Rizal returned to Europe by way of Japan, where for a
month he was a guest in the Spanish consulate in Yokohama, and through America
that he crossed from San Francisco to New York. As always, he compared the new
sights with the familiar scenes of his own land. The banks of the Hudson did not
seem so animated as those of the Pasig and for him Niagara, though
awe-inspiring, did not have the delicate charm of the waterfalls of La Laguna. Once
on the other side of the Atlantic he went to London and in the British Museum
copied Morga's account of the Philippines from a rare volume and annotated it
with a mass of information gained from the wealth of references available there.
In Paris he finished the work and it was published, only to be put in the
Philippine list of prohibited books. Then in Belgium "El Filibusterismo"
was written, a sequel to "Noli Me Tangere." The Morga tells what the
Philippines were at the beginning of Spanish rule and makes an effort to prove
that in three centuries they have gone backward. Of course that could not be
proven but it was a forcible way of showing how little Spain had really done.
The Noli gave a picture of modern conditions in the Philippines under Spanish
rule, and "El Filibusterismo" showed what must be the future unless
policies were changed.
Morga's history with Rizal's notes in English is
published in the Blair-Robertson historical collection, and a large part of
"El Filibusterismo" appears in Leroy's "Philippine Life in Town
and Country." His "Views on Race Differences", originally in
German, were published with a translation of Blumentritt's biography in
Singapore in 1898 and a better translation by R. L. Packard has been reprinted
from the "Popular Science Monthly."
In all his writings were keen criticism of Filipino
shortcomings but these were unheeded and today the books are supposed to have
served their usefulness. There are admirers of Rizal who chew betel nut, fight
roosters, follow caciques and neglect work with never a thought that he scored
their type as unmercifully as ever he did unworthy friar of dishonest official.
The friar is no longer a landlord and the "Guardia Civil" is out of
the land but it is more popular apparently to remember Rizal's views of these
than his opinions on men and conditions whose like are still with us.
For some time Rizal had contributed to a newspaper in
Madrid which was the organ of the Filipinos in asking reform of abuses and
seeking more liberal government for the Archipelago. The "La Solodaridad"
was supported by subscription from the Islands but Dr. Rizal felt that it was
following rather a policy to get money to keep it going afford maintenance for
its promoters than trying to do what would be most beneficial to the
Philippines, so he severed his relationship and left the paper entirely in the
hands of Marcelo H. del Pilar and his followers. He no longer cared for
representation of the Islands in the Spanish Cortes for he feared the men who
would be sent might not be disinterested patriots. He realized education of the
people was necessary so that the masses should not be at the mercy of a few
To understand Rizal's relations with these leaders whose ideals culminated in the Katipunan it must be borne in mind that del Pilar and his associates were protégés of Prof. Morayta, the grand master of the "Gran Oriente Español". This organization was a rival of, and radically different from, the body to which Dr. Rizal adhered in that it was essentially political. In the disturbances Masonic conditions in Spain it finally triumphed over its more conservative competitor and came to have the field itself. It started lodges in the Philippines of Filipinos and to these its leaders kept sending appeals for money to be used in gifts and banquets to curry favor with influential persons in Madrid. Its early Philippine experiences were unfortunate in frequent charges that money raised was misapplied and that considerable sums never passed from the hands of the collectors.