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Mi último adiós

"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 the poem was untitled, this title served as an artifice useful as a quick reference. This poem was one of the last notes he wrote before his execution. Another that he had written before his death was found in his shoe but because the text could not be read it remains a mystery.

Background

Although Rizal's political proposals for more autonomy were non-violent, he was crossing dangerous domain held by despots who had lost their sense of mission, whose religiosity served more as a shield to defend the opulent lifestyles of the majority and the perverse and corrupted nature of a few. A noted English traveler of the nineteenth century, Sir John Bowring, had reported about this blatant display of wealth and even saw with his own eyes friars with syphilitic sores moving about in public. Tragically, all earnest pleas for reforms in Spanish-era Philippines led to stern measures and reprisals. As surely as may be the reaction of despotic rulers, Rizal represented the one identifiable source of disturbance. Spanish authorities in league with the friars had him arrested, tried summarily, and executed.

At Fort Santiago, on the eve of his execution at the age of 35, he wrote the poem, expressing his love for his native land. He wrote this poem between 12 and 5 in the morning. He then allegedly married Josephine Bracken at 5:30 that morning before a priest with guards as witnesses and retracted his writings against the Catholic Church. This became the Spanish Roman Catholic Church version and its position over the last century, but disputed by convincing circumstantial evidence ever since. Rizal himself was aware of this possibility, perpetrated by Church leaders as in the case of Voltaire. In the Philippines, it was common knowledge among European residents that the friars published announcements of retractions that were allegedly made prior to executions, which during that period were rampant, the greensward on the Luneta being matted with dried blood. Some, like pharmacist Friedrich Stahl, even regarded these retractions as "ecclesiastical fraud." His 'Adios,' whose importance he emphasized to his sisters during his last moments, was meant to safeguard against such a possibility, and made sure no friar gainsaid the truth. Therein for all posterity to see was his final comment on the Catholic Church of his day, I go...where faith does not kill, and that it was the friars, most specially, who demanded his destruction. Hidden in a tiny alcove of an alcohol burner, and pried out with pins, the two small pieces of paper bearing his last testament were carefully hand copied and dispersed among the ranks of the Philippine revolutionaries in Cavite, and inspired their nationalistic zeal even more with its selfless patriotism: ...to die to give you life, to rest under your sky, and in your enchanted land forever sleep.

Title

Rizal did not inscribe a title to his poem. Mariano Ponce, Rizal's friend and fellow reformist, titled it Mi Último Pensamiento in the copies he distributed, but this did not catch on. Here is a copy of news story taken from The Inquirer dated 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 Rizals reproduced copies of the poem and sent them to Rizal's friends in the country and abroad. In 1897, Mariano Ponce in Hong Kong had the poem printed with the title "Mi Ultimo Pensamiento." Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who received a copy of the poem while a prisoner in Bilibid(jail), published it in the first issue of La Independencia on Sept. 25, 1898 with the title "Ultimo Adios."

Thus did Rizal's untitled, undated and unsigned last poem became popularly known as "Ultimo Adios," or "Mi Ultimo Adios." The poem has become internationally renowned.

Political impact

After the transfer of possession to the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War, the Philippines was perceived as a community of "barbarians" incapable of self-government. Lobbying for management of Philippine affairs, U.S. Representative Henry Cooper recited the poem before the U.S. House of Representatives. Realizing the nobility of the author, his fellow congressmen enacted the Philippine Bill of 1902 (renamed Jones Law) enabling self-government, although relative complete autonomy would not be granted until 1946.PRO DEO ET PATRIA

Translations

There are at least 35 English translations known and published (in print) of this poem as of December 2005. The most popular is that of American Charles Derbyshire (dated 1911) and is inscribed on bronze. Also on bronze at the Rizal Park in Manila but less known is the translation by Filipino National Artist, novelist and journalist Nick Joaquin (1944). The latest translation is in Czech made by a Czech diplomat and addressed at the session of the senate.

It could be the most translated patriotic swan song in the world. Aside from the 35 English versions and interpretations into 46 Filipino languages, this poem has been translated into at least 37 other 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), and Yoruba (Nigeria).

The Poem

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 más brillante más fresca, más florida,
Tambien por tí 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 ó lirio,
Cadalso ó campo abierto, combate ó 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 trás 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 á 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 dia
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 á 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 cantico de paz.

Deja que el sol ardiendo las lluvias evapore
Y al cielo tornen puras con mi clamor en pos,
Deja que un sér amigo mi fin temprano llore
Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mi alguien ore
Ora tambien, Oh Patria, por mi descanso á 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 tí que veas tu redencion 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 citara ó salterio,
Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que te canto á 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 á la nada,
El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan á formar.

Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido,
Tu atmósfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzaré,
Vibrante y limpia nota seré para tu oido,
Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido
Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fé.

Mi Patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,
Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adios.
Ahi te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
Donde la fé no mata, donde el que reyna es Dios.

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adios, dulce extrangera, mi amiga, mi alegria,
Adios, queridos séres morir es descansar.

English Translation

My Last Farewell (translation adapted from one by Edwin Lozada)

Farewell, beloved Country, treasured region of the sun,
Pearl of the sea of the Orient, our vanquished Eden!
To you I gladly surrender this melancholy life;
And were it brighter, fresher, gaudier,
Even then I’d give it to you, to you alone would then I give.

In fields of battle, deliriously fighting,
Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret;
Where there’s cypress, laurel or lily,
On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom,
If the home or country asks, it's all the same--it matters not.

I die when I see the sky unfurls its colors
And at last after a cloak of darkness announces the day;
If you need scarlet to tint your dawn,
Paint with my blood, pour it as the moment comes,
And may it be gilded by a reflection of the heaven’s new-born light.

My dreams, even as a child,
My dreams, when a young man in the prime of life,
Were to see you one day, jewel of the eastern seas,
Dry those dark eyes, raise that forehead high,
Without frown, without wrinkle, without stain of shame.

My lifelong dream, my deep burning desire,
Is for this soul that will soon depart to cry out: Salud!
To your health! Oh how beautiful to fall to give you flight,
To die to give you life, to rest under your sky,
And in your enchanted land forever sleep.

If upon my grave one day you may behold,
Amidst the dense grass, a simple lowly flower,
Place it upon your lips, and my soul you’ll kiss,
And on my brow may I feel, under the cold tomb,
The tenderness of your touch, the warmth of your breath.

Let the moon see me in soft and tranquil light,
Let the dawn burst forth its fleeting radiance,
Let the wind moan with its gentle murmur,
And should a bird descend and rest on my cross,
Let it sing its canticle of peace.

Let the burning sun evaporate the rain,
And with the struggle behind, towards the sky may they turn pure;
Let a friend mourn my early demise,
And in the serene afternoon, when someone prays for me,
O Country, pray that God will also grant me rest!

Pray for all the unfortunate ones who died,
For all who suffered torment unequaled,
For grieving mothers who in bitterness cry,
For orphans and widows, for prisoners in torture,
And for yourself to see your redemption at last.

And when the burial ground is shrouded in dark night,
And there alone, only the departed remain in vigil,
Disturb not their rest, nor their secrets,
And should you hear chords from a zither or harp,
'Tis I, O land beloved, 'tis I, to you I sing !

And when my grave, then by all forgotten,
has not a cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let men plow and with a spade disperse it,
And before my ashes return to nothing,
May they be the dust that carpets your fields.

Then nothing matters, cast me in oblivion.
Your air, your space, your valleys I will cross.
I will be vibrant music to your ears,
Aroma, light, colors, murmur, moan, and song,
Ever echoing the essence of my faith.

Land that I love, sorrow of my sorrows,
Adored Filipinas, hear my last good-bye.
There I leave you all, my parents, my beloved.
I go where there are no slaves, hangmen nor oppressors,
Where faith does not kill, where the one who reigns is God.

Goodbye, dear parents, brother and sisters, fragments of my soul,
Childhood friends in the home now gone,
Give thanks that I rest from this wearisome day;
Goodbye, sweet stranger, my friend, my joy;
Farewell, loved ones. To die is to rest.

Tagalog Translation

PAHIMAKAS (translation by Philippine hero, Andrés 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!

Another Tagalog Translation

HULING PAHIMAKAS (translation by Julian Cruz Balmaceda)

Paalam na mutyang Tinubuang Lupang minahal ng araw
Ligayang Naglaho at Perlas ng Dagat-Kasilanganan
Masayang sa iyo'y dulot ang aking aba't lantang buhay
Gano mang kaningning, gano mang kaganda at kasariwaan
''Idudulot ko rin kung dahil sa iyong ikatitiwasay
...

References

  • 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.
  • Sung by various Artists of Spanish language as a Tribute (more information needed!)

See also

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