Stories from Dr Jose Rizal's errand boy (Part 1)

Part 1 Part 2

Sundry Chronicle
by Jes B Tirol


June 19, 2011 is the 150th birth anniversary of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. As part of the celebration we will print or reprint some unusual stories about Dr. Jose Rizal.

The stories in the present series are found in the Centennial Anniversary Publication of Antequera, Bohol published in 1976.

I am not sure who the author of these articles is because there is none given in the program. Nonetheless we can attribute it to the Editorial Board headed by Mr. Exuperio O. Barrera.

The Errand Boy

When Dr. Jose Rizal was exiled in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte, he had an errand boy named Alonzo Rodriguez. When Dr. Jose Rizal went back to Manila, Alonzo Rodriguez tried his best to follow his master. He arrived in Manila just in time to witness the execution of our national hero at Bagumbayan.

After his master was gone, Alonzo felt distraught and abandoned. The next few years he was in Cebu City. Later on he drifted to Maribojoc, Bohol and later on to barrio Abehilan of Antequera. At Abehilan he got married and stayed from the 1920’s until the later part of the 1930’s. Just before 1941 and the Second World War he went back to Mindanao and was never heard of again.

In Antequera, Bohol he left behind some unsual stories about Dr. Jose Rizal.

Rizal Made Rainfall

Dr. Rizal was a priso caballero (gentleman prisoner) at Dapitan, Zamboanga. His situation was similar to today’s “parolee” in which the prisoner was permitted to live outside prison but required to regularly report to the authorities.

Alonzo Rodriguez narrated; “One warm evening, we were at the tribunal (municipal hall) where my master and his friends were enjoying a lively story-telling session. Later on, one of the guardia civil (civil guard) commented about the hot weather. Rizal paused and asked, ‘Would you like to cool off, gentlemen?’ Everybody nodded in approval. Rizal asked for a big jar to be brought in the middle of the room and filled with water. After it was done by some prisoners, Rizal said, ‘Alright, let us resume with our stories.’ Everybody returned to their seats and the guardia civil who complained, wondered how the jar of water could provide them with cool air.”

“As Rizal was busy talking, the guardias civil felt raindrops falling on their shoulders. Then a few seconds later the raindrops turned into a heavy rain. In order not to be drenched, all the guards run out of the tribunal. To their surprise, there was no rain outside the tribunal. When the rain ceased inside the tribunal, the guardias civil were curious and returned inside the building and peeped inside the jar. To their surprise the jar was already empty. They all broke into laughter and the guardias (guards) patted the back of Rizal for the unbelievable feat they have witnessed for the first time.”

Can You Explain It?

Magic was among the many talents of Dr. Jose Rizal. At the Fort Santiago Museum I have seen the cane used by Dr. Rizal that he can turn into a snake. The cane has a hole and inside is a snake-like apparatus. It was said that he would insert the cane inside his coat sleeve and by sleight of hand out will come the snake.

I am not a magician so I can not explain how Dr. Rizal performed his magic. It is possible that while Rizal was entertaining the guards with stories, someone went upstairs and poured water on the floor that was viewed as “rain” by the guards. Since the guards run outside, it would be easy for Dr. Rizal to pour the water from the jar. That water could not be distinguished from the water poured from the second floor.

Bear in mind that errand boy Alonzo Rodriguez did not say where he was during all that time. He could not be listening to the stories because he did not understand Spanish. Since he knew of the event, it was possible that he was the one who poured the water from the second floor. Bear in mine also that it was already “evening” and nobody would be working upstairs.

Be that as it may, we have one “Rizal Story” that is not found in textbooks.

Source: The Bohol Chronicle

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