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LIT 21




E. Cordillera Admin. Region
S. Central Luzon
W. South China Sea
NE. & SE. Cagayan Valley

Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Sur

La Union

San Fernando, La Union

San Carlos
San Fernando

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.
66.36% - Iloko / Ilocano
27.05% - Pangasinan / Pangasinense
3.21% - Tagalog
3.38% - Others (Bolinao, English, etc.)
- 13,012.60 km2
POPULATION (2015 Census)
- 5,0261,128
- 390/ km2
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.

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 PhilAmerican War

Diego Silang, male revolutionary leader during the Spanish Era

Gabriela Silang, female revolutionary leader during the Spanish

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
It is one of the most active tributaries to the general Philippine literature, next to Tagalog (Filipino) and Philippine Literature in English.
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".
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)
Pedro Bucaneg

first known Ilokano poet


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"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
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
------------------------------------------------------------------LEONA FLORENTINO
Leona Florentino (19 April 1849 - 4 October 1884) was a Filipino poet in the Spanish and Ilocano languages. She is considered as the
"mother of Philippine women's literature" and the "bridge from oral to literary tradition".
Born to a wealthy and prominent family in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Florentino began to write her first verses in Ilocano at a young age.
Despite her potential, she was not allowed to receive a university education because of her gender. Florentino was instead tutored by
her mother, and then a series of private teachers. An educated Ilocano priest taught her advanced Spanish and encouraged her to
develop her voice in poetry.
Florentino married a politician named Elias de los Reyes at the age of 14. They had five children together. Their son Isabelo de los
Reyes later became a Filipino writer, activist and senator. Due to the feminist nature of her writings, Florentino was shunned by her
husband and son; she lived alone in exile and separately from her family.[1] She died at the age of 35.
Her lyrical poetry in Spanish, and especially that in Ilocano, gained attention in various international forums in Spain, Paris and St.
Louis, Missouri. Her literary contributions - particularly 22 preserved poems - were recognized when she was included in the
Encyclopedia Internationale des Oeuvres des Femmes (International Encyclopedia of Womens Works) in 1889. She is believed to be
the first Filipina to receive this international recognition, an homage that occurred after her death at a young age.

(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.
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

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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.


(November 24, 1913[1] September 11, 1956) was an English-language Filipino novelist
and poet who spent most of his life in the United States. His best-known work today is the semi-autobiographical America Is in the
Heart, but he first gained fame for his 1943 essay on The Freedom from Want.
Early life and immigration
Bulosan was born to Ilocano parents in the Philippines in Binalonan, Pangasinan. There is considerable debate around his actual birth
date, as he himself used several dates, but 1911 is generally considered the most reliable answer, based on his baptismal records,
but according to the late Lorenzo Duyanen Sampayan, his childhood playmate and nephew, Carlos was born on November 2, 1913.
Most of his youth was spent in the countryside as a farmer. It is during his youth that he and his family were economically
impoverished by the rich and political elite, which would become one of the main themes of his writing. His home town is also the
starting point of his famous semi-autobiographical novel, America is in the Heart.
Following the pattern of many Filipinos during the American colonial period, he left for America on July 22, 1930 at age 17, in the hope
of finding salvation from the economic depression of his home. He never again saw his Philippine homeland. Upon arriving in Seattle,
he met with racism and was forced to work in low paying jobs. He worked as a farmworker, harvesting grapes and asparagus, and
doing other types of hard work in the fields of California. He also worked as a dishwasher with his brother and Lorenzo in the famous
Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.
Labor movement work
Bulosan was active in labour movement along the Pacific coast of the United States and edited the 1952 Yearbook for International
Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 37, a predominantly Filipino American cannery trade union based in Seattle.
There is some controversy surrounding the accuracy of events recorded within America Is in the Heart. He is celebrated for giving a
post-colonial, Asian immigrant perspective to the labor movement in America and for telling the experience of Filipinos working in the
U.S. during the 1930s and '40s. In the 1970s, with a resurgence in Asian/Pacific Islander American activism, his unpublished writings
were discovered in a library in the University of Washington leading to posthumous releases of several unfinished works and
anthologies of his poetry.
His other novels include The Laughter of My Father, which were originally published as short sketches, and the posthumously
published The Cry and the Dedication which detailed the armed Huk Rebellion in the Philippines.
One of his most famous essays, published in March 1943, was chosen by the Saturday Evening Post to accompany its publication of
the Norman Rockwell painting Freedom from Want, part of a series based on Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech.[2]
Maxim Lieber was his literary agent in 1944.
Death and legacy
As a labor organizer and socialist writer, he was blacklisted. Denied a means to provide for himself, his later years were of flight and
hardship, probably including alcoholism.[3] He died in Seattle suffering from an advanced stage of bronchopneumonia. He is buried at
Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.
Bulosan's works and legacy is heralded in a permanent exhibition, "The Carlos Bulosan Memorial Exhibit," at the Eastern Hotel in
Seattle's International District. Its centerpiece mural is titled "Secrets of History"[4] and was created by Eliseo Art Silva.[5]
"The old world is dying, but a new world is being born. It generates inspiration from the chaos that beats upon us all. The false
grandeur and security, the unfulfilled promises and illusory power, the number of the dead and those about to die, will charge the
forces of our courage and determination. The old world will die so that the new world will be born with less sacrifice and agony on the
living ... "
"We in America understand the many imperfections of democracy and the malignant disease corroding its very heart. We must be
united in the effort to make an America in which our people can find happiness. It is a great wrong that anyone in America, whether
he be brown or white, should be illiterate or hungry or miserable."
- from America Is in the Heart
America Is in the Heart
The Laughter of My Father
The Cry and the Dedication
My Father's Tragedy
The Romance of Magno Rubio
If You Want To Know What We Are


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

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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 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


(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.
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 (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

Prologue: The Birth of Lam-ang

Quest for Father
Obstacle: Burican
Return to Home
Quest for Wife
Obstacles: Sumarang and Saridandan
Wedding Banquet
Return to Home

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Epilogue: The Death and Restoration of the Hero

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 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 HEAD-HUNTING 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 Lamang, 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.
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 ladyfriends. 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.
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, Lam-ang 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 Lamangs 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.
The theme of the epic revolves around the bravery and courage of the main character portrayed by Lam-ang, 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
"Life is full of trials and problems; one must be strong and must accept this reality."
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
on the mountains
in the river (Amburayan)
in the sea

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giving a dowry
asking the hand for marriage

protecting ones territory


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