Report on Rizal’s Works and Writings


Rizal’s Works and Writings – 332o01
Report by juRo Malazo and Sheryl Fulgencio
Reference book: Jose Rizal: Life, Works and Wirings of a Genius, Wirter, Scientist and National Hero
by Gregorio F. Zaide and Sonia M. Zaide


Chapter 5

Medical Studies at the University of Santo Tomas (1877-1882)


Mother’s Opposition to Higher Education

-          Don Francisco and Paciano wanted Jose to pursue higher learning

-          Dona Teodora opposed this

  • “Don’t send him to Manila again; he knows enough. If he gets to know more, the Spaniards will cut off his head.”

-          Don Francisco told Paciano to accompany Jose

Rizal Enters the University

-          April 1877, Rizal at 16 years old, entered University of Santo Tomas

-          Course: Philosophy and Letters

  • His father liked it
  • He was not sure what career to pursue

-          He asked Father Pablo Ramon, Rector of the Ateneo for advice on the choice of career

-          Rizal studied Cosmology, Metaphysics, Theodicy, and History of Philosophy

-          He took up a medical course 1878-1879

  • heeding Ateneo Rector’s advice
  • wanted to be able to cure his mother’s growing blindness

Finishes Surveying Course in Ateneo 1878

-          He took a vocational course in Ateneo during his first term in UST

-          The course lead to the title perito agrimensor (expert surveyor)

-          He passed the final examination at the age of 17

-          He was granted the title on November 25, 1881

-          His loyalty to Ateneo continued

  • President of the Academy of Spanish Literature
  • Secretary of the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Secretary of the Marian Congregation

Romances with Other Girls

-          “Miss L”

  • The girl after Segunda Katigbak
  • The name was not revealed
  • The romance died a natural death because:
    • The sweet memory of Segunda was still fresh in his heart
    • His father did not like the family of “Miss L”

-          Leonor Valenzuela

  • Jose boarded in the house of Dona Concha Leyva (Intramuros)
  • Daughter of Capitan Juan and Capitana Sanday Valenzuela, their neighbors who were from Pagsanjan, Laguna
  • She was a tall girl with a regal bearing
  • Her pet name was “Orang”
  • Jose did not propose to Orang

-          Leonor Rivera

  • Jose boarded in Casa Tomasina (No. 6 Calle Santo Tomas, Intramuros)
  • Daughter of his landlord-uncle from Camiling, Antonio Rivera
  • She was a student at La Concordia College, also the school of Soledad, Jose’s youngest sister
  • Born in Camiling, Tarlac on April 11, 1867
  • She used the name “Taimis” in her letters to Rizal

Victim of Spanish Officer’s Brutality

-          Setting: Dark night, summer vacation 1878. Calamba

-          He passed by a lieutenant of the Guardia Civil but failed to recognize the latter

-          Insulted, the lieutenant slashed Jose’s back with his sword

-          Jose reported to General Primo de Rivera, Spanish governor general, but no resolution was done because of racial discrimination

-          March 21, 1887: “I went to the Captain-General but I could not obtain justice; my wound lasted two weeks.”

To the Filipino Youth (1879)

-          Literary contest by Artistico-Literario (Artisitic-Literary Lyceum)

-          Rizal, 18 years old, submitted his poem entitled A La Juventud Filipina (To the Filipino Youth)

-          The first prize, a feather shaped, gold ribbon decorated silver pen was given to Rizal

-          In the poem, Rizal beseeched the Filipino to rise from lethargy, to let their genius fly swifter than the wind and descend with art and science to break the chains that have long bound the spirit of the people.

-          The poem is a classic. Two reasons:

  • It was the first great poem in Spanish written by a Filipino whose merit was recognized by Spanish literary authorities
  • It expressed for the first time the nationalistic concept that the Filipinos, and not the foreigners were the “fair hope of the Fatherland.”

The Council of the Gods (1880)

-          Another literary contest by the Artistic-Literary Lyceum to commemorate the fourth centennial of the death of Cervantes, Spanish and author of Don Quixote.

-          Rizal submitted an allegorical drama, El Consejo de los Dioses (The Council of the Gods)

-          The allegory was based on Greek classics

-          Rizal was aided by Father Rector of the Ateneo in securing the needed reference materials

Other Literary Works

-          1879: Abd-el-Azis y Mahoma

  • A poem, declaimed by an Atenean, manuel Fernandez on December 8, 1879 in honor of the Ateneo’s Patroness

-          1880: Junto al Pasig (Beside the Pasig)

  • A zarzuela, staged  by the Ateneans on December 8, 1880 on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the Ateneo
  • Rizal wrote it as President of the Academy of Spanish Literature

-          1880: A Filipinas

  • A sonnet, for the album of the Society of Sculptors
  • Rizal urged all Filipino artist to glorify the Philippines

-          1881: Al M.R.P. Pablo Ramon

  • A poem, an expression of affection to Father Pablo Ramon, the Ateneo rector

Rizal’s Visit to Pakil and Pagsanjan

-          May 1881, Jose, along with his sisters Saturnina, Maria, and Trinidad and female friends went on a pilgrimate to Pakil, famous shrine of the Birhen Maria de los Dolores.

-          They boarded a casco (a flat-bottom sailing vessel) from Calamba to Pakil, Laguna

-          They stayed at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Regalado, parents of Nicolas, Rizal’s friend in Manila

-          The company witnessed the famous turumba, the people dancing in honor of the miraculous Birhen Maria de los Dolores

-          Rizal was infatuated by Vicenta Ybardolaza

  • She was skillful in playing the harp at the Regalado home

-          Rizal and his party then went to Pagsanjan for two reasons

  • It was the native town of Leonor Valenzuela
  • To see the world famed Pagsanjan Falls

Champion of Filipino Students

-          There were frequent student brawls between the Filipinos and the Spaniards

-          1880: Rizal founded Companerismo (Comradeship), a secret society of Filipino UST students. The members were called “Companions of Jehu”.

  • He was the chief of the society.
  • His cousin, Galicano Apacible was the secretary.

-          In one of the skirmishes, Rizal was wounded on the head.

  • His friends brought him to Casa Tomasina where Leonor Rivera took care of him.

Unhappy Days at the UST

-          Rizal was unhappy in the Dominican institution because:

  • The Dominican professors were hostile to him
  • The Filipino students were racially discriminated against by the Spaniards
  • The method of instruction was obsolete and repressive.

-          He failed to win high scholastic honors due to the attitude of his professors.

Decision to Study Abroad

-          Rizal decided to study in Spain after finishing the fourth year of his medical course.

-          The people who approved this are the following:

  • His older brother Paciano
  • His sisters Saturnina (Neneng) and Lucia
  • Uncle Antonio Rivera
  • The Valenzuela family
  • Some friends

-          The people who did not know of his decision are the following:

  • Rizal’s parents
  • Leonor Rivera
  • Spanish authorities
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