Rizal as an engineer

Updated: 9/19/2023
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Water System for Dapitan

Rizal held the title of expert surveyor (perito agrimensor), which he obtainedfrom Ateneo. He supplemented his training as a surveyor by reading engineering books. InDapitan, he applied his knowledge in engineering by constructing a system of waterworks in order tofurnish clean water to the townspeople.Without any aid from the government, he succeeded in giving good water system to Dapitan.An American engineer, Mr. H. F. Cameron, praised Rizal's engineering feat in the followingwords:Another famous and well-known water supply is that of Dapitan, Mindanao, designed andconstructed by Dr. Rizal during his banishment in that municipality by the Spanish authorities...this supply comes from a little mountain stream across the river from Dapitan and follows thecontour of the country for the whole distance. When one considers that Doctor Rizal had noexplosives with which to block the hard rocks and no resources save his own ingenuity, one cannothelp but honor a man, who against adverse conditions, had the courage and tenacity to construct theaqueduct which had for its bottom the fluted tiles from the house roofs, and was covered withconcrete made from limed burned from the sea coral. The length of this aqueduct is severalkilometers, and it winds in and out among the rocks and is carried across gullies in bamboo pipesupheld by rocks or brick piers to the distribution reservoir.

Community Projects for Dapitan

When Rizal arrived in Dapitan, he decided to improve it, to the best of his God-giventalents, and to awaken the civic consciousness of its people. He wrote to Fr. Pastells: " I want todo all I can do for this town."Aside from constructing the towns first water system, he spent many months in draining themarshes 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 itslighting system which consist of coconut oil lamps placed in dark streets of Dapitan. Electriclighting was unknown then in the Philippines not until 1894 when Manila saw the firstelectric lights.The beautification and remodeling of the town plaza with the help of Father Sanchezenhances the beauty as jokingly remarked that it could "rival the best in Europe". In front of thechurch, 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.

As an engineer, Rizal applied his knowledge through the waterworks system heconstructed in Dapitan. Going back to his academic life, Rizal obtained the title of expertsurveyor ( perito agrimensor ) from the Ateneo Municipal. From his practical knowledgeas agrimensor, he widened his knowledge by reading engineering-related books. As aresult, despite the inadequacy of tools at hand, he successfully provided a good water system in the province.COMMUNITY PROJECTS FOR DAPITAN When Rizal arrived in Dapitan, he decidedto improve it to the best of his God-given talents and to awaken the civic consciousnessof its people. Aside from constructing the town's first water system, he spent manymonths draining the marshes in order to get rid of malaria that infested Dapitan. As aEuropean-trained physician, he knew that malaria is spread by the mosquitoes which thrive in swampy places

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