Friday, September 7, 2007

Rizal Life from America to London

Rizal’s Impression Of America

Rizal had good and bad impression of the United State. The first good impression were the material progress of the country as shown in the great cities, huge farms, flourish industries, and busy factories; second is the drive energy of the American people; third is the natural beauty of the land; forth is the high standard of living; and last is the opportunities for better life offered to poor immigrants.

One bad impression Rizal had of America was the lack of racial equality. There existed racial prejudice which was inconsistent with the principle of democracy and freedom of which the Americans talk so much but do not practice. Thus he wrote to Ponce: “They do not have true civil liberty. In some states the Negro cannot marry a White women, nor a White man a Negress. Hatred against the Chinese leads to difficulty for other Asiatics who, like the Japanese, are mistaken for Chinese by the ignorant, and therefore being dislike, too”.

Rizal In London (1888-89)

After visiting the United States, Rizal lived in London from May, 1888 to March 1889. He choose this English city to be his new home for three reason: first is to improve his knowledge of the English Language, second is to study and annotate Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, a rare copy of which he heard to be available in British Museum, and the third is London was a safe place for him to carry on his fight against Spanish tyranny.

Rizal Arrive in London on May 25, 1888 he stayed as guest at the home of Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor and by the end of May he found a modest boarding place. He was boarder of the Beckett Family. He met the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Beckett Gertrude, called “Gettie” or “Tottie” by her friends. Gertrude, as she was affectionate called, was buxom English girl with brown hair, blue eyes, and rosy cheeks. She fell in love with Rizal, and rizal fill tha same to he fell in love to Gertrude. Rizal, being a man of normal emotions, found exhilarating joy in Gertrude’s company. Their friendship drifted towards romance. Rizal affectionately called her “Gettie” in reciprocating, she fondly called him”Pettie”. As their flirtation was fast approaching the point of no return, Rizal suddenly realized that he could not marry Gettie for he had mission to fulfill in life.

Rizal spent most of his time in British Museum. Rizal was help by Dr. Reinhold Rost, the librarian of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an authority on Malayan language and customs. He helped Rizal to have an access to British Museum and to the rare historical works on the Philippines.

According to letter of Rizal to Blumentritt, he said that: “Morga’s work is an exellent book; it can be said that Morga is a modern scholarly explorer. He does not have the superficiality and exaggeration which are found among Spaniards today: he writes very simply, but one has to read between the line……………”

The greatest achievement of Rizal in London was the annotating of Morga’s book, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Historical Events of the Philippines Islands) which was publish in Mexico 1609. He spent many days in the reading room of the Museum poring ever the pages of this book and laboriously reading the old histories of the Philippines, such as those written by Fr. Chirino, Fr. Colin, Fr. Argensola, Fr. Plasencia, etc. also he went to Paris and Madrid to search other information about the Morga’s Sucesos.

Short visit to Paris and Spain

Rizal visit Paris (September, 1888) for a week, in order to search for more historical materials in the Bibliotheque Nationale. And on December 11, 1888, he went to spain, visiting Madrid and Barcelona. He contact his compatriots and surveyed the political situation with regards to the agitation for Philippine reform. He met here the two titans of Propaganda Movement Mariano, Ponce and Marcelo H. del Pilar. He exchange ideas with these new friends and promised to cooperate in the fight for reforms.

While he was in Europe, Rizal join to the patriotic society called Asociacion La Solidaridad who had with the following officer: Galicano Apacible, president; Graciano Lopez Jaena, vice-president; Manuel Santa Mari, secretary; Mariano Ponce, treasurer; and Jose Ma. Panganiban, accountant. And in no time Rizal become president of the Asociacion.

And after he leave London, he finished four sculpture works (1) Prometheus Bound (2) “The Triumph of Death over Life,” (3) “The Triump of Science over Death,” and (4) a Composite carving of the heads of the Beckett sisters. The last name caving he gave as a farewell gift to the Beckett sisters.

jewrin a aying