Comprises oral lore identifiably pre-colonial in provenance and works that circulate within contemporary communities of tribal Filipinos, or among lowland Filipinos that have maintained their links with the culture of their non-Islamic or non-Christian ancestors According to scholar William Henry Scott
, “there is a
discrepancy between what is actually known about Philippine
prehistory and what has been written about it” many
chroniclers possessed biases towards early Filipinos andthese were reflected in their accounts/writings.
Folk tales, epics, poems and marathon chants existed in most ethnolinguistic groups that were passed on from generations to generations through word of mouth
Literary works Filipinos are
because of the reason that writtenliterature is inaccessible.
Even though Filipinos had their own system of writing, it cannot bepreserved in durable materials.
They started writing on
clays, barks of trees and other naturalresources
available in the Pre Colonial Period.
ORAL LORE From Precolonial Times (--1564)
--- ng dagat.
Ang tubig ma'y malalim
malilirip kung libdin
itong budhing magaling
Tiny drops of water
--- continuously draining,
enough to dry up the
No matter how deep the
its depth can be fathomed;
the really difficult task
is to find a good heart.
Before the Christianization of the Philippines, Filipinos had established a heritage of precolonial literature consisting of epics, tales, songs, riddles, and proverbs. With the earliest discoveries dating back to 50'000 years ago, this period of Philippine literary History is considered the longest. ---It is often forgotten that the "tribal Filipinos" had grown so much in control over their environment before the arrival of Spanish rule that the historian John L. Phelon describes the "Hispanization of the Philippines" as actually the "Philippinization of Spanish Colonialism." ---Since the native syllabry was considered pagan by the Spanish, most of the early literary pieces were eliminated. The rare documents we do have, thanks to those communities who were able to resist or evade colonial rule, thus serve as valuable sources for us to gain knowledge about the lifestyle of our Filipino ancestors. ---The early epics, which served as a practical memorization tool for religious or political principles and were sung during work or play, reveal that even the early Filipinos pleaded for community. Many poems, which probably used to be songs but lost their melody through the written tradition, were about the common experiences the tribal Filipinos shared within their communities. ---Although Drama was still in its early stages during the prehistory of Philippine Literature, Many tribes would perform mimetic dances as a rite.However, most of the sources we have contain oral literature. ---One of the rare Spanish sources is the "Vocabulario de la lengua tagala" by Pedro de Sanlucar and Juan de Noceda, written in 1754. It is a rich collection of riddles, proverbs, and poems. In 1962, E. Arsenio Manuel during his study of Asian folklorefound 13 epics among the pagans, 2 Christian epics, and 4 that are ascribed to Muslim Filipinos. ---The observation of our early literary roots leads us to conclude that the Philippines are culturally linked with the Malay of South East Asia, bearing Indian, Arabic, and possibly Chinese influences
rom Notes on Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology by Bienvenido Lumbera from the down of our civilization to the establishment of settlements 1st period of Philippine literature – longest
1521 – Magellan, ‘Las Islas Filipinas’
“Philippinization” of Spanish Catholicism
William Henry Scott - “discrepancy between what is actually known about the prehispanic PH and what has been written about it” Filipinos lived in villages along sea coasts, river banks, major...
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