Life of Jose Rizal in Belgium
Summary of Rizal in Belgian Brussels (1890)
January 28, 1890 – Rizal left Paris for Brussels
Brussels– capital of Belgium.
Two reasons why Rizal leave Paris:
- The cost of living in Paris was very high because of the Universal Exposition.
- The gay social life of the city hampered his literary works, especially the writing of his second novel El Filibusterismo.
Life in Brussels
Jose Albert – accompanied Rizal to move to Brussels.
Jose Alejandro – an engineering student who replaced Jose Albert.
- Rizal was busy writing his second novel.
- He wrote articles for La Solidaridad and letters for his family and friends.
- He spent part of his time in medical clinic.
- He had gymnastics at the gymnasium and target practice and fencing at the armory.
Articles Published in La Solidaridad
- “A La Defensa” (To La Defensa), April 30, 1889.
- “La verdad Para Todos” ( The Truth For All), May 31, 1889.
- “Vicente Barrantes’ Teatro Tagalo,” June 15, 18889
- “Una Profanacion” (A Profanation), July 31, 1889
- “Verdades Nuevas” (New Truths), July 31, 1889
- “Crueldad” (Cruelty), August 15, 1889
- “Differencias” (Differences), September 15, 1889
- “Inconsequencias” (Inconsequences), November 30, 1889
- “Llanto y Risas” (Tears and Laughters), November 30, 1889
- “Ingratitudes” (Ingratitude), January 15, 1890
New Orthography of Tagalong Language
Rizal was the first to advocate the Filipinization of its orthography. For instance, the Tagalog letters k and w should be used instead of the Spanish c and o.
salacot – salakot
arao – araw
Early in September, 1886 – while in Leipzig, Rizal adopted the Filipinized Tagalog orthography in his Tagalog translations of Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell and Andersen’s Fairy Tales and again he used it in his first novel Noli Me Tangere (Berlin, 1887
“Sobre la Nueva Ortografia de la Lengua Tagala” (The new Orthography of the Tagalog Language) – article of Rizal and was published in La Solidaridad.
Dr. Trnidad H. Pardo de Tavera – author of the celebrated work El Sancristo en la Lengua Tagala (Sankrist in the Tagalog Language) which was published in Paris, 1884.
Rizal Criticizes Madrid Filipinos for Gambling
Rizal received news from Juan Luna and Valentin Ventura that the Filipinos in Spain were destroying the good name of their nation by gambling too much. Accordingly Rizal wrote to M. H. Del Pilar on May 28, 1890 to remind the Filipinos in Madrid that they did not come to Europe to gamble, but to work for their fatherland’s freedom.
The gambling people in Madrid were angry when they learned of Rizal’s moralizing. They derisively called him “Papa” (Pope) instead of “Pepe”.
Bad News from Home
- The Calamba agrarian trouble was getting worst.
- The management of the Dominican hacienda continually raised the land rents.
- The Dominican order filled a suit in court to dispossess the Rizal Family of their lands in Calamba.
- The tenants were persecuted.
- Paciano, Antonio Lopez and Silvestre Ubaldo were deported to Mindoro.
- Manuel T. Hidalgo – was banished to Bohol for the second time.
Preparation to Go Home
Rizal planned to go home. He could not stay in Brussels writing a book while his parents, relatives and friends in the distant Philippines were persecuted.
July 9, 1890 – upon hearing that Graciano Lopez Jaena was planning to go to Cuba, Rizal wrote to Ponce to oppose the plan of action of Graciano.
July 18, 1890 – he wrote another letter to Ponce in which he expresses his determination to go home.
All his friends, including Blumentritt, Jose Ma. Basa, and Ponce, were horrified by Rizal’s to return to the Philippines. They warned him of the danger that awaited him at home.
Decision to go to Madrid
Something happened that made Rizal to change his plan in returning to the Philippines when he received a letter from Paciano which related that they lost the case against the Dominicans in Manila but they appealed it to the Supreme Court in Spain.
June 20, 1890 – Rizal wrote to M. H. Del Pilar retaining the latter’s service as a lawyer and informed Del Pilar that he was going to Madrid, in order to supervise the handling of the case.
July 29, 1890 – he wrote a letter to Ponce announcing that he was leaving Brussels at the beginning of the following month and would arrive Madrid about the 3rd and 4th of August.
To My Muse “A Mi…” – he wrote this poem which was against the a background of mental anguish in Brussels, during those sad days when he was worried by family disasters.
Romance with Petite Jacoby
Two things brought some measure of cheer to the despondent Rizal as he was preparing for his trip to Madrid:
- The summertime festival of Belgium, which was celebrated in carnival style.
- His romance with Petite Jacoby, the pretty niece of his landladies.
- Rizal was so charming and dignified a gentleman the Petite Susanne was attracted to him.
- He was lonely in a strange country and Leonor Rivera was so far away.
- Like other women – Segunda Katigbak, Orang Valenzuela, Leonor Rivera, O-Sei-San, Gettie Beckett, Consuelo Ortiga y Perez and Nellie Boustead – Susanne fell in love with Rizal