The first organic act, known as the Philippine Bill of 1902, was passed
U.S. Congress. It called for the management of Philippine affairs, upon
restoration of peace, by establishing the first elective Philippine Assembly
and the Taft Commission comprising the lower and upper house,
respectively, of the Philippine Legislature. The passage of the Act may
be attributed in part to José Rizal and his stirring last farewell to his
beloved country immortalized in his poem, Mi Ultimo Adios, that he wrote
in his cell at Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution by the Spaniards
on December 30, 1896. At first, there was strong opposition to the
passage of the bill from misinformed members of the House, some of whom
referred to the Filipinos as "barbarians" incapable of self government.
Thereupon, Congressman Henry A. Cooper of Wisconsin took the floor and
recited Rizal's last farewell before a skeptical House. Silence soon
pervaded the floor as Cooper, eyes moist with tears and voice deep with
emotion, recited the poem stanza by stanza. Soon after his recitation,
Cooper thunderously asked his colleagues might there be a future for such
a barbaric, uncivilized people who had given the world a noble man as
Rizal. The vote was taken on the bill, and passed the House.
MI ULTIMO ADIOS
por Jose Rizal y Alonso
Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestra perdido Eden!
A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
Y fuera mas brillante, mas fresca, mas florida,
Tambien por ti la diera, la diera por tu bien.
Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mia;
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso dia.
Adios, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegria!
Adios, queridos seres. Morir es descansar.
It is a great poem. The style is only exceeded by his passion.
From Jose Rizal diary's as he compared the Rivers of Pasig, Hudson
World. I share his observation that all the great cities are fed by famous rivers.
The Hudson River, which runs along, carries many boats. We crossed over a bridge.
The landscape is beautiful; and it is not inferior to the best in Europe. We are going
along the banks of the Hudson. They are very beautiful, although a little
more solitary than those of the Pasig. There were ships, boats, trees,
hills; and the major part is cultivated. The Hudson is wide. Beautiful ships.
Sliced granite rocks were paved along the railroads. Some points widely
extended. There were beautiful houses between trees. Day fine. Our grand
transcontinental trip ended on Sunday, May 13, 1888 We passed through various
arches in tunnels. The Hudson as described by Jose Rizal as he sailed for Europe
on his way to writing his second novel.
His two political novels inspired the revolution and brought the short
Independence just over 100 years ago. He was however advocating peaceful
reform all his life in the present day tradition of Gandi and Martin Luther King Jr. He was a Renaissance man and a prophet. But I wonder if he knew that the United States would
soon be replacing the long reigning Spanish Regime. His last farewell made sure that empire's authority would not happen again. The US Congress agreed.
William Jennings Bryan, "The Great American Commoner", said
Rizal Day address on December 1905 .
. . "Rizal, though dead is a living rebuke to the scholar
who selfishly enjoys the privilege of an ample education
and does not impart the benefits of it to his fellows".
The pride of the Malay Race will be returning to Hudson. The Mayor
to the Filipino-American community the installation of the statue of Dr Jose P. Rizal donated by the Philippine Centennial Commission through the Order of the Knights of Rizal, New Jersey Chapter. It will be erected on the corner of Columbus Drive and Brunswick Street. The city council is schedule to pass the resolution as various city agencies spearheded by the Filipino Deputy Mayor Linda Mayo is working to establish the Dr Jose P Rizal Plaza in his honor and to acknowledge the Philippine-American community contribution to Jersey City.