14 Manila to Dapitan

1892

 

 

  14. Manila to Dapitan*

I arrived at Manila on 26 June (1892), Sunday at 12:00 noon.  I was met by many carabineers headed by a major.  There were in addition one captain and one sergeant of the Veteran Civil Guard.  I came down with my luggage and they inspected me at the customhouse.  From there I went to the Hotel de Oriente where I occupied room No. 22, facing the church of Binondo.  In the afternoon, at 4:00 o’clock, I went to the palace of His Excellency [Governor General Eulogio Despujol - rly] and I was told to come back at 7:00 o’clock.  At 7:00 o’clock I saw him and he agreed to set my father free but not my sisters.  He told me to return on Wednesday at 7:30.  From there I went to see my sisters.  First I saw Narcisa, then Neneng.

The following day, at 6:00 o’clock in the morning, I went to the railroad station to go to Bulakan and Pampanga.  I visited Malolos, San Fernando, and Tarlac and on my return, Bakolod.  I arrived at Manila on Tuesday at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

On Wednesday at 7:30, I saw His Excellency.  I did not succeed to have the penalty of exile lifted but he gave me hope with regard to my sisters.  As it was the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul our interview ended at 9:15.  I was to come again the following day at 7:30.

The following day, Thursday, we talked about the question of Borneo.  The general was opposed to it, very much opposed.  He told me to come back Sunday.

On Sunday I returned.  We talked about sundry things and I thanked him for having lifted the exile of my sisters.  I told him that my father and brother would arrive on the first boat.  He asked me if I would like to go abroad to Hong Kong.  I told him yes.  He told me to return on Wednesday.

On Wednesday he asked me if I insisted on returning to Hong Kong.  I said yes.  After some conversation, he said that I had handbills in my luggage.  [Reference is made to the tract Poor Friars which was considered seditious.  Several of these had been found in the belongings of his sister, Lucia. - rly] I told him no.  He asked me who could have been the owner of the pillows and mats.  I said my sister.  For this reason he said he was sending me to Fort Santiago.

Mr. Ramon Despujol, his nephew and aide-de-camp, took me in a palace carriage to Fort Santiago where Mr. Enrique Villamor, châtelain [commander of a fortress – rly] of the fort, received us.

They assigned me a fairly furnished room with a bed, a dozen chairs, one table, a wash basin, and a mirror.  The room had three windows: one without a grill which opened on a patio, another with a grill which looked out on the city walls and the beach and another which was the door closed with a padlock.  Two artillery men guarded it as sentinels.

They had orders to fire on anyone who might signal from the beach.  I could not write nor speak with anyone except the officer on duty.

Mr. Enrique Villamor gave me books from his library.

The officer on duty came every morning.

Every day there was one officer on duty who was ordinarily a sergeant.  They cleaned the room in the morning and gave me my breakfast consisting of coffee, milk, a piece of bread, and a sweetened roll.  Luncheon at 12:30 consisted of four dishes; and supper at 8:30, the same.  The orderly of Mr. Villamor waited on me.

On the 14th Thursday, in the evening at about 5:30 or 6:00 the nephew came to notify me that at 10:00 I was ready; but as they did not come to fetch me, I went to sleep.  At 12:15 they came.  I rode in the same carriage that had brought me to Fort Santiago, and I was taken through the Sta. Lucía gate to the Malecón where General Ahumada and other persons were waiting.  In one boat rode one aide-de-camp and two Veteran Civil Guards.

The steamer Cebu departed at 1:00 in the morning.  They gave me a good cabin on the deck above whose door was the sign: Chiefs.  Beside my cabin was that of Captain Delgras who headed the expedition.  All the military corps were represented, ten from each corps: artillery, infantry 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, carabineers, infantry, engineers, civil guard; at least twelve artillery men came.  We were taking prisoners in chains and a sergeant and a corporal, both Spaniards.  The last one was going to be executed for having ordered his superior officer tied who had appropriated his Moro paramour in Mindanao.  The officer, for having allowed himself to be tied, was expelled from the corps.  The sergeant was going to be executed and the soldiers who obeyed his order were each given 20 years imprisonment.

I ate in my cabin the same food as that of the officers.  I was always guarded by one sentinel and one corporal and when I went out of the cabin I was accompanied.  In the afternoon Captain Delgras would come to take me out for a walk until 9:00 o’clock.

We passed by the northern coast of Mindoro, the west cost of Panay and we arrived at Dapitan on Sunday, the 17th, at 7:00 o’clock in the evening.

Captain Delgras and three artillerymen accompanied me on the boat manned by about eight sailors.  The sea was rough.

The beach seemed to me very gloomy; it was dark, and our lantern lit a path covered with grass.

In the town they met the commandant, Captain Ricardo Carnicero, Antonio Macis, a former Spanish deputy, and Mr. Cosme, a practicante. [01]

We went up the government house which I found large.

______________

* Rizal’s personal account of his arrival from Hong Kong and his deportation to Dapitan.

[01] A practicante is one who practices medicine under the direction or guidance of a licensed physician, or he may be a pharmacy clerk.

   

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