Letters Exchanged Between José Rizal and Other Reformers - 1889 (January to May)

 

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094. Rizal, London, January 1889 || To Marcelo del Pilar

“Piping Dilat’s” article is restrained but strong – Advantages of knowing foreign languages – “I wrote the Noli me tángere to stir the patriotism of my countrymen.”

 

095.  Rizal, London, 1899  ||  To the Filipinos at Barcelona

Address to the Filipinos at Barcelona signed with his pseudonym, Laong Laan – Rizal rejoices at the unity of the Filipinos – How to prevent disunion – Clear words, clear conscience – A Rizal project – Buy, read critically, all published books on the Philippines – Study and be prepared.

096.  Valentin Ventura, Paris, 6 January

Everything that is happening in the Philippines is the consequence of Rizal’s Campaign – Gobernadocillo of Sta. Ana – Ventura’s opinion of the Asociación Hispano-Filipina – Bad news from the Philippines.

Paris, 6 January 1889.

097.  Rizal, London, 6 January  ||  To Mariano Ponce

Rizal sends Ponce a post card from London, 6 January 1889 requesting him to make a correction in La vision de Fr. Rodriguez  – Because Archbishop Payo is dead, soften the harsh statements, he says.

098. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, 8 January 1889

La visión de Fr. Rodríguez is very well written – To be published by the Filipinos at Barcelona – Perhaps del Pilar may be able to put an end to dissidence and rivalry – The Board of Directors of the La Solidaridad association – Rizal’s letter, read at the banquet, received warm applause.

099.  Antonio Luna, Madrid, 15 January

It is doubtful that the Spaniards would come to offer us rights and liberties that they enjoy – Pessimism about the successes of the association La Solidaridad.

100.  Rizal, London, January ||  to José Ma. Basa.

Basa’s example of writing in defense of the Philippines is inspiring to other Filipinos – To serve a country there is nothing like being in it – Marcelo H. del Pilar did not need to come to Europe – Filipinos are afraid to buy the Noli –He asks Basa to keep the remaining copies lest they be burned – “If the present generation does not like to read me because of fear, I shall keep what I have written for the coming generation” – He does not know if what he is writing will be published.

101.  Marcelo H. del Pilar (Plaridel), Barcelona, January

He asks for data on Diego Silang’s rebellion – He doubts the veracity of Isabelo de los Reyes’ account.

102. Rizal, London 28 January ||  To the Members of La Solidaridad

Rizal made Honorary President of the association La Solidaridad – He sends greetings and proffers prudent advice.

103.  Pedro Serrano Laktaw, 1 February 1889

Serrano allows himself to be deceived in order to satisfy everybody and not to inconvenience anyone – Signs his letter “P. Doré” – The Jesuits are trying to dissuade him from going abroad to study.

104.  Rizal, London, 4 February 18  ||  To Marcelo H. del Pilar

Rizal writes Marcelo H. del Pilar that he is glad for the publication of La Solidaridad – The excessive Ilocano tendencies of Isabelo de los Reyes apropos the question of Diego Silang – Testimony of historians – Italian manuscripts about the Philippines – one of the Filipinos at Barcelona should study Italian – Rizal is presently studying Dutch.

105. Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 17 February 1889

Birth of La Solidaridad on 15 February1889 – The campaign of the women of Malolos – “I request you to write to those girls.”  -- Rizal’s article “Los viajes” could not be published in the first issue for lack of space.

106. Rizal, London, 22 Feb. 1889  ||  To Marcelo H. del Pilar

Suggestions for La Solidaridad – Rizal promises to write “articles of great interest” – A long message in Tagalog to the young women of Malolos – He asks del Pilar to correct it as his Tagalog is getting rusty – See that it does not fall into the hands of the friars.

107.  Rizal’s Message to the Young Women of Malolos, Europe 1889

Complying with Plaridel’s request Rizal writes a long letter to the young women of Malolos – It’s message is for all Filipino women.

108. Rizal, London, 3 March 1889  ||  To Marcelo H. del Pilar (Plaridel)

Rizal praises del Pilar’s La soberanía monacal en Filipinas – “Onward and write” he says – He can now die – Plaridel can take his place – He would like to see emerge 20 or 30 young men who are two or three times more worthy than he.

109.  Rizal, [London] 3 March 1889  || To Graciano López Jaena

Rizal sends López Jaena a post card congratulating him on his “Superb Speech” delivered at the Ateneo Barcelona entitled “The Philippines at the Universal Exposition of Barcelona” – Suggestions for the improvement of La Solidaridad.

110. Antonio Luna, Madrid, 8 March 1889

An insulting article by Quioquiap in El Día – Asks Rizal to answer it – A country where insult is permitted but not defense – The need for a Filipino newspaper in Madrid – Dominador Gómez.

111. Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 10 March 1889

M. H. del Pilar values highly Rizal’s praise of his La soberanía monacal – Rizal has no right yet to die – All the darts that are hurled against his name are received in the hearts of those who cherish him – Case of the gobernadorcillos who signed the petition for the expulsion of the friars.

112. Graciano López Jaena, Barcelona, 12 March 1889

He asks Rizal to tell the Filipinos in Madrid not to be prejudiced against La Solidaridad  -- Need for unity and fraternity  -- Congratulates Rizal on La visión de Fr. Rodríguez – Asks for articles.

113. Mariano Ponce, 12 March 1889

The number of pages of La Solidaridad is increased, following Rizal’s suggestion – Publication of Rizal’s article “Agricultores” – Copies of Rizal’s “Visión,” etc. sent to Manila – Sale of the Noli.

114. Rizal, Paris, 19 March [1889] || to Mariano Ponce

The best poem of Rizal in his own opinion – Rizal advises Filipinos to buy books by Filipinos and to mention in their writings names of Filipinos like Peláez, García, Burgos, Graciano, and others in their writings – The third number of La Solidaridad is better than the first two – He regrets La Defensa was not answered.

115. Rizal, Paris, March 1889 || to Graciano López Jaena

Club Kidlat –Enthusiasm for La Solidaridad at Paris – Advice to López Jaena – Rizal promises to support La Solidaridad and send articles – The periodical is improving.

116.  Rizal [Paris, 1889?] || to Graciano López Jaena

Though ill, Rizal sends an article to La Solidaridad – He orders more copies of Soberanía and Visión.

117. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, March 1889

Fruitless search for Escosura’s reports – Los Defensor, is silent – The Filipinos at Barcelona will need Rizal’s advice regarding their association.

118.  Rizal, Paris, March 1889 || to Mariano Ponce

Success of La Soberanía – This work has no chaff but all grain – “We shall fight Font” – Always cite Blumentritt, Pilapil, Peláez, or Burgos, etc. in every issue of La Solidarídad – Build a reference library.

119.  Rizal, Paris, March 1889 || to Mariano Ponce

Rizal would like to make a big book of La defense de Corcuera – Asks Ponce to take steps to join La Solidaridad of Barcelona with that of Madrid.

120.  P. Catog, Manila, 1 April 1889

Discovery of arms and munitions in Santa Mesa – Rumors of rebellion – Confiscation of printed matter from Hong Kong – Imprisonments.

121. Rizal, Paris, 2 April 1889 || to the members of La Solidaridad (Madrid)

Rizal writes the members of La Solidaridad of Madrid about troubles in the Philippines – Imprisonments and abuses, the necessary evil of a corrupt society – How the Filipinos can show themselves worthy of liberty  -- Calainos has more faith than all the friars put together – Liberty cannot be obtained without pain or merit – That the outraged take their case to court, and, if not, appeal to God. . .  – Friar threats do not frighten nor do their nonsense deceive – The booklets of Fr. Rodríguez – Only what is instructive and didactic should be written – The International Association of Philippinists –An article of Rizal entitled La muerte de Magallanes – Filipinos should not accept anything from the friars in Rizal’s opinion.

122.  Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 8 April 1889

Outrages – Unrighteousness of negotiating for the prisoners’ extrajudicial release – Steps to cheer those who live in oppression and to deny the allegation of lack of civilization and indifference of the Filipinos – Discrimination against Painter Juan Luna.

123. Rizal [Paris, before 18 April 1889] || to Graciano López Jaena and companions

“Praise briefly only true friends without calling them friends: exaggerated praise for fellow countrymen who are attached to the friars and call them friends and depict them as anti-friars.”

124. Rizal, Paris, 18 April 1889 || to Mariano Ponce

Style of La Solidaridad – just, sober, and clear – “Without 1872 there would not have been either Plaridel, or Jaena, or Saniangco; without 1872, Rizal would now be a Jesuit.”  -- Do not be perturbed because some fall – The tests of fire and cautery – What are lacking are those who may give an example to the people and rouse their enthusiasm as the Christian martyrs did – Nobody knows how to behave at the critical moment of death; it is so repugnant to die hanged and young with ideas in the head – “The day you should see me in the clutches of the friars, try to put another in my place who may revenge me.” – Urges the Filipinos to show more valor, more abnegation, less fear of death and torture.

125. S. Jugo Vidal, Madrid 27 April 1889

While radical remedies are not taken, publishing periodicals is not superfluous – He asks Rizal to write for La Vanguardia Filipina.

126. Rizal, Paris, 30 April 1889 || to Mariano Ponce

Rizal asks Mariano Ponce to come to Paris to see the Exposition – He proposes a conference in Paris between Rizal, Plaridel, Apacible, López, Jaena, Blumentritt, Llorente, and Canon – Rizal breaks contract with Regidor for the printing of his Morga edition.

127. Rizal, Paris, 2 May 1889 || to Fernando Canon

Birth of a son of Canon – Rizal’s sadness upon thinking that one more being with Filipino blood could later become a lost member for a county that needs men – “all honorable men of the world are compatriots.”

128. Rizal, Paris, 15 May 1889 || to Mariano Ponce

Manuscript of the satiric article Por teléfono by Rizal is sent to Ponce for publication in booklet form – It is too comical for La Solidaridad.

129. Marcelo H. del Pilar (?) Barcelona, 18 May 1889

T. H. Pardo de Tavera’s lively imagination – We ought to protect ourselves from the intrigues of the enemies and the candor of friends – Racial antagonism in the break with the one who had promised to publish Rizal’s work? – Petition presented to the Ministry of Colonies published in La Solidaridad.

130. Rizal, Paris, 20 May 1889 || to Marcelo H. del Pilar

Complete break with Regidor.  Rizal, himself, will publish his Morga edition – Regrets that Panganiban’s article on education was not continued – Estimates the expenses for Filipinos who may want to come to Paris.

131. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, 21 May 1889

Publication of Rizal’s Por telépono in booklet form like La vision de Fr. RodriguezLa soberanía monacal is advertised in La Solidaridad.

132. S. Jugo Vidal, Madrid 23 May 1889

The disunity existing between the Filipinos in Madrid is incomprehensible – Excepting Dominador Gómez the Filipinos at Madrid seem to be afraid to write.

133. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, 24 May 1889

Nothing disturbs the harmony of the Filipino colony in Barcelona – Insulting article published in La Nación by Antonio Rodríguez de Ureta against La Solidaridad and its staff – Rizal’s article “La verdad para todos” Barrantes’ El teatro tagalo deserves to be answered.

134. Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 24 May 1889

“La Verdad para todos” by Rizal and “¿ Filibusteros?” by Blumentritt in La SolidaridadLa Vanguardia Filipina is afraid of Philippine affairs – Another Asociación Hispano-Filipina in Madrid? – Possible martingale to divide the Filipino colony – News of Panganiban – Awaited arrival of Pedro Roxas, wealthy Filipino.

135. Rizal, [Paris, May 1889] || to Mariano Ponce

Rizal desirous of maintaining unity among Filipinos at any cost – the differences ought to be submitted to a tribunal elected by the interested parties.

136. Rizal, Paris, 26 May 1889 || to Mariano Ponce

Rizal sends Ponce a post card with his reply to Barrantes.

137. M. Elejorde, Calamba, 26 May 1889

A resident of Calamba writes Rizal in Tagalog sending him a little contribution from his friends – Everyone is asking for him and regards him as the “Second Jesus Christ,” their savior – Sad news – Asks for the continuation of the Noli me tángere.

 

094. Rizal, London, January 1889 || To Marcelo del Pilar

 

“Piping Dilat’s” article is restrained but strong – Advantages of knowing foreign languages – “I wrote the Noli me tángere to stir the patriotism of my countrymen.”

 

37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.

 

January 1889

 

Mr. Marcelo del Pilar

 

My dear Friend,

            How sorry I am that you did not arrive in time for our first reunion of the 31 December.  You would have enjoyed it-- at least I imagine so.  But in fine, for you it is not a question of theaters, stages, or places, or time: you belong to those who are always timely.

            I have read the restrained but strong article of “Piping Dilat”. (1) It is a very beautiful article which would have flattered me greatly had I been its author.  Note that, though Piping Dilat is mute (pipi) he is open-eyed (dilat).  Though M :n :ng has used this pseudonym apparently, it seems to me the style is of the translator of Laong Laan and author of numerous and beautiful articles and booklets.  I do not know if I am mistaken.

            I am glad that you are Sol: (2) You can help much that association until it becomes strong and comes to age.

            When you write to our friends over there, please tell them to have a little patience.  My manuscripts are ready and I only lack something for their publication.  I have had to make preliminary studies in order to familiarize myself with the past of the Philippines and that is why I have been delayed.

            It would not be bad that before old age comes you learn French or English, in case you already knew one of these two languages.  This will open to you the treasures of a country; that is, the knowledge, the learning, treasured in the language.  Thus you can read the complete works of Voltaire whose beautiful, simple and correct style is admirable, besides being in harmony with your manner of thinking.  I do not advise you to learn German because its study will rob you of many precious months.  Moreover, not being in Germany, it is difficult to learn this language, but if you like, why not?

            It is my ardent desire that without becoming enemies or disunited, six or seven Filipinos get to eclipse me completely and make everybody forget me.  As I shall not stop working for our country, if these Filipinos get to eclipse me completely, it will be because they have worked more than I did and had rendered more services than I, which for the present is my immediate desire.  I wrote the Noli me tángere to stir the patriotism of my countrymen.  I would be happy if among those I have stirred, I shall find more notable champions.  I am not counting you any more because you were already among the awakened beforehand.

            Ever your friend, compatriot, and fellow Sol., I bid you adieu for the present,

 

Yours,

Rizal

______________

(1)   One of the pseudonyms of Marcelo H. del Pilar.  The other one was “Plaridel”.

(2)   Soliderio, that is, member of La Solidaridad, name of the association of Filipinos at Barcelona, as well as of their publication.

 

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095.  Rizal, London, 1899  ||  To the Filipinos at Barcelona

 

Address to the Filipinos at Barcelona signed with his pseudonym, Laong Laan – Rizal rejoices at the unity of the Filipinos – How to prevent disunion – Clear words, clear conscience – A Rizal project – Buy, read critically, all published books on the Philippines – Study and be prepared.

 

37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.

London, [January ?] 1889

 

Dear Friends:

            Your flattering praise of my few lines of 31 December satisfies more my hopes than my self-esteem.  It tells me that we are united and for me our union signifies more than literary ability, oratory, and the like.  I trust that we shall march forward always united, friendly to one another, mutually advising and helping.

            United, we can do much or little and this much or this little can hurt our enemies who will try to disunite us, as they did in Madrid, and after succeeding to do so, to make them enemies of one another through little talks, quibbles, pricking and offending self-esteem, and so forth.  To avoid this, it is good to be very wary, and when it is about discrediting our friends, we should always be incredulous; and in case the chare is serious or has an appearance of probability, instead of augmenting the little tales, it is advisable to ask the accused to give explanations.  And as perhaps I may be one of the persons whom our enemies will want to attack or discredit, because for good or ill I favor our unity that they do not like, I suggest to you that when you hear accusations or slander against me, you ask me for explanations and I shall give them to you with my usual sincerity before the Solidaridad whose authority I want henceforth to recognize.  Let there be in you clear words and a clear conscience.

            As I have in mind a project that is about to be finished, I ask you to send me as soon as possible a report on all the Filipinos – military men as well as civilians – in Spain that you know, stating their occupation, studies, and addresses.  Within a few days I shall give you an account of it.

            I suggest that you try to buy, read, but critically, the books about the Philippines that you may see there published.  It is necessary that you study the questions that concern our country.  Knowledge of a thing prepares for its mastery:  Knowledge is power.  We are the only ones who can acquire a perfect knowledge of our country, because we know both languages and besides we are informed of the secrets of the people among whom we had been raised.  The Spaniards will never get to know us well, because they have many preoccupations, they do not mingle with the people, they do not understand the language well, and they stay a short time there.  The most they can know is what is going on in the government offices, and these are not the country.  Study so that when the hour comes it will not find you unprepared.

 

Laong Laan

 

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096.  Valentin Ventura, Paris, 6 January

 

Everything that is happening in the Philippines is the consequence of Rizal’s Campaign – Gobernadocillo of Sta. Ana – Ventura’s opinion of the Asociación Hispano-Filipina – Bad news from the Philippines.

Paris, 6 January 1889.

 

Mr. José Rizal

London

 

Dear Friend,

            On hand is your New Year greeting card and I give you a million thanks for it.

            Purposely I have not sent you mine because I was thinking of writing you to wish you all kinds of happiness for the New Year, and if it is possible, may it be more favorable to your undertakings than the year 1888, however much it seems to me that you cannot complain of it, for your campaign in the Philippines has not been in vain altogether.  You may have the satisfaction to know that all that had happened and is happening in our country is the consequence of your active and indefatigable campaign.

            One of the victims of the reaction today in the Philippines has arrived here by the last mail boat and he is the gobernadorcillo of Santa Ana, (1) author of the petition of long ago – he is one of those who signed it – but he has had better luck than his companions for he has succeeded to hide himself until now.  He comes under an assumed name and it seems he will continue using it in order not to embarrass the firm that gives him his pension, as well as for purposes that he is resolved to carry out.  Please keep it a secret then.

            I suppose you must have learned of the death of our simpatico [congenial friend, used sarcastically] Payo. (2) May God forgive him for the evil he had done in the Philippines!

            Enclosed is a letter of Antonio Luna.  Tell me what you think, should I answer the portion referring to my person?

            My opinion is that we should not accept any position in the association (3) for the following reasons:

(1)   Because they propose that we join it when already it has a past, so that in accepting a post, we shall become collectively responsible for its past and certainly I do not approve of many things it has done.

(2)   Many of its members are Castilas, beginning with the president who is Mr. Morayta, who, though he is honorable and worthy and has given proofs of liking our country, he does not cease to be a Castila and as such his policy will be to keep the Philippines for Spain as long as possible.

(3)   According to what we have already talked about and agreed upon the last time you were here, the campaign should be waged in Manila and not in Spain, because all that is done here is wasted, for it is proven that they do not want to listen to us.

This is my opinion; nevertheless you form your own opinion for I may be mistaken in my judgment.

Concerning Luna’s request that I talk to the rest of the Filipinos here, I shall do it without saying anything for or against.  Each one may act in conformity with his opinion.  I believe I shall not get any adhesion, because the Filipinos who are here are precisely of the style of R. . . . . and E. . . . . that is to say, they do not want to hear about the Philippines or anything referring to the Philippines, whether for disappointment or fear . . . . .

Among the cards that I have received on the occasion of the New Year is one from Mr. Pedro Alejandro Paterno.  I intend to write him one of these days at Vigo, where he is at present.

Enclosed are five bills of one hundred francs each; we shall adjust our accounts when we meet.

These five hundred francs are the value of the order that you endorsed to me from Manila, which remained uncollected for two years.

News from the Philippines is ever worse with the passage of time.  It seems that the brute (4) that we now have there is a second copy of Primo de Rivera.  He does nothing but distribute the best posts among the members of his coterie [a close circle of friends who share a common interest or background; clique], and according to what they write me he seems to countenance gambling houses at the rate of two hundred pesos daily.

Until the next time, I send the regards from Elisa, and receive a close embrace of your good friend,

 

V. Ventura

 

Did you receive the letter from the Philippines that I sent you?  Return Luna’s letter to me.

_____________

(1)   His true name was Justo Trinidad.  Author of the petition of the gobernadorcillos in 1888 he incurred the animosity of the Spanish authorities.  He left the country to avoid persecution.  Santa Ana is a district of Manila.

(2)   Pedro Payo, archbishop of Manila, notorious for his anti-Filipino sentiments.

(3)   Associación Hispano-Filipina.

(4)   He refers to Governor General Valariano Weyler (Commissioned from June, 1888 to 1891).

 

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097.  Rizal, London, 6 January  ||  To Mariano Ponce

 

Rizal sends Ponce a post card from London, 6 January 1889 requesting him to make a correction in La vision de Fr. Rodriguez  – Because Archbishop Payo is dead, soften the harsh statements, he says.

 

Friday

 

Mr. Mariano Ponce

2-3 Rambla Canaletas, Barcelona

 

My dear Friend,

            I have received your letters.  I am going to answer you later.

            Corcuera’s defense has not yet arrived.

            Please change in the Visión this: “I don not require Fr. Rodríguez to speak like a learned man; I must not be required then. . .”  Make it like a free thinker instead of learned man.

            Because Pedro Payo is already dead, it is better to make it a little soft, in case I have said something too harsh about him.  I leave it to you and Plaridel.  Maybe it is better that you erase the name.

 

Your friend,

Laong Laan.

 

Let that about Payo stay as it is, if it cannot be remedied anymore.

 

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098. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, 8 January 1889

 

La visión de Fr. Rodríguez is very well written – To be published by the Filipinos at Barcelona – Perhaps del Pilar may be able to put an end to dissidence and rivalry – The Board of Directors of the La Solidaridad association – Rizal’s letter, read at the banquet, received warm applause.

 

2-3 Rambla Canaletas, Barcelona

8 January 1889

 

Mr. José Rizal

 

My dear Friend,

            La visión de Fr. Rodríguez is already in the press and its printing will be finished within 15 or 20 days.  It is very well written.  Receive my felicitation.  I fear an accident may happen to Fr. Rodríguez when he reads it, .

            I am sending you Defense of Corcuera so that you may write a prologue and commentary as long as you deem convenient.

            Instead of giving the 25 pesetas to Graciano, I am keeping them to prevent him from squandering them.  You know what a spendthrift this unfortunate countryman of ours is, and so that he may not lack some day I have made myself his trustee, regulating his expenses.

            Friend Pilar is here full of enthusiasm.  He works hard and soon will publish little works in Tagalog and Spanish.  Perhaps he may be the man we are waiting for to end the dissidence and rivalries that exist in the Madrid colony.  I may go with him to Madrid after winter.  He is insisting in taking me along and I am allowing myself to be convinced.  He brings a most satisfactory and favorable impression of our cause, as he will write you.

            Magdalena appreciates your regards.

            Rogers told me that he has already answered you.  It seems that he is determined not to abandon his retreat despite all sorrows.

            I do not know if the secretary of the association that we have jut established has already informed you of its inauguration.  The Christmastide banquet that we gave in the evening of the 31 was at the same time its inauguration.

            The board of directors is composed of the following: President, Mr. Galicano Apacible; vice president, Mr. Graciano López; secretary, Mr. Manuel Sta. María; treasurer, Mariano Ponce; auditor, Mr. José Panganiban.

            Your letter was read and listened to religiously at the banquet and was applauded afterwards.

            Your La visión de Fr. Rodríguez is published by this colony reserving the copyright to you.

            Your countrymen in this city return your affectionate regards.

 

Yours,

M. Ponce

 

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099.  Antonio Luna, Madrid, 15 January

 

It is doubtful that the Spaniards would come to offer us rights and liberties that they enjoy – Pessimism about the successes of the association La Solidaridad.

 

Madrid, 15 January 1889

 

Dear Rizal,

            That I have written you that you take charge of collecting the quotas of the subscribers in Barcelona must have been a phenomenal lapsus plumae. (1) The reason is that on the same day, and moments before it, I was writing a letter to Barcelona.  Therefore, it must be understood that I was referring to London rather than to Barcelona.  Aliquando dormitat Antonius. (2)

            I see that you are not quite in agreement with the A. H. F. (3) Neither do I have much faith in it, because, laying aside the questionnaire, I find no response from persons in general to whom the welfare or the misfortune of the Philippines does not matter a straw.  I consider it doubtful that the Spaniards would come to offer us rights and liberties that they enjoy.  Those are for them, for us duties.  Nay, our countrymen themselves, all almost all, are terrified to give their names to the association.  This and many other circumstances may bring this association to an early end.  However, we shall try to make it advance, for its purposes are laudable. 

            If national representation is the reason why you do not want to accept the post offered to you, we could arrange it.  You will note that the questionnaire is still under study and consequently it cannot be said that what is written in the constitution (which is not the by-laws) is all the aims of the association.  It could have others, who doubts it?

            I send you newspapers that describe our meeting that was brilliant – most brilliant.  More than 2,000 persons, more than 500 women filled the halls.

 

Yours,

Antonio

 

P.S.

            Tell me which book about the Philippines you are translating from the French.

            I received the papers; I shall send proxies in a sealed envelope by mail.

______________

(1)   Slip of the pen.

(2)   Even Antonio sometimes nods, a paraphrase of Horace’s “alquando bonus dormitat Homerus” (even good Homer sometimes nods).

(3)   Associación Hispano-Filipina.

 

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100.  Rizal, London, January ||  to José Ma. Basa.

 

Basa’s example of writing in defense of the Philippines is inspiring to other Filipinos – To serve a country there is nothing like being in it – Marcelo H. del Pilar did not need to come to Europe – Filipinos are afraid to buy the Noli –He asks Basa to keep the remaining copies lest they be burned – “If the present generation does not like to read me because of fear, I shall keep what I have written for the coming generation” – He does not know if what he is writing will be published.

 

37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.

January 1889

 

Mr. José Basa (1)

 

My distinguished Friend and Countryman,

            Yesterday I received your welcome letter together with the printed matter about Sta. Clara. (2) I have sent copies of them to Paris and Spain.

            I am exceedingly pleased to see how your example and activity find echo here.  Regidor writes daily articles for newspapers in Spain; some of them are published and others are not.  But certainly, this may perhaps be of some use, though it seems to me that when these articles are read in Spain many would say: "So long as you do not go beyond complaints, everything will be all right."

            Two friends have arrived here – Marcelo H. del Pilar (3) and another from Sta. Ana. (4) I welcomed them; nevertheless they could serve the country more if they were in the Philippines.  To serve our country, there is nothing like staying in it.  It is there that we have to educate the people; it is there that we have to work.   It is all right for young men to come here to study, but those who have already finished their studies ought to return and live there.  Marcelo H. del Pilar has already finished his studies and he did not need to come to Europe.

            As you advise me that on account of the persecution of Viado, many now avoid having the Noli, it would be desirable that you hold the copies that you have and do not send them to the Philippines, because they may burn them.  No one should be compelled to read the Noli.  He who is afraid and refers to read Fr. Rodríguez may do so.  Keep them in your possession all the copies of the Noli and do not give even one to anyone without previous request and payment.  Very few copies of the work remain.  Do not give anyone a copy if he does not order it.  They can burn it.

            The articles in the Hong Kong Telegraph are very well written; we commend them.  I sent to Blumentritt the number that I received.

            Here I devote myself to the study and writing of books on the Philippines.  I don’t know when what I have already written can be published.  If the present generation does not want to read me because of fear, I shall keep what I have written for the coming generation, but I continue and will continue working.  What are we going to do?  Our countrymen are afraid to spend two or three days in prison for the sake of enlightenment; perhaps the coming generation may be more daring.  Let us hope for this.  I congratulate your daughter as well as Mr. José Cucullo whom I know and who ought to know me.  I was a very good friend of his brother, Luis, my college companion.

            I should like to send you something published here about the Philippines; I am going to look through my papers.

            What the Cologne Gazette published had been reprinted by nearly all German newspapers and translated by two Spanish periodicals.  Unfortunately they did not send me a copy.

            Wishing you a long life and a Happy New Year, I bid you farewell for the present.

            Your affectionate friend who esteems and admires you.

 

José Rizal

 

            I wonder if you can do something for Graciano López; (5) a monthly pension of 15 or 20 pesos would help him.

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(1)   José M. Basa (1839-1907) was a Filipino who was exiled to the Mariana Islands on account of the Cavite Mutiny of 1872.  He was able to escape to Hong Kong where he engaged in business.

(2)   Buhay Santa Clara.  See letter No. 105.

(3)   M. H. del Pilar, having antagonized the friars, escaped from the country to avoid arrest and imprisonment or exile.

(4)   Justo Trinidad.

(5)   His family, influenced by the friars, had stopped sending him an allowance. Hence, he was needy and led a precarious existence.  Rizal was trying to help him appealing to the kindness of Mr. José M. Basa, a Filipino exile engaged in business in Hong Kong.

 

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101.  Marcelo H. del Pilar (Plaridel), Barcelona, January

 

He asks for data on Diego Silang’s rebellion – He doubts the veracity of Isabelo de los Reyes’ account.

 

Barcelona, January 1889

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

My dear Friend,

            Without any letter from you to answer I send you my picture as a remembrance.  I request you to please give me some information and data – if you have been able to get them there (1) – on the rebellion of Diego Silang in Vigan, during the British invasion, for I am citing this incident in the pamphlet that I am writing as an exception to the boasted influence of the friars in that reaction of Anda y Salazar. (2) I have no other reference but the history of Fr. Zúñiga, and now I discover that Isabelo d los Reyes is publishing articles praising the friars on the occasion of that rebellion when I was intending to adduce it as a charge against the friars.  According to Zúñiga, the insurrection having triumphed, Silang surrendered the position of governor to “Jesús Nazareno,” an incident that to me reveals the fanatical character of the rebellion; and our Isabelo says that he surrendered it to one Jesús Nazareno, which damages my argument.

            It would be advisable for you to read the Diario de Manila of 16 December 1888 and if you find anything worthwhile in it, to refute it.  Isabelo is going to mutilate my work with his deplorable fecundity.

            Your affectionate friend embraces you.

 

Marcelo

_____________

(1)   Rizal was then at London engrossed in historical research at the British Museum.

(2)   Governor general (1770 – 1776) who defended Manila during the British invasion, 1762-1764.

 

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102. Rizal, London 28 January ||  To the Members of La Solidaridad

 

Rizal made Honorary President of the association La Solidaridad – He sends greetings and proffers prudent advice.

 

To the Members of Solidaridad

 

My dear Compatriots:

            Gratefully acknowledging the great honor that you have just accorded me – appointing me Honorary President of the association you have recently founded and which I wish a prosperous future – I now have the great pleasure of greeting the members of the Executive Board, whom I believe are very well chosen, certain that in their hands the destiny of La Solidaridad is assured.

            Though I have no doubt that my advice is useless, for every member of La Solidaridad is worth as much as I and more, considering that they are right on the spot, nevertheless, just to fill a sheet of paper, I will allow myself to write you some common observations which all of you undoubtedly know, but which cannot annoy by being written on a sheet of paper.

1.      In young associations the spirit of tolerance ought to prevail when it concerns trifles that do not affect the essential part of a thing; in the discussions, the conciliatory tendency ought to dominate before the tendency to oppose.  No one should resent defeat.  When any opinion is rejected, its author, instead of despairing and withdrawing, should on the contrary wait for another occasion in which justice may be done him.  The individual should give way to the welfare of the society.  And so that the very delicate self-esteem of the Filipino – who is besides an unconscious individualist – may come out least hurt in the discussions and discontent may be avoided, it would be advisable that to all propositions, proposals, projects, and the like should always be added the ending: We think thus, if the other members have no objection, or any other similar phrase that you may deem more appropriate.  I have heard many discussions arising from questions of self-esteem.  Laying this aside, the decisions of the majority, after sufficient discussion, are sacred and unquestionable.

2.      A great deal of integrity and much good will.  No members should expect rewards or honors for what he does.  He, who does his duty in the expectation of reward, is usually disappointed, because almost no one believes himself sufficiently rewarded.  And so that there may not be discontented or ill-rewarded members, it is advisable for each one to do his duty just for its own sake and at best expect to be later treated unjustly because in anomalous countries, injustice is the prize for those who fulfill their duties.

Thrift, thrift, thrift.

Seriousness and equal justice for all.

These are my admonitions, if the members of La Solidaridad have no objection.

 

J. Rizal

Honorary President of La Solidaridad

 

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103.  Pedro Serrano Laktaw, 1 February 1889

 

Serrano allows himself to be deceived in order to satisfy everybody and not to inconvenience anyone – Signs his letter “P. Doré” – The Jesuits are trying to dissuade him from going abroad to study.

 

1 February 1889

 

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

My dear Laong Laan,

            My heart rejoiced greatly upon receiving your valued letter.  I read it again and again and now I am going to answer it by skipping about.

            You are right in saying that trees standing close together are stronger and are not easily thrown down by a strong wind; but I reply that when fire reaches houses that are close together, it devours them all easily.  In loose ground, rather than in a tight one, roots easily take and there plants are robust and fertilizers readily sink.  By pruning plants their branches multiply, their growth is hastened, and their trunks become strong.

            If what you tell me about Rizal is true, as I suppose it is, you are more than right.  Serrano is of the same opinion that this very day the friar is our only salvation, that to think otherwise is follow.  He expects much from the Dominicans and the Jesuits; he serves the latter and pleases or tries to please the other.  He adds that without pains delivery would be difficult if not impossible, and everybody wishes to pin his hopes on the government and the friars.  Let us see if he shall be disappointed soon; one who, likes him, has for his favorite phrase the saying of a celebrated writer of our century, which is, “God knows the good of the evil done by man.”  Jesuit-like lad, Jesuit-like.

            Serrano is an unfortunate man, you rightly say, for not only is he deceived in order to satisfy everybody and not to embarrass anyone, boldly advising me to follow his behavior, adding that that is the formula for being in good terms with everybody and get what one desires, and in this way our lad picks a friend at every corner, but what friends, sir, three for a penny.

            And so you can see until what point the blessed one goes.  He still hopes much of those who promised to help him print his book, though he has seen that they only promised him to put him in danger rather than to fulfill their promises at any time.  Notwithstanding, he continues to be their friend and of everybody and thus he lives happily, because for him bread and cake are the same.  On the other hand he does not save even a cigarette for his future, because of his integrity.

            The most shocking thing is that the friars whom he tries to please still talk ill of him and have even vowed to knock him down some day, on a day least expected.  The Jesuits. . . . . these will be in good terms with him so long as they believe that the person of Serrano will be useful to them, afterwards he shall see how they will treat him.  Well, upon knowing that he has obtained permission to go to the Peninsula, they called him and convinced him that without leaving this country he could get an education and for that purpose they founded an Academia Pedagógica, without prejudice of speaking to other teachers and priests in order to make him desist from going to Europe, fearing that there Serrano may loose his faith in religion and the many bad lay teachers in the Peninsula pervert him and he would render very wide awake, a heretic, and a mason, like Rizal.

            My regards and embraces to all and remembrances to the dear mistress of your thoughts.

 

P. Doré

 

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104.  Rizal, London, 4 February 18  ||  To Marcelo H. del Pilar

 

Rizal writes Marcelo H. del Pilar that he is glad for the publication of La Solidaridad – The excessive Ilocano tendencies of Isabelo de los Reyes apropos the question of Diego Silang – Testimony of historians – Italian manuscripts about the Philippines – one of the Filipinos at Barcelona should study Italian – Rizal is presently studying Dutch.

 

37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.

London, 4 February 1889

 

My dear Friend Plaridel,

            I thank you very much for your photograph.  In truth I did not recognize you at first glance for you have all the airs of a European – God grant that it may not go beyond that.  I am sorry that I cannot send you mine now because I have promised myself not to have my picture taken until after the publication of another book, there being already too many existing photographs of mine.  But rest assured that as soon as I have my picture taken you will have a large-sized one.

            I am very glad for the publication of the periodical La Solidaridad.  You may count on me for everything.  I want to be where you are, and above all professing ideas that seem to me most just as do you, yourself.  They say that in Madrid Mr. Dominador Gómez made the “eloquent statement” that “this very day it is not possible to make any political reform in the Philippines”!!!  I don’t know if this is true, but I will find it out and see that this absurdity is corrected.  For the present, I reject that declaration and I believe that the newspaper has misinterpreted Gómez’s words.

            Blumentritt writes me praising your article “Administrative Relaxations.”  Regidor has also found it magnificent.  The articles in La Publicidad are also very good; only when you cite Filipino names you have forgotten many that are more worthy, like those of Peláez, Burgos, García, Judo, etc.

            Now let us go to the question of Diego Silang.  I congratulate all, including myself, for having a countryman as well informed, intelligent, and active as Mr. Isabelo de los Reyes, I have nevertheless to deplore his excessive allegiance to the Illocos region, which as you suspect, can one day chop us, as an argument against us.  Though he may have first-rate works, on the other hand, some seem to be written by Spaniards – so superficial, light, and of little discernment.  One of these is where he speaks of Catapusan.

            On this question of Diego Silang, the only historian that I have been able to consult is Mas, [01], besides Zúñiga, [02] for neither Concepción nor Aduarte [04] mentions him and the rest copied from one another.  You can use these data against his influence as well as in the question of Apolinario, Cavite, and etc.

            I will quote here some paragraphs of Mas who studied the matter in some Augustinian manuscripts:

Silang, proud of his action, sent agents to the north who incited all the plebeians to rise . . . and they persecuted the principal citizens and some Augustinian friars, whom they said were to blame for the failure of the reserved tribute to arrive . . . . Within a few days he became master of the whole province and he appointed as its captain Jesús Nazareno and he gave himself the title of chief commander for the defense of the religion . . . he asked the priests to pay a tribute of one hundred pesos each . . . influenced by the Augustinian friars, who did not wish to absolve the rebels, many were withdrawing from Silang, especially in the towns of the north, which led to the taking of some priests as prisoners who were conducted to Bigaa, etc. etc.

            Despite the ardent desire of the Augustinians – like all the friars – to exaggerate always and to put themselves in the forefront in all Philippine questions, in the question of Silang they appear in the forth or fifth line.  I am with you and you can defend it very well that Silang’s uprising had a fanatical character, though Silang himself was not so, because he seemed to be a grand politician, but a rogue without honor or civic virtues, for which reason he failed.  You are correct in supposing and believing that he gave the command to Jesús Nazareno and it is not to one Jesús Nazareno, as Isabelo says.  First: in the Philippines, the Name Jesús is never or almost never against given as a baptismal name and it is not known that the surname Nazareno had ever existed.  It is moreover a great deal of coincidence to be called Jesús Nazareno and then have the command without pain or merit.  Second: Silang was an ambitious man and would not give the command to another man unless he could give to God the nominal command while he retained the real power; this is in conformity with his prayers, Masses, etc. etc.  Third: Nothing was said again about Jesús Nazareno and it is not known whether he had done anything or had been hanged or impaled by Azza, which make us suppose that this Jesús Nazareno was Christ and not one Jesús Nazareno, as Isabelo suppose.  You can be sure of this and when you write Isabelo call his attention to it.

            Without Captain Buecbuec and without the assassination of Silang, committed by Vicos, this uprising would not have been extinguished, not even with all the belts that are found in the convents, nor even supposing that the skins of the friars were made into belts and their greasy habits into scapulars.  The importance that the friars give themselves in all uprisings should be interpreted with a grain of salt; they are prayers pro domo sua. [05]

            The pseudonym Dimas Alang or Dimasalang seems to me very good, for both are meaningful.  I yield the ownership of this little book [06] to La Solidaridad and I only ask for 20 or 30 copies for myself.

            Make one of the Filipinos there learn Italian because I have here Italian manuscripts that deal with the first coming of the Spaniards in the Philippines.  A companion of Magellan writes them.  As I have no time to translate them on account of my numerous chores, it would be advisable that a countryman of ours translates them into Tagalog or Spanish so that it may be known how we were in1520.  Italian is easy.  In one month it can be learned with the Method of Ahn.  Now I am studying Dutch.

            I shall send articles to La Solidaridad.

            Wishing you all kinds of success, I bid you farewell for now.

 

Yours,

Rizal

 

Send me the Diario de Manila of 16 December so that I can refute it.

 

Dear Naning,

            Enclosed is the corrected page.  Please send me some 20 or 30 copies.  There should be placed a line separating the test from the footnote.

            Greet Laktaw and friends Sandico and Reyes for me.  I shall write more another day.

Laong Laan.

_______________

 

[01] Sine baldo de mas, Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1842, Madrid 1843.

[02] Joaquin Martínez de Zúñiga, Historia de las Islas Filipinas.

[03] Juan de la Concepción, Historia general de Filipinas.  Manila 1788.

[04] Diego de Aduarte, Historia de la Provincia del Santo Rosario de las Orden ae Predicadores en Filipinas, Japon, y China, 1640.

[05] Literally, for one’s house; that is, to plead for one’s own cause.  From Cicero’s harangue upon his return from exile, pleading for the return of his property confiscated during his absence by the patrician Clodius.

[06] La vision de Fr. Rodríguez.

 

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105. Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 17 February 1889

 

Birth of La Solidaridad on 15 February1889 – The campaign of the women of Malolos – “I request you to write to those girls.”  -- Rizal’s article “Los viajes” could not be published in the first issue for lack of space.

 

Barcelona, 17 February 1889

 

Friend Laoang Laan,

            At last our little newspaper was born. [01] It is democratic in its opinion, but very much more so in the organization of its staff.  One should see how the director writes, corrects proofs, directs the printing, distributes the copies, and even takes the packages to the post office.  Naning, the administrator, gathers the data, writes, corrects proofs, addresses the wrappers, answers the correspondence, and also distributes the copies.  I am the only idler, though the newspaper had me preoccupied during the period of its gestation and birth, for which reason I am behind in my correspondence with you.

            I appreciate the data you have furnished me on the rebellion of Diego Silang and I shall bear them in mind.  Now I cannot find any more at the Ateneo [02] the Diario de Manila that I had indicated to you.  Perhaps your Museum has received a copy.  Ours is quite Spanish.

            Take note of the echoes from the colonies in La Solidaridad, written by Graciano with data received from Manila.  The attitude of the girls of Malolos reveals that the campaign of our men there is regular.  Those girls belong to the select class of the town, respected for their good reputation and they are daughters of maginoos. [03] If you could address them a letter in Tagalog, it would be another aid to our champions there and in Manila.  Owing to the campaign that those girls are waging by word of mouth and by example, the idea that it is dishonorable for men and women to adhere to the friars is spreading and is producing very great effects.  Have you read the verses Buhay Santa Clara?  Your sister believes that they are written by a Malolos woman for she has been led to believe so, while the Malolos women think that your sister wrote them.

            I departed from there at a moment when even the most fanatical women already were preaching hatred against the friars; and the last mail brought us a phenomenon that in the future may produce its results.  It is said that one day eight friars were riding in one of the steam tramcars of Malabon, and one of our lads intoned the cry, “Down with the friars” and this cry was seconded by numerous Spaniards who were there.  This can be understood as the cry of alarm that the enclosed article contains.

            I request you to write to the Malolos girls.

            Los viajes could not be published in the first number.  The excess of articles and the trick of the compositors, who did the news in large type despite the order to put in size 6, did not permit us to open the literary section to which Los viajes belongs.

            Goodbye.

 

Your affectionate friend,

Plaridel

 

Note: This letter was taken from Copy Book, 1889-1890, page 1 of the Ponce Collection.

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[01] La Solidaridad was first published in Barcelona; then it was moved to Madrid in 1890 where it continued until 15 November 1895.

[02] The library of the Ateneo Barcelonés, a library and scholarly society in Barcelona.

[03] The Tagalog aristocracy.

 

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106. Rizal, London, 22 February 1889  ||  To Marcelo H. del Pilar

 

Suggestions for La Solidaridad – Rizal promises to write “articles of great interest” – A long message in Tagalog to the young women of Malolos – He asks del Pilar to correct it as his Tagalog is getting rusty – See that it does not fall into the hands of the friars.

 

37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, N.W.

London, 22 February 1889

 

Dear Friend Plaridel,

            I received the numbers of the periodicals and I congratulate its editors as well as its initiators.  I have succeeded to make Rigidor give five pesos every month and contribute articles.  Therefore, I believe that you should accept advertisements in order to earn a little, and to begin you ought to advertise the trade or business of our friends over there, even gratis et amore.  But the number of pages must be increased.  Do not hurry the publication of my Viajes, for it is not of current interest; publish it when there are no articles.  I will send you shortly interesting articles on the history of the Philippines and above all documents.  Have these published in book form before melting the molds, so that at the end of the year you may have a book to sell or give away as gifts to your subscribers.  Thus you will be saved the cost of another composition.  I promise to send you articles of great interest.

            Enclosed is my long epistle to the Malolos women.  Read it and correct it, because, as I have no one here to talk Tagalog with I am beginning to forget a little.  I believe that I owe them more than a simple letter and so there it is.  Be careful that it does not fall into the hands of the friars and get lost, for that is my first draft and I have no copy of it.

            Give my love to all the friends, especially to the directors of newspapers, to Canon, Galicano, and to all the members of La Solidaridad.

            I think it would be all right to always send a copy to Blumentritt.  I am sure that you concur.

            Excuse this short letter.  The epistle to the Malolos women made my hand tired.

 

Yours,

Laong Laan

 

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107.  Rizal’s Message to the Young Women of Malolos, Europe 1889

 

Complying with Plaridel’s request Rizal writes a long letter to the young women of Malolos – It’s message is for all Filipino women.

 

NOTE: For the letter in the original Tagalog click here

 

To my Countrywomen of Mololos:

When I wrote Noli Me Tangere, I asked myself whether bravery was a common thing in the young women of our people.  I brought back to my recollection and reviewed those I had known since my infancy, but there were only few who seem to come up to my ideal.  There was, it is true, an abundance of girls with agreeable manners, beautiful ways, and modest demeanor, but there was in all an admixture of servitude and deference to the words or whims of their so-called "spiritual fathers" (as if the spirit or soul had any father other than God), due to excessive kindness, modesty, or perhaps ignorance.  They seemed faced plants sown and reared in darkness, having flowers without perfume and fruits without sap.

However, when the news of what happened at Malolos reached us, I saw my error, and great was my rejoicing.  After all, who is to blame me?  I did not know Malolos nor its young women, except one called Emila [Emilia Tiongson, whom Rizal met in 1887], and her I knew by name only.

Now that you have responded to our first appeal in the interest of the welfare of the people; now that you have set an example to those who, like you, long to have their eyes opened and be delivered from servitude, new hopes are awakened in us and we now even dare to face adversity, because we have you for our allies and are confident of victory.  No longer does the Filipina stand with her head bowed nor does she spend her time on her knees, because she is quickened by hope in the future; no longer will the mother contribute to keeping her daughter in darkness and bring her up in contempt and moral annihilation.  And no longer will the science of all sciences consist in blind submission to any unjust order, or in extreme complacency, nor will a courteous smile be deemed the only weapon against insult or humble tears the ineffable panacea for all tribulations.  You know that the will of God is different from that of the priest; that religiousness does not consist of long periods spent on your knees, nor in endless prayers, big rosarios, and grimy scapularies [religious garment showing devotion], but in a spotless conduct, firm intention and upright judgment.  You also know that prudence does not consist in blindly obeying any whim of the little tin god, but in obeying only that which is reasonable and just, because blind obedience is itself the cause and origin of those whims, and those guilty of it are really to be blamed.  The official or friar can no longer assert that they alone are responsible for their unjust orders, because God gave each individual reason and a will of his or her own to distinguish the just from the unjust; all were born without shackles and free, and nobody has a right to subjugate the will and the spirit of another your thoughts. And, why should you submit to another your thoughts, seeing that thought is noble and free?

It is cowardice and erroneous to believe that saintliness consists in blind obedience and that prudence and the habit of thinking are presumptuous.  Ignorance has ever been ignorance, and never prudence and honor. God, the primal source of all wisdom, does not demand that man, created in his image and likeness, allow himself to be deceived and hoodwinked, but wants us to use and let shine the light of reason with which He has so mercifully endowed us.  He may be compared to the father who gave each of his sons a torch to light their way in the darkness bidding them keep its light bright and take care of it, and not put it out and trust to the light of the others, but to help and advise each other to fiind the right path.  They would be madman were they to follow the light of another, only to come to a fall, and the father could unbraid them and say to them: "Did I not give each of you his own torch," but he cold not say so if the fall were due to the light of the torch of him who fell, as the light might have been dim and the road very bad.

The deceiver is fond of using the saying that "It is presumptuous to rely on one's own judgment," but, in my opinion, it is more presumptuous for a person to put his judgment above that of the others and try to make it prevail over theirs.  It is more presumptuous for a man to constitute himself into an idol and pretend to be in communication of thought with God; and it is more than presumptuous and even blasphemous for a person to attribute every movement of his lips to God, to represent every whim of his as the will of God, and to brand his own enemy as an enemy of God.  Of course, we should not consult our own judgment alone, but hear the opinion of others before doing what may seem most reasonable to us.  The wild man from the hills, if clad in a priest's robe, remains a hillman and can only deceive the weak and ignorant.  And, to make my argument more conclusive, just buy a priest's robe as the Franciscans wear it and put it on a carabao [domestic water buffalo], and you will be lucky if the carabao does not become lazy on account of the robe.  But I will leave this subject to speak of something else.

Youth is a flower-bed that is to bear rich fruit and must accumulate wealth for its descendants.  What offspring will be that of a woman whose kindness of character is expressed by mumbled prayers; who knows nothing by heart but awits [hymns] [01], novenas, and the alleged miracles; whose amusement consists in playing panguingue [a card game] or in the frequent confession of the same sins?  What sons will she have but acolytes, priest's servants, or cockfighters?  It is the mothers who are responsible for the present servitude of our compatriots, owing to the unlimited trustfulness of their loving hearts, to their ardent desire to elevate their sons  Maturity is the fruit of infancy and the infant is formed on the lap of its mother.  The mother who can only teach her child how to kneel and kiss hands must not expect sons with blood other than that of vile slaves.  A tree that grows in the mud is unsubstantial and good only for firewood.  If her son should have a bold mind, his boldness will be deceitful and will be like the bat that cannot show itself until the ringing of vespers.  They say that prudence is sanctity.  But, what sanctity have they shown us?  To pray and kneel a lot, kiss the hand of the priests, throw money away on churches, and believe all the friar sees fit to tell us; gossip, callous rubbing of noses. . . .

As to the mites and gifts of God, is there anything in the world that does not belong to God?  What would you say of a servant making his master a present of a cloth borrowed from that very master?  Who is so vain, so insane that he will give alms to God and believe that the miserable thing he has given will serve to clothe the Creator of all things?  Blessed be they who succor their fellow men, aid the poor and feed the hungry; but cursed be they who turn a dead ear to supplications of the poor, who only give to him who has plenty and spend their money lavishly on silver altar hangings for the thanksgiving, or in serenades and fireworks.  The money ground out of the poor is bequeathed to the master so that he can provide for chains to subjugate, and hire thugs and executioners.  Oh, what blindness, what lack of understanding.

Saintliness consists in the first place in obeying the dictates of reason, happen what may.  "It is acts and not words that I want of you," said Christ.  "Not everyone that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven."  Saintliness does not consist in abjectness, nor is the successor of Christ to be recognized by the fact that he gives his hand to be kissed.  Christ did not give the kiss of peace to the Pharisees and never gave his hand to be kissed.  He did not cater to the rich and vain; He did not mention scapularies, nor did He make rosaries, or solicit offerings for the sacrifice of the Mass or exact payments for His prayers.  Saint John did not demand a fee on the River Jordan, nor did Christ teach for gain.  Why, then, do the friars now refuse to stir a foot unless paid in advance?  And, as if they were starving, they sell scapularies, rosaries, bits, and other things which are nothing but schemes for making money and a detriment to the soul; because even if all the rags on earth were converted into scapularies and all the trees in the forest into rosaries, and if the skins of all the beasts were made into belts, and if all the priests of the earth mumbled prayers over all this and sprinkled oceans of holy water over it, this would not purify a rogue or condone sin where there is no repentance.  Thus, also, through cupidity and love of money, they will, for a price, revoke the numerous prohibitions such as those against eating meat, marrying close relatives, etc.  You can do almost anything if you but grease their palms.  Why that?  Can God be bribed and bought off, and blinded by money, nothing more nor less than a friar?  The brigand who has obtained a bull of compromise can live calmly on the proceeds of his robbery, because he will be forgiven.  God, then, will sit at a table where theft provides the viands?  Has the Omnipotent become a pauper that He must assume the role of the excise man or gendarme?  If that is the God whom the friar adores, then I turn my back upon that God.

Let us be reasonable and open our eyes, especially you women, because you are the first to influence the consciousness of man.  Remember that a good mother does not resemble the mother that the friar has created; she must bring up her child to be the image of the true God, not of a blackmailing, a grasping God, but of a God who is the father of us all, who is just; who does not suck the life-blood of the poor like a vampire, nor scoffs at the agony of the sorely beset, nor makes a crooked path of the path of justice.  Awaken and prepare the will of our children towards all that is honorable, judged by proper standards, to all that is sincere and firm of purpose, clear judgment, clear procedure, honesty in act and deed, love for the fellowman and respect for God; this is what you must teach your children.  And, seeing that life is full of thorns and thistles, you must fortify their minds against any stroke of adversity and accustom them to danger.  The people cannot expect honor nor prosperity so long as  they will educate their children in a wrong way, so long as the woman who guides the child in his steps is slavish and ignorant.  No good water comes from a turbid, bitter spring; no savory fruit comes from acrid seed.

The duties that woman has to perform in order to deliver the people from suffering are of no little importance, but be they as they may, they will not be beyond the strength and stamina of the Filipino people.  The power and good judgment of the women of the Philippines are well known, and it is because of this that she has been hoodwinked, and tied, and rendered pusillanimous, and now her enslavers rest at ease, because so long as they can keep the Filipina mother a slave, so long will they be able to make slaves of her children.  The cause of the backwardness of Asia lies in the fact that there the women are ignorant, are slaves; while Europe and America are powerful because there the women are free and well-educated and endowed with lucid intellect and a strong will.

We know that you lack instructive books; we know that nothing is added to your intellect, day by day, save that which is intended to dim its natural brightness; all this we know, hence our desire to bring you the light that illuminates your equals here in Europe.  If that which I tell you does not provoke your anger, and if you will pay a little attention to it then, however dense the mist may be that befogs our people, I will make the utmost efforts to have it dissipated by the bright rays of the sun, which will give light, thought they be dimmed.  We shall not feel any fatigue if you help us: God, too, will help to scatter the mist, because He is the God of truth: He will restore to its pristine condition the fame of the Filipina in whom we now miss only a criterion of her own, because good qualities she has enough and to spare.  This is our dream; this is the desire we cherish in our hearts; to restore the honor of woman, who is half of our heart, our companion in the joys and tribulations of life.  If she is a maiden, the young man should love her not only because of her beauty and her amiable character, but also on account of her fortitude of mind and loftiness of purpose, which quicken and elevate the feeble and timid and ward off all vain thoughts.  Let the maiden be the pride of her country and command respect, because it is a common practice on the part of Spaniards and friars here who have returned from the Islands to speak of the Filipina as complaisant and ignorant, as if all should be thrown into the same class because of the missteps of a few, and as if women of weak character did not exist in other lands.  As to purity what could the Filipina not hold up to others!

Nevertheless, the returning Spaniards and friars, talkative and fond of gossip, can hardly find time enough to brag and bawl, amidst guffaws and insulting remarks, that a certain woman was thus; that she behaved thus at the convent and conducted herself thus with the Spaniards who on the occasion was her guest, and other things that set your teeth on edge when you think of them which, in the majority of cases, were faults due to candor, excessive kindness, meekness, or perhaps ignorance and were all the work of the defamer himself.  There is a Spaniard now in high office, who has set at our table and enjoyed our hospitality in his wanderings through the Philippines and who, upon his return to Spain, rushed forthwith into print and related that on one occasion in Pampanga he demanded hospitality and ate, and slept at a house and the lady of the house conducted herself in such and such a manner with him; this is how he repaid the lady for her supreme hospitality!  Similar insinuations are made by the friars to the chance visitor from Spain concerning their very obedient confesandas, hand-kissers, etc., accompanied by smiles and very significant winkings of the eye.  In a book published by D. Sinibaldo de Mas and in other friar sketches sins are related of which women accused themselves in the confessional and of which the friars made no secret in talking to their Spanish visitors seasoning them, at the best, with idiotic and shameless tales not worthy of credence.  I cannot repeat here the shameless stories that a friar told Mas and to which Mas attributed no value whatever.  Every time we hear or read anything of this kind, we ask each other: Are the Spanish women all cut after the pattern of the Holy Virgin Mary and the Filipinas all reprobates?  I believe that if we are to balance accounts in this delicate question, perhaps, . . .  But I must drop the subject because I am neither a confessor nor a Spanish traveler and have no business to take away anybody's good name.  I shall let this go and speak of the duties of women instead.

A people that respect women, like the Filipino people, must know the truth of the situation in order to be able to do what is expected of it.  It seems an established fact that when a young student falls in love, he throws everything to the dogs -- knowledge, honor, and money, as if a girl could not do anything but sow misfortune.  The bravest youth becomes a coward when he married, and the born coward becomes shameless, as if he had been waiting to get married in order to show his cowardice.  The son, in order to hide his pusillanimity, remembers his mother, swallows his wrath, suffers his ears to be boxed, obeys the most foolish order, and and becomes an accomplice to his own dishonor.  It should be remembered that where nobody flees there is no pursuer; when there is no little fish, there can not be a big one.  Why does the girl not require of her lover a noble and honored name, a manly heart offering protection to her weakness, and a high spirit incapable of being satisfied with engendering slaves?  Let her discard all fear, let her behave nobly and not deliver her youth to the weak and faint-hearted.  When she is married, she must aid her husband, inspire him with courage, share his perils, refrain from causing him worry and sweeten his moments of affection, always remembering that there is no grief that a brave heart can not bear and there is no bitterer inheritance than that of infamy and slavery.  Open your children's eyes so that they may jealously guard their honor, love their fellowmen and their native land, and do their duty.  Always impress upon them they must prefer dying with honor to living in dishonor.  The women of Sparta should serve you as an example should serve you as an example in this; I shall give some of their characteristics.

When a mother handed the shield to her son as he was marching to battle, she said nothing to him but this: "Return with it, or on it," which mean, come back victorious or dead, because it was customary with the routed warrior to throw away his shield, while the dead warrior was carried home on his shield.  A mother received word that her son had been killed in battle and the army routed.  She did not say a word, but expressed her thankfulness that her son had been saved from disgrace.  However, when her son returned alive, the mother put on mourning.  One of the mothers who went out to meet the warriors returning from battle was told by one that her three sons had fallen.  I do not ask you that, said the mother, but whether we have been victorious or not.  We have been victorious -- answered the warrior.  If that is so, then let us thank God, and she went to the temple.

Once upon a time a king of theirs, who had been defeated, hid in the temple, because he feared their popular wrath.  The Spartans resolved to shut him up there and starve him to death.  When they were blocking the door, the mother was the first to bring stones.  These things were in accordance with the custom there, and all Greece admired the Spartan woman.  Of all women -- a woman said jestingly -- only your Spartans have power over the men.  Quite natural -- they replied -- of all women only we give birth to men.  Man, the Spartan women said, was not born to life for himself alone but for his native land.  So long as this way of thinking prevailed and they had that kind of women in Sparta, no enemy was able to put his foot upon her soil, nor was there a woman in Sparta who ever saw a hostile army.

I do not expect to be believed simply because it is I who am saying this; there are many people who do not listen to reason, but will listen only to those who wear the cassock or have gray hair or no teeth; but while it is true that the aged should be venerated, because of their travails and experience, yet the life I have lived, consecrated to the happiness of the people, adds some years, though not many of my age.  I do not pretend to be looked upon as an idol or fetish and to be believed and listened to with the eyes closed, the head bowed, and the arms crossed over the breast; what I ask of all is to reflect on what I tell him, think it over and shift it carefully through the sieve of reasons.

 

First of all.  That the tyranny of some is possible only through cowardice and negligence on the part of others.

 

Second.  What makes one contemptible is lack of dignity and abject fear of him who holds one in contempt.

 

Third.  Ignorance is servitude, because as a man thinks, so he is; a man who does not think for himself and allowed himself to be guided by the thought of another is like the beast led by a halter.

 

Fourth.  He who loves his independence must first aid his fellowman, because he who refuses protection to others will find himself without it; the isolated rib in the buri is easily broken, but not so the broom made of the ribs of the palm bound together.

 

Fifth.  If the Filipina will not change her mode of being, let her rear no more children, let her merely give birth to them.  She must cease to be the mistress of the home, otherwise she will unconsciously betray husband, child, native land, and all.

 

Sixth.  All men are born equal, naked, without bonds.  God did not create man to be a slave; nor did he endow him with intelligence to have him hoodwinked, or adorn him with reason to have him deceived by others.  It is not fatuous to refuse to worship one's equal, to cultivate one's intellect, and to make use of reason in all things.  Fatuous is he who makes a god of him, who makes brutes of others, and who strives to submit to his whims all that is reasonable and just.

 

Seventh.  Consider well what kind of religion they are teaching you.  See whether it is the will of God or according to the teachings of Christ that the poor be succored and those who suffer alleviated.  Consider what they preaching to you, the object of the sermon, what is behind the masses, novenas, rosaries, scapularies, images, miracles, candles, belts, etc. etc; which they daily keep before your minds; ears and eyes; jostling, shouting, and coaxing; investigate whence they came and whiter they go and then compare that religion with the pure religion of Christ and see whether the pretended observance of the life of Christ does not remind you of the fat milch cow or the fattened pig, which is encouraged to grow fat nor through love of the animal, but for grossly mercenary motives.

 

Let us, therefore, reflect; let us consider our situation and see how we stand.  May these poorly written lines aid you in your good purpose and help you to pursue the plan you have initiated.  "May your profit be greater than the capital invested;" [02] and I shall gladly accept the usual reward of all who dare tell your people the truth.  May your desire to educate yourself be crowned with success; may you in the garden of learning gather not bitter, but choice fruit, looking well before you eat because on the surface of the globe all is deceit, and the enemy sows weeds in your seedling plot.

All this is the ardent desire of your compatriot.

 

JOSÉ RIZAL

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            [01] Fanciful tales in verse in the vernacular.

            [02] “Tubo ko’y dakilá . . .” “Day Selya”, Florante at Laura by Franciso Baltazar.

 

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108. Rizal, London, 3 March 1889  ||  To Marcelo H. del Pilar (Plaridel)

 

Rizal praises del Pilar’s La soberanía monacal en Filipinas – “Onward and write” he says – He can now die – Plaridel can take his place – He would like to see emerge 20 or 30 young men who are two or three times more worthy than he.

 

37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill N.W.

London, 3 March 1889

 

My dear Plaridel:

I have finished reading your most interesting pamphlet, [01] written with much esprit, salt, and gay and incisive satire that surprises the reader and strikes him without giving him time to defend himself.  The book is written in a concise and robust style, which characterizes and ought to characterize the Filipino style.  When a Filipino wants something, the first thing he demands is that it be strong.  The Filipino style, therefore, ought to be strong above all else, and this is your style.  The first thing that occurred to my mind after reading it is that its author should shave off his beard [02] to show everyone and above all the Spaniards that he is Tagalog [03] and wholly a Tagalog.  Someone might take him for a Spaniard on account of his beard and attribute the merit of his book to his Spanish blood.  One of the satisfactions of my vanity in reading his work is to recall the author’s appreciation of my writings; this appreciation by an author like Plaridel honors me.

Onward and write!  Rizal can now die; nobody will miss him; there is Plaridel who can take his place with indisputable advantage.  I say it with sincerity and without regret.  I do not work for my renown but for the good of my country, and my greatest pleasure would be to see 20 or 30 young men who are two or three times more worthy than I.

I note only one defect: there is little order in the grouping of the arguments.  It resembles an army of fearless soldiers and heroes all mixed up and jumbled.  Your book is a handful of precious stones of diamonds and rubies.  It is not a disciplined army, or an arranged show window.

  With regard to the case of the gobernadorcillos [04] entrusted to Govantes, it is advisable to grant him more and better powers than Quiroga [05]; Govantes is our compatriot and will not betray us; the other one is not.

I will give a copy of your work to the British Museum.

Send hundreds to the Philippines and above all to Madrid.  Your work is for Spain; mine is for the Philippines.

 

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

 

[01] This is La soberanía monacal, published at Barcelona in 1889.  It is a forceful denunciation of the domination of the friars over the Philippines.  Hence, at the end of his letter Rizal says it is a work for Spain, while his Noli is for the Philippines.  Rizal helped with enthusiasm in the distribution of Plaridel’s work.

[02] Plaridel wears a mustache in his well-known portraits.  Rizal mentions his beard; he might have worn one at that time.

[03] In Rizal’s day, oftentimes Tagalog was used to mean any and all Filipinos.  Plaridel was, of course, a Tagalog speaker, being a native of Bulakan.

04] This offer to the gobernadorcillos of the districts of Manila who signed a petition for certain reforms.  They were persecuted and one of them, Mr. Justo Trinidad, fled to Europe.

[05] Benigno Quiroga Ballesteros was the director general of civil administration in 1889.

 

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109.  Rizal, [London] 3 March 1889  || To Graciano López Jaena

 

Rizal sends López Jaena a post card congratulating him on his “Superb Speech” delivered at the Ateneo Barcelona entitled “The Philippines at the Universal Exposition of Barcelona” – Suggestions for the improvement of La Solidaridad.

 

3 March 1889

 

Mr. Graciano López

Director, La Solidaridad

2-3o Rambla Canalatas, Barcelona

 

Dear Graciano,

            I congratulate you with all my heart on your superb speech.  It is the best that you have delivered or made thus far, leaving far behind all of yours and mine.  Forward the Bisayo and the Tagalog!  The wrapper without the newspapers arrived here.  Regidor gave me my copy.  Badly wrapped.  Pedro Ramos [01] is subscribing; he has given me the money.  I have sold 6 Visión and 1 Soberanía; I have therefore 3 pesetas on hand.

            It is good that the number of pages has been increased.  Advertise the works of Filipinos, Govantes, Filipino lawyer for cases of the country, etc. etc.  First write to him, telling him that I have suggested that you advertise his law office so that those over there may remonstrate against their trampled rights, etc.

 

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] A Filipino student at London.

 

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110. Antonio Luna, Madrid, 8 March 1889

 

An insulting article by Quioquiap in El Día – Asks Rizal to answer it – A country where insult is permitted but not defense – The need for a Filipino newspaper in Madrid – Dominador Gómez.

 

6-3o left, Clavel, Madrid

8 March 1889

 

Dear Dr. Rizal,

            On the same day that I received the article, I sent it to Morayta so that he can see how it could be published in El Globo.  He never told me that it was all right, but until now I have not seen it.  Never mind, for right now I shall know the final result, or if it is not possible in El Resumen, then I shall send it to Barcelona opportunely.  Llorente has already seen me about this.

            I send you an article of Quioquiap published in El Día.  It seems incredible; El Día, whose correspondent is the most sensible among those there who write for this!  Nobody can be trusted, because everybody turns against one.  The canes become lances, so that I am completely, but completely, disappointed with the support that the press could render us.  They accept an article insulting an entire race and do not even allow us to defend ourselves.  Not insult for insult but defense for attack, which is the least that can be done.

            Lord Salisbury was given a vote of censure for having called Negro a representative – if I am not mistaken – of India; and here a Quioquiap [01] daily hurls insults against an entire race and remains unharmed.  This is a free country, of rights and liberties, where insult is permitted and defense is not.

            I have sent the same article to Barcelona so that they may reply to it and you may answer it and send me your reply, in case I succeed to have it published here.

            More and more it becomes obvious the need for a Filipino newspaper in Madrid.  More and more the lack of unity is felt; a void that could be filled were there unity and money.  But, what can be done?  If there is a Filipino organ, personal aggrandizement is confused with the aggrandizement of the Philippines; or if not, it serves as the arena for the rivalries arising from the difference in race and with these divergent opinions we shall not attain our goal, and thus we go.

            Cunanan told me he was going to write you.  His address: 2-20 left, Sauco.

            I am completely in the dark about what they say of Dominador. [02] Nay, I believe that one who does not like him must have written to London a string of lies.  For my part I can assure that he did not say such nonsense.

            I live 6-3o left, Clavel.

            An embrace of your friend and compatriot,

Antonio Luna

Have you received my photo which I sent you when you were at Geneva?

_______________

            [01] Pablo Feced y Temprano was a  Spaniard who resided in the Bikol region and who was noted for derogatory articles against Filipinos.

[02] Dominador Gómez who later, under the American regime was identified with the Philippine labor movement.  He was a fiery orator often caricatured holding an anahaw fan.

 

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111. Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 10 March 1889

 

M. H. del Pilar values highly Rizal’s praise of his La soberanía monacal – Rizal has no right yet to die – All the darts that are hurled against his name are received in the hearts of those who cherish him – Case of the gobernadorcillos who signed the petition for the expulsion of the friars.

 

Barcelona, 10 March 1889

 

Friend Laong Laan,

            Rizal’s praise of La soberanía monacal nearly made me swell with pride for it cannot be otherwise – praises like those of the author of Noli me tángere, Consejo de la Dioses, Visión, etc. etc., etc. constitute an invaluable triumph for a petty author trained in a country of petty governors, directors, lawyers, fiscals, and other diminutive eminences; but the truth is that desire deceives and you are a palpable example.  Wishing to redeem myself, I believed myself redeemed.  I accept then your praises under pretext of aspiration.  Thanks for the goodwill.

            Rizal has no right yet to die.  His name constitutes the purest and most immaculate standard of sacrosanct aspirations and Plaridel and his men are no other than mere volunteers who serve under that standard.

            For that reason you must have observed that all the darts that are hurled against your name are received in the hearts of those who cherish you, of which I have had palpable proofs.

            Quiroga does not carry any power of attorney of the imprisoned gobernadorcillos, nor has the case reached that stage when it can be taken up in Madrid.  It is in the process of indictment, and ask Regador how may years the Spanish indictment lasts, when the accused is innocent and there is an earnest desire to annoy him.

            They tell me that you are intending to go to Paris.  There you will meet on [01] of the gobernadorcillos who signed the petition.  At Marseille I gave him a letter of introduction to you and probably he will give it to you there.  If you will stay in the room they have found for you at the Hotel de Castilla, it is easy for him to go to you to greet you.

            Your affectionate friend embraces you,

 

M. H. del Pilar

_______________

            [01] Justo Trinidad.

 

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112. Graciano López Jaena, Barcelona, 12 March 1889

 

He asks Rizal to tell the Filipinos in Madrid not to be prejudiced against La Solidaridad  -- Need for unity and fraternity  -- Congratulates Rizal on La visión de Fr. Rodríguez – Asks for articles.

 

NOTE: For La visión de Fr. Rodríguez (English Translation) Click Here

 

Barcelona, 12 March 1889

 

Mr. José Rizal

 

Dear Rizal,

            I appreciate very much indeed your congratulation on my speech.  I consider it the most valuable of the many I have received.

            You must have received already the newspapers we sent you for the second time on account of the loss of the first ones.

            I think you should write to the Filipinos in Madrid that they ought not to be prejudiced against La Solidaridad.  What the Filipinos of Barcelona are precisely trying to bring about is the unity of views and the fraternity of all Filipinos scattered in these regions.  United we shall be worth much; separated, our enemies will laugh at us.  I do not write them because they might suppose that I am the stone of discord.  I am getting old, friend Rizal; I have no more ambition than the happiness of our dear homeland.

            Your articles are wanted for the issue on the 30 of this month, one on European and American politics and another on the Philippines.

            We would appreciate it very much if Regidor would write something for La Solidaridad is congratulating you officially for it.  It is a resolution approved unanimously at a general meeting.

            You know that I am as ever your friend and companion.

 

Graciano López

 

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113. Mariano Ponce, 12 March 1889

 

The number of pages of La Solidaridad is increased, following Rizal’s suggestion – Publication of Rizal’s article “Agricultores” – Copies of Rizal’s “Visión,” etc. sent to Manila – Sale of the Noli.

 

12 March 1889

 

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

My very dear Friend,

            I inform you that the executive board of La Solidaridad of Madrid has appointed me president of the local council here.  Soon we shall establish it.

            In view of the adhesions and offerings of many compatriots, the management of the periodical has decided to publish it with twelve pages, according to your suggestion.  The management asks me to thank Mr. Regidor in its name and I hope you will transmit it to him. 

            In the number for day after tomorrow will appear your article, “Agricultores”, etc. and another article of the Hong Kong Telegraph that deals with you and your Noli.

            I sent you a copy of your publication so that you may see if it is well copied, and I do not know if the number of pages of your publication as well as of La soberinía monacal is correct.  I asked you at the same time to authorize us to publish it in La Solidaridad.

            I send you P. Doré’s letter that I received in the last mail.  I shall soon send you copies of the Visión; I have already sent these to Manila and Hong Kong.

            I have received some money from the sale of the Noli.  Tell me if you want it sent to you.  I believe it will amount to fifty duros, more or less.

 

Yours,

Rizal

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114. Rizal, Paris, 19 March [1889] To Mariano Ponce

 

The best poem of Rizal in his own opinion – Rizal advises Filipinos to buy books by Filipinos and to mention in their writings names of Filipinos like Peláez, García, Burgos, Graciano, and others in their writings – The third number of La Solidaridad is better than the first two – He regrets La Defensa was not answered.

 

23 Passage Saullnier, Paris

19 March [1889]

 

My dear Friend Naning,

            Excuse me if I had not seen my sad poem [01] of Madrid that you sent me. Now I return it to you with some corrections.  Frankly, I tell you that I do not like the poem, but on this matter I am not a competent judge.  If you think that it will please the readers, publish it, only not in a prominent place but there somewhere in the last pages.  Take note that I sign it Laon Laang and not Laón Láan, for in fact it is Laón. [02] Do not publish my poem En el bosque. [03] I shall write to Manila to send me a copy of the last poem [04] I wrote and I shall send it to you.  I think it is the best I have written.

            Keep my money there on deposit, because I am finishing in the meantime a little work that I intend to publish.

            I have read the 3rd number of La Solidaridad loaned to me by Abarca.  It is better than the first two numbers because it contains more variety in its features.  Issue 2 contained Graciano’s speech but it had little more of substance.

            I am very sorry that you let pas an excellent occasion to smash La Defensa [05] and leave her wounded with her own weapons.  La Defensa cited Escosura. [06] Well, you could have cited the very same Escosura against the friars, because this gentleman, in spite of all his clatter, made it of record in various parts of his book affirmations against the friars with respect to education, etc. etc.  Another occasion may present itself.

            My article has some typographical errors; but it does not matter qui bene legit mula malta tegit [“He who chooses well, avoids many bad things.” -- rly].

            There are very good things in this number.  Tell me what truth there is about the sermon of the Recollect friar in Tondo, for the thing deserves to be celebrated.  The same, the same, the same, about that of the sergeant.

            It would be desirable for La Solidaridad to invest a part of its income in the acquisition of books on the Philippines so that you may study them with care and diligence, for the majority of the books contain much chaff and are written by them. [07]

            Buy books by Filipinos; mention now and then names of Filipinos like Pelaéz, García, Burgos, Graciano, etc; quote their phrases. [08] Articles by Burgos are in those books of Viva España, Viva.  If you have none there, here I have a great number.

            It is necessary to publish our staff, which is worthy, only they do not recognize it.

            Tell P. Doré that I am going to write him shortly.

 

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] In 1882 the Cículo Hispano-Filipino of Madrid requested that the Me piden versos be written.

            [02] Rizal explains his nom de plume: Laong Laang, a Tagalog phrase meaning “only old.”  The other phrase Láong laan means “long ready.”

            [03] This poem is not found in the collection of Rizal’s poems published by the Philippine National Library in 1946.

            [04] Critics do not agree as to which is this poem.

            [05] La Defensa is a Catholic newspaper of Manila.

            [06] The Spanish author Patricio de la Escosura who was anti-Filipino and a defender of the friars.  One of his books is Memoria sobre Filipinas y Joló, written in 1863 and 1864, but published at Madrid in 1882.

            [07] Rizal refers to those articles written against the Filipinos.

            [08] Rizal would like Filipino thinkers and writers to be know, for ignorance about the Philippines was prevalent and some writers stressed only their unfavorable expressions of the country and of its people.

 

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115. Rizal, Paris, March 1889 to Graciano López Jaena

 

Club Kidlat –Enthusiasm for La Solidaridad at Paris – Advice to López Jaena – Rizal promises to support La Solidaridad and send articles – The periodical is improving.

 

Paris, March 1889

 

Friend Graciano,

            Here I am in Paris and I have spent my time profitably.  I arrived yesterday and already we have formed a Filipino club called Kidlat [01] for those who come here so that we Filipinos may meet each other.  If you come, you will be made an exception and you will not have to pay because here you are appreciated on account of your work for the country.  The newspaper will be supported; there is enthusiasm here; and all of us want it to live.

            Do not forget to send copies to Pedro Ramos, 21 Billiter Street, London.  He is a subscriber and he has already paid for one quarter.

            Forward with the newspaper.  Conduct yourself as you have conducted yourself thus far, liberal and generous towards all, and I assure you that everyone will support you.  See that the newspaper does not stumble and take care that the title of “Manager” does not make your head swell and make you treat your friends with contempt, and thus allow discord to arise.

            Regidor promises to send you articles.  I too will write a colonial review of what occurs throughout the world.

            Be economical, because who knows if the newspaper continues to live, it may become your fortune.  Treat it as if it were your first-born and only hope for it.

            All of us will support your efforts and I shall write to Madrid so that they may do the same.  Union, goodwill, and good feeling—these are all we need.

            Here everybody is of the opinion that the periodical improves progressively with every issue.  Be careful not to publish exaggerations or lies or imitate others who avail themselves of dishonest means and of vulgar and ignoble language to attain their ends.  See that the periodical is just, honest, and truthful so that its opinion may always be respected.  It is necessary that we show our enemies that we are more worthy than they, morally and humanly speaking.  Should we tell the truth we shall have won our cause, because reason and justice are on our side.  There is no need for knaveries.

            Excuse me for giving such advice but the existence of that periodical is so dear to me that I jump over polite conventionality.

            Send me some copies of Soberanía. [02]

 

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] Tagalog for lightning.

            [02] M. H. del Pilar’s pamphlet, La soberanía monacal en Filipinas, that Rizal admired.

 

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116.  Rizal [Paris, 1889?] To Graciano López Jaena

 

Though ill, Rizal sends an article to La Solidaridad – He orders more copies of Soberanía and Visión.

 

[March 1889]

 

Friend Graciano,

            I am and have been sick.  Enclosed is an article to fill a gap. [01]  I have kept it until the last hour in order to have some more news.

            Send me some copies of Soberanía and Visión.  Tell me the price.

            I received the telegram.  Thanks!

            My address:

                        Hotel de la Pensée

                        18 Rue de Rochechouart

Rizal

_______________

            [01] In the issue for 15 March 1889 of La Solidaridad Rizal had two unsigned articles: Los agricultures Filipinos (Filipino Farmers) and El solfeo de La Defensa (The Lash of La Defensa), as well as “Colonial Review of World News.”

 

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117. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, March 1889

 

Fruitless search for Escosura’s reports – Los Defensor, is silent – The Filipinos at Barcelona will need Rizal’s advice regarding their association.

 

2-3o Rambla Canaletas, Barcelona

March 1889

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

My very dear Friend,

            I send you 25 copies of La soberanía and 50 of La vision.

            We have searched in vain in the libraries here for the reports of Escosura.  Neither do we have them, so that we let slip that good opportunity.  Enlighten us about this question.  We may need it some day and it is good to be prepared.

            All that is published in the periodical is the only thing P. Doré wrote us about the Recollect.

            La Defensa said nothing more in its last two issues.

            We shall bear in mind your advice concerning the Association.

 

Yours,

Naning

 

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118.  Rizal, Paris, March 1889 to Mariano Ponce

 

Success of La Soberanía – This work has no chaff but all grain – “We shall fight Font” – Always cite Blumentritt, Pilapil, Peláez, or Burgos, etc. in every issue of La Solidarídad – Build a reference library.

 

Hotel de la Pensée, 18 Rue de la Rochechouart

Paris, March 1889

 

[Mr. Mariano Ponce]

            I received the copies of La soberanía and La vision.  Tell me how much they cost.

            I report great success for La soberanía.  Everyone here finds the work admirable and felicitates the author.  Send it to Manila.

            We shall fight Font; we shall write to Madrid.

            Today I am going to the library to make extracts of Escosura’s book.  When there is some article to be attacked, write me first and perhaps I may be able to furnish you with data.

            Try to mention in every issue some old or modern Filipino, citing his works.  Always talk about Blumentritt and cite him as a Catholic and a friend of Spain who defended her rights to Borneo, the Carolines, etc., and in many other works he has always defended Spain.  Quote Pilapil, Pelaéz, Burgos, etc.  Little by little build a reference library.

            I reiterate here the congratulation to the author of La soberanía

            I have read it again and all agree with my observation that the work has no chaff but all grain; that is, it is not adulterated like the writings of the Spaniards.  Grain, grain, the essence – that is the character of the writings of the Filipinos.  May Plaridel imitate himself and not some Spanish “straw vendor.”

 

José Rizal

 

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119.  Rizal, Paris, March 1889 to Mariano Ponce

 

Rizal would like to make a big book of La defense de Corcuera – Asks Ponce to take steps to join La Solidaridad of Barcelona with that of Madrid.

 

Paris, March 1889

 

[Mr. Mariano Ponce]

 

My dear Naning,

            Enclosed I send you the corrected proof.  I am in great haste because I am going to the Museum.

            Can you make what is toward the end instead of bastard type, cursive type?

            I received La Defensa de Corcuera, [01] but I intend to publish it not in that way but make a big book about it.

            Communicate with Llorente about the La Solidaridad association that they have founded in Madrid.  See if you can unite and help those over there to join together.

            Regards to all, especially to Plaridel.

Yours,

Laong Laan.

_______________

            [01] Ponce asked Rizal to write an introduction to this work.  Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, was a Spanish governor-general between 1635-1644.  He made enemies among the religious orders.  When he resigned, his enemies prevented his return to Spain and succeeded to have him imprisoned in Fort Santiago for five years.  Upon his release, he became governor of the Canary Islands.

 

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120.  P. Catog, Manila, 1 April 1889

 

Discovery of arms and munitions in Santa Mesa – Rumors of rebellion – Confiscation of printed matter from Hong Kong – Imprisonments.

 

Manila, P. I., 1 April 1889

 

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

Dear Friend,

            Last night the gobernadorcillo of Pandacan [01] came upon about 50 boxes of gunpowder, several full boxes of cartridges for revolver and carbine in Santa Mesa, [02] among the hovels back of the Hippodrome.  The poor people there declared that the lieutenant of the civil guard of veterans of Sampaloc for them to keep delivered them to them.  When these country folks were at the courthouse, Millat and Marti, owners of the dry goods bazaar, La Tienda de los Catalanes, appeared, saying that they were the owners and they had a permit from the government.  In the first place, this store does not deal with arms but in textiles.  In the second place, even if they were arms-dealers, I believe they would not thus expose their goods in insecure houses, to the inclement weather, as well as to thieves, who unfortunately have become numerous since this date, as I shall tell you below.  In the third place, the Superior Government refuses to issue any license for arms even to those who formerly held it, and how is it that now munitions of war are entrusted to country folk?

            By the first mail boat I shall give you more details, which I cannot do now for lack of time.

            But, may I call your attention to the fatal, or, for us happy chain of events of which our poor country is now the theater through the work and grace of monasticism – at least that is what we suspect.  The fact is that at the beginning of last March, the friars spread here the rumor that the country would rise against Spain on the 16th of that month.  Consequently, many Spaniards who are new here were startled.  On the 14th they bought the only supply of rifles in the Bazaar Filipino and all that there was in the stores on the Escolta. [03] It is said that the great number of these rifles had already been distributed among the bandits with the order that they make trouble.

            All this together with the case of Judge Nubla who characterized the anonymous letter to the gobernadorcillo of the natives of Tondo as an attempt at rebellion were reinforced by the seizure of printed matter from Hong Kong for which Matías, brother of José Basa, resident on San Jacinto Street, the Spaniard Abello, warehouse keeper of El Murallón and campadre of J. Basa, and the helmsman of the steamship Nanzin are in prison.  Their case is also characterized as an attempt at rebellion in the prosecution of which many searches have been ordered that I told you about in yesterday’s letter.  They also searched Captain Luis Yangco [04] of the Murallon. 

            Had not the governadorcillo of Pandacan been informed of the danger of the residents of that place and had the not seized those infernal things, what would have become of us at these moments?  It is also said that printed matter in Tagalog circulates here urging the people to behead the Spaniards.  We are looking for it.

            The latest they tell me is that what were found in Santa Mesa were 50 boxes of 25 pounds each of gunpowder, 12 large boxes of cartridges and 2 small ones in two different houses (the gunpowder in one and the cartridges in the other) the distance between the two being like that between the foot of Tutuban bridge [05] and Martin’s house.

            Until the next.

 

P. Catog  

_____________

            [01] An eastern district of Manila.

            [02] A northern district of Manila.

            [03] A fashionable shopping street in Manila.

            [04] A wealthy Filipino businessman.

            [05] Railroad terminal in the northwestern part of Manila.

 

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121. Rizal, Paris, 2 April 1889 to the members of La Solidaridad (Madrid)

 

Rizal writes the members of La Solidaridad of Madrid about troubles in the Philippines – Imprisonments and abuses, the necessary evil of a corrupt society – How the Filipinos can show themselves worthy of liberty  -- Calainos has more faith than all the friars put together – Liberty cannot be obtained without pain or merit – That the outraged take their case to court, and, if not, appeal to God. . .  – Friar threats do not frighten nor do their nonsense deceive – The booklets of Fr. Rodríguez – Only what is instructive and didactic should be written – The International Association of Philippinists –An article of Rizal entitled La muerte de Magallanes – Filipinos should not accept anything from the friars in Rizal’s opinion.

 

Hotel de la Pensée, 18 Rue de Rochechouart

Paris, 2 April 1889

 

To the Members of La Solidaridad

 

My dear Friends,

            Last night I received a telegram which worried me very much and did not let me sleep, not that at bottom it displeased me, but for thinking of the grief and misfortune of the outraged families and also of the weaknesses that many of the persecuted later showed.

            I said that at bottom it did not displease me because all these persecutions and intrigues contribute towards the opening of the eyes of those who are asleep and lessen the prestige of the hypocrites who, under the guise of a lamb, now avail themselves of every means in their difficulty and venom.  All these imprisonments, abuses, etc. are the “necessary evil” in a corrupt society.  I express myself in this way because I cannot accept that an evil is necessary in a good society just as medicine or surgical operation in a healthy man.  If the Filipinos in this cruel and unequal struggle demonstrate fortitude and valor in spite of everybody and everything, then it will be because they are worthy of freedom and then we can say: Dumating na ang tadhana (The day has come).  If not – if they are cowards and weaklings – then let the tree mature first, because if it is cut before the right time, it will soon be eaten up by weevil and it will be of no use.

            Perhaps you wonder that the Calambano [01] who has mocked many beliefs and superstitions should believe firmly in Providence.  It is because Calainos [02] has more faith in God than all the friars put together and holds that God watches over His creatures and helps those who possess valor and goodwill.  This is the fruit that the study of history has given him.  Liberty is a woman who grants her favors only to the brave.  Enslaved peoples have to suffer much to win her and those who abuse her lose her.  Liberty is not obtained bobilis bobilis (without pain or merit) nor is it granted gratis et amore (Given free out of gratitude).

            Neither can do nor I I wish to take a step in favor of the prisoners in Manila, unless it is through legal and judicial means.  What occurred to me in connection with my brother-in-law has given me one more lesson – a remonstrance of mine is equivalent to an accusation.  The best policy is to resort to the courts. The outraged should go to court if they can; if not, appeal to God. . . I am writing to Regidor however, but everything will be useless.  The struggle is on.  He who weakens will fall.  Let us show to the world and to our enemies that we are not frightened by the threats of the friars nor are we deceived by their nonsense.  However, give me truthful details because the Cologne Gazette [03] is asking me for an article about our country.  I want true facts.

            Speaking about the two booklets of Fr. José Rodríguez, VI and VII, [04] frankly (and between us) they have made me laugh and now I almost understand Hidalgo’s question.  This painter compatriot asked me confidently if Fr. Rodríguez’ books were not written by us.  “Why?” I asked him, surprised.  “Come on, tell me the truth.  I will not tell it to anybody.”

            To my serious and categorical affirmation that they were by Fr. Rodríguez he then answered me that those in Paris believed they were written by one of us in order to ridicule the friars.  They have said, “an enemy of the friar could not have done more to discredit them than by attributing to them such booklets.”  Blumentritt calls them basines. [05] I think that, from now on, we ought not to answer or attack such booklets, but we should write only what is instructive and didactic in simple and pleasant style, recommending always the works of Fr. Rodríguez so that the public may come to know his great “talent.”  And the Filipino who may still fall into the barbarity of believing the aforesaid friar will be a useless individual and we do not want useless people.

            Without doubt all those who want to be members of the Association Internationale des Pilipinistes can be so, provided that they work and undertake studies on the history, languages, usages, customs, politics, and the like of the Philippines.  Anyone who has published a book about the Islands shall be an honorary member, in case he is admitted as a member.

            Give me some recent data on those imprisonments for publication in the Cologne Gazette.

            Tell me the price of La soberanía and of La vision de Fr. Rodríguez.

            I suppose that you had sent to the Philippines many copies of Soberanía.  Send also Visión.

            Without anything more for now,

Yours,

Rizal

 

For the periodical I shall send on the 10th of this month an article La Muerte de Magallanes (The Death of Magellan).

 

P.S.

            With respect to the case of Fr. Font, [06] the prevailing idea here is that, if this friar deceives the Filipinos, the Filipinos should be cleverer and should be the ones who should deceive him.  If he gives money, exploit him, but do not be bound to him.  However, I do not share this opinion, for we should not descend to the category of friars or accept anything from them.  But everybody answered me that the money they handle has been taken from our pockets, employing now knavery, now violence.  You decide and whatever you decide will be circulated among all the Filipinos.

_______________

            [01] Derived from the name of Rizal’s hometown of Calamba or Kalamba.  A native of the town is sometimes referred to as Calambeño or Calambano.  Rizal, therefore, refers to himself.

            [02] One who makes light of.

            [03] A German periodical.

            [04] Booklet VI is entitled ¿Hay o no hay infierno? (Is there or is there no Hell?); booklet VII ¿Que le parece a V. de esos libelos? (What do you think of those libels?)   The author, Fr. José Rodríguez, was an Augustinian friar who attacked Rizal and his novel Noli me tángere.  The other booklets in the series: I: ¿Porque no los he de leer? (Why should I not read them?); II. Guardaos de ellos ¿Por que? (Beware of them.  Why?); III. ¿Y que me dice usted de la peste? (And what can you tell me of plague?); IV. ¿Porque triunfan lo impios? (Why do the impious triumph?); V. ¿Cree usted que versa no ha purgatorio? (Do you think there’s really no Purgatory?); VIII. O confession o condenación (Either confession or damnation).

            [05] Hollow, circular vessels with sloping sides for holding liquids.  In colloquial speech, the name for urinals.

            [06] Fr. Salvador Font was appointed procurator of the Augustinian order in Spain in 1889.  His mission, it was believed, was to sow discord among the Filipinos residing there.

 

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122.  Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 8 April 1889

 

Outrages – Unrighteousness of negotiating for the prisoners’ extrajudicial release – Steps to cheer those who live in oppression and to deny the allegation of lack of civilization and indifference of the Filipinos – Discrimination against Painter Juan Luna.

 

Barcelona, 8 April 1889

 

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

Dear Friend,

            I find reasonable your estimate of the rich potentiality of the outrages they reported to us from Hong Kong and of the unrighteousness of extrajudicial negotiation for the release of the prisoners.

            But as they know over there that we here are not in a position to obtain the release of the prisoners, their telegraphic request that we ask for it has been interpreted here as part of a specific plan not necessarily to obtain the prisoners’ release but to boost our campaign.

            Perhaps it is in their intention to brag to the government that they have a considerable number of compatriots scattered in Paris, London, and Spain who are watchful of every outrage in the Philippines and can stir up public opinion on Europe.  They must have thought that such an attitude on the part of the Filipino colonies abroad, which raises their voice under their impulse, may influence the government to be less abusive or at least abandon the eternal pretext of the lack of civilization and indifference of the Filipinos for the maintenance of the status quo.  At the same time such an attitude could encourage those who are living under that oppressive government if they are persuaded to believe that they are not completely alone.

            Thinking of this, we are not abstaining from taking a step.  In the name of La Solidaridad newspaper, and the La Solidaridad association, and of the Filipino colony of Barcelona, the following dispatches were sent out: a telegram to the Minister of Colonies requesting him to verify the truth of the Hong Kong dispatch transcribed for him; a letter to the same relating in detail our aspirations; another letter to Mr. Labra requesting him to influence the Ministry to heed the cry for help from the Philippines; another letter to Morayta asking him to call a meeting of the Asociación Hispano-Filipina so that it may work within its sphere; another letter to Llorente so that he may rouse the Filipino colony.  Labra replied regretting the lack of date; Morayta commented on the incident in the columns of La Publicidad.

            In acting thus, we wanted to second and develop the plan of those over there, but this is insignificant to public opinion in Europe and Oceania if it is isolated.  The attitude of a Filipino colony of secondary character is that of Barcelona cannot have importance.  For this reason we would like to suggest the desirability of making all Filipino colonies do something for those unfortunate men.  In case this suggestion is considered bobilis bobilis (without pain or merit), then it is withdrawn at once. 

            Last night we telegraphed Hong Kong inquiring if the imprisonment was by judicial order and requested details.  We shall communicate the reply to you.

            We deplore the injustice done to Luna. [01] Dámaso Ponce, our young fighter who signs as Amado Pecson, indignant at what the Castilas are doing to Luna, said: “Infamous before birth!”  This morning a petition was presented to the Provincial Delegation in the name of La Solidaridad and of some Spaniards asking that the Spoliarium be sent to the Exposition of Paris.  The press will talk.

Your affectionate friend,

 

Plaridel

 

P.S.

            Read the letter of P. Doré and return it to us afterward.

_______________

            [01] Spanish artists opposed giving space to Luna’s paintings at the Paris exposition.

 

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123. Rizal [Paris, before 18 April 1889] to Graciano López Jaena and companions.

 

“Praise briefly only true friends without calling them friends: exaggerated praise for fellow countrymen who are attached to the friars and call them friends and depict them as anti-friars.”

 

[Paris, before 18 April 1889]

 

Friends,

            Enclosed is the article. [01] I have ordered Escosura’s work in London and they have not answered me.  There is none here in Paris; I have searched for it in the library and in the homes of friends, but they do not have it so that I cannot quote paragraphs.  I shall order a copy in Madrid.  It is a pity but what are we going to do?  The periodical cannot wait and the article may arrive late.  The citations will be for the next issue.

            I received P. Doré’s letters but I will keep them for a day, for I want to write an article for the Cologne Gazette.  Try always to praise and mention in La Solidaridad with brief and rather delicate tributes true friends without calling them friends; and give exaggerated praise to our stupid countrymen who are attached to the friars.  Always call them friends and depict them as filibusteros, or at least anti-friar, if they have brains and are worthy.  This is my opinion.

Yours,

 

[José Rizal]  

_______________

            [01] A la defense – An unsigned article by Rizal answering the attacks of the pro-friar periodical.  Published in La Solidaridad, No. 6, 30 April 1889.

 

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124. Rizal, Paris, 18 April 1889 to Mariano Ponce.

 

Style of La Solidaridad – just, sober, and clear – “Without 1872 there would not have been either Plaridel, or Jaena, or Saniangco; without 1872, Rizal would now be a Jesuit.”  -- Do not be perturbed because some fall – The tests of fire and cautery – What are lacking are those who may give an example to the people and rouse their enthusiasm as the Christian martyrs did – Nobody knows how to behave at the critical moment of death; it is so repugnant to die hanged and young with ideas in the head – “The day you should see me in the clutches of the friars, try to put another in my place who may revenge me.” – Urges the Filipinos to show more valor, more abnegation, less fear of death and torture.

 

18 Rue de Rochechouart, Paris 18 April 1889

 

[Mr. Mariano Ponce]

 

My dear Friend,

            I received today your letter together with La Solidaridad.  This issue is really good and the periodical is improving.  To Graciano:

            I am glad that my article against La Defensa did not come out.  In the following number you can publish it with improvements, adding or removing what you want, together with the data drawn from Escosura that I sent to Plaridel.  The style of the periodical is just as we like it here.  It is just, sober, clear, to the point, and substantial.  We congratulate all of you.

            I sent Naning a manuscript [01] so that it may be printed there.  I wish to correct the proofs. Charge me for postal expenses, remittance, and the like and send me the bill so that I can send you the money in case my funds there are lacking.

            With respect to the imprisonments, only now through the periodical La Solidaridad do we find out their cause.  Now we are going to work, for the possession of anti-friar books is not a crime.  For the rest, all this is fatal, and though it may be considered a personal misfortune, it may be applauded as a general good.  Without 1872 [02] Rizal would be a Jesuit now and instead of writing the Noli me tángere, would have written the opposite.  At the sight of those injustices and cruelties, while still a child, [03] my imagination was awakened and I swore to devote myself to avenge one day so many victims, and with this idea in mind I have been studying and this can be read in all my works and writings.  God will someday give me an opportunity to carry out my promise.  Good!  May they commit abuses, let there be imprisonments, banishments, executions, good.  Let destiny be fulfilled!  The day they lay their hands on us, the day they martyr innocent families for our fault, we bid goodbye to friar government, and perhaps farewell to Spanish governance. [04] The cruelties and selfishness of [King] Louis XIV and XV brought about the [French] Revolution; the cruelties of the [Spanish] Inquisition killed monasticism.  We demonstrate in books and writings that the friars are not what they pretend to be nor are they ministers to Christ, the protector of the people, nor the support of the [Spanish] government.  We write this and we affirm it, and the friars prove it by their deeds.  What more do we want?  Don’t they show cruelty?  Don’t they instigate the government against the people?  Don’t they manifest terror?  Where are sanctity, protection, and force?

            Well now, don’t fear nor be perturbed that some may fall.  In all fights there will always be victims and precisely the biggest battles are the bloodiest.  What is imprisonment?  What is death?  Sometimes a sickness ties us to bed, takes away our life.  The question is that this sickness and this death may not afterward be useless to those who survive.  Some will say: “These imprisonments and these deaths frighten and intimidate the others!”  If the people are really courageous, after the terror, they will return to the fight and, with greater ardor, avenge the fallen.  As it happens in the cauterization of a wound, it seems that the burnt part has died, but the next day it is seen that a new and healthier element replaces the crust.  If the people are not brave but cowardly, they are a diseased, infected and disintegrating organ, thus, fire is recommended.  Fire awakens vitality, irritates the cells, makes the fluid vibrate, etc.  The body dies only if no vitality remains.  Why should we dedicate ourselves for a people without soul or labor for those without sentiment?  Suppose we liberate them now from the tyranny of the friars? Good!  But tomorrow they will fall into the tyranny of government employees.

            With these imprisonments and other vexations, the exceedingly soft skin or our countrymen is hardened.  Some will fall and desert.  It does not matter.  Others, perhaps, will hold firm.  What we lack are those, who from prisons and banishment manifest valor and fortitude in order to give an example to the people and arouse their enthusiasm like the ancient Christian martyrs or like the Nihilists. [05] Had it not been for the harshness of the Russian government there would not have been forged souls of the temper of the Nihilists. [06] For this reason I believe that they need us there.  If, at the time of his death, Burgos had shown the courage of Gómez, the Filipinos would have been different from what they are today.  However, no one knows how one should behave at that supreme instant, and perhaps I myself who preach and brag so much might manifest more fear and less energy than Burgos at that critical moment.  Life is so pleasant and it is so repugnant to die hanged young and with ideas in one’s head. . .

            If these ideas seem to you acceptable, communicate them to our countrymen there so that they may show more valor, more abnegation, and less fear of death and torture, so as to make our enemies respect us.  If they should be banished, better; on the island of deportation they may communicate their ideas to the people there and make propaganda.  If they should be hanged, they may be supposed to have died of the sickness of friarotis or friarophobia.  We shall avenge them and with their blood mark our enemies.  In the prison the friars will not eat them.  The friars have their houses and the best food.  While in prison, they may meditate, like Regidor, on plans of revenge.  The first words that I had said to my family upon arriving in the Philippines, [07] when they manifested to me their fear, were that they should not take the smallest step for my sake if I would be imprisoned nor interpose or spend anything for me, but to educate my nephews and let them avenge me.

            I say the same thing to my countrymen.  The day on which you would see me in the clutches of the friars, do not waste time making petitions or uttering complaints or lamentations – it is useless.  Try to put another in my place who might avenge me and make them pay dearly for my misfortune.  If I would see a son of mine (if I had a son) in the mouth of a shark, I would not try to pull him out – for it is useless and all I would achieve is to destroy him – I would kill the shark if possible, and if not, I would waylay him.  Well then, suppose that the friars are either sharks or only dalag (mudfish).  If they are the first, they must be killed; if they are the second, they should not be feared.  I rather thank they are dalag and so I am not afraid to fall into their hands.  They have to be many, very many, in order to finish me, and even then they would have to pay for it.

            Comfort then and encourage our countrymen over there that they may know that jail is not death, and even if it were so, what is death?  Don’t they believe in God?  I suppose that in the other life there are not so many friars to deal with and if there wee, they would be reformed.  And besides now the Indio is not killed thus.

            I reiterate my congratulations to La Solidaridad.

            Recast my article and the citations from Escosura against the friars.  Plaridel could do me this favor.  Be it noted that Escosura kept silent about many things that he could have said very plainly.

            I send my regards to all.  How are the members of La Solidaridad?

 

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] Blumentritt’s review of Noli me tágere with an introduction by Rizal.

            [02] A reference to the martyrdom of Father José Burgos, Father Mariano Gomez, and Father Jacinto Zamora who were publicly garroted on 17 February 1872.

            [03] Rizal was still a child when his patriotic sentiments became manifest.

            [04] Rizal foresees the overthrow of the oppressive Spanish colonial regime.

            [05] Those who reject the customary beliefs in morality, religion, etc.

[06] An ongoing movement in Russia (c. 1860-1917 [1917 = the Bolsheviks overthrow the Czarist government]) at the time of the writing of this letter dated 1889.  The Nihilists advocated revolutionary reform and attempted to carry it out through the use of terrorism and assassination.

            [07] Rizal refers to his return to the Philippines in 1887 when his Noli me tágere was rousing friar indignation.  His family and friends prevailed upon him to leave the Philippines, which he did in February 1888, sailing for Japan by way of Hong Kong.

 

=====

 

125. S. Jugo Vidal, Madrid 27 April 1889

 

While radical remedies are not taken, publishing periodicals is not superfluous – He asks Rizal to write for La Vanguardia Filipina.

 

Madrid, 27 April 1889

Paris

 

Esteemed and dear Friend,

            We thank you for your kindness in accepting the representation of our review [01] in that city, hoping at the same time that you will honor its column with some work of yours which will always be received with approbation.

            Perhaps you may not approve of the way we do things here, establishing newspapers in order to make known what is going on over there. [02] You might say that all this is useless and preaching in the desert, so long as radical remedies are not taken.  But to wait, I believe that it is not useless to spend the time writing for periodicals while waiting for the time o do something else.

            I hope you will answer me and give me your opinion on what I am writing you about, because, as I have been away from our country for a long time, I do not know what is happening there except what the papers and some compatriots who arrive here bring us.

            You know your friend and compatriot esteems you.

 

S. Jugo Vidal

 

P.S.

            I send you by mail 25 copies for propaganda and when you send me the list of subscribers I shall send them directly the succeeding issues from here to save you work and bother.  If you need more copies, ask me and I shall send them immediately.  If I do not send more, it is to save postage.

The same

_______________

            [01] La Vanguardia Filipina.

            [02] That is, in the Philippines.

 

=====

 

126. Rizal, Paris, 30 April 1889 to Mariano Ponce

 

Rizal asks Mariano Ponce to come to Paris to see the Exposition – He proposes a conference in Paris between Rizal, Plaridel, Apacible, López, Jaena, Blumentritt, Llorente, and Canon – Rizal breaks contract with Regidor for the printing of his Morga edition.

 

10 Rue de Louvois, Paris

30 April 1889

 

[Mr. Mariano Ponce]

 

My dear Naning,

            I received your letter as well as my bills and I thank you very much for all that you have done for me.  Everything is well done.

            Henceforth address your letters to 10 Rue de Louvois.  Please give this address to our countrymen.

            I live near the Bibliothéque Nationale, which is not worth half of the British Museum.

            Never send me letters or manuscripts inside newspapers.  Mr. Justo Trinidad sent receipts to Félix Pardo and the post office returned them; but the second time he will be fined.

            You ought to plan to come here for the Exposition; this is truly an exposition.  At least you, Plaridel, Galicano, Graciano, and others should come so that we can hold a conference.  Blumentritt is coming.  I am going to see if Llorente and Canon would like to come also.  You can stay in Paris for three pesos a day; there are few expenses even if you include food and lodging.  If you are economical you can manage with two pesos daily.  In all events, tell me when you are coming. 

            When I have unpacked my books, then I shall be able to write the article on Magellan.  Tomorrow, the first of May, I will open my box.

            I have broken my contract with Regidor for not publishing the book as he had promised. [01]

            Luna says that you send him his copy as well as Pardo’s copy so that it may soon reach him.  Mine, that of Ventura, Abarca, and others may go together, either addressed to me or to any other.  I shall return to Chalcot Crescent. [02]

            When what is being printed [03] is at the stage of page proof, ask Plaridel, if he is not very busy, to read it and review it once more.  But if you can send it to me before printing, I should appreciate it.  I would prefer to read it once more.  Send it to me printed.

            How much is a copy of Soberanía monacal?

 

Yours,

Rizal

_____________

            [01] Antonio Ma. Regidor, Filipino lawyer and capitalist, had promised Rizal to defray the cost of printing Rizal’s Morga edition.  With the manuscript readied, Regidor vacillated, thus compelling Rizal to take this step.

            [02] Rizal’s London residence.

            [03] Rizal’s article, A La Defensa (To La Defensa).

 

=====

 

127. Rizal, Paris, 2 May 1889 to Fernando Canon.

 

Birth of a son of Canon – Rizal’s sadness upon thinking that one more being with Filipino blood could later become a lost member for a county that needs men – “all honorable men of the world are compatriots.”

 

10 Rue de Louvois, Paris, 2 May 1889

 

[Mr. Fernando Canon]

 

My dear friend and former classmate,

            Excuse me for not having been able to promptly answer your friendly letter of the 25th last in which you informed me of the pleasant news of your son’s birth. [01] My change of residence, the affairs of the salon in which I exhibited a bust, and other little pursuits, besides have not left me a free moment for a friendly conversation with you.

            Gone are the times when verses gush forth from my pen with ease of the weed that sprouts from the ground saturated with humus; otherwise I would have greeted the birth of your little one with an Anacreontic, [02] or a Sapphic, [03] poem capable of putting the little one to sleep amid his crying.

            But if that epoch of the Muses has already passed away for us, on the other hand there remains in the heart with the firmness of a rock that resists time and storms a sanctuary where good sentiments are preserved.  I truly share your joy, I congratulate you and your wife, I felicitate Spain, because I am sure that Fernandito can only fall heir to the noble qualities and good dispositions of his parents, and such citizens do not abound everywhere.  Nevertheless, I cannot refrain from expressing a certain melancholy with you.  I think of this new being in whose veins Filipino blood runs and who will be educated with great care but afterwards be a lost member for a country in need of men.  I have the same sentiment when I hold in my arms the son of Luna and Pacita Pardo – he is one French more and one Filipino less.  It is also true that the Europeans who go to the Philippines give us their children; but what children, what education, and what love do they have for that country!  Yet none is to blame for this except the country itself that reserves for its inhabitants many things besides malaria, earthquakes, and typhoons.

            In the great whirlwind of the world, let each atom look for the best nucleus, let it rise when and where it can!  The only thing you can do is to provide you child with a good education, inculcating noble and honorable sentiments.  Thus if by good fortune he one day comes to the Philippines, he may not be one of the many who exploit the ignorance of the unfortunate, and be one more tyrant to the brothers of his father.  All the world’s honorable men are compatriots.

            I wish happiness to you and your family.  May your son mirror your good qualities so that if even the Philippines loses a son, at least humanity will gain one.

            I send many regards to your wife; kiss the little one for me.

            May the lechon [04] and dinuguan [05] sacrificed at his baptism somewhat influence his tender being like the atmosphere of a distant homeland, like the perfumes of tropical flowers. . . . (see that, from the dinuguan to the perfume of the flowers. . . !!!)

 

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] Fernando Canon married a Spanish woman.

            [02] Pertaining to Anacreon, a 6th Greek lyric poet noted for light and graceful verses.

            [03] Certain verse forms used by Sappho, a Greek poetess.

            [04] Roasted suckling pig.

            [05] Chopped sweetbreads seasoned with vinegar and salt and cooked with blood, hence its name dinuguan, a Tagalog term literally meaning “with blood.”

 

=====

 

128. Rizal, Paris, 15 May 1889 to Mariano Ponce.

 

Manuscript of the satiric article Por teléfono by Rizal is sent to Ponce for publication in booklet form – It is too comical for La Solidaridad.

 

TO SEE AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF POR TELÉFONO

RIGHT CLICK HERE

 

19 Rue de Louvois, Paris

15 May 1889

 

[Mr. Mariano Ponce]

 

Dear Naning,

            Enclosed are the corrected pages; they can now be published.   The editor’s foreword, which I place at the beginning, should be published, for Blumentritt wishes it. [01]

            This friend is not coming before the end of July.

            The enclosed manuscript of the funny article Por teléfono [02] is to be published separately.  I am not asking its publication in La Solidaridad for it will take away the periodical’s seriousness; it is too comical.  If its publication will not cost more than 10 pesos, I prefer to publish it in the form of a little booklet.

            I have nothing more to write for now.

Yours,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] Blumentritts’ review of Noli me tángere with an introduction by Rizal.

            [02] A satirical article about the Augustinian friar Salvador Font signed by “Dimas Alang,” a pseudonym of Rizal, of which 2,000 copies were printed in 1889 for ten pesos in Barcelona.

 

=====

 

129. Marcelo H. del Pilar (?) Barcelona, 18 May 1889.

 

T. H. Pardo de Tavera’s lively imagination – We ought to protect ourselves from the intrigues of the enemies and the candor of friends – Racial antagonism in the break with the one who had promised to publish Rizal’s work? – Petition presented to the Ministry of Colonies published in La Solidaridad.

 

Barcelona, 18 May 1889

 

Friend Laong Laan,

            I do not know what news Trinidad [01] brings, though I know that he is a person with a rather lively imagination.  He is one of those who break their fingers to cover their ears when the small culverin [an ancient canon] is just being loaded.

            One day you were in Lipa and so was he (I don’t remember the town or even the particular fiesta).  He saw you looking out a window as he passed along, but contented himself with greeting you with his hand, in spite of his great desire to embrace you.  He continued his walk to some bathing place accompanied by a European corporal or sergeant of the civil guard, and why?  It was in order to have a ready witness that he had not met with you.  Ask him if this is true.  It would be useless to tell him the origin of this since I was but a child.  But the incident is one of the proofs of his fertile imagination.

            Notwithstanding, I am at your disposal and permit me to make an observation.  In the development of the spectacle on that stage, neither you nor I are strangers to the work of the fly; for that very reason we ought to receive the urgings that come from strange sources with some distrust.  I believe that we ought to protect ourselves from the intrigues of enemies and the candor of friends.  It goes without saying therefore that, if in accordance with the data you have, we are in a condition to abandon the pen and if it is the proper time, you may count on me. [02]

            I deplore the break that you had with the one who offered to publish your work.  May God will that his incomprehensible behavior did not arise from that which I should not like either to see or suspect, though it asserts itself – racial antagonism.  It makes my blood boil what Graciano told me about the man’s persistence, subordinating the painting of our great Luna in a certain exposition to that of a mestizo that hardly deserved to be accepted. And this was all for maintaining racial superiority.  I do not like to think this, but. . . let us forgive so much idiocy.

            In La Solidaridad, No. 6, page 58, you must have seen the petition we presented to the Ministry of the Colonies.  I know that the three extremes of our demand cannot be achieved immediately; but I should like at least that through No. 3 we exert some effort to obtain a royal order prohibiting expressly the harassment that we point out and that the prohibition be published in the Gaceta de Manila inasmuch as such a measure lacks support in the laws in force in Spain overseas.  If you can enlist the support of the Grand Family, this is the occasion.  Becerra belongs to it and such harassment affects its prestige and good name for its members and friends are the ones who will suffer from it there.  We shall have achieved much if we get that because, through the satsat [03] they do not suspect all the importance of that weapon, and it is the only one they hold.  If the prohibition were obtained, each administrative banishment would fall under the jurisdiction of the Penal Code.  Once the weapon is gone then we can kick. . . . . . . . .

_______________

            [01] This is probably an allusion to T. H. Pardo de Tavera (1857-1925).

            [02] By this time Rizal is beginning to doubt the efficacy of the attempts of the Filipinos in Spain to obtain reforms for their country through writing, through peaceful means.  M. H. del Pilar asks Rizal if the “proper time” has come.  One assumes that this refers to a time of action and the use of force.

            [03] Idle chatter, a reference to the friars.

NOTE: The ending of this letter is lost and therefore it is without the writer’s signature.  By its content and style it seems to be a copy of a letter of Marcelo H. del Pilar.  (The original copy of this letter is housed in the National Library).

 

=====

 

130. Rizal, Paris, 20 May 1889 to Marcelo H. del Pilar.

 

Complete break with Regidor.  Rizal, himself, will publish his Morga edition – Regrets that Panganiban’s article on education was not continued – Estimates the expenses for Filipinos who may want to come to Paris.

 

10 Rue de Louvois, Paris,

10 May 1889

 

My dear Plaridel,

            Although I am the younger of us two, in view of our friendship and common sentiments, I shall take the liberty of proposing to you that we address each other familiarly, like brothers, destined, perhaps, to share the same fate.

            I have sent you a manuscript reply [01] to La Voz de España.  See if it can be published.  Strike out what you think should be dropped and what may be compromising.  I have full confidence in your good judgment and loyalty.

            I have completely broken with Regidor because he could not make up his mind to publish my manuscript and because of him we have been embarrassed.  Now I am going to publish it alone.

            We have read the Solidaridad; it pleased us very much.  It is a pity that the continuation of the article on education in the Philippines [02] had not been published instead Los viajes. [03] Who is its author?  I send you my most sincere congratulations and admiration.

            When do you want to come here?  Here are the expenses:

 

 

Tip

Luncheon

Francs 2.00

20 c.

Dinner

Francs 2.50

25 c.

Entrance to the Exposition

Francs 0.75

 

Lodging

Francs 3.00

 

Total

Francs 8.25

45 c.

Total . . . Francs 8.70

 

            I promise to offer breakfast to five friends for a week that will consist of chocolate or tea and biscuits although it is really unnecessary.

            The expenses can still be reduced if you come on the first of June and live in the same house as I do with two to a room.  But come together.  The question remains how the periodical will be published in your absence.

            Tell friend Panganiban that his determination to study German pleases me very much.  I sincerely congratulate him.  Enclosed is a little letter.

            I am very busy translating another work of Blumentritt.

Yours affectionately,

Rizal

_______________

            [01] Rizal’s article entitled Cómo se engaña a la Patria (How to Deceive the Motherland) appeared without signature in La Solidaridad for 15 May 1889.  La Voz e España was a daily newspaper published in Manila by the friars.

            [02] The articles on education were unsigned.  Their author was José María Panganiban whose pen name was “Jomapa.”  See letter no. 125 of M. H. del Pilar.

            [03] An essay by Rizal on the cultural values of travel.

 

=====

 

131. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, 21 May 1889

 

Publication of Rizal’s Por telépono in booklet form like La vision de Fr. RodriguezLa soberanía monacal is advertised in La Solidaridad.

 

FOR AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF "BY TELEPHONE"

CLICK HERE è ../../Other/by_telephone.htm

 

Barcelona, 21 May 1889

 

Dear Laong Laan,

            As you wish, the editor’s foreword will be placed at the beginning of the booklet.

            Por telépono will be published in booklet form, since the cost of 2,000 copies does not amount to ten pesos.  It is very well written and I congratulate you.

            I will send you more proofs.  Only the quarter sheets of this work remain to be composed and I suppose that tomorrow all will be finished.

            Por telépono will be like La vision de Fr. Rodriguez, if you do not order otherwise.

            We are not all very sure of going there to visit the Exposition. . . at least Plaridel and I. . . but if we go, we would try to meet Blumentritt there.

            As you must have seen in the advertisement in La Solidaridad, La soberanía monacal is sold here at one peseta each.

 

Yours,

Naning

 

=====

 

132. S. Jugo Vidal, Madrid 23 May 1889.

 

The disunity existing between the Filipinos in Madrid is incomprehensible – Excepting Dominador Gómez the Filipinos at Madrid seem to be afraid to write.

 

LA VANGUARDIA FILIPINA

Dirección y Redacción, Plaza de Isabel II, 2 Madrid

 

22 May 1889

 

Mr. José Rizal

 

My distinguished Friend,

            Enclosed I send you the receipts for Messrs. Ventura, Luna, Abarca, and Trinidad, together with yours; and I thank you for the bother and the sacrifices you are making for the periodical.

            It would be a good thing if now and then you could send us an account of the Exposition that is being held there, so long as this would not cause you any trouble, because I believe that no one better than you can enlighten the readers of La Vanguardia about the marvels of the Exposition.

            I am very grateful to our countrymen in Barcelona, especially friends M. del Pilar and M. Ponce, who are generously assisting me in the administrative negotiations, for, in fact, I am completely ignorant of the course that I should follow.  This means to say that I have found support only among you who are outside and, except Gómez, not among those here.  None of them dares to write a line, whether it is because they believe any agitation in the press is useless or because they are afraid.  I cannot understand the disunity that exists here among the Filipinos, knowing as they do that united, we can do something.  They try through all means to separate one from another.

            Your friend who esteems you.

 

Jugo

=====

 

133. Mariano Ponce, Barcelona, 24 May 1889.

 

Nothing disturbs the harmony of the Filipino colony in Barcelona – Insulting article published in La Nación by Antonio Rodríguez de Ureta against La Solidaridad and its staff – Rizal’s article “La verdad para todos” Barrantes’ El teatro tagalo deserves to be answered.

 

TO READ RIZAL'S REBUTTAL IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION

RIGHT CLICK HERE è ./../Other/barrantes_tag_theater.htm

 

Barcelona, 24 May 1889

 

My dear Rizal,

            I repeat that Graciano continues to live with us and we are in such good harmony as before.  Panganiban and Icasiano moved to another house on account of some insignificant displeasures that they had with Magdalena, the landlady.  I have the pleasure to tell you that until now there had occurred nothing to disturb the harmony that reigns in the colony.  I am not referring to those who did not want to have anything in common with us at the very beginning.

            Last night I mailed to you an issue of La Nación of this city where one Antonia Rodríguez de Ureta addresses an insulting article to La Solidaridad and the Solidarios.  She wrote a novelette entitled Pacita, la joven Filipina (Pacita, the Filipina youth) which I know only by reference.

            If you will send me at once the proofs, we shall finish the printing soon.

            Good for the article La verdad para todos (The Truth for All).

            We have not forgotten our promise to you to submit to a kind of arbitration every question that menaces our solidarity.  Blumentritt’s byline gives much importance to our periodical.  Barrantes’ El teatro tagalo deserves to be answered.  Blumentritt already had news of this work following its publication but I did not come across the Ilustración until today; I found the collection in the Archives.

 

Yours,

Naning

 

=====

 

134. Marcelo H. del Pilar, Barcelona, 24 May 1889.

 

“La Verdad para todos” by Rizal and “¿ Filibusteros?” by Blumentritt in La SolidaridadLa Vanguardia Filipina is afraid of Philippine affairs – Another Asociación Hispano-Filipina in Madrid? – Possible martingale to divide the Filipino colony – News of Panganiban – Awaited arrival of Pedro Roxas, wealthy Filipino.

 

Barcelona, 24 May 1889

 

[Mr. José Rizal]

 

Friend Pepe,

            I am following your fraternal suggestion, which is highly pleasing to me.

            I am overjoyed at seeing how brilliant the next number of the Solidaridad will be.  The articles “La Verdad para todos” and that by Blumentritt entitled “¿ Filibusteros?” will be the most serious and most bruising features of the fortnightly.

            I observe that La Vanguardia Filipina, despite being a vanguard, is afraid of treating Philippine matters.  It has already published two letters from Manila that must be the work of the staff.  Though they bear the dates 30 March and 10 April, they do not make the slightest allusion to the events of 29 March, and yet El Globo, La Patria, and La Solidaridad mention these.  The attitude of La Vanguardia Filipina, and El Diario de Manila is enough and more than enough.

            They say that they are intending to establish in Madrid a Círculo Hispano-Filipino.  Do you know something about this?  Could this not be a Font martingale? [01] I do not know anything but it is good to inquire about it.  As the Asociación Hispano-filipina already exists with an enthusiastic president, if not for the Philippines, at least for analogous interests, I do not see the need for another circle organization unless it is to personalize and enlarge the divisions in the Madrid colony.  If that circle is not genuinely Filipino and if it is Font’s martingale, it would effectively make our campaign difficult.

            The articles on the University of Manila [02] are by Panganiban, alias Jomapa, a former tutor in Sto. Tomás, and no one else can discuss the matter better than he.

            Panganiban now lives with Galicano; he has a delicate health and does not like the cooking of our landlady.  However, we, Ponce, Graciano, and I, continue living in this house because it is the house known to our Filipino correspondents, and besides we are intending to move the horde to Madrid this year.  Our plan is to rent a modest apartment and live together sharing all expenses.  What do you think?

            Please ask Pardo for scientific articles for La Solidaridad.

            It seems that the wealthy P. Roxas [03] is arriving there from the Philippines.  I understand that this gentleman has good sentiments and a sincere desire for the betterment of the Philippines, but he is quite careful, as he does not know whom to trust over there.  On the other hand our own people fear to offend his sensibility.  I wonder if you can try to persuade him to support those who are working for the Philippines.  For my part I should like the work of propaganda to be finished this year or the next year, at the latest, and if we cannot count on other elements, we cannot go on to the second part of our campaign.  It is needless to suggest to you to go about cautiously in dealing with him for I may be mistaken in my estimate of his sentiments; my opinion is based solely on his family background.  In short, you take care, friend.

 

Affectionately yours,

L. O. Crame [Marcelo H. del Pilar]

           

_______________

            [01] Fr. Salvador Font, an Augustinian friar and an enemy of Rizal.  NOTE: a martingale is the strap of a horse's harness passing from the noseband to the girth between the forelegs, to keep the horse from rearing or throwing back its head and thus a metaphor for an organization to keep Filipinos compliant.

            [02] That is Universidad de Santo Tomás de Manila.  For some years its official name was Universidad de Manila.

            [03] Pedro Roxas, a Filipino capitalist, and brother of Francisco Roxas who was executed by the Spaniards during the Philippine revolution.

 

=====

 

135. Rizal, [Paris, May 1889] to Mariano Ponce.

 

Rizal desirous of maintaining unity among Filipinos at any cost – the differences ought to be submitted to a tribunal elected by the interested parties.

 

[Paris, Monday, May 1889]

 

[Mr. Mariano Ponce]

 

Dear Naning,

            Hurry a little bit with the publication of Blumentritt’s work.

            Let me know why Graciano has left your house.  If there is something you cannot tell me, keep silent.  I should like you to continue untied so that everything will prosper.

            I remember having told you that when there are differences submit them to an arbitration panel elected by both parties.  What this tribunal decides should be accepted, and the one who refuses to do so should be expelled and separated from the corporation.  I would be glad that there might not be anything and that it would be a simple thing.

            Unity must be preserved at all cost.

            Enclosed is a letter for Galicano.

 

Yours,

Rizal

 

=====

 

136. Rizal, Paris, 26 May 1889 to Mariano Ponce.

 

Rizal sends Ponce a post card with his reply to Barrantes.

 

TO READ RIZAL'S REBUTTAL IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION

RIGHT CLICK HERE è ./../Other/barrantes_tag_theater.htm

 

Paris, 26 May 1889

 

Mr. Mariano Ponce

2-3o Rambla Canaletas

Barcelona, Spain

 

My Friend,

            Enclosed is my reply to Barrantes. [01] Have it printed if you believe it is worthwhile.  Put my name or Laong Laan.  Tell Plaridel and Jaena that they may take care of shortening it or striking out what is superfluous which they do not like.  I assume the responsibility for everything.

            I have sent the issues to Blumentritt.  Never again write anything on the newspapers; they may find me.

            Send me many copies of Blumentritt’s review of Noli me tángere.

            If you are coming, I am going to pay for your entrance ticket to the Exposition.

 

Rizal

_______________

            [01] Rizal’s reply “Barrantes and the Tagalog Theater” was published in La Solidaridad, on 15 June 1889.

 

=====

 

137. M. Elejorde, Calamba, 26 May 1889.

 

A resident of Calamba writes Rizal in Tagalog sending him a little contribution from his friends – Everyone is asking for him and regards him as the “Second Jesus Christ,” their savior – Sad news – Asks for the continuation of the Noli me tángere.

 

Calamba, 26 May 1889

 

Mr. José Rizal

 

My Friend,

            I received the books you sent me.  As I understand that they are not only for me but also for others who ought to have them and read them, I have given them to others and informed them accordingly.  I gave to Paciano the French newspaper.

            Accept thirty pesos that your friends, in spite of their poverty, send you.  You may use it at your discretion.

            May God will that the International Association Congress [01] that you are holding in Paris bring good results.  Alas, José!  All the people here ask about you and pin their hopes on you.  Even the poorest people of the mountains ask me regarding your return.  It seems that they consider you the second Jesus who will liberate them from misery.  Your brothers-in-law have been deprived of their lands and I hear that your partisans will be treated likewise.  My brother has been reprimanded and told that he seemed to be waiting for Don José and that is why he did not want to pay the canon.  They are very inhuman.

            With deep sorrow I inform you of the death of your brother-in-law Marianito and Uncle Isidro, victims of the cholera, which is widespread in the Philippines.  Also I inform you of the death of Fr. Ambrosio Villafranca, curate of Biñang, though his death cannot compensate for the loss of ours.  Perhaps many other residents [of Calamba] will write you.  They have a thirst for news and what is happening to you.  Send us the second volume of the Noli if it is now available, and also copies of the Solidaridad, and if you have time, write us frequently for it is a pleasure for us to know what is happening to you there [in Paris].

            This is all and I send many regards to you.

 

M. Elejorde

_______________

            [01] This is a reference to Rizal’s project to hold an International Congress of Philippinists in Paris during the exposition of 1889.  The project never materialized. 

 

 

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