Category Archives: Philippine History

A Tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal Before Making a Toast to 2016

Ni Marcial Bonifacio

Mga kaibigan at kababayan ko, malapit na ang Bagong Taon. Para sa maraming tao, iyon ay simula ng bagong taon, upang ang mga sariling pagbabago ay mangyayari. Para sa ibang tao, iyon ay simulan ng bagong Pilipinas. Sa katotohanan, the latter was more applicable to Dr. Jose Rizal, who on December 30, 1896, was taken by his captors to Bagumbayan where he was executed by a firing squad. Ito ang huling dalawang taludturan galing sa kanyang tula “Mi Ultimo Adios”:

‘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.’

Samakatuwid mga kaibigan ko, when you all raise your champagne glasses to toast para sa bagong taon, let us also do so in honor of a great patriot who never had the opportunity to see his vision fulfilled—a vision on which his work and death were based—ang bagong Pilipinas.


Mabuhay si Dr. Jose Rizal!  Mabuhay ang Bagumbayan!  Maligayang Bagong Taon!

(last modified on December 30, 2016)

Figo Cantos
Figo Cantos salamat ka marcial! 🙂

Refoj Lap Tan
Refoj Lap Tan salamat sa tagged. much appreciated. happy new year.

Refoj Lap Tan
Refoj Lap Tan “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay daig pa ang isang malansang isda.” Mga katagang iniwan ng ating Pambansang Bayani Dr. Jose Rizal. It’s the 150th death anniversary the time he was executed in bagumbayan (Luneta.) Long live the Philippines and Dr. Jose Rizal.
Evangeline Mejia
Evangeline Mejia Is his vision really fulfilled, a free Philippines?…free from colonizers maybe,BUT NEVER FROM TYRANTS AND GREEDY POLITICIANS, who until now oppress the common Filipinos. I will not raise my glasses to toast until these oppressors step down, I’d rather pray for my country not only for the new year but everyday…
Lyn Cerdan
Lyn Cerdan Maraming salamat Ka Marcial
Evangeline Mejia
Evangeline Mejia pero maraming salamat Kaibigang Marcial for reminding us there were heroes like JPR who gave his life for this country…Mabuhay ang mga bayani…Mabuhay pa rin ang PILIPINAS!
Mikee Cortez
Mikee Cortez kasalukuyan ay sumasakit ang ulo ko, hindi ako makapagcomment. lol Kaibigang Marcial, maraming salamat sa tag. talagang isang dakilang bayani si Jose Rizal. cheers to 2011!
Roji Cabigao Serapio
Roji Cabigao Serapio maging isang Rizal tayo at ibahagi ang kamalayan na hangad niya para sa bansang Pilipinas. Happy new year!
Pinky Amador
Pinky Amador thanks for the tag, very well said!
Len I. Yap
Len I. Yap Happy New Year, Ka Marcial! Habang may new year, may pag-asa. =)
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Eva, kaibigan ko, naiintindihan ko mga punto mo, nguni’t in due time everything will fall into place. The Chinese say that a jouney of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Marahil we have taken a few na.
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Mga kaibigan ko, any burden which will befall us in our effort to pave the way para sa ang next generation can only be minimal compared to those brave heroes who gave their lives.
Ed Tongco
Ed Tongco Best wishes to everyone for the coming New Year!
Jocel Mendoza
Jocel Mendoza Huge thanks for the people who fought for this beautiful country. Here’s to us having a better year ahead! Cheers!
Steffan Almazan
Steffan Almazan · Friends with Dara Mi Contiga

toast ako dyan mga kababayan ko.

See Translation

Marcial Bonifacio
Jose Camano
Jose Camano You cannot capture the elegance of his prose and poems by translating his Castillan masterpiece into English.. MI Ultimo Adios is better read in its original text. Though we may not be 100 percent knowledgeable in Spanish– you can hear the melody of his poem if read in its untranslated version.
Jose Camano
Jose Camano As my high teacher said, Spanish language is the most beautiful language in the universe.
Jose Camano
Jose Camano Mi patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores, Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adiós.
Ahí 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.

Adiós, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adiós, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegría,
Adiós, queridos seres, morir es descansar.See Translation

Jen Baloloy
Jen Baloloy DJR sana maraming kagaya mo dito sa Bansang pinaglaban mo… At hindi puro pera/kapangyarihan ang nangingibabaw 😦 *Thanks Marcial sa pag translate and praying that everyone will remember and follow what DJR contributed to our beloved country.See Translation
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Ang galing, Attorney Camano! Naisip ko tama ka tungkol sa wikang Spanish. Gayunman I prefer Tagalog sapagkat iyon ay makabayan.
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Sang ayon ako, Jen. Such a simple observation can alter the consciousness of our kababayans, which, in turn, may positively alter the character of our country.
Jose Camano
Jose Camano English speaking and Spanish speaking Filipinos do not make them less a patriot. Rizal is the epitome of an intelligentsia that speaks lots of tongues but he didn’t write his obra in Filipino — he wrote it in the language that can be understood by the oppressors. Language is never a benchmark for patriotism.
Jen Baloloy
Jen Baloloy I agree with you Jose…
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Hahaha! Nakapagtuturo ang iyong kuru-kuro, Atty. Camano. Talaga, I cannot dispute your perspicacious perspective.



Ang People Power at ang Ating Tungkulin

Updated: 2/25/16

By Marcial Bonifacio


My friends, as we observe the 30th anniversary of the People Power Revolution (February 22-25, 1986), which led to the ouster of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, let us consider some important lessons to be learned.  First, the movement has proven that collective awareness and collaboration can have such an impact that it can overthrow a brutal dictatorship, in spite of the overwhelming odds against the people.  Second, it is insufficient to merely overthrow an unfavorable government and replace it with another unfavorable one.  Third, constant vigilance must be exercised by the people, and at the first sign of tyranny approaching, the people must make their voices heard and take measures in order to curtail potential, unfavorable governments from ruling.

Indeed, these are the lessons which our American allies have learned from the election and governance of Pres. Barack Obama and his government.  After all, the U.S. has been (since 2009) and is still undergoing an EDSA Revolution of its own in the Tea Party Movement, although at a slower rate, a much larger scale, and with more regularity on all levels (local and national) and branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) of government.  There is even a call for a Convention of States resolution (a constitutional remedy for the states under a tyrannical federal government), but I am digressing from the topic.   In this commentary, I wish to focus on the People Power Revolution from an alternative perspective.

People Power need not be merely a historical, social movement which occurred in a specific place, during a specific time, with a specific crowd of people.  It is and must remain, first and foremost, the natural, human yearning of the individual for liberty—which can only be cultivated through patience, discipline, perseverance, and what Mahatma Gandhi (later quoted by Ninoy Aquino) called “an indomitable spirit.”

It is understandable that sloth is one of the Seven Deadly Sins of the Church.  After all, sloth can lead to indifference and inaction, which may not only affect oneself, but others as well.  For example, not studying, or helping others, or following traffic laws, or voting.  Such actions or lack thereof affect oneself and others, thereby impacting the individual, society, and the nation.

My point is that action is the key for any concrete change.  Here, in my writings and in forums of intellectual discourse, we stimulate our cerebral cortex (the gray matter in the brain, characteristic of reason and critical thinking), and perhaps, are entertained by the thoughts, ideas, or observations of others on issues, which affect us all.  However, until we actually undergo a change within ourselves reflective of the values we seek in our government, all our efforts to affect social change would only have minimal and short-lived results.  Gandhi has said, “Be the change you want in the world.”

Consider an American born Pinoy raised and residing in the U.S., whom I know personally.  Having never been taught Tagalog by his Pinoy parents, he currently studies Tagalog and Pinoy history and government informally when his hectic schedule allows him to do so.  He took the initiative (and the financial and legal burden) to become a dual citizen, so that he could participate in the 2010 presidential election and future ones to come.

During the election, he has written blogs and has inspired our kababayans to think critically about their candidates and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, so that they may make an informed decision.  Due to his busy schedule, he suspended his college studies for a full year to campaign for his presidentiable, since he considered the urgency of the election and the need for the most qualified candidate.  Even after the election and resuming college studies, he has remained active in keeping his American countrymen and our kababayans informed where possible and encouraging them to remain politically engaged.

His focus is so firmly rooted in the improvement of both our country and the U.S., that he has anticipated remaining single and childless for the rest of his life.  He works full-time and attends college part-time in long pursuit of a political science degree for the purpose of affecting change more effectively for both countries.  He has chosen to become vegetarian , since such a lifestyle promotes a more efficient use of resources, not to mention good health, which is good for the economy, environment, and one’s personal budget.

Growing up in a country on the other side of the globe, my friend is an alien to our country and to our culture, yet he strives to discover and know his cultural heritage and to serve our country, as well as his own in the U.S. (in which he has been active with the Tea Party).  Since his lifestyle is contrary to our mainstream kababayans, who are preoccupied with trivial, non-intellectual pursuits, he can accurately be called “antipinoy.”  However, his intentions and actions indicate he is pro-Philippines.

It must be understood, my friends, that I do not suggest you all give up lechon or sacrifice marital life or become a burdensome slave to serving our country in order to affect social change or be patriotic.  By all means, “eat, drink, and be merry.”  I merely wish to illustrate the dynamic spirit of People Power in action within a single individual with a vision for a better future (in both RP and U.S.), who not only talks about change, but is politically active in both countries (voting at every election, writing political commentary, and registering people to vote in the U.S.).  While it seems that he is a full-time patriot, the burden for most of our kababayans remains minimal.

Indeed, any act, no matter how trivial or drastic has some effect on the world.  You can start by  expressing your appreciation to all those who filled the streets of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) for three days in protest of Marcos in order to give you a better future.  Other simple things everyone can perform are discussed in a book entitled Twelve Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country by Alex Lacson (although I disagree with some of them).

For intellectual discourse or debate, I recommend visiting and joining Get Real Philippines, which covers social, political, and cultural topics of the Pinoy day.  Another blogsite which deals with Pinoy issues and often overlaps with American politics and constitutional matters is The Vincenton Post.

Furthermore, my friends, although it is definitely unfavorable to be apathetic, complacent, uninformed, and mediocre, it is equally unfavorable to be merely knowledgeable and aware of one’s maximum potential but not utilizing it for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, or the nation.  The ever present EDSA lies within our own hearts and minds, which is where are struggle must begin and from where People Power must draw its strength and effectiveness.  Only then, can we hope to affect social change upon a solid basis.

Mabuhay ang People Power!  Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!