The Last Appeal of the Philippines

by Andres Bonifacio

(English version of “Katapusang Hibik Ng Pilipinas”)

Mother, in the east is now risen
the sun of the Filipinos' anger
that for three centuries we suppressed
in the sea of suffering and poverty. [1]

We, your children, had nothing to shore up
against the terrible storm of suffering,
the Philippines has but one heart,
and you are no longer our Mother.

Other mothers cannot compare with you:
your children's comfort are poverty and sorrows,
when they, in appealing to you, prostrate themselves,
your proferred balm is exceedingly painful.

The Filipinos are bound tightly, [2]
they but moan when kicked, boxed, and hit with the butt of of the gun,
they are tortured with electric wires, hung like an animal, [3]
is this, Mother, your love?

You order them imprisoned and thrown into the sea,
to be shot, poisoned to eradicate us,
to us Filipinos is this the decision
of a Mother affectionate to her vassals?

We suffered all this even unto death,
we are almost dead yet you don't stop your punishmen,
so that when you throw us into our graves,
our bones are broken, our flesh smashed.

[1] Sa dagat ng dusa ng karalitaan in the original, which is absurd. Dusa at karalitaan are the words most frequently used by poets in describing sufferings.

[2] In the original, the first word of the line is Gapuring, which has no meaning. The word must have been Bonifacio's error in spelling, and must have been Gapusin, which fits with the meaning of the second and third lines.

[3] We took the liberty at translating makinahi't (makinahin at) as tortured with electric wires. Some of the veterans of the Revolution and many old men and women testified that during that time to be tortured with live electric wires was described as makinahin.

Learn this Filipino word:

sukát ang bulsá

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