Do you know that Jose Rizal once defended the Igorot dignity in 1887? He was outraged upon hearing the news of the inhumane treatment of some Igorots that were brought in to Spain for the Madrid Exposition.

The Madrid Exposition was supposed to be an event organized to showcase the various cultures of the Spanish colonies, but Rizal became critical of the event and expressed his disbelief that a people who called themselves "civilized" would subject their fellowmen to such humiliation, referring to how the Spaniards displayed about forty or more Igorots like animals in the zoo, just to satisfy the Spanish public's curiosity.

Today marks the 126th anniversary of Jose Rizal's martyrdom,, so I'm sharing this poem I've written as a tribute to the hero.


His pen brought out the truth,
they shot him through the heart.
The heartbeat came to stop,
the ghost did not depart.
Still haunting the ground,
where tyrants may abound.

With made up crime they tried,
to bury him in shame;
But history absolved,
his honor and his name.
The world shall not forget,
the day his blood was shed.

The last farewell he penned,
when Eden turned to hell,
A century has passed,
still remembered well;
His last verses of love,
still are sung by doves.

The legacy he left,
redemption of the blind;
The morals of the past,
should not be left behind;
Though tyrants may abound,
the dawn will come around;
A dream cannot be killed,
by putting a man down.

--Bag-iw 30DEC2022