#96 farewell poem

This is a farewell poem of Dr Jose Rizal, medical doctor and a national hero of the Philippines, before execution. His friend Mariano Ponce gave MI ULTIMO ADIOS as its title.

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 your 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 cittern 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. 

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#95

I like the words of this song, Scandal by the pop group Queen:

Today the headlines, tomorrow the hard times

And no one really knows the truth from the lies

And in the end the story the deeper must hide

Deeper and deeper and deeper inside.

 

What is a scandal?

In the US, there is the watergate scandal — “a political scandal involving abuse of power and bribery and obstruction of justice; led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974”. Since, there had been more ‘-gates’ scenarios.

A dictionary understanding of the word gives

  • malicious gossip (disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people)
  • outrage — implying a strike with disgust or revulsion (a disgraceful event)

This word ‘scandal’ is on the lips of many and in writing to news about the escaped terrorist suspect. This news brought anxiety and…had opened a can of worms which the governing leaders had not anticipated.

My hope and prayer is our present lot of leaders will know how to rise above the discontents. Why the unhappy voices…an apology needed by those in responsible positions? Certainly there lacks tactfulness in some public speeches by leaders. I hope there will be more conciliatory understanding to that had happened.

Is the bone of contention that the governing leaders are well-paid and therefore this is a required and must performance? To remove one from office might not be the best option at the moment…unless there are alternative candidates for the job.

My common sense understanding suggests this word ‘scandal’ is or might not be the correct expression to the news even if this is an opinion. The word ‘scandal’ is an emotive word and has negative over or under? tones… Any comment?

#94 youth olympic games

Singapore will be the 1st nation to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2010…i.e. in less than 800 days. The opening ceremony will take place on 14th August with closing ceremony on the 26th instant.

This event is for the youth aged 14-18 years, a stepping stone to the Olympic Games.

Many countries in the world trained their young in anticipation to the Olympic Games…

There will be no record keeping for this YOG…interesting. The reason being — not to put pressure on winning but… What is the incentive to participate in the YOG? How is the young to be educated in the spirit of sports? 

I have many questions…

Where is the venue to be held? At the different locations in Singapore? Seating capacity?

How much will this YOG costs the nation? Budget is $75 million…without factoring in inflation costs? (I read that the Olympic Games to be hosted in UK was under-estimated.) Is the budget for the event of 12 days only? What about the venues to host such?

What is involved in hosting such an event?