Long before the Spaniards and other foreigners landed on Philippine shores, our forefathers already had their own literature stamped in the history of our race.
Our ancient literature shows our customs and traditions in everyday life as traced in our folk stories, old plays and short stories.
Our ancestors also had their own alphabet which was different from that brought by the Spaniards. The first alphabet used by our ancestors was similar to that of the Malayo-Polynesian alphabet. Whatever record our ancestors left were either burned by the Spanish friars in the belief that they were works of the devil or were written on materials that easily perished, like the barks of trees, dried leaves and bamboo cylinders which could not have remained undestroyed even if efforts were made to preserve them. Other records that remained showed folk songs that proved existence of a native culture truly our own. Some of these were passed on by word of mouth till they reached the hands of some publishers or printers who took interest in printing the manuscripts of the ancient Filipinos. The Spaniards who came to the Philippines tried to prove that our ancestors were really fond of poetry, songs, stories, riddles and proverbs which we still enjoy today and which serve to show to generations the true culture of our people.
Pre-Spanish Literature is characterized by
A. LEGENDS. Legends are a form of prose the common theme of which is about the origin of a thing, place, location or name. The events are imaginary, devoid of truth and unbelievable. Old Filipino customs are reflected in these legends. Its aim is to entertain. Here is an example of a legend is THE LEGEND OF THE TAGALOGS. B. FOLK TALES. Folk tales are made up of stories about life, adventure, love, horror and humor where one can derive lessons about life. These are useful to us because they help us appreciate our environment, evaluate our...