About this blog

Welcome to Speak Your Art Blog Hub. This blog combines posts from seven of my other blogs: In the Flow Studios Arts, In the Flow Studios Body, I Love Shelter Dogs, Mana Keepers, PaaMano Eskrima & Performing Arts, Self-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings my organizations together and offers my readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location.

I hope you will find something that inspires you, empowers you or reminds you of the limitless possibilities that dwell within you. Thank you for visiting. I wish you Peace today and everyday.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A French Documentary about Arnis in the 1950's

This is an amazing clip of a French documentary filmed in the 1950's. We found it through the Mandirigma Research Organization."Mandirigma Research Organization also known as mandirigma.org is a project of Kapisanang Mandirigma. Their focus includes preserving and promoting the Warrior Arts commonly known as Kali, Eskrima and Arnis."

Maraming Salamat to the Mandirigma Research Organization for all they do to help keep the work of the ancestors alive to share with new generations!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Philippine Eagle Foundation

The Philippine Eagle or Haring Ibon is a critically endangered species. They are one of the three larges eagle varieties in the world and the only eagle with blue eyes and blue beak. Scientists estimate that there are about 100 Haring Ibon remaining in the wild. We will add more information about this amazing bird, PaaMano's mascot, in future posts. For now please take a look at this organization working to save the Eagle and his habitat. 

The Philippine Eagle Foundation: Focusing on the Philippine Eagle for the conservation of nature.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation is a private, non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to saving the endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and its rainforest habitat.  Organized in 1987, it had before that time been operating as a project undertaking research, rehabilitation, and captive breeding.  Staffed by highly trained and dedicated personnel, it has today evolved into the country’s premiere organization for the conservation of raptors.


The Philippine Eagle Foundation firmly believes that the fate of our vanishing Philippine Eagle, the health of our environment, and the quality of Philippine life are inextricably linked.  We are therefore committed to promote the survival of the Philippine Eagle, the biodiversity it represents, and the sustainable use of our forest resources for future generations to enjoy.


In 1965, Dr. Dioscoro Rabor, a noted Filipino scientist alerted the world of the bird’s endangered status. Ignored by most of his compatriots, he was able to elicit the support of the famous aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh who helped champion the cause. In 1969, the Monkey-Eating Eagle Conservation Program was established.Interest in pursuing the program soon diminished with the death of Charles Lindbergh. During this period, work on the eagle was sustained through the initiatives of Peace Corps volunteers in cooperation with the Philippine government’s Parks and Wildlife Office.In 1977, one of the Peace Corps volunteers, Robert S. Kennedy returned to the Philippines to study the eagle further. He also successfully lobbied for the Office of the President to change the species’ name from “Monkey-eating Eagle” to its present name, the Philippine Eagle.In 1987, the project started operating as a private institution. Financial constraints did not hinder the staff from pursuing its mission. They waived their salaries for over a year in order to feed the eagles, ensure that fieldwork continued and carry on the great mission of saving the magnificent bird.

The dedication and effort invested into this work eventually paid off. In 1992, the Foundation successfully produced the first two Philippine Eagles hatched and bred in captivity. The birth of Pag-asa (Hope) and Pagkakaisa (Unity) caught the world’s attention and eventually led to the subsequent outpouring of public support and sympathy that helped revitalize the effort to save the species.

A link to the website for more information about the foundation: http://www.philippineeagle.org/index

Grand Master Richard Bastillo & Master Anthony Davis

Thank you, Grand Master Richard Bastillo & Master Anthony Davis for being PaaMano Eskrima's  special testing judges. It was an honor.

Anthony Davis, Roland Ferrer, Richard Bastillo at PaaMano Testing.

Master Davis giving some pointers.
Our PaaMano Eskrima Black Belt Candidates.

Grand Master Ernesto Presas with PaaMano founders

1992 Honored guest of PaaMano Eskrima, Grand Master Ernesto Presas founder of Kombatan Arnis, with Master Roland Ferrer and Aurora Ferrer. Grand Master Presas sharing his Kombatan Arnis at our workshop.

PaaMano Eskima group - Grand Master Ernesto Presas' Kombatan Arnis Workshop 1992.

The Banaue Rice Terraces

The Banaue Rice Terraces

The Banaue Rice Terraces are a National Cultural Treasure under Ifugao Rice Terraces. (Tagalog: Hagdan-hagdang Palayan ng Banawe) also called Payew, are 2000-year old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. The Rice Terraces are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

The terraces are located approximately 1500 meters (5000 ft) above sea level and cover 10,360 square kilometers (about 4000 square miles) of mountainside. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. If the steps are put end to end it would encircle half the globe.

The terraces are mostly found in the province of Ifugao and the Ifugao people have been its caretakers. The Ifugao still plant rice and vegetables on the terrace.

As their source of life and art, the rice terraces have sustained and shaped the lives of the community members

Organic farming
In March 2009 the Ifugao rice terraces were declared free from Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).

Saving the Moon - a Filipino Folktale - As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett

Saving the Moon - a Filipino Folktale - As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller

Long ago, a giant crab lived deep in the ocean. It was large creature in the sea, even bigger than the largest whale. It lived in a deep hole at the bottom of the sea. Two times every day, the giant crab would crawl out of his home to search for food. When it left its home, the empty hole would immediately fill up with water.

Since the crab was so large it took all of the water along the shore to fill the crab's hole. When the crab finished eating, it crawled back into his hole. The water was forced back out causing the water to push high up on the shore. Some people call these times of the day high tide and low tide.
One evening, a beautiful island princess was walking along the sea shore close to her home. As she walked, she looked at the ocean. Suddenly, she saw an island rising up out of the sea. She watched as it came up higher and higher out of the water. Then she watched as the island stood up and started to walk towards the shore. It was not an island, It was the giant crab!
The crab was taller than the tallest tree on the island. It was taller than the largest mountain on the island. She had never seen anything so large. Then the princess saw the crab's giant pinchers. She also saw the crab's eyes. The crab was looking at the moon as it rose in the sky.
The princess watched as the crab opened and closed its pinchers. It opened and closed its mouth. It was trying to pinch and bite the moon as it rose in the sky. The giant crab's red eyes followed the moon as it climbed higher. Then the crab reached out and tried to grab the moon.
"Snap! Snap!" The crab spapped its pinchers. They sounded like thunder in the air.

Oh no! If the crab caught the moon and ate it, the night sky would be dark forever. The seas would not be safe ever again for the fishermen on the island. Young men and their girl friends could no longer walk hand in hand under the moon.

The Princess knew her people were all at a giant feast, Music was playing. Drums were beating loudly. People were dancing and having fun. The princess knew no one would see the crab until it was too late. She needed help to stop the crab from eating the moon. There was no time to run back to the village. The Princess could not yell loud enough to get the attention of the villagers.
Suddenly the Princess had an idea. She ran to the edge of the shore and found an empty conch shell on the dry sand. She put her lips to the shell and blew into it. A loud noise came out. "Barroooo!!!"
The Princess watched the crab's giant pinchers come closer and closer to the moon. "Snap! Snap! Snap!" She blew on the shell again and again. The crab's claws came closer and closer to the moon!
The Princess blew the conch shell one more time with the loudest breath yet. As the sound of the shell died out, the drums stopped beating. The Princess looked towards the village and saw a line of torches coming towards her. The waving line of torches looked like a giant snake coming down the mountain side on the way to the beach where the Princess was. She blew the conch shell one more time then ran towards her people.

Warriors armed with swords, knives and spears appeared on the shore. The eyes of the people looked where the finger of the Princess pointed. Their eyes showed fear as they looked at the largest crab they had ever seen. It stood taller than the mountains as it tried to grab at the moon. One pincher reached higher than before and almost caught the moon. Everyone took a breath! But, the moon slipped from the crab's grip, and the crab fell on its back.

The Princess grabbed a spear from a warrior and ran down the beach to where the crab was trying to turn over and get up. She ran up the side of the crab. Every warrior followed her. The Princess aimed her spear at the soft belly of the crab. She stabbed her spear into the the crab. Every warrior did the same while trying to avoid the moving pinchers. A few warriors tried to cut off the crab's legs. They dodged the dangerous pinchers. One warrior cut off one of the claws. Then the other claw was cut off. Soon the crab was dead. The moon was safe.

The bravery of the Princess had saved the moon. The night skies are still lighted by the moon's glow. Ships can sail by the light of the moon. Families still feast on meat from that giant crab all over the world.The waters of the oceans still move back and forth from high tide to low tide and back again. People say it is the pull of the moon that causes these tides. But, islanders still say it is really the waters still flowing in and out of the crab's home at the bottom of the sea.

Thank you Mark Bupp of Digital Productions for providing such a beautiful image of the moon to illustrate this folktale.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Those Gallant Igorots", Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"Those Gallant Igorots"
A War Department communique was reported by Time magazine during the last days before the fall of Bataan in the Philippines.

With his battle-weary and outnumbered troops facing imminent collapse under the ever-increasing and ferocious Japanese onslaught, Gen. MacArthur in his weekend communique included the dramatic story of non-christian Igorot native tribesmen who after stopping an attack in hand to hand combat with the enemy, counterattack by riding atop the tanks to guide the American drivers inside.

Hampered by the dense undergrowth and lost in the confusing maze of bamboo thickets,vines and creepers, the tankers would have been impotent had it not been for the aid of the Igorot troops of the 2nd Battalion, 11th infantry.

Hoisted to the top of the tanks where they were exposed to enemy fire The Igorots chopped away the entangling foliage with their bolos and served as eyes for the American tank crew,firing with their pistols while guiding the drivers.

"When the attack was over,"said the General, "the remnants of the tanks and of the Igorots were still there, but the 20th Japanese Infantry Regiment was completely annihilated...

"Many desperate acts of courage and heroism have fallen under my observation on many fields of battle in many parts of the world. I have seen forlorn hopes become realities. I have seen last-ditch stands and innumerable acts of personal heroism that defy description. but for sheer breathtaking and heart stopping desperation, I have never known the equal of those Igorots riding the tanks. Gentlemen, when you tell the story stand in tribute to those gallant Igorots." _Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

What is PaaMano Eskrima?

What is our PaaMano Eskrima System about? It's a family thing...it's a cultural thing...it's an arts thing...it's an effective self-defence thing...it's PaaMano Eskrima. 

PaaMano Eskrima literally means paa-foot, mano-hand, Eskrima-skirmish. Master Roland Ferrer created and founded this style in 1992 The style combines multiple styles of weaponry with empty hand concepts as well as kicking applications. Elbows, knees, takedowns and disarms are an integral part of the system.

Eskrima is a flowing and rhythmic art. Its’ practice was outlawed by the Spanish conquistadores. The Filipino people had to find a way to keep their art alive to pass down to the next generation. They solved this problem by incorporating the martial art into some of their traditional dances. The martial art was hidden in dance for centuries.

PaaMano Eskrima was created to honor all the evolutions and changes of the art throughout the ages. The Sayaws (dance/forms) created for this curriculum are a balance of accuracy and application with flow and artistry. They are a tribute to the fine warriors and performers that for so many centuries kept the art alive for us to enjoy today.

The Philippines is an incredible country with a rich cultural history. It is home to flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. Its heritage is full of wonderful treasures just waiting to be discovered by new generations.

"Mi Último Adiós" by Jose Rizal Spanish (original version), English, Tagalog

This was the poem Jose Rizal wrote the night before his execution by firing squad. It was originally untilteled and written in Spanish. We have provided English and Tagalog translations. This is truly a work of heart and art. 

                   "Mi Último Adiós"
Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestro perdido eden,
A darte voy alegre, la triste, mustia vida;
Ya fuera mas brillante, mas fresca mas 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 mia, derramala en buen hora,
Y dorela un reflejo de su naciente luz!

Mis sueños, cuando apenas muchacho adolescente,
Mis sueños cuando joven, ya lleno de vigor,
Fueron el verte un dia, 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 dia,
Entre la espesa yerba sencilla humilde flor,
Acercala a tus labios y besa al alma mia,
Y sienta yo en mi frente, bajo la tumba fria,
De tu ternura el soplo, de tu hálito el calor.

Deja a la luna verme, con luz tranquila y suave,
Deja que el elba envie su resplandor fugas;
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 mi 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 huerfanos y viudas, por presos entortura;
Y ora por ti, que veas tu redención final.

Y cuando, en noche oscura, se envuela el cementerio,
Y solos solo muertos queden velando alli,
No turbes su reposo, no turbes el misterio;
Tal ves acordes oigas de citara o salterio;
Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que te canto a ti.

Y cuando ya mi tumba, de todas 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 sere para tu oido;
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 adois.
Ahi, 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.

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mia,
Amigos de la infrancia, en el perdido hogar;
Dal gracias, que descanso del fatigoso dia;
Adios, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegria;
Adios, queridos seres. Morir es descansar.

Jose Rizal

Spanish (Original Version)

"My Last Farewell"

Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed,
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost,
With gladness I give you my Life, sad and repressed;
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to you for your welfare at most.

On the fields of battle, in the fury of fight,
Others give you their lives without pain or hesitancy,
The place does not matter: cypress laurel, lily white,
Scaffold, open field, conflict or martyrdom's site,
It is the same if asked by home and Country.

I die as I see tints on the sky b'gin to show
And at last announce the day, after a gloomy night;
If you need a hue to dye your matutinal glow,
Pour my blood and at the right moment spread it so,
And gild it with a reflection of your nascent light!

My dreams, when scarcely a lad adolescent,
My dreams when already a youth, full of vigor to attain,
Were to see you, gem of the sea of the Orient,
Your dark eyes dry, smooth brow held to a high plane
Without frown, without wrinkles and of shame without stain.

My life's fancy, my ardent, passionate desire,
Hail! Cries out the soul to you, that will soon part from thee;
Hail! How sweet 'tis to fall that fullness you may acquire;
To die to give you life, 'neath your skies to expire,
And in your mystic land to sleep through eternity !

If over my tomb some day, you would see blow,
A simple humble flow'r amidst thick grasses,
Bring it up to your lips and kiss my soul so,
And under the cold tomb, I may feel on my brow,
Warmth of your breath, a whiff of your tenderness.

Let the moon with soft, gentle light me descry,
Let the dawn send forth its fleeting, brilliant light,
In murmurs grave allow the wind to sigh,
And should a bird descend on my cross and alight,
Let the bird intone a song of peace o'er my site.

Let the burning sun the raindrops vaporize
And with my clamor behind return pure to the sky;
Let a friend shed tears over my early demise;
And on quiet afternoons when one prays for me on high,
Pray too, oh, my Motherland, that in God may rest I.

Pray thee for all the hapless who have died,
For all those who unequalled torments have undergone;
For our poor mothers who in bitterness have cried;
For orphans, widows and captives to tortures were shied,
And pray too that you may see you own redemption.

And when the dark night wraps the cemet'ry
And only the dead to vigil there are left alone,
Don't disturb their repose, don't disturb the mystery:
If you hear the sounds of cithern or psaltery,
It is I, dear Country, who, a song t'you intone.

And when my grave by all is no more remembered,
With neither cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let it be plowed by man, with spade let it be scattered
And my ashes ere to nothingness are restored,
Let them turn to dust to cover your earthly space.

Then it doesn't matter that you should forget me:
Your atmosphere, your skies, your vales I'll sweep;
Vibrant and clear note to your ears I shall be:
Aroma, light, hues, murmur, song, moanings deep,
Constantly repeating the essence of the faith I keep.

My idolized Country, for whom I most gravely pine,
Dear Philippines, to my last goodbye, oh, harken
There I leave all: my parents, loves of mine,
I'll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen
Where faith does not kill and where God alone does reign.

Farewell, parents, brothers, beloved by me,
Friends of my childhood, in the home distressed;
Give thanks that now I rest from the wearisome day;
Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, who brightened my way;
Farewell, to all I love. To die is to rest.

"Huling Paalam"

Paalam, sintang lupang tinubuan,
bayang masagana sa init ng araw,
Edeng maligaya sa ami’y pumanaw,
at perlas ng dagat sa dakong Silangan.

Inihahandog ko ng ganap na tuwa
sa iyo yaring buhay na lanta na’t aba;
naging dakila ma’y iaalay rin nga
kung dahil sa iyong ikatitimawa.

Ang nanga sa digmaan dumog sa paglaban
handog din sa iyo ang kanilang buhay,
hirap ay di pansin at di gunamgunam
ang pagkaparool o pagtagumpay.

Bibitaya’t madlang mabangis na sakit
o pakikibakang lubhang mapanganib,
pawang titiisin kung ito ang nais
ng baya’t tahanang pinakaiibig.

Ako’y mamamatay ngayong minamalas
ang kulay ng langit na nanganganinag
ibinababalang araw ay sisikat,
sa kabila niyang mapanglaw na ulap.

Kung dugo ang iyong kinakailangan
sa ikadidilag ng iyong pagsilang,
dugo ko’y ibubo’t sa isa man lamang
nang gumigiti mong sinag ay kuminang.

Ang mga nasa ko, mulang magkaisip,
magpahanggang ngayong maganap ang bait,
ang ikaw’y makitang hiyas na marikit
ng dagat Silangan na nakaliligid.

Noo mo’y maningning at sa mga mata
mapait na luha bakas ma’y wala na,
wala ka ng poot, wala ng balisa,
walang kadungua’t munti mang pangamba.

Sa sandaling buhay maalab kong nais
ang kagalingan mo’t ang paiwang sulit
ng kaluluwa kong gayak ng aalis,
ginhawa’y kamtan mo. Anong pagkarikit!

Nang maaba’t ikaw’y mapataas lamang,
mamatay at upang mabigyan kang buhay,
malibing sa lupang puspos ng karikta’t
sa silong ng iyong langit ay mahimlay.

Kung sa ibang araw ikaw’y may mapansin
nipot na bulaklak sa aba kong libing,
sa gitna ng mga damong masisinsin,
hagka’t ang halik mo’y itaos sa akin.

Sa samyo ng iyong pagsuyong matamis,
mataos na taghoy ng may sintang dibdib,
bayang tumaggap noo ko ng init,
na natatabunan ng lupang malamig.

Bayaan mong ako’y malasin ng buwan
sa liwanag niyang hilaw at malamlam;
bayaang ihatid sa aking liwayway
ang banaag niyang dagling napaparam.

Bayaang humalik ang simoy ng hangin;
bayaang sa huning masaya’y awitin;
ng darapong ibon sa kurus ng libing
ang buhay payapang ikinaaaliw.

Bayaang ang araw na lubhang maningas
pawiin ang ulan, gawing pawang ulap,
maging panginuring sa langit umakyat,
at ang aking daing ay mapakilangkap.

Bayaang ang aking maagang pagpanaw,
itangis ng isang lubos na nagmamahal;
kung may umalala sa akin ng dasal,
ako’y iyo sanang idalangin naman.

Idalangin mo rin ang di nagkapalad,
na nangamatay na’t yaong nangaghirap
sa daming pasakit, at ang lumalanghap
naming mga ina ng luhang masaklap.

Idalangin sampo ng bawa’t ulila
at nangapipiit na tigib ng dusa;
idalangin mo ring ikaw’y matubos na
sa pagkaaping laong binabata.

Kung nababalot na ang mga libingan
ng sapot na itim ng gabing mapanglaw,
at wala ng tanod kundi pawang patay,
huwang gambalain ang katahimikan.

Pagpitaganan mo ang hiwagang lihim,
at mapapakinggan ang tinig marahil,
ng isang salteryo: Ito nga’y ako ring
inaawitan ka ng aking paggiliw.

Kung ang libingan ko'y limot na ng madla
ay wala nang kurus at bato mang tanda
sa nangagbubukid ay ipaubayang
bungkali’t isabog ang natipong lupa.

Ang mga abo ko’y bago pailanlang
mauwi sa wala na pinanggalingan,
ay makaulit munang parang kapupunan
ng iyong alabok sa lupang tuntungan.

Sa gayo’y wala ng anoman sa akin,
na limutin mo na’t aking lilibutin
ang himpapawid mo kaparanga’t hangin
at ako sa iyo’y magiging taginting.

Bango, tinig, higing, awit na masaya
liwanag at kulay na lugod ng mata’t
uulit-ulitin sa tuwi-tuwina
ang kataimtiman ng aking pag-asa.

Sintang Pilipinas, lupa kong hinirang,
sakit ng sakit ko, ngayon ay pakinggan
huling paalam ko't sa iyo'y iiwan
ang lahat at madlang inirog sa buhay.

Ako’y yayao na sa bayang payapa,
na walang alipi’t punong mapang-aba,
doo’y di nanatay ang paniniwala
at ang naghahari'y Diyos na dakila.

Paalam anak, magulang, kapatid,
bahagi ng puso’t unang nakaniig,
ipagpasalamat ang aking pag-alis
sa buhay na itong lagi ng ligalig.

Paalam na liyag, tanging kaulayaw,
taga ibang lupang aking katuwaan;
paaalam sa inyo, mga minamahal;
mamatay ay ganap na katahimikan.

Jose Rizal

José Rizal

Jose Rizal was born José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda on June 19, 1861 in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines. 

Jose Rizal was the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by National Heroes Committee. His execution by the Spanish in 1896 was one of the causes of the Philippine Revolution. 

He attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts, and enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. He continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He also attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg.

Rizal spoke twenty-two languages. He was a prolific poet, essayist, diarist, correspondent, and novelist. Wrote two novels, Noli me Tangere and El filibusterismo. These novels were social commentaries on Spanish rule and inspired peaceful reformists and armed revolutionaries for a change in the politics of the Philippines.

He formed La Liga Filipina, a civic organization that gave birth to the Katipunan led by Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a proponent of achieving Philippine self-government peacefully through institutional reform rather than through violent revolution, although he would support "violent means" as a last option.

The general consensus among Rizal scholars is that his execution by the Spanish helped to bring about the Philippine Revolution.

Rizal’s translations and annotation of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Historical Events of the Philippine Islands), the Spanish official Antonio de Morga’s seventeenth-century account of the conditions obtaining in the country before and during the Spanish conquest. Although not familiar – even among present-day Filipinos – as Rizal’s Noli and Fili, his edition of Morga was no less important.

While his Noli revealed the decline of the fatherland under the destructive effect and exploitation by Spanish colonization, in contrast Rizal’s edition of the Morga sought to awaken among his countrymen the consciousness of their past and the advanced state of the Filipinos prior to the coming of the Spaniards, their early accomplishments as well as their ethnic and cultural links to other Malay peoples.

Rizal was at pain to show that the pre-Hispanic Filipinos had a system of writing, bodies of costumes, traditions and usages. Filipino artisans, like Panday Pira, had forged cannons and built seagoing vessels as few others did in Southeast Asis. Agriculture and industry – like the growing of cottons, the weaving of cloth, the mining of gold and other metals, even the export of silk to Japan where today the best silk comes from – existed prior to the Spanish colonial conquest. Pre-Hispanic Philippines appeared to be at one of the crossroads of Asian trade, and its products reached other countries of Asia.

Rizal’s preface to his edition of the Morga closed with the following words to his countrymen:

“If the book succeeds to awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from your memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered, then I have not worked in vain, and with this as a basis, however small it may be, we shall be able to study the future.”

Jose Rizal was implicated in an 1892 rebellion and sent into exile in Dapitan in rural Mindanao, where he proceeded to build a school, a hospital and a water supply system.

When Independence was declared by the Katipunan movement in 1896, Rizal decided to go to Cuba as the Cuban Revolutionaries were also in rebellion against Madrid. He was arrested by Spanish authorities en route to Cuba and sent back to Manila for trial. He was convicted of sedition, rebellion and conspiracy and sentenced to death.

His execution was carried out by firing squad on December 30, 1896. He was 35 years old.

The day before his execution he wrote an untitled poem and hid it in an alcohol stove and later handed it to his family with his few remaining possessions, including the final letters and his last bequests. The poem was later titled “Mi Ultimo Adios” or “My Last Farewell”.

When the United States was debating the Philippine Organic Act of 1902, which was to lead to some limited self-governing, Representative Henry Cooper of Wisconsin read an English translation of Rizal’s poem known as “Mi Ultimo Adios”. After the speech, the US Congress passed the bill into law which is now known as the Philippine Organic Act of 1902. It created the Philippine legislature, appointed two Filipino delegates to the US Congress, extended the US Bill of Rights to Filipinos, and laid the foundation for an autonomous government.