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Collection of Philippine Poems

By jhendumael Jul 25, 2013 2671 Words
Like The Molave
By Rafael Zulueta da Costa

Not yet, Rizal, not yet. Sleep not in peace:
There are a thousand waters to be spanned;
there are a thousand mountains to be crossed;
there are a thousand crosses to be borne.
Our shoulders are not strong;
our sinews are grown flaccid with dependence,
smug with ease under another's wing.
Rest not in peace;

Not yet, Rizal, not yet.
The land has need of young blood-and,
what younger than your own,
Forever spilled in the great name of freedom,
forever oblate on the altar of the free?
Not you alone, Rizal.

Oh souls and spirits of the martyred brave, arise!
Arise and scour the land!
Shed once again your willing blood!
Infuse the vibrant red into our thin anemic veins;
until we pick up your Promethean tools and, strong,
Out of the depthless matrix of your faith
in us, and on the silent cliffs of freedom,
we carve for all time your marmoreal dream!
Until our people, seeing, are become
like the Molave, firm, resilient, staunch,
rising on the hillside, unafraid,
Strong in its own fiber,
yes, like the Molave!

II.

Not yet, Rizal, not yet.
The glory hour will come
Out of the silent dreaming
from the seven thousand fold silence.
We shall emerge, saying WE ARE FILIPINOS!
and no longer be ashamed.
Sleep not in peace,
the dream is not yet fully carved.
Hard the wood but harder the woods
Yet the molave will stand.
Yet the molave monument will rise.
And god's walk on brown legs
And god's walk on brown legs.

The Literary Interpretation Of Like The Molave:

The main interpretation of the Filipino poem Like The Molave is one regarding how the people of the Philippines must work to make the nation stronger. The poem states that a region of the Philippines - Rizal - cannot yet rest, as there is

still much work to be done to make the area
successful.

At the beginning of the poem, the poet outlines
how the Philippines is dependent on other nations,
and must work towards becoming independent in the future in order to support its citizens. Like The Molave also highlights the importance of the younger generation, and how they must fight for their country and improve the Filipino way of living. The poet believes this will grant the nation freedom. Like The Molave also talks about heroes and how they inspire regular Filipinos to be great themselves and join them on the quest to make the Philippines a more prosperous place. The poem states that whilst many Filipinos are achieving great things for their country, there is still much more to be done and more residents must contribute to the efforts. In short, Like The Molave is about inspiring the Filipino nation to improve their country and make it self-sufficient.

The title of this poem by Amado V. Hernandez can be translated into English as A Piece of Heaven. Signed in Muntinlupa Prison on April 22, 1952.

Life itself is like a dream deferred. We make promises, we nurse a lot of dreams about what we would wish to do for our loved ones but by crude and rude turn of events, our dreams keep on escaping us!!

Isang Dipang Langit
By Amado V. Hernandez

Ako'y ipiniit ng linsil na puno
hangad palibhasang diwa ko'y piitin,
katawang marupok, aniya'y pagsuko,
damdami'y supil na't mithiin ay supil.

Ikinulong ako sa kutang malupit:
bato, bakal, punlo, balasik ng bantay;
lubos na tiwalag sa buong daigdig
at inaring kahit buhay man ay patay.

Sa munting dungawan, tanging abot-malas
ay sandipang langit na puno ng luha,
maramot na birang ng pusong may sugat,
watawat ng aking pagkapariwara.

Sintalim ng kidlat ang mata ng tanod,
sa pintong may susi't walang makalapit;
sigaw ng bilanggo sa katabing moog,
anaki'y atungal ng hayop sa yungib.

Ang maghapo'y tila isang tanikala
na kala-kaladkad ng paang madugo
ang buong magdamag ay kulambong luksa
ng kabaong waring lungga ng bilanggo.

Kung minsa'y magdaan ang payak na yabag,
kawil ng kadena ang kumakalanding;
sa maputlang araw saglit ibibilad,
sanlibong aninong iniluwa ng dilim.

Kung minsan, ang gabi'y biglang magulantang
sa hudyat - may takas! - at asod ng punlo;
kung minsa'y tumangis ang lumang batingaw,
sa bitayang moog, may naghihingalo.

At ito ang tanging daigdig ko ngayon -
bilangguang mandi'y libingan ng buhay;
sampu, dalawampu, at lahat ng taon
ng buong buhay ko'y dito mapipigtal.

Nguni't yaring diwa'y walang takot-hirap
at batis pa rin itong aking puso:
piita'y bahagi ng pakikilamas,
mapiit ay tanda ng di pagsuko.

Ang tao't Bathala ay di natutulog
at di habang araw ang api ay api,
tanang paniniil ay may pagtutuos,
habang may Bastilya'y may bayang gaganti.

At bukas, diyan din, aking matatanaw
sa sandipang langit na wala nang luha,
sisikat ang gintong araw ng tagumpay...
layang sasalubong ako sa paglaya!
The poet wrote these Tagalog verses in the early 20th century as part of a longer poem dedicated to his dear mother who had passed away.

PAG-IBIG NG INA
by Pascula de Leon.

Ang puso ni ina'y kaban ng paglingap,
May dalawang tibok na karapat-dapat,
Ang isa'y kay ama, kay amang mapalad
At ang isa nama'y sa amin nalagak.

Noong nabubuhay ang ina kong irog
Ang kanyang pagkasi'y samyo ng kampupot,
Ang lakas ng puso'y parang nag-uutos
Na ako, kaylan ma'y huwag matatakot...

Pagibig ni ina ang siyang yumari
Ng magandang bahay na kahilihili,
At nawag sa palad na katangitangi.

Timtimang umirog! Hanggang sa libinga'y
Dala ang pagkasing malinis, dalisay,
Dala ang damdaming kabanal banalan.
Dream of Knives
Alfred Yuson

Last night I dreamt of a knife
I had bought for my son. Of rare design,
it went cheaply of its worth – short dagger
with fancily rounded pommel, and a wooden sheath
which miraculously revealed other miniature blades.

Oh how pleased he would be upon my return
from this journey, I thought. What rapture
will surely adorn his ten-year princeling's face
when he draws the gift the first time. What quivering
pleasure will most certainly be unleashed.

When I woke up, there was no return, no journey,
no gift, and no son beside me. Where do I search
for this knife then, and when do I begin to draw
happiness from reality, and why do I bleed so
from such sharp points of dreams?

Air Castles
by Juan Salazar

My life's tomorrow beckons me
From distant mountains, high and low;
My future seems a boundless sea,
Where moving passions come and go.

Deep in my heart ambitions dwells;
He cheers me up the highland,
And guides me through the hills and dells
Wherein I pass the busy day.

I cannot write with Shakespeare's pen,
But I can love with Shakespeare's heart;
I love his skill his craft of men,
His mastery of poet's art.

I do not care for fame, has he,
Enthroned, was like unto a god:
The depths he reached are dark to me.
But I will grope the ways he tried.

I wear achievement’s coronet,
For best are they who see things done!
And all my cares I soon forget
When I have wrought my work alone.

If I be met by adverse fate,
And all my dreams be but in vain;
Then, must I work the harder yet
With high resolve to try again.

It’s about the life of a person. The ups and downs, happiness and sadness.

A Tree
By Jose Corazon de Jesus

Viewed from a distant vantage
I appear as a cross with arms outstretched;
As I stayed on my knees long enduring,
It seems that I am kissing God’s feet.

Like an organ in a church,
Praying amid extreme sorrows,
Is the candle flame of my life
Keeping vigil upon my tomb.

At my feet is a spring
That sobs all day and all night;
Upon my branches lie
The nests of love-birds.

By the sparkling of that spring
You’d think of flowing tears bubbling;
And the Moon that seems to be praying
Greets me with a pale smile.

The bells tolling the vespers
Hint to me their wailing;
Birds on my branches are covered with leaves,
The spring at my feet has tears welling.

But look at my fate,
Dried-up, dying alone comforting myself.
I became the cross of withered love,
And a watcher of tombs in the darkness.

All is ended! Night is a mantle of mourning
That I use to cover my face!
A fallen piece of food am I, and prostrate
Neither bird nor people find any pleasure.

And to think that in the days past
A tree I was of luxuriant and leafy growth;
Now my branches are crosses o’er graves,
My leaves made into wreaths on tombs!

The March of Death
By Bienvenido N. Santos

Were you one of them, my brother
Whom they marched under the April sun
And flogged to bleeding along the roads we knew and loved?

March, my brother, march!
The springs are clear beyond the road.
There is rest at the foot of the hill.

We were young together,
So very young and unafraid;
Walked those roads, dusty in the summer sun,
Brown pools and mud in the December rains;
We ran barefoot along the beaten tracks in the cane fields
Planted corn after the harvest months.

Here, too, we fought and loved
Shared our dreams of a better place
Beyond those winding trails.

March, my brother march!
The springs are clear beyond the road
There is rest at the foot of the hill.

We knew those roads by heart
Told places in the dark
By the fragrance of garden hedge
In front of uncle’s house;
The clatter of wooden shoes on the bamboo bridge,
The peculiar rustling of bamboo groves
Beside the house where Celia lived.

Did you look through the blood in your eyes
For Celia sitting by the window,
As thousands upon thousands of you
Walked and died on the burning road?

If you died among the hundreds by the roadside
It should have been by the bamboo groves
With the peculiar rustling in the midnight.

No, you have not died; you cannot die;
I have felt your prayer touch my heart
As I walked along the crowded streets of America.

And we would walk those roads again one April morn,
Listen to the sound of working men
Dragging tree trunks from the forests,
Rebuilding homes- laughing again-
Sowing the field with grain, fearless of death
From cloudless skies.

You would be silent, remembering
The many young bodies that lay mangled by the roadside;
The agony and the moaning and the silent tears,
The grin of yellow men, their bloodstained blades opaque in the sun;

I would be silent, too, having nothing to say.
What matters if the winters were bitter cold
And loneliness stalked my footsteps on the snow?

March, my brother, march!
The springs are clear beyond the road
Rest, at the foot of the hill.

And we would walk those roads again on April morn
Hand in hand like pilgrims marching
Towards the church on the hillside,
Only a little nipa house beside the bamboo groves
With the peculiar rustling in the midnight
Or maybe I would walk them yet,
Remembering... remembering

It's about the death march in Bataan. Speaker is also a Filipino who left/immigrated for the United States before the war. But who grew up as Filipino in a rural setting as well, just like the many Filipino soldiers who dies. The author is writing a requiem to a friend who died in the Bataan Death March (a torturous series of POW executions in the Philippines during WWII).

1896
By Aurelio Alvero

The cry awoke Balintawak
And the echoes answered back…
“Freedom”!
All the four winds listened long
To the shrieking of that song….
“Freedom”!
I heard it from the planters in the vales…
I heard it from the traders tying bales…
I heard it where the fishers strike their sails…
“Freedom”!
Every poet struck his lyre
With those burning notes of fire…
“Freedom”!
All the women knelt to pray
In their hearts that frenzied lay…
“Freedom”!
E’en the children and the old
Took to arms and shouted bold
“Freedom”!
I heard it from the huskers’ neath the trees…
I heard it from the divers of the sea…
I heard it from the pounders in the leas…
“Freedom”!
All the people raised the cry
Fearing not to bleed or die…
“Freedom”!
Up the mountain, down the plain,
Louder, louder rang the strain
“Freedom”!
All the tombs of slave and sire
Broke to voice that great desire…
“Freedom”!
I heard it from the makers of the brooms…
I heard it from the weavers at their looms…
I heard it from the smoking smithy rooms.
“Freedom”!
From the temples, from the shrines,
From the bosom of the mines…
“Freedom”!
Kris and bolo flashed in light,
Thunder-voices air did smite…
“Freedom”!
Muscles sound and spirit strong
Broke the chains with metal song.
“Freedom”!
I heard it in the bullet’s whine and roar…
I heard it in the farthest islet shore…
I heard it and shall hear it ever more…
“Freedom”!
REVIEW ON 1896
In his poem 1896 Aurelio Alvero celebrates the outbreak of the 1896 Katipunan popular revolution against the governing Spanish Authorities in the Philippines, which was led by Andres Bonifacio. Alvero's poem has no political or ethical content, it is only a list of all the various groups of natives and labourers who shout FREEDOM in support of the popular protest. Alvero probably intended his poem to suggest that the Katipunan party enjoyed universal and uncritical support from all Philippinos. The message of the poem is that the 1896 revolutio was a glorious achievement (because it commanded universal popular support) even though the freedom it gained for the Philippines was no more than a change of colonial master.

The poem is grossly sentimental and historically dishonest - two virtues which have ensured its enduring popularity with forces favouring control and appeasement in the Republic ever since. Kung Tuyo na ang Luha mo, Aking Bayan

By Amado V. Hernandez

Lumuha ka, aking Bayan; buong lungkot mong iluha
Ang kawawang kapalaran ng lupain mong kawawa:
Ang bandilang sagisag mo’y lukob ng dayong bandila,
Pati wikang minana mo’y busabos ng ibang wika,
Ganito ring araw nang agawan ka ng laya,
Labintatlo ng Agosto nang saklutin ang Maynila,
Lumuha ka, habang sila ay palalong nagdiriwang,
Sa libingan ng maliit, ang malaki’y may libingan;
Katulad mo ay si Huli, naaliping bayad-utang,
Katulad mo ay si Sisa, binaliw ng kahirapan;
Walang lakas na magtanggol, walang tapang na lumaban,
Tumataghoy, kung paslangin; tumatangis, kung nakawan!
Iluha mo ang sambuntong kasawiang nagtalakop
Na sa iyo’y pampahirap, sa banyaga’y pampalusog:
Ang lahat mong kayamana’y kamal-kamal na naubos,
Ang lahat mong kalayaa’y sabay-sabay na natapos;
Masdan mo ang iyong lupa, dayong hukbo’y nakatanod,
Masdan mo ang iyong dagat, dayong bapor, nasa laot!

Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa
By Andres Bonifacio

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa,
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga wala.

Walang mahalagang hindi inihandog
Ng may pusong wagas sa bayang nagkupkop.
Dugo, yaman, dunong, katiisa’t pagod:
Buhay ma’y abuting magkalagot-lagot

Ang nakaraang panahon ng aliw
Ang inaasahang araw na darating
Ng pagkatimawa ng mga alipin
Liban pa sa bayan saan tatanghalin?
Sa aba ng abang mawalay sa bayan

Gunita ma’y laging sakbibi ng lumbay
Walang alaalang inaasam-asam
Kundi ang makita lupang tinubuan.
Kayong nalagasan ng bunga’t bulaklak
Kahoy niyaring buhay na nilanta’t sukat
Ng bala-balaki’t makapal na hirap
Muling manariwa’t sa baya’y lumiyag

Ipakahandog-handog ang buong pag-ibig
Hanggang sa may dugo’y ubusing itigis
Kung sa pagtatanggol buhay ang kapalit
Ito’y kapalaran at tunay na langit

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa
Aling pag-ibig pa wala na nga wala
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga wala

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