Philippine Historical Fiction :: Jose Rizal's final work. What did the national hero think when he was dying? What urged him to pen down those immortal words?
Premise: This is Historical Fiction. I wrote this for a class, and well, I have a tendency to keep my stuff that I write in class.
What you should know: Jose Rizal is the Philippine National hero and he wrote Mi Ultimo Adios (the poem in italics here) and as you may have noticed from the title, it was originally written in Spanish.
I am a dying man.
What disease ails me? The society that I have tried to uphold is slowly chocking me. I am sentenced to death and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I will release my last breath.
There are two ways to look at my situation. One way is a coward's path, that I would have never been here if... well a coward's words and things that should not be repeated.
But there is another light. That I have served my purpose and now it's time to lay my head to rest. Now it is time to prove a point. To die for something I believe in.
It's six o'clock in the morning, and Captain Rafael Dominguez is reading to me what the Governor General Camilo Polavieja has signed only recently. I fear that I will loose my resolve. Thankfully, I don't. Yet, I managed only to hear that I am going to be shot... tomorrow morning at Bagumbayan.
Did I have an inkling of this? In some yes, yes. To play with fire you must face the burns. I think it is catching up with me. I feel numb, it's as if time has stopped. I must think things over. I must say goodbye.
Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed,
/Pearl of the Orient Sea, our /Eden/ lost/
It must have been an hour -- it might be more... they are bringing me to the
chapel... I stare at the walls. I have been an Atenean, yet now I am not
Catholic. Does it matter what I believe as long as I believe in God?
In this country it does. I bow my head in prayer.
Do I regret my life? Do I regret what I did?
I have no words to say... and suddenly it all rushes at me. The words that I
would say. The words that have been bothering me since I have heard my
With gladness, I give you my life, sad and repressed,
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to you for your welfare at most.
I've had visitors.
The day has been a blur. It is my last day on my land. I eat without tasting the food, and I realize my mistake. One should enjoy his last day on his own mother land, on the earth. Yet nothing could make me taste what was on the table.
Luis Taviel de Andrade is sick with heartache. I think he blames himself of my loss in the courtroom. I thanked him for his services. It was no use, for it wasn't just me on trial. It was my belief.
My beliefs had doomed me from the start.
They condemned an innocent man.
On the fields of battle, in the fury of fight,
Others give you their lives without pain or hesitancy,
Padre Fedrecio Faura. He stood up. I can barely remember the words that passed between us. As I said, my mind has been in a constant whirl. In a constant state of worry, of things I did not do. Of things that I did.
Before he took his leave however he looked back at me and whispered in a sad voice, "I told you that writing that book of yours would get you killed."I nodded as I remembered the incident. I looked up at him making sure he knew what I was thinking, making sure he knew that I would not have changed anything,
"Father, you are a prophet."
The place does not matter: cypress laurel, lily white,
Scaffold, open field, conflict or martyrdom's site,
It is the same if asked by home and Country.
I look out my window. I had not noticed the sun rising. I should have. These are simple pleasures that a man dying should be able to enjoy. How does the sun rise? How will it flow into the sky tomorrow?
Will tomorrow's sunlight caress my dead face, or will it chance upon me a smile? It filters through my window now. I tilt my head as I feel it against my skin.
I die as I see tints on the sky b'gin to show
And at last announce the day, after a gloomy night;
I look for a pen and paper. My guests are all gone now. Santiago Mataix being my last... I sit down with a blank sheet in front of me.
Words have never failed me.
They are my salvation as well as my chains. Now it seems as if I have nothing to write. I reach to the ink bottle and carelessly tip it over. The black ink slowly seeps into the paper and into the table.
I muttered a few choice words that I don't think should be repeated.
For a moment I thought it was my blood.
If you need a hue to dye your matutinal glow,
Pour my blood and at the right moment spread it so,
And gild it with a reflection of your nascent light!
I start out with a clean sheet after I have righted the mess I have made.
If I cannot write something literary then I might as well start with human interest. I itched to write, but still nothing came to mind. A letter then.To my friend.
My dreams, when scarcely a lad adolescent,
My dreams when already a youth, full of vigor to attain,
Were to see you, gem of the sea of the Orient,
Your dark eyes dry, smooth brow held to a high plane
Without frown, without wrinkles and of shame without stain.
I have so many questions... So many things to know. So many things to do... with barely a day to do it.
I have always had the zeal for life. The thirst for something new. It is sad to see how I have fallen. To where I have been to what I have become.
At least because of my death I am giving life to my fellowmen. I am giving them a future. A chance to see what tomorrow will bring to them.
Some call me a hero.
I'm just a man.
And I am innocent.
My life's fancy, my ardent, passionate desire,
Hail! Cries out the soul to you, that will soon part from thee;
Hail! How sweet 'tis to fall that fullness you may acquire;
To die to give you life, 'neath your skies to expire,
And in your mystic land to sleep through eternity
My thoughts are dire. I have often wondered what it must feel to know one's death is near... and now that I know I am hopelessly powerless against doing anything against it.
Will I be forgotten? Am I fool who has gone around all of these years writing about things that would never be read by eyes that should read them or motivate the heart that has fallen.
Will my tomes be scattered in the dust, something forgotten? A lunatic's dream? Will it move a heart to beat once more for something as sweet as native land? Will it be crushed in the heel when I am gone while some man tears it to pieces.
I have a third book unfinished. It will lay there untouched.
Will they remember that?
If over my tomb some day, you would see blow,
A simple humble flow'r amidst thick grasses,
Bring it up to your lips and kiss my soul so,
And under the cold tomb, I may feel on my brow,
Warmth of your breath, a whiff of your tenderness
There will be no funeral for me. There would be no eulogy.
I am a condemned man, I will not have my final rites.
A song. There would be no songs.
Let the moon with soft, gentle light me descry,
Let the dawn send forth its fleeting, brilliant light,
In murmurs grave allow the wind to sigh,
And should a bird descend on my cross and alight,
Let the bird intone a song of peace o'er my site.
A poem starts in my head. It would be my parting words to... to everyone who will listen. I finished it up quickly. Although I glance at my watch surprised.
Apparently it was three and a half hours since I had started it.
I quickly hide it.
I would give it to my family. I know they would never forget.
My mother cries for me. Oh, to be a child again and be wrapped around my mother's arms so dear. To be comforted by the one who raised me to be who I was.
I am not worthy of my mother. I have given her pain.
I kneel before her, slowly take her hands and rest it on my cheek. Will she forgive me? Tears fall down my face. I hold up my hand. Was this the first time I have wept for my fate.
Forgiveness... I ask for forgiveness.
They part us and my sister comes next. I entrust my poem with her. I placed it in a good hiding place. She will know what is inside. She will know what it is.
They would not forget.
I know they would appreciate it.
And when they gaze upon the words, they will weep for me.
I will be remembered.
Let the burning sun the raindrops vaporize
And with my clamor behind return pure to the sky;
Let a friend shed tears over my early demise;
And on quiet afternoons when one prays for me on high,
Pray too, oh, my Motherland, that in God may rest I.
I guess I am lucky... I know I am going to die. There are no half measures for what is about to happen. I can't have time for regrets. I can't have time for second thoughts.
At least my family will know why I died. At least people will know why I died.
They know I am innocent.
And now I kneel in earnest.
Will our land ever rest? Will our land ever know peace? Will the dead be avenged?
... Will the living be forgiven??
Pray thee for all the hapless who have died,
For all those who unequalled torments have undergone;
For our poor mothers who in bitterness have cried;
For orphans, widows and captives to tortures were shied,
And pray too that you may see you own redemption.
I wonder at the life beyond death. If there is a heaven, then let it be like my homeland. Let it be like my motherland.
I wonder if I will walk the earth. If I will scour it for the injustice that has been laid upon my fellow men.
Have I done enough for my country.
Is it time to rest?
And when the dark night wraps the cemet'ry
And only the dead to vigil there are left alone,
Don't disturb their repose, don't disturb the mystery:
If you hear the sounds of cithern or psaltery,
It is I, dear Country, who, a song t'you intone.
I have no choice.
Nor do I have if I will be forgotten.
Nor do I have if those who weep still weep in an endless night that will never be heard in the day.
Nor do I have if the anguished cries of those you endure the pain of the everlasting suffering that we are under will never stop.
I hope I will change this land. I hope I will bring a future.
And when my grave by all is no more remembered,
With neither cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let it be plowed by man, with spade let it be scattered
And my ashes ere to nothingness are restored,
Let them turn to dust to cover your earthly space.
How foolish of me to think of myself.
There isn't time to think about me. About how I will be remembered,
but how my countrymen would do. How I have in some way helped them find their
How I have in someway helped them through their darkest despair.
Then it doesn't matter that you should forget me:
Your atmosphere, your skies, your vales I'll sweep;
Vibrant and clear note to your ears I shall be:
Aroma, light, hues, murmur, song, moanings deep,
Constantly repeating the essence of the faith I keep
I dine my last dinner tonight. Capitan Domiguez joins me and I find myself forgiving all my enemies.
What will hate do in death? I hope in giving them their reprieve, they find peace as well. If not now, then in the future.
They might not think of me at all.
Still, I forgive them.
Because I'm leaving. And to where I'm going, there is no room for hate.
I will not sleep. For tomorrow will give me my longest sleep of all. Tomorrow will bring release. Through different eyes I see the world and I wonder if I have learned anything at all through my years. I have not remained innocent. I wish I had. At least then I would know exactly where I would be going.
Sleep brings no rest. For it is where our demons hunt us. But then... tomorrow... I will rest forever, and thus I do not mind so much the demons that reside in my sleep last night.
My idolized Country, for whom I most gravely pine,
Dear Philippines, to my last goodbye, oh, harken
There I leave all: my parents, loves of mine,
I'll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen
Where faith does not kill and where God alone does reign.
I attend mass... I write more letters.
These are for forgiveness.
For the heartache I have brought my family.
Because I have failed them.
Because I love them.
Spectators watched that day.
There were people who cried. There were people who laughed.
Trinidad finished reading her brother's words and clutched it to her chest, tears flowing down her face.
Farewell, parents, brothers, beloved by me,
Friends of my childhood, in the home distressed;
Give thanks that now I rest from the wearisome day;
Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, who brightened my way;
Farewell, to all I love. To die is to rest.
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