Jose Rizal: Childhood Memories

When Jose Rizal was fifteen years old and a student of Ateneo, he composed a poem entitled “Recuerdo a Mi Pueblo” (In Memory of My Town) which vividly described his childhood years in Calamba.

He was a frail, sickly, and undersized child. His parents gave him a tender loving care. His father built a small nipa cottage for him to play during daytime. An Aya (housemaid) was employed to look after his comfort. He remembered also the daily Angelus Prayer. By nightfall children were gathered at the house to pray the Angelus. The happy moonlit nights at the azotea after reciting the Angelus. Stories he heard from his Aya about fairies, tales of buried treasures, tress blooming with diamonds, and other fabulous stories. Those tales tickled the imagination of Jose Rizal, which developed in him an enduring interest in legends and folklore. Probably, he was truly an emotional poet; a nocturnal walk in the town under the moonlight was also included in his memoirs.

In Memory of My Town

When Early childhood’s happy days
In memory I see once more
along the lovely verdant’s shore
That meets a gently murmuring sea
When I recall the whisper soft
Of zephyrs dancing on my brow
With cooling sweetness even now
New luscious life is born in me


When I behold the Lily White
That sways to do the wind’s command,
While gently sleeping on the sand
The stormy water rests awhile;
When from the flowers there softly breathes
A bouquet ravishingly sweet,
Out-poured the newborn dawn to meet,
As on us she begins to smile.


With sadness I recall… recall
Thy faced in precious infancy,
Oh! Mother, friend most dear to me,
Who gave to life a wondrous charm
I yet recall a village plain,
My joy, my family, my boon,
Besides the freshly cool lagoon,
The spot for which my heart beats warm.


Ah yes! My footsteps insecure
In your dark forest deeply sank;
And there by every river’s bank
I found refreshment and delight;
Within the rustic temple prayed
With childhood’s simple faith unfeigned
While cooling breezes, pure, unstained,
Would send my heart on rapturous flight.


I saw the maker in the grandeur


Of your ancient hoary wood
Ah, never in your refuge could
A mortal by regret be smitten;
And while upon your sky of blue
I gaze, no love nor tenderness
Could fail, for here on nature’s dress
My happiness itself was written.

Ah, tender childhood, lovely town,
Rich fount on my felicities
Oh those harmonious melodies
Which put to flight all dismal hours,
Come back to my heart once more!


Come back, gentle hours, I yearn!
Come back as the birds return,
At the budding of the flowers!


Alas, Farewell! Eternal vigil I keep
For thy peace, thy bliss, and tranquility,
O Genius of good, so kind
Give me these gifts, with charity.
To thee I cease not to sigh
These to learn, and I call to the sky
To have thy sincerity.

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Comments 18 comments

jose 5 years ago

thanks for everything but you make our last year in college a little bit 'not so good', cause our rizal subject gives us so many homeworks to do and it sucks. knowing the fact that its year 2012 already and its been ages since your time, i don't think studying your heroic life would make our life better in the future. ^^


ape 5 years ago

i do agree with jose.....


rica 5 years ago

magandang pag tularan c rizal


Sherly Omandac 5 years ago

Studying and researching the life of J.Rizal during early timesis very interesting,for we will know,why and how he became a National Hero...He is a good Model...


marcus 5 years ago

we owe everything in the past! the freedom that we enjoy today is our debt to our very own national hero! Dr. Jose Rizal. so if you think taking this course is nonsense< i dont think so!!! do you think you exist with your comfort living today without his sacrifices??? think about it! or just try to be like him, unselfish, country first before self!!! or even just a little honesty will do!!!i challenge you! yes you!!!


leo 5 years ago

i agree also but its seems so interesting on me to know about of your writings so that as a student we are assigning to make a project related to your writings so i don't know the different history of your poem,it's hard for me to found out,


jerly 5 years ago

rizal is a good leader in the country..........and responsible,lovers in the country........good heroes....


sisi 5 years ago

jose, it's not your teacher nor studying rizal's life you should be blaming. there's no one to blame actually. according to Rizal Law (RA145) ALL UNIVERSITIES and COLLEGES IN THE PHILIPPINES are REQUIRED to take up and study the life and works of Rizal. why don't you just drop that course if you keep on complaining.


*F 5 years ago

We're studying the life of Rizal now. It was amazing because I am learning a lot about him.


aloha 5 years ago

i was so very impress.. the do, did and does of our hero dr. jose p. rizal.because of him we met the so called peace. I want to be like him.


FRANKNEIL 5 years ago

THIS IS GREAT! it is comforting to know that there existed a person here on earth that had almost resembled the greatest man whoever lived- JESUS CHRIST. only he was a catholic though. it could have been the best if he was a servant of JEHOVAH. THANKS A LOT


hello 4 years ago

Jose Rizal was the first Filipino but he was a LIMITED Filipino. He loved his country but in his own illustrado way.


romelyn 24 4 years ago

thank you for sacrificing your life for our country in good way in such a manner that u didn't used any swords in fighting in order for us Filipinos to achieve a freedom from the colonizers. i was amazed by your all around talent. i hope that i will be like yours someday, somehow but i don't think so. thanks to you.


whitehead 4 years ago

-hey ! don't keep on complaining.. it's not about the subject but it's your attitude toward the subject. You'll enjoy once you appreciate the heroism of Rizal and how he can be the best model especially in this modern generation where the positive attitude of the youths tends to constantly degenerate, not just toward the country but most importantly, in one's own family life. I am now taking the subject about the life of Rizal, and we have not started yet. Although for me, Andres Bonifacio should be our National Hero, I will stay open-minded and I will try to somehow justify to myself why Jose Rizal deserves to become our Philippine Hero THOUGH it wasn't the Filipino community who have chosen him. (Because in fact, it was the Americans who chose him to be our National Hero.


SIMPLE 3 years ago

i adore our national heroes....and they are really admirable,we can be like them in a simple things! but first and foremost know ..GOD FIRST!


jinie 2 years ago

jose rizal has great contibution to our country so we should adore him...


mark 2 years ago

it is R.A 1425 or the Rizal Law by Claro M. Recto


maricho 2 years ago

i enjoy this poem so enjoy it

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