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Monday, March 19, 2012

Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail: El Canto del Viajero (Song of the Traveler)!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I am fascinated with songs carved in stones like famous singer/composer John Denver's Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado (USA) where the lyrics of his hit songs are etched on huge granite boulders from the Rocky Mountains. I was thrilled to find a similar concept while doing the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail last March 6, 2012 with my brothers.  I must admit that I  didn't have the vaguest idea that our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal has written a poem titled El Canto Del Viajero (or Song of the Traveler) whose lyrics are etched on the ground  inside the Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

El Canto Del Viajero or The Song of The Traveler (in English) and Awit ng Manlalakbay (in Tagalog) is the heart-warming poem written by Dr. Jose Rizal at the joyous thought of being able to travel again, after being in exile for four (4) years and thirteen (13) days in Dapitan! 

Deducing from Dr. Rizal's Diary of his stay in Dapitan and travel to Cuba, the original Spanish version of Awit ng Manlalakbay may have been written sometime between Dr. Rizal's receipt of the Gov. General Ramon Blanco's letter on 30 July 1896, and Dr. Rizal's actual departure from Dapitan at midnight the following day, 31 July 1896. The joyous news of being accepted as a physician in Cuba took almost seven months wait (from 18 December 1895)  so Dr. Rizal described it as having a "sweet - sour" effect:  It was like a desired dish which was offered after the dessert".

Feel the emotions, the deep sentiments of our national hero through the El Canto del Viajero's lyrics  captured in my photographs,its English version of "Song of the Traveler" as captions and the Tagalog version "Awit ng Manlalakbay" provided as well.

Like to a leaf that is fallen and withered, 
Tossed by the tempest from the pole unto pole; 
Thus roams without love, without country or soul. 
Roams without love, without country or soul. 

Kagaya ng dahong nalanta, nalagas,
Sinisiklut-siklot ng hanging marahas;
Abang manlalakbay ay wala nang liyag,
Layuin, kalulwa't bayang matatawag. 
Following anxiously treacherous fortune; 
Fortune which e’en as he grasps at it seeking, 
Vain though the hopes that his yearning is seeking 
Yet does the pilgrim embark on the seas?  

Hinahabul-habol yaong kapalarang
Mailap at hindi masunggab-sunggaban;
Magandang pag-asa'y kung nanlalabo man,
Siya'y patuloy ring patungo kung saan! 
Ever impelled by the way the invisible power, 
Destined to roam from the East to the West; 
Oft he remembers the faces to loved ones. 
Dreams of the day when he, too, was at rest.

Sa udyok ng hindi nakikitang lakas,
Silanga't Kanlura'y kanyang nililipad,
Mga minamahal ay napapangarap,
Gayon din ang araw ng pamamanatag. 

Chance may assign him tomb on the desert, 
Grant him a final asylum of peace; 
Soon by the world and his country forgotten, 

God rest his soul when his wandering ceases!  

Sa pusod ng isang disyertong mapanglaw,
Siya'y maaaring doon na mamatay,
Limot ng daigdig at sariling bayan,

Kamtan nawa niya ang kapayapaan!  
Often the sorrowing pilgrim is envied, 
Circling the globe like a sea-gull above; 
Little, ah, little they know 
what a void 

Saddens his soul by the absence of love.  

Dami ng sa kanya ay nangaiinggit,
Ibong naglalakaby sa buong daigdig,
Hindi nila tanto ang laki ng hapis
Na sa kanyang puso ay lumiligalig. 
Home may the pilgrim return in the future, 
Back to his loved ones his footsteps he bends; 
Naughts will he find out snow and the ruins? 

Ashes of love and the tomb of his friends.  

Kung sa mga tanging minahal sa buhay
Siya'y magbalik pa pagdating ng araw,
Makikita niya'y mga guho lamang
At puntod ng kanyang mga kaibigan. 

Pilgrim, before! Nor return more hereafter, 
Stranger thou art in the land of thy birth; 
Others may sing of their love while rejoicing, 

Thou once again must roam o’er the earth. 

Abang manlalakbay! Huwag nang magbalik,
Sa sariling baya'y wala kang katalik;
Bayaang ang puso ng iba'y umawit,
Lumaboy kang muli sa buong daigdig. 

Pilgrim, be gone! Nor return more hereafter, 
Dry are the tears that a while for thee ran; 
Pilgrim, before! And forget thine affliction, 

Loud laughs the world at the sorrows of man. 

Abang manlalakbay! Bakit babalik pa?
Ang luhang inyukol sa iyo'y tuyo na;
Abang manlalakbay! Limutin ang dusa,
Sa hapis ng tao, mundo'y nagtatawa. 

As a traveler, which stanza you can "own" as yours or can relate the most? Please share in comments.


Edmaration etc said...

Astig naman ni Attty oh... talagang you followed the marks of the national hero. I love it!

KC Canlas | Spread Some Awesome said...

I haven't seen anything like that yet in my whole life. Usually, the ones I see carved on stone or any surface are names of unsung heroes or historic images of the past. That is an interesting place to visit but it's quite far from Manila. But I plan to visit Zamboanga someday. A friend will be touring me around. :)

Ma. Novie Godmalin said...

Dumugo ang ilong ko ng konti 'te after I read the texts in your photos. I always envy and adore you on your trips.this one is talagang sariling atin, I am hoping one day I will visit this palce and other places that Dr Jose P Rizal visited and stayed. Tnx for the share! :)

AJ said...

That makes the two of us, Atty! Haven't heard of such a poem from Rizal. Or perhaps I had forgotten. It's so poignant pa naman for us who also travel. But I felt an ominous sense in the verses. It's like he knew the end of the road was nigh.

nanardxz said...

Galing naman.. kakaiba po! :)

Travellers Confessions said...

Wow thank for additional knowledge. :)

gagay said...

after those international travels/posts na nabasa ko, andito na tayo kena Rizal..ahihihi!!!

thanks Atty for sharing these...

Mhe-anne Ojeda said...

i learned and learning a lot since i started the Lakbay JOse Rizal @150 trail @Edmar! it is so interesting to follow the steps of our national hero! @KC, hope you can visit Zamboanga someday. it is a cool place to learn historic tidbits about Dr.Rizal.

Francis Balgos | Ang Pala-lagaw said...

Very interesting!
This era literature sure deserves a page in history, especially coming from Dr Rizal himself! :)

markpogi said...

Wow! you really took photos of the pathway with those verses. ^_^

Budget Biyahera said...

Wow! A piece of history right in Zamboanga! All the more cause to visit this province and experience the lovely work of Rizal firsthand. Thanks for sharing this. Will definitely put Zamboanga now on my travel destination list. =)

lalalaPatricia said...

I went here already! One of the best place I went :)

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