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Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestro perdido eden,
A darte voy, alegre, la triste, mustia vida;
Y fuera mas brillante, mas fresca, mas florida,
Tambien por ti la diera, la diera por tu bien...
One hundred years ago, on the eve of December 30, 1896, Jose Rizal wrote his Ultimo Adios, replete with pathos and patriotic devotion, a masterpiece of 19th century Spanish verse. At early dawn the following day, he faced a military firing squad and died, a martyr to the Filipino quest for justice during the Spanish regime.
Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal was born in Calamba, Laguna, to a prosperous landowner and sugar planter of Filipino-Chinese descent on June 19, 1861. His intellectual and moral development was powerfully influenced by his mother, Teodora Alonso, and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
At an early age, he demonstrated a prolific talent for poetry, writing his first poem at age eight. In 1877, at age 16, he graduated with highest honors from the Ateneo de Manila. In 1882, he went to Spain to pursue medical studies which he had started at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. At age 24, he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Letters, and Doctor of Medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid.
He traveled extensively in Europe, attending classes at the universities of Paris, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Berlin, Vienna, continuing his studies in various fields, including ethnology and anthropology. Besides Tagalog, Malayan and Spanish, his linguistic proficiency encompassed seven European languages, plus Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Hebrew and Arabic. A versatile genius, he achieved recognition as a novelist, linguist, anthropologist, biologist, zoologist, sculptor, painter, jounalist and illustrator.
To secure political and social reforms and to educate his countrymen, he published several nationalistic and revolutionary works in Europe. His "Noli Me Tangere" was published in 1887 in Berlin. This is a poignant novel exposing the evils and despotism of the colonial government and Spanish clergy, comparable in its effect to H.B. Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. In 1891, he published the "El Filibusterismo," a sequel to the first novel. Printed in Ghent, Belgium, it portrays the rampant injustices suffered by the Filipinos, spun around the tragic story of a man determined to fight the oppressors, albeit in devious and violent ways. Both novels drew strong attacks from Spanish authorities and was barred from getting widely distributed.
In 1890, he edited Antonio Morga's "Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas" a historical work in which he proved that the Filipinos had a worthy civilization prior to the coming of the
Spaniards. Together with M.H. del Pilar and Graciano Lopez Jaena, he organized the Propaganda Movement and published a newspaper, "La Solidaridad," using pen and tounge to expose injustices and urged reforms to the Spanish regime. Their political program as expressed in the newspaper, included integration of the Philippines as a province of Spain, representation in the Spanish Cortes, replacement of Spanish friars by Filipino priests, freedom of assembly and expression, and equality of Filipinos and Spaniards before the law.
Undaunted by fears for his safety and warnings from friends and family, he returned to the Philippines in 1892 and founded the "La Liga Filipina," emphasizing that it was a civic and economic society aiming to encourage education, agriculture and commerce, unite the whole country for the common good, carry out mutual protection in every grievance and necessity, put up defense against violence and injustice, and study and apply reforms. The Spanish authorities suspected the association of planning to overthrow the government and searched the homes of the members. Rizal was arrested, and on July 7, 1892, was sent on exile to Dapitan, Mindanao. As enterprising as ever, he spent his four years of exile doing scientific research and founding a school and hospital. In 1896, the Katipunan under Andres Bonifacio, launched a revolt against Spain. Although Rizal had no part in the insurrection, a military court convicted him of rebellion and sedition.
On this centennial anniversary of Rizal's death, we salute a great Filipino, who lived fully, loved selflessly, gave of himself generously; a strong advocate of non-violent reforms for equal rights, education and liberty. In his own words, he said, "I have perceived a little light and I believe it is my duty to show it to my countrymen."
Yo muero, cuando veo que el cielo se colora,
Y al fin anuncia el dia, tras lobrego capuz;
Si grana necesitas, para tenir tu aurora,
!Vierta la sangre mia, derramala en buen hora,
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal, Jose Rizal,
Locations referenced in this paper
the Filipinos, Manila, Europe,
Keywords talked about in this paper
Rizal, Jose Rizal, philippines, Noli Me Tangere, La Liga, Filipinos, Spain, La Liga Filipina, El Filibusterismo, friars, spanish government, Katipunan, Propaganda Movement, Pio Valenzuela, Spanish Crown, Spanish colonial, Spanish people, religious order, english translation, Manila, Graciano Lopez Jaena, Madrid, La Solidaridad, Filipino literature, adios, ateneo de manila, mother and son, Ultimo Adios, Dapitan, el cielo, education, his people, subversive, firing squad, miguel de unamuno, Philippine revolution, Laguna Province, One hundred years, Uncle Tom, local government, moral development, Mary Magdelene, twentieth centuries, European languages, Philippine society, little light, tax collection, Morga, Catholic Church,