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3/12/2017 JoseRizal:thepoetryofpatriotism|InquirerOpinion

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By: Mario Guaria III - @inquirerdotnet PhilippineDailInquirer/0236AMJune19,2014

There was a bookstore in the Spanish city of Sevilla that sold an anthology
of poems considered the best in the Spanish language. Among the works LikePage 3.2Mlikes

contained in its pages was the poem of Jose Rizal written on the eve of his
execution on Dec. 30, 1896. For one reason or another, Rizal did not put a 179friendslikethis

title to that poem. His biographers would now let us know it by the name
Mi Ultimo Adios. The Spanish editors of the book called it Despedida.
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But the prosaic title given to the poem could not hide the lofty flights of
lyricism in its stanzas. Rizal was given to rhythmic lines. In his Mi Ultimo
Adios, he wrote: Adios Patria adorada, region del sol querida, perla del mar TRNDING
del oriente, nuestro perdido Eden. In his Me Piden Versos written in NWINFO
Duterte defends Cam after
Madrid in 1882, he mused: piden que pulse la lira, ha tiempo callada y rota,
airport scene
si ya no arranco una nota, ni mi musa ya me inspira. Ever the romantic, he MARCH12,2017
sang to his beloved Josephine: Josefina, Josefina, si tu suerte te encamina, en NWINFO
Killers robbed me of the
Japon China o Shanghai, no te olvides, que en estas playas, late por ti un
chance to know my son
corazon. MARCH12,2017

Rizal did not appear to have started writing in Spanish. Among his first No contest: Pacquiao a willing
poems was the well-known Sa Aking Mga Kabata written in Tagalog when victim
he was eight years old, where he articulated his now famous aphorism: Ang
hindi magmahal sa kanyang salita mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda. But Sandra Cam who? Airport
his genius could not be confined to parochial boundaries. He went on to workers bear brunt of VIP
wannabes ire
master not only Spanish but other languages as well. He was the linguist MARCH11,2017
pareil. He was known
to have spoken a total of 18 foreign languages. In NWINFO
Tourism employees file
a little more than a year in Germany he learned to speak in German, complaint against Cesar
delivering a lecture in that language his Tagalische Verskunst before the Montano
Anthropological Society of Berlin in 1887.
It was the year when Rizal, 26, ADVRTIMNT GretchenRobi
published his first novel, Noli Me breakupamutual
Tangere, in Spanish. At an age 1/8
3/12/2017 JoseRizal:thepoetryofpatriotism|InquirerOpinion
Tangere, in Spanish. At an age
when college students were12,still
2017struggling through 24 units of Spanish, he
SECTIONS Sunday, March
had written a literary masterpiece, a stinging social commentary in the
tradition of Stowes Uncle Toms Cabin, showing the parallel between the PeoplePower
enslaved Negroes of America and the lot of the Filipinos under colonial
Spain. In a sense, the Noli was the mature stirrings of a soul that was
nourished since early years in love of country and steeled by the personal Recommendedby

frustrations of later life.

What haunting melody could have accompanied Maria Claras rendition of

Sweet are the hours In ones native landdulces las horas en la propia
patria, donde es amigo cuanto alumbra el sol, vida es la brisa que en sus
campos vuela, grata la muerte y mas tierno el amor. Or who could not have
empathized with Elias at the end of the book when he glanced at the east
and said: muero sin ver la aurora brillar sobre mi patriano os olvideis de
los que han caido durante la noche. English translators had this read: I die
without seeing the dawn brighten over my native land Forget not those
who have fallen during the night. The quotation became the source of the
title of a major classic of Philippine literature, the novel Without Seeing the
Dawn written by Stevan Javellana in 1947.

The idea of patriotism was already dominant in Rizals early works. His
prize-winning poems were written when he was a student at the University
of Santo Tomas. In A La Juventud Filipina, he exhorted the Filipino youth
to rise from lethargy and let their genius untie the chains that bound them.

He soon reeled from the evils that he saw inflicted on his countrymen by
the mores of colonial rule. In 1882, he left for Spain to continue his studies
and broaden his social and political perspectives. He was then 21. He was
terribly homesick but, his nationalism aroused, he stayed on, rejuvenating
the Filipino expatriates in Madrid. He wrote El Amor Patrio for the first
bilingual newspaper in the Philippines showing the sensitivity that only a
man pining for his faraway home could feel.

Even in prose, he was the bard soaring on wings of poetic eloquence, as one
of his biographers wrote. His toast to Luna and Hidalgo for their
achievement in the fine arts may be considered one of his finest public
deliveries in defense of the genius of the Filipino race. In Germany, four
years later, he saw the wonderful flowers of Heidelberg. Ever lonely for
home, he addressed these blooms in his A Las Flores De HeidelbergId a
mi patria, id extranjeros flares, sembradas del viajero en el camino, y bajo
su azul cielo, que guarda mis amores, contad del peregrino, la fe que alienta
por su patrio suelo.

After the Noli, Rizal completed only one more novel, El Filibusterismo,
which continued the saga of Crisostomo Ibarra in the person of the
enigmatic revolutionary Simoun. Probably the most dramatic passage in the
work was when the Filipino priest Padre Florentino confronted the dying
Simoun. The colloquy that followed was soul-wrenching. The priest looked
at the prostrate figure and murmured: Donde esta lajuventud que ha de
consagrar sus rosadas horas, sus ilusiones y entusiasmo al bien de patria? 2/8
3/12/2017 JoseRizal:thepoetryofpatriotism|InquirerOpinion

consagrar sus rosadas horas, sus ilusiones y entusiasmo al bien de patria?

SECTIONS Sunday, March 12, 2017 TODAY'S PAPER
Rizal was still resting his hopes on the Filipino youth whom he earlier
referred to in A La Juventud Filipina as the fair hope of the fatherlandla
bella esperanza de mi patria mia.

A few more notable poems came out of his facile pen. It was his Himno A
Talisay, written in Dapitan in 1895, that became one of the pieces of
evidence against him in his trial a year later. Here he wrote of the talisay
tree whose leafy growth symbolized the transformation of the youth into
mighty souls in small bodiesalma grande en un cuerpo chiquitowho
can guard the rights of their families.

Rizals martyrdom was inevitable. He had awakened the spirit of freedom

in the hearts and minds of Filipinos of his time.

Mario Guaria III is a former associate justice of the Court of Appeals.



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TAGS: Jose Rizal, Patriotism, poetry, Sevilla, Spanish, Despedida, Mi Ultimo
Adios, Sa Aking Mga Kabata

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buninay1 3 years ago

Rizal's contribution to a nation's birth can not be underestimated. He helped shape the
notion of freedom and liberation for his people. He did a lot in setting a stage for a
popular clamor for reform. He lit a re that spread like a conagration not only in his
native land but also in the whole Malayan region. Despite these commendable landmark 9m
achievements, however, Rizal did not have complete faith in his people's capacity to self-
determination at least considering his view that the people and their leaders were still ill-
prepared to govern themselves and sovereignly decide the direction of their destiny as Inquirer
free and independent nation at the time. Somehow, he wrongly and naively thought
Mother Spain would yield to the La Liga's calls for fundamental reforms because he was PMAvaledictorian:Letusnotfailour
ahead of his time. Had he lived perhaps three generations later, his ideas about gradual AlmaMater|@NCorralesINQ
or nuanced separation, as what happened to his country under American watch which
underwent rst a commonwealth phase before being granted full independence, would
have been put to good use.

It was not so much that Rizal underrated Filipino's capacity to run the country themselves
as the need to have the rallying symbol to embody the aspirations of the people now
struggling to know their true historical destiny as if one goes through severe identity crisis

that a great correction must be instituted immediately. Right now, with Rizal as the

see more


kino 3 years ago

Thanks very much po for this refresher on our national hero (never mind if it's not ofcial
after all these years)

mawalanggalangpo 3 years ago

Maraming salamat po Justice. Magandang maalala ang mga tula, mga sulat linikha ng
ating Bayaning Doctor Jose Rizal.
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