Tuesday, June 25

Voice of the Past

photo by JOSE JAIME RAPHAEL TAGANAS/ THE FLAME

HE sweeps his eyes over the vast expanse of the park before him. Lofty trees enclose its edges; lush green grass near the monument complements the bright blue sky. The wideness of the park’s space draws the pigeons in, much to the excitement of little kids and adults alike.

He takes note of truant high schoolers like him sauntering around and families huddling together for a casual picnic. There were photographers scattered everywhere who made it their living to capture pictures of countless tourists in hopes of making ends meet for the day.

Strangely enough, he was aware that he was standing at a place that bears witness to the history that unfolds within its corners every day. He felt like he was seeing the souls that once were.

He had been standing before a massive monument. He looked up only to be greeted by the bright sun rays peeking through the clouds; he squints against them to make out the figure standing atop it. Suddenly, the voice of his history teacher rang in his ears: “Do you know what Jose Rizal’s last words were?”

He tried digging into the depths of his brain, tickling every memory to remember the words that followed.

“It is finished.”  A voice replies as a gush of wind wafts past him.

Maybe it is.

Whether what is finished is the life that was stolen from the national hero or the life of his dying country— he was not quite sure. F MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE

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