Library’s archive shows Paciano penned letter raising Jose Rizal’s allowance

July 6, 2022 - 3:29 PM
Paciano and Jose Rizal
Paciano Rizal in this photo provided by the Diosdado Capino Collection via NHCP (left) and a rendition of Dr. Jose Rizal from Philippine News Agency (right).

More sugar, more money.

Did you know that young Jose Rizal had his allowance raised by his older brother after they had a good sale of sugar crops in 1882?

For its “#ReadOfTheDay,” the Filipinas Heritage Library featured a letter penned by Paciano Rizal. He wrote to his brother, Jose or “Pepe,” who went abroad to pursue further studies.

“Sana all may allowance kay Kuya!” its Facebook post reads.

“Paciano, the second eldest of the Rizal siblings, wrote Jose Rizal a letter to say that he will increase Jose’s allowance after the sale of their sugar crop,” it added.

The letter was dated Nov. 12, 1882, from Calamba, Laguna. It reads:

Dear Brother, 

I received your letter in which you tell me that the allowance you get is not enough for you. From the beginning I realized that with that sum you would be in rather straitened circumstances. I made it so only because our sugar had not been sold yet. Now that there are buyers you will receive what you wish. 

Until May or June don’t expect from me long letters as I would like to write. I don’t stay at home except on Sundays to attend to the people. I spend the other days in the mountain. You must not fail to write though, whenever you have an opportunity to do so. 

I have not yet gone down to Manila to get the bank draft that you told me about; it will not be long now before I go there. 

Here all of us are in good health; cholera cases are very rare. 

Olimpia is still in Bulacan.

Your brother,

The page also shared a link to the book where the letter was published, titled “Letters between Rizal and family members.”

The book was published by the National Heroes Commission. It can be fully accessed on this link.

In 1882, Rizal went abroad and enrolled in a course in medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Spain, particularly in September.

He wouldn’t be in the Philippines until August 1887.

Meanwhile, Rizal’s family was the largest leaseholders of sugar lands in Calamba in that period.

A journal article reveals that the Rizal kin rented sugar and rice land.

“The Rizals’ farm holdings were considered huge by Calamba standards and compared favourably with many of the larger haciendas in Negros, enabling Rizal’s family to accumulate wealth,” it said.

In a column, historian Ambeth Ocampo said that Paciano, who was older than Jose by a decade, was “in charge of the land planted with rice and sugar” in their hometown.