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DEPARTURE FOR SPAIN

Rizals departure for Spain was kept secret to avoid detection by the Spanish authorities and the friars.
Even his own parents did not know because his mother would not allow him to do so. Only his older
brother, his uncle, his sisters Neneng and Lucia, the Valenzuela family, Pedro Paterno, Mateo
Evangelista, the Ateneo Jesuit fathers, and some intimate friends. The Jesuit priests gave him letters of
recommendation to the members of their Society in Barcelona. He used the name Jose Mercado.
Before his departure he wrote a farewell letters for his beloved parents and another for his sweetheart
Leonor Rivera.
On May 3, 1882, Rizal departed on board the Spanish steamer Salvadora bound for Singapore. With
tears in his eyes and gloom in his heard, he gazed the receding skyline of Manila. He then took his pencil
and paper and sketched it as it vanished in view.

Suggested Itineraries

It would be a delight to get "lost" in Spain, wandering about at your leisure, discovering unspoiled
villages off the beaten path. But few of us have such a generous amount of time in the fast-paced 21st
century. Vacations are getting shorter, and a "lean-and-mean" schedule is called for if you want to
experience the best of any country in a ridiculously short amount of time.

If you're pressed for time, with only 1 week for the country, check out our "Spain in 1 Week" trip, or
"Spain in 2 Weeks" if you have more time. If you've been to Spain before, especially Madrid or
Barcelona, you may want to skip either of these cities, using them as gateways, and hop down to
Andalusia to explore the single-most intriguing region in all of Spain. Families might want to consider the
family-fun tour, with more focus on sights that appeal to kids.

Spain is so vast and so treasure-filled that it's hard to resist the temptation to pack in too much in too
short a time. It's a challenging, daunting destination, and you can't even skim the surface in 1 or 2 weeks
-- so just go for the nuggets, such towering attractions as Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo, and Seville.

Spain ranks with Germany and France in offering Europe's best-maintained superhighways. It also boasts
one of the fastest and most efficient public transportation systems in the world, especially its national
rail system. Madrid stands at the hub of a vast transportation empire, with many once-remote cities
now within easy reach of the capital -- for example, Crdoba in 1 1/2 hours or Seville in 2 1/2 hours.

Our itineraries take you to some major attractions and charming towns. The pace may be a bit
breathless, so skip a town or sight occasionally to have chill-out time -- after all, you're on vacation. You
can also peruse our review of the best of Spain (in the Introduction) to find out what experiences or
sights appeal to you and adjust the itineraries to suit your own interests.

Looking for Dr. Jose Rizal in Barcelona

Photo was taken when the writer was in Barcelona, Spain. The book visibly seen is the award-winning
Rizal biography "THE FIRST FILIPINO" by Leon Ma. Guerrero. Is itt not interesting if not amusing to know
why Writer/historian, Nick Joaquin called Rizal a Wandering Jew while other writers considered him as
the first OFW?

Incidentally, the city of Barcelona is where Rizal wrote his first literary work in Spain, titled "Amor
Patrio" (love of country). It appeared in "Diarong Tagalog", then Manila's daily using a pseudonym,
"LAONG LAAN. When he moved to Madrid and joined the Freemasonry, Rizal chose "MAY PAGASA".
But as correspondent for La Solidaridad, he is known by his nom de plume or pen name,DIMASALANG

The last time Rizal was in Barcelona was when he was detained in a Barcelona jail on his way to Cuba to
volunteer his medical services to the Spanish army during the Cuban Revolution on suspicion that he is
the mastermind of the disturbances in Manila and the suburbs led by Bonifacio and his Katipuneros. Few
days later, he was escorted to the Philippines to face criminal charges.

TODAY, there are people who still look at Rizal more and more of an ENIGMA and doubt being a hero. If
Rizal is a true patriot they argued, why did he volunteer his services to the enemy? Why did he call
Bonifacios revolution that was causing disturbances in Manila and suburban towns absurd?

EL AMOR PATRIO

Rizals first essay, The Love of Country, was written when he was 21 and newlyarrived in Madrid. It
was published under the name of Laong Laan on 20 August 1882 in
Diarong Tagalog,
a Philippine newspaper, then on 31 October 1890 in
La Solidaridad,
Madrid.This essay is a poignant dissertation of what Rizal calls a beautiful but hackneyedsubject, love
of country. In crystallizing his concept on love of country, Rizal reveals a foretasteof the style and
substance of his novels. He could have had Maria Clara and Sisa in mreind whenhe described the
country as enveloped in morning clouds and mist, always beautiful and poetic,and the more idolized by
her sons when they are absent and far away from her.Love of country is the purest, most heroic and
most sublime human sentiment. It isgratitude, it is affection for everything that reminds us of something
of the first days of our life; itis the land where our ancestors are sleeping. Love of country is never
effaced once it has penetrated the heart, because it carries with it a divine stamp which renders it
eternal andimperishable. Of all loves, that of country is the greatest, the most heroic and the
mostdisinterested. Some have sacrificed for her their youth, their pleasures; others have dedicated
toher the splendors of their genius; others shed their blood; all have died, bequeathing to their
Motherland an immense future: liberty and glory.This idea of dying for the country reverberated in
Rizals writings. In a letter to MarianoPonce, he declared:If one has to die, at least one must die in his
own country, by his country and for hiscountry.A year later, Rizal decided to return to the Philippines,
the first step that would ultimatelylead to his death for country:I believe that it is now the opportune
time for me to return to the Philippines and sharewith them all the dangers. For I have always been of
the opinion that I can do more in mycountry than abroad. What good have I done in these three years,
and what evil had occurred because I was in my country.Source: Rizal & the Dev. Of National
Consciousnes By Romero, M.C., Sta Romana, J.R.

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