Philippine Literature

Topics: Philippines, Tagalog language, Spain Pages: 7 (1612 words) Published: September 28, 2014
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....
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