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PHILIPPINE LITERATURE

I. PRE-COLONIAL PERIOD (--BC to 1564)


A. Characteristics
1. Based on oral traditions
2. Crude on ideology and phraseology
B. Literary Forms
1. Oral Literature
a. Riddles (bugtong) – battle of wits among participants
Tigmo – Cebu Paktakon – Ilonggo
Patotdon - Bicol
b. Proverbs (salawikain) – wise sayings that contain a metaphor used to teach as
a food for thought
c. Tanaga - a mono-riming heptasyllabic quatrain expressing insights and lessons
on life is "more emotionally charged than the terse proverb and thus has
affinities with the folk lyric."
2. Folk Songs
It is a form of folk lyric which expresses the hopes and aspirations, the people's
lifestyles as well as their loves. These are often repetitive and sonorous, didactic and
naive
a. Hele or oyayi – lullaby
b. Ambahan (Mangyan) – 7-syllable per line poem that are about human
relationships and social entertainment
c. Kalusan (Ivatan) - work songs that depict the livelihood of the people
d. Tagay (Cebuano and Waray) – drinking song
e. Kanogan (Cebuano) – song of lamentation for the dead
3. Folk Tales
a. Myths – explain how the world was created, how certain animals
possess certain characteristics, why some places have waterfalls, volcanoes,
mountains, flora or fauna
b. Legends – explain the origin of things
Why the Pineapple Has Eyes
The Legend of Maria Makiling
c. Fables – used animal characters and allegory
d. Fantastic stories – deal with underworld characters such as “tiyanak”,
“aswang”, “kapre” and others
4. Epics
These are “narratives of sustained length based on oral tradition revolving around
supernatural events or heroic deeds” (Arsenio Manuel)
Examples: Lam-ang (Ilocano) Hinilawod (Panay)
Kudaman (Palawan) Darangen (Maranao)

II. SPANISH COLONIZATION PERIOD (1565 – 1863)


A. Characteristics
1. It has two distinct classifications: religious and secular
2. It introduced Spanish as the medium of communication
B. Literary Forms
1. Religious Literature - Religious lyrics written by ladino poets or those versed in
both Spanish and Tagalog were included in early catechism and were used to
teach Filipinos the Spanish language.
a. Pasyon – long narrative poem about the passion and death of Christ. The most
popular was “Ang Mahal na Passion ni Jesu Cristong Panignoon Natin” by
Aguino de Belen
b. Senakulo – dramatization of the pasyon, it shows the passion and death of
Christ
2. Secular (non-religious) Literature
a. Awit - colorful tales of chivalry made for singing and chanting
Example: Ibong Adarna
b. Korido – metrical tale written in octosyllabic quatrains
Example: Florante at Laura by Francisco Baltazar
c. Prose Narratives – written to prescribe proper decorum
i. Dialogo iii. ejemplo
ii. Manual de Urbanidad iv. tratado
Examples: Modesto de Castro's "Pagsusulatan ng Dalawang Binibini na si
Urbana at si Feliza" and Joaquin Tuason's "Ang Bagong Robinson" (The New
Robinson) in 1879

III. NATIONALISTIC / PROPAGANDA AND REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD


(1864 – 1896)
A. Characteristics
1. Planted seeds of nationalism in Filipinos
2. Language shifted from Spanish to Tagalog
3. Addressed the masses instead of the “intelligentsia”
B. Literary Forms
1. Propaganda Literature - Reformatory in objective
a. Political Essays – satires, editorials and news articles were written to attack
and expose the evils of Spanish rule
i. Diariong Tagalog – founded by Marcelo del Pilar
ii. La Solidaridad – whose editor-in-chief is Graciano Lopez-Jaena
b. Political Novels
i. Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo – Jose Rizal’s masterpieces
that paved the way to the revolution
2. Revolutionary Literature – more propagandistic than literary as it is more
violent in nature and demanded complete independence for the country
a. Political Essays – helped inflame the spirit of revolution
i. Kalayaan – newspaper of the society, edited by Emilio Jacinto
b. Poetry
i. True Decalogue – Apolinario Mabini
ii. Katapusang Hibik ng Pilipinas – Andres Bonifacio
iii. Liwanag at Dilim – Emilio Jacinto

IV. AMERICAN COLONIAL PERIOD (1910 – 1945)


A. Period of Apprenticeship (1910-1930)
1. Filipino Writers imitated English and American models
2. Poems written were amateurish and mushy, which phrasing and diction is
awkward and artificial
a. Short Stories
i. Dead Stars – Paz Marquez Benitez
ii. The Key – Paz Latorena
iii. Footnote to Youth – Jose Garcia Villa
b. Novels
i. Childe of Sorrow – first novel in English, by Zoilo Galang
B. Period of Emergence (1920-1930)
1. Highly influenced by Western literary trends like Romanticism and Realism.
a. Short Stories – most prevalent literary form
i. Jose Garcia Villa – earned the international title “Poet of the
Century”

V. JAPANESE OCCUPATION (1942 - 1960)


A. War Years (1942-1944)
1. Tagalog poets broke away from the Balagtas tradition and instead
wrote in simple language and free verse
2. Fiction prevailed over poetry
a. 25 Pinakamabuting Maikling Kthang Pilipino (1943) – compilation of the
short story contest by the military government
i. Suyuan sa Tubigan – Macario Pineda
ii. Lupang Tinubuan – Narciso Reyes
iii. Uhaw ang Tigang na Lupa – Liwayway Arceo
B. Period of Maturity and Originality (1945-1960)
1. Bountiful harvest in poetry, fiction, drama and essay
2. Filipino writers mastered English and familiarized themselves iwht
diverse techniques
3. Literary “giants” appeared
a. Palanca Awards for Literature
i. Jose Garcia Villa v. Gregorio Brillantes
ii. Nick Joaquin vi. Gilda Cordero
iii. NVM Gonzales Fernando
iv. Bienvenido Santos
b. National Artist Awards
i. Jose Garcia Villa ii. Nick Joaquin

VI. CONTEMPORARY/MODERN PERIOD (1960 – PRESENT)


A. Characteristics
1. Martial Law repressed and curtailed human rights, including freedom of the
press
2. Writers used symbolisms and allegories to drive home their message, at the
face of heavy censorship
3. Theater was used as a vehicle for protest, such as the PETA (Phil. Educational
Theater Association) and UP Theater.
4. From the eighties onwards, writers continue to show dynamism and innovation