The Old and the Past

Some Philippine Antiques and More

Early this morning, while cleaning some shelves in the cabinets, I found an old one peso coin, with an image of the carabao on one side and of Jose Rizal on the other. The carabao, I featured in one of the photos in my post, An Idyllic Place, while Jose Rizal is our national hero. Rizal’s writings centered on liberal and progressive ideas of individual rights and freedom. It was believed he wrote “Mi Ultimo Adios”, translated in English as My Last Farewell, days before his execution in 1896. The poem has fourteen (14) five (5) line stanzas. Below are the first four stanzas translated in English by Charles E. Derbyshire.

Last Farewell

Farewell, dear Fatherland, clime of the sun caress’d
Pearl of the Orient seas, our Eden lost!,
Gladly now I go to give thee this faded life’s best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blest
Still would I give it thee, nor count the cost.

On the field of battle, ‘mid the frenzy of fight,
Others have given their lives, without doubt or heed;
The place matters not-cypress or laurel or lily white,
Scaffold or open plain, combat or martyrdom’s plight,
‘Tis ever the same, to serve our home and country’s need.

I die just when I see the dawn break,
Through the gloom of night, to herald the day;
And if color is lacking my blood thou shalt take,
Pour’d out at need for thy dear sake
To dye with its crimson the waking ray.

My dreams, when life first opened to me,
My dreams, when the hopes of youth beat high,
Were to see thy lov’d face, O gem of the Orient sea
From gloom and grief, from care and sorrow free;
No blush on thy brow, no tear in thine eye.

While we studied this poem way back in high school and college days, I appreciated this much now. All the words were written beautifully, as they speak of patriotism and deep love for the country. Jose Rizal who knew he would die for the country the next day, has surrendered all of himself for the liberty of the nation, as reflected in his poem.

This poem was also translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Rosihan Anwar and was recited by Indonesian soldiers before going into battle during their struggle for independence.

Aside from the old peso coin, I found some charcoal irons that our fore fathers used before. It was said to be invented in the 15th century to press clothes to look smooth. These were made of metal cast iron with a single body and detachable/movable lid. Some kinds are circular in shape and open. All these were handed to my father-in-law, Edgardo Baroso, who has stored them well.

Other old items in the house that are still functional are the electric fans, burner, lamps and kitchen wares. Though we’re not using them, these are well- preserved because of emotional connections.

Jose Rizal who offered his life to the country, has ever since become our epitome for freedom. Since then, our government has evolved and embraced democracy, where everyone has a voice and human rights are upheld. I wish that we won’t forget Rizal’s heroism and our brave Filipinos who have brought our country to where it is now.   Our old objects which have transcended the test of time, remind us to always look back and learn from the lessons of the past.

Our past has shaped our current state. Certainly our future will depend on us and how we value our freedom and democracy. Speak now or be forever dead, others say. We have two ears to listen well, eyes to see what’s happening and a mouth to share our voice. Let’s use them well as if we’re leaving a legacy for our children and our next generations. Let our light shine, let our life and values we stand for transcend through time. Just like these antiques, they stood the time, never forgotten, always remembered.

My grateful appreciation to our father for these photos and additional information of his collection.

Published by Maria Cristina Gino Baroso

Education advocate and travel lover

10 thoughts on “The Old and the Past

  1. Fantastic post and wonderful items. We have in our house some family memorabilia. I have my great grandmother’s steamer trunk which my family used when they sailed from England to Australia in 1841, her bible – which has new name and date of birth recorded in it, dinner settings, and so on. When I was a kid, I even used to play with her ostrich hat feathers that were kept in the steamer truck. And thank you for following my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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