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HISTORY OF ILOKO LITERATURE Pre-colonial Iloko Literature - were composed of folk songs, riddles, proverbs, lamentations ( dung-aw), and

epic stories written or oral form. Ancient Ilokano poets expressed themselves in folk and war songs

DALLOT- an improvised, versified and at times impromptu long poem delivered in a singsong manner. FRANCISCO LOPEZ- an Augustinian friar - translated the earliest written Iloko poems(romances) from Spanish - also translated the DOCTRINA CRISTIANA ( Cardinal Bellarmine)- the first book to be printed in Iloko. GRAMATICA ILOKANA (1895) - where the study of Iloko poetry could be found - based on Lopezs Arte de la Legua Iloca PEDRO BUCANEG- collaborated with Lopez in the translation of the Doctrina into Iloko - credited for having been the first known Ilokano poet - Father of Ilokano Poetry and Literature - blind since childhood - authored the popular epic Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang) in the 17th Century. During the 18th century, the missionaries used religious as well as secular literatures among other means to advance their mission of converting the Ilokanos to Christianity.

Fr. Jacinto Rivera- published religious works like Sumario de las Indulgencias (1719) Fr. Antonio Mejia- published Pasion- a translation of St. Vincent Ferrers sermons into Iloko (1845)

19th Century
Leona Florentino- considered by some as the National Poetess of the Philippines - her poems which have survived, however, appear to the modern reader as being too syrupy for comfort, too sentimental to the point of mawkishness, and utterly devoid form. Three editions of Bible published by the Philippine Bible Society 1. Ti Biblia- first publish in 1909 and generally used by Mainline Protestants 2. Ti Baro a Tulag- the New testament first published in 1973 and generally used by Ecumencal Traditions 3. Naimbag a Damag Biblia- the Ilocano equivalent of the Good news Bible, officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church and some ecumenical groups Fr. Justo Claudio Fojas- an Ilokano secular priest who wrote novenas, prayerbooks, cathechism,

metrical romances, dramas, biographies, a Spanish grammar and an Iloko- Spanish dictionary. Isabelo Delos Reyes- son of Leona Florentino - wrote poems, stories, folklore, studies, and seemingly interminable religious as well as political articles. Ilocanos are the descendants of Austronesian- speaking people from Southern China via Taiwan. Families and clans arrived by viray or bilog, meaning boat.

ILOKANO- term originates from i (from) and looc (cove or bay)- people of the bay - also known as SAMTOY- sao mi ditoy- our language here. COMEDIA (moro- moro) a highly presentation of the wars between Christians and Muslims ZARZUELAdepiction of what is at once melodrama, comic- opera, and the skit interminably preoccupied with the eternal theme of boy-meets-girl-who-always-livehappily-everafter-seemingly-impossible-odds Examples: Principe Don Juan Ari estaban Ken reyna Hipolita Doce Paris MARCELINO MENA CRISOLOGO- helped popularize the zarzuela based on the culture and tradition of the Ilokanos particularly those in Vigan, Ilocos Sur PASCUAL AGCAOILI- from Ilocos Norte who wrote and staged Daguiti Agpaspasukmon Basi ISAIAS LAZO- from San Vicente Ilocos Sur who wrote comedia and zarzuela. FR. RUFINO REDONDO- an Agustinian friar - wrote the first Iloko novel entitled Matilde de Sinapangan DON QUINTIN ALCID- wrote the Iloko novel which was written before the end of the 19th century entitled Ayat,Kanonto Ngata? (Love, When Shall it Be?) ARTURO CENTENO- from VIgan, Ilocos Sur wrote three novels titleed Apay a Di Mangasaw? (Why Doesnt He Get Married?), Dispensara and Padi a Puraw Weeno Naamo a Kibin (A White Priest or a Good Guide)

20th Century
MARIANO GAERLAN (1909)- Biag ti Maysa a Lakay, Wenno Nakaam-ames a Bales (Life of an Old Man or a Dreadful Revenge) FACUNDO MADRIAGA(1911)- Uray Narigat no Paguimbagan ( Improvement Despite Obstacles)

MARCELINO PENA CRISOLOGO(1914)- Mining Wenno Ayat ti Cararua (Mining or Spiritual Love) MARCOS E. MILLON (1921)- Nasam-it ken Narucbos nga Sabong dagiti Dardarpdep ti Agbaniaga (Sweet and Fresh Flower of a Travellers Dreams) R. RESPICIO (1930)- Sabsabong ken Lulua ( Flowers and Tears) LEON C. PICHAY- Apay a Pinatayda ni Naw Simon? (Why did they kill Don Simon?)first known detective novel. ( 1935) -Puso ti Ina (A Mothers Heart) (1936) When the Bannawag magazine, a sister publication of Liwayway,Bisaya and Hiligaynon, hit the streets on Nov. # 1934, Iloko literature reached a headland. Many Ilokanos started to write literary pieces.

LEOPOLDO YABES (UP 1934)- made a brief survey of Iloko literature in 1934. - his findings showed that Iloko literature began with Pedro Bucaneg. THOMAS ALCID (UST 1940)- made a study on the Iloko prose fiction and discussed the Iloko short story and the Iloko novel and their possibilities in Philippine literature. - his study showed that the short stories and novels at that time were still young and needed more improvement. MERCEDES GUERRERO- (MLQU 1954)- made a masteral thesis titled Critical Analysis of the Outstanding Iloco Short Stories Published in the Bannawag from 19481952 Her findings showed that: The Iloko stories offer a mine of about the ideals and customs of the Filipino people. In the display of emotions and feelings, the Iloko author has been free or spontaneous in dealing with the life he portrayed. Most often, he has been compassionate with his characters. He has treated a wide variety of subjects that there is no important place of Filipino life that has not been depicted. There are stories on mere trifling matters as well as their own nation- slaking subjects- these are stories about persons, animals and places and events. Ilokano author served his society by: 1. Preserving the ideals and customs and traditions of the people. 2. Bringing out the social consciousness of the era- its mood, conflicts, struggles and rehabilitation. 3. Awakening mans sensibilities to the joys, sorrows, loves, hatreds and jealousies of the people 4. Casting away sectional sentiments and prejudices and bringing about fuller understanding of the different ethnic groups.

DR. MARCELINO FORONDA (1967)- published a related literature Dallang: An Introduction to Philippine Literature in Iloko -discussed the traits and characteristics of the Ilokanos

- He said that the Ilokano language is so highly developed as to have produced the greatest number of printed works in any Philippine language, next to tagalong. BANNAWAG- one of the main outlets of Ilocano literature - features the generations hottest stars as to appeal to the young readers. The short stories written in the 1920s were poor imitations of equally poor American fiction. Most of the stories published dealt with themes of war; guerrilla activities, Japanese atrocities, murder, pillage and death. By the latter part of the decade, writers of different ages emerged, and from their ranks came stories that were less verbose, tighter, and with more credible characterization than those written previously.

- played and still plays a major role in the development of Iloko literature - publishes poems (daniw), short stories (sarita), Novels (nobela), essays (salaysay), comics, biographies, folktales and many others including what some call avant garde literary output. - the only magazine where Ilokano writers hope to publish most o their writings. In 1960s, poems, short stories and novels published by Bannawag became betterin craftsmanship, development of plots and themes, among others. Writers by then, most of whom were college students and professionals, had a bigger library of literary books.

Ilokano writers have also published their works in foreign countries.


One of the most popular authors of Ilocano ancestry abroad a California immigrant born to Ilokano parents in Pangasinan.

FRANCISCO SIONIL JOSE - currently, the most internationally translated Filipino author is an Ilokano from Rosales, Pangasinan - popularly known as F. Sionil Jose. - He is famous for his Rosales saga,( a five-novel work about an Ilokano clan, virtually documenting Philippine history from Spanish time to the years of the Marcos administration) The novels, translated in about 22 languages, are circulated and read around the world.

The GUMIL - Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano

On October 19, 1968, GUMIL Filipinas (Ilokano Writers Association of the Philippines) was organized in Baguio City. Arturo M. Padua, then mayor of Sison, Pangasinan, was elected president. The officers took their oath of office before President Ferdinand E. Marcos. GUMIL Filipinas or Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano iti Filipinas, Inc., was incorporated and registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission on January 8, 1977.

GUMIL Filipinas' main objectives are: To provide a forum in which Ilokano writers can undertake common and cooperative efforts to improve their craft of writing literary, historical, research and other works; To enrich Ilokano literature and cultural heritage as phases of the national identity by encouraging the members to concentrate on writing extensively and intensively about the social, economic, cultural and other aspects of growth and development among the Ilokanos through literature, history, research, or the like; To publish books of poetry, short stories, essays, novels, historical accounts, research and critical studies, and other writings; and To assist each member in pursuing his/her writing career and in fulfilling his life as a member of Philippines society.