Four Days After New Year’s (2013)

Self has decided to post an excerpt from Don Alfredo & Jose Rizal, published in Sou’wester, 2007.

Much thanks to Valerie Vogrin for publishing the story. It’s still one of self’s favorites, one of those stories that come in a rush, one of those stories that need to stay inside for a long time while you search for either the courage or the recklessness to set the words down:

When I started to do research for the story, there were things I discovered about my great-grandfather that bothered me.  For instance, I discovered that he had more than one wife, the youngest a girl of 14.  And he was uncommonly cruel.  He tried his best to hide the fact that there was a strain of indio blood in his family, and he would beat his darker-colored servants mercilessly.  He died mysteriously, perhaps a victim of poisoning.

You see, my cousin said, we are related to the National Hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal.  The one who was shot by a firing squad, at Luneta Park, in 1896.

As Jose Rizal stood before the Spanish firing squad, accused of being a renegade and an underground solidarity worker, George Dewey was entering Manila Bay.

Like what you’ve just read?  Go to Sou’wester!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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