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Philippine Literature in the Postwar and Contemporary Period

 Lesson6 chapters
 Questions

Objective
At the end of this lesson, you should be able to identify postwar and
contemporary literary authors and their works and name their contributions to
the development of literature in the Philippines.
What are the literary works published during the postwar and contemporary
period in literature?
Postwar and Contemporary Literature
Postwar and contemporary literature include all literary works written and
published in the Philippines from 1946.
After World War II, the Philippines had to deal with the economy and the need
for rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructures. There was political,
economic, and social confusion, as well as great poverty, and these issues
found their way into the short stories and novels during that time.
During the postwar period, Filipino writers got their inspiration from American
teachers and were able to learn their techniques, which also helped in
mastering the English language.
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Writers wrote fiction that focused on courageous deeds as well as the
sacrifices and suffering in the lives of Filipinos. It was also common for writers
to write about the experiences of the Filipino people under the Spanish and
American rule and the Japanese Occupation. Other subjects and themes
include:
 religious faith
 superstitions

 fantasy

 social problems
 poverty

 politics

 nationalism

 morality

Literary Works
Philippine literature flourished even more during the postwar and
contemporary period. Writers were able to produce short stories, novels,
essays, and poems that continue to be read by Filipinos today.
Examples:
Some works written in the postwar and contemporary period are:
May Day Eve by Nick Joaquin, 1947
Waywaya by F. Sionil Jose, 1983
We Filipinos Are Mild Drinkers by Alejandro Roces, 1948
The Return by Edith L. Tiempo
History and Philippine Culture by Horacio de la Costa, 1965
Without Seeing the Dawn by Stevan Javellana, 1947
Explanation:
Nick Joaquin, a National Artist for Literature awardee, wrote articles under
the name of Quijano
de Manila. His short story "May Day Eve," published in 1947, is about love in
a patriarchal society.
It also made use of magic realism.
F. Sionil Jose, one of the most widely read Filipino writers in English, wrote
the short story
"Waywaya," which is about pre-Hispanic society and the people’s struggle for
moral order.
Alejandro Roces, a Filipino author, essayist, and dramatist, wrote the short
story "We Filipinos Are Mild Drinkers." This story focuses on the drinking
habits and culture of Filipinos and Americans.
Edith L. Tiempo's poem "The Return" is a sentimental piece that talks about
life in old age.
Horacio de la Costa wrote the essay "History and Philippine Culture," which
emphasizes the importance of understanding and presenting a nation’s
culture.
Stevan Javellana wrote the first postwar Filipino novel in English, Without
Seeing the Dawn. This novel narrates what people experienced during World
War II under the Japanese rule in the Philippines.
Tip
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To be able to fully appreciate literature in the Philippines, as a reader and a
critic, you must also be aware of the country’s history, culture, society, and
psyche (human spirit).
Life and Works of Jose Garcia Villa
 Lesson6 chapters
 Questions

Objective
At the end of the lesson, you should be able to recognize Jose Garcia Villa’s
contributions to the development of Philippine literature.
Who is Jose Garcia Villa?
What are his contributions to Philippine literature?

Jose Garcia Villa


 Jose Garcia Villa was a Filipino literary critic, poet, painter, and short story
writer. He was born on August 5, 1908 in Manila.
 He gained both local and international recognition for his works. He was
named as the National Artist for Literature in 1973, and he was also a
recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship.
 During his college years, he wrote Man Songs, a collection of controversial
poems that was considered too bold by the University of the Philippines and
became the ground for his suspension from the said institution.
 Some of his well-known literary works are "Mir-i-nisa" (won in the
Philippines Free Press in 1929), and "Footnote to Youth" (published in 1933).
Jose Garcia Villa as a Poet
 As a poet, Jose Garcia Villa is known for introducing the reversed
consonance rhyme scheme. According to Villa, in this method, the last
sounded consonants of the last syllable, or the last principal consonant of a
word, are reversed for the corresponding rhyme. Thus, a rhyme for light would
be words such as tile, tall, tale,etc.
 He is also known for his comma poems, where he employed a comma after
every word.
 He used the pseudonym Doveglion, which is derived from dove, eagle, lion.
 He died on July 7, 1997.

Analyzing a writer's works will help you understand and identify his or her
contributions to Philippine literature.
Example:
One of Jose Garcia Villa's well-known works is "Footnote to Youth."
a. Setting
The short story is set in a small town.
b. Plot
 Exposition

Dodong, a seventeen-year-old boy, tells his parents that he wants to marry his
girlfriend Teang.
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 Rising Action

Teang secretly regrets marrying Dodong at a young age. She wonders what
can happen if she has married Lucio, who is nine years older than Dodong.
 Climax

Dodong wonders why life does not get to fulfill all of a youth’s dreams.
 Falling Action

Blas tells Dodong about his plan to marry Tona.


 Conclusion

Dodong wants to keep Blas from marrying Tona, but he cannot do anything
about it. He feels sorry for Blas.
c. Theme
The story focuses on the consequences of marrying at an early age and
starting a family.
Explanation:
In the story "Footnote to Youth," Dodong is the symbol for the Filipino youth.
His decision to marry his love interest, Teang, at the age of seventeen
demonstrates the passion of teenagers when it comes to relationships.
Those of the younger generation usually strive for new pursuits to learn things
on their own, often rejecting their elders’ guidance. From the story, it is
depicted that lessons are learned through experience. Dodong, as well as
Teang, had many realizations when he became a parent.
Tips
 In analyzing a literary work, make sure that you read it thoroughly and
analyze it well.
 Study the background of the author, as this will give you insights
regarding the setting of the story and the historical and/or social influences of
the time and place in which the author lived.
 Analyze the concepts presented in the literary work by relating them to
practices and traditions in the Philippines or in the place used as the setting
of the story.