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Rizal in Madrid

Updated on July 15, 2011

Early in August, 1890 – Rizal arrived in Madrid

  • He tried all legal means to seek justice for his family and the calamba tenants, but to no avail.
  • He almost fought to duels – one with Antonio Luna and the other to Wenceslao E. Retana.
  • Leonor Rivera married a British Engineer.

Failure to Get Justice for family

Upon arrival in Madrid, Rizal immediately sought the help of the Filipino Colony, the Asociacion Hispano – Filipina, and the Liberal Spanish newspapers (La Justicia, El Globo, La Republica, El resumen).

M. H. Del Pilar – acted as his lawyer.

Dr. Dominador Gomez – secretary of Asociacion Hispano – Filipina.

More terrible news reached Rizal in Madrid:

  • From Silvestre Ubaldo, he received a copy of the ejectment order by the Dominicans against Francisco Rizal and other calamba tenants.
  • From Saturnina, he learned of the deportation of Paciano, Antonio Lopez, Silvestre Ubaldo, Teong, and Dandoy to Mindoro
  • His parents were forcibly ejected from their home and were then living in the house of Narcisa.

Rizal’s Eulogy to Panganiban

Jose Ma. Panganiban – his friend and his talented co-worker in the propaganda.

August 19, 1890 – date of the death of Jose Ma. Panganiban because of a lingering illness.

Aborted Duel with Antonio Luna

End of August, 1890 – Rizal attended a social reunion of the Filipinos in Madrid.

  • Wine was served in the reunion.
  • After drinking so many glasses, the guests became more loquacious.
  • Antonio Luna became drunk.
  • Luna was bitter because of his frustrated romance with Nellie Boustead
  • He was blaming Rizal for his failure.
  • Luna uttered certain unsavory remarks for Nellie.
  • Rizal heard him and challenge for a duel.
  • The Filipinos were shocked of the incident.
  • They tried to pacify Rizal and Luna, pointing out to both that such a duel would damage their cause in Spain.
  • Luna, when he became sober, realized that he had made a fool and he apologized to Rizal

Rizal Challenges Retana to Duel

On another occasion, he challenged another man to duel – Wenceslao E. Retana.


– The bitter enemy of Rizal in Pen.

– A talented Spanish scholar was then a press agent of the friars in Spain.

– Used to attack the Filipinos, including Rizal, in various newspapers in Madrid.

– He imprudently wrote an article in La Epoca an anti-Filipino newspaper in Madrid, asserting that the family and friends of Rizal had not paid their rents so that they were ejected from their lands in Calamba by the Dominicans.

  • Such an insult stirred Rizal to action.
  • Immediately, he sent his seconds to Retana with his challenge to a duel.
  • Retana at once published a retraction and apology in the newspapers.
  • The incident silenced Retana’s pen against Rizal.
  • Years afterward, Retana wrote the first book-length biography of the greatest Filipino hero, whose talents he came to recognize and whose martyrdom he glorified.

Infidelity of Leonor Rivera – Rizal lost his gold watch chain with a locket containing the picture of Leonor Rivera, his beloved sweetheart while he attended a play in the Teatro Apollo together with his friends, and that incident proved to be a bad omen.

December, 1890 – Rizal received a letter from Leonor, announcing her coming married with an Englishman.

February 15, 1891 – Blumentritt replied to the letter of Rizal and comforted Rizal when Rizal confide to him about his agony and broken heart.

Rizal-Del Pilar Rivalry – In 1890, there arise an unfortunate rivalry between Rizal and del Pilar for supremacy.

January 1, 1891 (New Year’s Day) – the Filipinos of Madrid met to reorganize the Asociacion Hispano – Filipina and to elect a new leader who would act as a spokesman of the Filipino cause in Europe.

Filipinos were divided into two rival camps:

· Rizalistas or Rizal’s friends

· Pilaristas or del Pilar’s friends

Rizalistas – worked hard for the election of Rizal.

Pilaristas – fought for del Pilar’s election

Back to Brussels – Since Rizal walked out from the election for the new leader because he found out that only 19 people voted him, he go back to Brussels.

February, 1891 – he left Madrid and proceeded to Biarritz, where he was a welcomed guest of the Bousted at their Villa Eliada.

Valentin Ventura – Rizal’s friend and companion in Paris, where Rizal staying with him.

April 4, 1891 – He wrote to Jose Ma. Basa, expressing his wish to live in Hongkong and practice medicine.

Middle of April 1891 – Rizal turned to Brussels for one reason, to finish his second novel.


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      Lorna Lizondra 2 years ago

      Can I ask something

      1.______ a writer in Madrid and a pen rival of Rizal

      2.Rizal was sentenced to an exile in ______.

      Thanks you

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      nov :) 4 years ago

      wow!! rizal is a nice person

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      Yen ;) 5 years ago

      Thanks. Keep it up.

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      dan 6 years ago

      can i ask.., what kind of duel did antonio luna and jose rizal?

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      kim b 6 years ago

      please be brief in the info.

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      ♣ "aquakriz" ♣ 6 years ago

      can i ask who are the supporters of rizalistas?the members whom voted rizal to be elected as responsible..

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      Board Exam 7 years ago

      Rizal is not only our national hero but we also idolized him as justice seeker. He is just great writer so far.