Jose Rizal spent most of his days in Dapitan with his pupils and he taught them not to be afraid of anything including the “ghosts” in the balete trees. He challenged them by letting them climb balete trees. “Hymn to Talisay” was written by Rizal for his pupils to sing while they rendezvous under the Talisay tree.
firm and faithful,
—land, sea and air—
The sandy beach of Dapitan
and the rocks of its lofty mountain
are your throne. O sacred asylum
where I passed my childhood days!
In your valley covered with flowers
and shaded by fruitful orchards,
our minds received their formation,
both body and soul, by your grace.
We are children, children born late,
but our spirits are fresh and healthy;
strong men shall we be tomorrow
that can guard a family right.
We are children that nothing frightens,
not the waves, nor the storm, nor the thunder;
the arm ready, the young face tranquil,
in a fix we shall know how to fight.
We ransack the sand in our frolic;
through the caves and the thickets we ramble;
our houses are built upon rocks;
our arms reach far and wide.
No darkness, and no dark night,
that we fear, no savage tempest;
if the devil himself comes forward,
we shall catch him, dead or alive!
Talisayon, the people call us:
a great soul in a little body;
in Dapitan and all its region
Talisay has no match!
Our reservoir is unequalled;
our precipice is a deep chasm;
and when we go rowing, our bancas
no banca in the world can catch!
We study the problems of science
and the history of the nation.
We speak some three or four languages;
faith and reason we span.
Our hands can wield at the same time
the knife, the pen and the spade,
the picket, the rifle, the sword—
companions of a brave man.
Long live luxuriant Talisay!
Our voices exalt you in chorus,
clear star, dear treasure of childhood,
a childhood you guide and please.
In the struggles that await the grown man,
subject to pain and sorrow,
your memory shall be his amulet;
and your name, in the tomb, his peace.