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"TO THE FILIPINO YOUTH" by Dr. Jose Rizal

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Julie Anne Valdez

on 24 February 2014

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Transcript of "TO THE FILIPINO YOUTH" by Dr. Jose Rizal

"TO THE FILIPINO YOUTH" by Dr. Jose Rizal
DR. JOSE RIZAL
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, was a Filipino nationalist, novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, journalist, and revolutionary. He is widely considered the greatest national hero of the Philippines. He was the author of Noli Me Tángere, El Filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays. He was executed on December 30, 1896 by a squad of Filipino soldiers of the Spanish Army.
Jose Rizal was born to a wealthy family in Calamba, Laguna and was the seventh of 11 children. He was born on June 19, 1861 to Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado y Alejandro (1818–1897) and Teodora Morales Alonso y Quintos (1827-1911); whose family later changed their surname to Realonda
José Rizal's life is one of the most documented of 19th century Filipinos due to the vast and extensive records written by and about him. Almost everything in his short life is recorded somewhere, being himself a regular diarist and prolific letter writer, much of the material having survived. His biographers, however, have faced difficulty in translating his writings because of Rizal's habit of switching from one language to another.
Jose Rizal wrote mostly in Spanish, the then lingua franca of scholars, though some of his letters (for example Sa Mga Kababaihang Taga Malolos) were written in Tagalog. His works have since been translated into a number of languages including Tagalog and English.
One of his poems was entitled "THE FILIPINO YOUTH"
(A poem written by Dr. Jose Rizal. Translated from original Spanish by Alfredo S. Veloso)
To the Filipino Youth


Unfold, oh timid flower!

Lift up your radiant brow,
This day, Youth of my native strand!
Your abounding talents show
Resplendently and grand,
Fair hope of my Motherland!

Soar high, oh genius great,
And with noble thoughts fill their mind;
The honor's glorious seat,
May their virgin mind fly and find
More rapidly than the wind.
Descend with the pleasing light
Of the arts and sciences to the plain,
Oh Youth, and break forthright
The links of the heavy chain
That your poetic genius enchain.

And you, who with magic brushes
Are wont to transfer to simple canvas
The varied enchantment of Phoebus, beloved of
Apollo divine,
And the mantle of nature.
Run! For the sacred flame
Of the genius awaits to be crowned with laurels,
Spreading fame
With trumpet proclaiming
O’er the wide sphere the mortal’s name.
Day, oh happy day,
Philippines genteel, for your soil!
Bless the Almighty,
Who with loving desire
Sends you fortune and consolation.
See that in the ardent zone,
The Spaniard, where shadows stand,
Doth offer a shining crown,
With wise and merciful hand
To the son of this Indian land.
You, who heavenward rise
On wings of your rich fantasy,
Seek in the Olympian skies
The tenderest poesy,
More sweet than divine honey;

You of heavenly harmony,
On a calm unperturbed night,
Philomel's match in melody,
That in varied symphony
Dissipate man's sorrow's blight;

You at th' impulse of your mind
The hard rock animate
And your mind with great pow'r consigned
Transformed into immortal state
The pure mem'ry of genius great;

And you, who with magic brush
On canvas plain capture
The varied charm of Phoebus,
Loved by the divine Apelles,
And the mantle of Nature;

Run ! For genius' sacred flame
Awaits the artist's crowning
Spreading far and wide the fame
Throughout the sphere proclaiming
With trumpet the mortal's name
Oh, joyful, joyful day,
The Almighty blessed be
Who, with loving eagerness
Sends you luck and happiness.

Created and Reported by:
JULIE ANNE J. VALDEZ
2IT01
The first line, "unfold, oh timid flower," implies that the youth is silent, maybe daunted, and consequently has not yet gone into full bloom for whatever reason there is that may have silenced them. In the beginning stanza, Rizal encourages the youth, by telling them to hold their heads high for they possess talents and skills and abilities that would make their country proud.
The second verse can be rearranged in contemporary English to say: "Oh genius great, soar high; and fill their mind with noble thoughts. May their virgin mind fly and find the honor's glorious seat more rapidly than the wind." Here, Rizal calls to genious to fill young minds with noble thoughts and hopes that as they release their thinking from the chains that bind, they may be able to soar swiftly high where the joy of honor is.
Contrary to the second verse, which talked about ascending and soaring to the heights, this third stanza now talks about descent, and a downward motion of the great genius to fill the earthly strokes of art and science with their magnificent ideas. Again, Rizal calls them to break the chains that bind their intellect. "Poetic genius" here does not necessarily pertain to the talent of writing poetry. Instead, the term "poetic" is simply an adjective to describe genius, meaning that it is deep and mystifying and heavy with meaning.

Rizal challenges the youth, that in their pursuit of knowledge and wisdom they may humble the hand of Spain, whose proud chin did not look kindly upon the people whom they labelled as "Indios" and whom they treated with contempt. He dreams that in their journey to intellectual greatness they may humble even the proudest nations that look down on them and rightfully deserve "a crown that shines, even where shadows stand."

Rizal challenges the youth, that in their pursuit of knowledge and wisdom they may humble the hand of Spain, whose proud chin did not look kindly upon the people whom they labelled as "Indios" and whom they treated with contempt. He dreams that in their journey to intellectual greatness they may humble even the proudest nations that look down on them and rightfully deserve "a crown that shines, even where shadows stand."

In the two stanzas, Rizal calls the youth to seek the beauty of poetry and music, which he himself values greatly as essentials in every manner of life. He claims that poetry is "more sweet than divine honey," and that music can "dissipate man's sorrow's blight."

Speaking to the youth, Rizal says that by the very impulse of their mind, they are capable of bringing to life or animating even someting as lifeless and unmoving as a hard rock. He continues to say that the youth is able, to immortalize their thoughts and their words through the help of great genius (as he has done himself. This stanza can be arranged in a more contemporary English structure as follows: "You can animate the hard rock at the impulse of your mind; and transform, with the great power of your mind, the pure memory of great genius into immortality."
Rizal here addresses the youth, comparing their abilities to a magic brush that can capture even the most majestic views and the most glorious charms on a blank canvas.
The last stanza is a charge, urging the youth to run, for a glorious crown awaits them. The "sphere" here pertains to the world, showing that Rizal believed the Filipino youth is as brilliant as those in any other nation, and is able to contend with even the strongest powers if they only set their mind to making most of what they already have.
DFSFSDFS
Here's the meaning of the poem:
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