Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jose Rizal

© nacho hernandez

Mi Patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,
Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adios.
Ahi te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
Donde la fé no mata, donde el que reyna es Dios.

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adios, dulce extrangera, mi amiga, mi alegria,
Adios, queridos séres morir es descansar.

Thus ends Rizal's Last Farewell, the poem he wrote on the eve of his execution in 1896 at the park that today carries his name, in Manila. Jose Rizal was born on a day like today in 1861, near Manila. Although he studied in Spain and was in favor of political reforms by pacific means, his execution helped trigger the revolution against the colonial power (supported by the United States, but that's another story) and made him a national hero of the Philippines.

Shortly before being taken to the firing squad, Rizal had the courage to write (and hide in a small stove) the poem that would become his testament. What goes on in the mind of someone hours before his execution? What kind of strength does it take to write a poem at that time? Many years later another native of Manila wrote a beautiful song about someone waiting to be executed at dawn, al alba.

No comments:

Post a Comment