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Philippine Literature

By Raymart-Francisco Sep 28, 2014 1612 Words
Philippine Literature
Long before the Spaniards and other foreigners landed on Philippine shores, our fore fathers already had their own literature stamped in the history of our race. 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 easily perished, like the barks of trees, dried leaves and bamboo cylinders. 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

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. Example:


Folk tales are made up ofstories about life, adventure, love, horror andhumor where one can derive lessons about life.These are useful to us because they help usappreciate our environment, evaluate ourpersonalities and improve our perspectives inlife.


Epics are long narrative poems in which a series of heroic achievements or events, usually of a hero, are dealt with at length. Nobody can determine which epics are the oldest because in their translations from other languages, even in English and Spanish. We can only determine their origins from the time mentioned in the said epics.

Bidasari-Moro epic
Biag ni Lam-ang-Ilokano epic
Maragtas-Visayan epic
Haraya-Visayan epic
Lagda-Visayan epicf
Hari sa Bukid-Visayan epic
Kumintang-Tagalog epic
Parang Sabir-Moro epic
“Dagoy” at “Sudsod”-Tagbanua epic
Tatuaang-Bagobo epic
Indarapatra at Sulayman
Daramoke-A-Babay – Moro epic in “Darangan

D.FOLK SONGS. Folk songs are one of the oldest forms of Philippine literature that emerged in the pre-Spanish period. These songs mirrored the early forms of culture. Many of these have 12 syllables.

Kundiman – song of love
Kumintang o Tagumpay – war song
Ang Dalit o Imno – song to the God
Ang Oyayi o Hele – lullaby
Diana – wedding song
Soliraning – song of the laborer
Talindaw – boatman’s song

Other Forms of Pre-Spanish Poetry
-Epigrams (Salawikain). These have been customarily used and served as laws or rules on good behavior by our ancestors. To others, these are like allegories orparables that impart lessons for the young. Riddles (Bugtong) or Palaisipan. These are made up of one or more measured lines with rhyme and may consist of four to 12 syllables. Chant (Bulong). Used in witchcraft or enchantment.

Maxims. Some are rhyming couplets with verses of 5, 6 or 8 syllables, each line having the same number of syllables Sayings (Kasabihan). Often used in teasing or to comment on a person’s actuations Sawikain (Sayings with no hidden meanings)

SPANISH PERIOD (1565-1898)
Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines in 1521. Magellan landed on the island of Cebu, claiming the lands for Spain and naming them Islas de San Lazaro. He set up friendly relations with some of the local chieftains and converted some of them to Roman Catholicism. Magellan's Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese, and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines on April 14, 1521. A sign below the cross describes the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of the chapel. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for souvenir purposes or in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers. Some people, however, believe that the original cross had been destroyed or had disappeared after Magellan's death. Lapu-Lapu was a ruler of Mactan, who is known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted the Spanish colonization. On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu led 3,000 warriors in a battle against Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who led a force of forty- nine Spanish soldiers and 6000 native warriors from Cebu. During the battle Magellan and several of his men were killed. After King Philip II (for whom the islands are named) had dispatched three further expeditions that ended in disaster, he sent out Miguel López de Legazpi, who established the first permanent Spanish settlement, in Cebu, in 1565. The Spanish city of Manila was founded in 1571, and by the end of the 16th century most of the coastal and lowland areas from Luzon to northern Mindanao were under Spanish control. Friars marched with soldiers and soon accomplished the nominal conversion to Roman Catholicism of all the local people under Spanish administration. But the Muslims of Mindanao and Sulu, whom the Spanish called Moros, were never completely subdued by Spain. SPANISH INFLUENCES ON THE PHILIPPINE LITERATURE

2. Christian Doctrine
3. Spanish language became the literary language this time
4. European legends and traditions
5. Ancient literature was collected and translated to Tagalog 6. Grammar books were printed in Filipino
7. Religious tone

1.Ang Doctrina Cristiana (The Christian Doctrine)
2.Nuestra Senora del Rosario
3.Libro de los Cuatro Postprimeras de Hombre
4. Barlaan at Josephat
5.The Pasion
6.Urbana at Felisa
7.Ang mga Dalit kay Maria (Psalms for Mary)

1. Arte y Reglas de la Lengua Tagala (Art and Rules of the Tagalog language) 2. Compendio de la Lengua Tagala (Understanding the Tagalog language) 3. Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (Tagalog vocabulary)

4. Vocabulario de la Lengua Pampanga (Pampango vocabulary)
5. Vocabulario de la Lengua Bisaya (Bisayan vocabulary)
6. Arte de la Lengua Ilokana (The Art of the Ilocano language) 7. Arte de la Lengua Bicolana (The Art of the Bicol Language)

Leron-Leron Sinta (Tagalog)
Pamulinawen (Iloko)
Dandansoy (Bisaya)
Sarong Banggi (Bicol)
Atin Cu Pung Singsing (Kapampangan)

-ENAKULO Dramatic performance of the passion and death of Christ -ZARZUELA The father of drama, a musical comedy or melodrama three acts which death with men’s passion and emotions like love, hate, revenge, cruelty , avarice or some political problem. -LAGAYLAY A special occasion for the pilareños of sorsogon during maytime to get together Dramatic performance for the purpose of manifesting devotion for the holy cross. TIBAG -PANULUYAN Philippine Christmas dramatic ritual narrating the whole family’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem for Jesus Christ‘s birth through songs. -SALUBONG Dramatizes the reunion of the risen Christ and his mother. -CARILLO A form of dramatic entertainment perform on a moonless night during a town fiesta or on darknights after a harvest. -SAINETE A short musical comedy popular during the 18th century. They were exaggerated comedy shown between acts plays and were mostly performed by characters from the lower class. -THE MORO-MORO Like the Cenaculo, the Moro-Moro is presented also on a special stage. This is performed during town fiestas to entertain the people and to remind them of their Christian religion. Example: “Prinsipe Rodante” -KARAGATAN This is a poetic vehicle of a socio- religious nature celebrated during the death of a person. -DUPLO The Duplo replaced the Karagatan. This is a poetic joust in speaking and reasoning. -THE BALAGTASAN This is a poetic joust or a contest of skills in debate on a particular topic or issue. -THE DUNG-AW This is a chant in free verse by a bereaved person or his representative beside the corpse of the dead. -AWIT • is in dodecasyllabic verse. • are fabricated stories from writers’ imagination although the setting and characters are European. • refers to chanting. Example: Florante at Laura by Francisco Balagtas -CORRIDO • is in octosyllabic verse. • were usually on legends or stories from European countries like France, Spain, Italy and Greece. • refers to narration. Example: Ibong Adarna by Jose de la Cruz

The Period of Enlightenment/ The Propaganda Movement (1872- 1898) Historical Background: After 300 years of passivity under Spanish rule, the Filipino spirit reawakened when 3 priests Gomez, Burgos, Zamora were guillotined without sufficient evidence of guilt. This occured on the 17th of February. This was buttressed with the spirit of liberalism when the Philippines opened its doors to world trade and with the coming of a liberal leader in the person of Governor Carlos Maria de la Torre. The Spaniards were unable to suppress the tide of rebellion among the Filipinos. The once religious spirit transformed itself into one of nationalism and the Filipinos demanded changes in the government and in the church. Propagandists included a whole expectrum of writers of every persuasion who urged Philippine reforms and articulated Philippine aspirations through writing, the propaganda movement was synonymous with literary nationalism, for the forte of these writers lay on nationalist poetry, satire, essays, novels, history, and journalism The objectives of this movement were to seek reforms and changes like the following: 1. To get equal treatment for the Filipino and the Spaniards under the law 2. To make the Philippines a colony of Spain.

3. To restore Filipino representation in the Spanish Cortes. 4. To Filipinize the parishes
5. To give the Filipinos freedom of speech of the press, assembly and for redress of grievances.

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