Correspondence of Rizal to his Family 1876


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      Tell Josephine also to send me the trunk to Cavite through a boy on the 2:00 o'clock steamer. The boy will deliver it to the boat of the stewards of the cruiser Castilla, in order that he may not be bothered in coming, and the stewards' boat will bring it to me. He will deliver the keys to the mail carrier.

      She will put in the trunk the following effects:


      Case of instruments for vision
      Underwear: shirts, undershorts, drawers.
      Neckties, socks
      Woolen clothes

      She may keep my satchel that I made in Dapitan in which are the receipts of the debtors.

      With nothing more, my dear sister, I wish you good health, give my love to Antonino and your children.

      Your brother,

      José Rizal

Moving words of farewell of Rizal to his mother on leaving for Cuba -- "Take very good care of yourself and take care of my old father so that we may meet again." Wishes his family to stand united.

On board the Cruiser Castilla

2 September 1896

Mrs. Teodora Alonso

My most beloved mother,

      As I promised you, I address you a few lines before departing to inform you of the state of my health.

      I'm well, thank God: I'm only worried about how you will get along or how you have gone through these troublous and restless days. (1) May God will that my father did not have any uneasiness.

      I shall write you from some ports of call of the mail-boats. I expect to be in Madrid, or at least in Barcelona, towards the end of this month. Don't worry about anything; we are all in the hands of Divine Providence. Not all who go to Cuba die, and finally one has to die, at least may one die doing some good.

      Take very good care of yourself and take care of my old father so that we may meet again. Many regards to my brother, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, etc. I leave contented, confident that while you live, the family will be united and the old cordiality will reign in it. You are the bond that unites us all.

      The Most Excellent Captain General has behaved towards me very well. I'm going to show him, if God gives me time and health, that I know how to reciprocate.

      With nothing more, my most beloved mother, I kiss your hand and my father's with all the love and tenderness that my heart is capable of; give me your blessing that I greatly need. An affectionate embrace to each of my sisters. May they love one another as I love them all.

      Your Son,



     (1) He refers to the first encounters between the Katipunan and the Spanish soldiers. See Teodoro A. Agoncillo, The Revolt of the Masses, Quezon City, 1956, chapter IX.

Persuasive requests and recommendations of Rizal to his family before his departure for Cuba -- May his brothers take good care of their old parents.

At the Bay, 2 September 1896

To my sisters,

      I urge you to take care of, to serve, and to love our parents, as you would like your children later to take care of, serve, and love you in your old age. May you live united and forgive one another's criticisms and slight faults -- the natural thorns of life -- because it is displeasure for parents to see that their children are not living in harmony. Afterwards, when our parents are dead, we shall miss them greatly and we shall be sorry for not having served them while they lived.

      I give my brothers-in-law very many thanks for the friendship they have always accorded me; they have loved me as a brother; I could not help but love them likewise.

      May my nephews and nieces study, be good, obedient to their parents, grandparents, and aunts.

      May my boys continue behaving well, . . . . . . I shall know how to take care of them if I return. God will dispose of that. They have lost nothing; it is always good to have behaved well.

      José Rizal

      To Teodosio: May he continue to be a good lad, studious, industrious, and obedient.

      To Tanis: May he not try to have the best for himself; may he try to do the best for others.

      To Moris: May he always be good, obedient.

Death aboard -- In charge of one patient -- Fine weather -- He is in good health.

On board the Isla de Panay

21 September 1896

My dearest Mother,

      This afternoon we shall arrive at Aden for which reason I write you to give you some news about myself.

      Our trip from Singapore to Colombo and from Colombo to here has been a happy one. There had not been much seasickness or much rain. Just some little squalls and rocking. Since yesterday the sea is like a pool but the heat is insupportable. Yesterday they dropped into the sea the corpse of a poor insane; he was a captain of the military administration called Cecilio who became insane as a result, they say, of his detention that was ordered by General Parrado. They put his remains in a box, tied some ingot iron to it and dropped the box into the sea at 2:00 o'clock in the morning. I was reminded of Luis Beaumont. (1)

      I'm very much afraid that a Jesuit brother (2) may follow him. I have taken charge of him, having been given up by the ship's physician. They have given him for dead sometime ago but he is still alive, though he continues serious. I hope to be able to keep him alive some more days. The brother-in-law of Mr. Pedro (3) is worse but I am not the one treating him. He says his dysentery is worsening.

      Last night the weather was fine with the light of the moon. The ship hardly moved or rocked.

      I continue to be in good health.

      Please send this letter to Callejon Estraude. (4)

      Many regards to all at home. I kiss your hand and that of my dearest father, and I embrace my sisters, brothers-in-law, and nephews. My greetings to our relatives, friends, and the lads whom I advise to behave well.

      At Barcelona I shall write again.

      Your son who loves you sincerely,

      José Rizal

      Please tell Josefina that I cannot write her for lack of time. She may consider this letter hers. I shall write her from Port Said.


     Rizal's letter to his mother en route to Spain.

     (1) Luis Martinez Beaumont, husband to his aunt Concepción Leyba, who died on board a ship en route to Spain.

     (2) He was Domingo Carrió who died at sea five days after this letter was written, on 26 September, and dropped into the sea on the same day.
     (3) Don Pedro A. Paterno's brother-in-law, Don Manuel Piñeyro, a Spaniard.
     (4) The name of the alley on which was located the residence of his sister Narcisa, married to Antonio Lopez, where Josephine Bracken was staying.

Rizal bids his family farewell -- "It is better to die than to live suffering" -- How he wishes to be buried.

The letter bears no date. (1)

To my family,

      I ask you for forgiveness for the pain I cause you, but some day I shall have to die and it is better that I die now in the plentitude of my conscience.

      Dear parents and brothers: give thanks to God that I may preserve my tranquility before my death. I die resigned, hoping that with my death you will be left in peace. Ah! It is better to die than to live suffering. Console yourselves.

      I enjoin you to forgive one another the little meanness of life and try to live united in peace and good harmony. Treat your old parents as you would like to be treated by your children later. Love them very much in my memory.

      Bury me in the ground. Place a stone and a cross over it. My name, the date of my birth and of my death. Nothing more. If later you wish to surround my grave with a fence, you can do it. No anniversaries. I prefer Paang Bundok. (2)

      Have pity on poor Josephine.


     (1) This letter was among the Rizal documents presented to the Republic of the Philippines by Spain through her ministers of foreign affairs, Martin Artajo on 26 February 1953. It has no date, but it must have been written at Fort Santiago shortly before he was led to his execution on Bagumbayan, Manila. These documents are published in one volume, Documentos Rizalinos, Manila 1953, by the Philippine government.

     (2) Paang Bundok literally means foot of the mountain. It is the place in the north of Manila where are the North Cemetery, a municipal cemetery, and the Chinese Cemetery. Rizal was buried, not in a humble place in Paang Bundok, as he wished but in the Cemetery of Paco. On 30 December 1912, the Commission on the Rizal Monument, created by virtue of Law No. 243, transferred his remains to the base of the monuments erected on the Luneta, very near to the place where he was shot.

Last words to his brother Paciano: expressing sorrow that the whole weight of caring of the family and their old parents rests with him.

Royal Fort of Santiago, 29 (?) December 1896

Mr. P. R.

My dear brother,

      It has been four years and a half that we have not seen each other or have we addressed one another in writing or orally. I do not believe this is due to lack of affection either on my part or yours but because knowing each other so well, we had not need of words to understand each other.

      Now that I am going to die, it is to you I dedicate my last words to tell you how much I regret to leave you alone in life bearing all the weight of the family and of our old parents!

      I think of how you have worked to enable me to have a career. I believe that I have not tried to waste my time. My brother: if the fruit has been bitter, it is not my fault; it is the fault of circumstances. I know that you have suffered much because of me: I am sorry.

      I assure you, brother, that I die innocent of this crime of rebellion. If my former writings had been able to contribute towards it, I should not absolutely deny it, but then I believe I expiated my past with my exile.

      Tell our father that I remember him, but how? I remember my whole childhood, his tenderness and his love. Ask him to forgive me for the pain I have unwillingly caused him.

      Your brother,

      José Rizal


     Paciano in Cavite received this letter in January 1897, as he had joined the Revolution after Governor General Polavieja signed the death sentence of his brother on 28 December 1896.

Rizal would like to see the bravest members of his family before he dies.

My dear parents and brothers:

      I should like to see some of you before I die, though it may be very painful. Let the bravest come over. I have to say some important things.

      Your son and brother who loves you most sincerely.

      José Rizal

Last words to his parents asking for forgiveness for the pain he is causing them unwillingly! "To my very beloved mother"

6:00 a.m. 30 December 1896

My Most Beloved Father,

      Forgive me for the pain with which I pay you for your struggles and toils in order to give me an education. I did not want this nor did I expect it. Farewell, Father, farewell!

      To my very beloved Mother,

      Mrs. Teodora Alonso

      At 6 o'clock on the morning of the 30th of December 1896l

      José Rizal

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