A La Juventud Filipina

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A La Juventud Filipina was the poem Jose Rizal wrote when he was in the University of Santo Tomas. He submitted the poem for a poetry contest organized by the Liceo Artistico Literario de Manila (Manila Lyceum of Art and Literature for Filipinos). He was only 18 years old then (1879) but he won first prize (a silver feather-shaped pen decorated with a gold ribbon). Rizal dedicated the poem to the Filipino youth. This was where the word Filipino was first used to describe the natives of the Philippines, not the Spaniards born in the islands.

Contents

Summary

At the beginning of the poem, Rizal urges the youth to develop their talents in various arts and sciences for the betterment of the Filipinos. "Unfold, oh timid flower!," The poem challenges the Filipino youth to be motivated by a noble purpose: to free the people from ignorance as well as to seek freedom and human dignity. He also described the youth as hope of the Motherland who holds the power to free those sorely grieved, by a charm'd word. He also compared the Filipino youth to the voice of Philomel that can erase away tears and grief. Freeing of spirit can be attained by the study of various arts and sciences and knowledge can bring fame and glory to the beloved country.

A La Juventud Filipina

Jose P. Rizal


Alza su tersa frente,
Juventud Filipina, en este día!
Luce resplandeciente
Tu rica gallardía,
Bella esperanza de la Patria Mía! Vuela, genio grandioso,
Y les infunde noble pensamiento,
Que lance vigoroso,
Más rápido que el viento,
Su mente virgen al glorioso asiento. Baja con la luz grata
De las artes y ciencias a la arena,
Juventud, y desata
La pesada cadena
Que tu genio poético encadena. Ve que en la ardiente zona
Do moraron las sombras, el hispano
Esplendente corona,
Con pía sabia mano,
Ofrece al hijo de este suelo indiano. Tú, que buscando subes,
En alas de tu rica fantasia,
Del Olimpo en las nubes
Tiernisima poesia
Mas sabrosa que nectar y ambrosia. Tú, de celeste acento,
Melodioso rival Filomena,
Que en variado concierto
En la noche serena
Disipas del mortal la amarga pena. Tú que la pena dura
Animas al impulso de tu mente ,
Y la memoria pura
Del genio refulgente
Eternizas con genio prepotente. Y tú, que el vario encanto
De Febo, amado del divino Apeles,
Y de natura el manto
Con mágicos pinceles
Trasladar al sencillo lienzo sueles. Corred! que sacra llama
Del genio el lauro coronar espera,
Esparciendo la Fama
Con trompa pregonera
El nombre del mortal por la ancha espera. Día, día felice,
Filipinas gentil, para tu suelo!
Al Potente bendice
Que con amante anhelo
La ventura te envía y el consuelo


Translations

To the Filipino Youth

English translation


Hold high the brow serene,
O youth, where now you stand;
Let the bright sheen
Of your grace be seen,
Fair hope of my fatherland! Come now, thou genius grand,
And bring down inspiration;
With thy mighty hand,
Swifter than the wind's violation,
Raise the eager mind to higher station. Come down with pleasing light
Of art and science to the fight,
O youth, and there untie
The chains that heavy lie,
Your spirit free to blight. See how in flaming zone
Amid the shadows thrown,
The Spaniard's holy hand
A crown's resplendent band
Proffers to this Indian land. Thou, who now wouldst rise
On wings of rich empires,
Seeking from Olympian skies
Songs of sweetest strain,
Softer than ambrosial rain; Thou, whose voice divine
Rivals Philomel's refrain
And with varied line
Through the night benign
Frees mortality from pain; Thou, who by sharp strife
Wakest thy mind to life ;
And the memory bright
Of thy genius' light
Makest immortal in its strength ; And thou, in accents clear
Of Phoebus, to Apelles dear ;
Or by the brush's magic art
Takest from nature's store a part,
To fig it on the simple canvas' length ; Go forth, and then the sacred fire
Of thy genius to the laurel may aspire ;
To spread around the fame,
And in victory acclaim,
Through wider spheres the human name. Day, O happy day,
Fair Filipinas, for thy land!
So bless the Power to-day
That places in thy way
This favor and this fortune grand !

Sa Kabataang Pilipino

Filipino translation


Itaas ang iyong noong aliwalas
ngayon, Kabataan ng aking pangarap!
ang aking talino na tanging liwanag
ay pagitawin mo, Pag-asa ng Bukas!
Ikaw ay lumitaw, O Katalinuhan
magitang na diwang puno sa isipan
mga puso nami'y sa iyo'y naghihintay
at dalhin mo roon sa kaitaasan.
Bumaba kang taglay ang kagiliw-giliw
na mga silahis ng agham at sining
mga Kabataan, hayo na't lagutin
ang gapos ng iyong diwa at damdamin.
Masdan ang putong na lubhang makinang
sa gitna ng dilim ay matitigan
maalam na kamay, may dakilang alay
sa nagdurusa mong bayang minamahal.
Ikaw na may bagwis ng pakpak na nais
kagyat na lumipad sa tuktok ng langit
paghanapin mo ang malambing na tinig
doon sa Olimpo'y pawang nagsisikap.
Ikaw na ang himig ay lalong mairog
Tulad ni Pilomel na sa luha'y gamot
at mabisang lunas sa dusa't himuntok
ng puso at diwang sakbibi ng lungkot
Ikaw, na ang diwa'y makapangyarihan
matigas na bato'y mabibigyang-buhay
mapagbabago mo alaalang taglay
sa iyo'y nagiging walang kamatayan.
Ikaw, na may diwang inibig ni Apeles
sa wika inamo ni Pebong kay rikit
sa isang kaputol na lonang maliit
ginuhit ang ganda at kulay ng langit.
Humayo ka ngayon, papagningasin mo
ang alab ng iyong isip at talino
maganda mong ngala'y ikalat sa mundo
at ipagsigawan ang dangal ng tao.
Araw na dakila ng ligaya't galak
magsaya ka ngayon, mutyang Pilipinas
purihin ang bayang sa iyo'y lumingap
at siyang nag-akay sa mabuting palad.


References

  • Craig, Austin. Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal: Philippine Patriot. [1] , retrieved March 11, 2011.
  • Morris, John D. “José Rizal and the Challenge Of Philippines Independence.” [2] , retrieved March 11, 2011.
  • Yoder, Dr. Robert L. The Life and of Dr. José Rizal [3] , retrieved, June 13, 2011
  • Zaide, Gregorio F.  and Zaide, Sonia M. Jose Rizal: Buhay, mga ginawa at mga sinulat ng isang henyo, maunulat,syentipiko, at pambansang bayani, retrieved June 13, 2011


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