Philippine Literature

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1. Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources. The word literature means "acquaintance with letters”. The two most basic written literary categories include fiction and non fiction. a) Etymology- late 14c., from L. lit(t)eratura "learning, writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from lit(t)era "letter." Originally "book learning" (it replaced O.E. boccræft), the meaning "literary production or work" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets" (he didn't include this definition in his dictionary, however); that of "body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812. b) Types:

* An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. * Lyric poetry is a form of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were meant to be played to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat. * Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action” , which is derived from "to do". * Romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. * Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. * Comedy is any humorous discourse intended to amuse, in television, film, and stand-up comedy. * Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. 2. Literary Forms based on Philippine Historical Period

a) Ancient Literature of Folk Literature
Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines has very few artifacts that show evidence of writing. It is known that the Filipinos transferred information by word of mouth so it is not a surprise to know that literacy only became widespread in 1571 when the Spaniards came to the Philippines. But the early script used by the Filipinos called Baybayin or Alibata became widespread in Luzon. The Spaniards recorded that people in Manila and other places wrote on bamboo or on specially prepared palm leaves, using knives and styli. They used the ancient Tagalog script which had 17 basic symbols, three of which were the vowels a/e, i, and o/u. Each basic consonantal symbol had the inherent a sound: ka, ga, nga, ta, da, na, pa, ba, ma, ya, la, wa, sa, and ha. A diacritical mark, called kudlit, modified the sound of the symbol into different vowel sounds. The kudlit could be a dot, a short line, or even an arrowhead. When placed above the symbol, it changed the inherent sound of the symbol from a/e to i; placed below, the sound became o/u. Thus a ba/be with a kudlit placed above became a bi; if the kudlit was placed below, the symbol became a bo/bu. Owing to the works of our own archaeologists, ethnologists and anthropologists, we are able to know more and better judge information about Philippine pre-colonial times set against a bulk of material about early Filipinos as recorded by Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and other chroniclers of the past. Pre-colonial inhabitants of our islands showcase the Philippines' rich past through their folk sayings, folk songs, folk narratives and indigenous rituals and mimetic dances. The most seminal of these folk sayings is the riddle which is tigmo in Cebuano, bugtong in Tagalog, paktakon in Ilonggo and patototdon in Bicol. There are also proverbs or aphorisms that express norms or codes of behavior, community beliefs or values by offering nuggets of wisdom in short, rhyming verse. The folk song, is a form of folk...
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