Stories from Dr Jose Rizal's errand boy (Part 2)

Part 1 Part 2

Sundry Chronicle
by Jes B Tirol


Here is the second of the two stories left behind in Antequera, Bohol by Alonso Rodriguez, who was the errand boy of Dr. Jose Rizal.

This story is found on page 20 of the Antequera, Bohol Centennial publication published in 1976. This article has no author. Therefore we can attribute it to the Editorial Board headed by Mr. Exuperio Barrera.

2nd Story

“Dr. Jose Rizal was a great teacher. In Dapitan, he had twelve students of various ages. He did not use any classroom. My master would transfer from one place to another in the open field to impart knowledge to his students.”

“One day while my master was teaching under a coconut grove, he said, ‘Our lesson now is geography.’ ‘Who would like to see London?’, my master asked his class. Several hands were raised in the air. He pointed to one student and summoned him. ‘Alright boy’, he said. ‘You climb that tall coconut tree.’ The boy obediently followed the instruction of his teacher. When he reached the top of the tree, he wondered what he would do next. ‘Look to your right’, Rizal shouted to the boy. The boy complied and began to exclaim in amazement: ‘I see big and tall buildings! There are also wide and beautiful streets! There is that tower with a big clock!’ The boy was busy with his right hand pointing to the objects he saw far away. ‘That is London’, Rizal said, and he told the boy to get down. When the student rejoined the group, his classmates gathered around him to inquire for more on what he saw while he was up there on the tree.”

“My master proceeded with the lesson. He sent up the tree one boy after another to see Paris, Rome and Berlin. The experience was the same. The observer would always exclaim as he saw the objects which actually existed in the city named by their teacher. With such extraordinary method of teaching, the students enjoyed and learned fast.”

This 2nd story of Alonso Rodriguez was said to be published in “Graphic” national weekly magazine in 1935.

Can You Explain It?

It is possible that as a medical student in Europe, Dr. Rizal also dabbled in mesmerism or the present day hypnotism. Therefore it was possible that Dr. Rizal “hypnotized” the boys in order that they can see what their teacher wanted them to see.

The most logical explanation is that the errand boy Alonso Rodriguez misunderstood the teaching methodology used by Dr. Rizal.

The school of Dr. Jose Rizal was patterned after the “Academy” of the Greek philosopher Plato. The teacher and the students would roam around a grove of trees and engaged in question and answer conversation.

In this situation the best teaching method to use is the “Integrated Approach” and “Role Playing”. If a boy would ask about London, Dr. Rizal will tell him about London. To emphasize the lesson, Dr. Rizal would let the student climb a coco tree and pretend to see the objects that was told to him by the teacher. The added lesson in the situation was that the student would know how to climb a coco tree. (Note: The tree or palm is called “coco”. The “coconut” is the fruit. Technically it is not correct to say “coconut tree”. – JBT).

In his innocence about teaching methods, errand boy Alonso Rodriguez confused the sequence of the situation. He thought that the student actually saw the streets and buildings of far away places instead of it being role-played by the students.

Be that as it may, we had a firsthand account of how Dr. Rizal taught his students.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails