“To the Filipino Youth” (Literature Review)

By   |  August 26, 2009

Below is a poem written by Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the national hero of the Republic of the Philippines. My personal reaction about the poem then follows.


Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines

(A La Juventud Filipina)

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.

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.


Without a doubt, just like all the other poems conceived by our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the poem “To the Filipino Youth” is a masterpiece worth reading and comprehending for. While I was examining its every line, I was entirely amazed on the three aspects that composed it: the manner of writing, the message it tries to stress, and the sincerity of the poem. These aspects, I must say, were the principal strengths of the poem; and the reasons why my attention was heavily caught through it.

As to the manner of writing, if I were to base my judgments to the poem’s English translation, I can personally describe it as a “real poem”—that is, something that beautifully incorporated the essential elements of poetry. When I was trying to read it aloud, I felt like its rhythm sounded excellent and with drama. That thing made me feel more eager to continue reading it. The meter of the poem then followed a certain rule which I totally love for it showed the utmost effort of the author. Moreover, the figures of speech such as personification, alliteration and metaphor were somewhat perfectly laid down, making the poem more emotional, appealing, deep and colorful. On the other hand, the rhyming of the words also astonished me; the symbolisms then that were used such as the deities Phoebus and Apelles as symbols of their respective realms, were superb for it made the poem have a blending of Western and Eastern cultures.

As to the message the poem tries to convey, or in another way of saying, the theme of the poem, “To the Filipino Youth” does carry a very strong one; strong enough to persuade those who are to be persuaded—the Filipino youth themselves. As one of those individuals, I could really feel the nationalistic spirit within me glow brighter the moment I finished reading the poem. It was like telling me that I am one of the existing hopes of our dear country and that through my abilities, expertise and knowledge of things, I am capable of protecting its freedom against oppressive forces that may come through. Furthermore, it was like telling me that together with my fellow youths, I am responsible for preserving the Philippines as a nation not for the foreigners but for me and the rest of the Filipinos.

Finally yet most importantly, as to the sincerity of the poem, I can really consider “To the Filipino Youth” as indeed a work from the heart—no pretense, no plasticity and no sort of hidden motives. I can tell it so based on what I felt when I was reading the poem and the emotions that were expressed on each of the poem’s line. The fact that it came out during the Spanish era was also another thing that made me think that way. Conceiving a work that possesses an anti-Spain theme at that time would be a great threat to the life of the author. But despite that, Dr. Jose Rizal fearlessly created it, sticking to his nationalistic ideology no matter how dangerous the outcome would be to him. With that, I can say that he truly had the sincerity of delivering the message to the young Filipino people; and that this sincerity our national hero possessed can be vividly sensed in the poem even at a glance.

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40 Comments on ““To the Filipino Youth” (Literature Review)”  (RSS)

  1. This poem is the first time that Dr. Jose Rizal express his love for our country. He was convincing the Filipino youth to strive their dreams and finish their studies.

  2. As a youth, we must fight for what is intended to be good for the Philippines. We must not waste the hope of Rizal, be a youth. With this we must always think that we will be part of the growth of our chosen niche and we will always instill in our minds that we will be a contributor to the advancement of our country.

  3. we have to know dr. jose rizal more to appreciate his heroism. he was not perfect, but his idea such as assimilation of the philippines by spain was based on his reasoned belief that the philippines was not yet ready for an armed struggle. also pitting rizal against bonifacio is degrading to both. they both fought and died in the best way they knew for love of our country. the least we can do is to continue the struggle to make our country truly independent, prosperous and one we can be proud of. let us not abuse our freedom to comment by cursing or degrading anyone, much more our hero. do you know that malaysia honors rizal as the pride of the malay race? we should do no less.

  4. i would still choose rizal as our national hero. unlike andres bonifacio, rizal used his talent and knowledge.. at si bonifacio talo naman lahat sya sa laban nya. si jose rizal,pinakita nya sa atin na ang isang ordinaryong tao ay madaming magagawa.. sa ilang taon lamang nyang namuhay sa mundo pinakita nya sa iba kong ano ang kaya ng pilipino sa maikling panahon lamang

    • hindi natin dapat laitin ang ating mga bayani, May isang itinuturing na bayani na sa aking palagay ay isang traydor. Si Emilio Aguinaldo na siyang nag-utos na patayin ang magkapatid na Bonifacio at si Heneral Antonio Luna. Sana ay maalis ang kanyang pangalan sa mga pulong ng ating mga bayani.

  5. this speech is so special for you i guess…. this filpino youth is so hard to make of other filipinos…… for other readers there please read and analyze what JOSE RIZAL told in the poet/poem……. Thats why i comment here because im a true filipino and i love filipinos

  6. Wag naman po tayo sana ganito. Kahit anong mangyari okay ang topic na to ay para kay Rizal, oo, isang bayani, kahit pagawayan nyo pa po iyan wala rin mangyayari, kung tutuusin ay patay na rin yan e. Kaso sana po kaunting respeto naman po sa isat isa. Wag naman pong pabarag. God Bless.

  7. hello…
    can i ask what are the examples of figures of speech(like:personification, alliteration and metaphor) in this poem?

    • Rizal used Apostrophe and Allusion. Apostrophe in the sense that he is addressing someone (the youth) as if they are present, and allusion because he used a lot of indirect references like, the Olympiam sky, Philomel, Phoebus, and Apelles.

  8. those hu are telling that rizal is nobody….

    ang sabihin nyo tinatamad kayong mag-aral!!!!!!

    cge nga sbihin nyo..kung talagang matalino kayo hindi kayo dapat umaasta ng ganyan!!!!!!!!kuha nyo!!!!!??????


  10. as a children of GOD, we should be proud for having Rizal as a hero since because of him ,the door of freedom was opened. it is not a burden or shall we say another load in our study because the problem is not with the subject ,it is with us on how we handle that certain subject..GODBLESS MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS..!

  11. We should be responsible enough like what did Dr. Jose Rizal did,.this poem tries to persuade everyone,specially the Filipino youth to be more nationalistic in nature and show love to others.He is a many splendor genius and he really used it not only for the benefit and interest of himself,but also to all Filipinos. This is so awakening,and may we continue to be guided by Rizal. More Power to all Rizalista! *_*

  12. rizal is a herooo…to those who are saying his not a hero, SHUT UPPPPP!!!!!

  13. bka wula pa kau sa kalingkingan ni RIZAL.. hahaha

  14. basta for me, I LOVE RIZAL SUBJECT !! i agree to what captain said that we may not use it when we apply for a job, but the principles, encouragements, learnings etc… will be our guidance in our lives.. So don’t judge, ok??
    he deserves to be the national hero!!!

  15. I mean like mark as spam haha

  16. Can’t we spam this “lolguy” he’s fucking annoying

  17. “I am capable of protecting its freedom against oppressive forces that may come through”

    Actually, this poem does not mean to turn us against our oppressors. It is stating that the Spaniards are offering their hand to help the Filipinos to be better thus, we see Spain here positively. Rizal has always been an assimilationist :)

  18. fuck you to miemie

  19. gago si jose rizal!!!!!

  20. you know guys why won’t you just shut up! and learn Good manners,most specially you
    Amadeous Mozart!!!!!!!!!!!!fuck your face!

  21. Fuck you rizal napakapangit mo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • we have to know dr. jose rizal more to appreciate his heroism. he was not perfect, but his idea such as assimilation of the philippines by spain was based on his reasoned belief that the philippines was not yet ready for an armed struggle. also pitting rizal against bonifacio is degrading to both. they both fought and died in the best way they knew for love of our country. the least we can do is to continue the struggle to make our country truly independent, prosperous and one we can be proud of. let us not abuse our freedom to comment by cursing or degrading anyone, much more our hero. do you know that malaysia honors rizal as the pride of the malay race? we should do no less.

  22. Most often students feels that Rizal is an additional burden to their studies because it is a minor subject. The person had been studied was already dead. Students further said that what’s the use of Rizal course where in fact they could not use the name Rizal as one of their references when they apply for a job nor Rizal could back up them if they need help…Well of course! A dead person cannot do anything about the life of the living but the thoughts, ideals, dreams, principles or convictions that he left might be very influential to people’s life as a basis of getting strength in their day to day existence. And that’s where the relevance of Rizal subject came in.

  23. harlem was right..

    y shuld dey olwiez think dat Rizal was not a true hero?? or a true one…??

    instead we alwiez think of it at ipagpilitan an paniniwala ntin,,bt d nlng natin gawin un mga bagay na dapat xana gnagawa ng ixang Filipino youth..?? a responsible and have a gud manner Filipino youth…???

  24. hahaha. your comments really are weak ones..

    you think Rizal died as a nobody?

    You should read more.

    If you think Bonifacio be the National Hero, not Rizal, Did Bonifacio’s sword give a lasting impact? i think not. RIZAL’s pen has a more lasting effect.
    If Bonifacio was asked to choose between Rizal and him to be the National Hero, he would definitely choose Rizal.

    and of course, before he was proclaimed by the Philippine COmmission as the Phil. Nat’l Hero, Rizal was already hailed as the great leader of freedom by the Filipinos, Americans, and other foreigners.. Bigo si Bonifacio, Rizal didn’t.

    Bonifacio’s act was only the effect of Rizal’s writings..

  25. aha u know what it is ty guys for helping me to my assignment uhu u know what it is backing yellow backing yellow

  26. Great Poem. Semper Fidelis!

  27. to those who says that rizal is not a true hero….i think u guize should know more bout rizal b4 reacting such stupid comment…

  28. Rizal ain’t a hero and I have to agree with what Lala have said. He is coward and an illustrado. He also advocated that Filipinos should be Hispanized first and did not believe that Filipinization will work. However, inspite of the fact that he is more of an ilustrado less than an indio, still, he helped the country mature easily. If he weren’t there, the Philippines will have a slow maturation growth.


  30. Dr. rizal bat pa kasi naging hero ka pinahihirapan mo lang kami na pag alaran ang buhay mo…kung d ka naging hero wala sa “rizal works” d naman magagamit sa buhay yan e…haist

  31. shut up LOL GUY….


  33. This poem inspired me to teach love of country to the high school freshmen especially now that nationalism among the Filipinos is waning.I emphasized the importance of recognizing the beauty of every Filipino in and out, the need to recall the historical background of our country, and how each Filipino student can appreciate their being here in a beautiful place despite the colonization of superpowers; further, Filipino learners should really understand that without their response to the call of our national hero, our country will not be GREAT in her economic, political and socio-cultural aspects.I believe that LOVE OF COUNTRY is a must-value to live out.

  34. write a free-verse poem as a response to Jose 3Rizals challenge

  35. ….yes it right….

  36. ,,…ü

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