Edit post Follow this blog Administration + Create my blog

    Philippine literature is the literature associated with the Philippines and includes the legends of prehistory, and the colonial legacy of the Philippines. Pre-Hispanic Philippine literature were actually epics passed on from generation to generation originally through oral tradition. However, wealthy families, especially in Mindanao were able to keep transcribed copies of these epics as family heirloom. One such epic was the Darangen, epic of the Maranaos of Lake Lanao. Most of the epics were known during the Spanish era.

Classical literature in Spanish during the 19th Century


On December 1, 1846, the first daily newspaper, La Esperanza, was published in the country. Other early newspapers were La Estrella (1847), Diario de Manila (1848) and Boletin Oficial de Filipinas (1852). The first provincial newspaper was El Eco de Vigan(1884), which was issued in Ilocos. In Cebu CityEl Boleaetín de Cebú (The Bulletin of Cebu) was published in 1890.

On 1863, the Spanish government introduced a system of free public education that increased the population's ability to read Spanish and thereby furthered the rise of an educated class called the Ilustrado (meaning, well-informed). Spanish became the social language of urban places and the true lingua franca of the archipelago. A good number of Spanish newspapers were published until the end of the 1940s, the most influential of them being El Renacimiento, printed in Manila by members of the Guerrero de Ermita family.

Some members of the ilustrado group, while in Spain, decided to start a Spanish publication with the aim of promoting the autonomy and independence projects. Members of this group included Pedro Alejandro Paterno, who wrote the novel Nínay (first novel written by a Filipino) and the Philippine national hero, José Rizal, who wrote excellent poetry and his two famous novels in Spanish: Noli Me Tángere (Touch Me Not), and El Filibusterismo.

Especially potent was La Solidaridad, more fondly called La Sol by the members of the propaganda movement, founded on 15 February 1885. With the help of this paper, Filipino national heroes like José RizalGraciano Lopez Jaena, and Marcelo H. del Pilarwere able to voice out their sentiments.

Poetry and metrical romance
  • Tanaga - Short poems consisting of four lines with seven syllables each that rhyme at the end of each line.

  • Ladino Poems – Were natives of first Tagalog versifiers who saw print: highly literate in both Spanish and the vernacular.

  • Corridos – Were widely read during the Spanish period that filled the populace's need for entertainment as well as edifying reading matter in their leisure moments.

  • Awit – like corridos, these were also widely read during the Spanish period as entertaining, edifying, reading manner in their leisure time. It is also a fabrication of the writers imagination although the characters and the setting may be European. The structure is rendered dodecasyllabic quatrains.                                                                                                            Religious

  • Moriones – Refers to the helmets of participants dressed as Roman soldiers, their identities hidden behind colorful, sometimes grotesque, wooden masks. Found only on the island of Marinduque, it is down during Holy Week, culminating in a Passion play that adds the scene of Saint Longinus' conversion and martyrdom.
  • Panunuluyan– the Tagalog version of the Mexican Las Posadas, and literally means "seeking passage". Held during Christmastime but especially on Christmas Eve, it depicts Joseph and Mary' search for room at the inn in Bethlehem. The actors playing the Holy Couple chant their pleas for lodging in slow, mournful tones, while the innkeepers and householders would drive them away with haughty verses sang in dance-like metre.
  • Pangangaluwa – A practice formerly widespread during All Saints' Day which literally means for the soul[s], it is analogous to the now-defunct English custom of Souling.
  • Salubong – A ritual performed in the early morning of Easter Sunday a few hours after the Easter Vigil and before the Easter Mass, dramatising the meeting between the resurrected Jesus and his mother. In its basic form, the rite begins with two separate processions—one consists of males accompanying a statue of the Risen Christ, the other of women with a statue of the Virgin Mary veiled in black. Both processions meet at the churchyard, town plaza, or some other suitable area, where a girl, dressed as an angel, stands from a scaffold or descends on a rope and sings the Regina Caeli. The angel then removes the black veil to the sound of pealing bells and firecrackers, ending the penance and mourning of Lent.
  • Senákulo – Essentially a Passion play, which depicts the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is customarily performed during Holy Week, and bears similarities to Mystery plays popular in medieval Europe.
  • Secular[edit]
  • Comedia – It is about a courtly love between, a prince and a princess of different religions, and highlights concepts of colonial attitudes to Christian-Muslim relations.
  • Duplo – A forerunner of the balagtasan. The performances consist of two teams; One composed of young women called Dupleras or Belyakas; and the other, of young men called Dupleros or Belyakos.
  • Karagatan – comes from the legendary practice of testing the mettle of young men vying for a maiden's hand. The maiden's ring would be dropped into sea and whoever retrieves it would have the girl's hand in marriage.
  • Modern literature (20th and 21st century)

    The greatest portion of Spanish literature was written during the American period, most often as an expression of pro-Hispanic nationalism, by those who had been educated in Spanish or had lived in the Spanish-speaking society of the big cities, and whose principles entered in conflict with the American cultural trends.[citation needed] Such period of Spanish literary production—i.e., between the independence of Spain in 1898 and well ahead into the decade of the 1940s—is known as Edad de Oro del Castellano en Filipinas. Some prominent writers of this era were Wenceslao Retana and Claro Mayo Recto, both in drama and essay; Antonio M. Abad and Guillermo Gomez Wyndham, in the narrative;Fernando María Guerrero and Manuel Bernabé, both in poetry. The predominant literary style was the so-called "Modernismo", a mixture of elements from the FrenchParnassien and Symboliste schools, as promoted by some Latin American and Peninsular Spanish writers (e.g. the Nicaraguan Rubén Darío, the Mexican Amado Nervo, the Spaniard Francisco Villaespesa, and the Peruvian José Santos Chocano as major models).

  • Santacruzan – Performed during the month of May, which reenacts Saint Helena's Finding of the True Cross and serves as an expression of devotion to the Virgin Mary. The young women of a town, parish, or village dress in formal gowns and bear attributes related to religious themes, such as titles of Mary, with the last (often most beautiful) lady "Reyna Elena" representing the empress, and holding a crucifix, representing the True Cross. Its May observance is due to the pre-1962 date for the feast of Roodmas.                                                                                                                                                                                          
  •  Notable Philippine literary authors     

  Nicanor Sta. Ana Abelardo (February 7, 1893 – March 21, 1934) was a Filipino composer known for his Kundiman songs, especially before the Second World War.

 He was born in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan. His mother belonged to a family of artists in Guagua, the Henson. He was introduced to music when he was five years old when his father taught him the solfeggio and the banduria. Abelardo completed his first composition, a waltz entitled "Ang Unang Buko" dedicated to his grandmother, at the age of eight. By the age of thirteen, he was playing at saloons and cabarets in Manila, and by fifteen, he was teaching at barrio schools in San Ildefonso and San Miguel in Bulacan

In 1916, Abelardo entered the University of the Philippines Coservatory of Music, taking courses under Guy F. Harrison and Robert Scholfield. During his studies, he composed the melody of the university's official anthemU.P. Naming Mahal. After earning a teacher's certificate in science and composition in 1921, he was appointed head of the composition department at the Conservatory in 1924. Years later, he ran a boarding school for young musicians, among which were Antonino Vuenaventura, Alfredo Lozano, and Lucino Sacramento.

Abelardo died in 1934 at the age of 41, leaving behind a collection of roughly 140 compositions. [1] He is known for redefining thekundiman, bringing the form to art-song status. Notable among his works are 'Nasaan Ka Irog," "Magbalik Ka Hirang," and "Himutok."

The main theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the building housing the College of Music in UP Diliman (Abelardo Hall) were named in his honor and memory.


José Rizal    

 josé Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda or popularly known as José Rizal (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse riˈsal]; 19 June 1861 – 30 December 1896) was a Filipino nationalist and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of thePhilippines. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime ofrebellion after an anti-colonial revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence. He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines, and is implied by Philippine law to be one of the national heroes. He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere, and El Filibusterismo, and a number of poems.     


Early life

Francisco Mercado Rizal (1818–1897)

José Rizal was born in 1861 to Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso in the town of Calamba in Laguna province. He had nine sisters and one brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans. Both their families had adopted the additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed the adoption of Spanish surnamesamong the Filipinos for census purposes (though they already had Spanish names). José traced his patrilineal lineage back to Fujian province in China through Lam Co, a Chinese immigrant who came to the Philippines in the late 17th century and was later baptized as a Christian and renamed Domingo.

From an early age, José showed a precocious intellect. He learned the alphabet from his mother at 3, and could read and write at age 5. Upon enrolling at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, he dropped the last three names that make up his full name, on the advice of his brother, Pacianoand the Mercado family, thus rendering his name as "José Protasio Rizal". Of this, he later wrote: "My family never paid much attention [to our second surname Rizal], but now I had to use it, thus giving me the appearance of an illegitimate child] This was to enable him to travel freely and disassociate him from his brother, who had gained notoriety with his earlier links to Filipino priests Mariano GomezJose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (popularly known as Gomburza) who had been accused and executed for treason.

Rizal's house in Calamba, Laguna.

Despite the name change, José, as "Rizal" soon distinguished himself in poetry writing contests, impressing his professors with his facility with Castilian and other foreign languages, and later, in writing essays that were critical of the Spanish historical accounts of the pre-colonial Philippine societies. Indeed, by 1891, the year he finished his El Filibusterismo, this second surname had become so well known that, as he writes to another friend, "All my family now carry the name Rizal instead of Mercado because the name R


Rizal, 11 years old, a student at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila

Rizal first studied under Justiniano Aquino Cruz in Biñan, Laguna, before he was sent to Manila.As to his father's request, he took the entrance examination in Colegio de San Juan de Letran but he then enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and graduated as one of the nine students in his class declared sobresaliente or outstanding. He continued his education at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila to obtain a land surveyor and assessor's degree, and at the same time at the University of Santo Tomas where he did take up a preparatory course in law. Upon learning that his mother was going blind, he decided to switch to medicine at the medical school of Santo Tomas specializing later in ophthalmology.

Rizal as a student at theUniversity of Santo Tomas

Without his parents' knowledge and consent, but secretly supported by his brother Paciano, he traveled alone to Madrid, Spain in May 1882 and studied medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid where he earned the degree, Licentiate in Medicine. He also attended medical lectures at the University of Paris and the University of Heidelberg. In Berlin, he was inducted as a member of the Berlin Ethnological Society and the Berlin Anthropological Society under the patronage of the famous pathologist Rudolf Virchow. Following custom, he delivered an address in German in April 1887 before the Anthropological Society on the orthography and structure of the Tagalog language. He left Heidelberg a poem, "A las flores del Heidelberg", which was both an evocation and a prayer for the welfare of his native land and the unification of common values between East and West.

At Heidelberg, the 25-year-old Rizal, completed in 1887 his eye specialization under the renowned professor, Otto Becker. There he used the newly invented ophthalmoscope (invented by Hermann von Helmholtz) to later operate on his own mother's eye. From Heidelberg, Rizal wrote his parents: "I spend half of the day in the study of German and the other half, in the diseases of the eye. Twice a week, I go to the bierbrauerie, or beerhall, to speak German with my student friends." He lived in a Karlstraße boarding house then moved to Ludwigsplatz. There, he met Reverend Karl Ullmer and stayed with them in Wilhelmsfeld, where he wrote the last few chapters of Noli Me Tángere.

Rizal was a polymath, skilled in both science and the arts. He painted, sketched, and made sculptures and woodcarving. He was a prolific poet, essayist, and novelist whose most famous works were his two novels, Noli Me Tángere and its sequel, El filibusterismo.[note 2][8]These social commentaries during the Spanish colonization of the country formed the nucleus of literature that inspired peaceful reformists and armed revolutionaries alike. Rizal was also a polyglot, conversant in twenty-two languages.

Rizal's multifacetedness was described by his German friend, Dr. Adolf Meyer, as "stupendous."[note 5] Documented studies show him to be a polymath with the ability to master various skills and subjects.[17][19][19][20] He was an ophthalmologist, sculptor, painter, educator, farmer, historian, playwright and journalist. Besides poetry and creative writing, he dabbled, with varying degrees of expertise, in architecture, cartography, economics, ethnologyanthropologysociologydramatics, martial arts, fencing and pistol shooting. He was also a Freemason, joining Acacia Lodge No. 9 during his time in Spain and becoming a Master Mason in 1884.

rizal means persecution! Good! I too want to join them and be worthy of this family name...".


"Selection and Proclamation of National Heroes and Laws Honoring Filipino Historical Figures

 Nery, John (2011). "Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia", p. 240. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-4345-06-4.

Thomas, Megan C. Orientalists, Propagandists, and "Ilustrados": Filipino Scholarship and the End of Spanish Colonialism (University of Minnesota Press; 2012) 277 pages; Explores Orientalist and racialist discourse in the writings of José Rizal and five other ilustrados.


"Selection and Proclamation of National Heroes and Laws Honoring Filipino Historical Figures

Share this post
To be informed of the latest articles, subscribe: