Page 25The Story of José RizalPage 27
Gran Oriente de España had two lodges in Manila, Luz de Oriente which was presided over by an army surgeon and Regularidad whose master was an official of the Supreme court. These were both composed of Spaniards and very few Filipino masons were then to be found in the Islands.

His first operation as an oculist was to remove a double cataract and so restore the sight of his mother.

Then in the land troubles at Kalamba he suggested to the tenants that they ask in the lawsuits that the landlords show their deeds. This he knew these would be unwilling to do because they were claiming more land than their deeds covered. Also he got the town to report the full amount of rents paid so that the landlords would have to pay taxes which before they had been escaping.

The litigation had arisen from refusals to sign new and one sided contracts, in which the tenants were led by the Rizal family.

For some time back Dr. Rizal's father had been in disfavor with the hacienda owners thru denying to the manager a present of a turkey once when a epidenic had reduced his flock to only a few birds. He had been accustomed to make such gifts at the official's request so that individual became angry and raised the rent, doubling it. Again he doubled it when he found the first raise did not cause Francisco Rizal-Mercado to come begging forgiveness, but his tenant was not of the kind that looked out for self-interest when he considered himself in the right. He stood up for his rights and the courts justified his position. Legally he won but an abuse of authority by an unscrupulous governor general cost him his property. Yet he never seemed to regret his stand and never asked sympathy.

The governor general, who had given Rizal a lieutenant of the Civil Guard as a body guard, found it difficult to protect him and after six months advised him to leave. In the interview the governor general spoke of having been interested in reading the extracts from "Noli Me Tangere" quoted by the censor in the petition for the book's prohibition, and requested a copy.

His betrothed, Leonore, whom he idealized in the "Maria clara" of "Noli Me Tangere," thru the withholding of

Page 25The Story of José RizalPage 27
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created: June 12, 1998
updated: June 12, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger