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PCC

LIT 21

REGION I

PHILIPPINE LITERATURE

ILOCOS

GEOGRAPHY

BOUNDARIES:
E. Cordillera Admin. Region
S. Central Luzon
W. South China Sea
NE. & SE. Cagayan Valley
PROVINCES:
Ilocos Norte
Ilocos Sur
La Union
Pangasinan
REGIONAL CENTER:
San Fernando, La Union
CITIES
Alaminos
Batac
Candon
Dagupan
Laoag

San Carlos
San Fernando
Urdaneta
Vigan

Lingayen Gulf is the most notable body of water in the region and it contains several islands, including
the Hundred Islands National Park. To the north of the region is Luzon Strait. The Agno river runs
through Pangasinan flowing into a broad delta at the vicinity of Lingayen and Dagupan before emptying
into the Lingayen Gulf.
DEMOGRAPHICS
MAJOR LANGUAGES:
66.36% - Iloko / Ilocano
27.05% - Pangasinan / Pangasinense
3.21% - Tagalog
3.38% - Others (Bolinao, English, etc.)
AREA
- 13,012.60 km2
POPULATION (2015 Census) - 5,0261,128
DENSITY
- 390/ km2
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HISTORY
Region 1 was first inhabited by the aboriginal Negritoes before they were pushed by successive waves of
Malay/Austronesian immigrants that penetrated the narrow coast. Tingguians in the interior,
Ilocanos in the north, and Pangasinense in the south settled the region. Before the administration of
Ferdinand Marcos, Pangasinan was not a part of the region.
Present-day Vigan in Ilocos Sur province became the diocesan seat of Nueva Segovia during the Spanish
regime. Most notable insurrections against the Spansiards are that of Andres Malong and Palaris of
Pangasinan, Diego Silang and his wife Gabriela Silang in 1764, and the Basi Revolt in the 19th century.
In 1901, the region came under American colonial rule, and in 1941, under Japanese occupation.
Before the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1 included the provinces of Abra,
Mountain Province, and Benguet.
NOTABLE PEOPLE FROM THE REGION
Jos Burgos, one of the Gomburza martyrs
Ferdinand Marcos, 10th President
Elpidio Quirino, 6th President
Fidel V. Ramos, 12th President
Artemio Ricarte, Filipino general during the PhilippineAmerican War
Diego Silang, male revolutionary leader during the Spanish Occupation
Gabriela Silang, female revolutionary leader during the Spanish Occupation

ILOKO LITERATURE
Ilocano literature or Iloko literature pertains to the literary works of writers of Ilocano ancestry regardless
of the language used - be it Ilocano, English, Spanish or other foreign and Philippine languages. In Ilocano
language, the terms "Iloko" and "Ilocano" are different. Generally, "Iloko" is the language while "Ilocano"
refers to the people or the ethnicity of the people who speak the Iloko language.
It is one of the most active tributaries to the general Philippine literature, next to Tagalog (Filipino) and
Philippine Literature in English.
HISTORY
Ilocanos are descendants of Austronesian-speaking people from Taiwan. Families and clans arrived by
viray or bilog, meaning "boat". The term Ilokano originates from i-, "from", and looc, "cove or bay", thus
"people of the bay." Ilokanos also refer to themselves as Samtoy, a contraction from the Ilokano phrase
sao mi ditoy, "our language here".
Precolonial
Pre-colonial Iloko literature were composed of folk songs, riddles, proverbs, dung-aw (lamentations), and
epic stories in written or oral form. Ancient Ilokano poets expressed themselves in folk and war songs as
well as the dallot, an improvised, versified and at times impromptu long poem delivered in a sing-song
manner.
Francisco Lopez, an Augustinian friar who, in 1621, published his own Iloko translation of the Doctrina
Cristiana by Cardinal Bellarmine, the first book to be printed in Iloko.
Gramatika Ilokana (1895) Study of Iloko Poetry
- Based on Lopez Arte de a Lengua Iloca (1627)

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Pedro Bucaneg - first known Ilokano poet


- "Father of Ilokano Poetry and Literature."blind since childhood, authored the popular epic
known as Biag ni Lam-ang

18th Century
Missionaries used religious and secular literatures to advance their mission of converting Ilokanos to
Christianity.
Religious Works:
Sumario de las Indulgencia (1719)
by Fr. Jacinto Rivera's
Passion (1845) a translation of St. Vincent Ferrer's sermons into Iloko by Fr. Antonio Mejia
19TH Century
Leona Florentino
-"National Poetess of the Philippines"
- Her poems appear to the modern reader as being too syrupy for comfort, too sentimental to the point of
mawkishness, and utterly devoid of form.
Fr. Justo Claudio Fojas, an Ilokano secular priest who wrote novenas, prayerbooks, catechism, metrical
romances, dramas, biographies, a Spanish grammar and an Iloko-Spanish dictionary, was Leona
Florentino's contemporary.
Isabelo de los Reyes, Leona's son, himself wrote poems, stories, folklore, studies, and seemingly
interminable religious as well as political articles.
The comedia, otherwise known as the moro-moro, and the zarzuela were presented for the first time in
the Ilocos in the 19th century.,
Comedias (Scripted from Corridos)
a highly picturesque presentation of the wars between Christians and Muslims,
- Prince Don Juan
- Ari Esteban ken Reyna Hiplolita
- Doce Paris
- Bernardo Carpio
- Jaime Del Prado
Zarzuela, an equally picturesque depiction of what is at once melodrama, comic-opera,.
20th Century - More intense in literary activity
Bannawag Magazine (sister of Liwayway, Bisaya & Hiigaynon) - Iloko literature reached headland
- Featured Ilokano literary works

NALPAY A NAMNAMA
(Blasted Hopes or Naunsyaming Pag-asa)
by Leona Florentino (English Translation)
What gladness and what joy
are endowed to one who is loved
for truly there is one to share
all his sufferings and his pain.

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My fate is dim, my stars so low


perhaps nothing to it can compare,
for truly I do not doubt
for presently I suffer so.
For even I did love,
the beauty whom I desired
never do I fully realize
that I am worthy of her.
Shall I curse the hour
when first I saw the light of day
would it not have been better a thousand times
I had died when I was born.
Would I want to explain
but my tongue remains powerless
for now do I clearly see
to be spurned is my lot.
But would it be my greatest joy
to know that it is you I love,
for to you do I vow and a promise I make
its you alone for whom I would lay my life.

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MY FATHER GOES
TO COURT | By Carlos Bulosan
When I was four, I lived with my mother and brothers and sisters in a small town on the island of Luzon.
Fathers farm had been destroyed in 1918 by one of our sudden Philippine floods, so several years
afterwards we all lived in the town though he preferred living in the country. We had as a next door
neighbor a very rich man, whose sons and daughters seldom came out of the house. While we boys and
girls played and sang in the sun, his children stayed inside and kept the windows closed. His house was so
tall that his children could look in the window of our house and watched us played, or slept, or ate, when
there was any food in the house to eat. Now, this rich mans servants were always frying and cooking
something good, and the aroma of the food was wafted down to us form the windows of the big house. We
hung about and took all the wonderful smells of the food into our beings. Sometimes, in the morning, our
whole family stood outside the windows of the rich mans house and listened to the musical sizzling of
thick strips of bacon or ham. I can remember one afternoon when our neighbors servants roasted three
chickens. The chickens were young and tender and the fat that dripped into the burning coals gave off an
enchanting odor. We watched the servants turn the beautiful birds and inhaled the heavenly spirit that
drifted out to us. Some days the rich man appeared at a window and glowered down at us. He looked at us
one by one, as though he were condemning us. We were all healthy because we went out in the sun and
bathed in the cool water of the river that flowed from the mountains into the sea. Sometimes we wrestled
with one another in the house before we went to play. We were always in the best of spirits and our
laughter was contagious. Other neighbors who passed by our house often stopped in our yard and joined
us in laughter. As time went on, the rich mans children became thin and anemic, while we grew even more
robust and full of life. Our faces were bright and rosy, but theirs were pale and sad. The rich man started to
cough at night; then he coughed day and night. His wife began coughing too. Then the children started to
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cough, one after the other. At night their coughing sounded like the barking of a herd of seals. We hung
outside their windows and listened to them. We wondered what happened. We knew that they were not
sick from the lack of nourishment because they were still always frying something delicious to eat. One
day the rich man appeared at a window and stood there a long time. He looked at my sisters, who had
grown fat in laughing, then at my brothers, whose arms and legs were like the molave, which is the
sturdiest tree in the Philippines. He banged down the window and ran through his house, shutting all the
windows. From that day on, the windows of our neighbors house were always closed. The children did not
come out anymore. We could still hear the servants cooking in the kitchen, and no matter how tight the
windows were shut, the aroma of the food came to us in the wind and drifted gratuitously into our house.
One morning a policeman from the presidencia came to our house with a sealed paper. The rich man had
filed a complaint against us. Father took me with him when he went to the town clerk and asked him what
it was about. He told Father the man claimed that for years we had been stealing the spirit of his wealth
and food. When the day came for us to appear in court, father brushed his old Army uniform and borrowed
a pair of shoes from one of my brothers. We were the first to arrive. Father sat on a chair in the center of
the courtroom. Mother occupied a chair by the door. We children sat on a long bench by the wall. Father
kept jumping up from his chair and stabbing the air with his arms, as though we were defending himself
before an imaginary jury. The rich man arrived. He had grown old and feeble; his face was scarred with
deep lines. With him was his young lawyer. Spectators came in and almost filled the chairs. The judge
entered the room and sat on a high chair. We stood in a hurry and then sat down again. After the
courtroom preliminaries, the judge looked at the Father. Do you have a lawyer? he asked. I dont need
any lawyer, Judge, he said. Proceed, said the judge. The rich mans lawyer jumped up and pointed his
finger at Father. Do you or you do not agree that you have been stealing the spirit of the complaints
wealth and food? I do not! Father said. Do you or do you not agree that while the complaints servants
cooked and fried fat legs of lamb or young chicken breast you and your family hung outside his windows
and inhaled the heavenly spirit of the food? I agree. Father said. Do you or do you not agree that while
the complaint and his children grew sickly and tubercular you and your family became strong of limb and
fair in complexion? I agree. Father said. How do you account for that? Father got up and paced
around, scratching his head thoughtfully. Then he said, I would like to see the children of complaint,
Judge. Bring in the children of the complainant. They came in shyly. The spectators covered their
mouths with their hands; they were so amazed to see the children so thin and pale. The children walked
silently to a bench and sat down without looking up. They stared at the floor and moved their hands
uneasily. Father could not say anything at first. He just stood by his chair and looked at them. Finally he
said, I should like to cross examine the complainant. Proceed. Do you claim that we stole the spirit
of your wealth and became a laughing family while yours became morose and sad? Father said. Yes.
Do you claim that we stole the spirit of your food by hanging outside your windows when your servants
cooked it? Father said. Yes. Then we are going to pay you right now, Father said. He walked over to
where we children were sitting on the bench and took my straw hat off my lap and began filling it up with
centavo pieces that he took out of his pockets. He went to Mother, who added a fistful of silver coins. My
brothers threw in their small change. May I walk to the room across the hall and stay there for a few
minutes, Judge? Father said. As you wish. Thank you, father said. He strode into the other room with
the hat in his hands. It was almost full of coins. The doors of both rooms were wide open. Are you ready?
Father called. Proceed. The judge said. The sweet tinkle of the coins carried beautifully in the courtroom.
The spectators turned their faces toward the sound with wonder. Father came back and stood before the
complainant. Did you hear it? he asked. Hear what? the man asked. The spirit of the money when I
shook this hat? he asked. Yes. Then you are paid, Father said. The rich man opened his mouth to
speak and fell to the floor without a sound. The lawyer rushed to his aid. The judge pounded his gravel.
Case dismissed. He said. Father strutted around the courtroom the judge even came down from his high
chair to shake hands with him. By the way, he whispered, I had an uncle who died laughing. You like
to hear my family laugh, Judge? Father asked? Why not? Did you hear that children? father said. My
sisters started it. The rest of us followed them soon the spectators were laughing with us, holding their
bellies and bending over the chairs. And the laughter of the judge was the loudest of all.

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PEDRO BUCANEG | Biography

(March 1592 c. 1630)


Blind since birth, he is the acknowledged author of the Ilocano epic Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang).
He is considered the "Father of Ilocano literature."
His surname is lent to the Bucanegan, the Ilocano equivalent of the Balagtasan.

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Bucaneg was a foundling, who shortly after his birth already floating in a basket between Bantay and Vigan
in the Banaoang River was found by an old woman. They brought him to the Bantay Augustine priest who
baptized him as Pedro Bucaneg. Bucaneg was blind, but appeared during his upbringing in the Augustinian
convent smart and talented. He took lessons in Latin and Spanish and also learned the local languages and
Ilocano Isneg.
Through his knowledge of these languages he was asked by the priests in the region to translate their
prayers and sermons in local languages. He was being asked to help with the conversion of the local
population. Bucaneg composed poems and songs and was loved by the Ilocanos as a troubadour. He
was regarded by the locals as a seer.
His blindness prevented him not to write. He dictated the text of his poems, songs and translations, and
someone else wrote.
Ilocano epic Biag ni Lam-ang is attributed to Bucaneg by some authors and historians. However, it is also
possible that the text of the work that has been written centuries was sung by the Ilocano and thus
preserved for eternity.
It was also Bucaneg which the Doctrina Cristiana translated in Ilocano. This book was printed in 1593 as
one of the first books in the Philippines and was intended for use in the conversion of the local population.
1621 Ilokano translation was printed.
Buccaneg was also largely responsible for Arte de la Lengue Iloca, the first grammar book of the Ilocano of
Brother Francisco Lopez, which was printed in 1927 by the University of Santo Tomas.

BIAG NI LAM-ANG
Biag ni Lam-ang (English: "The Life of Lam-ang") is an epic poem of the Ilocano people from the Ilocos
region of the Philippines influenced from the Indian Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharta from the era of
Indianized 7th century kingdom of Srivijaya and earlier period. Recited and written in the original Ilocano,
the poem is believed to be a composite work of various poets who passed it on through the generations,
and was first transcribed around 1640 by a blind Ilocano bard named Pedro Bucaneg.
Literary structure
Line
5-108
109-370
109-192
193-261
262-315
315-370
455-1300
455-486
587-724

Prologue: The Birth of Lam-ang


Quest for Father
Preparation
Obstacle: Burican
Triumph
Return to Home
Quest for Wife
Preparation
Obstacles: Sumarang
and Saridandan
Wedding Banquet
Return to Home
Epilogue: The Death and Restoration of the Hero

725-1286
725-1286
1301-1477
Initial plot
LAM-ANG is an extraordinary being, manifesting when he begins to speak in his early years, thus enabling
him to choose his own name. His adventures begin when his father, DON JUAN, set out for a battle but
never returned. At barely nine months, Lam-ang goes to search for Don Juan in the highlands where the
latter was said to have gone. Aware that her child was a blessed, exceptional creature, his mother
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NAMONGAN allows him to go. Lam-ang then goes off in search of his father, leaving his grieving mother
behind.
He saw his father, beheaded and the head on a spike, while the headhunters are celebrating. In his anger,
he challenged all of them in a duel. The headhunters threw spears at him, but he just catches it and throws
it back to them. He defeated the headhunters, killed them all and took his father's head down to the
plains.
This series of adventures started with his search for his lost father who was murdered by the HEADHUNTING IGOROTS in the Igorot country. While on his way, he met a certain SUMARANG, whose name
connotes obstruction, who tried to dissuade him from proceeding and who taunted him into a fight.
The fight that ensued proved fatal to Sumarang as he was blown three kingdoms away with a spear
pierced through his stomach. This encounter led to another when he met a NINE-HEADED SERPENT who,
like Sumarang earlier tried to dissuade him from going any further. The serpent having been ignored
challenged him into a fight which cost the serpent its heads.
Lam-ang went on until he found it necessary to rest and take a short nap. While asleep, he dreamed of his
fathers head being an object of festivities among the Igorots. He immediately arose and continued his
journey until he found the Igorots indeed feasting over his fathers head.
He asked the Igorots why they killed his father, but the Igorots instead advised him to go home if he did
not want to suffer the same fate which his father suffered. This was accompanied by a challenge to a fight,
despite their obvious numerical superiority. But Lam-ang, armed with supernatural powers, handily
defeated them, giving the last surviving Igorot a slow painful death by cutting his hands and his ears and
finally carving out his eyes to show his anger for what they had done to his father.
Biag ni Lam-ang, though dominated by action and tragedy, nonetheless contained some comedic points.
An example is the scene in which Lam-ang was on his way home. He passes by a river and decides to have
a dip. The dirt and blood that came off from his body causes the death of the river's fish, crabs, and
shrimp. As he is bathing, some of the maidens who were present at the river gladly attend to him.
Marriage
Upon arriving home, Lam-ang decides to court his love interest, INES KANNOYAN who lives in Calanutian
(Kanluit). Despite his mothers disapproval, he follows his heart and set off again on another journey to his
love. He faces one of Ines suitors and various monsters, but again is able to vanquish them with ease.
Aiding him are his magical pets, A DOG, AND A ROOSTER ((in other versions, there is also a cat). The
bird flaps its wings and a house toppled over. This feat amazes everyone present, especially Ines. Then,
Lam-angs dog barks and the house rose up.
He asked her to go with him to the river (identified by some as the Amburayan River, the biggest river in
Ilocos) along with her lady-friends. She acceded. While washing himself in the river, the river swelled, and
the shrimps, fishes and other creatures in the river were agitated for the dirt washed from his body was too
much. As they were about to leave the river, Lam-ang noticed a GIANT CROCODILE. He dove back into
the water and engaged with the creature in a fierce fight until the creature was subdued. He brought it
ashore and instructed the ladies to pull its teeth to serve as amulets against danger during journeys.
Back at Kannoyans house, he was confronted by her parents with an inquiry as to what his real intention
was. He had to set aside his alibi that he went there to ask Kannoyan and her friends to accompany him to
the river, and told them, through his spokesman - the cock - that he came to ask for Kannoyans hand in
marriage. He was told that if he desired to marry Kannoyan, he must first be able to match their wealth, for
which he willingly complied. Having satisfied her parents, he went home to his mother and enjoined her
and his townspeople to attend his wedding which was to take place in Kannoyans town.

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The wedding was elaborate, an event that involved practically everyone in town. There were fireworks,
musical band, and display of attractive items like the glasses, the mirror, the slippers, clothes and nice
food. After the wedding, Lam-angs party plus his wife and her town mates went back to their town of
Nalbuan, where festivities were resumed. The guests expressed a desire to taste a delicacy made of
rarang fish.
Death and subsequent rebirth
Lam-ang was obliged to go to the sea and catch the fish. Before going, however, his rooster warned that
something unpleasant was bound to happen. This warning proved true, as Lam-ang was swallowed by a
big BERCACAN, or shark-like fish. Kannoyan mourned and for a while she thought there was no way to
retrieve her lost husband. But the rooster indicated that if only all the bones could be gathered back, Lamang could be brought to life again.
She then enlisted the aid of a certain diver named MARCUS, who was ready to come to her aid to look for
the bones. When all Lam-angs bones were gathered, the rooster crowed and the bones moved. The dog
barked, and Lam-ang arose and was finally resurrected. Kannoyan embraced him. For his deep
appreciation for the help of his pets - the cock and the dog - and of Marcus the diver, he promised that
each other would get his or its due reward. And they lived happily ever after.
THEME
The theme of the epic revolves around the bravery and courage of the main character portrayed by Lamang, who was gifted with speech as early as his day of birth, who embarked on a series of adventures
which culminated in his heroic death and subsequent resurrection.
MORAL LESSON
"Life is full of trials and problems; one must be strong and must accept this reality."
Characters:
Lam-ang Main Character
Don Juan Father of Lam-ang
Namongan Mother of Lam-ang
Ines Kannoyan wife of Lam-ang
Sumarang rival of Lam-ang
Rooster
Dog
(Cat)
Setting:
- on the mountains
- in the river (Amburayan)
- in the sea
Values:
- Bravery
- Love
Tradition:
- giving a dowry
- asking the hand for marriage
- protecting ones territory

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