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CHAPTER 10 Opthalmic Surgeon in Hong Kong (1891-92)

Lopez, Arielle Mae B. BSEd-English 4

Rizal lived in Hong Kong from November, 1891 to June, 1892

Farewell to Europe
Reasons for leaving Europe: (1) life was unbearable in Europe because of his political differences with M.H. del Pilar and other Filipinos in Spain (2) to be near his idolized Philippines and family (3) because his friend, Jose Ma. Basa, was there October 18, 1891 ~boarded the steamer Melbourne bound for Hong Kong ~he brought with him a letter of recommendation by Juan Luna for Singapore and 600 copies of the El Filibusterismo.

Farewell to Europe
There were over 80 first-class passengers mostly Europeans Rizal was the only Asian among them Mostly also are Germans since the ship sailed from Hamburg.

He amazed his fellow-passengers because of his knowledge of many languages and his skill in sketching.

Rizal and the German Ladies


One evening at dinner time, Rizal being the only Asian, was eating alone at one table. Near him was a table occupied by German ladies who were gaily eating and gossiping about the lone Asian male quietly taking his meal, not knowing that Rizal was fluent in the German language. Suddenly, the door of the dining room was blown open, due to a heavy squall encountered by the running steamer.

Rizal and the German Ladies


Nobody stood up to close the door. A lady said to her companions in German: If this man in front of us were a gentleman he would close the door. Upon hearing, Rizal, Rizal without saying a word rose and closed the door, after which he resumed his seat.

He then conversed with the German ladies in fluent German. Of course, the ladies were very much embarrassed, and thereafter they treated Rizal with admiration and respect, despite his brown skin, fore he was a cultured gentleman.

Arrived in Hong Kong


November 20, 1891 ~Rizal arrived in Hong Kong ~welcomed by the Filipino residents esp. his old friend, Jose Ma. Basa. ~he resided at No. 5 D Aguilar Street, No. 2 Rednaxola Terrace, where he also opened his medical clinic.

Arrived in Hong Kong


December 1, 1891 ~Rizal wrote to his parents asking permission to return home ~On the same date, Hidalgo, his brother in law sent him a letter realating the sad news of the deportation of twenty-five persons from Calamba including father, Neneng, Sisa, Lucia, Paciano, and the rest of us

Arrived in Hong Kong


Hidalgo also stated in his letter that he was preparing a letter to the Queen Regent of Spain explaining the Calamba situation in order to secure justice. If the Queen will not listen, we will write to Queen Victoria of England appealing for protection in the name of humanity. ..

Family Reunion in Hong Kong


Before Christmas of 1891 ~December 6, 1891, Rizal was gladdened by the arrival of his father, brother and Silvestre Ubaldo (brother-in-law) in Hong Kong

~Rizal wrote a letter to his sister, Maria to express his profound joy. He wrote: Father, Mr. Paciano and Bestre are already here, thanks God.
Father has put on weight and his cheeks become pinkish; he is cheerful, he always walks around, he is very much pleased with Hong Kong. Tell mother that I have great desire to see her and to operate in her eyes, if this letter should find her there still.

~Not long afterwards his mother and sisters Lucia, Josefa and Trinidad also arrrived

Family Reunion in Hong Kong


The Christmas of 1891 in Hong Kong was one of the happiest yuletide celebrations in Rizals life, for he had a happy family reunion after several years of being alone in a foreign land. December 30, 1891 Rizal wrote to Blumentritt, as follows:
They are now here and give thanks to God that they find themselves in a free country. Life in the Philippines has become impossible: without courtesy, without virtue, without justice!

Opthalmic Surgeon in Hong Kong


Rizal practiced medicine in order to earn a living Dr. Lorenzo P. Marques, a Portuguese physician, became Rizals friend and admirer and helped Rizal build a wide clientele in his rented house at No. 2 Rednaxela Terrace.

Dr. Rizal became a successful and well-known medical practitioner in the British colony and had many patients (British, Chinese, Portuguese, and Americans).
He successfully operated his mothers left eye so that she was able to read and write again.

Opthalmic Surgeon in Hong Kong


Had Rizal devoted his lifetime to the practice of medicine he would have become one of Asias eminent ophthalmologist. In the words of Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo, distinguished Filipino ophthalmologist:
He(Rizal) had all the qualities that would make an ideal ophthalmic surgeon a keen and analytical intellect, lightness of touch and artistry of a painter, courage and imperturbability, a broad and deep knowledge of medicine and ophthalmology, and last but not least, he had been properly and adequately trained by master ophthalmic surgeons.

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