Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Letter to the Women of Malolos by Jose P. Rizal

London, 22 February 1889


When I wrote the Noli me tangere I pondered long on whether or not courage was a common virtue of the young women of the country. Though I searched my memory diligently, though I recalled one by one all the young women I have known since childhood, only a few conformed to the ideal I longed for. It is true that many were endowed with sweet disposition, beautiful habits, gentle manners, modesty but withal were mingled complete deference and obedience to every work and request of the so-called fathers of the soul – as if the soul had any other father but God – due to excessive goodness, humility, or perhaps ignorance. They are like withered plants, sowed and grown in darkness. Though they may bloom, their flowers are without fragrance; though they may bear fruit, their fruit has no juice.

However, now that news arrived here of what occurred in your town Malolos. I realized that I was wrong, and my joy was beyond bounds. I should not be blamed, for I did not know the town of Malolos nor its young women, except one Emilia and this one only by name.

Now that you have responded to our vehement clamor for public welfare; now that you have shown a good example to you fellow young women who, like you, desire to have their eyes opened and to be lifted from their prostration, our hope is roused, now we are confident of victory. The Filipino woman no longer bows her head and bends her knees; her hope in the future is revived; gone is the mother who helps to keep her daughter in the dark, who educates her in self-contempt and moral annihilation. It is no longer the highest wisdom to bow the head to every unjust order, the highest goodness to smile at an insult, to seek solace in humble tear. You have found out that God’s command is different from that of the priest, that piety does not consist in prolonged kneeling, long prayers, large rosaries, soiled scapulars, but in good conduct, clean conscience and right thinking. You have discovered that it is not goodness to be too obedient to every desire and request of those who pose as little gods, but to obey what is reasonable and just, because blind obedience is the origin of crooked orders and in this case both parties sin. The head of the priest cannot say that he alone will be responsible for the wrong order because God gave each one his own mind and his own conscience so that he can distinguish between right and wrong. All are born without chains, free and no one can subject the will and spirit of another. Why would you submit to another your noble and free thought? It is cowardice and an error to believe that blind obedience is piety and arrogance to think and reflect. Ignorance is ignorance and not goodness and honor. God, fountain of wisdom, does not expect man, created in his image, to allow himself to be fooled and blinded. The gift of reason with which we are endowed must be brightened and utilized. An example is the father who gave each of his son a lamp to light his way in the darkness. Let them intensify its flame, take care of it, not extinguish it to depend on the light of others, but to help one another, seek each other’s counsel in the search of the way. He is exceedingly stupid and he can be blamed if he stumbles in following somebody else’s light, and the father could say to him: “What for did I give you a lamp of your own?” But one who stumbles by following his own light cannot be greatly blamed because perhaps his light is dim or else the road is very bad.

The usual reply of those who want to fool others is this: He who depends on his own reason is arrogant. I believe that more arrogant is he who wishes to subject another’s will and dominate all men. More arrogant is he who poses as God, who pretends to understand every manifestation of God’s will. And exceedingly arrogant or blasphemous is he who attributes to God everything he says and desires and makes his personal enemies the enemies of God. We ought not to depend on ourselves solely. We should seek advice, listen to others and do what we believe to be the most reasonable. The habit or the cassock does not add anything to a man’s learning. Even if the wild mountaineer is clothed in layers of habits, he remains wild and he cannot fool any other except the ignorant and the ill-willed. So that this can be proven, buy a habit of St. Francis and put it on a carabao. It would be lucky that with the habit on, he does not become lazy. Le me leave this subject and talk about another.

Young womanhood, the nursery of fruitful flowers, ought to accumulate riches to bequeath to its descendants. What could the offspring be of a woman whose virtue is to murmur prayers, whose only knowledge is derived from awit, novena, prayer-books, miraculous tales intended to fool men, with no other recreation but panguingue or frequent confessions of the same sins. What sons would she have but sacristans, servants of the curate, or devotees of cockfighting? The present enslavement of our compatriots is the work of our mothers because of the absolute confidence of their loving hearts and of their great desire to improve the lot of their children. Maturity is the fruit of childhood and childhood is in the lap of the mother. The mother who teaches nothing else but how to kneel and kiss the hand should not expect any other kind of children but stupid ones or oppressed slaves. A tree that grows in the mire is either light or only fit for firewood. Of by chance there should be a bold one, his boldness is concealed and he will use it for evil, like the dazed bat which cannot forth until it is twilight. The common reply is that foremost are piety and love of God. But, what is the piety that they have taught us? To pray and kneel a long time, kiss the hand of the priest, spend all the money on the church, and believe whatever occurs to them to tell us. Chatter, callous knees, rubbing of the nose . . . . With the regard to church alms, using God as the pretext, is there anything in the world which does not belong to and is the creation of God? What would you say to a servant who gives to his master alms consisting of a piece of rag borrowed from the same rich master? Who is the vain and foolish man who will give alms to God and believe that his miserable gift will clothe the Creator of all things? Blessed is he who gives the needy, helps the poor, and feeds the hungry , but cursed and censurable is he who is deaf to the entreaties of the poor, who stuffs those who are satiated, and lavishes his money on silver hangings for the altar, on alms of the church or the friar who is swimming in riches, on Masses with music and rockets, while he squeezes this money form the bones of the poor and offers it to the master with which to by the chains to bind him and to pay his executioners. Oh, blindness and shortsightedness.

True piety is obedience to what is right, happen what may. “Deeds and not words are what I ask of you”, said Christ. “He is not the son of my father, my father, but her who lives according to the will of the father.” Piety does not consist in a worn-out nose nor in Christ’s successor known for giving his hand to be kissed. He did not fatten the rich and proud scribes. He did not mention scapulars, he did not require the wearing of rosaries, he did not ask money for Masses, and he did not charge for saying prayers. St. John did not ask to be paid for baptizing on the Jordan River nor Christ for preaching. Why is it that now priests ask to be paid for every move they make? And still hungry, they sell scapulars, rosaries, belts, and other things to entice money and to hurt the soul; because even if you wear a scapular all the rags on earth, wear as rosaries all the wood in the forests, gird around your waist all the skin of animals and over all of them all the priests in the world take pains to make the sign of the cross and to murmur prayers, and sprinkle them with all the water of the sea, they cannot cleanse the dirty heart, they cannot absolve the unrepentant of sins. Likewise, for their covetousness they forbid many things, such as eating meat, marrying one’s cousin, compadre, and the like, which however are permitted if one pays. Why, can God be bought and is He dazzled by money like the priests? The thief who pays for a bull for composition can rest assured that he has been forgiven. Therefore, God wants to partake of stolen goods? Is it true that God is so needy that He imitates the carabineer or the civil guard? If this is the God that the friars worship, I turn my back to such a God.

Let us be reasonable and open our eyes, especially you women, because you are the ones who open the minds of men. Consider that a good mother is different from the one created by the friars. Raise your children close to the image of the true God – the God who cannot be bribed, the God who is not avaricious, the God who is the father of all, who is not partial, the God who does not fatten on the blood of the poor, who does not rejoice at the plaint of the afflicted, and does not obfuscate the intelligent mind. Awaken and prepare the mind of the child for every good and desirable idea – love for honor, sincere and firm character, clear mind, clean conduct, noble action, love for one’s fellow men, respect for God – teach this to your children. And because life is full of sorrows and perils, fortify their character against any difficulty, strengthen their hearts against any danger. The country should not expect honor and prosperity so long as the education of the children is defective, so long as the women who raise the children are enslaved and ignorant. Nothing can be drunk in a turbid and bitter spring. No sweet fruit can be picked from a sour seed.

Important indeed are the duties that women must fulfill in order to relieve the country of her sufferings, but they are not beyond the strength and character of the Filipino woman to perform. Everybody knows the power and the prudence of the women of the Philippines. Hence they blind them, chain them, weaken their spirit, so sure are they that so long as the mother is a slave, all her children can be enslaved also. This is the reason of the enslavement of Asia: the women of in Asia are ignorant and oppressed. Europe and America are powerful because there the women are free and educated, their mind is lucid and their character is strong.

We know that you lack instructive books; we realize that nothing is injected into your mind daily except what will serve to dim your inherent light. We are aware of all this so that we are endeavoring to make the light that is shining over your fellow women in Europe reach you. If you will not be bored with these few words that we are going to say and you will read them, perhaps no matter how thick the fog that envelops our country, the brilliant light of the sun will penetrate it and it will shine however faintly. We shall not falter if you help us. God will help us to dispel the mist for He is the God of Truth; and the former brilliance of the Filipino woman will be restored undiminished. She lacks nothing but a free mind, for she had an excess of goodness.

Such is the longing that is constantly in our thoughts, that we dream of – the honor of the woman who is the partner of our heart, who shares our happiness and our misfortune. If she is a young woman, let the young man love her not only for her beauty or the sweetness of her disposition but also for the firmness of her character, her lofty ideas that invigorate and encourage the weak and timorous man or arouse brilliant ideas. That she may be a young woman of whom the country can be proud, a young woman of who inspires respect. It is the common talk here among Spaniards and friars who came from there that the Filipino woman is weak and ignorant, as if all were weak because some have fallen; as if in other countries there were no women of weak character, whereas in fact the Filipino women possess more virtue than those of other countries. Nevertheless, the Spaniards and the friars who return to Spain, perhaps because of the looseness of their tongues, broadcast first of all in print and by word of mouth, accompanied by shouts, laughter and insults that So and So was like that in the convent, like that to a Spanish houseguest, and many other things that are irritating whenever we remember that many of the failings are due to naïveté, excessive kindness, meekness, or blindness, which is their work. There is a Spaniard here, who is now an important personage, whom we fed and housed during the time he was wandering about the Philippines. As soon as he came back to Spain, he had it published that once he sought hospitality in Pampanga. He ate and slept there and the lady of the house was this and that to him. This was how he returned the kind hospitality of the lady.  Likewise the returned friar regaled his Spanish callers with stories about his obedient hand-kissers and other things accompanied with smiles and significant winks. In the book published by Mr. Sinbaldo de Mas and in other books written by friars are related the sins confessed by women, which the friars did not keep secret, recounting them to their Spanish callers and embellishing them at times with incredible tall and lewd stories. I cannot repeat her what a friar unashamedly told Mas he could not believe. Every time we hear or read about these things we ask if the Spanish women are Holy Marys and all Filipino women are sinners. However, if it should come to a point of settling accounts and exposing, perhaps . . . But let me abandon the subject for I am not a father confessor nor a Spanish house-guest who destroys the honor of his hosts. I lay this aside and continue relating the duties of women.

In countries were women are respected as in the Philippines, they ought to recognize their true position so that they may be able to perform the duties expected of them. An old custom was that when an student went courting, he threw away everything – studies, honor, money – as if a young women sowed nothing but evil. The bravest when he got married, became a coward; the coward became shameless, as if he were waiting only to get married before proclaiming his own cowardice. The son had no other excuse for his pusillanimity except his concern for his mother, and because of this he swallowed gall, endured blows, obeyed the most idiotic order, and he became an accomplice of traitors. It must be known that when no one flees, there will be nor pursuer; if there are no small fish there will be no big ones. Why does not a young woman ask of the man she is going to love for a noble and honorable name, a manly heart that can permit him to be the father of slaves? Instill in his mind activity, noble behavior, worthy sentiments, and don not surrender your young womanhood to a weak and timid heart. When she becomes a wife, she should help her husband in every difficulty, encourage him, share with him all perils, console him and drive away his woes, always bearing in mind that a heroic heart can endure any suffering and no legacy is bitter as the legacy of infamy and slavery. Teach your children to guard and love their honor, to love their fellowmen, their native land, and to perform their duties. Tell them repeatedly to prefer death with honor to life with dishonor. They should imitate the women of Sparta and here I am going to cite some examples.

When a mother handed the shield to her son who was going to war, this was all she said to him: “Bring this back or they bring you back”, meaning “You come back a victor or you die” because it was the custom to throw away the shield of the fleeing vanquished warrior or bring back his corpse on top of the shield. A mother heard that her son was killed in the war and the army was defeated. She said nothing but gave thanks that her son had been saved from ignominy; but when her son came back alive, upon seeing him, she put on mourning. A warrior told a mother who had gone out to meet the returning heroes that her three sons had been killed in the war. “That is not what I am asking”, the mother replied, “but, did we win or did we lose?” The hero replied, “We won.” If that is so, let us give thanks to God!” she said, and she went to the temple.

Once a defeated king of theirs hid in the temple for fear of popular indignation. The Spartans agreed to close him up and starve him. When they sealed the door, the mother was the first to bring stones. These customs were common among them and therefore all GreeceSparta, no enemy was able to set foot on her soil and no Spartan woman ever saw an enemy army. respected the Spartan women. “Of all women”, remarked one, “only you Spartan women wield power over men.” “Of course”, replied the Spartan women, “of all women we alone give birth to real men.” Men, said Spartans are nor born to live for themselves but for their country. So long as this manner of thinking and this type of women prevailed in

I do not expect to be believed because I say it. Many people do not respect reason and truth, but the priest’s habit, gray hair, or lack of teeth. But if old age is venerable because of hard experience, my past life though a short one, dedicated to the welfare of the country, also has given me some experience. Far be it from me to compel others to believe me, to pretend to be a little god, a successor of God, to expect people to take my word with closed eyes, bowed head, and folded arms. What I ask is for all to think, to reflect and meditate, investigate and shift in the name of reason the following that I am going to state:

First and foremost. Some become treacherous because of cowardice and negligence of others.

Second. Lack of self-respect and excessive timidity invite scorn.

Third. Ignorance is bondage, because like mind, like man. A man without will of his own is a man without personality. The blind who follows other’s opinion is like a beast led by a halter.

Fourth. One who wants to help himself should help others, because if he neglects others, he too will be neglected by them. One mid-rib is easy to break, but not a bundle of many mid-ribs, tied together.

Fifth. If the Filipino woman will not change, she should not be entrusted with the education of her children. She should only bear them. She should be deprived of her authority in the home; otherwise she may be unwittingly betray her husband, children, country and all.

Sixth. Men are born equal, naked, and without chains. They were not created by God to be enslaved, neither were they endowed with intelligence in order to be misled, nor adorned with reason to be fooled by others. It is not pride to refuse worship a fellow man, to enlighten the mind, and to reason out everything. The arrogant one is he who wants to be worshipped, who misleads others, and wants his will to prevail over reason and justice.

Seventh. Analyze carefully the kind of religion taught you. Find out if that is the command of God or the teaching of Christ for alleviating the suffering of the poor, for comforting those in pain. Consider everything taught you, the aim in every sermon, the underlying reason for every Mass, novena, rosary, scapular, image, miracle, candle belt, and other things that are forced upon you, dinned daily into your ears and dangled before your eyes, and discover the beginning and their end, and then compare that religion with the pure religion of Christ, and see if your Christianity is not like the milking animals or like the pig that is being fattened, nor for its own sake, but in order to see it at a price and make money out of it.

Let us reflect then, study our situation, and ponder. May these few loose lines serve as an aid to your natural intelligence and enable you to proceed along the path on which you have started.

Tubo ko’y dakila sa puhunang pagod, and I shall welcome whenever may happen, the usual reward for anyone who dares to tell the truth in our country. May you realize your desire to learn and may you not gather in the garden of knowledge the unripe fruit but select what you pick, think about it, taste it before swallowing it, for on the face of the earth all are mixed and it is not unusual for the enemy to sow weeds together with the good seeds in the middle of the field.

This is the sincere wish of your compatriot.


Liham sa Mga Kababaihan ng Malolos by Jose P. Rizal

Londres, 22 February 1889


Nang aking sulatin ang Noli Me Tangere, tinanong kong laon, kung ang pusuang dalaga'y karaniwan kaya diyan sa ating bayan. Matay ko mang sinaliksik yaring alaala; matay ko mang pinagisa-ngisa ang lahat ñg dalagang makilala sapul sa pagkabatá, ay mañgisa-ñgisa lamang ang sumaguing larawang aking ninanasá. Tunay at labis ang matamis na loob, ang magandang ugalí, ang binibining anyó, ang mahinhing asal; ñgunit ang lahat na ito'y laguing nahahaluan ñg lubos na pagsuyó at pagsunod sa balang sabi ó hiling nang nagñgañgalang amang kalulua (tila baga ang kaluluwa'y may iba pang ama sa Dios,) dala ñg malabis na kabaitan, kababaan ñg loob ó kamangmañgan kayá: anaki'y mga lantang halaman, sibul at laki sa dilim; mamulaklak ma'y walang bañgo, magbuñga ma'y walang katas.

Ñguní at ñgayong dumating ang balitang sa inyong bayang Malolos, napagkilala kong ako'y namalí, at ang tuá ko'y labis. Dí ukat ako sisihin, dí ko kilala ang Malolos, ni ang mga dalaga,liban sa isang Emilia, at ito pa'y sa ñgalan lamang.

Ñgayong tumugon kayo sa uhaw naming sigaw ñg ikagagaling ñg bayan; ñgayong nagpakita kayo ñg mabuting halimbawa sa kapuá dalagang nagnanasang paris ninyong mamulat ang mata at mahañgo sa pagkalugamí, sumisigla ang aming pag-asa, inaaglahì ang sakuná, sa pagka at kayo'y katulong na namin, panatag ang loob sapagtatagumpay. Ang babaing tagalog ay di na payukó at luhod, buhay na ang pagasa sa panahong sasapit; walá na ang inang katulong sa pagbulag sa anak na palalakhin sa alipustá at pagayop. Di na unang karunuñgan ang patuñgó ñg ulo sa balang maling utos, dakilang kabaitan ang ñgisi sa pagmura, masayang pangaliw ang mababang luhá. Napagkilala din ninyo na ang utos ñg Dios ay iba sa utos ñg Parí, na ang kabanalan ay hindi ang matagal na luhod, mahabang dasal, malalaking kuentas, libaguing kalmin, kundí ang mabuting asal, malinis na loob at matuid na isip. Napagkilala din ninyo na dí kabaitan ang pagkamasunurin sa ano mang pita at hiling ñg nagdidiosdiosan, kundi ang pagsunod sa katampata't matuid, sapagka't ang bulag na pagsunod ay siyang pinagmumulan ñg likong paguutos, at sa bagay na ito'y pawang nagkakasala. Dí masasabi ñg punó ó parí na sila lamang ang mananagot ñg maling utos; binigyan ñg Dios ang bawat isa ñg sariling isip at sariling loob, upang ding mapagkilala ang likó at tapat; paraparang inianak ñg walang tanikalá, kundí malayá, at sa loob at kalulua'y walang makasusupil, bakit kayá ipaaalipin mo sa iba ang marañgal at malayang pagiisip? Duag at malí ang akalá na ang bulag na pagsunod ay kabanalan, at kapalaluan ang mag isipisip at magnilay nilay. Ang kamangmañgan'y, kamangmañgan at dí kabaita't puri. Di hiling ñg Dios, punó ñg kataruñgan, na ang taong larawan niya'y paulol at pabulag; ang hiyas ñgisip, na ipinalamuti sa atin, paningniñgin at gamitin. Halimbawá baga ang isang amang nagbigay sa bawat isang anak ñg kanikanyang tanglaw sa paglakad sa dilim. Paniñgasin nila ang liwanag ñg ilaw, alagaang kusá at huag patain, dala ñg pag-asa sa ilaw ñg iba, kundí magtulongtulong magsangunian, sa paghanap ñg daan. Ulol na di hamak at masisisi ang madapá sa pagsunod sa ilaw ñg iba, at masasabi ng ama: "bakit kita binigyan ng sarili mong ilaw?" Ñguni't dí lubhang masisisi ang madapá sa sariling tanglaw, sapagka't marahil ang ilaw ay madilim, ó kayá ay totoong masamá ang daan.

Ugaling panagot ng mga may ibig mang ulol, ay: palaló ang katiwalá sa sariling bait; sa akalá ko ay lalong palaló ang ibig sumupil ng bait ng iba, at papanatilihin sa lahat ang sarili. Lalong palaló ang nagdidiosdiosan, ang ibig tumarok ng balang kilos ng isip ng DIOS; at sakdal kapalaluan ó kataksilan ang walang gawá kundí pagbintañgan ang Dios ng balang bukang bibig at ilipat sa kanya ang balá niyang nasá, at ang sariling kaaway ay gawing kaaway ng Dios. Dí dapat naman tayong umasa sa sarili lamang; kundí magtanong,makinig sa iba, at saka gawain ang inaakalang lalong matuid; ang habito ó sutana'y walang naidaragdag sa dunong ng tao; magsapinsapin man ang habito ng huli sa bundok, ay bulubundukin din at walang nadadayá kungdí ang mangmang at mahinang loob. Nang ito'y lalong maranasan, ay bumili kayo ng isang habito sa S. Francisco at isoot ninyo sa isang kalabao. Kapalaran na kung pagka pag habito ay hindí magtamad. Lisanin ko ito at dalhin ang salitá sa iba.

Sa kadalagahang punlaan ng bulaklak na mamumuñga'y dapat ang babai'y magtipon ng yamang maipamamana sa lalaking anak. Ano kaya ang magiging supling ng babaing walang kabanalan kundí ang magbubulong ng dasal, walang karunuñgan kungdí awit, novena at milagrong pangulol sa tao, walang libañgang iba sa panguingue ó magkumpisal kayá ng malimit ng muli't muling kasalanan? Ano ang magiging anak kundí sakristan, bataan ng cura ó magsasabong? Gawá ng mga ina ang kalugamian ngayon ng ating mga kababayan, sa lubos na paniniwalá ng kanilang masintahing pusó, at sa malaking pagkaibig na ang kanilang mga anak ay mapakagaling. Ang kagulañga'y buñga ñg pagkabatá at ang pagkabata'y nasa kanduñgan ñg ina. Ang inang walang maituturó kundí ang lumuhod humalik ñg kamay, huwag magantay ng anak ng iba sa duñgó ó alipustang alipin. Kahoy na laki sa burak, daluro ó agatpat ó pangatong lamang; at kung sakalí't may batang may pusong pangahas, ang kapangahasa'y tagó at gagamitin sa samá, paris ng silaw na kabag na dí makapakita kundí pag tatakip silim. Karaniwang panagot ang una'y kabanalan at pagsinta sa Dios. Ñguní at ano ang kabanalang itinuró sa atin? Magdasal at lumuhod ng matagal, humalik ng kamay sa parí, ubusin ang salapí sa simbahan at paniwalaan ang balang masumpuñgang sabihin sa atin? Tabil ng bibig, lipak ng tuhod, kiskis ng ilong..... bagay sa limos sa simbahan, sangkalan ang Dios, may bagay baga sa mundong ito na dí arí at likhá ng Maykapal? Ano ang inyong sasabihin sa isang alilang maglimos sa kayang panginoon ng isang basahang hiram sa nasabing mayaman? Sino ang taong dí palaló at ulol, na mag lilimos sa Dios at magaakalang ang salantá niyang kaya ay makabibihis sa lumikhá ng lahat ñg bagay? Pagpalain ang maglimos sa kapus, tumulong sa mayhirap, magpakain sa gutom; ñguní at mapulaan at sumpain, ang biñgi sa taghoy ng mahirap, at walang binubusog kundí ang sandat, at inubos ang salapí sa mga frontal na pilak, limos sa simbahan ó sa frayleng lumalañgoy sa yaman, sa misa de gracia ng may tugtugan at paputok, samantalang ang salaping ito'y pinipigá sa buto ñg mahirap at iniaalay sa pañginoon ñg maibili ng tanikalang pangapus, maibayad ng verdugong panghampas. Ó kabulagan at kahiklian ng isip!

Ang unang kabanalan ay ang pagsunod sa matuid, anoman ang mangyari. "Gawá at hindí salitá ang hiling ko sa inyo" ani Cristo; "hindí anak ni ama ang nagsasabing ulit-ulit ama ko, ama ko, kundí ang nabubuhay alinsunod sa hiling ñg aking ama." Ang kabanalan ay walá sa pulpol na ilong, at ang kahalili ni Cristo'y di kilala sa halikang kamay. Si Cristo'y dí humalik sa mga Fariseo, hindi nagpahalik kailan pa man; hindí niya pinatabá ang may yaman at palalong escribas; walá siyang binangit na kalmen, walang pinapagcuintas, hiningan ng pamisa, at di nagbayad sa kanyang panalangin. Di napaupa si San Juan sa Ilog ng Jordan, gayon din si Cristo sa kanyang pangangaral. Bakit ngayo'y ang mga pari'y walang bigong kilos na di may hinihinging upa? At gutom pa halos nagbibili ng mga kalmen, cuentas, correa at ibapa, pang dayá ng salapi, pampasamá sa kalulua; sa pagkat kalminin mo man ang lahat ng basahan sa lupá, cuintasin mo man ang lahat ng kahoy sa bundok ibilibid mo man sa iyong bayawang ang lahat ng balat ng hayop, at ang lahat na ito'y pagkapaguran mang pagkuruskurusan at pagbulongbulongan ng lahat ng pari sa sangdaigdigan, at iwisik man ang lahat ng tubig sa dagat, ay di mapalilinis ang maruming loob, di mapatatawad ang walang pagsisisi. Gayon din sa kasakiman sa salapi'y maraming ipinagbawal, na matutubos kapag ikaw ay nagbayad, alin na ngá sa huag sa pagkain ng karne, pagaasawa sa pinsan, kumpari, at iba pa, na ipinahihintulot kapag ikaw ay sumuhol. Bakit, nabibili baga ang Dios at nasisilaw sa salaping paris ng mga pari? Ang magnanakaw na tumubos ng bula de composicion, ay makaaasa sa tahimik, na siya'y pinatawad; samakatuid ay ibig ng Dios na makikain ng nakaw? Totoo bagang hirap na ang Maykapal, na nakikigaya sa mga guarda, carabineros ó guardia civil? Kung ito ang Dios na sinasamba ñg Frayle, ay tumalikod ako sa ganyang Dios.

Maghunos dilí ngá tayo at imulat natin ang mata, lalong laló na kayong mga babai, sa pagka't kayo ang nagbubukas ng loob ng tao. Isipin na ang mabuting ina ay iba, sa inang linalang ng fraile; dapat palakhin ang anak na malapit baga sa larawan ng tunay na Dios, Dios na dí nasusuhulan, Dios na dí masakim sa salapí, Dios na ama ng lahat, na walang kinikilingan, Dios na dí tumatabá sa dugó ng mahirap, na dí nagsasaya sa daing ng naruruhagi, at nangbubulag ng matalinong isip. Gisingin at ihandá ang loob ng anak sa balang mabuti at mahusay na akalá: pagmamahal sa puri, matapat at timtimang loob, maliwanag na pagiisip, malinis na asal, maginoong kilos, pagibig sa kapuá, at pagpipitagan sa Maykapal, ito ang ituró sa anak. At dahil ang buhay ay punó ng pighatí at sakuná, patibayin ang loob sa ano mang hirap, patapañgin ang pusó sa ano mang pañganib. Huag mag antay ang bayan ng puri at ginhawa, samantalang likó ang pagpapalaki sa batá, samantalang lugamí at mangmang ang babaing magpapalaki ñg anak. Walang maiinom sa labó at mapait na bukal; walang matamis na buñga sa punlang maasim.

Malaki ngang hindí bahagyá ang katungkulang gaganapin ng babai sa pagkabihis ng hirap ng bayan, nguni at ang lahat na ito'y dí hihigit sa lakas at loob ng babaing Tagalog. Talastas ng lahat ang kapanyarihan at galing ng babayi sa Filipinas, kayá ñgá kanilang binulag, iginapus, at iniyukó ang loob, panatag sila't habang ang iba'y alipin, ay ma-aalipin din naman ang lahat ng mga anak. Ito ang dahilan ng pagkalugamí ng Asia; ang babayi sa Asia'y mangmang at alipin. Makapangyarihan ang Europa at Amerika dahil duo'y ang mga babai'y malaya't marunong, dilat ang isip at malakas ang loob.

Alam na kapus kayong totoo ñg mga librong sukat pagaralan; talastas na walang isinisilid araw araw sa inyong pagiisip kundí ang sadyang pang bulag sa inyong bukal na liwanag; tantó ang lahat na ito, kayá pinagsisikapan naming makaabot sa inyo ang ilaw na sumisilang sa kapuá ninyo babayi; dito sa Europa kung hindí kayamutan itong ilang sabi, at pagdamutang basahin, marahil ay makapal man ang ulap na nakakubkob sa ating bayan, ay pipilitin ding mataos ñg masantin na sikat ñg araw, at sisikat kahit banaag lamang ... Dí kami manglulumo kapag kayo'y katulong namin; tutulong ang Dios sa pagpawí ñg ulap, palibhasa'y siya ang Dios ñg katotohanan; at isasaulí sa dati ang dilag ñg babaying Tagalog, na walang kakulañgan kundí isang malayang sariling isip, sapagka't sa kabaita'y labis. Ito ang nasang lagì sa panimdim, na napapanaginip, ang karañgalan ñg babaying kabiak ñg pusó at karamay sa tuá ó hirap ñg buhay: kung dalaga, ay sintahin ñg binatá, di lamang dahilan sa ganda ó tamis ñg asal, kundí naman sa tibay ñg pusó, taas ñg loob, na makabuhay baga at makapanghinapang sa mahiná ó maruruwagang lalaki, ó makapukaw kayá ñg madidilag na pagiisip, pag isang dalaga bagang sukat ipagmalaki ñg bayan, pagpitaganan ñg iba, sapagka at karaniwang sabi sabi ñg mga kastilá at pari na nangagaling diyan ang karupukan at kamangmañgan ñg babaying tagalog, na tila baga ang mali ñg ilan ay malí na nang lahat, at anaki'y sa ibang lupá ay walá, ñg babaing marupok ang loob, at kung sabagay maraming maisusurot sa mata ñg ibang babai ang babaying tagalog..... Gayon ma'y dala marahil ñg kagaanan ñg labí ó galaw ñg dilá, ang mga kastilá, at parí pagbalik sa Espanya'y walang unang ipinamamalabad, ipinalilimbag at ipinagsisigawan halos, sabay ang halakhak, alipustá at tawa, kundí ang babaing si gayon, ay gayon sa convento, gayon sa kastilang pinatuloy, sa iba't iba pang nakapagñgañgalit; sa tuing maiisip, na ang karamihan ng malí ay gawá ñg kamusmusan, labis na kabaitan, kababaan ñg loob ó kabulagan kayang kalalañgan din nila..... May isang kastilang nagayo'y mataas na tao na, pinakai't pinatuloy natin sa habang panahong siya'y lumiguyliguy sa Filipinas ... pagdating sa Espanya, ipinalimbag agad, na siya raw ay nanuluyang minsan sa Kapangpañgan, kumai't natulog, at ang maginoong babaying nagpatuloy ay gumayon at gumayon sa kanya: ito ang iginanti sa napakatamis na loob ng babayi ... Gayon din ang unang pahili ng pari sa nadalaw na kastila, ay ang kanyang mga masusunuring dalagang tagahalik ng kamay, at iba pang kahalo ang ñgiti at makahulugang kindat ... Sa librong ipinalimbag ni Dn. Sinibaldo de Mas, at sa, iba pang sinulat ng mga pari, ay nalathala ang mga kasalanang ikinumpisal ng babai na di ilinilihim ng mga pari sa mga dumadalaw na Kastila, at kung magkaminsan pa'y dinadagdagan ng mga kayabañgan at karumihang hindi mapaniniwalaan ... Di ko maulit dito ang mga di ikinahiyang sinabi ng isang fraile kay Mas na di nito mapaniwalaan ... Sa tuing maririnig ó mababasa ang mga bagay na ito'y itinatanong namin kung Santa Maria kaya ang lahat ng babaying kastila, at makasalanan na kaya baga ang lahat ng babaying tagalog; ñguni kong sakali't magsumbatan at maglatlatan ng puri'y ... Datapua't lisanin ko ang bagay na ito, sapagka't dí ako paring confesor, ó manunuluyang kastilá, na makapaninirá ñg puri ng iba. Itabi ko ito at ituloy sambitin ang katungkulan ñg babai.

Sa mga bayang gumagalang sa babaing para ñg Filipinas, dapat nilang kilanlin ang tunay na lagay upang ding maganapan ang sa kanila'y inia-asa. Ugaling dati'y kapag nanliligaw ang nagaaral na binata ay ipinañgañganyayang lahat, dunong, puri't salapi, na tila baga ang dalaga'y walang maisasabog kundi ang kasamaan. Ang katapang-tapañga'y kapag napakasal ay nagiging duag, ang duag na datihan ay nagwawalanghiya,na tila walang ina-antay kundi ang magasawa para maipahayag ang sariling kaduagan. Ang anak ay walang pangtakip sa hina ñg loob kundi ang alaala sa ina, at dahilan dito, nalunok na apdo, nagtitiis ñg tampal, nasunod sa lalong hunghang na utos, at tumutulong sa kataksilan ñg iba sa pagka't kung walang natakbo'y walang manghahagad; kung walang isdang munti'y walang isdang malaki. Bakit kaya baga di humiling ang dalaga sa iibigín, ñg isang marañgal at mapuring ñgalan, isang pusong lalaking makapag-ampon sa kahinaan ng babai, isang marangal na loob na di papayag magka anak ng alipin? Pukawin sa loob ang sigla at sipag, maginoong asal, mahal na pakiramdam, at huwag isuko ang pagkadalaga sa isang mahina at kuyuming puso. Kung maging asawa na, ay dapat tumulong sa lahat ng hírap, palakasin ang loob ng lalaki, humati sa pañganib, aliwin ang dusa, at aglahiin ang hinagpis, at alalahaning lagi na walang hirap na di mababata ñg bayaning puso, at walang papait pang pamana, sa pamanang kaalipustaan at kaalipinan. Mulatin ang mata ñg anak sa pagiiñgat at pagmamahal sa puri, pagibig sa kapua sa tinubuang bayan, at sa pagtupad ñg ukol. Ulituliting matamisin ang mapuring kamatayan saalipustang buhay. Ang mga babai sa Esparta'y sukat kunang uliran at dito'y ilalagda ko ang aking halimbawa:

Nang iniaabot ñg isang ina ang kalasag sa papasahukbong anak, ay ito lamang ang sinabi: "ibalik mo ó ibalik ka," ito ñga umuwi kang manalo ó mamatay ka, sapagkat ugaling iwaksi ang kalasag ñg talong natakbo ó inuwi kaya ang bangkay sa ibabaw ñg kalasag. Nabalitaan ñg isang ina na namatay sa laban ang kanyang anak, at ang hukbo ay natalo. Hindi umiimik kundi nagpasalamat dahil ang kanyang anak ay maligtas sa pulá, ñguni at ang anak ay bumalik na buhay; nagluksa ang ina ñg siya'y makita. Sa isang sumasalubong na ina sa mga umuwing galing sa laban, ay ibinalita ñg isa na namatay daw sa pagbabaka ang tatlong anak niya,—"hindi iyan ang tanong ko ang sagot ñg ina, kundi nanalo ó natalo tayó?—Nanalo ang sagot ñg bayani. Kung ganoo'y magpasalamat tayo sa Dios!" ang wika at napa sa simbahan.

Minsa'y nagtagó sa simbahan ang isang napatalong harí nila, sa takot sa galit sa bayan; pinagkaisahang kuluñgin siya doon at patain ñg gutum. Ñg papaderan na ang pinto'y ang ina ang unang nag hakot ñg bato. Ang mga ugaling ito'y karaniwan sa kanila, kayá ñga't iginalang ng buong Grecia ang babaing Esparta. Sa lahat ñg babai, ang pulá ñg isa ay kayo lamang na taga Esparta ang nakapangyayari sa lalaki. Mangyari pa, ang sagot ñg babai, ay kami lamang ang nagaanak ñg lalaki. Ang tao, ñg mga Esparta ay hindí inianak para mabuhay sa sarili, kungdi para sa kanyang bayan. Habang nanatili ang ganitong mga isipan at ganitong mga babai ay walang kaaway na nakatungtong ñg lupang Esparta, at walang babaing taga Esparta na nakatanaw ñg hukbo ng kaaway.

Dí ko inaasahang paniwalaan ako alang-alang lamang sa aking sabi: maraming taong dí natingin sa katuiran at tunay, kundí sa habito, sa putí ñg buhok ó kakulangan kayá ng ngipin. Ñguní at kung ang tanda'y magalang sa pinagdaanang hirap, ang pinagdaan kong buhay hain sa ikagagaling ng bayan, ay makapagbibigay ñg tandá sa akin, kahit maiklí man. Malayó ako sa, pagpapasampalataya, pag didiosdiosan, paghalili kayá sa Dios, paghahangad na paniwalaa't pakingang pikit-mata, yukó ang ulo at halukipkip ang kamay; ñguni't ang hiling ko'y magisip, mag mulaymulay ang lahat, usigin at salain kung sakalí sa ngalan ng katuiran itong pinaninindigang mga sabi:

Ang una-una. "Ang ipinagiging taksil ñg ilan ay nasa kaduagan at kapabayaan ñg iba."

Ang ikalawa. Ang iniaalipustá ng isa ay nasa kulang ñg pagmamahal sa sarili at nasa labis ñg pagkasilaw sa umaalipustá.

Ang ikatlo. Ang kamangmañga'y kaalipinan, sapagkat kung ano ang isip ay ganoon ang tao: taong walang sariling isip, ay taong walang pagkatao; ang bulag na taga sunod sa isip ng iba, ay parang hayop na susunod-sunod sa talí.

Ang ikaapat. Ang ibig magtagó ñg sarili, ay tumulong sa ibang magtagó ñg kanila, sapagkat kung pabayaan mo ang inyong kapuá ay pababayaan ka rin naman; ang isa isang tingting ay madaling baliin, ñguní at mahirap baliin ang isang bigkis na walis.

Ang ika-lima. Kung ang babaing tagalog ay dí magbabago, ay hindí dapat magpalaki ñg anak, kungdí gawing pasibulan lamang; dapat alisin sa kanya ang kapangyarihan sa bahay, sapagka't kung dili'y ipag kakanulong walang malay, asawa, anak, bayan at lahat.

Ang ika-anim. Ang tao'y inianak na paris-paris hubad at walang talí. Dí nilalang ñg Dios upang maalipin, dí binigyan ñg isip para pabulag, at dí hiniyasan ñg katuiran at ñg maulol ñg iba. Hindí kapalaluan ang dí pagsamba sa kapuá tao, ang pagpapaliwanag ñg isip at paggamit ñg matuid sa anomang bagay. Ang palalo'y ang napasasamba, ang bumubulag sa iba, at ang ibig paniigin ang kanyang ibig sa matuid at katampatan.

Ang ika-pito. Liniñgin ninyong magaling kung ano ang religiong itinuturó sa atin. Tingnan ninyong mabuti kung iyan ang utos ng Dios ó ang pangaral ni Cristong panglunas sa hirap ñg mahirap, pangaliw sa dusa ñg nagdudusa. Alalahanin ninyo ang lahat ñg sa inyo'y itinuturó, ang pinapatuñguhan ñg lahat ng sermon, ang nasa ilalim ng lahat ng misa, novena, kuintas, kalmen, larawan, milagro, kandilá, corea at iba't iba pang iginigiit, inihihiyaw at isinusurot araw-araw sa inyong loob, taiñga, at mata, at hanapin ninyo ang puno at dulo at saka iparis ninyo ang religiong sa malinis na religion ni Cristo, at tingnan kung hindí ang inyong pagkakristiano ay paris ng naalagang gatasang hayop, ó paris ng pinatatabang baboy kayá, na dí pinatatabá alang alang sa pagmamahal sa kaniya, kundí maipagbili ng lalong mahal at ng lalong masalapian.

Magbulay-bulay tayo, malasin ang ating kalagayan, at tayo'y mag isip isip. Kung itong ilang buhaghag na sabi'y makatutulong sa ibinigay sa inyong bait, upang ding maituloy ang nasimulan ninyong paglakad.

"Tubó ko'y dakilá sa puhu nang pagod" at mamatamisin ang ano mang mangyari, ugaling upa sa sino mang mañgahas sa ating bayan magsabi ng tunay. Matupad nawá ang inyong nasang matuto at harí na ñgang sa halaman ñg karunuñgan ay huwag makapitas ñg buñgang bubut, kundí ang kikitili'y piliin, pagisipin muná, lasapin bago lunukin, sapagka't sa balat ñg lupá lahat ay haluan, at di bihirang magtanim ang kaaway ng damong pansirá, kasama sa binhí sa gitná ñg linang.

Ito ang matindin nasá ñg inyong kababayang si


Pahimakas (Tagalog translation of Mi Ultimo Adios by Andres Bonifacio)

"Pahimakas" is the Tagalog translation of "Mi Ultimo Adios", Jose Rizal's final farewell poem. Andres Bonifacio, one the Philippine Heroes, is the author of "Pahimakas" and is the spark that ignited the Philippine Revolution. He is an important figure in Philippine History.

Pahimakas (Tagalog translation of Mi Ultimo Adios by Andres Bonifacio)

Pinipintuho kong Bayan ay paalam,
Lupang iniirog ng sikat ng araw,
mutyang mahalaga sa dagat Silangan,
kaluwalhatiang sa ami'y pumanaw.

Masayang sa iyo'y aking idudulot
ang lanta kong buhay na lubhang malungkot;
maging maringal man at labis alindog
sa kagalingan mo ay aking ding handog.

Sa pakikidigma at pamimiyapis
ang alay ng iba'y ang buhay na kipkip,
walang agam-agam, maluag sa dibdib,
matamis sa puso at di ikahapis.

Saan man mautas ay dikailangan,
cipres o laurel, lirio ma'y patungan
pakikipaghamok, at ang bibitayan,
yaon ay gayon din kung hiling ng Bayan.

Ako'y mamamatay, ngayong namamalas
na sa silinganan ay namamanaag
yaong maligayang araw na sisikat
sa likod ng luksang nagtabing na ulap.

Ang kulay na pula kung kinakailangan
na maitina sa iyong liwayway,
dugo ko'y isabong at siyang ikinang
ng kislap ng iyong maningning na ilaw

Ang aking adhika sapul magkaisip
ng kasalukuyang bata pang maliit,
ay ang tanghaling ka at minsan masilip
sa dagat Silangan hiyas na marikit.

Natuyo ang luhang sa mata'y nunukal,
taas na ang noo't walang kapootan,
walang bakas kunot ng kapighatian
gabahid man dungis niyong kahihiyan.

Sa kabuhayang ko ang laging gunita
maningas na aking ninanasa-nasa
ay guminhawa ka ang hiyas ng diwa
pag hingang papanaw ngayong biglang-bigla.

Ikaw'y guminhawa laking kagandahang
akoy malugmok, at ikaw ay matanghal,
hiniga'y malagot, mabuhay ka lamang
bangkay ko'y masilong sa iyong Kalangitan.

Kung sa libingan ko'y tumubong mamalas
sa malagong damo mahinhing bulaklak,
sa mga labi mo'y mangyayaring itapat,
sa kaluluwa ko hatik ay igawad.

At sa aking noo nawa'y iparamdam,
sa lamig ng lupa ng aking libingan,
ang init ng iyong paghingang dalisay
at simoy ng iyong paggiliw na tunay.

Bayaang ang buwan sa aki'y ititig
ang liwanag niyang lamlam at tahimik,
liwayway bayaang sa aki'y ihatid
magalaw na sinag at hanging hagibis.

Kung sakasakaling bumabang humantong
sa krus ko'y dumapo kahit isang ibon
doon ay bayaan humuning hinahon
at dalitin niya payapang panahon.

Bayaan ang ningas ng sikat ng araw
ula'y pasingawin noong kainitan,
magbalik sa langit ng boong dalisay
kalakip ng aking pagdaing na hiyaw.

Bayaang sino man sa katotang giliw
tangisang maagang sa buhay pagkitil;
kung tungkol sa akin ay may manalangin
idalangin, Bayan, yaring pagka himbing.

Idalanging lahat yaong nangamatay,
mangagatiis hirap na walang kapantay;
mga ina naming walang kapalaran
na inihihibik ay kapighatian.

Ang mga bao't pinapangulila,
ang mga bilanggong nagsisipagdusa;
dalanginin namang kanilang makita
ang kalayaan mong, ikagiginhawa.

At kung an madilim na gabing mapanglaw
ay lumaganap na doon sa libinga't
tanging mga patay ang nangaglalamay,
huwag bagabagin ang katahimikan.

Ang kanyang hiwagay huwag gambalain;
kaipala'y maringig doon ang taginting,
tunog ng gitara't salterio'y mag saliw,
ako, Bayan yao't kita'y aawitin.

Kung ang libingan ko'y limot na ng lahat
at wala ng kurus at batang mabakas,
bayaang linangin ng taong masipag,
lupa'y asarolin at kauyang ikalat.

At mga buto ko ay bago matunaw
mauwi sa wala at kusang maparam,
alabok ng iyong latag ay bayaang
siya ang babalang doo'y makipisan.

Kung magka gayon na'y aalintanahin
na ako sa limot iyong ihabilin
pagka't himpapawid at ang panganorin
mga lansangan mo'y aking lilibutins.

Matining na tunog ako sa dingig mo,
ilaw, mga kulay, masamyong pabango,
ang ugong at awit, pag hibik sa iyo,
pag asang dalisay ng pananalig ko.

Bayang iniirog, sakit niyaring hirap,
Katagalugang ko pinakaliliyag,
dinggin mo ang aking pagpapahimakas;
diya'y iiwan ko sa iyo ang lahat.

Ako'y patutungo sa walang busabos,
walang umiinis at berdugong hayop;
pananalig doo'y di nakasasalot,
si Bathala lamang dooy haring lubos.

Paalam, magulang at mga kapatid
kapilas ng aking kaluluwa't dibdib
mga kaibigan bata pang maliit
sa aking tahanan di na masisilip.

Pag pasasalamat at napahinga rin,
paalam estranherang kasuyo ko't aliw,
paalam sa inyo, mga ginigiliw;
mamatay ay siyang pagkakagupiling!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Behind The Lens by Matikas Santos

Every time I look behind the lens, the dirtiest, thinnest, grimiest, most obnoxious stray cat will look like the most beautiful thing on earth. A chair, an empty bottle, a soda can, a plastic cup, a window, a road sign, a flower, a cluttered desk, the sky, stairs and even the reflection on a mirror; any little thing that I take for granted in my daily existence can possess incomparable beauty once I see it from behind the lens.

I never received any formal education about photography, unless you were to count the arts elective that I took up in high school. I don’t know how to develop pictures in the dark room. I don’t know who invented the camera or where it was invented. I didn’t know the purpose of photography. I don’t know anything at all. The only thing that I learned during those art elective classes in high school was how to take pictures and even those were just basic and fundamental techniques. How I stumbled upon the true meaning and purpose of photography, I can only guess.

My first few photographs were “by the book” so to speak. I simply followed the instructions and advices of my teacher. Never put the subject in the exact middle of the frame; always adjust to suit the light; always try to go for a slightly higher or lower angle relative to the subject; and so on and so forth; these were the advices he gave about taking pictures. I followed them whenever I could. But actually that’s all I did. I didn’t experiment with angles or the lighting or the composition, nothing; I just followed instructions and seldom asked questions. Later, after a few years of applying them over and over again, I would realize that these things, these fundamental and basic techniques, are not just the basics of photography, they are the core of photography. What I thought before to be just simple guidelines in taking pictures properly now become the wheels that make photography move. A slight change in the position of the subject within the frame can say isolation or connection, action or stagnation, conformity or anonymity. Low angles looking up at the subject suggest power, divinity, supremacy and even dominance; while high angles looking down can suggest oppression, weakness and misery. Light, brightly or dimly lit, and placed in the proper location, can stir emotions like sadness, fear and anger. All of these combined, enable pictures to touch the human soul in a way that no other thing on earth can. Hence the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

The first camera that I held was not mine. My mother borrowed one from her officemate so I can use it. When she had to return it, she would look for someone else to burrow from. She borrowed and returned cameras, at most, 3 times, before I had a camera that I could hold on to indefinitely; but it was still not mine. It was from an uncle of my cousin that was a geodetic engineer. It was broken due to a long time in storage, but was repaired then passed on to that cousin who was taking up fine arts advertising. He dropped and stopped school for about a year. So I borrowed it from him since he wasn’t using it anymore. Now that I had a camera in my hands for an indefinite time, I felt a sense of freedom to experiment and explore the capabilities of photography. I started taking pictures of things; little things, big things, weird things, out-of-the-ordinary things, normal things but from a different angle/point-of-view, things that are seen everyday but nobody pays any attention to, even things that I didn’t know why I wanted to take a picture of. And then it just came to me, I don’t know when or where or how or why, but it just came; the true meaning of photography was right in front of my eyes.

I noticed that when I would look into the viewfinder to take a picture, it would be the only thing that existed in the world; I can isolate something from everything else. The entire world would be reduced to what is inside the frame, then I could focus on just one object, any object that is inside, and look at it for no other purpose than to search for beauty. It sounded so good, that I had to swear a couple of times just to get off being dumbstruck. This, I said to myself, was the soul of photography.

But what is beauty? Sure photography is isolating and focusing on an object to search for beauty. But what is it? What is beautiful? What exactly am I searching for? I was stumped. Beauty has no exact definition. Everybody has their own idea of what is beautiful. It varies with every culture. There is no one meaning of beauty. But would you believe it that the answer came to me as unexpected as the first?

I saw another thing that is very similar to beauty, that everybody has their own idea of what it is, and has no exact definition; Art. Art is very opinionated. Everybody has their own meaning of what art is. Art is one’s point-of-view, one’s perspective. The same goes for beauty. Hence, what I am looking for in photography is my perspective, my opinion of what is beautiful. So in taking a picture of something that I perceive to be beautiful, I am expressing my opinion of what it means to me. Art is a means of expression as well; it will always go hand-in-hand with photography.

Photography is an art form, no less. Taking a picture is not very much different from painting a scene, writing a play, writing a novel, making a sculpture or even in composing a song. You need a perspective that you want to say. Every picture that I took is my opinion, my perspective; it is what I see behind the lens.

I believe in this meaning/purpose/ideal of photography so much, that I have incorporated it into my life. I now look at life differently. My daily hour-and-a-half commute from home to school is no longer monotonous and boring; because now I keep looking for the tiny everyday things which make good pictures.

Photography does to life what a camera does to an object; it isolates life and allows me to look for beauty within life itself. With photography in my life, I don’t need a camera anymore to look behind the lens.

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This work by Matikas Santos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Philippines License.

Change Is In The Hands Of The Youth by Matikas Santos

And so on and so on until the bell rang putting an end to the class, and two hundred and thirty-four students, after saying the closing prayer, left the room as ignorant as when they entered it but sighing as if they had been relieved of an immense burden. Each of them had lost one more hour of his life and with it a measure of his dignity and self-respect, an hour which, on the other hand, had added to the discouragement, resentment and aversion to study in his heart. After that, who could ask them for a grater love of science, more dignity, more gratitude! After that, what a somber judgment upon us all!

That is the second to the last paragraph of chapter 13 entitled "A Class in Physics" of the novel El Filibusterismo by Jose Rizal. In the chapter, Rizal depicts the students dislike and apathy for classes due to the way they were conducted; they were made to recite the lessons from the book word per word and three mistakes would be an automatic failure. It is strange that the dislike for study among students is still evident today.

Why? Why is it that even after many centuries, some things seem to have not changed. Today most of the students, or more appropriately, most of the youth, do not know what they really want to do with their life. Is it their fault? Maybe yes maybe no. Maybe it is the system that causes this to them; our transplanted educational system which came from the oh-so-glorious United States of America, like many other things here in our country. Maybe it’s the traditions and customs that have been introduced by the Spaniards; which we took up as our own without thinking of the consequences to our OWN native culture and passed on until eventually it is assimilated and mistaken as part of our own. Whether it is the system of education or the values of the youth, one thing is for certain: we need to change. We cannot keep on going about our lives blindly, lest we repeat and continue what young people centuries ago have done. We need to look at the bigger picture as Rizal did. We need to see the factors that matter in life. We need to look at the traditions and custom that we have today and see if they are beneficial or malignant. We need to look again at what the older generations have been passing down generation after generation; are they right or wrong? And the most important of all, we need to look at ourselves. Are the things that we do and take for granted in our everyday life beneficial to our fellow Filipinos? When you buy in a fast food restaurant; when you watch a movie; when you are with others; when you watch television and especially when you are in school, do you do what is good for our country as well as our culture?

We need to change our culture. And the best way to do this is through us, the youth. We are not the ones who will shape the future, we ARE the future. If we go on continuing the bad practices of generations before, which they have unknowingly passed on and on and on, then we will forever be a backward country. We are the only ones who can break this cycle. Those who have passed before were not able to do so hence it is up to us to do what they failed to do. We should undo tradition, break away from the norm, resist the convention, defy the status quo, raise the bar, or in simplest terms, change. But change that is for the better will be achieved when we cut away the wrong within ourselves first, then we must propagate the right to others.

I am telling you that if you change yourself you will have changed the future of our country. You’re probably thinking “Its impossible! One man can’t change an entire country simply by changing himself!” Well, I can only give you names: Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Alexander the Great, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, Ninoy Aquino and Jesus Christ. One man is more than enough to change a country. We are still young and any one of you could change the Philippines

Better yet, why don’t ALL of us change the country? Or what if the youth of centuries ago decided to take change into their hands; where would we be today? It may have taken long, but we are not too late.

In the final pages of Chapter 39, The Last Chapter, of the El Filibusterismo, Father Florentino, who is of considerable age, says to himself beside the dying body of Simoun, formerly the young Crisostomo Ibarra.

Where are the youths who will dedicate their innocence, their idealism, their enthusiasm to the good of the country? Where are they who will give generously of their blood to wash away so much shame, crime and abomination? Pure and immaculate must the victim be for the sacrifice to be acceptable. Where are you, young men and young women, who are to embody in yourselves the life-force that has been drained from our veins, the pure ideals that have grown stained in our minds, the fiery enthusiasm that has been quenched in our hearts? We await you, come for we await you!

The El Filibusterismo was written over a hundred years ago. And Father Florentino is still waiting. Are we going to have him wait a little longer? Will we not take the duty of change and let it pass on AGAIN to the next generation?

The youth is the future of the country. Look at the future, here in the classroom, out there in the lobby and also just outside the school. Do you like what the future looks like?

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This work by Matikas Santos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Philippines License.

A Eulogy of Roaches by Bienvenido Lumbera

Blessed are the cockroaches.

In this country they are
the citizens who last,
They need no police
to promulgate their peace
because they tolerate
each other’s smell or greed.

Friends to dark and filth,
they do not choose their meat.
Although they neither sow
nor reap, a daily feast
is laid for them in rooms
and kitchens of their pick.

The roaches do not spin,
and neither do they weave.
But note the russet coat
the sluggards wear: clothed
at birth, roaches require
no roachy charity.

They settle where they wish
and have no rent to pay.
Eviction is a word
quite meaningless to them
who do not have to own
their dingy crack of wall.

Not knowing dearth or taxes,
they increase and multiply.
Survival is assured
even the jobless roach:
his opportunities
pile up where garbage grows.

Dying is brief and cheap
and thus cannot affright.
A whiff of toxic mist,
an agile heel, a stick
—the swift descent of pain
is also final death.

Their annals may be short,
but when the simple poor
have starved to simple death,
roaches still circulate
in cupboards of the rich,
the strong, the wise, the dead.

WOTL: Nasa Puso Natin Si Rizal

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kung Susulat Ka by Jose Villarin

Uumpisahan mo hindi sa pag-upo't pagpapaandar ng bolpen sa papel. Tatayo ka't maglalakad.

Papalabas. Sa sagadsarang inog ng mundo. Sasakay sa bus o dyip. (Mahirap sa kotse.)

Makikisingit sa kasikipan ng sangkatauhan. Uubuhin ka sa walang sawang buga ng tambutso ng lungsod.

Didikit sa iyo ang pawis, manlalagkit ito, at pagkakapitan ng alikabok, ng amoy ng araw, gasolina o estero.

Maririnig mo ang kakaibang musika ng lansangan--ang arangkada't kaskasan ng mga sasakyan, ang pangungulit ng mga tindera, ang matining na tugtog ng gitara ng pulubing musikero.

Pagmamasdan mo lalo na ang mga tao, sa sari-sarili nilang tayo, galaw at lakad. Pakikiramdaman mo ang kanilang mga isinasaloob na mababakas lamang, paminsan-minsan, sa mukha at palad.

paiglap-iglap mong pagugulungin ang isip. Paaalimpuyuhin ang sariling damdamin. Isasangkot mo ang iyong buhay sa kanilang mga inaasikaso't perhuwisyo't panalangin.

Pasaglit-saglit, sasama ka sa kanilang tahanan. Makikitira, makikikain, makikitulog. Paaampon ka sa kanilang buhay. Gagawin mo ito habang wala ka pang naikakatha, habang wala pang buhay ang nagpapatinag sa iyong pusong pagal na sa kauupo't kaaaral.

Gagawin mo ito hanggang sa bihagin ka ng larawang nabubuhay sa iyong harap, larawang sumasalamin sa katotohanan na mapait omarahas man ay angkin ding kagandahan at kahiwagaan. Gagawin mo ito hanggang sa madama mo ang malalim na talab ng larawan sa iyong sarili. Kukurot ito sa iyong gunita at damdamin.

Mapapatigil ka upang manalamin sa harap ng larawan. Mauusal mo sa sarili: ito ang isusulat ko, siya ang isusulat ko--siya na aleng nagtitinda ng tawas sa may simbahan; siya na pulubing nakaratay sa gitna ng ingay at dumi ng konstruksyon ng LRT; silang magkasintahang kay tamis sa isa't isa sa lilim ng buwan ng Luneta; itong paslit na maaga pa sa buhay ay nagtitinda na ng Storck; silang mga dalagita ng Ermita; siya na tsuper ng dyip uuwi mamayang gabi sa asawa't anak, pagod sa kapapasada; siya na binatang manggagawa, nagwewelga, at walang makitang pag-asa.

Isang tao na pumatid sa pintig ng iyong buhay. Siya ang isusulat mo. Mag-iisa kayong dalawa sa katahimikan, sa labas ng matuling daigdig. Bibihisan mo siya ng telang hinabi mula sa mga karanasang iyong pinagtagni-tagni. Isusuot mo sa kanya ang damdamin. Sisipatin kung tama na ang hubog, ang tiklop sa laylayan. Kukulayan mo siya ng mga piling salita, at bibigyan mo siya ng tinig na sasaliw sa musika ng daigdig.

Mabubuhay siya. Patitingkarin mo ang kanyang katotohanan. Ang lahat ng ito'y ikaw ang may katha.

Kung susulat ka, ikaw talaga ang nililikha.

Footnote to Youth by Jose Garcia Villa

The sun was salmon and hazy in the west. Dodong thought to himself he would tell his father about Teang when he got home, after he had unhitched the carabao from the plow, and let it to its shed and fed it. He was hesitant about saying it, but he wanted his father to know. What he had to say was of serious import as it would mark a climacteric in his life. Dodong finally decided to tell it, at a thought came to him his father might refuse to consider it. His father was silent hard-working farmer who chewed areca nut, which he had learned to do from his mother, Dodong's grandmother.

I will tell it to him. I will tell it to him.

The ground was broken up into many fresh wounds and fragrant with a sweetish earthy smell. Many slender soft worms emerged from the furrows and then burrowed again deeper into the soil. A short colorless worm marched blindly to Dodong's foot and crawled calmly over it. Dodong go tickled and jerked his foot, flinging the worm into the air. Dodong did not bother to look where it fell, but thought of his age, seventeen, and he said to himself he was not young any more.

Dodong unhitched the carabao leisurely and gave it a healthy tap on the hip. The beast turned its head to look at him with dumb faithful eyes. Dodong gave it a slight push and the animal walked alongside him to its shed. He placed bundles of grass before it land the carabao began to eat. Dodong looked at it without interests.

Dodong started homeward, thinking how he would break his news to his father. He wanted to marry, Dodong did. He was seventeen, he had pimples on his face, the down on his upper lip already was dark--these meant he was no longer a boy. He was growing into a man--he was a man. Dodong felt insolent and big at the thought of it although he was by nature low in statue. Thinking himself a man grown, Dodong felt he could do anything.

He walked faster, prodded by the thought of his virility. A small angled stone bled his foot, but he dismissed it cursorily. He lifted his leg and looked at the hurt toe and then went on walking. In the cool sundown he thought wild you dreams of himself and Teang. Teang, his girl. She had a small brown face and small black eyes and straight glossy hair. How desirable she was to him. She made him dream even during the day.

Dodong tensed with desire and looked at the muscles of his arms. Dirty. This field
work was healthy, invigorating but it begrimed you, smudged you terribly. He turned back the way he had come, then he marched obliquely to a creek.

Dodong stripped himself and laid his clothes, a gray undershirt and red kundiman shorts, on the grass. The he went into the water, wet his body over, and rubbed at it vigorously. He was not long in bathing, then he marched homeward again. The bath made him feel cool.

It was dusk when he reached home. The petroleum lamp on the ceiling already was lighted and the low unvarnished square table was set for supper. His parents and he sat down on the floor around the table to eat. They had fried fresh-water fish, rice, bananas, and caked sugar.

Dodong ate fish and rice, but did not partake of the fruit. The bananas were overripe and when one held them they felt more fluid than solid. Dodong broke off a piece of the cakes sugar, dipped it in his glass of water and ate it. He got another piece and wanted some more, but he thought of leaving the remainder for his parents.

Dodong's mother removed the dishes when they were through and went out to the batalan to wash them. She walked with slow careful steps and Dodong wanted to help her carry the dishes out, but he was tired and now felt lazy. He wished as he looked at her that he had a sister who could help his mother in the housework. He pitied her, doing all the housework alone.

His father remained in the room, sucking a diseased tooth. It was paining him again, Dodong knew. Dodong had told him often and again to let the town dentist pull it out, but he was afraid, his father was. He did not tell that to Dodong, but Dodong guessed it. Afterward Dodong himself thought that if he had a decayed tooth he would be afraid to go to the dentist; he would not be any bolder than his father.

Dodong said while his mother was out that he was going to marry Teang. There it was out, what he had to say, and over which he had done so much thinking. He had said it without any effort at all and without self-consciousness. Dodong felt relieved and looked at his father expectantly. A decrescent moon outside shed its feeble light into the window, graying the still black temples of his father. His father looked old now.

"I am going to marry Teang," Dodong said.

His father looked at him silently and stopped sucking the broken tooth. The silence became intense and cruel, and Dodong wished his father would suck that troublous tooth again. Dodong was uncomfortable and then became angry because his father kept looking at him without uttering anything.

"I will marry Teang," Dodong repeated. "I will marry Teang."

His father kept gazing at him in inflexible silence and Dodong fidgeted on his seat.

"I asked her last night to marry me and she said...yes. I want your permission. I... want... it...." There was impatient clamor in his voice, an exacting protest at this coldness, this indifference. Dodong looked at his father sourly. He cracked his knuckles one by one, and the little sounds it made broke dully the night stillness.

"Must you marry, Dodong?"

Dodong resented his father's questions; his father himself had married. Dodong made a quick impassioned easy in his mind about selfishness, but later he got confused.

"You are very young, Dodong."

"I'm... seventeen."

"That's very young to get married at."

"I... I want to marry...Teang's a good girl."

"Tell your mother," his father said.

"You tell her, tatay."

"Dodong, you tell your inay."

"You tell her."

"All right, Dodong."

"You will let me marry Teang?"

"Son, if that is your wish... of course..." There was a strange helpless light in his father's eyes. Dodong did not read it, so absorbed was he in himself.

Dodong was immensely glad he had asserted himself. He lost his resentment for his father. For a while he even felt sorry for him about the diseased tooth. Then he confined his mind to dreaming of Teang and himself. Sweet young dream....


Dodong stood in the sweltering noon heat, sweating profusely, so that his camiseta was damp. He was still as a tree and his thoughts were confused. His mother had told him not to leave the house, but he had left. He had wanted to get out of it without clear reason at all. He was afraid, he felt. Afraid of the house. It had seemed to cage him, to compares his thoughts with severe tyranny. Afraid also of Teang. Teang was giving birth in the house; she gave screams that chilled his blood. He did not want her to scream like that, he seemed to be rebuking him. He began to wonder madly if the process of childbirth was really painful. Some women, when they gave birth, did not cry.

In a few moments he would be a father. "Father, father," he whispered the word with awe, with strangeness. He was young, he realized now, contradicting himself of nine months comfortable... "Your son," people would soon be telling him. "Your son, Dodong."

Dodong felt tired standing. He sat down on a saw-horse with his feet close together. He looked at his callused toes. Suppose he had ten children... What made him think that? What was the matter with him? God!

He heard his mother's voice from the house:

"Come up, Dodong. It is over."

Suddenly he felt terribly embarrassed as he looked at her. Somehow he was ashamed to his mother of his youthful paternity. It made him feel guilty, as if he had taken something no properly his. He dropped his eyes and pretended to dust dirt off his kundiman shorts.

"Dodong," his mother called again. "Dodong."

He turned to look again and this time saw his father beside his mother.

"It is a boy," his father said. He beckoned Dodong to come up.

Dodong felt more embarrassed and did not move. What a moment for him. His parents' eyes seemed to pierce him through and he felt limp.

He wanted to hide from them, to run away.

"Dodong, you come up. You come up," he mother said.

Dodong did not want to come up and stayed in the sun.

"Dodong. Dodong."

"I'll... come up."

Dodong traced tremulous steps on the dry parched yard. He ascended the bamboo steps slowly. His heart pounded mercilessly in him. Within, he avoided his parents eyes. He walked ahead of them so that they should not see his face. He felt guilty and untrue. He felt like crying. His eyes smarted and his chest wanted to burst. He wanted to turn back, to go back to the yard. He wanted somebody to punish him.

His father thrust his hand in his and gripped it gently.

"Son," his father said.

And his mother: "Dodong..."

How kind were their voices. They flowed into him, making him strong.

"Teang?" Dodong said.

"She's sleeping. But you go on..."

His father led him into the small sawali room. Dodong saw Teang, his girl-wife, asleep on the papag with her black hair soft around her face. He did not want her to look that pale.

Dodong wanted to touch her, to push away that stray wisp of hair that touched her lips, but again that feeling of embarrassment came over him and before his parents he did not want to be demonstrative.

The hilot was wrapping the child, Dodong heard it cry. The thin voice pierced him queerly. He could not control the swelling of happiness in him.

“You give him to me. You give him to me," Dodong said.


Blas was not Dodong's only child. Many more children came. For six successive years a new child came along. Dodong did not want any more children, but they came. It seemed the coming of children could not be helped. Dodong got angry with himself sometimes.

Teang did not complain, but the bearing of children told on her. She was shapeless and thin now, even if she was young. There was interminable work to be done. Cooking. Laundering. The house. The children. She cried sometimes, wishing she had not married. She did not tell Dodong this, not wishing him to dislike her. Yet she wished she had not married. Not even Dodong, whom she loved. There has been another suitor, Lucio, older than Dodong by nine years, and that was why she had chosen Dodong. Young Dodong. Seventeen. Lucio had married another after her marriage to Dodong, but he was childless until now. She wondered if she had married Lucio, would she have borne him children. Maybe not, either. That was a better lot. But she loved Dodong...

Dodong whom life had made ugly.

One night, as he lay beside his wife, he rose and went out of the house. He stood in the moonlight, tired and querulous. He wanted to ask questions and somebody to answer him. He wanted to be wise about many things.

One of them was why life did not fulfill all of Youth's dreams. Why it must be so. Why one was forsaken... after Love.

Dodong would not find the answer. Maybe the question was not to be answered. It must be so to make youth Youth. Youth must be dreamfully sweet. Dreamfully sweet. Dodong returned to the house humiliated by himself. He had wanted to know a little wisdom but was denied it.

When Blas was eighteen he came home one night very flustered and happy. It was late at night and Teang and the other children were asleep. Dodong heard Blas's steps, for he could not sleep well of nights. He watched Blas undress in the dark and lie down softly. Blas was restless on his mat and could not sleep. Dodong called him name and asked why he did not sleep. Blas said he could not sleep.

"You better go to sleep. It is late," Dodong said.

Blas raised himself on his elbow and muttered something in a low fluttering voice.

Dodong did not answer and tried to sleep.

"Itay ...," Blas called softly.

Dodong stirred and asked him what it was.

"I am going to marry Tona. She accepted me tonight."

Dodong lay on the red pillow without moving.

"Itay, you think it over."

Dodong lay silent.

"I love Tona and... I want her."

Dodong rose from his mat and told Blas to follow him. They descended to the yard, where everything was still and quiet. The moonlight was cold and white.

"You want to marry Tona," Dodong said. He did not want Blas to marry yet. Blas was very young. The life that would follow marriage would be hard...


"Must you marry?"

Blas's voice stilled with resentment. "I will marry Tona."

Dodong kept silent, hurt.

"You have objections, Itay?" Blas asked acridly.

"Son... n-none..." (But truly, God, I don't want Blas to marry yet... not yet. I don't want Blas to marry yet....)

But he was helpless. He could not do anything. Youth must triumph... now. Love must triumph... now. Afterwards... it will be life.

As long ago Youth and Love did triumph for Dodong... and then Life.

Dodong looked wistfully at his young son in the moonlight. He felt extremely sad and sorry for him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mi Ultimo Adios by Jose Rizal (Spanish with English translations)

In honor of the 150th birthday of the national hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, I will post his last poem "Mi Ultimo Adios". Jose Rizal's final poem, "Mi Ultimo Adios", was written during the night before his execution on December 30, 1896. At that time, he was in his jail cell in the Spanish walled city of Intramuros. He was executed in Bagumbayan, now the Rizal Park or Luneta, and was secretly buried in an unmarked grave in Paco Cemetery (now Paco Park), Manila. However, his sister Narcisa found the grave and had it marked "RPJ", Jose Rizal's initials in reverse. "Mi Ultimo Adios" was hidden by Rizal in a gas lamp which was given back to Rizal's family after the execution. It has been translated into at least 38 languages and is widely regarded as the most patriotic poem in the world. A song entitled "Ultimo Adios" was also made by Joey Ayala based on the poem.
Jose Rizal's remains were later exhumed from Paco Cemetery and placed in the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park.  A small shrine still stands in Paco Park to remember where Rizal was first buried.

Statues reenacting Jose Rizal's execution are a popular attraction in Rizal Park, Manila. These statues are placed on the exact spot where the execution took place.

Jose Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. His two novels, "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo", inspired Andres Bonifacio and all the members of the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or KKK to fight for freedom during the Philippine Revolution. The two novels are an important part of Philippine History and Philippine Literature. He will celebrate his 150th birthday on June 19, 2011. A 22 ft (6.7 m) bronze statue of Rizal was unveiled on his birthday by President Benigno "Noy-Noy" Aquino III in his home town of Calamba, Laguna.

Mi último adiós (Original Spanish text)
  1. ¡Adiós, Patria adorada, región del sol querida,
  2. Perla del mar de oriente, nuestro perdido Edén!
  3. A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
  4. Y fuera más brillante, más fresca, más florida,
  5. También por ti la diera, la diera por tu bien.

  6. En campos de batalla, luchando con delirio,
  7. Otros te dan sus vidas sin dudas, sin pesar;
  8. El sitio nada importa, ciprés, laurel o lirio,
  9. Cadalso o campo abierto, combate o cruel martirio,
  10. Lo mismo es si lo piden la patria y el hogar.

  11. Yo muero cuando veo que el cielo se colora
  12. Y al fin anuncia el día tras lóbrego capuz;
  13. si grana necesitas para teñir tu aurora,
  14. Vierte la sangre mía, derrámala en buen hora
  15. Y dórela un reflejo de su naciente luz.

  16. Mis sueños cuando apenas muchacho adolescente,
  17. Mis sueños cuando joven ya lleno de vigor,
  18. Fueron el verte un día, joya del mar de oriente,
  19. Secos los negros ojos, alta la tersa frente,
  20. Sin ceño, sin arrugas, sin manchas de rubor

  21. Ensueño de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,
  22. ¡Salud te grita el alma que pronto va a partir!
  23. ¡Salud! Ah, que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,
  24. Morir por darte vida, morir bajo tu cielo,
  25. Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.

  26. Si sobre mi sepulcro vieres brotar un día
  27. Entre la espesa yerba sencilla, humilde flor,
  28. Acércala a tus labios y besa al alma mía,
  29. Y sienta yo en mi frente bajo la tumba fría,
  30. De tu ternura el soplo, de tu hálito el calor.

  31. Deja a la luna verme con luz tranquila y suave,
  32. Deja que el alba envíe su resplandor fugaz,
  33. Deja gemir al viento con su murmullo grave,
  34. Y si desciende y posa sobre mi cruz un ave,
  35. Deja que el ave entone su cántico de paz.

  36. Deja que el sol, ardiendo, las lluvias evapore
  37. Y al cielo tornen puras, con mi clamor en pos;
  38. Deja que un ser amigo mi fin temprano llore
  39. Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mí alguien ore,
  40. ¡Ora también, oh Patria, por mi descanso a Dios!

  41. Ora por todos cuantos murieron sin ventura,
  42. Por cuantos padecieron tormentos sin igual,
  43. Por nuestras pobres madres que gimen su amargura;
  44. Por huérfanos y viudas, por presos en tortura
  45. Y ora por ti que veas tu redención final.

  46. Y cuando en noche oscura se envuelva el cementerio
  47. Y solos sólo muertos queden velando allí,
  48. No turbes su reposo, no turbes el misterio,
  49. Tal vez acordes oigas de cítara o salterio,
  50. Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que te canto a ti.

  51. Y cuando ya mi tumba de todos olvidada
  52. No tenga cruz ni piedra que marquen su lugar,
  53. Deja que la are el hombre, la esparza con la azada,
  54. Y mis cenizas, antes que vuelvan a la nada,
  55. El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan a formar.

  56. Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido.
  57. Tu atmósfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzaré.
  58. Vibrante y limpia nota seré para tu oído,
  59. Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido,
  60. Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fe.

  61. Mi patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,
  62. Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adiós.
  63. Ahí te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
  64. Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
  65. Donde la fe no mata, donde el que reina es Dios.

  66. Adiós, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
  67. Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
  68. Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
  69. Adiós, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegría,
  70. Adiós, queridos seres, morir es descansar.
The Valedictory Poem 
(English translation of Mi Ultimo Adios by Nick Joaquin)
  1. Land that I love: farewell: O land the sun loves:
  2. Pearl in the sea of the Orient: Eden lost to your brood!
  3. Gaily go I to present you this hapless hopeless life:
  4. Were it more brilliant: had it more freshness, more bloom:
  5. Still for you would I give it: would give it for your good!

  6. On the field of battle, fighting with delirium,
  7. others give you their lives without doubts, without gloom.
  8. The site nought matters: cypress, laurel or lily:
  9. gibbet or open field: combat or cruel martyrdom
  10. are equal if demanded by country and home.

  11. I am to die when I see the heavens go vivid,
  12. announcing the day at last behind the dead night.
  13. If you need color – color to stain that dawn with,
  14. let spill my blood: scatter it in good hour:
  15. and drench in its gold one beam of the newborn light.

  16. My dreams when a lad, when scarcely adolescent:
  17. my dreams when a young man, now with vigor inflamed:
  18. were to behold you one day: Jewel of eastern waters:
  19. griefless the dusky eyes: lifted the upright brow:
  20. unclouded, unfurrowed, unblemished and unashamed!

  21. Enchantment of my life: my ardent avid obsession:
  22. To your health! cries the soul, so soon to take the last leap:
  23. To your health! O lovely: how lovely: to fall that you may rise!
  24. to perish that you may live! to die beneath you skies!
  25. and upon your enchanted ground the eternities to sleep!

  26. Should you find someday somewhere on my gravemound, fluttering
  27. among tall grasses, a flower of simple fame:
  28. caress it with your lips and you kiss my soul:
  29. I shall feel on my face across the cold tombstone:
  30. of your tenderness, the breath; of your breath, the flame.

  31. Suffer the moon to keep watch, tranquil and suave, over me:
  32. suffer the dawn its flying lights to release:
  33. suffer the wind to lament in murmurous and grave manner:
  34. and should a bird drift down and alight on my cross,
  35. suffer the bird to intone its canticle of peace.

  36. Suffer the rains to dissolve in the fiery sunlight
  37. and purified reascending heavenward bear my cause:
  38. suffer a friend to grieve I perished so soon:
  39. and on fine evenings, when someone prays in my memory,
  40. pray also – O my land! – that in God I repose.

  41. Pray for all who have fallen befriended by no fate:
  42. for all who braved the bearing of torments all bearing past:
  43. to our poor mothers piteously breathing forth bitterness:
  44. for widows and orphans: for those in tortured captivity
  45. and yourself: pray to behold your redemption at last.

  46. And when in dark night shrouded obscurely the graveyard lies
  47. and only, only the dead keep vigil the night through:
  48. keep holy the peace: keep holy the mystery.
  49. Strains perhaps you will hear – of zither, or of psalter:
  50. It is I – O land I love! – it is I, singing to you!

  51. And when my grave is wholly unremembered
  52. and unlocated (no cross upon it, no stone there plain);
  53. let the site be wracked by the plow and cracked by the spade
  54. and let my ashes, before they vanish to nothing,
  55. as dust be formed a part of your carpet again.

  56. Nothing then will it matter to place me in oblivion!
  57. Across your air, your space, your valleys shall pass my wraith!
  58. A pure chord, strong and resonant, shall I be in your ears:
  59. fragrance, light and color: whispers, lyric and sigh:
  60. constantly repeating the essence of my faith!

  61. Land that I idolized: prime sorrow among my sorrows:
  62. beloved Filipinas, hear me the farewell word:
  63. I bequeath you everything – my family, my affections:
  64. I go where no slaves are – nor butchers: nor oppressors:
  65. where faith cannot kill: where God’s the sovereign lord!

  66. Farewell, my parents, my brothers – fragments of my soul:
  67. friends of old and playmates in childhood’s vanished house:
  68. offer thanks that I rest from the restless day!
  69. Farewell, sweet foreigner – my darling, my delight!
  70. Creatures I love, farewell! To die is to repose.
    The Rizal Monument is where the remains of the Philippine National Hero, Jose Rizal, is buried. It stands in Rizal Park, Manila, formerly the Bagumbayan, which was also where Jose Rizal was executed.