During the Japanese Occupation, when Tagalog was favored by the Japanese military authority, writing in English was consigned to limbo. It picked up after the war, however, with a fervor and drive for excellence that continue to this day. Stevan Javellana's "Without Seeing the Dawn" (1947), the first postwar novel in English, was published in the United States. In 1946, the Barangay Writers Project was founded to help publish books in English.
Against a background marked by political unrest and government battles with Hukbalahap guerrillas, writers in English in the postwar period honed their sense of craft and techniques. Among the writers who came into their own during this time were: Nick Joaquin, NVM Gonzalez, Francisco Arcellana, Carlos Bulosan, F. Sionil Jose, Ricaredo Demetillo, Kerima Polotan Tuvera, Carlos Angeles, Edilberto K. Tiempo, Amador Daguio, Estrella Alfon, Alejandrino Hufana, Gregorio Brillantes, Bienvenido Santos, Dominador Ilio, T.D. Agcaoili, Alejandro R. Roces, Sinai C. Hamada, Linda Ty-Casper, Virginia Moreno, Luis Dato, Gilda Cordero-Fernando, Abelardo and Tarrosa Subido, Manuel A. Viray, Vicente Rivera Jr., and Oscar de Zuñiga, among many others.
Fresh from studies in American universities, usually as Fulbright or Rockefeller scholars, a number of these writers introduced New Criticism to the country and applied its tenets in literature classes and writing workshops. In this way were born the Silliman Writers Summer Workshop (started in 1962 by Edilberto K. Tiempo and Edith L. Tiempo) and the U.P. Writers Summer Workshop (started in 1965 by the Department of English at the U.P.). To this day, these workshops help discover writing talents and develop them in their craft.
The arrival of the Japanese caused tremendous fear, hardships and suffering among the Filipinos. The Filipino way of life was greatly affected during the Japanese period. The Filipinos lost their...