Summary Of The Philippines Literature Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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How the Spaniard influence Philippines literature.
What are the changes made by the Spaniard to the Filipino tradition. How Spaniard change Filipinos life.
Why did the Spanish friars burned down our ancestor records. What are the books printed during the Spaniard time

The Pre Spanish Period

The variety and abundance of Philippine literature evolved even before the colonial periods. Some parts of the Philippine literature are influenced by some Asian countries that first traded with the Filipinos long time ago. Folk tales, epics, poems and marathon chants existed in most ethno linguistic groups that were passed on from generations to generations through word of mouth. Literary works Filipinos are oral because of the reason that written literature is inaccessible. Even though Filipinos had their own system of writing, it cannot be preserved in durable materials. They started writing on clays, barks of trees and other natural resources available in the Pre Colonial Period.


Belief in indigenous spiritual beliefs is pervasive in the olden times. This religion is also known as animism. The term animism applies to the belief that within all creatures and all objects there exists a soul or personality. It is thus a spiritual belief, and many scholars have offered the idea that animism was the first spiritual concept of humankind, and that it underlies all further religious thought. Filipinos believed that there are gods and goddesses of everything in nature. Animism gave birth to folk narratives, riddles, proverbs, songs, ritual chants and epics.


Filipino folktales (kwentong bayan ) sprung and spread in the olden days.. Filipino folktales are stories that form part of the oral tradition in the Philippines. They have been passed on generation to generation by word of mouth rather than by writing, and the stories have been modified by continuous retellings before they were written down and recorded in the modern times. Folktales in general include legends, fables, jokes, tall stories and fairy tales. Many of the folktales in the Philippines involve mythical creatures and magical transformations. Folktales in the Philippines are thought to show the tradition of the Philippines. Folktales can be classified into four major groups:


are about the creation of the universe, God ( Bathala or Maykapal),and the origin of man, supernatural beings and native Filipino heroes. Example: How the World Began (A popular Bukidnon Folk Tale) 2. FILIPINO LEGENDS (alamat)

relate the origin of local phenomena, places, plants, animals, things and names. Legends are stories that tell the origin of certain things, places, etc. Myths and legends served to explain natural phenomena and peoples belief so that the members of their communities would understand mysterious things in their environment and probably become less fearful of them Examples: How did Kanlaon Volcano came to be; why is the Philippines made up of so many island


are stories about animals and inanimate beings that are made to speak and act like rational beings. Filipino fables tell moral lessons to people.


are stories about the unseen world or the underworld and withodd, magical and supernatural characters


Chants also refer to folk songs. Folk songs help express the feeling and reactions of Filipinos in their daily life. Folk songs touches all aspects of life, be it love, lullaby , game, hunting, hailing, sailing, etc. The continuous celebrations gave birth to these folk songs.


Riddles also impart in the development of literature in Pre Spanish Period .Riddles express talinghaga , or Metaphor in English. It shows some resemblance between two different objects. Riddles are used to entertain people.

The custom, thought, everyday life, and native environment of the Filipinos are pictured by means of riddles. Answering riddles is a native game of the mind common in the Philippines. One good example of a tagalog riddle is,


Defined interchangeably as ornament to the language, words of our ancestors,and wisdom of experience, salawikain, as is called in Tagalog, are sayings that arestepped in traditional Filipino culture and wisdom. Here are some examples: Kung sino ang pumutak ay siyang nanganak .He who cackled is the guilty party Magsama-sama at malakas, magwatak-watak at babagsak. United we are strong, divided we fall.Matibay ang walis, palibhasay magkabigkis.A broom is sturdy because its strands are tightly bound


The most substantial of Pre-Spanish Literature is the Epic. It is one of the most important literary works in Pre Spanish Period. An epic is a long narrative poem telling heroic deeds and supernatural events that happened long time ago. Epics are tales of love and adventures of native heroes possessing powers of gods, battling against monsters and triumphs over big armies. Usually, an epic hero is portrayed as a man of strength, ideal, courage and wisdom. The legendary adventure of the epic hero is full of obstacles put up by supernatural forces or by people with supernatural powers.

To be able to be victor of the battle, the epic hero is aided with friendly supernatural beings. On the epic herosquest, he learns some life values. The verses of an epic were chanted or sung while being passed from generation to generation before being written on paper. Due to continuous retells, a lot of Philippine epics survived and have been recorded in places least colonized by Spanish and Americans. Some of the famous epics are: Indarapatra and Sulayman; Handiong; Ibalon; Biag niLam-ang and Bantugan.To show one example of an epic, here is the summary of Biag ni Lam- Ang


Nine months before Lam-ang was born to a noble family, his father Don Juan left for the mountains to defeat an evil tribe of Igorots. Unfortunately, he was beheaded, and his head was displayed at the center of the village as a prize. When Lam-angs mother Ina Namongan gave birth to him, she was surprised that he could talk immediately after birth. He selected his own name, chose his own sponsor, and asked for his fathers presence. Lam-ang promised to find out what happened to his father by going up the mountain shim self. There, helped by a good tribe of Igorots, he encountered the evil tribe and killed every one of them in vengeance, using just a single spear. When he returned home, he was so tired that he wanted to bathe. He dipped into the Amburayan River, which was instantly inundated with mud and blood. So filthy was the water that the fish in the river crawled out and died on its shores.

The following day, he told his mother Ina Namonganthat he wanted to marry. Using his supernatural abilities, he predicted he would wed a woman named Ines Kannoyan in a place called Calanutian. Accompanied by his pets, a rooster and a dog, he journeyed to meet her. On the way, he encountered a man called Sumarang. with very big eyes. They fought and Lam-ang won, killing Sumarang. The beautiful Ines Kannoyan had a multitude of suitors, and they crowded her house in Calanutian. So many were they that Lam-ang had to step on their heads and walk through a window just to enter the house. Lam-angs rooster flapped its wings, and the long house toppled. This amazed everybody, especially Ines. Then, Lam-angs dog barked and thelong house rose again.

Ines Kannoyan was so immediately impressed by his strength that she agreed to marry him. Nevertheless, her parents were skeptical: they needed a dowry from his parents in return for Ines Kannoyans hand. Lam-ang agreed to return in a week to bring his mother as well as wealth and goods. Back in his town, Lam-ang prepared a gilded house filled with fruit, jewels, statues, and other amenities. When he sailed back to Calanutian, Ines Kannoyans family was stunned. The wedding was held on the spot. After the wedding Lam-ang was tasked to catch some fish in the Amburayan River and when he dove into the water he went straight into the mouth of the Berkakan, a river monster. His wife was deeply anguished. The old diver Lacay Marcos was fetched to get the bones of Lam-ang excreted by the Berkakan. When the bones were retrieved, the pets of Lam-ang performed magic and Lam-ang was again brought to life.

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