The Philippine national hero Jose Rizal was a medico titular, a licensed physician educated in Spain and trained in ophthalmic surgery in France and in Germany. Rizal was in fact part of the larger ilustrado or enlightenment movement which sought to radically reform the supposedly friar-dominated Spanish Colonial Philippines. Rizal and the ilustrados were the avowed apostles of scientific and political enlightenment then in vogue in a Europe of the Industrial Revolution. This comes in contrast to the largely agriculture-based rural culture in nineteenth century Philippines. In two of his novels, Noli Me Tangere (1887) and El Filibusterismo (1891), Jose Rizal contrasts the scientific advancement of Europe to that of the supposedly superstitious backwardness of his homeland. However, as fate came about, his medical knowledge could not prevent the death of one of his sisters during childbirth. His own personal experience made him re-examine the wisdom of local medical and health practices. This clash of cultures portrays a classical Europe versus Asia discourse that highlights the progressivist developmental theory of the nineteenth century. After 1892 however, Rizal adopts a more conciliatory approach to local health practices but insists on applying European scientific standards to health care. This paper examines the privileging of European medical science in the writings of Jose Rizal and the rejection of local health practices as unfounded and superstitious traditions. This research also looks at the cultural contrast between European enlightenment science and Filipino health practices in Jose Rizal’s experiences and writings.