The University of the Philippines

In just 20 years after the thomasite Marius John have learned about “I am (Ayam) is a dog” from Baao children, the Baaeños started tuning the lyre. This poem written by Rodolfo Dato, published on the Philippine Collegian (the official student publication of the University of the Philippines) in September 1, 1922, was one of the earliest proofs of the Baaeños resilience to the new language.

THE U. P.
By RODOLFO DATO

Behold Athena’s Temple towering straight and high
Towards the Infinite where its ideals lie,
Erected to tie cause of Wisdom and of Right
With its colossal pillars splendid to the sight.
It will forever stay for its foundations rest
Upon the nation’s heart for centuries in quest
Of Wisdom’s Light, of Truth and glorious Liberty
While others long had reached their joyful destiny.
It is the hope, the vanguard of this struggling race
Which in the years to come alone must bravely face
Encroachment of despotic estates whose every word
Is followed by the glaring point of the sword.
Its flaming Torch must throw its brilliant rays from high
Upon the nations all beneath the tropic sky,
That they may see the light of true democracy
And put to end the rule of grim autocracy.
Behold Athena’s Temple tow’ring straight and high
Towards the Infinite where its ideals lie,
And let its motto be: democracy for all
The peoples of the East and nations great or small.

IMG 20211102 102601 1 The University of the Philippines
Rodolfo Dato
Rodolfo Dato

Rodolfo Dato (April 17, 1899 - October 11, 1955) was a Filipino lawyer, editor and educator from Baao, Camarines Sur. His book "Filipino Poetry", published in 1924, is one of the first anthologies of Filipino poets from 1911 to 1924. The book is regarded as the first published work to acknowledge the Filipino talents in English poetry writing in just about 20 years after the American occupation of the Philippines. He became the first Dean of Liberal Arts of the University of Nueva Caceres.

2 Comments

  1. Good day! I’m currently conducting a research regarding Philippine Poetry, and Rodolfo Dato’s Filipino Poetry, a collection of literary pieces during the Period of Imitation, got my interest; with this, may I ask where could I get a copy of the book? If not the whole book, may I request just a particular poem entitled, “George Washington” by Bernardo Garcia? It would be great to receive your response. Thank you!

    You can reach my email at [email protected].

    You can reach my email at [email protected]

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