Did Jose Rizal Write the Poem ‘Sa Aking Mga Kabata’?
THE FAMOUS POEM "To My Fellow Children (Sa Aking Mga Kababata/Kabata)" was a nationalistic artwork promoting the use of Tagalog (Filipino) language by the Filipino people.
The poem was traditionally believed to be Jose Rizal's (the Philippine national hero) first written Tagalog poem at the age of eight and was said to have been published posthumously many years after Rizal’s death.
However, recent investigations cast serious doubts concerning the assumed authorship of the poem. Many scholars today believe that the very young Rizal could have not written the nationalistic poem. For one thing, it is doubted that an eight-year old child, who normally just begins to read, could write a five-stanza poem with profound terms.
Furthermore, Jose Rizal had a preserved correspondence (letters) with Paciano, his brother, expressing that he had difficulties in using the Tagalog language particularly in translation. More significantly, Jose admitted that he had only encountered the word “kalayaan” when he was already 21 years old. The term (‘kalayaan’) was used not just once in the poem.
So the big question is: Was the controversial poem really written by Jose Rizal? Why or why not? (Defend your stand in the comment section below)
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