Development of Philippine Literature
According to Atienza, Ramos, Salazar and Nazal in their book Panitikang Pilipino, “true literature is a piece of written work which is undying. It expresses the feelings and emotions of people in response to his everyday efforts to live, to be happy in his environment and, after struggles, to reach his Creator.”
It is important to study Philippine Literature as enumerated: To better appreciate our literary heritage: trace ideas passed down through generation from our ancestors and better understand ourselves and take pride in being a Filipino To understand that we have a great and noble tradition as means to assimilate culture To overcome limitations conditioned by certain historical factors
Time Frames of Philippine Literature in English:
Our ancient literature truly reflects our early customs & traditions as traced in folk stories, old plays and short stories. Back then, the alphabet used was different and were similar to the Malayo-Polynesian alphabet which we called Alibata. Written works however did not last long because the Spanish Friars burned them believing that they were works of the devil or that were destroyed because they were written in perishable materials like the barks of trees, dried leaves and bamboo cylinders. Those that survived are in oral form such as our folk songs. The Spaniards tried to prove that our ancestors were really fond of poetry, songs, stories, riddles and proverbs which we still enjoy until today and which serve to show descendants the true Filipino culture. Pre-Spanish literature is characterized by Legends, Folk tales, Epics, Folk Songs, and Epigrams/Riddles/Chants/Proverbs & Sayings.
Spanish Period (1565-1872)
At this regime, Philippine literature started to thrived at Governor-General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s reign. Due to three centuries of colonization, several changes were influenced by the Spaniards: 1. Alibata, the 1st Filipino alphabet, was changed to Roman alphabet 2. Basis of religious practices was the teaching of Christian Doctrine 3. Spanish language was infused with Filipino language
4. Assimilation of European legends & traditions to our own 5. Translation of ancient literature to our dialects
6. Printing of Filipino grammar books
7. Periodicals gained a religious tone.
The first books published were Ang Doctrina Cristiana, Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Libro de los Cuatro Postprimeras de Hombre, Ang Barlaan at Josephat, The Pasion, Urbana at Felisa¸ and Ang Mga Dalit kay Maria. Several Literary compositions in this period were Arte y Reglas de la Lengua Tagala by Fr. Blancas de San Jose, Compendio de la Lengua Tagala by Fr. Gaspar de San Augustin and Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by Fr. Pedro de San Buenaventura.
Period of Enlightenment (1872-1898)
After being passive under Spanish rule for 3 centuries, the Filipino spirit awakened when the 3 well known priests – Gomez, Burgos, Zamora – were guillotined without enough evidence and the Spaniards weren’t able to restrain the rebellion. The rebellion was divided in 2 efforts: The Propaganda Movement (1872-1896) and Period of Active Revolution (1896-1898). The Propaganda Movement were leaded by intellectual middle-class people like our “National Hero” Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, and Graciano Lopez Jaena, and its members were Antonio Luna, Mariano Ponce, Jose Ma. Panganiban, Pedro Paterno etc. The objectives of this movement were to seek reforms and changes for the liberation and equity of Filipinos through their literary works. The most famous works of these people that stirred the Filipinos were Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, Mi Ultimo Adios, A La Juventud Filipina, Pagibig Sa Tinubuang Lupa, La Soberania En Pilipinas, Ang Fray Botod, Noche Buena, Sobre Filipinos, A Mi Madre, and Ang Lupang Tinubuan. However, the petitions made by the propaganda movement were ignored and fell on deaf ears that this action led to the...
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