Fiction or Non-Fiction: The Story of Mrs. Rizal (the widow of Dr. Jose Rizal)
Posted by darbs on October 7, 2009
Today when I checked my email among the dozens of emails I maintained over the years, a forwarded email to: Fil-Am_Network@yahoogroups.com got my attention. My guess is that it has a lot to do with my son’s SEVENTH GRADE social studies subject – feeling “historical effect” lately.
First let me borrow Elmot’s words in his comment, “Their Balls Something: Philippine Pointing Fingers…” with a little tweak:. Hope you don’t mind bro.
(FYI: Elmot by the way is an exsem of the Roman Catholic Church. kag may paaman with palaman, “ti ano toto” sabi pa, “Ti, ano na, salumon ko?” . Sabay turo kay DFish na ngayon nag abandon ship for a month; the sabbatical mode.)
“…when a new [old information] surfaces, wow, it was nothing but another page on history books.” – Elmot
“The priest’s alleged abuses and misconduct that resulted in two forced abortions and one miscarriage”
Is everything a “flash in a pan?”
This will bring us to social studies the 7th Grade text book – Made in U.S.A. Public School System.
The Social Studies Book: One Nation Many People
Reading this Social Studies book with my son reminded me of Philippine history. Here is part of the story… minus the Lapulapu beheaded thingy. Magellan… back to Tiyo Paeng’s Karokehan – the second time around. On March 16, 1521 Philippines was discovered by Magellan.
Chapter 3 – page 27 – 28.
In 1493, Spain sent Columbus back on a second trip. Columbus was supposed to set up colonies. . . This time, he had 17 ships and about 1,500 people. Columbus also had on board five Roman Catholic priests. Their goal was to convert the “Indians” to Christianity.
This time, the Native Americans did not welcome Columbus. They were afraid that the strangers would take over their lands…Native Americans attacked Columbus’s forces. When Columbus arrived… he found his fort burned. In the ruins, he found the bodies of the men he left behind. The men in the fort had treated the Native Americans cruelly. In return, the Native Americans had attacked and killed them.
Columbus decided to strike back. Spanish soldiers riding horses attacked the Native American villages…. With his force, Columbus conquered the Taino. Then he forced them to build a new settlement. He ordered them bring him gold. He also put more than 500 Taino in chains and shipped them to Spain as slaves.
In 1494, the Taino rebelled against Columbus. However, their simple weapons were no match for Spanish guns and cannon. The Spanish hunted down the Taino with attack dogs. Many Native Americans were brutally killed.
Picture from the book: Columbus landed in America over 100 years ago. I could also say Magellan landed Philippines over 100 years ago.
Their mindsets were simple: To conquer more lands. Heard the words “KONGKISTADORIS?” mindset nothing but fame, power and greed in the name of civilization.
The Spanish forced the Native Filipinos (Indios) to work for them like slaves.
Unit One: The Clash of Cultures in the Americas
Fast forward – – 2009 came…
“We”, the American People (darbs is a proud Fil-Am) moved on. My advise to my son was;
“Son, you watch and listen! and always remember the words painted in your school; “There is only one RACE! THE HUMAN RACE!”
Updated October 9, 2009:
Yes, the slogan sounds good but in reality; in real world, please don’t expect human race understands the meaning of the WORD. Son, you might ask why?
The answer is… “Have you ever been discriminated?”
Without further ado…
Here is the email’s intro:
TO AVENGE HER HUSBAND; The Widow of Dr. Rizal Here to Secure Aid for the Patriots in the Philippines. HER WORK IN PHILADELPHIA Arrangements Made for Expeditions and Supplies and an Agreement for Mutual Assistance Concluded with the Cuban Junta. This was on the front pages of several US Newspaper on September 22, 1897, Wednesday including the NYTimes
Here is my photo of one of New York City’s landmark, The New York Times Building.
Below is the source of the article from NewYork Times Archive’s: Google result.
screenshot source nytimes archives
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21.1897 — Marina Comenol Orbi Hozae Rizal, the widow of Dr Hozae Rizal, who was butchered by Gen Polaviejo on Dec 6, 1896 is now in Philadelphia. Dr Rizal was the acknowledged leader and instigator of the revolution in the Philippines, which had been smoldering since 1894. As the president of Manila University; he was honored and revered by the residents of the island.
Religious persuasion and the atrocities list of tyrannies that are familiar to Cuban and Philippine historians finally were too grave for Dr Rizal to bear. He was instrumental in gathering together the patriots, and took to the field. Marina Comenol Orbi had been a student in the university. An attachment has sprung up between her and the President, and on Dec 4 she went into the thick of the battle to meet her lover, and the President, and they were married, with a band of patriots as the only witnesses.
Marina returned to Manila and two days later the young husband was captured. The Spanish General visited the prisoner, and offered him life, liberty, and passports for himself and wife if he would persuade the insurgents to yield. Rizal courageously and patriotically refused to buy his freedom at such a price. On Dec 6 he was led to a stone wall, compelled to knell, and was shot to death by a file of Spaniards under command of Gen Polaviejo.
Mrs Rizal then made up her mind to devote her life to the cause and avenge her husband. She first went to Japan, and there found sympathy and substantial encouragement. Mrs Rizal is now stopping in the northwestern part of this city, where she is the guest of a family thoroughly in sympathy manifests itself in her shrewd, secret work.
Many cases of arms and ammunition have been shipped over the trunk lines to Canada, where they will be forwarded to Japan and ultimately to the patriots in the Philippines. One of the most important steps yet taken by the Philippine patriots has been their resolution to join forces with Cuba. It is said that Mrs Rizal has been mainly instrumental in drawing up an agreement by which the Cuban Junta and the Philippine patriots will act in unison.
She has been in consultation with the most influential Cubans, and the result will likely be a bond which will mean much for their advancement. Spain has a foe in Mrs Rizal who is capable of doing much for the cause of liberty.
The Remington Arms Company is said to be have sent thousands fo rifles and is at work competing more for the same purpose.
A band of recruits will be send from America as soon as they can be collected. The work has been done so quietly that the presence of Mrs Rizal in this city has been known only to two or three of her most trusted friends. She has been here in month and not a moment of idleness.
Mrs Rizal will go from here to Japan and it is her intention to head the troops in person when she returns to the island. The patriots have been stirred deeply by the heroism of this woman, who is willing to give her life for the cause for which her husband died.
The Philippine insurgents have been fighting at a great disadvantage for want of troops and supplies. With renewed courage and abundant supplies under the inspired leadership of Mrs. Rizal, they expect long to gain their liberty and force Spain to grant practically the same reform that Cuba is struggling for. Japan is lending much aid to their cause, and is said to be looking with envious eyes upon the island.
The expedition which Mrs Rizal will soon lead from America is the first organized in United States, but a permanent organization has been formed which will act in conjunction with the Cuban Junta in supplying troops, war ammunitions, and counsel to the forces in the field.(end of the last paragraph)
The text below is a comment from:
Nestor Palugod Enriquez
The above article was published by NY times, LA Times, Deseret News, and other newspapers in the United States in Sept 22/23, 1897. Another part of that paper was about Theodore Roosevelt’s declaration that the US is on the verge of war with Spain. What was more startling was it was coming from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The same month when the Navy Secretary Long was on vacation and Commodore Dewey got his appointment from Roosevelt to head the Asiatic fleet.
Was this the start of what was known as the yellow journalism?
It is not the Yellow fever prevalent in Cuba but the fever of the Hearst publishing. NYT is probably the last media I will accuse of yellow journalism. Dramatizing events to sell not only newspapers but also swaying public opinion for America’s first world involvement in war and warning the Spanish forces out of the American continent and the Pacific.
By stirring up prejudice and newspaper accounts of Spain’s brutal treatment of Cubans and Filipinos, the Americans sympathized with the growing rebellion. I am still puzzled. Who is this Mrs Rizal?
The sounding name of Hozae?
Note that Gov Polaviejo relieved Blanco around the first week of December 1896. The report used butcher to describe the action of the Spanish Governor.
Another Governor, Valeriano Weyler was branded Butcher of Cuban by Cuban expatriates in New York to gather sympathy of the American population to their cause.
Weyler, the butcher repeated by yellow journalists like William Heartst. Butcher might be too strong word for 1897 news reporting but there were enough cleverly connections, Japan, Remington, and Cuban junta. I sat on this article when I first discovered it..
I suspect that some of the facts were not valid of what we know now based on history. I, therefore, would not completely dismiss it. Was this Josephine Bracken? After Rizal martyrdom on Dec 30, 1896ed, she joined theKatipunan that Dr Rizal always denied supporting ever.
On May 1897 she was transported back to Hong Kong onboard. She did it reluctantly or under the direct treat of Gov Polaviejo . The article indicated that she was in Philadelphia around Sept 1897 giving her on 5 months to steam to Philadelphia crossing the Delaware. Probable?
Her husband celebrated the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong in 1888 took various steamers and arrived in New York City May 13, 1888 with a brief stopover in Japan.
I could not find any evidence that Rizal himself tried to communicate with the Cuban exile leader in New York, the likes of Jose Marti. Believe me, my organization; FANHS NJ memorized every step that Rizal made in the United States that year.
The window of opportunity for the widow was enough?
Another speculation but unlikely, could this be Marina Dizon? The cousin of Emilio Jacinto and head of the women Katipunan brigade. Her husband, happen to be Jose Santiago who was exiled in Hong Kong during the Biak Na Bato aftermath.
Marina or Josephine were never mentioned being in the US in their life. The other discrepancies might be attributed that she was working on secret operations.
The worst scenario could be that it was just scam operation rather than to call the American people to support the fight against Spain.
My other speculation that this was another woman assuming the pseudo role. By using the cover of an avenging angel coming out of a great love story and martyrdom.
She would reinforce the revolution. Or, She was just created by the media with the US secretly behind to help in providing arms, ammunition, and troops in the name of freedom and liberty.
The US public opinion to support the intervention easily won as the American was already demanding action before 1898. If the New York Times was right, what happen to Mrs Rizal?
Marina was never mentioned again. Was she conceived by overzealous journalist?
How much arms and ammunitions were provided but one thing for sure American troops landed in Cuba and the Philippines just a year later. The mysterious widow did not appear again, I am hunting a ghost. Scanning NYTime ancient microfiche gets tiring but the excitement increases my sugar count flowing to my eyes that I might missed something.
Let me hear your speculation.