 Rizal left his country with a heavy heart. But this is for his own good and the safety of his family and friends.