Wednesday, December 30, 2009

His Last Farewell

It was around 7 in the morning of December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan, Manila when a Filipino named Jose Rizal died under the hands (or in this case, guns) of the Spanish soldiers. A death that opened the eyes of the Filipinos that rose to the Philippine Revolution which made the Spaniards flee the country of our mothers.

I decided to write this to commemorate the Philippines' National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, for today is his death anniversary (I'm on the other side of the world, so technically I'm 14 hours behind, and right now, as I publish this post, it's midnight over there, the 31st of December. A day late but early for the first day of the coming year. But whatever. At least I remembered him. And also, I get to remind myself of his heroic acts and his inspiring works.). He was considered our National Hero through his unselfish heroic acts and pacifist ways of approaching the enemy. Publishing his works which were mostly poems, he was able to reach out to his fellowmen which motivated them to fight for their freedom. And he's a damn good writer, I must say, for I've read some of them (not in Spanish, in Tagalog, but all his works are in Spanish), and he's pretty smart for someone who graduated at an early age.

But most probably his best works are his two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not/ Huwag Mo Kong Salangin) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed/ Ang Pilibustero), which instigated the Katipunan (an association of anti-Spanish Filipino revolutionists) to attack the Spaniards. He had other literary works as well, poems and sayings that he wrote since he was a kid, which all speaks nationalism and patriotism. I have read both novels for we studied them in junior and senior year in high school (a curriculum requirement), and I think that Noli (here's a good background) is better than El Fili for the latter is too dark for Rizal's taste, unlike Noli which has hints of romance.

You can also watch the movie Jose Rizal (highly recommended, I must say) that was released in 1998 if you really want to know more about his history. Either you can buy it or watch it online, but if you did like it (and I really hope you would), you can just buy it for it really is worth every penny.

Alright, I'm not showing this to the world to let them know how Spain conquered and molested my country for 333 years. It was the past, a part of history, and I completely understand that. Heck, I don't think Filipinos still have these repressed feelings against all the conquerors of our Motherland. There's no bitterness anymore, just the sheer pride that we have for our forefathers who protected us and the archipelago that stands today. I know that there are also some ordinary and unrecognized Filipinos who serve the country in their own ways that would surely make Rizal proud. Sacrificing their blood, tears, and sweat, just for the sake of their homeland. Wonderful, isn't it? Well, I just hope that some of our leaders would get the hint.

A/N: These are facts, I tell you. A part of the Philippine history. I'm just not sure (more like accurate) on some of the information. For example, I'm not really sure (okay, I forgot) if it was because of El Fili and Noli that started the Katipunan. It might have been before that. These Filipinos were violent and have a thirst for blood. Nah, just kidding. I respect them a lot, just so you know. It's just that my brain's a bit rusty; I haven't studied Philippine history for years (not that long though, at least I remember some things). 

Also, the title post is inspired from his last poem, Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell), his last literary piece written the night before he was killed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

happy holidays :)

So here's another poem that I made three years ago, inspired from a person that I had once met. Now, don't think that I'm talking about you when you don't even know who I'm talking about. This is just between me and my former self, and now that I think about it, I regret writing this for I never really meant to do this to him. I never knew him personally, we weren't close enough for me to know his true self, but hey, at least you were able to leave me a memory of you. And in all honesty, I am thankful that I met you.

Well, let's get this going, shall we? All this cheesiness is starting to make me gag.

Naked Eye

Like a class clown entertaining his audience with his feeble jokes.
Like a court jester buying the queen's affections through his own ways.
Like a famous person who's admirers worship the ground he walks on.
Like a rock artist who's got a long line of tickets wanting to be his friend.
A lucky man, indeed.

No one can refute his notions.
No one can spoil his name to the highest.
No one disdainful enough can be his friend.
And no one can stand up against him, even the queen.

For he thinks that when he talks,
time stops.
all eyes are on him.
and no one can say a word.
For he knows that he controls everything and everyone in his hands.
For he doesn't care who he hurts, as long as he still looks good.

Pretty egocentric, if you ask me. And pathetic too.
It's a pity, for portraying this coveted role and no one, not even his worthy friends has ever seen him shed off his clothes.
But then again, we may never know. He may have already shown his skin at some point.

© luraaa

2:00 am

Note: If we've met, please do not take this seriously. This was written years ago, when I was a teenager going through the typical stages of adolescence. And if we haven't, then, don't take this seriously as well.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Detective Conan: episode 2

And so a new case begins with our dear Shinichi Kudo who has now turned into a young boy. If it wasn't for a certain part of this episode I would've skipped this, for I find the case very, very shallow. But. The introduction of a new character is important, so I need to include this episode. (Although Conan isn't really a new character for he's still the same person, but I figured, eh. I might as well introduce him.) 

Detective Conan episode 2: Company President's Daughter Kidnapping Case

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When it's at 'Night'

No matter how many times I read or watch something about it, I still can't help but not believe it. I know it's real; I believe it was a part of history. Good thing that there is proof that it really did happen, a memoir from one of the survivors of World War II.

Night by Elie Wiesel is a very, very good memoir of what happened during the years of the second world war and during the Holocaust. It's actually short, with 9 chapters, but packed with all the emotions and oppressions that you can't even imagine.

Here is a monologue in chapter 3 that I find really unforgettable, which I think is one of the main highlights of the book, although there are a lot of events that I want to elaborate, but I can't. So on this monologue are the feelings and the realizations he had the night that they arrived at Auschwitz.

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke. 
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. 
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. 
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. 
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. 

Reading the book has made me change my perception on what really happened that time, for I only know the basic facts. But here, you can actually feel the emotions of what happened that time―the hunger, pain, guilt, hatred, vengeance, justice, fear, selfishness, and most especially, questioning your faith in God. And the author was able to address the issue very well; and I'm sure that those who are devout or from observant families would understand this.

Seeing this from the victim's point of view has made me think of this tragic event in history and understood a bit of what they had to go through during the war. My ancestors and fellowmen were also victims of the war for the Japanese conquered the Philippines as well despite of the Americans in the country. They too, experienced the horrors of the war, and I will not compare this to the Jews for this is not something to be proud of or make a competition out of. Everyone had suffered at one point or another; for this was a war that went on in the entire world, where some nations were still rebuilding due to the first but then started again with another one. And in respect to all the victims and survivors of the war, acknowledging and empathizing with them would be better for we certainly do not want to experience what they went through during those times. It was horrible, definitely, but like Wiesel said, ''there really is no other words to describe the horrors of those events.''. It's not worth remembering them, but at least through him and all the other survivors we are able to understand and know what truly happened that time. And through them, the world may be able to avoid this terrible ordeal again.

I would love to put in more quotes from the book, but I don't really want to spoil you if you haven't read it. If you have though, that's great, for this deserved the Nobel Prize and it is worth your time. I would also like to share this site that my teacher told me, and it's interesting to look at, especially if you are into The Holocaust and you want to look deeper and know more facts. This is the site, and I hope that you do explore it; so have a look around and it's best if you know more about the second world war in Europe (particularly The Holocaust) in order to fully understand it. And there is also an episode in Oprah where she and Elie went back to Auschwitz to relive everything, but you have to see it for a cost.

In the meantime, I hope you do get to read this wonderful memoir; or if you're not into reading, you can watch some videos of Elie Wiesel in some sites (there is one recent video where Wiesel made a speech at Buchenwald with President Obama on his side in memory of Elie's father) around the net.