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Adios Patria adorada region del sol querida Perla del Mar de Oriente nuestro perdido eden A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida Y fuera mas brillante mas fresca mas florida Tambien por ti la diera la diera por tu bien One hundred years ago on the eve of December 30 1896 Jose Rizal wrote his Ultimo Adios replete with pathos and patriotic devotion a masterpiece of 19th century Spanish verse At early dawn the following day he faced a military firing squad and died a martyr to the Filipino quest for justice during the Spanish regime Dr Jose Protacio Rizal was born in Calamba Laguna to a prosperous landowner and sugar planter of Filipino-Chinese descent on June 19 1861 His intellectual and moral development was powerfully influenced by his mother Teodora Alonso and the teachings of the Catholic Church At an early age he demonstrated a prolific talent for poetry writing his first poem at age eight In 1877 at age 16 he graduated with highest honors from the Ateneo de Manila In 1882 he went to Spain to pursue medical studies which he had started at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila At age 24 he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Letters and Doctor of Medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid He traveled extensively in Europe attending classes at the universities of Paris Heidelberg Leipzig Berlin Vienna continuing his studies in various fields including ethnology and anthropology Besides Tagalog Malayan and Spanish his linguistic proficiency encompassed seven European languages plus Greek Chinese Japanese Sanskrit Hebrew and Arabic A versatile genius he achieved recognition as a novelist linguist anthropologist biologist zoologist sculptor painter jounalist and illustrator To secure political and social reforms and to educate his countrymen he published several nationalistic and revolutionary works in Europe
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