Breaking the Silence
A prolonged silence is deafening. Especially when it lasts for more than three centuries. Spain had given so much to the Philippines—her nuances, her feelings, her music, her song, even many of her linguistical wonders. But that comes with a price. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And for the longest time, our voice was never allowed to speak. But saying that it was total silence is not completely true. There had been rumblings of growth. A battle here. A revolt there. A Filipino called Palaris rises up for his province. A Diego Silang betrays Spain for Britain all for Ilocandia. The sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu continue to repel the Spanish in Mindanao. These are birth pains, signs of growth. But there comes a time, a coming of age when a nation stops calling herself Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Mindanawon, Kapampangan, etc. She begins to call herself Filipino. And she begins to aspire for responsibility, for higher things. She lets go of the complacency and comforts of slavery and begins to clasp the fiery brand of freedom, heavy to hold. It was on June 19, 1861, that everything was about to change: Jose Rizal was born. Leon Ma. Guerrero was right to call him the First Filipino, for he was indeed the pioneer who dreamt of a people united not by religion or even skin color, but united in equality and mutual dreams and aspirations. And he sealed these dreams in blood.
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.
How fitting to end a blog sabbatical with the birthday of the man who coined the term this blog took: Indios Bravos. The former word connotes hopelessness. But the latter encapsulates hope for the future. As I end this blog sabbatical, I join with Filipinos all over the world in celebrating Rizal and everything he represents. History, I can never get tired of blabbering about it, even in blog form.
I miss tumblr. I miss doing this. And I believe my fingers are ready to type hysterically historical posts again.
Happy 152nd birthday Pepe! And for the followers of this blog, I wave my hands in tears, saying “Long time no see! How are you?” :D
*ABOVE: A photo I took today - Rizal bust sculpted by Frederick Caedo, now on display at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) at Intramuros, Manila.
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