To the Philippines
Jose Rizal (our National Hero)
Warm and beautiful like a houri of yore,
as gracious and as pure as the break of dawn
when darling clouds take on a sapphire tone,
sleeps a goddess on the Indian shore.
The small waves of the sonorous sea assail
her feet with ardent, amorous kisses, while
the intellectual West adores her smile;
and the old hoary Pole, her flower veil.
My Muse, most enthusiastic and elate,
sings to her among naiads and undines;
I offer her my fortune and my fate.
With myrtle, purple roses, and flowering greens
and lilies, crown her brow immaculate,
O artists, and exalt the Philippines!
All photos by Pia Lorenzo