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The Greatest Filipino Poets

Updated on November 9, 2017

Learn More from the Past History of these Great Filipino Poets

Filipino poetry usually speaks about various topics in life, love, friendships and socio-political awareness. It is originally written in a long passages in Spanish and Tagalog (Philippines' national language) and some that are translated into English later on in the history of Philippine literature.

I personally love these kind of poetry because it does expresses a sense of simplicity and appreciation towards a commoner's life in the times of colonial occupation in the Philippines. As well as it depicts the author's deep love for the country and the Filipino culture. This lens is my tribute to these amazing Filipino poets, I've included a sample poem of their work, web resource links and a brief biography.

Photo Courtesy of

Jose Rizal

One of my Favorite Hero

Mi Ultimo Adios (Spanish Translation)

Jose Rizal y Alonso

Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,

Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestra perdido Eden!

A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,

Y fuera mas brillante, mas fresca, mas florida,

Tambien por ti la diera, la diera por tu bien.

En campos de batalla, luchando con delirio

Otros the dan sus vida sin dudas, sin pesar;

El sitio nada importa, cipres, laurel o lirio,

Cadalso o campo abierto, combate o cruel martirio,

Lo mismo es si lo piden La Patria y el hogar.

Yo muero cuando veo que el cielo se colora

Y al fin anuncia el dia tras lobrego capuz;

Si grana necesitas para tenir tu aurora,

Vierte la sangre mia, derramala en buen hora

Y dorela un reflejo de su naciente luz

Mis suenos cuando apenas muchaco adolescente,

Mis suenos cuando joven ya lleno de vigor,

Fueron el verte un dia, joya del Mar de Oriente

Secos los negros ojos, alta la tersa frente,

Sin ceno, sin arrugas, sin mancha de rubor.

Ensueno de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,

Salud the grita el alma que pronto va a partir!

Salud! ah, que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,

Morir por darte vidda, morir bajo tu cielo,

Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.

Si sobre mi sepulcro vieres brotar un dia

Entre la espesa yerba sencilla, humilde flor,

Acercala a tus labios y besa el alma mia,

Y sienta yo en mi frente bajo la tumba fria

De tu ternura el soplo, de tu halito el calor.

Deja la luna verme con luz tranquila y suave;

Deja que el alba envie su resplandor fugaz,

Deja gemir al viento con su murmullo grave,

Y si desciende y posa sobre mi cruz un ave

Deja que el ave entone su cantico de paz.

Deja que el sol ardiendo las lluvias evapore

Y al cielo tornen puras con mi clamor en pos,

Deja que un ser amigo mi fin temprano llore

Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mi alguien ore

Ora tambien, Oh Patria, por mi descanso a Dios!

Ora por todos cuantos murieron sin ventura,

Por cuantos padecieron tormentos sin igual,

Por nuestros pobres madres que gimen su amargura;

Por huerfanos y viudas, por presos en tortura

Y ora por ti que veas tu redencion final.

Y cuando en noche oscura se envuelva el cementerio

Y solos solo muertos quedan velando alli

No turbes su reposo, no turbes el misterio

Tal vez acordes oigas de citara o salterio,

Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que the canto a ti.

Y cuando ya mi tumba de todos olvidada

No tenga cruz ni piedra que marquen su lugar,

Deja que la are el hombre, la esparza con la azada,

Y mis cenizas antes que vuelvan a nada,

El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan a formar.

Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido,

Tu atmosfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzare,

Vibrante y limpia nota sere para tu oido,

Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido

Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fe.

Mi Patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,

Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adios.

Ahi, the dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.

Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,

Donde la fe no mata, donde el que reina es Dios.

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mia;

Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,

Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso dia.

Adios, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegria!

Adios, queridos seres. Morir es descansar.

Artwork by Alvaro Jimenez

Artwork by Alvaro Jimenez
Artwork by Alvaro Jimenez

Interesting Book about Jose Rizal

A Tribute to My Town - Jose Rizal

Translated from Spanish by Nick Joaquin

When I remember the days

that saw my early childhood

spent on the green shores

of a murmurous lagoon;

when I remember the coolness,

delicious and refreshing,

that on my face I felt

as I heard Favonius croon;

when I behold the white lily

swell to the wind's impulsion,

and that tempestuous element

meekly asleep on the sand;

when I inhale the dear

intoxicating essence

the flowers exude when dawn

is smiling on the land;

sadly, sadly I recall

your visage, precious childhood,

which an affectionate mother

made beautiful and bright;

I recall a simple town,

my comfort, joy and cradle,

beside a balmy lake,

the seat of my delight.

Ah, yes, my awkward foot

explored your sombre woodlands,

and on the banks of your rivers

in frolic I took part.

I prayed in your rustic temple,

a child, with a child's devotion;

and your unsullied breeze

exhilarated my heart.

The Creator I saw in the grandeur

of your age-old forests;

upon your bosom, sorrows

were ever unknown to me;

while at your azure skies

I gazed, neither love nor tenderness

failed me, for in nature

lay my felicity.

Tender childhood, beautiful town,

rich fountain of rejoicing

and of harmonious music

that drove away all pain:

return to this heart of mine,

return my gracious hours,

return as the birds return

when flowers spring again!

But O goodbye! May the Spirit

of Good, a loving gift-giver,

keep watch eternally over

your peace, your joy, your sleep!

For you, my fervent pryers;

for you, my constant desire

to learn; and I pray heaven

your innocence to keep!

Interesting Book about Jose Garcia Villa

Jose Garcia Villa

Lyrics 18

from Jose Garcia Villa 55 Poems

Be beautiful, noble, like the antique ant,

Who bore the storms as he bore the sun,

Wearing neither gown nor helmet,

Though he was archbishop and soldier:

Wore only his own flesh.

Salute characters with gracious dignity:

Though what these are is left to

Your own terms. Exact: the universe is

Not so small but these will be found

Somewhere: Exact: they will be found.


Speak with great moderation: but think

With great fierceness, burning passion:

Though what the ant thought

No annals reveal, nor his descendants

Break the seal.

Trace the tracelessness of the ant,

Every ant has reached this perfection.

As he comes, so he goes,

Flowing as water flows,

Essential but secret like a rose.

Bienvenido Lumbera


Sweet little songs I make,

Tunes so pure and full of love.

When lovers are timid and mute,

I give them voice, I make them bold.

Once I bid a word to come

And help me put together a poem.

From far and near, from wherever,

The word brought the poem warmth.

Each word I painstakingly refine,

And I wash the impoverished tongue.

I soothe and salve the cry of pain,

I banish any trace of tears.

But sadness I cannot send away—

Its little waves lap and leave,

Lap and leave the shore of the heart,

This moment a whisper, next a storm.

Servant - by Bienvenido Lumbera

On the shut door of the mind

We knock, we of soul and body torn;

We who serve and are ignored,

Broken into pieces to be of use.

Our heads nod, our arms lift,

Our feet are quick, our faces turn:

We scatter our parts to the beck

And call of those higher than us.

Deep within, we have a name,

A story to tell. Against a harsh life

We've put up a fight, only

To end up with a servant's life.

We serve the strong, we are

Feet and arms wanting to climb,

Heads and faces used to fool the law,

Will we be whole again tomorrow?

Up ahead the new day shines,

The change-of-fate we seek-

Then we shall rise again,

With our names and bodies back.

Jose Corazon de Jesus

Itanong Mo Sa Bituin (Ask the Stars)

Isang gabi'y manungaw ka. Sa bunton ng panganorin

ay tanawin ang ulila't naglalamay na bituin;

Sa bitui'y itanong mo ang ngalan ng aking giliw

at kung siya'y magtatapat, ngalan mo ang sasabihin.

Ang bitui'y kapatid mo. Kung siya ma'y nasa langit,

ikaw'y ditong nasa lupa't bituin ka ng pag-ibig;

dahil diya'y itanong mo sa bituin mong kapatid

kundi ikaw ang dalagang minamahal ko nang labis.

Itanong mo sa bitui't bituin ang nakakita

nang ako ay umagahin sa piling ng mga dusa;

minagdamag ang palad ko sa pagtawag ng Amada,

ngunit ikaw na tinawag, lumayo na't nagtago pa.

Cirilo Bautista


Cirilo Bautista

I walked towards the falling woods

to teach the trees all that I could

of time and birth, the language of men,

the virtues of hate and loving.

They stood with their fingers flaming,

Listened to me with a serious mien:

I knew the footnotes, all the text,

my words were precise and correct-

I was sure that they were learning-

till one tree spoke, speaking in dolor,

to ask why I never changed color.

Like this page? Be the first one to submit a blurb or even to say hi! I would love to hear what your thoughts on this!

© 2011 NAIZA LM

The Greatest Filipino Poets Comments

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Mabuhay! I'm Ms. Charito from Manila, Philippines! Thanks for posting this lens about our Filipino writers! Let the world know more about them.

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Great job! IThank you so much for fabulously putting this lens together for any pinoy or pinay like me who may need to brush up on knowledge about the Filipino Poets. I honestly only knew Jose Rizal prior to reading your lens, so thank you so much for introducing them to me. Fabulously-BLESSED by a little Squid Angel. God bless you dear Naiza! Advance happy new year! Huge hug and muah!

    • kcsantos profile image

      kcsantos 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this lens. I'm really proud of the Philippine literary scene, and I really admire these Filipino poets.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 5 years ago

      I very much enjoyed reading the poems that you selected. I haven't read these before. Liked!

    • RandySturridge profile image

      RandySturridge 5 years ago

      Greatly enjoyed these poems...wonderfully crafted. I just started on squidoo and have just one lens "my poetry corner" If you ever have a second do drop by I would love to hear what you think of my poetry so far and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Again great poems

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 5 years ago

      Philippines has produced so many talented people that are ever increasingly getting recognized. Great lens.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      wow, never knew that there were so many interesting Filipino poems! very informative lens!!

    • SquidCrew1 profile image

      SquidCrew1 5 years ago


    • heartycindypen profile image

      Hearty Cindy Penaranda 5 years ago from Ormoc City

      another great lens by you Naiza!