Mi Ultimo Adios

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"Mi último adiós" (Spanish for "My Last Farewell") is a poem written by Philippine national hero Jose Rizal on the eve of his execution. Although Rizal did not give his poem a title, his last poem has become known as "Mi último adiós"[1].

Contents

Background

Rizal had written poetry[2] in from the age of nine. He wrote poetry fluently in both Tagalog and Spanish. Patriotism was a common theme in his literary works.

His writings[3] make it clear that Rizal preferred non-violent means of reform. Still, his nationalistic influence added fuel to the revolutionary fire of the Filipinos at that time. He had already been excommunicated for his open objection to the corrupt practices of the powerful local Church. As revolutionary zeal inspired by Rizal's works grew, the Spanish authorities determined to accuse him of sedition and execute him.

After defending himself and making appeals in vain, at Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution the 35-year-old Rizal wrote the poem[4] that expressed his love for his native land. He completed the poem between 12 and 2 in the afternoon.

What happened on the eve of his execution prior to his final meeting with his mother and sisters is uncertain. Some contend that he retracted his statements against the Church and was able to marry his lover Josephine Bracken (clearly mi dulce extranjera or "sweet stranger" mentioned in the poem), others argue that this was unlikely. It was usual for the authorities to publish retractions allegedly made by condemned heretics in the moments before their death but many of these could have been, in the words of pharmacist Friedrich Stahl, "ecclesiastical fraud."

It would seem that one of his intentions in writing 'Adios,' was to safeguard against the possibilty of such a fraud in his own case. Suggestive of his adherence to his position against the Church is the line: "I go...where faith can never kill...."

In any case, he was able to pass the poem on to his family by hiding it in a an alcohol burner. The details of how he did this are given in The Inquirer, 30 December 30, 2002:

"On the afternoon of Dec. 29, 1896, a day before his execution, Dr. Jose Rizal was visited by his mother, Teodora Alonzo, sisters Lucia, Josefa, Trinidad, Maria and Narcisa, and two nephews. When they took their leave, Rizal told Trinidad in English that there was something in the small alcohol stove (cocinilla), not alcohol lamp (lamparilla). The stove was given to Narcisa by the guard when the party was about to board their carriage in the courtyard. At home, the Rizal ladies recovered from the stove a folded paper. On it was written an unsigned, untitled and undated poem of 14 five-line stanzas."

The Rizal family later pried out the folded sheets of paper with pins. They made copies of the poem for Rizal's friends and relatives in the Philippines and abroad. Eventually, hand copies of the poem written on the two small pieces of paper found their way to the Philippine revolutionaries in Cavite, to continue to fuel their nationalistic zeal even more with its lyrical patriotic lines.

Title

Rizal did not inscribe a title to his poem. Rizal's friend and fellow reformist Mariano Ponce, affixed the title Mi Último Pensamiento (My Last Thoughts) when he had it printed in Hong Kong in 1897. But preferred over his title was "Ultimo Adios" which was the title it appeared under when Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who received a copy of the poem while a prisoner in Bilibid, published it in the first issue of La Independencia on Sept. 25, 1898. Thus the title "Mi Ultimo Adios" became widespread.

Political impact

The American colonizers who followed the Spaniards regarded the Filipino people as barbarians lacking in education and civilization to run run their own country. But when U.S. Representative Henry Cooper recited the poem before the U.S. House of Representatives when he was lobbying for Philippine self-government, his fellow congressmen recognized the Philippine hero's brilliance and were moved to enact the Philippine Bill of 1902 (renamed Jones Law) allowing self-government.

Translations

The poem has become internationally renowned, with at least 35 known published English translations of it in print as of December 2005. The most popular is that of American Charles Derbyshire (dated 1911) on bronze at the Rizal Park in Manila along with the lesser known translation by one of the National Artists of the Philippines, writer Nick Joaquin (1944). More recently, it was translated by a Czech diplomat into Czech and presented at the session of the senate.

Apart from the Filipino and English translations, there are translations of the poem in at least 37 languages: Indonesian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Fijian, French, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Igbo (Nigeria), Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Korean, Latin, Maori, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sanskrit, Sinhalese (Sri Lanka), Somali, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, Urdu (Pakistan), Vietnamese, Wolof (Senegal), Yoruba (Nigeria), making it possibly the most translated valedictory poem in the world.

The Poem

(Original Spanish)

¡Adiós, Patria adorada, región del sol querida,
Perla del mar de oriente, nuestro perdido Edén!
A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
Y fuera más brillante, más fresca, más florida,
También por ti la diera, la diera por tu bien.
En campos de batalla, luchando con delirio,
Otros te dan sus vidas sin dudas, sin pesar;
El sitio nada importa, ciprés, laurel o lirio,
Cadalso o campo abierto, combate o cruel martirio,
Lo mismo es si lo piden la patria y el hogar.
Yo muero cuando veo que el cielo se colora
Y al fin anuncia el día tras lóbrego capuz;
si grana necesitas para teñir tu aurora,
Vierte la sangre mía, derrámala en buen hora
Y dórela un reflejo de su naciente luz.
Mis sueños cuando apenas muchacho adolescente,
Mis sueños cuando joven ya lleno de vigor,
Fueron el verte un día, joya del mar de oriente,
Secos los negros ojos, alta la tersa frente,
Sin ceño, sin arrugas, sin manchas de rubor.
Ensueño de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,
¡Salud te grita el alma que pronto va a partir!
¡Salud! Ah, que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,
Morir por darte vida, morir bajo tu cielo,
Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.
Si sobre mi sepulcro vieres brotar un día
Entre la espesa yerba sencilla, humilde flor,
Acércala a tus labios y besa al alma mía,
Y sienta yo en mi frente bajo la tumba fría,
De tu ternura el soplo, de tu hálito el calor.
Deja a la luna verme con luz tranquila y suave,
Deja que el alba envíe su resplandor fugaz,
Deja gemir al viento con su murmullo grave,
Y si desciende y posa sobre mi cruz un ave,
Deja que el ave entone su cántico de paz.
Deja que el sol, ardiendo, las lluvias evapore
Y al cielo tornen puras, con mi clamor en pos;
Deja que un ser amigo mi fin temprano llore
Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mí alguien ore,
¡Ora también, oh Patria, por mi descanso a Dios!
Ora por todos cuantos murieron sin ventura,
Por cuantos padecieron tormentos sin igual,
Por nuestras pobres madres que gimen su amargura;
Por huérfanos y viudas, por presos en tortura
Y ora por ti que veas tu redención final.
Y cuando en noche oscura se envuelva el cementerio
Y solos sólo muertos queden velando allí,
No turbes su reposo, no turbes el misterio,
Tal vez acordes oigas de cítara o salterio,
Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que te canto a ti.
Y cuando ya mi tumba de todos olvidada
No tenga cruz ni piedra que marquen su lugar,
Deja que la are el hombre, la esparza con la azada,
Y mis cenizas, antes que vuelvan a la nada,
El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan a formar.
Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido.
Tu atmósfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzaré.
Vibrante y limpia nota seré para tu oído,
Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido,
Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fe.
Mi patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,
Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adiós.
Ahí te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
Donde la fe no mata, donde el que reina es Dios.
Adiós, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adiós, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegría,
Adiós, queridos seres, morir es descansar.

English Translation

(by Charles Derbyshire)

"My Last Farewell"
Farewell, dear Fatherland, clime of the sun caress'd
Pearl of the Orient seas, our Eden lost!,
Gladly now I go to give thee this faded life's best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blest
Still would I give it thee, nor count the cost.
On the field of battle, 'mid the frenzy of fight,
Others have given their lives, without doubt or heed;
The place matters not-cypress or laurel or lily white,
Scaffold or open plain, combat or martyrdom's plight,
T'is ever the same, to serve our home and country's need.
I die just when I see the dawn break,
Through the gloom of night, to herald the day;
And if color is lacking my blood thou shalt take,
Pour'd out at need for thy dear sake
To dye with its crimson the waking ray.
My dreams, when life first opened to me,
My dreams, when the hopes of youth beat high,
Were to see thy lov'd face, O gem of the Orient sea
From gloom and grief, from care and sorrow free;
No blush on thy brow, no tear in thine eye.
Dream of my life, my living and burning desire,
All hail ! cries the soul that is now to take flight;
All hail ! And sweet it is for thee to expire ;
To die for thy sake, that thou mayst aspire;
And sleep in thy bosom eternity's long night.
If over my grave some day thou seest grow,
In the grassy sod, a humble flower,
Draw it to thy lips and kiss my soul so,
While I may feel on my brow in the cold tomb below
The touch of thy tenderness, thy breath's warm power.
Let the moon beam over me soft and serene,
Let the dawn shed over me its radiant flashes,
Let the wind with sad lament over me keen ;
And if on my cross a bird should be seen,
Let it trill there its hymn of peace to my ashes.
Let the sun draw the vapors up to the sky,
And heavenward in purity bear my tardy protest
Let some kind soul o 'er my untimely fate sigh,
And in the still evening a prayer be lifted on high
From thee, 0 my country, that in God I may rest.
Pray for all those that hapless have died,
For all who have suffered the unmeasur'd pain;
For our mothers that bitterly their woes have cried,
For widows and orphans, for captives by torture tried
And then for thyself that redemption thou mayst gain.
And when the dark night wraps the graveyard around
With only the dead in their vigil to see
Break not my repose or the mystery profound
And perchance thou mayst hear a sad hymn resound
'Tis I, O my country, raising a song unto thee.
And even my grave is remembered no more
Unmark'd by never a cross nor a stone
Let the plow sweep through it, the spade turn it o'er
That my ashes may carpet earthly floor,
Before into nothingness at last they are blown.
Then will oblivion bring to me no care
As over thy vales and plains I sweep;
Throbbing and cleansed in thy space and air
With color and light, with song and lament I fare,
Ever repeating the faith that I keep.
My Fatherland ador'd, that sadness to my sorrow lends
Beloved Filipinas, hear now my last good-by!
I give thee all: parents and kindred and friends
For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
Where faith can never kill, and God reigns e'er on high!
Farewell to you all, from my soul torn away,
Friends of my childhood in the home dispossessed !
Give thanks that I rest from the wearisome day !
Farewell to thee, too, sweet friend that lightened my way;
Beloved creatures all, farewell! In death there is rest !


Filipino Translation

(by Andres Bonifacio)

"PAHIMAKAS"
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 iwanag 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 lilibutin.
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!

References

  • Encarnacion, Emmanuel. "Rizal Martyrdom." http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=0&story_id=61496
  • Florentino, Alberto S. "Rizaliana." http://www.geocities.com/bertflorentino/writing.html
  • Mauro Garcia (1961). Translations of Mi Ultimo Adios, in Historical Bulletin Manila. Philippine Historical Association.
  • Hilario, Frank A (2005). Indios bravos! Jose Rizal as Messiah of the Redemption. Lumos Publishing House.
  • Multiple Authorship (1990). Mi Ultimo Adios in Foreign and Local Translations (2 vol). National Historical Institute.
  • Veloso, Alfredo (1965) Rizal's Poems / --Lorna.cruz 05:41, 12 April 2008 (Pacific Daylight Time)

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Resources

Original Source

Original content from http://en.wikipilipinas.org.