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Introduction to philippine literature Literary Period Pre-Colonial Early Times - 1564 Filipinos often lose sight of the fact

that the first period of the Philippine literary history is the longest. Certain events from the nation's history had forced lowland Filipinos to begin counting the years of history from 1521, the first time written records by Westerners referred to the archipelago later to be called "Las islas Filipinas". However, the discovery of the "Tabon Man" in a cave in Palawan in 1962, has allowed us to stretch our prehistory as far as 50,000 years back. The stages of that prehistory show how the early Filipinos grew in control over their environment. Through the researches and writings about Philippine history, much can be reliably inferred about precolonial Philippine literature from an analysis of collected oral lore of Filipinos whose ancestors were able to preserve their indigenous culture by living beyond the reach of Spanish colonial administrators. The oral literature of the precolonial Filipinos bore the marks of the community. The subject was invariably the common experience of the people constituting the villagefood-gathering, creature and objects of nature, work in the home, field, forest or sea, caring for children, etc. This is evident in the most common forms of oral literature like the riddle, the proverbs and the song, which always seem to assume that the audience is familiar with the situations, activities and objects mentioned in the course of expressing a thought or emotion. The language of oral literature, unless the piece was part of the cultural heritage of the community like the epic, was the language of daily life. At this phase of literary development, any member of the community was a potential poet, singer or storyteller as long as he knew the language and had been attentive to the conventions f the forms. In settlements along or near the seacoast, a native syllabary was in use before the Spaniards brought over the Roman alphabet. The syllabary had three vowels (a, i-e, u-o) and 14 consonants (b, d, g, h, k, l, m, n, ng, p, r, s, t, w, and y) but, curiously enough, had no way of indicating the consonantal ending words. This lends credence to the belief that the syllabary could not have been used to produce original creative works which would all but be undecipherable when read by one who had had no previous contact with the text. When the syllabary fell into disuse among the Christianized Filipinos, much valuable information about precolonial culture that could had been handed down to us was lost. Fewer and fewer Filipinos kept records of their oral lore, and fewer and fewer could decipher what had been recorded in earlier times. The perishable materials on which the Filipinos wrote were disintegrate and the missionaries who believed that indigenous pagan culture was the handicraft of the devil himself destroyed those that remained. There are two ways by which the uniqueness of indigenous culture survived colonization. First, by resistance to colonial rule. This was how the Maranaws, the Maguindanaws, and the Tausogs of Mindanao and Igorots, Ifugao, Bontocs and Kalingas of the Mountain Province were able to preserve the integrity of their ethnic heritage. The Tagbanwas, Tagabilis, Mangyans, Bagobos, Manuvus, Bilaan, Bukidnons, and Isneg could cling on the traditional way of life because of the inaccessibility of settlements. It is to these descendants of ancient Filipinos who did not come under the cultural sway of Western colonizers that we turn when we look for examples of oral lore. Oral lore they have been preserve like epics, tales, songs, riddles, and proverbs that are now windows to a past with no written records which can be studied. Ancient Filipinos possessed great wealth of lyric poetry. There were many songs of great variety in lyrics and music as well as meter. Each mountain tribe and each group of

Introduction to philippine literature lowland Filipinos had its own. Most of the may be called folksongs in that there can be traced in them various aspects of the life and customs of the people. Precolonial poetry were composed of poems composed of different dialects of the islands. The first Spanish settlers themselves found such poetry, reproduced them, and recorded in their reports and letters to Spain. Although precolonial poems are distinct from the lyrics of the folksongs the said poems were usually chanted when recited, as is still the custom of all Asiatic peoples and Pacific Ocean tribes. It is true that many of the precolonial poetry is crude in ideology and phraseology as we look at it with our present advanced knowledge of what poetry should be. Considering the fact that early Filipinos never studied literature and never had a chance to study poetry and poetic technique, it is surprising that their spontaneous poetic expression had some rhythmic pattern in the use of equal syllabic counts for the lines of stanza, and have definitely uniform rhyming scheme. Spanish missionaries writing grammars and vocabularies had made good use of these early beginnings of Filipino poetry to illustrate word usage according to the dictionary and grammatical definitions they had cast. Thousands of maxims, proverbs, epigrams, and the like have been listed by many different collectors and researchers from many dialects. Majority of these reclaimed from oblivion com from the Tagalos, Cebuano, and Ilocano dialects. And the bulk are rhyming couplets with verses of five, six seven, or eight syllables, each line of the couplet having the same number of syllables. The rhyming practice is still the same as today in the three dialects mentioned. A good number of the proverbs is conjectured as part of longer poems with stanza divisions, but only the lines expressive of a philosophy have remained remembered in the oral tradition. Classified with the maxims and proverbs are allegorical stanzas which abounded in all local literatures. They contain homilies, didactic material, and expressions of homespun philosophy, making them often quoted by elders and headmen in talking to inferiors. They are rich in similes and metaphors. These one stanza poems were called Tanaga and consisted usually of four lines with seven syllables, all lines rhyming. The most appreciated riddles of ancient Philippines are those that are rhymed and having equal number of syllables in each line, making them classifiable under the early poetry of this country. Riddles were existent in all languages and dialects of the ancestors of the Filipinos and cover practically all of the experiences of life in these times. Almost all the important events in the life of the ancient peoples of this country were connected with some religious observance and the rites and ceremonies always some poetry recited, chanted, or sung. The lyrics of religious songs may of course be classified as poetry also, although the rhythm and the rhyme may not be the same. Drama as a literary from had not yet begun to evolve among the early Filipinos. Philippine theater at this stage consisted largely in its simplest form, of mimetic dances imitating natural cycles and work activities. At its most sophisticated, theater consisted of religious rituals presided over by a priest or priestess and participated in by the community. The dances and ritual suggest that indigenous drama had begun to evolve from attempts to control the environment. Philippine drama would have taken the form of the dance-drama found in other Asian countries. Prose narratives in prehistoric Philippines consisted largely or myths, hero tales, fables and legends. Their function was to explain natural phenomena, past events, and contemporary beliefs in order to make the environment less fearsome by making it more comprehensible and, in more instances, to make idle hours less tedious by filling them with humor and fantasy. There is a great wealth of mythical and legendary lore that belongs to this period, but preserved mostly by word of mouth, with few written down by interested parties who happen upon them.

Introduction to philippine literature The most significant pieces of oral literature that may safely be presumed to have originated in prehistoric times are folk epics. Epic poems of great proportions and lengths abounded in all regions of the islands, each tribe usually having at least one and some tribes possessing traditionally around five or six popular ones with minor epics of unknown number. Filipinos had a culture that linked them with the Malays in the Southeast Asia, a culture with traces of Indian, Arabic, and, possibly Chinese influences. Their epics, songs, short poems, tales, dances and rituals gave them a native Asian perspective which served as a filtering device for the Western culture that the colonizers brought over from Europe.

Introduction to philippine literature

Literary Period U. S. Colonialism 1898 - 1945 Philippine literature during the American rule was influenced by two factors, first of which is, education. With the Americans providing free education, many were given the chance to study and English was used as the language of instruction. Unlike the Spanish, the foreigners were willing to teach their language to the Filipinos. Free education served as the stepping stone for others to improve their social status.

Early literary works in English showed styles of which is American. It can also be seen that writers who just started learning English cannot fully showcase their talent because of the lack of mastery of the language. The downfall of the Spanish colonialism freed the printing industry from religious censorship. With the printing industry in the hands of patriotic investors, the printing press was used to block the American culture from entering the Philippine lifestyle. Newspapers in our different dialects flourished all over the archipelago. With some newspapers having a space for literary pieces, writers were given the chance to show and prove the true talent of the Filipinos. Some of these newspapers were Muling Pagsilang (1903, Tagalog), Ang Kaluwasan (1902, Cebuano), Makinaugalingon (1913, Ilonggo), and Nueva Era (1908, Ilokano). The best known magazines that capitalized on short stories and poems were Liwayway (1922, Tagalog), Bisaya (1930, Cebuano), Hiligaynon (1934, Ilonggo), and Bannawag (1934, Ilokano). Writers during the American Period drew ideas from the Propaganda Movement and the Revolutionary Movement to encourage the Filipinos to continue to fight against the U.S. Colonialism. The demand for independence was supported by a campaign to make the Americans aware of the Filipino culture. Some writers who use the Spanish language began to shift to the American language for the fact that a larger population can now comprehend the said language. It is a fact that Filipinos during the Spanish period were not given the chance to learn the language, resulting in a very small population of people capable of understanding the literary works. The literary genres that flourished during the American Period were poetry, sarswela, short story, and the novel. Poetry was written in the three languages - Filipino, Spanish, English, and in the different dialects. Some of the known poets during the American period were Maximo Kalaw, Carlos P. Romulo, Maria Agoncillo, Paz Marquez Benitez, Salvador P. Lopez, Jose Garcia Villa, Carlos Bulosan, and many others. There were three collection of poems printed namely Filipino Poetry edited by Rodolfo Dato, The English German Anthology of Poets edited by Pablo Laslo, and a pre-war collection by Carlos Bulosan. The balagtasan, named after Francisco F. Balagtas, is a debate in verse, a poetical joust done almost spontaneously between protagonists who debate over the pros and the cons of a certain issue. The first ever balagtasan was held in March 1924 at the Insituto de Mujeres, with Corazon de Jesus and Florentino Collantes as rivals. Jose Corazon de Jesus, known also as Huseng Batute, became the first ever king of the Balagtasan. Short stories in English of early Filipino fictionists are marked with American style. This all changed with the founding of the U. P. Writers Club in 1926 whose aim was to enhance and propagate the "language of Shakespeare." With the publication of Paz Marquez Benitez' "Dead Stars," it was made the landmark of the maturity of the Filipino writer in English. Many writers followed Benitez like Icasiano Calalang, Arturo Rotor, A. E. Litiatco, Paz Latorena, and Manuel Arguilla started publishing stories manifesting skills in the use of the foreign language and a keen Filipino sensibility. The combination of the foreign language and the culture of a Filipino enabled fictionists to produce great literary works. The public can now relate to the story because the public also experiences what the story has to say and they can now understand the language being used by the writer. Works like "His Native Soil" by Juan C. Laya, "How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife" by Manuel Arguilla, and many others

Introduction to philippine literature


depicted the Filipino life in English. The other novelists of this period are Jose Garcia Villa, Francisco Arellana, Fernando Maria Guerrero, Amador Daguio, and Sinai Hamada. With the founding of the Philippine Writers League in 1936, Filipino writers began discussing the value of literature in the society they live in. This move was led by Salvador P. Lopez whose works centered on proletarian literature. It was during the early American period that the sarswela gained popularity. Most of the sarwelas if not all are directed against the American imperialists. The works of Severino Reyes ("Walang Sugat") and Patricio Mariano ("Anak ng Dagat") are equally remarkable sarwelas during the period. Here are the other noted sarswelistas: Aurelio Tolentino, Juan Abad, Juan Matapang Cruz, and Juan Crisostomo Sotto. Among the Ilokano writers, noted novelists were Leon Pichay, Hermogenes Belen, and Mena Pecson Crisologo whose Mining wenno Ayat ti Kararwa is considered to be the Ilokano version of Noli Me Tangere. Magdalena Jalandoni and Ramon Muzones are the most prominent writers in the Visayas region. Their works depicted love, farm life, and the social life the region is having. The latter stages of the American period continued to produce great poets like Julian Cruz Blamaceda, Florentino Collantes, Pedro Gatmaitan, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Lope K. Santos, Alejandro Abadilla, Teodoro Agoncillo, and Inigo Ed. Regalado. They used a modern style of poetry that is made up of free verse. Liwayway Arceo and Genoveva Edroza Matute are two fictionist writers that became popular during the American rule. Their works "Uhaw ang Tigang na Lupa" and "Ako'y Isang Tinig" respectively are used as models for fine writing. Both writers use a style of storytelling that uses language through poignant rendition. Teodoro Agoncillo's "25 Pinakamahusay na Maikling Kuwento" included the foremost writers of fiction before World War II.

Introduction to philippine literature


Literary Period After EDSA 1986 - Present The year 1986 marks a new beginning of a new scene for Filipino writers and artists. It saw the downfall of late President Ferdinand Marcos when he placed the Philippines under martial rule last September 21,1972. This action does not only oppress the writers' right to free expression but also created conditions that made collaboration and cooperation convenient choices for artists' struggling for recognition and survival. Furthermore, the growth of underground writing was created both in urban and in the countryside. The popular "Edsa Revolution" (EDSA, a highway in Metro Manila that runs north to south from Caloocan to Baclaran) has paved the way for the flight of the dictator and his family to Hawaii, USA on February 24,1986. The revolt established the presidency of Corazon Aquino, which marked the "restoration" of a pre-Martial Law society. However, the Philippines did not recover that easily. The years that followed "Edsa" was a wild "roller-coaster" ride for many Filipinos. The unease times was caused by natural disasters that left the economic plans in shambles. Militancy and belligerence best describes writing under the Martial Law regime. With the overthrow of the enemy in 1986, however, the literary activity showed certain disorientation manifesting itself in a proliferation of concerns taken up by individual writers and groups. Creative writing centers after Edsa maybe grouped into two. Academic institutions where Creative Writing is part of the curricular offerings, and students majoring in Literature are able to come in contact with elder creative writers/critics/professors belonged to the first group. Such academic institutions includes the Silliman University; the University of the Philippines; the Ateneo de Manila University; De la Salle University; and last but not the least, San Carlos University in Cebu. The second group is composed of writers' organizations that periodically sponsor symposia on writing and/or set up workshops for its members and other interested parties. UMPIL (Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipino), PANULAT (Pambansang Unyon ng mga Manunulat), Panday-Lipi, GAT (Galian sa Arte at Tula), KATHA, LIRA (Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo), GUMIL (Gunglo Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano), LUDABI (Lubas sa Dagang Binisaya) and P.E.N. Writers get to hear about new developments in writing and derive enthusiasm for their craft through these twin centers. The two "unyon" function as umbrellas under which writers belonging to a diversity of organizations socialize with fellow writers. Award giving bodies, annual competitions and publications provide the incentives for writers to keep producing. These actions perform the important service of keeping the writers in the public consciousness, making it possible for commentators and audiences to identify significant established writers and give attention to emerging new talents. The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), a post-EDSA state sponsored institution, was created by the law in 1992, superseding the Presidential Commission on Culture and the Arts which was established in 1987. The said institution has a Committee on Literary Arts which funds workshops, conferences, publications and a variety of projects geared towards the production of a "national literature". The committee has the aim of developing writing that is multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and truly national. Non-governmental organizations have helped hand in hand with some institutions in giving recognition to writers from specific sectors in the society. These NGO's includes the Amado V. Hernandez Foundation; the GAPAS foundation, and the KAIBIGAN. Campus publications are another group of outlet that is of importance as a source of nontraditional, experimental writing. These campus publications could either be a weekly student newspapers, quarterly magazines, or annual literary journals. The University of the Philippines has the Collegian; The Diliman Review; and The Literary Apprentice. Silliman University has Sands and Coral; Ateneo de Manila University issues Heights and Philippine Studies; De la Salle University has Malate, Likha, and Malay to offer; University of Santo Tomas publishes The Varsitarian. Overall, the character of the Philippine literary scene after "EDSA" maybe pinpointed be

Introduction to philippine literature


referring to the theories that inform literary production, to the products issuing from the publishers, to the dominant concerns demonstrated by the writers' output, and to the direction towards which literary studies are tending. 1. There is in the academe an emerging critical orientation that draws its concerns and insights from literary theorizing current in England and the United States. 2. Post-EDSA publishing has been marked by adventurousness, a willingness to gamble on "non-traditional" projects. 3. The declining prestige of the New Criticism, whose rigorous aesthetic norms has previously functioned as a Procrustean bed on which Filipino authors and their works were measured, has opened a gap in the critical evaluation of literary works. 4. The fourth and final characteristic of post-EDSA writing is the development thrust towards the retrieval and the recuperation of writing in Philippine languages other than Tagalog.