A tribute to Jose Rizal and Leonor Rivera
Sinulat ni Gin Quesada (FB and Pen Name: Alphen Einsking)
SA KAARAWAN NI LOLO PEPE, JUNE 19.
Bilang pagtanaw sa kadakilaan ng ating Pambansang Bayani (Jose Rizal), iniaalay ko, bilang regalo sa kanya sa araw ng kapanganakan nya ngayon June 19, ang aking abang tula na naglalahad ng kadakilaan ng pagmamahalan nila ni Leonor Rivera, kababata nyang kasintahan. Lolo Pepe, saan ka na ngayon? kelangan na naman naming muli ang ang ipinaglaban mong pagkakaisa, ngayon laban sa COVD 19. Sana suma puso ng sambayanang Pinoy ang pagkakaisang sinisimbolo mo. Maunawaan ang magbayanihan to heal as one. Happy birthday, Lolo Pepe.
“SA ARAW NG KASAL NI LEONOR RIVERA KAY CHARLES KIPPING
“Aking Ina, kayo naman pala ang may gusto sa kanya
Kaya sa araw ng kasal ko kasama kayong ihaharap niya.
Mga sulat namin itinago nyo para kami magkahiwalay
Pagpirapirasuhin, itahi sa palibot ng damit kong pangkasal.”
“O Ina, bakit nyo ginawa sa akin ang ganitong kalupitan?
Ipinagpalit nyo ang ang kanyang dakilang pagmamahal
Sa isang malupit, mang-aagaw at hangal na kayamanan.”
Mula sa kasal, ang buhay Leonor ay nawalan na ng saysay.
Di na sya tumugtog sa piyano, di na kumanta, kundisyon yan
Ng pagpapakasal nya kay Engirneer Charles Kipping ng sapilitan
Sa pagsilang ng pangalawang anak doon na sya namatay.
At hiniling na isama sa kanyang libing abo ng mga liham ni Rizal.
A BRIEF BACKGROUND TO THE POEM.
Leonor Rivera and Charles Henry Kipping were wed on June 17,1890 at the Dagupan cathedral. Kipping was a British engineer who was instrumental in the building of the Manila-Dagupan railroad (Ferrocarril de Manila y Dagupan), the precursor to the Philippine National Railrays.The project was supervised by Engineer Crisostomo Villamil. For a certain period the Riveras resided in Dagupan for having a business there. A certain Rivera St in Dagupan was named after the family. After the wedding the Kippings built their house in Camiling Tarlac which still stands there to this day. Leonor died after giving birth to a second child. Every Rizal Day, the Kipping descendants are reserved VIP seats in the celebration venue. Leonor Rivera was a good pianist and singer. She used the piano of her cousin to play. After the days of their generation, the piano was donated to a Bulacan museum. However recently the piano was transferred to the Dagupan museum. The Bulacan government found the piano historically appropriate to stay in the Dagupan museum.
When Leonor’s letters stopped reaching Rizal while he was in Spain, and later on received news that she was going to be wed with Kipping, he started courting several ladies in Spain. One sweetheart became almost his bride. He ended with Josephine Bracken when he was imprisoned in Dapitan.
Leonor’s mother plotted with Kipping the separation of Leonor and Rizal by intercepting letters coming from Rizal. She did it with the help of a mail carrier. The same mail carrier, who was paid by Leonor’s mother, took Leonor’s letters instead of sending them. On the eve of Leonor and Kipping wedding, the mother showed a box containing the correspondence. She was so exasperated and cried profusely. Instead of refusing to come to the wedding, and to save her mother from embarrassment, she set to her 3 conditions for attending the wedding: 1-The unburned portions of the letters be sewed on her bridal gown; 2-she will no longer sing and play the piano; 3- Her mother join her on altar during the wedding ceremony, to signify that it was her mother who liked Kipping.
Rizal immortalized Leonor Rivera in the person of Maria Clara in his 2 famous patriotic novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
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