MEDICAL STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF STO. TOMAS (1877-1882)
In April 1877 Rizal matriculated in the University of Sto.Tomas taking up Philosophy and letters. It was during the following
termshaving received from Father Pablo Ramon’s advice he took up a medical course,enrolling simultaneously in the preparatory and regular medical course.
Romances with other girls. After Segunda Katigbak he courteda certain “Miss L”. After a few visit he stopped wooing her. After Miss L hecourted Leonor Valenzuela (Orang) but stop short of proposing marriage. Rizal’snext romance was with his cousin Leonor Rivera. Between Jose and Leonor spranga beautiful romance and became engage.
In 1879, the Liceo Artistico – Literario (Artistic Literarylyceum) of Manila held literary contest it offered a prize for the best poem bya native or a mestizo. Rizal submitted his poem “A La Juventud Filipina”. (ToThe Youth Filipino). The board of judges was impressed of Rizal poem and gaveit the first prize consisted of a silver pen, feathered shaped and decoratedwith a gold ribbon. The inspiring poem beseeched the Filipino youth to risefrom the laziness.
In 1880, the artistic literary lyceum opened anotherliterary contest to commemorate the fourth centennial of the death of Cervantesand was opened to both Filipinos and Spaniards. Many writers participatedincluding Rizal who submitted an allegorical drama entitled”El Consejo de losDioses” (The council of the Gods). Rizal won and for the first time, an indiodefeated several Spanish writer. Other Rizal literary work as an Thomasian:“Junto al Pasig “, “Abd-el-Azis y mahoma”, “Al M.R.P. Pablo Ramon”. Rizal wasthe champion of the Filipino students in their frequent fight against Spanishstudents. In 1880, Filipino students in UST Founded “ Compañerismo “ and Rizal wasthe chief of his secret society and led various street fight.. After finishingthe fourth year of his medical course, Rizal decided to study in Spain. He didnot seek his parent’s permission. Thus Rizal’s parents, Leonor, and the Spanishauthorities knew nothing of his decision to go abroad in order to finish hismedical studies in Spain.