MADRID -- 1 JANUARY 1883 - NOVEMBER 1884

1st January 1883

Night, I don't know what vague melancholy, an indefinable loneliness, smothers my soul. It is similar to the profound sadness that cities manifest after a tumultuous rejoicing, to a city after the happiest celebration. Two nights ago, that is, 30 December, I had a frightful nightmare when I almost died.1 I dreamed that, imitating an actor dying on the stage, I felt vividly that my breath was failing and I was rapidly losing my strength. Then my vision became dim and dense darkness enveloped me -- they were the pangs of death. I wanted to shout and ask for help from Antonio Paterno, feeling that I was about to die. I awoke weak and breathless.

The last day of the year I spent at the home of Mr. Pablo Ortiga.2 I was gay; I don't know why I joked a lot and lost.3 We went home at five o'clock and Pat., Cal., Per., and Let.4 slept at home. We spent the day together and went to Elvira's house...lottery and I lost. I went home at night and wrote.


1From Noli Me Tangere (Makati City: Bookmark, 1996), pp. 557-559:
    The night of light and happiness for so many children, who in the warm bosoms of the family celebrate the feast of the sweetest memories, the feast that commemorates the first glance of love sent by heaven to earth; that night when all the Christian families eat, drink, dance, sing, laugh, play, love, kiss each other...this night, which in cold countries is magic for children with its traditional pine tree loaded with lights, dolls, sweetmeats and tinsel, whose round eyes reflecting innocence look dazzled; that night had nothing to offer Basilio more than orphancy...

    The stranger turned his face towards the east and murmured as though praying:
    "I die without seeing the dawn break on my country...You who are about to see it, greet her...do not forget those who have fallen during the night!"

    He raised his eyes to heaven, his lips moved as if murmuring a prayer, then he lowered his head and fell gradually to the ground...
From Leon Ma. Guerrero, The First Filipino: A Biography of Jose Rizal (Manila: Guerrero Publishing, 1998 [1963]), pp. 443-448:
    He found time for a special note to his father.

      6 a.m. 30th December 1896

      My most beloved father:

      Forgive me the sorrow with which I repay the anxieties and toil you underwent to give me an education. I did not want this nor expected it.
      Farewell, father, farewell!

    For his mother words seem to have failed him. "To my much beloved mother, Sra. Da. Teodora Alonso, at six o'clock in the morning of the 30th of December 1896."

    Both notes are signed rather formally with his full name...

    He took his stand facing the bay, his back to the rising sun. The drums rolled, the shout of command was given, and the Remigntons of the 70th fired. With one last convulsive effort of the will Rizal twisted his body rightward as he fell, his last sight being perhaps the hard empty eyes of the professional soldiers, companions in arms of those who had impassively lowered Tarsilo down the well and hunted down Elias as he swam in his own blood.

    He was facing the dawn now, but this he was not to see. "Viva Espana!" screamed Dona Victorina in her elegant carriage.

    "Viva Espana!" shouted Father Damaso, and added, shaking his fist, "Y mueran los traidores"

    "Long live Spain and death to traitors!" But as the last Spaniards gave their ragged cheer, and the band of the battalion of volunteers struck up, with unconscious irony, that hymn to human rights and constitutional liberties, the Marcha de Cádiz, the quiet crowd of Filipinos broke through the square, to make sure, said the Spanish correspondent, that the mythical, the godlike Rizal was really dead, or, according to others, to snatch away a relic and keepsake and dip their handkerchiefs in a hero's blood.

    If he had seen them, the first Filipino would have known that he was not the last.
2Mr. Pablo Ortiga y Rey, member of the Council of the Philippines, a government advisory body, and father of Consuelo Ortiga y Perez to whom Rizal dedicated a poem.

3He lost in the card game.

4Paterno, Calero, Perio, and Lete.
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY to 16 JUNE 1882

THREE LETTERS HOME

Suez Canal, 7 June [1882]

My dear Parents,

The last letter I wrote you was at Aden before disembarking. This will inform you about the rest.

I went down at Aden, which, as I have told you perhaps, is a town of little importance by itself, but it is important to the steamers that take on coal there. The town is composed of numerous hillocks and rocks, all bare and arid, without even a plant, on which stand some lonely and gloomy houses, white indeed, but with a funereal aspect. The ground, like its sun, is hot and hard; the wind, loaded with burning sand, disturbs now and then the quietness of its well-made but deserted streets. At intervals and as if forcing itself to enliven those places, can be seen camels walking majestically and rhythmically, tall and big, forming a contrast to the humble asses some of which are very short, like a hog, of abrupt and somewhat hasty pace. Everywhere is death, neither a root nor a leaf. Only man perhaps in order to give a proof of his power, lives there where plants cannot; but, alas, it's only to give a spectacle of his poverty and degradation, compelled as he is to contend with the granite for his existence. But English power is worthy of its name and it opens there two beautiful tunnels one of which is as long as the distance from Capitana Danday's house until that of my brother-in-law Mariano, and the other is one half less. These bore through live rock and when one is in the middle of the first one finds himself in complete darkness. If by any chance one sees a space of ground as large as a dish in which a little grass grows, it is a phenomenon that attracts everybody's attention. Within the town proper can be seen some limp and rickety trees of which the tallest is not more than three varas. Besides the tunnels there are other things that call the attention of the travelers and they are the cisterns or reservoirs. These are some large cavities, whitened with stucco, formed by the mountain and a wall which, with the rock, form a receptacle. Imagine some five dams with the wall that, instead of being of stone like what we have there, is of very hard granite, there being a granite mountain here, but all whitened, with stone railings and very well made stairs of granite also. Beside this, instead of abaca plants as we have there, there are tiny plants whose leaves can be counted and some signs that prohibit the picking of a flower or leaves. Instead of water and its beautiful and boisterous falls, there's nothing but complete aridity, not even a drop of water, and the hottest sun. At one place there is a well of about one hundred varas deep whose bottom cannot be seen and from where five Negroes get water which takes two minutes to come up to the surface.

In the shops are found skins of lion, tiger, panther, and leopard, ostrich eggs and feathers, and some children whose occupation is to fan the travelers.

From Aden, town of great divers and swimmers who pick up small coins thrown into the water, we headed for Suez through the Red Sea. On the first day it was so terribly hot that many fainted, even a waiter of the ship. In the following days it was fairly cool and the sailing was good. We saw Mount Sinai, Egypt, etc. We also met many ships. On the 2nd June we arrived at Suez.

A little steamer came alongside and placed us under quarantine for 24 hours. We were embarrassed. It was because of the Dutch on board who came from Java. On 3 June the Turkish physician came up to inspect the ship and the sick and to fumigate and disinfect us.

The physician informed us of the revolt in Egypt led by Arabi Bey, Minister of...who imprisoned the Khedive in his palace. It seems that there is a coup de main. Like the entire army he is a partisan of the minister. I conversed with him in French and I learned that he was educated in Paris where he studied medicine; he had been in London and traveled through Italy and Germany. He held advanced ideas and when he was satisfied with my replies he responded by saying, "Bravo!" He asked me how Japan was, believing I was Japanese. Finally we left Suez and entered the Canal, not without having been visited first by the peddlers of Suez selling figs, dates, and other things, like postcards, rosaries, etc.

The Canal, opened in the middle of that desert of sand and stone, is 85 kilometers long and probably some 80 varas wide. A boat that was grounded in the middle obstructed our way and we stopped three days -- three days of ennui and grumbling. At last this morning we went on and I believe we shall arrive at Port Said. Probably we shall not reach Marseille until the 15th.

I'm in very good health and the intense cold which we have had since we arrived at Suez five days ago has made me stout. I'm so stout that I'm bursting. I do nothing else but stroll continually because one cannot remain seated for a long time.

I'm going to give you a so so description of the Canal. It is not straight throughout its length; it has curves but small ones; sometimes it flows into a lake where it is believed Moses passed, and again enters the desert. It crosses three lakes in its course. On both banks, which are all yellow and white, where it is a real jewel to find grass, are erected some telegraph stations placed at intervals. We have seen a young beggar running on the sand and following the ship in order to pick up a cracker that may be thrown him or not. A traveler on a camel and two magnificent Arabian horses. One of these, mounted by a customs officer, attracted the attention of everybody. Here I have tasted cherries, apricots, and green almonds. We have seen the curious spectacle of a mirage which is the reflection on the desert of seas and islands that do not exist at all.

I hope to receive a letter from you before the end of this month at Barcelona. I repeat I'm in good health and wish you to be the same.

Foreigners in whose colonies the colonials are very much oppressed do not want to believe that I'm an Indio; others that I'm Japanese. It is hard to make them believe the truth.

Bless your son who will never forget you.

Rizal

P.S.

You may tell my brothers as well as my brothers-in-law that I would be glad to receive a letter from them.

Regards to all, like my friends and acquaintances there and may they excuse me for not writing them now, but when I shall be at Barcelona they would get tired of me I've a desire to speak Tagalog. It has been one month that I have not spoken one word. I'm familiarizing myself with French.



Barcelona, 23 June 1882

My dear Parents and Brothers,

I have the pleasure to write you today, the eve of the town feast there, a memorable day for me, although it is not the day of the departure of the mail boat. My last letter, dated in the Canal, must have informed you of the incidents of my trip; it remains for me then to relate what happened after that. We arrived at this important city, Port Said, that partakes much of Africa and Europe; commercial, gay, and quite beautiful, but, on the other hand, dirty and corrupt. There is a café-musical where an orchestra, an excellent one, according to those who know, plays the national songs of the different European countries, like the Marseillaise, God Save the Queen, and others. Its population is most heterogeneous: Europeans, Turks, Greeks, Egyptians, and Negroes. Variety of fruits: the date above all; elegant stores with signs in French, Italian, Greek, and others and dirty and dark booths adorn its animated streets. We were here for about three hours. It must be noted that we didn't find even... (illegible)

At the beginning, the sailing was good, we passed opposite Greece, the Island of Candia; on the 10th, with good weather, we sighted the coast of Italy; the first town we saw was...(illegible) with a very beautiful beach which at the time a train was crossing. Thence the sailing was very pleasant on account of the beauty of the Italian coasts, thickly populated and well cultivated, presenting a picturesque aspect, full of life and poetry, that resembled a Belen1 on account of its many houses and little trees. On the same afternoon of the 10th we passed through the Strait of Messina with a sea so smooth that we didn't notice a single wave. We saw the volcanoes Stromboli and Etna and other islands. Sicily and Naples, even if we have not yet passed them, appeared before our eyes bathed in the beautiful rays of the afternoon sun. The following day, at dawn, Napoli (Naples) appeared to us, a gigantic city which lays asleep beside Vesuvius, a volcano that seems to be guarding this wonderful city. Its extent from Posilipo (mountain) until the other extreme, all populated, would be the same as from the town of Calamba until beyond Los Baños. Elegant edifices, like that of the Royal Palace, the Castle of Santelmo or St. Telmo, numerous hotels, the Tower of Massaniello, and the lugubrious State prison. We were not allowed more than one hour to go ashore which I spent visiting Napoli at the risk of being left behind. Those of us who went ashore were four and accompanied by a cicerone we went around the city. It was the first European city I passed through. From pleasure to pleasure, from surprise to surprise, in an elegant coach, guided by a cicerone who spoke French, I went through those streets, carefully paved with large, black, flat paving stones, and crossed by streetcars. Statues, fountains, monuments, arches erected here and there, very tall houses, stores and show-windows glittering for the lavish use of gilt and crystal, attract the attention of the traveler above all if he comes from the colonies. A throng that speaks a melodious language come and goes continually, elegant ladies and gentlemen walk through the streets. At the street corners are announcements or notices to the Freemasonry of the whole world concerning the death of Garibaldi2. I went to the telegraph station with various orders and afterwards in twenty minutes we went around the city, the Posilipo, various churches vyingly full of statues, squares with antique marble statues or copies of them, like those of Apollo, Faunus, Orestes, equestrian statues, the Fountain of the Four Seasons, represented by four superb lions, a museum of antiquities from Herculaneum and Pompeii.

How sorry I am not to be able to stop to see it, study it, examine it more closely and a little more carefully. Almost one moment more and the boat would leave me behind. But all this magnificent panorama cost me much because coachman and cicerone cheated me, charging me four times more than the agreed price. On the boat I found many peddlers of lava from Vesuvius made into elegant lockets and other jewels, views of Naples, and on the water alongside the boat were two divers or swimmers who, less aristocratic than the Negroes of Aden, were satisfied with fishing out small copper coins thrown far away into the water. When I compared these two good Italian lads with the Negroes of Aden with kinky hair, I couldn't help but indulge in serious reflections.

Also in a boat came two Italian women and two men, the women with guitars and bandores and the men with violins, to play for us, singing in sweet and melodious voice several opera selections and the Addio a Napoli. They received with an open umbrella all kinds of money thrown to them by the passengers.

Four or five minutes after my arrival we left Napoli, and I became the butt of the questions of my fellow passengers who repented for not having gone ashore. Here we learned through the newspapers about the occurrences in Alexandria and Cairo -- the massacre of Europeans that took place when we were in the Canal. In my previous letter I must have told you something about my conversation with a physician, a partisan of Arabi Pasha, probably in the know of what was then being plotted. But the gentleman didn't let anything leak out and in the Canal we were calm and peaceful.

From Napoli we sailed almost the whole day within sight of Italy, but the mistral blew and gave us good jolts. The following day, the 12th, we passed near Corsica, native land of Napoleon. Its coasts were less populated, more mountainous and wild; they have much to envy the Italian coasts with regard to land development.

In the evening, and after enough strutting and with a cold that compelled me to accept the shawl of Mrs. Salazar despite my frock-coat and vest, we saw the lighthouse of Marseille. By this time the sun set at about 7:00, and as the twilight was very long, it was still daylight by 8:30. Thus, the coasts of France, which since five o'clock were vaguely outlined in the distance, would have appeared to us more beautiful had it not been for the wavering light of dusk. In the evening then, at about 10 or 11 o'clock, we dropped anchor, because it was forbidden to enter. Before us, among several islands, stood the celebrated Castle of If. A city viewed at night with beacons of different colors and electric lights that seemed to wander from one place to another seemed to me a monster with a thousand restless and distrustful eyes. We deferred then for the next day our curiosity. I was condemned to see cities at sunrise which surprise a traveler who sees a pleasant thing suddenly and not gradually. It is needless to give you a description of Marseille because all that I can say about very big ships, forest of masts, poles, and chimneys, boats, buildings, churches, etc. -- all will be pale and cold, colder than the cold we felt then.

I was on deck with my frock-coat and gloves on waiting eagerly for the permit to go down. Here farewells, meetings, tears, instructions in French everywhere, boatmen, porters who salute you very politely and offer you their services. Wicked money! At last my turn came to bid goodbye those who had become my new friends and acquaintances, foreigners and Spaniards, who gave me their cards and pictures. And followed by a boatman I went ashore to the customhouse. French politeness is evident even among the customs officers who begged for “Pardon” before searching me with all possible consideration. Taking a coach (coupé) I went to the Grand Hotel Noailles located on Rue Cannebiere. This is one of the best hotels, if not the best, in Marseille, with all the comforts, carpeted marble staircase, hydraulic elevators for going up and down all the floors without having to lift one foot, servants attired in dress coat with white necktie, clean and elegant, carpeted rooms with dressing-tables, velvet chairs with spring, electric bells, imperial bedsteads; in short, excellent service. I had one of these rooms for four francs a day without board. But it must be noted that here even the candle is paid for separately. On account of the excessive cold that penetrated everywhere I had to keep my room, which is full of embroidered curtains and carpeted, always closed. I was in Marseille two days and a half, but I got bored staying in my room alone, accustomed as I was to many people. Many of the passengers were lodged in the hotel. I strolled through those wide and clean streets, paved like those in Manila and full of people, attracting the attention of everybody who called me Chinese, Japanese, American, etc., but no one called me Filipino! Poor country, no one has heard of you!

This is the most elegant city that I have seen and it is cultured and rich with respect to its houses. The majority of these are decorated with statues, caryatids, bunches of flowers, sphinxes, busts, etc., etc., large, admirable for their richness in crystal and marble elegantly combined. The fact is nobody looked out the window on account of the cold; I was about the only one who stepped out on the balcony. The stores have their glass doors closed so that the cold may not get in, and at first I didn't enter them believing that it was prohibited to do so. Almost all the articles displayed to the public have their prices beside them; and it must be noted that everything is cheap.

But many people moved about; there were vendors of fruits, newspapers, and flowers; there were booths where oysters, mussels, and shrimps were sold. The sidewalks of the Rue Cannebiere are as wide as an ordinary street and I was much struck that one enters a place with very elegant signs in gilt and crystal, the like of which cannot be found in Manila, and finds himself in a passable café.

I saw the gallery of paintings where there were excellent pictures and statues, the zoological garden with its lions, bears, panthers, elephants, and a carabao. I was not able to see many animals because that was a very big place and I got tired. There was a department for monkeys from all parts of the world. There were some that resembled human beings, extending their hands to you as if asking about your health. The museum of natural history didn't escape my curiosity.

I saw also the Panorama which is a circular building. You go inside and you see dead soldiers beside a cannon, and they seem to be sculpture, and you come to a place where you see on all sides a real siege with cavalry, with soldiers surrendering their arms, skirmishes, etc. Everything there is an illusion. You think such a horse is moving, that the dead man is kicking, that the smoke of the fire is rising, that the howitzer is striking the snow of the distant mountain, far horizons, the snow, the chief who is shouting, so that we got into a discussion as to whether all of these were paintings or sculpture. Being there without looking through a cosmorama you feel as if you are in the battlefield itself. The whole place is a continuous field and the rogues even offer you binoculars in order to see better.

I left Marseille by express train on the afternoon of the 15th, because all the trains that go from Marseille to Barcelona are express. The ticket is very cheap -- 12 pesos and 3 pesetas, first class. You travel at full speed of from five to six leagues2 per hour. By boat the trip costs almost as much and it's more uncomfortable. We were going at such speed that when we met trains running in the opposite direction, it was physically impossible to look at it because it would turn your head around. That was infernal, it seemed like lightning, a monster, a shooting star. We went through tunnels, or rather mountains, one of which was very long that at the speed we were going I believed we made it in more than five minutes. At one stop I was much frightened: A stop of 30 minutes was announced. I went down for some necessity and after five minutes, I saw the train pulling out, taking along my luggage with my money in it. I ran after it; I didn't overtake it. Fortunately, a gendarme informed me that it would return soon and that it would only change tracks. After that I didn't go down again. The towns and countrysides that we pass by are precious: Every inch of land is well cultivated and used for vineyards, olive trees, and planted to wheat and barley. France is thickly populated for along the way there were houses almost without interruption until the Spanish boundary. We passed by the following towns and cities: Pas-de-Gamur, Regisal, Saint Chamas, Miramas, Tarascon, Le Cailar, Aimargues, Porllan, Montpellier, Cette, Narbonne, Perpignan, Cerbere. We spent the night in France; at dawn we arrived at the Spanish frontier town, Port Bou. There we had to change trains. Before that we were searched at the customhouse by the Spanish carabineers. Missing were the courtesy and polish of the French, but on the other hand we had a delicious breakfast in a beautiful and pleasant room. Here can be seen posters in Spanish and French. It seems that one is in Manila for one sees Spanish or Castilian phrases and one hears Spanish spoken. From here in another train we came to Barcelona passing also through two or five tunnels, one of which was quite long. Much work has been put into it and according to the Commander of the Navy, this Spanish line that goes to France is the best. Although the country is perfectly cultivated, it is less populated than France. At the frontier we saw a frontier-lad. He was wearing a costume half French and half Spanish, a clergyman's cap, Catalan fiber sandals. That symbolism was funny, graphic, and significant. The towns we passed were Port Bou, Llansá, Vilajuiga, Perelada, Figueras, Vilamalla, Tonya, San Miguel, San Jordi, Flassá, Bordils, Celrá, Gerona, Fornells, Riudellots, Caldas, Sils, Tordera, Blanes, Malgrat, Calella, Arenys, Caldetas, Mataró, Premiá, Masnou, Mongat, Badalona. It was about 12:00 when we arrived at Barcelona. My first impression of Barcelona was very unpleasant. After having seen Napoli and Marseille I found this city poor and vulgar. Its streets were dirty, its houses of poor architecture, in short I saw everything in an unfavorable light with the exception of the women who seemed to me more beautiful than the women of Marseille. I was very much disappointed especially when we arrived at the hotel where the service and accommodation were so poor that my companion Mr. Buil, chief of the telegraph office, said: "To come from Hotel Noailles and then drop into this!" I was very sad above all when I looked for the persons to whom I was recommended and I couldn't find them. I was not able to see a single countryman, and on account of the large expenses I had had in my trip and the many cheatings I suffered, only 12 pesos remained to me. At last I found the Jesuit fathers who received me well and showed me an inexpensive and Christian house where I got board and room for 21 pesos a month. When I reached the hotel my companion, having received a telegram, had left hurriedly, carrying my coat in which I kept my passport, my gloves, and I don't know what else, and in exchange he left me many of his things. I learned that he had been informed of something serious when I saw the telegram on the table. Then I too left the hotel hurriedly, and in less than an hour my little money was further reduced by the dishonest hotel keeper, the coachman, and the porter who overcharged me. I moved to the house indicated to me by the Jesuit fathers and when the people there learned how much I had spent and paid the rogues, they exclaimed: "You have been terribly cheated. In fact they had taken advantage of your being a tyro!" Only seven pesos remained to me. As I looked at the house to which I had moved -- modest, humid, dark, and poorly ventilated -- located on San Severo Street, a dirty and old alley; as I looked at the brick floor of my room, the straw chairs, the hard and not so tidy bed, not a mirror, an old and broken wash-basin placed on a stand made of four pieces of iron, I, accustomed to luxury and comfort, at least for the last forty days, became intensely dispirited and sad and more than ever with deep sorrow I remembered our house which is a thousand times more decent than that. Then a thousand sad thoughts invaded my mind upon finding myself in that world hitherto unknown to me, without friends, without relatives, especially when the landlord came (for until then I had met only the landlady, a good and gentle woman) who was rough, coarse, ugly in appearance, when I saw priests come out from all the rooms and heard everywhere the harsh Catalan language. Supper consisted of nothing more than a dish of vegetables and another of fish. I called the attention of the priests, the only guests of that house, and I observed that underneath that rough exterior a good disposition was hidden. Little by little those clouds were dissipated and they treated me with more consideration, especially a priest who had come from Cuba. Ah! I forgot to say that, having learned at the Jesuit College that Cuesta was boarding in the same house, I hurriedly went there to see my countryman, but I couldn't talk with him because he had left for Manresa. I stayed then at that house to await him and also for reasons of economy. The following day, provided with a map of the city, I began walking through the streets of that labyrinth to look for my countrymen. Some were still sleeping. I went to the hospital to wait for them there and after waiting a long time, I was shown the house of a countryman. I found Cabangis and since then I have had better days. Successively I found the others who received me very well, who found for me more decent and cheaper houses. I met Cuesta who returned from Manresa. In short, since then until the present I like Barcelona and I'm getting to like it more and more. At present I occupy a room on the third floor of a building on Sitjes Street, number 3, together with Cabangis and other good students who are refined and courteous. I'm well served by a landlady, whose name is Doña Silvestra, who always says to me: "Don Pepe, do you want something? Have you already an appetite?" and so on. I have somewhat written at length about certain things in order to portray to you the impressions and situation of a tyro. Now I know Barcelona a little and it seems to me large and pretty and I remember Marseille and Napoli (Naples) as a glittering and vanished dream. I'm beginning to discover in this city gems and riches; pretty and elegant houses of varied architecture, Arabic and Greco-Roman. I'm getting used to it and I regard it with pleasure. The Jesuit fathers lent me money in case I should lack some and something happen to me. I have gone through their College and I'm making a study of various things to apply them there when I return. I've visited a porcelain factory which I liked very much and I intend to visit another of glass, clay, etc. Here are found many things which are applicable there.

When some of you want to write me, which I hope you'll do every mail boat, address me thus:
Mr. José Rizal
No. 3, Floor 3, Sitjes Street
Barcelona.

If you could send me by registered mail through the next mail boat my birth certificate and a statement that I have my parents and family there, I would be much obliged.

I don't know if you have received my letters; I've written you at Singapore, Point Galle, Aden, Suez, and this time at Barcelona. I expect by next mail letters addressed to Father Ramon Vilalta.

Every moment I'm thinking of what you would be doing at this time; I'm behind you eight hours, so that generally you are sleeping when I'm awake. I trust that you are all in good health like me who is putting on weight.

I'm sending the most affectionate regards to all of you and to all our relatives, and when you write me, tell me even about nephews and friends. Give my regards to the parish priest and to Captain Juan as well as to the others.

And bless your son who wishes only your happiness.

José Rizal.


1Belén is the Tagalog and Spanish name for Bethlehem. The Tagalogs also call Belén the reproduction of Christ's birthplace that Christian Filipinos put up in their homes at Christmas time; that is, crèche.

2Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), Italian patriot, who labored for and secured the unification of Italy.

3A measure of distance varying for different times and countries from 3.9 to 7.4 kilometers.



Barcelona, 29 June [1882]

Today, probably the feast on the beach,1 I close my letters with regret for not having received even one letter from you by the two mails which arrived from there.

I believe that it would be better if there is a commercial firm here which would give me money at the beginning of every month. This can be done by means of a money order of a firm there. The family of Cabangis of Tondo which my brother knows...

(The rest of this letter is missing.)

1Feast in a barrio of Kalamba whose patron saint is St. Peter and St. Paul, 29 June.
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY to 16 JUNE 1882

The trip [to Barcelona] -- 5:00 p.m. 15 June -- 11:30 a.m. 16 June

Seated in a first-class coach Messrs. Buil, Pardo and I traveled from Marseille to Port Bou. I, who was traveling for the first time in an express train, was surprised by the speed, which increased whenever two trains met going in opposite directions. They seemed to be two lightning bolts. We passed various towns, fields, olive groves, vineyards. By night we were in Tarascon.

Something peculiar happened to me. At one station we were told that the train was stopping thirty minutes. Messrs. Buil, Pardo, and I went down. At the end of about six minutes, I saw the train pullout and I tried to follow it. I ran, but in vain. I was going to continue running, when fortunately a guard informed me that it would return after twenty minutes as it had left just to change tracks. We passed Montpellier, a city famous for its medical school.

I arrived at Barcelona on 16 June 1882.

The train on which I traveled with Pardo and Buil left us at Port Bou. After having been inspected and treated rudely by the Spanish carabineers, we boarded a smaller, though beautiful coach, upholstered with red cloth. Upon entering Spanish territory one cannot fail to perceive the fact in the air, landscape, and manner. A lad dressed half Spanish and half French said emphatically that the boundary was there. We passed through numerous tunnels, the only magnificent works that until now I have seen in this country. It was morning...The sun was scarcely tinting with soft colors the fresh clouds in the East. My companions were sleeping; I, steeped in melancholy reflections on my future, was looking far away, and my mind wandered, thinking of a million beings and things.

I am arriving in Spain, alone and unknown; the first stage of my unknown journey is there. What am I going to do and what is going to become of me in the future? My money is dwindling. I know I would meet friends, but despite this, no one is capable of overcoming the emotions that a new country produces in a young heart.

Near the railroad could be seen olive groves, vineyards, pine groves, and highways; in the distance some ruins of a crumbling castle, huts, small towns consisting of some gray houses. Now and then could be seen a worker or country folk. One would say that the country was deserted. The sharp curves of the mountains covered with pines and chestnut, if not as green as those in my country, nevertheless reminded me of it. Until Barcelona the only cities that attracted my attention were Gerona, memorable for the siege that it endured, and Figueras, for its large size. Now and then the railroad passes beside the sea. I gazed at it as an old friend from whom one is separating for a long time. Very soon, at about half past ten, I sighted in the distance, beside the waves of the sea, a large city with a small mountain on the side. I presumed it must be Barcelona. In effect the brother of Mr. Vicente Pardo, who came to meet him at the train together with a daughter of his -- a precious blonde girl of about 10 or eleven years with large eyes, fine features, a spiritual and contemplative look -- told me that that city was Barcelona and that mountain was the fortress of Montjuich. A few minutes later we arrived at Barcelona where Pardo left us to join his brother. Buil and I remained and agreed to stay together until our departure.

In effect we took a coach, put our luggage in it, and went to the Fonda de España, San Pablo.

Barcelona made an unpleasant impression on me. Accustomed to the elegant and magnificent buildings of the cities I have seen, the polite and refined manner, not having stayed anywhere except in beautiful and first-class hotels, and then enter a city through its most ugly section and stop at an inn located on a narrow street where everyone was indifferent. I don't know if it was the state of my mind that gave this nostalgic aspect to things.
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY TO 16 JUNE 1882

3rd day [in Marseille] (15 June -- Thursday)

We woke up late, and spent the morning putting in order our luggage and suggesting a luncheon to Mr. Salazar, this being our last day in Marseille. At a quarter past eleven then we lunched -- Mr. and Mrs. Salazar, Messrs. Buil, Pardo, and Folgue, and I.

After this, we all took a last stroll, except the Portuguese who went after his business. We went to see the shops, buying this and that and at about a quarter past three, we returned to the hotel to prepare for our departure.

About half an hour later, Mr. and Mrs. Salazar, whom we had left at the shops, arrived to bid us farewell. Mrs. Salazar wished me many good things and I noticed that she was speaking sincerely and not out of pure compliment. I also expressed to them my desire, born of my friendliness towards Mr. Salazar, to see them in my native land...But this was not all. After finishing our preparations, we went up to bid Mrs. Salazar, who was alone, a last farewell, and then we left.

I have spent much. Of the seventy-six pesos which I had brought from the Philippines only twenty-eight or twenty-nine pesos are left. Now I have to buy a first-class ticket which costs 12 and pay for my luggage. The hotel's interpreter followed us to the station and was very useful. Mr. Folgue had to separate from us to take the train that went directly to Bourdeaux. We departed then.
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY TO 16 JUNE 1882

2nd day in Marseille -- 14 June, Wednesday

The following day I woke up a little late. I dressed and took my breakfast in the garden in the soft light of the morning sun. Afterwards I called on my companions. I found the Portuguese, who had shaved his mustache and was self-conscious because of that. Mr. Buil and Mr. Pardo were already up and in good humor. We talked pleasantly of a thousand different matters and we went to call on Mrs. Salazar.

Afterward we took a stroll and my companions bought themselves gloves and mufflers. Going through the Cannebiere we turned to the Avenue of the République and went to see the Panorama. We enjoyed ourselves very much and we spent a pleasant time on Belfast Place. On our return, we lost our way but finally we found it.

We lunched together and afterward Mr. Buil and I again took a stroll. We went shopping until four o'clock. Upon our return, I saw the preparations of the Dutch for their departure. I wished then to bid my little friends goodbye. I hesitated whether to see them or not, fearful that I might make a display of my emotions. But, at last, my affection prevailed and I waited for them in the corridor or vestibule. They came from the dining room, Mr. Kolffne asked for the name and address of the Governor and he gave me his so that I could give them to Mr. Salazar. My little friends bade me farewell repeatedly. I lost sight of them when their coach turned around the corner. One affection less and more pain.

Thoughtful and walking slowly, I went to look for my companions and to seek noise and bustle which might stun me and drive away my sad thoughts. I found my friends in Mr. Salazar's room, chatting merrily. I too shared in the general liveliness and human weakness. Already I was laughing, thinking still of the farewell. Mr. Salazar invited us to supper, but, as we had agreed in the morning to take supper at the Café Maison Dorée, we had to decline, giving our excuse. We went to our rooms and in our inexplicable hilarity, we forgot the invitation of our neighbor. We hesitated whether or not to dine in such and such a restaurant until Mr. Buil decided that we would do it at the hotel itself. Seated at the table we noticed Mr. and Mrs. Salazar. Instantly we remembered their invitation and we felt ashamed. Then excuses, etc.

After the supper we went out for a walk, afterwards going to a café where there were a concert, songs, and drama. That entertained us until midnight.
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY to 16 JUNE 1882

[1st day in Marseille -- 13 June -- Tuesday]

The voyage from Napoli to Marseille lasted almost two days, for we arrived the following day at ten o'clock at night. On the way we saw Corsica, native country of a soldier1 with the most genius, mountainous and sparsely populated in comparison with what we saw yesterday. The doors of the houses are wide and low and the tops of its small rocks which break in the water are crowned with sentry-boxes. The prevailing north wind has disturbed the sea so much that many got seasick.

On Monday afternoon, the 12th, the coasts of France were sighted and we navigated close to the coasts of that fertile land.

At nightfall several lights and lighthouses appeared, which indicated to us the proximity of Marseille. Marseille -- the most ancient commercial city that perhaps exists.

On the eve of our separation, perhaps forever, I felt a certain uneasiness mingled with sadness upon thinking of good friends and excellent hearts that I was going to lose. It is true that Nievenhing gave me his picture, that Mr. Pardo gave me his card, but there is one thing, for which nothing can be substituted, which is one's feeling upon separating. Besides, my girl friends were also leaving. Youth is a friendship by itself, so that when two young people meet, they treat each other as if they are friends. I have already lost my friend Zorab and now Wilhelmine, Hermiene, Geretze, Celiene, and Mulder are leaving, and where are they going? The girls to The Hague and Mulder to Brussels. Probably we shall not meet again. Farewell, then, merry companions and friends. Go to the bosom of your families, and I, who am beginning my pilgrimage, will still go roaming at the mercy of fortune. I realize that if friendships are forged in travel, I have not been born for travel.

Morning came and I dressed very early, putting on a suit for going ashore -- frock-coat, hat, and gloves. There were many people on deck admiring Marseille. Numerous ships were anchored. The Saghalien and the Natal, among others, were the largest of the group.

Among the various boats that approached the sides of the ship there was one in which were embarked two men and a beautiful young lady. They inquired about Messrs. Ortíz and Godínez, and when these appeared, we learned that the young lady was Mr. Ortíz's sister. He did not recognize her, for they had not seen each other for seventeen years. It was a happy meeting. The young lady cried for joy, but she could not go aboard, permission not having been granted yet by the government. Happy are those who go to their homes and meet on the way, as a prelude to their happiness, their brothers!

I took leave of my friends Nievenhing, Standinitzky, and Vesteros, wishing them happiness, and I left. I shall not see them again. I don't want to describe my sadness when I proceeded to land alone. I, accustomed to a large family, many companions, was going alone to a great city. I bade goodbye to the Djemnah...

At the customhouse its agents treated me with much courtesy and asked me first for a declaration. They were very polite in inspecting my luggage and afterwards they told me I could go. I left and Marseille was before me.

It was still early. Marseille: République Avenue, big houses with statues and caryatids largely of Renaissance style; many well-paved streets; very clean and bright shops; Rue Cannebiere, more beautiful still, if that is possible; the Palace of the Bourse; Hotel Louvre; and finally the Hotel Noailles where I stopped.

The coach cost me 2.50, like the boat. A servant or a page, decently dressed in black, had my luggage taken up and he took me to a room on the first floor. The hotel is beautiful, elegant, and clean. Glass everywhere; a marble stairway covered with rugs like the halls. My room was on the street side; a large dressing table, a bureau, small marble-topped tables, toilette, towels, a bed comme il faut, velvet chairs and the whole room covered with rugs. Large and embroidered red curtains decorate the room.

After my haircut, I took a walk in the environs and everywhere I found gaiety and activity. The tall and beautiful houses attracted my attention. Vendors of newspapers and flowers swarmed in all places.

On the street in front of the Hotel de Geneve I met Mr. Mulder who made me believe that he lived there as well as La Cetentje. In front of Hotel Noailles I met the young sailor, and in the hotel itself, the Portuguese Folgue with Messrs. Buil and Pardo.

From there I went to the Customhouse to get my trunk and again I was shown French politeness and gentility.

Once back in the hotel with my luggage, I looked for a companion, but all the Spaniards had gone out. I hear a young voice speaking Dutch and I go out and I meet Celiene Mulder going down the stairs. I greeted her affectionately, for our conversations did not go beyond that; she does not speak anything else but Dutch. She answered me in her charming and innocent manner, and how sorry I was to see her go down and disappear. When I raised my eyes I saw the two sisters, the friends of Mulder, and I talked with them. They were on the 2nd floor. The older, Sientje, told me that they were leaving the following day for The Hague and would live with their grandmother, but they preferred Batavia, their native country. I replied: "I too love my native land and no matter how beautiful Europe may be, I like to return to the Philippines." I learned from her also that she was only 12 years old, that Mientje, 9, and that she had already been in Europe once.

After a short conversation I went down. While I was going down, Sientje was bidding me goodbye from the top of the stairs. I was sorry to leave them and when I found the rooms of my companions empty, I returned upstairs to look for the Dutch girls. I did not find them. Then, in order to find an excuse for my frequent visit to that floor, I asked the page for an old Spaniard. He replied that there was one with his wife. I supposed it might be Mr. Salazar. I went then to call on him.

I knocked at a door to which the page had led me, and having been given permission, I entered. In effect I found the kind couple who welcomed me with their usual and affectionate cordiality. Mr. Salazar, who is known as enthusiastic and kindly, asked me many things and even wanted to take the trouble of accompanying me to the house of a tailor; and as I had not yet taken breakfast, he himself conducted me through the elevator to the garden and the dining room where he recommended me to the waiter. And from there, after asking my permission, he went away to attend to his business. This gentleman deserves all the praises of those who know him.

When I went upstairs, I found my companions to whom I suggested that we visit Chateau d'Eau. They agreed gladly. We talked a long while, asking ourselves where the others might be and what they would do. We visited afterwards Doña María and from there we went out to the street.

We take a streetcar which goes to Longchamp and we admire the building, the gigantic statues, the bulls, and the water which falls in a grand cascade. We went up; we saw the grottoes, the Panorama; we saw the botanical garden; the zoological garden with its bears, lions, leopards, elephants, etc. The monkeys amused me the most.

We visited the Museum. It was the first time that I saw a museum. The pleasure it gave me was indescribable, so much so that I thought of spending the whole day there. I devoured with my eyes all that I found there. After the visit to the first hall, my companions left me to go home, so tired were they of so much walking. I then continued my excursion. I visited the hall of statues; from there I went home. There were many visitors there.

On the way I bought a pair of candles and soap. And at the hotel I visited Mr. and Mrs. Salazar in whose room I found my companions.

From there I went to a restaurant where I ate. I strolled a little and returned to the hotel. My companions were not there. At nightfall I wished to take a stroll again and went out with a coat and a frock-coat, but it was so cold that I had to go back to the hotel. I went to bed to sleep.

Since I left the ship, whenever I was left alone ordinarily I felt a void that I would like to fill up. Naturally, having been brought up among family and friends, reared in the warmth of love and affection, now I find myself suddenly alone, in a hotel magnificent indeed, but silent nevertheless. I thought of going back to my country for at least there I am with companions and the family.

I slept then half-tearful and steeped in profound melancholy.

1Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY to 16 JUNE 1882

[Aboard the Djemnah] -- 11 June -- Sunday

This morning at half past six we arrive at Napoli (Naples) and Sicily, seeing Miletus, the precious town. The look of these towns, situated on the mountain slope, is picturesque and the land surrounding them is very well cultivated. After having navigated for some time opposite those scattered towns, we enter the Strait of Messina. Etna was covered with snow and in the distance Stromboli, smoking.

This morning the sight of Napoli was a joy to the passengers. Vesuvius beside it is smoking -- a giant who seems to be guarding the nymph sleeping beside him. An extensive territory totally covered with buildings. Now the Castle of St. Telmo on the top, now the prison on the water, the tower of Massaniello, the royal palace, etc. But, alas, such a magnificent panorama cost me two friends -- G. Zorab and Edgar -- who went down to Napoli, concluding their maritime trip. I'm very sorry. When they separated from the girls, I noted that a month's company on the boat has accomplished something, for they were sad, especially the little one, Edgar, who was on the verge of tears. And they will still meet in Holland. But, I, young like them, will not see them again, perhaps...

Only an hour and a half was allowed the passengers to spend ashore. Nevertheless, carried by love and curiosity, I went down provided with a watch and with numerous orders for the telegraph office. We left the boat at seven and in ten minutes we were ashore. Greetings to you, oh Napoli!

That was a mob; an incessant coming and going. Paved streets, squares, buildings, shops, statues, etc. I went to the telegraph office, a beautiful building, 20 minutes distant. I went around the town, Toledo Street, and afterwards I returned to the boat without being fooled by the guide and the driver.

At eight ten I was back.

This morning the girls played. I observed that something was lacking; they were a little sad. I, in place of my friend Zorab, served as counter. And I'm also sad...almost melancholy; I feel a void.
CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY to 16 JUNE 1882

[Aboard the Djemnah] -- In the Mediterranean -- 7 [June] -- Afternoon

We are in the Mediterranean, a European sea. Greetings to you then!