HE WHO DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO LOOK BACK AT WHERE HE CAME FROM WILL NEVER GET TO HIS DESTINATION.
During our hero’s time, traveling is very limited to the lay Filipino, since it was expensive. And also during that time, there were no airships that would hastily bring people to a certain place as we have today. The major transportation means were streamers, horse-power, trains, and foot. Rizal was not merely a sightseer but a traveler who studies the culture of the places he visits. He is also traveling to acquire more knowledge, most of which are sciences and literature.
This article will talk about the different travels of Rizal, the values and knowledge he acquired, friends he met during his travels, the places he visits and what happened there, and the special friends of Rizal. This will also deal with the fascination of Rizal and the rather bad opinions in the places he visits. Lastly, it will attempt to talk about the growth of our hero’s knowledge and acquiring skills that would later spell downfall to the 333 years of Spanish reign.
During Rizal’s birth her mother nearly died in delivery because of his big head. He promised to the virgin of Antipolo that if she would help her take Rizal to the sanctuary.
Our hero’s starting point, just like on any ventures there has to be a place to start, in his travel is his hometown Calamba, a town our hero loved so much. At Calamba, taking walks in the night when there was a moon takes Rizal in great pleasure.
The pilgrimage of Rizal in Antipolo was on June 6, 1868. With his father, he left Calamba to fulfill the vow of her mother to the virgin of the province when Jose was born. Doña Teodora couldn’t accompany them because she had given birth to Trinidad.
It was the first trip of our hero traversing Laguna de Bay and his pilgrimage to Antipolo. They rode then a casco (a barge), which was also his first time. He did not sleep the whole night because he was amazed by the watery expanse and the silence of the night.
After their trip at the Virgin of Antipolo, Rizal and Don Francisco pursued to Manila to visit Saturnina, who was then a boarding student at La Concordia College in Santa Ana. They went back to Calamba eventually.
Time to time, he would take short walks to Laguna de Bay, accompanied by his pet dog, and meditate at the shore.
The early travels of Rizal (although not far) develop his traveling side which would be evident as he grows and eventually would venture in greater horizons.
SCHOOLING IN BIÑAN
It was a Sunday afternoon in June, 1869, after a tearful parting from his family, he left Calamba for Biñan. He was accompanied by his brother Paciano. They rode in a carromata, a light, two-wheeled, boxlike vehicle usually drawn by a single native pony. After a one-half hours’ drive, they proceeded to their aunt’s house, where Jose was to lodge. It was almost night time when they arrived. At the same night, his cousin named Leandro went sightseeing in the town.
His life in Biñan is simple and methodical. There he experienced his first school brawl, painting lessons, and being the best student in his school.
Then the time came when he had to leave Biñan since his schooling has ended. He received a letter from his sister Saturnine telling him of the arrival of the steamer Talim that would take him from Biñan to Calamba. Upon reading the letter, he went to the town church and prayed, he even collected pebbles in the river for souvenirs and bade farewell to his teachers and classmates.
He left Biñan on a Saturday afternoon, December 17, 1870, a year and a half of schooling in that town. During his trip in the steamer Talim, which he was very excited about, he met a Frenchman which was a friend of his father who took care of him.
SCHOOLING AT ATENEO DE MANILA
After the martyrdom of Gom-Bur-Za, Jose went to Manila to study. He studied at Ateneo Municipal. During his first year in Ateneo, his first day started with a Holy Mass at the college chapel. He was at bottom of class when he started but became the ‘emperor’ at the end of the month.
At the end of the school year in March of 1873, Rizal returned to Calamba for it was summer vacation. He then visited his mother who was in prison during that time and was gladly embraced by his mother.
When the vacation ended, Rizal returned to Manila for his second year term in Ateneo. During his second year, Rizal had a prophecy that his mother will be freed, and in which it came true. Later, Rizal read Travels in the Philippines by Dr. Feodor Jagor, a German scientist-traveler who visited the Philippines. Rizal was impressed by the observations of Jagor like the defects of the Spanish colonization and someday Spain would lose the Philippines.
During his third year in Ateneo, he received the news that his mother was released from prison. And during his fourth year, he became an interno in Ateneo. One of his professors, Fr. Francisco de Paula Sanchez inspired Rizal to study harder and to write poetry. His schooling ended at 1877 wherein he graduated with highest honors in all his subjects.
MEDICAL STUDIES AT UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS
After finishing the first year of a course in Philosophy and Letters, he transferred to the medical course. During his stay at Santo Tomas, he won more literary laurels and other romances with pretty girls. At University of Santo Tomas, he pursued higher education, although her mother opposes his decision, his father and brother Paciano insists so.
Through his stay in UST, he was experienced the brutality of a Spanish officer, fell in love with Miss L, and wrote ‘To the Filipino Youth’.
In the summer month of May 1881, Rizal went on a pilgrimage to the town of Pakil, famous shrine of the Birhen Maria de los Dolores. He was accompanied by his sisters and their female friends. They took a Casco from Calamba to Pakil, Laguna. Rizal and his companions were fascinated by the famous turumba, the people dancing in the streets during the procession in honor of the miraculous Birhen Maria de los Dolores.