Hermano/Dr. Jose Rizal as Civil/Sanitary Engineer
Researched By: Dindo F. Mojica, C.E., M.Eng, 3°

When Hermano/Dr. Jose Rizal arrived in Dapitan, (Now City of Dapitan in Zamboanga del Norte, in Mindanao) as a prisoner in July, 1892, he found Dapitan as a sleepy little town; then he decided to improve it, to the best of his God-given talents, and to awaken the civic consciousness of its people.
Next Hermano Rizal acquired a piece of property at Talisay, a little bay close to Dapitan, and at once became interested in his farm. Soon he built a house and moved into it, gathering a number of boy assistants about him, and before long he had a school. A hospital also was put up for his patients and these in time became a source of revenue, as people from a distance came to the oculist for treatment and paid liberally.
One five-hundred-peso fee from a rich Englishman was devoted by Rizal to lighting the town, and the community benefited in this way by his charity in addition to the free treatment given its poor.
The little settlement at Talisay kept growing and those who lived there were constantly improving it. When Father Obach, the Jesuit priest, fell through the bamboo stairway in the principal house, Rizal and his boys burned shells, made mortar, and soon built a fine stone stairway. They also did another piece of masonry work in the shape of a dam for storing water that was piped to the houses and poultry yard; the overflow from the dam was made to fill a swimming tank.
Father Francisco Sanchez, Hermano Rizal’s instructor in rhetoric in the Ateneo, made a long visit to Dapitan and brought with him some surveyor’s instruments, which his former pupil was delighted to assist him in using. Together they ran the levels for a water system for the town, which was later, with the aid of the lay Jesuit, Brother Tildot, carried to completion. This same water system is now being restored and enlarged with artesian wells by the present insular, provincial and municipal governments jointly, as part of the memorial to Rizal in this place of his exile. [5]
He wrote to Fr. Pastells: “I want to do all I can do for this town.” Aside from constructing the town’s first water system, he spent many months in draining the marshes in order to get rid of malaria that infested Dapitan. The P500 which an English patient paid him was used by him to equip the town with its lighting system which consist of coconut oil lamps placed in dark streets of Dapitan. Electric lighting was unknown then in the Philippines not until 1894 when Manila saw the first electric lights. The beautification and remodelling of the town plaza with the help of Father Sanchez enhances the beauty as jokingly remarked that it could “rival the best in Europe”. In front of the church, Rizal and Fr. Sanchez made a huge relief map of Mindanao out of earth, stones, and grass. This map still adorns the town plaza of Dapitan. [4] [9]
As an engineer, Hermano Rizal applied his knowledge through the waterworks system he constructed in Dapitan. Going back to his academic life, Rizal obtained the title of expert surveyor (perito agrimensor) from the Ateneo Municipal. From his practical knowledge as agrimensor (surveyor), he widened his knowledge by reading engineering-related books. As a result, despite the inadequacy of tools at hand, he successfully provided a good water system in the province.

During his first school term in the University of Santo Tomas (1877-1878), Rizal also studied in the Ateneo. He took the vocational course leading to the title of perito agrimensor (expert surveyor). In these days, it should be remembered, the college for boys in Manila offered vocational courses in agriculture, commerce, mechanics and surveying.

Hermano Rizal, as usual, excelled in all subjects in the surveying course in Ateneo, with gold medals in agriculture and topography. At the age of 17, he passed the final examination in the surveying course, but he could not be granted the title of surveyor because he was below age. The title was issued to him on November 25, 1881. [9]

 Image Source:

 Image source: 

Image Source:

Modern engineers marveled how Rizal could have built such a system of waterworks, for he had inadequate tools and meager materials, and his finances were very limited. Without any aid from the government, he succeeded in giving a good water system to Dapitan.
An American engineer, Mr. H.F. Cameron, praised Rizal’s engineering feat in the following words:
Another famous and well-known water supply is that of Dapitan, Mindanao, designed and constructed by the Spanish authorities… This supply comes from a little mountain stream across the river from Dapitan and follows the contour of the country for the whole distance. When one considers that Doctor Rizal had no explosives with which to blast the hard rocks and no resources save his own ingenuity, one cannot help but honor a man, who against adverse conditions, had the courage and tenacity to construct the aqueduct which had for its bottom the fluted tiles from the house roofs, and was covered with concrete made from lime burned from the sea coral. The length of this aqueduct is several kilometers, and it winds in and out among the rocks and is carried across gullies in bamboo pipes upheld rocks and is carried across gullies in bamboo pipes upheld by rocks or brick piers to the distribution reservoir. [3] [9]

 Image Source:

References/Suggested Readings:
1.       The Life and Works of Rizal (Rizal as Engineer and Architect) – http://thelifeandworksofrizal.blogspot.com/2011/04/rizal-engineer-and-architect.html
2.       The Life and Works of Rizal (Rizal in Dapitan) – http://thelifeandworksofrizal.blogspot.com/2012/02/rizal-in-dapitan.html
3.       The Official Website of the City of Dipolog – 
4.       Rizal: Man and Martyr by Frank C. Laubach
5.       The Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal by Austin Craig (Project Guttenberg)
6.       Rizal’s bakhaw formula (Landscape by Gemma Cruz-Araneta)
7.       Bakhaw: Salt Water Dwelling Trees
8.       Bakhaw (in Bisaya)
9.       Zaide, Gregorio F. Jose Rizal: Life, Works and Writings. Manila: National Book Store, 1992.


Civil Engineer, Amateur Blogger/Writer, Builder, Instructor, Project Coordinator, Farmer "I will build my success from the ruins of my failure."

Posted in Civil Engineer, Civil Engineering, Jose Rizal, Rizal as Engineer, Water Supply Design

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

FeedReader button
Bloggys 2015
Lot For Sale photo lotforsaleko_zpsc25a33e0.jpg
Free Website Translator
Wunderground Weather
Click for Maragondon, Philippines Forecast
World Time
September 2013
« Jun   Oct »
Dindo Mojica


Civil Engineer, Amateur Blogger/Writer, Builder, Instructor, Project Coordinator, Farmer "I will build my success from the ruins of my failure."

Personal Links

Verified Services

View Full Profile →

Follow Me on Google + page
Share to
Facebook Twitter More...
Blog Stats
  • 184,009 hits
My Tags
Top Rated Posts
follow us in feedly
Follow on Bloglovin
Yo Window weather
Protected by Copyscape Originality Checker
Creative Commons License
Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected 
Blog with Integrity
Proudly Pinoy
Proudly Pinoy!
Blogs I Follow
Kred Badge
Klout Badge
Follow Dince's Chronicles on WordPress.com
Dince’s Chronicles

Wordpress Philippines
WordPress Philippines
Blogapalooza Blogger Event
Pinoy Engineer
Flag Counter
Flag Counter
I Help Fight Climate Change
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Proudly Caviteño
Cavite Armalite photo cavitearmalite2_zps2e830320.jpg
Wise Builder
Wise Builder photo Still-Background-Set-The-Wise-Builder_slide1_390x294_zps2a443984.jpg
Rose Cross
The Rose Cross photo rosecroix1-Copy_zps72adbab4.png
Santo Niño Devotee
Santo Nino de Ternate photo IMG001_0001_zps1f510240.jpg
I join Bonifacio at 150
Bonifacio 150 photo bonifacio150_zpsdfb1399a.jpg
Sa Kuko ng Lawin
 photo PU-Hawk-Sculpture_zpsa6a46d9a.jpg
Flickr Photos
Wordle Tags
Wordle: Untitled
Sons Of Masonry

Education for brethren.

Pushy For Sushi

Ceej Tantengco. Travel writer off duty. Manila, Philippines

civil engineering

I am Menglim, Known as Alex, Welcome to my website!

Angelorum - Tarot and Healing

The Blog of Tarot Soul Coach and Healer Lisa Frideborg

Philippine Models

Philippines Hot and Sexy Models

Balanghay Pangkasaysayan

Ang mga klase ng KasPil 1 at KasPil 2 sa ilalim ni G. Michael Charleston "Xiao" B. Chua sa Pamantasang De La Salle Maynila

Prayers4reparation's Blog

..."If My people who bear My name, humble themselves and pray and seek My presence and turn from their wicked ways, I Myself will hear from Heaven and forgive their sins..." (2 Chron. 7:14) - "You will see that in prayer you will find more knowledge, more light, more strength, more grace and virtue than you could ever achieve by reading many books, or by great studies. Never consider as wasted the time you spend in prayer. You will discover that in prayer God communicates to you the light, strength and grace you need..." (Sr Lucia dos Santos)

%d bloggers like this: