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Rizal and the Development of Filipino Nationalism

CHAPTER 8: Rizal at the Dominican University of the Philippines Garcia C.C., De Viana, A.V., & Cruz, C.B.

Note. Dona Teodora was opposed to Rizals pursuit of higher education for fear of what might happen to him due to the martyrdom of GOMBURZA, but still his father continued to send him to the University of Santo Tomas (the Dominican university of the Philippines)

Enrollment at the University of Santo Tomas

Former Jesuit mentors of Rizal suggested that he take either priesthood or farming.

He considered literature, law or medicine.

Paciano discouraged Rizal to take up law due to the political condition of the country.

Finally, he chose to enroll in the course Philosophy and Letters.


Because his father wanted him to pursue it.


Because of his failure to solicit the advice of Fr. Ramon Pablo, the rector of Ateneo.


In this course, he found himself taking Cosmology, Metaphysics, Theodicy, and History of Philosophy.

He also enrolled in Surveying Course at this time in Ateneo. He was conferred the title on November 25, 1881.

After his freshmen year, Rizal shifted his course from Philosophy and Letters to Medicine because of the advice of Fr. Ramon Pablo and the failing eyesight of his mother.

Academic Performance at UST

Unlike in Ateneo, Rizal performed poorly in UST. It is because he did not enjoy his schooling there due to:


The hostility of Dominican Professors to Rizal


Racial Discrimination Against Filipino Students


The Obsolete and Repressive Method of Instruction

Moreover, three more reasons that caused his poor academic performance include:


Medicine is not Rizals real vocation


Dissatisfaction with the Dominican System of Education


The Exciting Distractions of Youth

The obsolete and repressive method of teaching utilized by the Dominican professors was emphasized in his work, El Filibusterismo, thru Fr. Millon (professor in Physics) and Placido Penitente (one of the Filipino students in the aforementioned subject).

Rizal was also fascinated with women during his student days at UST. Among them is Segunda Katigbak from Batangas whom he visited in the boarding house frequently.

o It was then followed by Leonor (or Orang) Valenzuela and Leonor Rivera (his first cousin)

Liberalism and Filipino Students at UST

Liberal ideas came to be felt in Manila than in any place in the Philippines.

Rizal and the Development of Filipino Nationalism

CHAPTER 8: Rizal at the Dominican University of the Philippines Garcia C.C., De Viana, A.V., & Cruz, C.B.

o It can be attributed to the ending of the Spanish Civil Wars, the opening of Suez Canal, and the opening of the Philippines to world trade.

To encourage the production of literary works in Manila, the Liceo Artistico Literario de

Manila, an organization of art lovers in the city, conducted regular competition in literary writing.


Rizal also joined the contests in 1879 and 1880 and were adjudged as the best entry in the said competition. He joined to prove that the Filipinos can equal and even surpass the Spaniards in literary prowess.


His works were A La Juventud Filipina (To the Filipino Youth) and El Consejo de los Dioses (The Council of the Gods)

Important Literary Works as a University Student

A La Juventud Filipina (To the Filipino Youth) this poem won the grand prize in the

1879 contest, and was Rizals first testimony of his nationalism wherein he referred to the Philippines as Mi Patria or his motherland.


It was the first great poem in Spanish written by a Filipino, recognized by the Spanish authorities; and it was the first expression of nationalistic concept that the Filipinos were the fair hope of the motherland.


Proof that Rizal was the First Filipino to call our country his motherland.


It also stressed the role of youth in nation building, calling them the Fair Hope of the Motherland (La Bella Esperanza de la Patria Mia) and challenges them to:

Cultivate their relent in the arts

Develop their knowledge of the sciences

Look forward and break their chain of bondage

El Consejo de los Dioses this play was an allegory in praise of Cervantes as a co-equal

of Homer and Vigil. It should have won first place, but because it was found to be written by a Filipino, the prize was given to a Spaniard.

o Through it, he was able to disprove the alleged superiority of the Spaniards over the Filipinos and to prove that the Filipinos can compete with other races in a fair play.

Junto al Pasig a one-act play written by Rizal at the request of the Jesuits and was staged at Ateneo, in connection with the celebration of the Feast day of Immaculate Conception.

o This play can be interpreted in several ways:

As a prophecy of 50 years of revolution, invasion after invasion, defeat, subjugation and civil tumult.

Rizals appeal for the Filipino youth to chide alien people for causing them misery

As a purely religious allegory, as the play depicted Leonido, together with a choir of angels successfully driving Satan and his devils out of the land.

Rizal and the Development of Filipino Nationalism

CHAPTER 8: Rizal at the Dominican University of the Philippines Garcia C.C., De Viana, A.V., & Cruz, C.B.

A Filipinas (To the Philippines) it was written by Rizal in 1880 to praise the beauty of the Philippines and encourage Filipino artists to glorify the country through their art works.

Student Activism at UST

Both the Spanish and mestizo students labeled the Filipinos indio or chongo, while Rizal and his peers retaliated by calling them kastila or bangus.

There was a time when Rizal was wounded due to a skirmish Filipino students had with Spanish students at Escolta, Manila.

In order to show their Spanish detractors that Filipino students were united, Rizal organized a secret society of Filipino students called Compañerismo wherein members called themselves as Companions of Jehu (the patriot general of the Jews). There, Rizal was the president and Galiciano Apacible was the secretary.

First Taste of Spanish Brutality

While he was walking in the street, he failed to see the man passing by owing to the darkness of the night. Because he was not able to recognize the man, who happened to be lieutenant of the Guardia Civil, Rizal did not bother to salute nor greet him Buenas Noches. Since her was expecting that he would be treated with respect and courtesy by everybody in the town, what he did was to whip out his sword and slashed it at Rizals back.

Rizal sent a written complaint to the Governor-General Primo de Rivera about the Incident. However, there was nothing positive that came out of it since he was an indio.

His demand for recognition of equality of Filipinos and Spaniards was to obsess Rizals thoughts in the years to come and its denial would provoke him into clash with offenders no matter what the cost.