Sakiko Meets Jose Rizal

by Monina
(Quezon City, Philippines)

Rizal's footsteps

Rizal's footsteps

I met a young Japanese woman named Sakiko in an on-line travel group and corresponded with her for months before she decided to come to Manila for a visit. I was torn between taking her to the beach and just taking her on a walking tour in Manila. When I asked her about her preference, she told me she wanted to see my hometown and maybe do the walking tour.

I took her home where she met my family and sampled my province's specialties. When we got back from the province I took her for a jeepney ride on our way to a walking tour of Intramuros.

We entered Fort Santiago and made the circuit. She asked me a lot of questions about the place most especially the museum. She was astonished to find a metal plate with the Mi Ultimo Adios translated in Japanese. She asked me to take a picture of her while she was reading the poem. :) I told her about the fact that Rizal went to Japan for a bit and met a Japanese woman (I forgot her name but later I checked it on-line, it was O Sei San). We laughed a bit about that popular belief that Dr. Rizal was a ladies' man. We walked through the rooms of the museum to look at the displays of his works and writings. She was struck to find that Rizal was such a diminutive person for a man with such a powerful brain and courage.

Later as we followed the metal foot-shaped markers tracing Dr. Rizal's last march to Bagumbayan, she told me that it gave her the shivers to know that she's following the footsteps of a great hero.

I was proud to be able to share with her a part of my country's history and to see that she appreciated it.

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