Sa Aking mga Kabata
Even as a young boy, Jose Rizal exhibited a remarkable feat in literature. His mother, Teodora Alonso encouraged Rizal to keep writing poems to nurture his gift. Sa Aking Mga Kabata was the poem written by Rizal when he was 8 years old.
The poem is a sentiment of loving and taking pride of the Filipino native tongue. He indicated in the poem that Tagalog is equivalent to other languages such as English, Spanish, Latin, and others. He said in the poem that a person who wholeheartedly loves the native language will surely endeavor liberty, just like a bird that soars to freer space above. It was also in this poem where he said the famous quote, “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda”. This poem was his early nationalistic endeavor to encourage Filipinos to adopt Tagalog as their language and to not be ashamed of it.
Sa Aking Mga Kabata
ni Jose P. Rizal
- Kapagka ang baya'y sadyang umiibig
- Sa kanyang salitang kaloob ng langit,
- Sanglang kalayaan nasa ring masapit
- Katulad ng ibong nasa himpapawid.
- Pagka't ang salita'y isang kahatulan
- Sa bayan, sa nayo't mga kaharian,
- At ang isang tao'y katulad, kabagay
- Ng alin mang likha noong kalayaan.
- Ang hindi magmahal sa kanyang salita
- Mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda,
- Kaya ang marapat pagyamaning kusa
- Na tulad sa inang tunay na nagpala.
- Ang wikang Tagalog tulad din sa Latin
- Sa Ingles, Kastila at salitang anghel,
- Sapagka't ang Poong maalam tumingin
- Ang siyang naggawad, nagbigay sa atin.
- Ang salita nati'y huwad din sa iba
- Na may alfabeto at sariling letra,
- Na kaya nawala'y dinatnan ng sigwa
- Ang lunday sa lawa noong dakong una.
To My Fellow Children (English translation)
translated by Frank C. Laubach
- Whenever people of a country truly love
- The language which by heav'n they were taught to use
- That country also surely liberty pursue
- As does the bird which soars to freer space above.
- For language is the final judge and referee
- Upon the people in the land where it holds sway;
- In truth our human race resembles in this way
- The other living beings born in liberty.
- Whoever knows not how to love his native tongue
- Is worse than any best or evil smelling fish.
- To make our language richer ought to be our wish
- The same as any mother loves to feed her young.
- Tagalog and the Latin language are the same
- And English and Castilian and the angels' tongue;
- And God, whose watchful care o'er all is flung,
- Has given us His blessing in the speech we calm,
- Our mother tongue, like all the highest that we know
- Had alphabet and letters of its very own;
- But these were lost -- by furious waves were overthrown
- Like bancas in the stormy sea, long years ago.
- Zaide, Gregorio F. and Zaide, Sonia M. Jose Rizal: Life, Works and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist and National Hero. Quezon City: All-Nations Publishing Co., Inc., 1999.
- Lopez, J. A. Rizal Life, Works, and Writings of the Greatest Malayan: A Factual and Critical Approach with Medical Notes of Rizal. Quezon City: Hisgophil Publishing House, Inc., 2010.
- The Life and Writings of Dr. José Rizal. Rizal's Poetry. (Accessed on June 5, 2011)