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.

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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