Mi Ultimo Adiós

by Dr. José Rizal

The Mi último adiós is a poem written by Philippine national hero José Rizal on the eve of his execution on December 30, 1896.  Another that he had written before his death was found in his shoe but because the text could not be read it remains a mystery.  His friend and fellow reformist, Mariano Ponce, gave it the title of MI ÚLTIMO ADIÓS, as it originally had none. On the afternoon of Dec. 29, 1896, a day before his execution, Dr. José Rizal was visited by his mother, Teodora Alonzo, sisters Lucia, Josefa, Trinidad, Maria and Narcisa, and two nephews.  When they took their leave, Rizal told Trinidad in English that there was something in the small alcohol stove (cocinilla), not alcohol lamp (lamparilla). The stove was given to Narcisa by the guard when the party was about to board their carriage in the courtyard.  At home, the Rizal ladies recovered from the stove a folded paper. On it was written an unsigned, untitled and undated poem of 14 five-line stanzas.  The Rizal's reproduced copies of the poem and sent them to Rizal's friends in the country and abroad. In 1897, Mariano Ponce in Hong Kong had the poem printed with the title Mi Ultimo Pensamiento.  Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who received a copy of the poem while a prisoner in Bilibid (jail), published it in the first issue of La Independencia on Sept. 25, 1898 with the title Último Adiós.  The lamp was not delivered until after the execution. Rizal needed it to light the room and to be able to write the poem and his other parting words.