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Rizal's Poor Performance at the UST and the Parallel Universe in His Books

There were three main reasons for his struggling academic performance at the University of Santo Tomas (Guerrero, 1998):

Rizal was not satisfied with the system of education at the university.
  • In the Ateneo,  Jesuit professors were encouraging and understanding. This motivated Rizal to develop his skills and talents.
  • The Dominican system was obsolete and repressive.
    • Rizal stressed this in the El Filibusterismo, through Father Millon, the professor in Physics and Placido Penitente, one of the Filipino students under him. Rizal, through the character of Placido Penitente, expressed how he disapproved of how instruction in science was done in the university and how Spanish professors treated Filipino students who had the potential to excel in class. (This is no longer true today, considering that UST is one of the best universities in the country) [Garcia,, 2011]
There were plenty of things to distract a young man in the peak of his youth.
  • Rizal became fascinated with women during this time, as any young man would.
  1. Segunda Katigbak
  2. Leonor Valenzuela
  3. Leonor Rivera
  • Some historians point out that Rizal "joined parties, took part in gang fights and even cut classes." [Garcia,, 2011]
 Medicine was not Rizal's true vocation.
  • He found out later that he was made not for medicine, but for the arts.

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