In 19o25 Zoilo M. Galang published the first collection of short stories in book form under the title Box of Ashes and Other Stories. Beginning with 19o26, Jose Garcia Villa encouraged writers with his yearly selection of the best Filipino short stories. In 1927 the first Anthology of Filipino short stories was edited by Paz Marquez Benitez. It was entitled Filipino Love Stories. Oin that same year, Jose Villa Panganiban published The Stealer of Hearts and Other Stories. In 1928 the best short stories were compiled by Jose Garcia Villa in Philippine Short Stories: The Best 25 Stories of 1928.
By 1930, original and significant stories were being written. “Zita,” written by Arturo B. Rotor around 1930, has been called “…one of the finest love stories in Filipino literature in English.” Among the early short story writers were: Paz Marquez Benitez, Jorge Bacobo, Amador T. Daguio, Pilar Hidalgo Lim, Paz Latorena, Tarcila Malabanan Jose Villa Panganiban, Arturo B. Rotor, Loreto Paras Sulit, L.B. Uichangco and Jose Garcia Villa. Poems. The first known Filipino poem in English is “Sursum Corda” by Justo Juliano. It appeared in the Philippines Free Press in 1907. This poem, along with others of that period, has been criticized as being too artificial and overwritten in order to achieve intensity. The early poems in book often borrowed images and similies from English or American poets. The first collection of poems in book form was Reminisces, by Lorenzo Paredes, in 1921. In 1922, Procopio Solidum publioshed Never Mind, a collection of Filipino poetry in English. Rodolfo Dato edited an anthology of Filipino poems in 1924 under the title Filipino Poetry. In 1926 he published his own poems in Manila.
I. The Early Period – 1900 to 1930
On August 13, 1898, the American forces occupied Manila . A few years later, in April of 1900, President William McKinley directed the Philippines Commission to make English the official medium of instruction for all public schools. The first teachers of English were members of the United States Army. In August of 1901 six hundred American teachers arrived on the transport Thomas. They replaced the soldiers as teachers. In that year, 1901, the Philippines Normal School was founded....