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IN BELGIAN

BRUSSELS
1890
January 28, 1890 – Rizal left Paris for Brussels,
capital of Belgium.

Two reasons impelled Rizal to leave Paris:


The cost of living in Paris was very high
because of the Universal Exposition; and
The gay social life of the city hampered his
literary works, especially the writing of his
second novel – El Filibusterismo.

Rizal’s friends were of the belief that he left


because he was running away from a girl just as
he left London.
Life in Brussels
Rizal was accompanied by Jose Albert when
he moved to Brussels and they lived in a
modest boarding house in 38 Rue Philippe
Champagne
Rizal was busy writing his second novel, El
Filibusterismo, which was a continuation of
the Noli me Tangere.
Aside from writing its chapters, he wrote
articles for La Solidaridad and letters to his
family and friends.
Articles Published in La Solidaridad
A La Defensa (To The Defense) – April 30,
1889
La Verdad Para Todos (The Truth for All) –
May 31, 1889
Vicente Barrantes ‘Teatro Tagalo’” – June 15,
1889
Una Profanacion (A Profanation) – July 31,
1889
Verdades Nuevas (New Truths) – July 31,
1889
Crueldad (Cruelty) – August 15, 1889
Diferencias (Differences) – September 15,
1889
Inconsenquencias (Inconsequences) –
November 30, 1889
Lianto y Risas (Tears and Laughter) –
November 30, 1889
Ingratitudes (Ingratitude) – January 15, 1890
New Orthography of Tagalog Language
In spite of his European education and his
knowledge of foreign languages, Rizal loved
his own native language.
He 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”. (i.e., salacot – salakot; arao – araw)
adopted the Filipinized Tagalog orthography
in his Tagalog translations of Schiller’s
Willhelm Tell and Andersen’s Fairy Tales
“Sobre la Nueva Ortografia de la Lengua
Tagala” (The New Ortography of the
Tagalog Language) – April 15, 1890
“El Sanscrito en la Lengua Tagala” (Sanskrit
in the Tagalog Language) – 1884.
Rizal Criticizes Madrid Filipinos for
Gambling
In Brussels, 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.
Bad News from Home
The management of the Dominican
hacienda continually raised the land rents
until such time that Rizal’s father refused to
pay his rent. Other tenants, inspired by Don
Francisco’s courage, also refused to pay the
unreasonable rents.
The Dominican Order filed a suit in court to
disposes the Rizal family of their lands in
Calamba.
Presentiment of Death
In his moment of despair, Rizal had bad
dreams during the nights in Brussels when
he was restless because he was thinking of
his unhappy family in Calamba.
This morbid presentiment of early death
was divulged by him to M.H. del Pilar, in a
letter from Brussels dated June 11, 1890, as
follows:
… in my childhood, I had a strange belief that I
would not reach thirty years of age…
… there were two months during which almost
every night, I had no other dream than that my
friends and relatives are dead…
… although I do not believe in these things and
although my body is very strong and I have no
illness and have no fear. I am preparing myself
for death and for any eventually. “Laong Laan”
(Ever Ready) is my true name. For this reason, I
want to finish it at all costs the second volume of
Noli and if it is possible I do not want to leave
unfinished what nobody else could continue…
Preparation to Go Home
In the face of sufferings which afflicted his
family, Rizal planned to go home. He would
not stay in Brussels writing a book while his
parents, relatives, and friends in the distant
Philippines were persecuted.
Upon hearing that Graciano Lopez Jaena was
planning to go to Cuba, he wrote to Ponce on
July 9, 1890, opposing Graciano’s plan of action.
“We have only once to die, and if we do not die
well, we lose an opportunity which will not again
be presented to us.”
Decision to Go to Madrid
Rizal’s friends were horrified by his plan to
return to the Philippines. They warned him
of the danger that awaited him at home.
Rizal ignored the dire warning of his
friends. No threat or danger could change
his plan.
However, something happened that
changed his plan:
A letter from Paciano which is related
about the lost case against the
Dominicans in Manila
Appealed it to the Supreme Court in
Spain and a lawyer was needed
He is going to Madrid in order to
supervise the handling of the case.
To My Muse (1890)
it was against a background of mental
anguish in Brussels, during those sad days
when he was worried by family disasters, that
he wrote his pathetic poem, “A Mi…” (To My
Muse). This poem lacks the exquisiteness of
“To The Filipino Flowers of Heidelberg” and is
less polished than “To The Filipino Youth”, but
it is passionate in feeling.
Romance with Petite Jacoby
Two things brought measure of cheer to Rizal as
he prepare his trip to Madrid:
1) The summertime in Belgium which was
celebrated in carnival style; and
2) Romance with Petite Jacoby, niece of his
landladies.
Rizal being charming and dignified gentleman
causes Petite Suzanne to be attracted to him.
He was lonely in a strange country and Leonor
Rivera was so far away.
Naturally, being a normal young man, found
certain bliss in the company of a pretty Belgian
girl.
He might have flirted with Petite Suzanne,
but he could not stoop low to a deceptive
amorous romance.
Like other women, Suzanne fell in love with
Rizal, and cried when he left toward the end
of July 1890 for Madrid, stopping for a few
days in Paris.