December 1896
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Month December 1896

December 30, 1896

I attended the execution this morning. A great multitude invaded the field of Bagumbayan where the execution was to take place.

I was anxious to know the hero. I wanted to see his face, the face that had challenged the tyrants; his head that had borne such a grand idea-the creation of a nation; in short I wanted to see the figure of that illustrious patriot who was willing to shed his blood for his country.

I saw him two times, I imagine that he would be serene, tranquil as he marched to the scene of his glory and immortality and I can say I was not deceived. His face was pale and serene and bright like the sky above; he laughed at times as he joked with two Jesuit priests and the officer near him.

His lips shaded by thin mustache smiled at the world, as if he wanted to bid goodbye to all. His eyes were small, but mobile and vivacious and seemed to play within their sockets. He walked with noble bearing, his body was upright, erect yet without affectation. To me that represented his whole character –inflexible, daring– I could understand why he did not bend either to tyranny or to death…

He hurried as he neared the place of the great sacrifice .One may say he ran after the glory that began to clear at the border of his sepulcher and which might be lost by his tardiness.

From that time on, he disappeared in my sight.The people crowded around the scene and in spite of my efforts, I failed to see the moment of his death. A shot rang out and something like an immense sigh arose from the multitude, indicating that all was over…

Shouts of “Long Live Spain! Death to the Traitors!” could be heard three or four times. People began to disperse and to leave the place, contented and happy at satisfying their curiosity. I even saw some Filipinos laughing.