Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pepe



1861 June 19 - 26 December 1896

What would you think if, facing the sea on a clear bright morning, tied at the elbows from the back, a group of Filipino soldiers, members of the Spanish army, were aiming to shoot your back in a few seconds? Were you born 35 years ago eventually to stand here, deemed a traitor to the land you sacrificed your life for, not even allowed the dignity to face your executioners?

Everyday there had been executions, and the grass where you stand was still wet with the blood of those who preceded you. And yours, wet with dew, will be seen by those who will follow. It's a heavy burden to the mind: that there are people who condemned you as not fit for continued existence: the malignant friars who desecrated God's name for power, the false friends and rebels who betrayed you.

Your poem that you entrusted to Narcisa survived. In one of the stanzas you even consoled us. "I go where there are no slaves, executioners and oppressors, /Where faith does not slay, wherein who reigns is God."

However, the note you hid in your shoe, the message you expected to be found when the Spaniards would bring your corpse to your family, it was not read nor seen; because after the execution the Spaniards and friars, with malignant cruelty, buried you in shallow grave without a coffin, without a decent rite for the dead. It took two years later, in August 1898, to get your remains. The mind that cared so much and that created your lasting legacy, had melded with the earth; the shoes and the notes had crumbled. Your last message remains forever a mystery in our country's history.

But, as long as there are those who educate themselves, who are enraged by injustice and cruelty, you will remain a beacon for us who revolt against systems that oppress.

Rizal's burial place at the Paco Cemetery a few years after his execution.Note the transposed initials of his name beneath the cross.

3 comments:

Dennis Ko said...

very sad truth sir, 150 yrs ago, there were traitors hungry for power
if narcisa didnt bribed the guards there will be no RPJ in Paco park.
sad that 153 yrs after spanish rule, we are still not free from
powerhungry, and money worshipping politicians.
thanks for sharing this blog.

Dennis Ko said...
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Dennis Ko said...
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