Review of Related Literature and Studies
This chapter presents the literature and related studies which have direct bearing on this study. It also discusses the values reflected in the proverbs and the proverb as a reflection of Filipino character, its function in the society, its nature and purpose, its stylistic peculiarity and its significance in Filipino culture.
Prof. Damiana Eugenio (2002), a renowned Filipina folklorist, said that there is no universally accepted definition for the word “folklore”. But she gave a description that folklore is any form of knowledge that is handed down from generation to generation that portrays the way of life of ancestors of the chosen ethnic group can be considered part of folklore.
She likewise emphasized that students should seek ways in studying folklore for preservation purposes. She continued that what students usually do are transcribe and interpret what is related to them by storytellers and it ends there. Further, she expressed that students have to explore different aspects in folklore, use new approaches and experiment new ways.
Eugenio further emphasized that the study of folklore in the Philippines is diminishing. She attributed this to these following reasons: lack of interest in studying folklore and difficult work that goes along in studying folklore.
Eugenio (2001) defined folk literature as the sum total of the traditional learning of the folk which is expressed in their literature, their customs and beliefs, their games and recreations, their music songs and dances, their arts and crafts, and other forms material culture. She added that Filipinos know very little of folk literature by stating: “...even educated Filipinos know little about folk literature." This is not surprising according to her because “there is an incomplete state of collection and inaccessibility of existing manuscripts about Philippine folk literature.” (Eugenio, 2001)
She continued tha folk literature is like a treasure house of information about a people’s outlook in life, the basic patterns of their attitudes, and also the feelings towards themselves, their family, their neighbors and towards the Supreme Being. For her, folk literature gives valuable insights into a people’s native ambitions, and aspirations. In other words, the identity of a people is manifested in their folk literature.
As regards to proverbs, Taylor (1950) as quoted by Eugenio (2001) said that “a proverb is a terse, didactic statement that is current in tradition, or as an epigram says, the wisdom of many and the wit of one. It ordinarily suggests a cause of action or passes judgment on a situation.”
For her part, Eugenio (2002) classified Philippine proverbs into six groups according to subject matter. These are: (1) Proverbs expressing a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life; (2) Ethical proverbs recommending certain virtues and condemning certain vices; (3) Proverbs expressing a system of values; (4) Proverbs expressing general truths and observations about life and human nature; (5) Humorous Proverbs; and (6) Miscellaneous Proverbs.
Moreover, she defined proverbs as short, generally known sentences of the folk which contain wisdom, truth, morals, and are traditionally viewed in a metaphorical, fixed and memorizable form and which are handed down from generation to generation (Eugenio, 2002),
In a related development, Lopez (2006), opined that regional studies on Philippine proverbs have been extensive because the genre is a favorite subject matter by both Filipinos and foreigners. Ironically, no one has provided a clear, working, definition of this genre. According to her the Filipinos concentrate on the hows and whys and the function of proverbs but not on what a proverb is.
She also stated that, Jorge Bacobo who wrote the “Ethics in the Philippine Proverb” discussed the didactic role of the...