Sa Aking mga Kabata

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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.

External Links

  • The Life and Writings of Dr. José Rizal. Rizal's Poetry. (Accessed on June 5, 2011)



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