Jose Rizal in Bohol

Last June 19, the Philippines observed the 147th birth anniversary of its national hero, Dr Jose P Rizal. Did you know that Dr Rizal went to Bohol once when he was still alive? According to Jes Tirol, a prominent local historian, Dr Rizal went to Bohol sometime in the last week of June 1895.

A certain Felipe Dolotina in Bilar, Bohol told Tirol that he had met Dr Rizal, who stayed in their house during his visit. This incident prompted Tirol to conduct research to confirm this information.

In 1892, Dr Rizal was exiled to Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte. There he continued his medical practice. While there, he wrote a letter to the Governor General to ask permission to search for an agricultural colony. This was granted.

One day, Dr Rizal had a Boholano patient, Gregorio Penaflor, who later went on to become Mayor of Tagbilaran in 1918-1919. Gregorio had an eye ailment and was brought to Dr Rizal by his father Don Andres Penaflor, a wealthy merchant. When Gregorio was healed Don Andres prepared their banca to go home to Tagbilaran. Remembering his search for an agricultural colony, Dr Rizal asked Don Andres whether there was a good site for one. Don Andres replied that there was a good site in the central part of Bohol. Dr Rizal decided to joint the Penaflors during their voyage back to Tagbilaran.

They arrived at Tonggo, Taloto, Tagbilaran City and Dr Rizal stayed at the house of the Penaflors. While there, he also treated the eye ailment of a relative of Don Andres. The next day, their trip in search of an agricultural colony started. They first visited the house where Don Timoteo Hidalgo, Dr Rizal's brother-in-law, was exiled. Then they passed by Baclayon, where Dr Rizal treated some patients. In the afternoon, they resumed their trip towards Dimiao where they spent the night. The road from Dimiao to Bilar was difficult to travel at night.

The following day, the trip was resumed and they reached Bilar and stayed with the Dolotina family. Bilar was the end of the horse-carriage road so Dr Rizal's group proceeded to Candagaz, Sierra Bullones on horseback to view the wide plain that was suited for an agricultural colony. When they returned to Bilar, Dr Rizal treated some more patients. Dr Rizal then returned to Dapitan via Jagna.

There is more to this story in Tirol's article in the Bohol Chronicle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Ida from Bilar, BOhol. My dad told me about Rizal that he treated my great grandfather CAYETANO SALVATIERRA(my dad's grandpa).

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