Jose Rizal and his good friend and correspondent, the Austrian scholar Ferdinand Blumentritt, shared a passion for the study of languages. They exchanged reference books as well as connections with other scholars who could help the other with his work in research and translation. In their letters, they discuss the meanings and uses of words like “headhunter,” “katalonan” (priestess), “bathala,” “filibustero,” and many others.
While awaiting trial in 1896, Rizal wrote a manifesto that expressed his disapproval of the armed revolution against Spain. He cleared his name, which he said was being used by some revolutionaries to espouse certain ideals. He said that he has always opposed, fought, and made clear that armed revolution was impossible, absurd, and disastrous. He explained that reforms must "also come from above," because reforms that "come from below are upheavals both violent and transitory."