22 January 2007

Adios, Patria Adorada

Remarks delivered at the launching of the book Adios, Patria Adorada: The Filipino as Ilustrado, the Ilustrado as Filipino, by Alfredo Roces, published by De La Salle University Press, 3 February 2006, at De La Salle University Manila:

Gemino Abad, echoing poststructuralists, once said that a person is made up of words. We could say, echoing Abad, that a people is made up of words, or more precisely, of books, or even more precisely, of histories. Contrary to what Marx thought, the field of struggle is not the factory nor, as Mao thought, the countryside. The field of struggle in our century, the twenty-first century, is the field that Marx held in such contempt – the field of human consciousness, or the way we see ourselves, the way we imagine ourselves. Alfredo Roces joined this struggle many years ago, primarily through his advocacy of art as an integral element of our past, secondarily through his editorship of various projects rewriting published history. He has now directly challenged our view of ourselves through the book we have just launched.

Today we thank Amelia Galang, Javier Galvan, National Artist F. Sionil Jose, Edna Formilleza, and Antonio Hila for joining Roces in launching not just a book with chapters, but a chapter in the book of our past. The past is really only what we choose to remember, and until today, we chose to remember only what would not make us uncomfortable with the way we rush headlong into revolutions not of our own making. Roces identifies as, in his words, “the core of ilustrado ideology,” the manifesto in prose of Rizal, more telling than his manifesto in verse in “Mi Ultimo Adios.” Foreshadowing Roces, Rizal wrote explicitly, “Reforms, if they are to bear fruit, must come from above, for reforms that come from below are upheavals both violent and transitory.” Mabini, echoing Rizal, offers Roces even more support for the struggle to recreate our past. Said Mabini, “In order to build the proper edifice of our social regeneration, it is imperative that we change radically not only our institutions, but also our ways of thinking and behaving.”

These are words to remember as we struggle once again these days to regain control of our future and even of our present, as we try to stop our so-called national leaders from leading us towards international disaster, as we look around for ways to retrieve our dignity as a nation and our pride as a people. Roces has boldly pointed the way to discover “nuestro perdido eden” that is right here with us now, at this very moment, part not just of our future nor of our past, but of our present.

Congratulations to all of us for sharing the unrealized dream of the ilustrados and the realized dream of the De La Salle University Press and Alfredo Roces to publish Adios, Patria Adorada: The Filipino as Ilustrado, the Ilustrado as Filipino. May we all look forward to our past!


Dimasalang said...

Dr. Jose Rizal said:

“I am readying myself for death. I am making arrangements for what I will leave behind and am preparing myself for any eventuality; Laong Laan is my real name. That is why I wish to finish the second volume of Noli at any cost and if it is possible, I do not wish to leave what I have begun without anyone to continue it…

May our compatriots there obey the voice of their heart and devote the precious time of their youth to something great, which is worthy of them. We do not have the good luck of other young men who can dispose of their time and their future.

We have upon as A DUTY; TO REDEEM OUR MOTHER FROM HER CAPTIVITY; our mother is pawned; WE MUST REDEEM HER before we amuse ourselves!”

-Dr. Jose Rizal to Marcelo H. del Pilar
Brussels, 11 June 1890


(En El Bello Oriente)
In the beautiful East
Where the sun rises,
A fair land
Resplendent with charms
In heavy chains
The despot keeps.
Alas!’ tis my country,
The country I love.
Like a slave she is dying,
In irons languishing:
Oh, happy man he
Who could LIBERATE  her!
-J.P.R (Jose P. Rizal)
12 September,  1891


"It is a grievous consequence of hatred of the friars that my aged mother, who was so devout and pious, now does not want to believe any more. She says that everything is deceit, the friars have neither faith nor religion. She wants to believe only in God and the Virgin Mary, and nothing more. And like my aged mother so are my sisters, and like them are many women of the Philippines. Look, Spain, look, Catholicism, at the immediate consequence of your policy!"

-Dr. Jose Rizal to Ferdinand Blumentritt
Hong Kong, 31 January 1892


“Man should die for his duties and his convictions. I uphold all the  ideas that I have professed  about the state and the future of my country.  I will gladly die for her and do even more to attain justice and peace for you… What is death if one dies for what one love loves, if one dies for the country and for the people that one loves?...
I have always loved my poor country and I am sure that I will love her till the very end, even if men have been unjust to me… Whatever my fate maybe,  I will die glorifying and DESIRING THE DAWN OF HER REDEMPTION.
Let these lines be published after my death.”

-Dr. Jose Rizal “To The Filipinos”
Hong Kong, 20 June 1892


“We are children, we are the latestborn. But our hearts beats high, and tomorrow we shall be full-grown men who will know how to defend their hearts and homes. We are children, yes but nothing daunts us, neither wave nor storm or thunder. With strong right arm and unclouded brow WE SHALL KNOW HOW TO FIGHT IN THE HOUR OF DANGER. Our hands shall take up in turn those instruments of sovereign reason, the SWORD the pen, the SPADE!”

Dr. Rizal's "A Talisay de Laong Laan"
Dapitan (circa 1895)

Please Visit:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at criticplaywright.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?