BALITANG BETERANO: JOSE RIZAL'S LAST FAREWELL IN ENGLISH
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, June 3, 2004 Culled by Col.(Ret)Frank B. Quesada, Former Senate Committee Secretary Veterans and Military Pension, Associate, PMA ‘44 - As part of the series of Fil-Am orientation of our kababayans here in the U.S., more especially for the younger generation, here is an English translation of the world re-known last farewell of the Filipino national hero and martyr, who abstemiously and solemnly had written a valediction during the night before his execution by the Spanish colonials who convicted him to death without a fair trial.
Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal, was born in June 19, 1861, in Calamba, Laguna, tutored by is mother. Teodora Alonzo. He studied in Binan, Laguna before leaving for Europe to secure higher studies. A gifted and well-educated middle-class Filipino, he fluently spoke Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Greek, Arabian, Chinese,, Russian, Swiss, Japanese and other languages – to communicate wherever he traveled.
He excelled in all courses completed and was the envy of all his foreign classmates. A revolutionary at heart never endorsed violence. He has always cautioned his kabayans to listen to the force of reason to achieve peace.
Upon his return to the Philippines, was falsely suspected by the Spaniards as a revolutionario, being an adored Filipino. He was arrested, co evicted by a kangaroo (unofficial) court, sentenced to die by musketry at dawn, in December 30, 1896 in Bagongbayan (now a national park, called the Luneta) in Manila – where such national monument majestically stand – as a standard of federal authority co-equal to, and at par with all nations.
Rizal knew, he was to be executed the next day,. On the eve of his execution - he resigned himself to his fate, suffered under the iron heels of the relentless Spanish colonials.. Calm and composed, serenely spent his waking hours that night - writing his last farewell to his beloved native land, The Philippines, which he loved so well.
He cleverly hid his valedictory inside an oil lamp, only to be discovered later from his prison cell, in historic Fort Santiago, and made public thereafter.
I am quoting herein - en toto, the English translation of Rizal’s last farewell – translated by my good friend, the nation’s respected linguist-literary artist, Nick Joaquin, completed in 1976, after World War II. If our readers truly appreciate this in the English language, they would marvel more and realize its worth in the aesthetic and enchanting romantic Spanish language - delicately composed from Rizal’s throbbing heart.
It is the Philippines, where the kayumangi was colonized and oppressed under the white-man’s burden. Therefore, hero-worship for Rizal who cared for all of his fellowmen, with deep respect bestowed for Rizal – in a corrupted colony, where there was the least honor and reverence by colonials for human rights, freedom and justice for the Indios, an attribute coined in contempt for Filipinos by the Spaniards
Let this valedictory - be in the lips of every burdened Filipino-American or the mestizo, with minute drop of blood of the kayumangi that flows fervently in his veins and heart. No matter what nationality he or she presently carry, they were born free with a tinge of the blood of the kayumangi. He and his spirit must never be in chains in a nation under God, who created the universe and man in his image - as equals. No one to be misjudged or tyrannized by another race.
. History was cruelly replicated here once more after World War II.. Especially for our honored war-veterans who shed blood, and died for the U.S. flag, but later wantonly betrayed by those who sent them to Harm’s Way.
History has been cruel and unjust to them, but their personal defeats are more triumphant than cheap victories won by their tormentors. Honor and dignity are the best reward of self-denial which they suffered under repression, no matter how harsh under the white-man’s burden.
They also had their own intimate farewells laden with heavy-hearted regrets, willfully deceived under critical perception - with obstinate impunity. But they were never mortified to die under persistent abuse .They walked with God and believed their oppressors were more wretched than them.
Thus - they have virtually won over the degree of godless tyranny in, and by their emeritus death - as a rare privilege of bona-fide heroes. They carry in their hearts Rizal’s last farewell – as they cross the Great Beyond with simple pride as an obsequious kayumangi.
MY LAST FAREWELL
By Dr. Jose P. Rizal
“Should you find someday somewhere on my grave-mound, fluttering among tall grasses, a flower of simple frame: caress it with your lips and you kiss my soul: I shall feel on my face across the cold tombstone: your tenderness .the breath; of your breath, the flame:
“Suffer the moon to keep the watch, tranquil and suave, over me: suffer the dawn its flying lights to release: suffer the wind to lament its mummeries and grave manner: and should a bird drift down and alight my cross, suffer the bird to intone its canticle of peace.
“Suffer the rains that dissolve in the fiery sunlight and purified re-ascending heavenward bear my cause: suffer a friend to grieve I persist so soon and on fine evenings, when someone pray in my memory, pray also – O my land – that in God I repose.
“Pray for all that have fallen befriend by no fate: for all who braved the hearing of torments all bearing past: for our poor mothers piteously breathing bitterness for widows and orphans: for those who in torture captivity and yourself: pray to behold your redemption at last.
“And when in dark night shrouded obscurely the graveyard lies and only, only he dead keep vigil the night through: keep holy mystery. Strains perhaps you will hear – of zither, of psalter: It is I – O land I love! It is singing to you!
“And when my grave is wholly unremembered and un-located (no cross upon it, no stone there plain): let there be wracked by the plow and cracked by the spade and let my ashes, before they vanish to nothing, as dust be formed a part of your carpet again.
“Nothing the will matter to place me in oblivion! Across your air, your space, your valleys shall pass my wraith! A pure chord strong and resonant, shall I be in your ears: fragrance, light and color: whisper, lyric and sigh: constantly repeating the essence of my faith! sorrow among my sorrows: beloved
“Pilipinas, hear me the farewell word: I bequeath you everything – my family, my affections: I go where no slaves are – not butchers, nor oppressors: where faith can not kill: where God’s the sovereign lord.!
“Farewell, my parents, my brothers – fragments of my soul: friends of old and playmates in childhood’s vanished house: Farewell, sweet foreigner – my darling, my delight! Creatures I love, farewell. To die is to repose.” # #
Nota-bene: This last farewell, although protected by copy-write, may be reproduced as is, with the permission of Nick Joaquin and/or his family – for the purpose of honoring Dr. Jose P. Rizal, a national martyr. Every Filipino-American are encouraged to keep copies and distribute or publish it. For it is a treasured manuscript for every freedom-loving citizen.
Nowhere in the world, was a convicted free man, so composed, had put together such immortal words – dedicated to his beloved country and people – that he was about to leave behind.
Rizal, a constitutional statesman, was a man of common opinion and uncommon abilities, described by W. Bagehot.
Rizal’s blood that fertilized our land is the seed of Free Philippines. And in his farewell – is our peace. (En la sua voluntade e’ nostra pace. (Dante in Paradiso).
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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
© Copyright, 2004
by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
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