1896: The Musical

I’d meant to post this for National Heroes Day; the entries of Verisimilitude and caffeine sparks reminded me I’d tried my hand at translating the libretto of 1896: The Musical, produced by PETA for the Centennial of the Revolution in 1996. It was, for me, the highlight of the Centennial celebrations and a musical I wish would be constantly performed (or available on CD!). Anyway, for what it’s worth, here it is. I originally prepared the translation for foreign friends to whom I gave copies of tapes of the musical.

1896 The Musical
My unauthorized and incompetent translation of the Libretto

by Carlos de la Paz, Jr.*

“A life that is not devoted to a great and sacred purpose is like a tree without shade, and is instead merely like worthless grass.”
-First part of the Kartilya of the Katipunan by Emilio Jacinto

“Now is the time to begin the revelation of valuable and noble teachings.”
-Andres Bonifacio,“What the Tagalogs should know”

*(First, see synopsis in the liner notes; note that this translation is incompetent because too much of it is literal and ninety nine point nine percent of the poetry has been lost; the notes for each of the scenes are strictly mine and are not meant to be a reflection of what PETA intended -merely my impressions and how I understood the play.)

 Emilio Jacinto

Emilio Jacinto, the youthful “Brains of the Katipunan” and closest friend of Andres Bonifacio, was born on 15 December 1875 in Tondo, then a suburb of the City of Manila, the son of Mariano Jacinto and Josefa Dizon. In spite of their poor financial condition, the couple sent their son to the San Juan de Letran College and later, to the University of Santo Tomas, where Jacinto read law. Jacinto was only eighteen years old when he joined the revolutionary Katipunan. The subsequent discovery of the underground society led to the revolution. Jacinto left the University and directed the armed forces of the revolutionary movement in Laguna. In a skirmish with the Spaniards in Mahayhay, Laguna, toward the end of 1898, Jacinto was wounded. He died on 16 April 1899.
Jacinto’s writings are mostly in Tagalog. His poem in Spanish “A la Patria [was] obviously inspired by Rizal’s “Mi Ultimo Adios”. Jacinto’s style is superior to that of Bonifacio, and the latter, recognizing the former’s superior “Rules of the Katipunan” (i.e. Kartilya ),adopted it as the official ethics of the society.

Teodoro A. Agoncillo‚ Filipino Nationalism 1872-1970

Tape One: Act One

1. Pasyon: Passion Play

Lamentations traditionally recited during Lent by the community; the musical begins with the mystical aspects of the Revolution immediately brought to mind as the people cry to God, asking for mercy. Spanish soldiers and a friar go about oppressing the people as the men and women yearn for a New Jerusalem (not literally, but this is the yearning revealed in books such as Pasyon and Rebolusyon , which revealed folk Catholicism’s desire for a peaceable kingdom free from white rule). Jacinto, a young student, is seen remonstrating with a friar. His pleas for mercy are roughly shoved aside, and his eyes are opened. An allegory of Freedom [see appendices for what I presume to have been the inspiration for the constant use of the allegory of Freedom in the musical] makes her first appearance; she exhorts him to open the eyes of his countrymen so that they can participate in the liberation of their country.

Cantor 1: Kings’ orders; because the truth is,
No one would violate them
The soldiers roved around
They accidentally came across a youth
And abruptly beheaded him

Cantor 2: Every home entered
Every room forced into
during their search,
And any infant they find
is immediately hurt

Cantor 1: The nation is being ground down;
You can hardly hear
over the din of our supplications
and the strength of the howling
of parents

The People: Almighty God
You must listen
We are imploring you
Your beloved
Land is truly
Being plunged into darkness
Until when will the suffering continue?
Will tomorrow ever come?

Friar: Just endure your grief
Be quiet, be still

The People: Do not fight our suffering, our degradation
-Padre Nicolas, give absolution
my father isn’t a heretic
-Grant clemency
to my youngest child
he was only hungry
-Don’t disregard my humanity!
-Return my land!

Friar: You must give respect!

The People: Where has the grace gone; even
Novenas have ceased to work!

Child: Mother, where is Father?
Will I never see him again?

Mother: He will write to you

Grandfather: Why don’t you tell the honest truth?

The People: Almighty God
Hear us
We‚ implore you
Your beloved
Land is truly
Being plunged into darkness

Jacinto: How long will the blindness last?
Will the light ever appear?
Is it written in The Book
that hope of fulfilling my aspirations
won’t be obtained?

Old Man: O My Lord
Please forgive my lack of respect

Jacinto: Enough, Señor!
Have pity on him
He is already aged!

The People: Until when will the suffering last?
Will tomorrow ever come?
Just endure grief
Be quiet, be still
Do not fight suffering, our degrading situation
Almighty God,
Hear us!
-How long will
my suffering last?
If you truly love
our land
Deliver us and
have pity!

Jacinto: Mother Spain
I cannot call you that
Where was there ever such a mother and child
I do not need
small mercies
Everything has its limits

Freedom: Have hope, youth

Jacinto: Who are you?

Freedom: I am the beginning
And also the end
Of all things
considered noble
Because of me
Are laid low
People forget
their self-interest
In order to bring progress
to the nation
I am called-

Jacinto: Freedom! Freedom!

Freedom: Awaken your country
So that once more
The light will return
To the land we love
Have faith, youth
They are waiting:
Your brothers who are part
Of a long journey

2. Pacto de Sangre: Blood Compact

Where Emilio Jacinto is initiated into the Katipunan; the ritual questions, similar to the questions asked in baptism, were required of all Katipunan initiates. The participation of Gregoria de Jesus (Oryang) symbolizes the important and equal role women played in the movement.

Katipunero 1: If your desire
is merely to expose the workings of the secretariat
Go no further!

Katipunero 2: Move and act;
if you are merely good with words
Go no further!

Katipunero 3: If your desire
is merely to look after or gratify your body
Go no further!

Katipunero 4: If you are afraid of being hurt
or of being separated from your loved ones
Go no further!

Oryang: If you are not ready
To come to the aid of the oppressed
Go no further!

Bonifacio: If these prohibitions
have been taken to heart by
the one who wishes to join
And he feels he can carry out
the responsibilities assigned to him
Let him give the proper reply

Jacinto: I solemnly swear
that from this day forward
I will be a true brother
of the Brotherhood of the Sons of the Nation
I will honor her teachings
Offer my blood and life
In order to obtain Freedom
I will embrace with limitless love
My brothers
So help me God.

Bonifacio: What shall be your nom-de-guerre?

Jacinto: My nom-de-guerre shall be Pinkian [Conflict]

Bonifacio: Mabuhay brother Pinkian!

All: Mabuhay!

Bonifacio: Mabuhay, Freedom!

All: Mabuhay!

Bonifacio/Oryang: May the light accompany
our exalted brotherhood
Clear the way for reason
Let us exalt once more this day
Cross the great divide
Bring the nation
to a tranquil meeting place
We will be the guide

Katipunero 1: Mabuhay, Katipunan!

All: Mabuhay!

Katipunero 2: Mabuhay, Filipinas!

All: Mabuhay!

3. Ang Kapatiran: The Brotherhood

Jacinto sings the words from the Kartilya ; A Katipunero (from the Magdalo faction, from Cavite-Magdalo was Emilio Aguinaldo’s nom-de-guerre) questions whether such egalitarian ideas are practical; Emilio Aguinaldo, who was present at Jacinto’s initiation, takes his leave of the Supremo and his wife; Jacinto continues with the Kartilya, and all sing of the unity and their dreams for the country they hope to build, in what will be a major theme of the musical

Jacinto: All people are equal
This is an evident truth
This is what was ordained by creation
From whence we all came
Who is being haughty?
What is the proper way?
Is your worth greater than
that of your brother?
I have the arguments
I am ready to listen

Katipunero 1: However wasn’t it intended
that some would be born
to be in the ranks of the rich, and others
in the ranks
of the poor?

Katipunero 2: There are trees in the forest
that are higher than the rest!

Katipunero 3: Animals that are deliberately
slow are easily caught!

Aguinaldo: Many thanks for the time
of the Supremo

Bonifacio: I should be the one
to offer thanks
to the valiant ranks
of the Magdalo Council

Katipunero 4: Don’t be startled by my beliefs
It is ordained that there be the humble and
the mighty!
Brother Pinkian, I must confess
I am more valiant than all the rest

Oryang: You should take care
Brother Magdalo

Aguinaldo: You should be the one to take care
Here in Tondo
There are many who are no good

Jacinto: Whether one is black or white or brown
The color of the skin should not count
One can only take pride
In the wholeness, the richness of one’s character

Aguinaldo: In truth! Fate doesn’t depend
on character
For all are
equal in Christ
Pingkian, I have taken your code
to heart

Bonifacio: It isn’t so cool
there are tiktik birds in the vicinity

Aguinaldo: Your nom-de-guerre is backed
by a good cause
We’ll study hard
Until next time, Pingkian

Jacinto: On your next visit
Sharpen your arguments

Bonifacio: May all-knowing God
be with you

Oryang: Witness, my brother
a small flame, growing
in a dark prison
Bringing forth light

Bonifacio: The torch of brotherhood
is lan offering of love
to the genius of the self
It thrives on our cause

Aguinaldo: This is our light
However violent the darkness
To a free meadow
will the country be born

Jacinto: And we will create
A noble nation
With love for all
And respect for the least
A home which will be filled
With true mutual support
Where every face
Will glow with happiness

The torch of brotherhood
Is the light of the nation

Chorus: And we will create
A noble nation
With love for all
And respect for the least
A home which will be filled
With true mutual support
Where every face
Will glow with happiness

The torch of brotherhood
Is the light of the nation

4. Ang Krus at ang Espada: The Cross and the Sword

The friars come to demand action from the Governor-General (one of his titles was Captain-General), saying revolution is being plotted; the Governor-General is skeptical, claiming it is beyond the capabilities of the “indios”: and he mocks them, saying they are paranoid and grown soft from centuries of exploiting the natives (he is obviously a Spanish liberal). The friars denounce him as a Mason and subverter of the Church and State Authority and threaten him; this scene is ironic because many mestizos today -whose ancestry can be traced to friars- retain the same attitude

Captain: Good evening, Reverend

2 Friars: The cannibals
are conspiring
They have no prudence
They fear no one
They pretend to be obedient sheep
Disguising themselves by looking mournful
They’re making merry
these traitorous indios
Round them up and exile them! Otherwise
They will mount
A revolution!

Captain-General: What rich imaginations
Born of your long-standing
hoodwinking of the Indios
In these blessed isles

Chorus: Mason! Mason! Mason
He is a tool of the Masons!
Masons! Mason! Mason
He is a tool of the Masons!

Your beloved indios
Haven’t the capacity
To challenge our arms
We have the authority
What country will arm them?
Who is the leader
Who has sufficient ability
To provide effective leadership
For a serious uprising
What’s this, Revolution?
Or a farce, a moro-moro, a rigodon?

Chorus: Mason! Mason! Mason!
You enemy of religion!
Mason! Mason! Mason!
You enemy of religion!

Captain: They’re already content organizing
grandiose fiestas and
dances, offering up

Chorus: Mason! Mason! Mason!
Fomenter of revolution!
Mason! Mason! Mason!
Fomenter of revolution!

Head friar: Do not put our capabilities
To the test

Captain-General: I am the Captain-General, Father.

Head friar: You are only as high
as the dusty sole of my foot

Captain General: I am the Captain-General, father! (2x)

Head friar: The poor and ignorant
are easily enticed
by the attractions of the devil
by subversives
Works of ingrates
Filthy barbarians
They don’t recognize any God
They desire nothing but
to undermine the
Trust and faith of the Indios
In Holy Church and the state!

Chorus: Mason! Mason! Mason!
Crush the Masons!
Mason! Mason! Mason!
Crush the Masons!

Captain-General: You want me to organize
the expulsion
of the traitor indios
from these blessed isles?

Chorus: Mason! Mason! Mason!
Round up the Masons!
Masons! Masons! Masons!
Round up the Masons!

Captain-General: Are you really the vicars of God?

(Angelus sounds)

Head Friar: Good day, Captain-General.

5. Ang payo ni Dr. Rizal: The counsel of Dr. Rizal

Dr. Pio Valenzuela was sent to Dapitan by the Katipunan to get Rizal’s advice and consent for the revolution; he gives advice, but holds back consent. The news is awaited expectantly in Manila, and when the message is non-cooperation from Rizal, idol of the Katipuneros, the disappointment is felt deeply. Some Katipuneros begin to ask if so much prudence and preparation -Rizal’s advice- is necessary; Bonifacio is inclined to bow to Rizal’s wisdom, but Jacinto reminds the Supremo that their secret society could be exposed or betrayed at any time -then what should they do to prevent from their being swept along the irrevocable tides of war? Bonifacio, Aguinaldo and Jacinto agonize over what they should do -whether they have the right to cause bloodshed and misery. In the end they sing that blood must be shed to liberate the country and their countrymen’s minds

Aguinaldo: Did he give his consent?

Bonifacio: He said it’s not yet time

Katipunero 1: Oh, damn!

Katipunero 2: We cannot revolt
Yet we cannot remain idle
Aren’t our stout hearts
worthy enough?

Bonifacio: Brothers, Dr. Rizal is right!

Katipunero 3: Is Dr. Rizal being a coward?
When the test comes
I will be ready to die
If that is what is needed

Bonifacio: Greater preparedness
Is the advice of Dr. Rizal

Jacinto: Brother Supremo
At any time, the existence
of the Katipunan may be revealed
What will we do
Should that happen?
How will we prevent
our brothers from being
swept into hostilities?

Aguinaldo: Nothing would be left
But to fight
To have faith in unity
And love of country
And our cause

Bonifacio: Are these things unworthy weapons
with which to fight the guns of Spain?

The three: Destroy the curtain
Which has blinded consciousness
Do not fear the light
There is hope in tomorrow

Bonifacio: Why do we have these doubts?

Aguinaldo: Why do we feel this foreboding?

Jacinto: Is this what is called for?

Bonifacio: What are we to do
If the hearts that awaken
burst with solidarity?

Aguinaldo: What is our duty
towards lives that are not ours?

Jacinto: Should brothers die
They will live on in our hearts
And the darkness will be erased

The three: Are we prepared to listen
to the lamentations of orphans
to the hatred they will clutch
a promise of a curtain of tears

Bonifacio: Have faith in fraternal love

Aguinaldo: Have faith in your compatriots

Jacinto: Have faith in the Almighty

The three: (in His sublime), Love

6. Kalayaan at Jacinto: Freedom and Jacinto

Emilio Jacinto sings tenderly of his love of Freedom; the allegory of Freedom returns and they sing a duet of such tenderness as to put the audience to shame, for it vividly demonstrates that patriotism is meant to be a profound emotional as well as intellectual experience.

Jacinto: With my every waking
With my every prayer
With my every stride
I seek it everywhere
Sensing it in every place

In everything I touch
In everything I refer to
In everything I wish for
I recite the name
Yet I still cannot get
a glimpse of you

Freedom: Nothing else is heard
Nothing else is in the mind

Jacinto: You are the only one, just a dream
so deliberately sweet

Freedom: With my every embrace
With every hope for the future
With every new path you take
Clearing the trail
Is the flame that I have left

With every tear I shed
With my every smile
With every affliction
How I wish you won’t hurt me
Stand by your word

Jacinto: Nothing else is heard
Nothing else is in the mind

Freedom: You are the only one, just a dream
so deliberately sweet



I will remain faithful,

Understand the desire well

to the support you give me

Freedom: You will listen to me

Jacinto: I will trust in you

Both: I solemnly swear…
You are the only one, just a dream
so deliberately sweet

7. Awit ng mga Kababaihan: Song of the Women

The menfolk take their leave of their wives and mothers, as they depart to join the Revolution. The women weep and beg them to stay home, to think of their families, to think of the consequences of joining a movement condemned by the Church; Gregoria de Jesus, wife of the Supremo, reasons with them. Eventually the women -still weeping, and all the more sorrowful because of the sacrifices they and their husbands must make for freedom- relent, and tell their loved ones to fight. This is one of the most poignant scenes in the musical.

Women: -I am afraid that you won’t return
-Have you found someone to replace me?
-Where will you go?
-What is it you want?
-Am I still the one you love
-This is the work of the Masons who are deluding
people into going against the orders
of the friars who are pure and good of heart!
-Do not disrespect them!
They are the torches of God!
-You talk of the good of the nation
You have a family!
-We are your nation!
Why don’t you look for different work?
The Katipunan means danger and troubles

Oryang: A life which is not devoted
to a noble purpose
Is like a tree
Without shade
Wood without worth

Women: And to support your kin
is not a noble cause?

Oryang: The happiness of the nation
Will not be ours to enjoy
If we only work to support
our own families

Woman: Oryang, is it true that patriotism
is the message of the Katipunan?

Oryang: A true brotherhood
Have confidence in me
Look at the flame
in the midst of darkness
The Katipunan is clearing the path
tirelessly, without fail

Women: -I do not want to see you suffer
-Son, don’t turn your back on
our Lord Christ
-I am entreating you to always
take care
-You are part of me
(Farewell, my beloved), farewell…

8. Rizal

As Rizal prepares to embark on the ship that will take him to Cuba, Katipuneros led by Emilio Jacinto offer to help him escape to freedom. Rizal turns down their offer of assistance, and sings of the dilemma between his belief in freedom and the consequences of fighting for it. He has committed himself to peace, and yet he knows he must lay down his life for the freedom of his countrymen.

Rizal: My God
Deliver me
from evil tongues

Jacinto: They are taking you Sir, to Cuba

Rizal: You were listening to our conversation?

Jacinto: Señor, how could I avoid it?
This launch is too small
for whispers not to carry

Rizal: Yes, I have permission
from General Blanco

Jacinto: there are many of us surrounding this place

Rizal: What are you trying to say, Señor?

Jacinto: Doctor, we’re messengers of the Katipunan
Your brothers

Rizal: Whatever your ambition may be
I want no part in it

Jacinto: We can rescue you
The moment you so wish

Rizal: Don’t even think about it

Jacinto: Each one of us is armed

Rizal: Don’t interfere!
I know what I am doing

Jacinto: Dr. Rizal…

Rizal: To die by a violent struggle
Or not?
That is the question
Which would be more honorable?
To fight actively
to get things over with
Everything will end in bitterness
Countless terrors
Will be history’s progeny
To fight, to die, to pass from consciousness
To pass from consciousness

Jacinto: But who will face the odds?
Face tyranny
outraged honor
The pain of loss
The slowness of justice
Meanness and treachery?

Rizal: If all were to be put to rest
No one would be able to assist the country

Both (Rizal): Why is the wish (your wish that)
a thousand more deaths?
Why in the name of love
of country?

Rizal: Am I afraid to
to face violence?

Jacinto: I can’t bear
just to watch you idly

Rizal: But our idealistic ambitions
have already gone astray

Both: From reflecting too much
the moment of accomplishment has been lost
What a sorrowful fate to
drown in an ocean of grief
But if this is what he wants

Jacinto: What else can I (can we) do?

Rizal: Farewell, my country, farewell
If your trust I have denied
Farewell, my brothers

Both: May the Heavens have pity on us

9. Ang Dapat Mabatid: What the People Should Know

Taken from Bonifacio’s manifesto, “What the People Should know” [see appendices]; Bonifacio asks the people what must be done, what must take place if things are to be changed and people are to rise over merely enduring their fate. The Katipunan goes to battle, and in the scene, Bonifacio saves Jacinto’s life. Jacinto vows to defend the Supremo’s life, whatever the cost, and to let no harm befall him.

Bonifacio: In Ages Past
We lived
In a fertile land

Foreigners arrived
And befriended us
We accepted them
without suspicion

We no longer have tranquillity
Orphaned by tyranny
All foreign scoundrels
have no respect

Every tear
that even lightly falls on a wound
Is a pain that cannot disappear
(What shall we do?) 3x

Chorus: Revolt! Revolt!
This is what must be done!
Put an end to merely enduring
Cut the rope
that binds our country

Jacinto: They vilified us and shamed us
Our honor they trampled underfoot
And the corpse that disappeared
was treated irreverently

Until when shall we bear things?
Do you have honor, brother?
Until when shall we be choked
by this foreign yoke?

Chorus: Revolt! Revolt!
This is what must be done!
Put an end to merely enduring
Cut the trope
that binds our country

Bonifacio: If any of you are still excessively afraid
It would be better for you
cowardly soldiers
to depart

Jacinto: And should we slain
Be assured that we will
never vanish from
the memories of our loved ones

Chorus: Revolt! Revolt!
This is what must be done!
Put an end to merely enduring
Cut the rope
that binds our country

Jacinto: You put yourself on the line
to save me
How can I repay you
for the life I owe you?
Brotherhood came to life
In the midst of battle

And with your help I’ve understood
A golden lesson of history
This is what I solemnly swear:
Even if Death itself persecutes me,
I will not allow
anyone to vanquish you
10. Ang Pangitain ni Aguinaldo: Aguinaldo’s Omen

Aguinaldo: Carefree to enjoy our pastimes
No one pushing to take advantage of others
And our food-baskets are full
of our day-to-day food
Everyone is full of love
In accordance with the Teachings
of the noble Katipunan
And every success
Will again be scelebrated
by everyone, absolutely everyone

The nation is celebrating
from my point of view
the victories that have
accompanied our fighting
But there is something that clouds
this happy picture
A violent shadow
A shadow which is suffering
He has lost his senses
bound, spat on
Prostrate before me
Mercilessly injured
And celebrated once more
by everyone, absolutely everyone

11. Ang Pagdiriwang sa Cavite/Pinopoon: Celebration at Cavite/Acclamation

The refrain sung by the people is the hymn “Marangal na Dalit ng Katipunan”, the Katipunan anthem composed by Julio Nakpil, commissioned by Andres Bonifacio, which was the revolutionary anthem until it was superseded by the present national anthem, commissioned by Emilio Aguinaldo (Julio Nakpil, after Bonifacio’s death, married his widow, Gregoria de Jesus). A revolutionary feast takes place; Jacinto watches and as a figure representing Freedom is drawn past, the men and women sing a duet which is echoed by Jacinto

The people: Mabuhay, mabuhay departed
Freedom, freedom
Let us strive for purity and what is holy,
purity and what is holy
Let Spaniards be scorned by Tagalogs
And let order triumph

Mabuhay, mabuhay departed
Freedom, freedom
Let us strive for purity and what is holy,
purity and what is holy
Let Spaniards be scorned by Tagalogs
And let order triumph

Jacinto: You who are my master, my beloved
You are the child of the gentle, southern breeze
In what place, in what corner are you hiding?
You must hear my affection

The women: From now on until the end of time
I will be faithful to you, my darling
And I hope my heart
you will look upon with virtue and joy

The men: Never will I allow you to be all alone
This I fervently swear, beloved
Never fear
Even if I should be slain

The people: Oh Freedom
Never will it exceed your liking
the emotion reserved for you
It will be enough to see you
My life is yours, beloved
Listen to my oath of love

Jacinto: It is enough to see you
My life is yours, beloved
Listen to my oath of love

The people: Mabuhay, mabuhay departed
Freedom, freedom
Let us strive for purity and what is holy,
purity and what is holy
Let Spaniards be scorned by Tagalogs
And let order triumph

Tape two: Act Two

1. Ang Sapakatan: The Conspiracy

The principalia of Cavite are outraged by the Supremo being acclaimed “Hari ng Bayan” [King of the Nation]; they mock him in a scene that brings to mind Christ’s being mocked as king of the Jews: another connection to the mystical (Passion Play) aspects of the Revolution; also an indictment of the pretensions of the principalia

General: Do you hear what they’re shouting?
Mabuhay, king of the nation!
Why was he ever invited here?

General: Why are you laughing?
A former errand boy
of a trading house
Is now being hailed
as king of the nation!

Doctor: It’s disturbing to hear
that the Supremo Bonifacio
may already have a throne

Colonel: It’s very easy companero
to give homage
to the king of the indios

Lawyer: And why not?
Having a pauper, an ignoramus
as king of the nation!
King of the nation!

Chorus: King of the nation!
Supposed king of the nation
Oh how fate will be cruel
If we’ll be ruled
By a refugee
Be that as it may, mabuhay,
king of the nation!

General: How well they look at each other
the General of the Magdalo
and Emilio Pingkian
What good comrades

Lawyer: If you think of the youth
as a brother who has been separated
And the intrigue he will discover
I cannot prevent my tears
What would suit the Supremo
is to make him King of the Bandits

Colonel: Or perhaps King of the Locusts?

Doctor: Or why not
King of the Ants!


All: The Supremo of the Katipunan
A King Who Creeps!

General: Let us not allow
outsiders to meddle in
our Revolution!
Those from other townships
Will take from us
our victory
and the honor

All: Of noble history

Chorus: King of the Nation
Supposed King of the Nation!
Oh how fate will be cruel
if we should be ruled (by a refugee)
Be that as it may, “long live the King
of the Nation!” 2x

“Long live the King of the Nation!” 3x

2. Ka Fermin, Matandang may Anting-Anting: Comrade Fermin, Old Man with a Talisman
The mystical aspects of the revolution clash head-on with the rationlist beliefs of people like Jacinto

Fermin: Santo, santo kasis

Santo, santo kob
Ego petravit, Ego Sacrificit
Enom dre, enom go
Enom dre, enom to
My talisman
Is a fallen star
Which I even seized
from the hands of a ferocious beast
Evil spirit eye only
Can I see
My talisman
I know to be effective
I remain unscathed
in the line of fire
And my enchantment
gets more effective in a fight
Santo, santo kasis
Santo, santo kob
Ego petravit, Ego Sacrificit
Enom dre, enom go
Enom dre, enom to
Shoot me or stab be
Chop me or roast me
My talisman
will save me

Katipunero 1: Power has
Old Fermin
It’s true he has
an effective weapon

Fermin: Enom dre, enom go
You must pray
to holy God

Jacinto: Brother Fermin,
Aren’t you bothered?
Much more effective
Are Spanish arms

Fermin: Brother Pinkian
Accept this

Jacinto: A medallion, a symbol
What effect can this have?

Fermin: You will be able to read the mind
of anyone you come across
Whether he is a brother
Or a deceiver

Jacinto: See through and through
Whomever I come across?

Fermin: You will be able to read
his true motives
With the help of wholehearted

Jacinto: If you are really skilled
I’m fortunate to receive your assistance
Truly you have
a potent weapon

Fermin: Enom dre, enom go
Enom tre, enom to
You must pray
To Almighty God

Katipuneros: Santo, santo kasis
Santo, santo kob
Ego Peravit, Ego Sacrificit
Enom dre, enom go
Enom tre, enom to

Even if we should be shot
Poisoned or hanged
Even if we should be stabbed
Chopped or roasted
The powers of Fermin
will save us

Fermin: Advance, Indios!

3. Ang Babala ni Kalayaan: Freedom’s warning
Jacinto’s omen this time; He is sent on a mission by the supremo, and bids Gregoria de Jesus farewell.

Jacinto: Oryang

Oryang: He is already resting

Jacinto: He tasked me with
going back to Manila
I merely wanted to take my leave
Probably he was tired out
from today’s festivities

Oryang: It turns out it’s tiring
to enjoy a little
freedom and abundance

Jacinto: I’ll go on my way

Oryang: Take care, Pingkian
on your journey
Sharpen your senses
for encounters with the enemy

Jacinto: Thank you, Oryang
Please convey my farewell

Freedom: What’s this; you are leaving your
brother to argue with
a covetuous usurper?

Jacinto: The Supremo is in the home
of a brother

Freedom: Return at once
Abel is ignorant
of Cain’s violent state of mind

Jacinto: There is nothing to worry about
He is in a safe house

Freedom: Listen to me
Don’t trust people right away
We have a hidden enemy

Jacinto: The character of the brother
with whom the Supremo sheltered
is spotless

Kalayaan: don’t you see…

Jacinto:Don’t pester me with fears…

Freedom: The treachery being perpetrated…

Jacinto: my mind is at peace

Freedom: …brother against brother

Jacinto: Freedom, enough!

4. Ang Prinsipe ng Komedia: The Prince of the Comedia

This is a surreal scene in which Jacinto, commanding a detachment of troops, is surrounded; Fermin, with total faith in his anting-anting urges his compatriots to charge the Spanish lines, and is shot dead. Just when all seems lost, a dashing actor and his troupe arrive, and in a stylized rendition of the Moro-Moro sword-fights of old, scatters the Spaniards like so many toy soldiers. Jacinto thanks the swashbuckler, even though he comes from Aguinaldo’s camp. The actor gallantly declares that brotherhood surpasses all passing political differences.

Jacinto: Aim carefully at the enemy!

Katipunero 1: They have us surrounded!

Fermin: Follow what I am going to do!

Jacinto: Don’t follow him!

Fermin: Santo, Santo kasis!
Santo, Santo kob!
Ego paravit, ego sacrificit
Enom dre, Enom go
Surrender! You
Spanish idiots!

Jacinto: Maintain your positions!

Voice of a Spaniard: Surrender, Indios!
No one will come to your aid
The farce is over
No one will aid you

Katipunero 2: Help is arriving!

Katipunero 2: It’s General Bernardo!

Chorus: Our Bernardo’s
a real prince
The best
stage actor
He used to fight
the might of the Moros
Now he’s fighting
for the Filipino

Bernardo: France and England
Holland, Spain
Russia and Germany
Portugal, Italy
The kingdoms
of all Europe
are under
my sword

Chorus: Our very own Bernardo’s
a real prince
A chivalrous man
And a brave soldier, too
The number one
Of the forces of Magdalo

Bernardo: Who will never be subdued
By Spanish strangers!

Bernardo: I am Prince Bernardo!

Jacinto: Thank you, Prince Bernardo
For your not hesitating
to come to our aid
Despite your being close
to the head of the Magdalo
And my being a supporter
of the Supremo

Bernardo: Partisan I may be of the Magdalo
The disagreement in Cavite’s
a passing thing
AndI am ready to help you
Brother Pinkian
Whenever you need my help
I will assist you
There should be no obstacles to

Chorus: France and England
Holland, Spain
Russia and Germany
Portugal, Italy
The kingdoms
of all Europe
are under
his sword

5. Patuloy ang Himagsikan/Sigalot sa Tejeros: the Revolution Continues/Dispute at Tejeros

Tejeros: where the emerging struggle between the Magdalo (Aguinaldo) and Magdiwang (Bonifacio) factions dividing the Katipunan was meant to be resolved in a convention. All sides approached the event with idealism and hope; Aguinaldo is elected President, which Bonifacio accepts. That is, until Bonifacio is elected Secretary of the Interior of the new government. Then a member of the Magdalo challenges Bonifacio’s election on the basis of Bonifacio’s not being educated and his humble origins. This is too much for Bonifacio, who declares the assembly null and void. The song of victory and hope is repeatedly tragically as the convention falls into confusion.

Jacinto: Whatever comes to pass,
Never forget
Our fraternal aspirations
Never forget tomaintain your allegiance
to the ideal of unity
Aguinaldo: Permit mutual tolerance
to take place

Bonifacio: This division is creating
a dangerous situation

Jacinto: Our dearest aspiration is-

Aguinaldo: Freedom!

Bonifacio: Brotherhood!

Jacinto and Aguinaldo: In the town of Tejeros
Let us restore
Understanding and unity
in the land we love above all

Chorus: We will obtain
sure victory
And this will bear fruit
in an abundant life
We will
Will go forward
through the waters or the land
And we will not tire
of journeying

Conspirators: Let us go forward with the election
so that the movement will be strengthened

Bonifacio: My desire is that all will respect
whomever is elected

Chorus: We will obtain
sure victory
And this will bear fruit
in an abundant life
We will
Will go forward
through the waters or the land
And we will not tire
Now we can see the sun
rising in the East
The children who will be born
Will inherit honor

(voices) -Elected President: General Emilio Aguinaldo
Elected Vice-President: General Mariano Trias
Elected Secretary of the Interior: Mr. Andres Bonifacio
-Sir! I object to the election of the latter
We need a lawyer not
an uneducated, unqualified man!

Bonifacio: All things undertaken
in the recently concluded election
I nullify in my capacity as Supremo
of the Katipunan you’ve disdained!

Chorus: We will obtain
sure victory
And this will bear fruit
in an abundant life
We will
Will go forward
through the waters or the land
And we will not tire
of journeying

6. Ang Sapakatan at si Aguinaldo: the Conspirators and Aguinaldo
The break is complete, yet Aguinaldo is torn between his loyalty to the Supremo and what (the people arround him insist) is the call of destiny

Aguinaldo:What sin did I commit?
In what was I lacking?

General: Our revolution, General,
is imperiled

Lawyer: Apprehend him and try him
He is an enemy of the nation

Colonel: He is superfluous
And you have reasons enough

Aguinaldo: Why don’t you go on and say
His life should be ended?

Doctor: You said it
It didn’t come from us

Aguinaldo: You are pointing your fingers at
the Father of the Revolution!

Conspirators: King of the nation!
Supposed king of the nation!

General: The father started it all
And now the father’s destroying it

Lawyer: you are the one who deserves
to be at the helm

Colonel: Don’t turn your back
on your destiny

Conspirators: Never forget
You have the mandate of the nation!

Doctor: Think of history
If you abandon everything
You will be blamed
For not having made taken on you responsibility

Aguinaldo: The brother Supremo will be
eliminated from the Revolution?

Conspirators: Either the traitor dies
Or our hopes of Freedom!

Aguinaldo: The shadow that was darkly hovering
Is this what will come to pass?

General: The final decision
is in your hands

Aguinaldo: To die by the hands of enemies
or one’s brothers?
That is the question
Is there anything more bitter?
I never would have thought
That in this Revolution
I would end up fighting him
And that the oaths of brotherhood
would climax in violence
Climax in violence,in death
put to rest

7. Ang Hatol sa Supremo/Montage: The Verdict on the Supremo/Montage

The Supremo, having been ordered arrested, and having been wounded (and his brother killed) upon being apprehended, is tried and found guilty of treason. Gregoria de Jesus tries to beg for clemency for Aguinaldo, who has washed his hands of the whole thing, saying it is beyond his control. In the end the three figures -Gregoria de Jesus, begging piteously for her husband’s life; Aguinaldo, stern and inflexible; and the Supremo, outraged and vowing vengeance- are all shown. Then the Supremo is executed, after having cursed Aguinaldo and having sung of how the Republic’s foundations were rotten from the start.

General: It has been proven by this court
that the Supremo Andres Bonifacio
accumulated men and arms
with the purpose of bringing down the Republic
And that the President of the nation
he aimed to kill
The judges who recognize theese cases
without objections
declare him a criminal
The verdict:
He is to be put to death

Oryang: Capitan Emilio
I implore you
Free my spouse
He did no wrong
Your imputations
are all full of the same kind of lies

Aguinaldo: Senora, your spouse
has been sentenced by the Court
Let us respect the sentence
Though that is not what I wished for

Oryang (counterpoint):Brother Magdalo
I implore you
Pardon my spouse
I will make up for
Whatever shortcomings
my beloved husband might have

Bonifacio (counterpoint): In the worthless infancy of the Republic
the beams are already being riddled with
You will answer for your deed, treacherous
You will find no rest, this I vow
this I vow

Aguinaldo (counterpoint): I will not allow the revolutionary ranks
to be divided
I will not allow the treachery of a scoundrel
to prevail over the nation

Jacinto (counterpoint): Remember the promise
An oath issacred
Don’t destroy unity
You are not the personification
of the Revolution

Chorus: Hearts are filled with dread
that sense will disappear
love for each other
and respect for the least
Freedom inherent
With true support
And on every face
happiness has died

Bonifacio: I warned you, Magdalo!

Chorus: The torch of brotherhood 2x

8. Pasyon/Awit ni Oryang: Passion Play/Oryang’s Song

The ranks of the revolution are divided; the ascendant Magdalo toeing Aguinaldo’s line while the confused ranks of the Magdiwang, bereft of their Supremo, must decide whether or not to continue being part of the revolution; meanwhile a disconsolate Gregoria de Jesus is reduced to looking for her husband’s unmarked grave

The people: Almight God
Listen to us
We are imploring you
Your beloved
nation’s truly been
plunged into darkness

The people: Why?
How could it have happened?
They didn’t have pity

Magdalo: the Supremo turned traitor!

Magdiwang: Keep silent,
Stop disputing everything!
Control yourselves!

Almighty God
We’re imploring you
Your beloved
land has truly been
plunged into darkness
Suffering will come to an end
The light will come some time
Return to .the dream
There is still hope and
Don’t allow the destruction to continue!

Awit ni Oryang: Oryang’s Song

Bonifacio’s widow searches for her husband’s grave, and sings of the pain of loss. She finally says farewell to her beloved. Once she convinced the women to risk everything for the country; and her appeals for sacrifice were heeded, although now, having paid the supreme price herself, she is alone in her grief.

Oryang: Brother
Have you seen the
grave mound of the Supremo?
I have been searching for a long time
Perhaps you would know
his resting place

Every time you
Are far from me
I am always thinking
You might be needing something
Does the time
for meals still pass
This heavy concern
Perhaps your mood will turn black
should the nights be damp
May you not be feeling cold
You are thelodestar
You are thecaress of the breeze
A torrent of water that cannot be stopped
Farewell to you
How sweet it is to love
Farewell my dearest
I bid you good-bye

9. Ang Mas Higit na Kagalingan: The Greater Good

Jacinto cries for vengeance; his fellow revolutionaries urge him to forget the past and work for the continued success of the revolution

Katipunero 1: If you are prepared to kill
your own brother
then go ahead!

Katipunero 2: If you want to imitate
the treason they committed
then go ahead!

Katipunero 3: On top of the corpse of
your own impetuousness
There is your enemy

Katipunero 4: If you want to bring down Revolution
Seek revenge and think no more of it
Go ahead!

Katipunero 5: If your desire
is to destroy our unity
then go ahead!

Jacinto: If all of you
are afraid
thenabandon the Katipunan!
I vowed to
protect my brother
To make sure
he’d be saved from danger

Chorus: Think of the greater good
Let us foster unity

Jacinto: Service to the Katipunan
involves investing lives and blood

Chorus: The greater good
Thinkof the greater good

Jacinto: Our brother was killed

Chorus: (May God grant him eternal rest)2x

10. Kapatid Laban sa Kapatid: Brother against Brother

Jacinto becomes the target of an assassin -the very same Bernardo who saved his life once. Bernardo is convinced Bonifacio’s supporters have deserted and will betray the Revolution; Jacinto confronts him and is anguished by the bitterness and vehemence of Bernardo’s words

Chorus: France and England
Holland, Spain
Russia and Germany
Portugal, Italy

Bernardo: The kingdoms
of all Europe
are under
my sword

Chorus:Our very own Bernardo’s
a genuine Prince
Absolutely the finest
actor in theater
He used to be the foe
of the mighty Moros
Now he’s the foe
of Emilio Pingkian

Jacinto: why did you attack
our detachment
General Bernardo?

Katipunero 1: Brother Pingkian
He is making imputations
He says you and the Supremo are
traitors to the nation

Bernardo: Remember
I will come back
And put an end
to your making common cause
With the Spaniards

I solemnly swear
I will break the legs
of any one of you who
approaches the Spaniards
in order to betray the Revolution
Death to traitors!
To the fallen Supremo
And ten of his
equally traitorous compatriots

Jacinto: they have poisoned your mind

Bernardo: You will not prevail!
You will not prevail!
You will not prevail!

Katipunero 1: Pingkian! Pingkian!

11. Ang Paghihiganti: The Revenge

Aguinaldo is ill, and in his delirium dreams that he is being haunted by Bonifacio’s avenging ghost; Jacinto steals into his room; at first Aguinaldo thinks he is a herb dector: he offers Aguinaldo poison in the guise of a tonic. But the camp is soon alerted and a hunt for the intruder ensues. Jacinto’s identity becomes clear to Aguinaldo; Jacinto confronts Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo defends his decision to have the Supremo liquidated and implores Jacinto to join him. Jacinto escapes, and when the soldiers finally reach Aguinaldo’s room, they think that he’d had a bad dream and was hallucinating during his delirium.

I sponsored and
supported you
I humbled myself
before you
And you repaid me
with treachery
You wanted me to come to harm
Who are you
to judge me?

Aguinaldo: Go away!
I am not afraid

Bonifacio: The Revolution
Will not cease

Aguinaldo: Everything that was done wrong
will disappear
Depart! Wicked spirit

Bonifacio: This is the reckoning

Aguinaldo: I implore you

Bonifacio: May God have mercy on you

Aguinaldo: Is that you, Mr. Mariano?

Herb doctor: I haven’t brought any quinine…

Aguinaldo: How are the wounded?

Herb doctor: Many others still need to be nursed

Aguinaldo: Don’t abandon them

Herb Doctor: In grave cases of malaria…

Aguinaldo: Preserve their lives

Herb Doctor: But never fear
Don Emilio do you want
life without end?
Here is effective medicine
for your illness

Soldiers: The enemy has infiltrated our camp!
Assassin! Assassin!
To the General’s room! Quickly!

Aguinaldo: How are you, my brother?

Jacinto: Executioner!

Aguinaldo: He destroyed our unity!

Jacinto: Liar!

Aguinaldo: He wanted to depose me!

Aguinaldo: Give yourself up, Pinkian
There is no escape!

Jacinto: Look intently at
the heroic character
of the unity that was destroyed
Don’t pity the picture
The wound that can never be healed
can never be seen
By the minds that
were poisoned

Aguinaldo: Don’t accuse me of treachery

Jacinto: You were the one
who broke your oath

Aguinaldo: It was never my intention
to place the Supremo in danger

Jacinto: The people are not suffering so that
a new tyranny will prevail

Aguinaldo: My only goal is
to achieve freedom

Soldiers: Break down the door!
We will save
The General’s life

Aguinaldo: Look at my hand
which I am reaching out to you
I wish you would consider me
a comrade
Let us help each other
obtain freedom

Jacinto: I would prefer slavery
to the freedom you are establishing

Aguinaldo: My greatest wish
is for unity

Soldiers: Realize, Pinkian
There is no escape!
Surrender immediately!

Jacinto: (counterpoint) Aguinaldo: (counterpoint)

Even if you makeWe are being driven away
the revolution triumphant
And being pursued
You will never be able to deceive
And yet your objective
the whole country
is annihilation
You will never be able to buy
You are not listening
their confidenceto my frank words

You will never be able to bury
I will save the Katipunan
the Katipunan
Through disloyal deeds
The Supremo’s name
in everything
will be honored
I was faithful
The counterfeit Republic
to the ambitions
will collapse and melt
of the nation!

Soldiers: In a few moments
We will make sure
you will die

Jacinto: This is not the reason for which we launched our

Aguinaldo: This isn’t far from what we wanted to obtain

Soldiers: General!

Aguinaldo: I have forgiven the Supremo
If I have sinned against you
Forgive me
In the way you know
Erase the rancor in your heart
Do your duty
towards your brothers

soldier: There’s no one here
You must have had a nightmare

soldier: You had better get some rest, Don Emilio

12. Nasaan ang Liwanag? Where is the Light?

A soliloquy in song ; Jacinto laments the tragic events which have marred the revolution

Jacinto: The life that was offered
to our motherland
Reaped grief and misfortune

How beautifully it all began
How far things have reached
Where things began
We have returned

Dark was the first day
of our gathering
Hope shone on our agreement
The dream of the race
We would push forward
We exhibited
most noble hope

Where is the light?
Which lifted our hearts
A promise to our dear children?

Where is the light?
A dream mislaid
What kind of tomorrow
awaits us?

Where is the light?
Which lifted our hearts
A promise to our dear children

Where is the light?
A dream mislaid
What kind of tomorrow
awaits us?

13. Muling Pagkabuhay: Rebirth

Freedom’s lament; Jacinto speaks out to all generations; belief in the dream is reaffirmed

Freedom: Nothing else is heard
Nothing else is in the mind…

The life that was offered
was not wasted
There is a seedling of hope
in every heart

Lift up hearts
They are waiting
Your brothers who are part
of a long journey

(Ilocano)Inak ikari manipud

(Ilonggo)Ihalad ko akon dugo kag buhi

Amal Pakpak:
(Maranaw)Gagakusin ko a tidtu ababaya

All three: So help me God

Bonifacio: What is your nom-de-guerre?

Jacinto: My nom-de-guerre is Pinkian [Conflict]

Bonifacio: My nom-de-guerre is Maypag-Asa [He who has hope]

Jacinto: (speaking)

Chorus: (at the same time)

This the way thenThe torch of brotherhood
you must listenis an offering of love
to our messageto the genius of
If you are able to seethe self
a blue lightSupporting the hand of justice
It is leaving us
with a true sign
of the flag of freedom
being waved once more

Immediately, then, fire off

This is our dream

the cannons and guns

However violent the

Simultaneously bowing your heads darkness
to the wind

If that is the way to

To a free meadow
greet with affection

will our country be
our very own banner born

Jacinto: And we will create
A noble nation
With love for all
And respect for the least

Oryang: A home which will be filled
With true mutual support
Where every face
Will glow with happiness

Bonifacio: The torch of brotherhood
Is the light of the nation

Chorus: And we will create
A noble nation
With love for all
And respect for the least
A home which will be filled
With true mutual support
Where every face
Will glow with happiness

The torch of brotherhood
Is the light of the nation

MLQIII December 15-24, 1996



LIBERTY appears to a youth much afflicted by the misfortunes of his country; the youth recognizes her and lays before her the just grievances of his compatriots:
“I, they say, am hungry, and he who teaches me to feed the hungry replies: -Eat the refuse and crumbs of our savory fare and our sumptuous board.”
My brethren say “I am thirsty, and he who teaches me to give drink to the thirsty replies: -Drink thy tears and the sweat of thy brow; it will be our care that there will be enough of both.”
My brethren clamor: “I am without clothes, I am completely naked, and he who commands us to dress the naked replies: -I shall forthwith envelope thy whole body, wrapping it about with chains, one above the other.”
My brethren say: “My honor has been violated by a priest, by a…., by a wealthy man, and the judge, that upstanding pillar of justice, will reply: -That man is a robber, a brigand, a bad man: to jail with him.”
My brethren will say: “A little love, a little clemency and compassion, and the superiors and chiefs who govern judicially and spiritually, will reply at once: -That man is a filibuster, an enemy of God and mother Spain: to Iligan with him!”
Here the youth seems to break down and weep, and Liberty indignant, is about to depart and leave the cowardly youth, accustomed from his mother’s womb, “to suffer all sorts of affliction, contempt, and rebuffs”, but, taking pity, Liberty tells him:
“In the times long past when cowardice and debasement had not yet taken the place of the good qualities of thy forebears, the Filipino people were under my protection and were happy and breathed the air that gave them life, vigor and health… my light illuminated their minds and they were respected by their neighbors. But a day came, which must be execrated and cursed, when Slaveryarrived and told them she was virtue, right and justice, promising glory to all who would believe in her….; she came wearing the mask of beauty and kindness; serene and affectionate of demeanor…. and the brethren believed her and worshipped her…. and me they forgot and almost abhorred…”
Liberty again decides to leave the youth, but ceding to his prayers for his protection, she stays and says to him:
“No man is worthy of my protection and support who is not fond of me and does not love me, and who can not die for my cause. Thou canst announce this to thy compatriots.” And Liberty disappears. At dawn “there was something in the eyes of the youth like a smoldering project”: the austere and apocalyptical Katipunan.

Emilio Jacinto
“Manifesto”: translated by Gregorio Nieva


THE FILIPINOS, who in early times were governed by our true countrymen before the coming of the Spaniards, were living in great abundance and prosperity. They were at peace with the inhabitants of the neighboring countries… with whom they traded and exchanged goods of all kinds. The means of livelihood increased tremendously, and for this reason, everybody had nobility of heart, whilst young and old, including women, knew how to read and write in our own authochonous alphabet. The Spaniards came and offered us friendship. The self-governing people, because they were ably convinced that we shall be guided toward a better condition and led to a path of knowledge, were crumpled by the honeyed word of deceit. Even so, they [the Spaniards] were obliged to follow the customs of the Filipinos their agreement having been sealed and made binding by means of an oath that consisted in taking a quantity of blood from each other’s vein, mixing and drinking it, as a token of their true and loyal purpose not to be faithless to what had been agreed upon…
More than three hundred years have elapsed since then, and for that length of time we have been bountifully supplying the needs of Legazpi’s countrymen, we have been feeding them lavishly, even if we had to suffer privation and extreme hunger; we have spent our wealth, blood and life itself in their defense; we even went so far as to fight our own countrymen who refused to submit to them; and likewise we combated the Chinese and Dutch who attempted to wrest the Philippines from them.
Now, for all of this, what is the tangible concession that has been bestowed upon our country in exchange for what we have done?… None but treachery is the reward for our munificence… they have blinded us and contaminated us with their meanness of character and forcibly destroyed the sanctity of our customs. we have been nurtured in a false belief and the honor of our people has been dragged into the mire of evil. And if we dare beg for a little love, they retaliate by banishing us and tearing us away from our beloved children, wives, and aged parents. Every sigh that escapes our breast is branded as a grave sin and is immediately punished with brute ferocity.
Now nothing can be considered stable in our lives; our peace is now always disturbed by the moans and lamentations, by the sighs and griefs of innumerable orphans, widows and parents of the countrymen who were wronged by the Spanish usurpers; now we are being deluged by the streaming tears of a mother whose son was put to death, by the wails of tender children orphaned by cruelty and whose every tear that falls is like molten lead that scars the painful wounds of our suffering hearts; now we are more and more being bound with the chains of slavery, chains that are shameful to every man of honor. What, then must we do? The sun of reason that shines in the East clearly shows to our eyes that have long been blinded the path we ought to follow: by its light we can see the claws of cruelty threatening us with death. Reason tells us that we cannot expect anything but more and more sufferings, more and more treachery, more and more insults, and more and more slavery. Reason tells us not to fritter away time hoping for the promised prosperity that will never come and will never materialize. Reason teaches us to rely on ourselves and not to depend on others for our living. Reason tells us to be united in sentiment, in thought, and in purpose in order that we may have the strength to find the means of combating the prevailing evils in our country.
It is now time for the light of truth to shine; it is now time for us to show that we have feelings, honor, shame, and mutual cooperation. Now is the time to commence the diffusion of the noble and great gospel that will rend asunder the thick curtain that is obfuscating our minds; now is the time for the Filipinos to know the sources of their misfortune. Now is the time to realize that for every move we make we are stepping on and headed toward the brink of the abyss of death that our enemies have dug to ensnare us.
Therefore, O my countrymen! Let us open the eyes of our minds and voluntarily consecrate our strength to what is good in the trueand full faith that the prosperity of the land of our birth, which is aimed at, will come to pass….

Andres Bonifacio
“What the Tagalogs [Filipinos] Should Know” translated by T. Agoncillo


“The law course in the University of Santo Tomas at that time took seven years -one of preparatory and six of law proper- and no one was permitted to matriculate who did not have the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Santo Tomas being the only University in the Philippines then -it is older by twenty-five years than Harvard- all the A.B. graduates from the different colleges who wanted to take a university course met in its classrooms. There I made the acquaintance of Sergio Osmeña who came from the college of the religious order of Saint Paul established in Cebu, Vicente Singson Encarnacion, and many others who graduated from the Ateneo of Manila. This preparatory course in law was also attended by Vicente Madrigal, Juan Sumulong, Emilio Jacinto, Flaviano Yenko, and many more who graduated with me as Bachelors of Art from San Juan de Letran. Sergio Osmeña and Vicente Madrigal, besides being my classmates, were also boarders in Santo Tomas, and we formed a friendship that has lasted throughout these many years of our lives.
Emilio Jacinto became the secretary of the Katipunan and was the brains in the camp of Andres Bonifacio, the untutored leader during the early days of the revolution against Spain. Jacinto sealed with his life his love of freedom for his people. Flaviano Yenko became a general in Aguinaldo’s army in Cavite and died gloriously in the defense of Sapote Bridge a few months after the revolution of 1896 broke out….
In my preparatory course, there were two notable professors -Father Farpon, the professor of physics and chemistry, who was a real scientist (which for a friar was exceptional, for generally their interest lay in the study of scholastic philosophy, theology, and classics); and Father Valentin Marin, the professor of Spanish literature. Father Marin was not only a Spanish scholar, a playwright, and a poet, but also one of the most liberal-minded priests I have ever known in my life…. He went beyond the bounds of prudence at times in criticizing the Spanish Government and his own brothers of the [Dominican] Order. He was so popular among the students that I had a slight suspicion that Emilio Jacinto and Flaviano Yenko had hinted to him their connection with the Katipunan.”

Manuel L. Quezon
The Good Fight


Manuel L. Quezon III.

19 thoughts on “1896: The Musical

  1. ah, what poignancy. if only the common Filipino can enjoy the same depth of this musical as he does the sitcoms…

    i’ve had this dream for so long. to produce (and write) a telenovela magnifying our country’s history and the many lessons it teaches, using simple language, and a story engaging enough for the masa. the lessons itself (both historical and ideological), are embedded in the story, and not outrightly shown in blatant exposition.

    but i guess no network will take the risks to air such telenovela. survey shows that dumbing down the masses is more profitable than enlightening them. que horror! what if they were suddenly taken by wild fancies and take from us our high place in society?

    never the less, everything is coming to a head, just as Bonifacio predicted. Albeit more than a hundred years late. These elitists and these presumptuous eggheads who thinks they alone have the God-given right to rule our country, will in the end find no rest.

    Revolution! Revolution! Revolution!

  2. “ah, what poignancy. if only the common Filipino can enjoy the same depth of this musical as he does the sitcoms…”

    There is a profound reason why the common people don’t enjoy art forms where Filipinos sound like Brits (Philippine fiction) and Philippine heroes look like Sam Milbi (Philippine drama).

  3. Hi Manolo, thanks very much for the pointer to my blog in your Monday column! 🙂

    However, the part where you mentioned…

    The 7.15-percent First Quarter 2004 GDP growth figure was eventually adjusted to 6.4 percent, while the 7.10-percent Second Quarter 2004 GDP growth figure was eventually adjusted to 6.2 percent.

    …unless i’m mistaken, i think what happened was the reversed, i.e. the 6.4 and 6.2 percent growth figures were retrospectively adjusted upwards to 7.15 and 7.10 percent. The former was in the press release while the latter is in the time series tables of NSCB which is why i believe the higher figures are the adjusted ones. Also, from what i saw in the NSCB website (currently down), the adjusted figures for 1Q 2007 GDP growth is 7.1 percent (from the originally reported 6.9 percent).

  4. “but i guess no network will take the risks to air such telenovela. survey shows that dumbing down the masses is more profitable than enlightening them.”
    Ako, if i really want I’ll do it. Sariling fulfillment mo rin kasi…..

    We are all fully aware of the dumbing of the masses. Yet we are not doing anything to stop the process. Pathetic!

    I believe what ever idea we have to stop that process should be pursued at all cost . And in a winning ways.

  5. Devils, but judging from the success in the Philippines of ‘Jewel in the Palace’, which is based on Korean history, i believe that there is latent demand for stories that do not insult the viewers’ intelligence.

  6. Devils: but i guess no network will take the risks to air such telenovela. survey shows that dumbing down the masses is more profitable than enlightening them.

    Write your telenovela. Malay mo, nasa pag-pitch lang yan sa network execs. If that doesnt work, there’s always komiks. I for one am glad that Carlo J. Caparas is spearheading a revival of komiks.

    Brian: There is a profound reason why the common people don’t enjoy art forms where Filipinos sound like Brits

    By ‘like Brits’ I suppose you mean ‘mannered’. I think they enjoy that very much. Have you listened to the dialog in our ‘serious’ movies? Nobody I know speaks like that.

    Reminds me of why Romans always have British accents in movies and TV shows, instead of Italian accents. (There might be an historical reason for this: a lot of the Roman emperors are of British descent. Septimus Severus, Marcus Aurelius probably, and Constantine the Great, certainly, among others.) It also reminds me of that Star Wars spoof Thumb Wars where one of the Empire’s generals said, “Why are we speaking with British accents when there isnt any Britain yet?”

    Re: translations. The excuse that ‘we dont have the vocabulary’ just doesnt wash. Translating isnt just vocabulary substitution. There are ways to convey the images, the emotions, the meta-truths in a language into another language without a one-to-one correspondence of the vocabularies. Benign0 once lamented the Pinoy lack of the word for efficiency as if Pinoys dont have a concept of it, which is just poppycock. Everytime you hear a Pinoy say, “Hindi ganyan. Sayang lang pagod mo diyan. Dapat ganito…” youll know he knows what efficiency is.

  7. A nation some body wrote is the common history of a community. Unfortunately the so called Philippine revolution was bereft of a common history.

    One of the more fiery anthems of any nation is the French national anthem. The American model of liberal democracy and economic policy owe much to the French philosophers more than the English. Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson all were heavily influenced by the economists and liberal theories of government with check and balances then from France most especially on the ideas of “laissez faire” which was perfectly suitable for agricultural communities then.

    For some the French Revolution was a practical example of class warfare. The aristocracy was butchered. This historical event changed the world forever. The masses acted with ferocity to avenge past wrongs. Bonifacio was heavily influenced by this historical event.

    The following verses of the “La Marseillaise” are still sung today: (English translation)

    Let’s go children of the fatherland,
    The day of glory has arrived!
    Against us tyranny’s
    Bloody flag is raised! (repeat)
    In the countryside, do you hear
    The roaring of these fierce soldiers?
    They come right to our arms
    To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!


    Grab your weapons, citizens!
    Form your batallions!
    Let us march! Let us march!
    May impure blood
    Water our fields!

    Sacred love of France,
    Lead, support our avenging arms!
    Liberty, beloved Liberty,
    Fight with your defenders! (repeat)
    Under our flags, let victory
    Hasten to your manly tones!
    May your dying enemies
    See your triumph and our glory!


    We will enter the pit
    When our elders are no longer there;
    There, we will find their dust
    And the traces of their virtues. (repeat)
    Much less eager to outlive them
    Than to share their casket,
    We will have the sublime pride
    Of avenging them or following them!


    More verses are no longer sung today.

    General Cornwalis was trapped in Yorktown by the French Navy from re-supply and retreat and the British surrendered to the American revolutionaries under Washington.

    Both the American Revolution and the French Revolution forced many European governments to rethink their positions on governments.

    Unfortunately the Philippine historical experience is still divided by a distorted historical divide between an elite who do not consider themselves Indios and the vast majority who do and it is this Indio community that will surely rise up to erase the primitive and backward elite who are trapped in their own distorted culture. It is that primitive culture that apes the dominant culture of the colonizer that is the hallmark of the lumpen elite. It is too bad that Erap a perfect example of the lumpen elite like GMA failed and failed miserably to unite and push the Indio position forward.

    Hence you have a Filipino economy growing without the participation of the broad Indio masses and they in turn have been the savior of the primitive and backward elite by earning the hard currency to keep the backward elite in power.

    The reason is obvious – Indios have no shared historical experience with the Anglo Saxon communities or any European community.

    The Muslims in Mindanao are prime examples of an Indio community with a shared history trapped by the accidents in history.

  8. Jeg, ach. I said I’ve long dreamed of writing one. Hehe, hanggang dun na lang. The task is too daunting, and too large for one writer alone. It would entail collaborating with other writers, not to mention historians. Good historians. A season alone may just cover the pre-hispanic til the arrival of the spaniards period, depending on how the producers and directors would like to tell the story. if it were me, i’d magnify the Filipino’s greatness of spirit and integrity before colonizers came, and tell the audience how Filipino attitudes and beliefs turned murky and was debased in what it is today by colonial rule. the aim of the show should be to create a rallying point, to build up pride, and to show Filipinos that all the bad attributes we identify today as uniquely Filipino were never originally ours. and to point out that it is when Filipinos rise above themselves, that they are truly being the Filipino that we should always have been. Rizal’s time and the founding of the republic is esp telling of why our country today is the way it is. All the momentous turning points in our history were all marred by the nation’s welfare being hijacked by selfish interests. The ruling elites always able to insinuate themselves and reinvent themselves into power.
    Perhaps watching that repeatedly will knock some sense back into Pinoys. Or not. Ah well, it is good to dream.

    Cvj, Jewel in the Palace was a story told in one specific period, and did not cover entire periods. Also, it became popular bec it was foreign in origin. you know the bakya crowd apes anything imported, and looks down on aything remotely showing signs of Filipinism. perhaps, this is one of the “profound reasons” BrianB may be referring to.

    Rego, I believe that as well.

  9. Far be it from me to tell you how to write your telenovela, devils, but maybe you should take one character, albeit fictional, and write about that. The telenovelas popular here are more personal, instead of sweeping epics. Maybe you should write about some ordinary alipin in Lapu-lapu’s household and tell of the unfolding history from his point of view. Make sure that it is a personal story–how he sees what’s happening personally.

  10. Incomplete revolution….

    sayang pano makukumpleto ang class stuggle… parehong pareho ang setting ng noon sa ngayon,mge mga mga maka elite,me maka masa,me walang paki alam and many more.

    Take France and Russia as examples,both were able to elimate the aristocrats.now I now I understand where BrianB’s coming from,when he said that a common n Frenchman hates mata pobres.

    Russia became a mess afterwards,but now,they are trying to rise back.

    Tayo, we did try with our revolutions,but all due to accidental circumstances,like if the Cuban US war did not happen,will we have a so called treaty of Paris.

    Now with our setup of not only an archipelegic,but also regionalistic circumstances how would a revolution with one community succeed?

    tell me who rats out on Filipinos in the sates,Filipinos from another region,or sad to say even from the same region.

    Devils, I am not saying that we are stuck,this way. Maybe it is not all, being about class struggles and arm struggles. I thought you said that you are a humanist,where does class struggle fit in there,if i may ask?

  11. telenovelas.

    Many pople think the only networks here are GMA and ABS.

    Kahit hindi ito tunglol sa telenovelas….

    Sky Cable(although is ABS) through its knowkledge channel plays Noli Me Tanggere, Before another network I think RPN has an alab ng lahi mini-series.
    I think Joel Torre, has a segment once upon a time.

    Hindi lang natin napapansin,pero meron din kahit papano.


  12. Devils, ‘Jewel in the Palace’ was also a much followed koreanovela by the locals here in Singapore. My friends here are mostly IT professionals, and they can hardly be classified as bakya by Singapore standards (or maybe Singapore is more egalitarian so there is less of such class divisions). From what i observe, the appeal of that series cuts across class boundaries. Just like their Filipino counterparts, i think my SG friends appreciate a good story when they see one.

  13. Yan lang sa pagtawag natin ng bakya at sa pagtingin natin ng kontra sa elite ay example na siguro ng class strugle.

    We question the nakakabobobg palabas and we also question the elite.

    the struggle is a different form and it is all in the mind.

    mabuti lumabas itong topic na ito, and may I relate it to the topic a few weeks back.

    There are more writers recognized now,they no longer just write for or amongst themselves. Siguro nabasa ang mga comments ni BrianB.

    Kung ang mga play instead na tingin natin na di bagay sa atin(all in th mind) why not more of art appreciation.

    Kung sa tingin natin na pangmayaman lang ang mga play o kung anuman. Then, we are looking down on ourselves,not the matapobres.

  14. Good post hvrds!

    There was a move to change the lyrics, being too war like, at some point during the presidency of Giscard d’Estaing, but didn’t fluorish.

    The French now mostly sing only the following (in French of course). Most school kids don’t even know the rest of the verses anymore. Matter of fact, they formally learn the lyrics of La Marsellaise only from age 11-12 in almost all state schools but master only the first stanza and the refrain.

    Let’s go children of the fatherland,
    The day of glory has arrived!
    Against us tyranny’s
    Bloody flag is raised! (repeat)
    In the countryside, do you hear
    The roaring of these fierce soldiers?
    They come right to our arms
    To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!


    Grab your weapons, citizens!
    Form your batallions!
    Let us march! Let us march!
    May impure blood
    Water our fields!

    In French:

    Allons enfants de la Patrie !

    Le jour de gloire est arrivé !

    Contre nous de la tyrannie,

    L’étendard sanglant est levé ! (Bis)

    Entendez-vous dans les campagnes

    Mugir ces féroces soldats ?

    Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras

    Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes.

    Aux armes, citoyens !

    Formez vos bataillons !

    Marchons, marchons !

    Qu’un sang impur…

    Abreuve nos sillons !

  15. A note: school kids/students who are not French citizens are NOT required to learn the French national hymn; besides, even kids who are French citizens are NOT really compelled to learn La Marseillaise by their teachers, in other words, not a mandatory school requirement in France. (Parents are the ones who push their kids to learn the national hymn.)

  16. i like this Sarkozy guy… in the name of France he’s giving Brussels a headache. hee hee hee!

    Vive le Nationalisme!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.