Saturday, October 9, 2010

Revolutionary hero Emilio Jacinto & his "A La Patria" (To My Fatherland)

 by Jesusa Bernardo


EMILIO Jacinto y Dizon was dubbed the "soul and brains (intelligence)" of the Katipunan by Andres Bonifacio, the "Father of Philippine Revolution," and Supremo of the secret-society-turned-revolutionary-national-government Kagalanggalangang Katipunan nang manga Anak nang Bayan (KKK). Though born in poverty, Jacinto was innately intelligent and had the luck to be educated in good schools through the kindness of his uncle. Jacinto loved learning and grew to be an intelligent, patriotic, morally principled young man who would be recognized by, and would forge a strong bond of friendship with, the Supremo.

He occupied several posts in the Katipunan. Jacinto was only a pre-law student (at the University of Santo Tomas) when he was elected as fiscal or No. 2 official in the Supreme Council of the Katipunan. He also served as the KKK's Secretary and a military leader. His last position was as Commanding General of the Northern District of Manila, accordingly appointed by Bonifacio on April 15, 1897.
Emilio Jacinto Seal as Punong Hukbo
of KKK forces in Manila, Morong,
Bulacan & Nueva Ecija (late 1896 - early 1897)

Jacinto is well known for the Katipunan ethics code, the Kartilya, and his editorship of the revolutionary newspapaper Kalayaan. His best politico-social treatise, however, he wrote some five months after the terrible anguish over the coup murder-by-execution of his brotherly friend, Bonifacio, who fell prey to the greed of the camp of then Capt. Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy. Jacinto elected to fight the colonial Spaniards separate from the forces of Aguinaldo who liquidated the Supremo and his brother on May 10, 1897. Jacinto remained loyal to Bonifacio and true to the cause of the Katipunan, turning down Aguinaldo's invitation for him to serve in the latter's new de facto revolutionary government.

Possibly nestled by the shade of some tree but under fire from the colonial enemy; hurting from the most unjust death of his Supremo friend who distinctly had the guts and wits to propel the Philippines into a nationalist revolution; and hands grimy from combat efforts, Tagalog (Filipino) patriot Jacinto wrote his masterpiece "A La Patria" (To My Fatherland) on October 8, 1897 in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. The poem was almost surely inspired by Jose Rizal's "Ultimo Adios". Written in a neglected second language and, thus, not literarily excellent, Jacinto's poem nevertheless brims with patriotic sincerity and is said to equal Rizal's piece in nobility and loftiness of thought.

What follows are the original Spanish version of Jacinto's "A La Patria" and a modern English translation. A Tagalog version by this blog author is in the works.


 (Original) SPANISH Version

A LA PATRIA

    por Dimas-Ilaw (Emilio Jacinto)

¡Salve, oh patria, que adoro, amor de mis amores,
que Natura de tantos tesoros prodigó;
vergel do son más suaves y gentiles las flores,
donde el alba se asoma con más bellos colores,
donde el poeta contempla delicias que soñó!

¡Salve, oh reina de encantos, Filipinas querida,
resplandeciente Venus, tierra amada y sin par:
región de luz, colores, poesía, fragancias, vida,
región de ricos frutos y de armonías, mecida
por la brisa y los dulces murmullos de la mar!

Preciosísima y blanca perla del mar de Oriente,
edén esplendoroso de refulgente sol:
yo te saludo ansioso, y adoración ardiente
te rinde el alma mía, que es su deseo vehemente
verte sin amarguras, sin el yugo español.

En medio de tus galas, gimes entre cadenas;
la libertad lo es todo y estás sin libertad;
para aliviar, oh patria, tu padecer, tus penas,
gustoso diera toda la sangre de mis venas,
durmiera como duermen tantos la eternidad.

El justo inalienable derecho que te asiste
palabra vana es sólo, sarcasmo, burla cruel;
la justicia es quimera para tu suerte triste;
esclava, y sin embargo ser reina mereciste;
goces das al verdugo que en cambio te dá hiel.

¿Y de qué sirve ¡ay, patria! triste, desventurada,
que sea límpido y puro tu cielo de zafir,
que tu luna se ostente con luz más argentada,
de que sirve, si en tanto lloras esclavizada,
si cuatro siglos hace que llevas de sufrir?

¿De que sirve que cubran tus campos tantas flores,
que en tus selvas se oiga al pájaro trinar,
si el aire que trasporta sus cantos, sus olores,
en alas también lleva quejidos y clamores
que el alma sobrecogen y al hombre hacen pensar?

¿De qué sirve que, perla de virginal pureza,
luzcas en tu blancura la riqueza oriental,
si toda tu hermosura, si toda tu belleza,
en mortíferos hierros de sin igual dureza
engastan los tiranos, gozándose en tu mal?

¿De qué sirve que asombre tu exuberante suelo,
produciendo sabrosos frutos y frutos mil,
si al fin cuanto cobija tu esplendoroso cielo
el hispano declara que es suyo y sin recelo
su _derecho_ proclama con insolencia vil?

Mas el silencio acaba y la senil paciencia,
que la hora ya ha sonada de combatir por ti.
Para aplastar sin miedo, de frente, sin clemencia,
la sierpe que envenena tu mísera existencia,
arrastrando la muerte, nos tienes, patria, aquí.

La madre idolatrada, la esposa que adoramos,
el hijo que es pedazo de nuestro corazón,
por defender tu causa todo lo abandonamos:
esperanzas y amores, la dicha que anhelamos,
todos nuestros ensueños, toda nuestra ilusión.

Surgen de todas partes los héroes por encanto,
en sacro amor ardiendo, radiantes de virtud;
hasta morir no cejan, y espiran. Entre tanto
que fervientes pronuncian, patria, tu nombre santo;
su último aliento exhalan deseándote salud.

Y así, cual las estrellas del cielo numerosas,
por tí se sacrifican mil vidas sin dolor:
y al oir de los combates las cargas horrorosas
rogando porque vuelvan tus huestes victoriosas
oran niños, mujeres y ancianos con fervor.

Con saña que horroriza, indecibles torturas,--
porque tanto te amaron y desearon tu bien,--
cuantos mártires sufren; más en sus almas puras
te bendicen en medio de angustias y amarguras
y, si les dan la muerte, bendicente también.

No importa que sucumban a cientos, a millones,
tus hijos en lucha tremenda y desigual
y su preciosa sangre se vierta y forme mares:
no importa, si defienden a tí y a sus hogares,
si por luchar perecen, su destino fatal.

No importa que suframos destierros y prisiones,
tormentos infernales con salvaje furor;
ante el altar sagrado que en nuestras corazones
juntos te hemos alzado, sin mancha de pasiones,
juramentos te hicieron el alma y el honor.

Si al terminar la lucha con laureles de gloria
nuestra obra y sacrificios corona el triunfo al fin,
las edades futuras harán de tí memoria;
y reina de esplendores, sin manchas ya ni escoria,
te admirarán los pueblos del mundo en el confín.

Ya en tu cielo brillando el claro y nuevo día,
respirando venturas, amor y libertad,
de los que caído hubieren en la noche sombría
no te olvides, que aun bajo la humilde tumba fría
se sentirán felices por tu felicidad.

Pero si la victoria favorece al hispano
y adversa te es la suerte en la actual ocasión,
no importa: seguiremos llamándonos "hermano",
que habrá libertadores mientras haya tirano,
la fé vivirá mientras palpite el corazón.

Y la labor penosa en la calma aparente
que al huracán precede y volverá a bramar,
con la tarea siguiendo más firme, más prudente,
provocará otra lucha aun más tenaz y ardiente
hasta que consigamos tus lágrimas secar.

¡Oh patria idolatrada, cuanto más afligida
y angustiada te vemos te amamos más y más:
no pierdas la esperanza; de la profunda herida
siempre brotará sangre, mientras tengamos vida,
nunca te olvidaremos: ¡jamás, jamás, jamás!
Octubre, 1897



 (ENGLISH Version)
TO MY FATHERLAND
              by Dimas-Ilaw (Emilio Jacinto)

Hail! Oh my native country!  More than aught I adore thee
Whom with so many treasures lavish nature has blessed;
Eden where flowers more fragrant bloom than in other gardens,
Where with more beautiful colors, rising, the dawn paints the heavens,
And where the poet, enraptured, sees what he elsewhere but dreamt.

Hail! Oh thou queen enchanting!  Filipinos beloved,
Venus beauty enshrouded, peerless, beloved land!
Region of light and color, poetry, fragrance, and gaiety,
Regions of fruits delicious and or sweet harmonies,
gently lulled to sleep by the breezes and the surf of the sea.

Pearl the most precious and dazzling of our Eastern Ocean,
Paradise built by the splendors of our brilliant sun:
Eagerly do I greet thee, and adoration ardent.
Offers my soul with the burning, fervent desire to see thee
Free from thy bitter sorrow, free from the Spaniard's yoke!

Ah, in the midst of thy splendors, sadly in chains dost though languish,
That which to thee is most precious-freedom, though has it not!
Ah, to relieve thee, my country, in thy distress, in thy suffering,
Pain would I give my life-blood, gushing forth from my bosom
To the last drop, and oblivion find, eternal rest.

What should be thine by Justice, rights unalienable
Are naught but words vain and hollow, cruel mockery to thee;
Justice is but a deception in thy sad situation,
Bonmaid art thou, though worthy of a Queen's purple instead,
Joy givest thou to thy tyrant, who gives thee gall in return.

What does it help thee, my country, sad bowed by dire misfortune,
That thou hast skies like the turquoise, clear and diaphanous,
That of thy moon the silvery beams are of matchless beauty:
What does it help thee, who, weeping, sighing in bitter bondage,
Hast for four centuries been suffering - what is the good to thee?

And what avail thee flowers covering thy smiling meadows,
What the bird's carols that sweetly in your forests resound?
Ah, the same breeze that their fragrance bears and their songs harmonious,
Bears on its wings cries and sobbing, weeping and bitter complaints,
That fill the soul with anguish and the mind with sad thoughts.

What is the good of thy splendor, pearl of virginal beauty,
What of the wealth oriental of thy alluring charms,
If all thy grace and beauty tyrants have cruelly blighted,
Bound with mortiferous iron, fetters or hardness unequaled,
Drawing enjoyment and pleasures from thy anguish and woe?

What is the good of thy fertile soil and its matchless exuberance,
That it brings forth fruits delicious and manifold, bountiful?
If all thy generous heavens smile down upon and shelter
Is claimed as his by the Spaniards, who stepping boldly forward,
Insolent in his vileness, loudly proclaims his right?

But to end comes all silence and must all servile patience,
Now, that the tocsin resounding call  us to light for thee,
And without fear, without mercy, openly, crush the servile serpent
That with its venom has poisoned  thy embittered existence;
Fatherland, here we are, ready, anxious to die for thee!

All, the idolized mother, and the wife whom we worship,
Even the babe whom his father loves like a piece of his soul,
In the defense of thy cause we abandon them, leaving behind us,
Happiness, love and hope: all we hold dear we give up,
All our fondest dreams, our illusions all.

And lo!  Throughout the country heroes spring up enchantment,
Burning with love of their country, radiant with virtue's light,
Fighting with ardor that only death can defeat and vanquish,
And even in dying they will utter thy sacred name.
Fatherland, wishing thee happiness, still with their dying breath.

Numerous like stars in the heavens, thousands of noble heroes
Lay on thy sacred altars willingly down their lives,
And when ye hear of the combats and the desperate charges
Fervent prayers to heaven send up, ye children ye aged,
And ye woman, that victory may be with our hosts!
Midst the most horrible tortures cruelty can imagine,

Only because they have loved thee and desired thy good,
Countless martyrs have suffered, yet in the midst of their torments
Blessings for thee have risen from their pure souls, and even
Those who were slain met death with  last wish for thee.

What does it matter that hundreds, thousands of sons of thine perish,
In the unequal struggle, in the tremendous strife,
And that their precious lifeblood flows till it seems like an ocean?
Is it not split in defending thee and thy sacred home?
Little it matters if fighting bravely, they die in thy cause!

Little it matters if exile is our fate, and the prison,
Or even torture, with savage fury inflicted on us,
For t the sacred altar that in his heart each patriot
To thee has raised, have us all, one and all have we sworn
Fealty to our cause, and our honor pledged.

And it we forth from the flight come with the laurels of glory,
And our self-sacrificing labor is crowned with success,
Future ages will honor heap upon honor and crown thee
Queen of the realm of the free, pure and unblemished queen,
And all the peoples on earth mute and admiring will stand.

On the horizon slowly rises the dawn, most brilliant,
Of a new day of freedom, love and prosperity,
And of those who have fallen in the dark night of the struggle
Never let perish the memory, and in their graves, cold and humble,
Happy their slumber will be, happiness being thine.

And if the crown of the victor should be the spoil of the Spaniard,
and if the fickle fortune should turn its back on thee,
Yet we shall always be brethren - be what it may the outcome,
Liberty will always have  the champions while there are tyrants alive.
And our faith will not perish - while there is life, there is hope!

Silent forces are working while  a false calm is reigning
Calm precedes the storm - soon will the hurricane rage,
And  with more firmness, more prudence will our work we continue
And start the struggle again, but with more ardor and strength,
Till in the end we shall triumph, till dried your tears shall be.

Fatherland, idolized, precious, as your sorrows are growing
So our love grows again, your affection for thee,
Do not lose hope or courage, for from the wound, the gaping,
Always the blood will flow, while there is life in us,
And we shall never forget thee in eternity's space.

October 1897
(Translation from http://images.balanghay.multiply.multiplycontent.com/attachment/0/SMXvlQoKCEcAAEyb7ZE1 )

 _________


References:

Chua, Michael Charleston. KASPIL 1. http://images.balanghay.multiply.multiplycontent.com/attachment/0/SMXvlQoKCEcAAEyb7ZE1/Xiaos%20Katipunan%20and%20Other%20Primary%20Documents.doc?nmid=114577752

de la Camara, Eduardo Martin. Project Gutenberg's Parnaso Filipino, by Eduardo Martin de la Camara. Release date: July 4, 2005. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16201/16201-8.txt

Documents of the Katipunan: Andres Bonifacio Notice of appointment, April 15, 1897. http://kasaysayan-kkk.info/docs.ab.150497.htm

EMILIO D. JACINTO (1875-1899): Brains of the Katipunan. http://www.nhi.gov.ph/index.php?id=252&option=com_content&task=view

Emilio Jacinto. http://philippine-revolution.110mb.com/jacinto_detailed.htm#writer

"Emilio D. Jacinto 134th Birth Anniversary." Mb.com.ph 14 Dec. 2009. http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/234067/emilio-d-jacinto-134th-birth-anniversary



Guerrego, Milagros; Encarnacion, Emmanuel; and Villegas, Ramon. Andres Bonifacio and the 1986 Revolution. 16 June 2003. http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-culture-and-arts/articles-on-c-n-a/article.php?i=5&subcat=13


Introduction to A La Patria. http://members.fortunecity.com/vrhes/alapatria.htm

Today in History. http://www.nhi.gov.ph//index.php?option=com_today_in_history&th_days=8&th_month=10&Itemid=1&thAction=thDetailView&th_id=1419



Photo credits:

Jacinto Punong Hukbo seal. http://kasaysayan-kkk.info/gallery.selyos.htm 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emilio_Jacinto

3 comments:

José Miguel García said...

Jesusa,

Can I post this as is in my blogsite PATRIA?

Jesusa Bernardo said...

Sure, JM. By all means. Just make sure you include the references too so people know the sources. Thanks.

Jesusa Bernardo said...

Pakipuntahan n'yo din ho ang artikulong ito ukol kay Jacinto:

"Sinasabing nang namatay ang bayani ay hinubaran ito ng mga kaaway na Amerikano and the vile Bald Eagle forces supposedly even mutilated his body although a general allowed military honors for him. May kwento rin na mga natives (traydor?) na taga Laguna ang ang nagturo daw ng posisyon ni Aguinaldo. Sa account ng National Historical Commission of the Philippines ay malaria ang kanyang ikinamatay. May historyador ring nagsasabi na namatay siya mula sa tama ng bala o ng lagnat na sumunod dito."

Gat Emilio Jacinto: Dakilang Bayani ng Himagsikan at Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano (1899-1914)

http://forthephilippines.blogspot.com/2012/04/gat-emilio-jacinto-dakila-bayani-ng.html

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