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The Literary Forms in Posted on April 14, 2015

THE LITERARY FORMS IN PHILIPPINE LITERATURE

CHRISTINE F. GODINEZ-ORTEGA

The diversity and richness of Philippine literature evolved side by side with the countrys history.
This can best be appreciated in the context of the countrys pre-colonial cultural traditions and the
socio-political histories of its colonial and contemporary traditions.

The average Filipinos unfamiliarity with his indigenous literature was largely due to what has
been impressed upon him: that his country was discovered and, hence, Philippine history started
only in 1521.

So successful were the efforts of colonialists to blot out the memory of the countrys largely oral
past that present-day Filipino writers, artists and journalists are trying to correct this inequity by
recognizing the countrys wealth of ethnic traditions and disseminating them in schools and in the
mass media.

The rousings of nationalistic pride in the 1960s and 1970s also helped bring about this change of
attitude among a new breed of Filipinos concerned about the Filipino identity.

Pre-Colonial Times

Owing to the works of our own archaeologists, ethnologists and anthropologists, we are able to
know more and better judge information about our pre-colonial times set against a bulk of material
about early Filipinos as recorded by Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and other chroniclers of the past.

Pre-colonial inhabitants of our islands showcase a rich past through their folk speeches, folk
songs, folk narratives and indigenous rituals and mimetic dances that affirm our ties with our
Southeast Asian neighbors.

The most seminal of these folk speeches is the riddle which is tigmo in Cebuano, bugtong in
Tagalog,paktakonin Ilongo and patototdon in Bicol. Central to the riddle is the talinghaga or metaphor
because it reveals subtle resemblances between two unlike objects and ones power of observation
and wit are put to the test. While some riddles are ingenious, others verge on the obscene or are sex-
related:

Gaddang:

Gongonan nu usin y amam If you pull your daddys penis

Maggirawa pay sila y inam. Your mommys vagina, too,

(Campana) screams. (Bell)

The proverbs or aphorisms express norms or codes of behavior, community beliefs or they instill
values by offering nuggets of wisdom in short, rhyming verse.

The extended form, tanaga, a mono-riming heptasyllabic quatrain expressing insights and
lessons on life is more emotionally charged than the terse proverb and thus has affinities with the
folk lyric. Some examples are the basahanon or extended didactic sayings from Bukidnon and
the daraida and daragilon from Panay.

The folk song, a form of folk lyric which expresses the hopes and aspirations, the peoples
lifestyles as well as their loves. These are often repetitive and sonorous, didactic and naive as in the
childrens songs or Ida-ida(Maguindanao), tulang pambata (Tagalog) or cansiones para
abbing (Ibanag).

A few examples are the lullabyes or Ili-ili (Ilongo); love songs like
the panawagon and balitao (Ilongo);harana or serenade (Cebuano); the bayok (Maranao); the seven-
syllable per line poem, ambahan of the Mangyans that are about human relationships, social
entertainment and also serve as a tool for teaching the young; work songs that depict the livelihood of
the people often sung to go with the movement of workers such as
the kalusan (Ivatan), soliranin (Tagalog rowing song) or the mambayu, a Kalinga rice-pounding song;
the verbal jousts/games like the duplo popular during wakes.

Other folk songs are the drinking songs sung during carousals like the tagay (Cebuano and
Waray); dirges and lamentations extolling the deeds of the dead like the kanogon (Cebuano) or
the Annako (Bontoc).

A type of narrative song or kissa among the Tausug of Mindanao, the parang sabil, uses for its
subject matter the exploits of historical and legendary heroes. It tells of a Muslim hero who seeks
death at the hands of non-Muslims.

The folk narratives, i.e. epics and folk tales are varied, exotic and magical. They explain how the
world was created, how certain animals possess certain characteristics, why some places have
waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains, flora or fauna and, in the case of legends, an explanation of the
origins of things. Fables are about animals and these teach moral lessons.

Our countrys epics are considered ethno-epics because unlike, say, Germanys Niebelunginlied,
our epics are not national for they are histories of varied groups that consider themselves nations.

The epics come in various names: Guman (Subanon); Darangen (Maranao); Hudhud (Ifugao);
andUlahingan(Manobo). These epics revolve around supernatural events or heroic deeds and they
embody or validate the beliefs and customs and ideals of a community. These are sung or chanted to
the accompaniment of indigenous musical instruments and dancing performed during harvests,
weddings or funerals by chanters. The chanters who were taught by their ancestors are considered
treasures and/or repositories of wisdom in their communities.

Examples of these epics are the Lam-


ang (Ilocano); Hinilawod (Sulod); Kudaman (Palawan); Darangen(Maranao); Ulahingan (Livunganen-
Arumanen Manobo); Mangovayt Buhong na Langit (The Maiden of the Buhong Sky from Tuwaang
Manobo); Ag Tobig neg Keboklagan (Subanon); and Tudbulol (Tboli).
The Spanish Colonial Tradition

While it is true that Spain subjugated the Philippines for more mundane reasons, this former
European power contributed much in the shaping and recording of our literature. Religion and
institutions that represented European civilization enriched the languages in the lowlands, introduced
theater which we would come to know as komedya, the sinakulo, the sarswela, the playlets and the
drama. Spain also brought to the country, though at a much later time, liberal ideas and an
internationalism that influenced our own Filipino intellectuals and writers for them to understand the
meanings of liberty and freedom.

Literature in this period may be classified as religious prose and poetry and secular prose and
poetry.

Religious lyrics written by ladino poets or those versed in both Spanish and Tagalog were
included in early catechism and were used to teach Filipinos the Spanish language. Fernando
Bagonbantas Salamat nang walang hanga/gracias de sin sempiternas (Unending thanks) is a fine
example that is found in the Memorial de la vida cristiana en lengua tagala (Guidelines for the
Christian life in the Tagalog language) published in 1605.

Another form of religious lyrics are the meditative verses like the dalit appended to novenas and
catechisms. It has no fixed meter nor rime scheme although a number are written in octosyllabic
quatrains and have a solemn tone and spiritual subject matter.

But among the religious poetry of the day, it is the pasyon in octosyllabic quintillas that became
entrenched in the Filipinos commemoration of Christs agony and resurrection at Calvary. Gaspar
Aquino de Belens Ang Mahal na Passion ni Jesu Christong Panginoon natin na tola (Holy Passion
of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Verse) put out in 1704 is the countrys earliest known pasyon.

Other known pasyons chanted during the Lenten season are in Ilocano, Pangasinan, Ibanag,
Cebuano, Bicol, Ilongo and Waray.

Aside from religious poetry, there were various kinds of prose narratives written to prescribe
proper decorum. Like the pasyon, these prose narratives were also used for proselitization. Some
forms are: dialogo(dialogue), Manual de Urbanidad (conduct book); ejemplo (exemplum)
and tratado (tratado). The most well-known are Modesto de Castros Pagsusulatan ng Dalawang
Binibini na si Urbana at si Feliza (Correspondence between the Two Maidens Urbana and Feliza) in
1864 and Joaquin Tuasons Ang Bagong Robinson (The New Robinson) in 1879, an adaptation of
Daniel Defoes novel.

Secular works appeared alongside historical and economic changes, the emergence of an
opulent class and the middle class who could avail of a European education. This Filipino elite could
now read printed works that used to be the exclusive domain of the missionaries.

The most notable of the secular lyrics followed the conventions of a romantic tradition: the
languishing but loyal lover, the elusive, often heartless beloved, the rival. The leading poets were
Jose Corazon de Jesus (Huseng Sisiw) and Francisco Balagtas. Some secular poets who wrote in
this same tradition were Leona Florentino, Jacinto Kawili, Isabelo de los Reyes and Rafael Gandioco.
Another popular secular poetry is the metrical romance, the awit and korido in Tagalog. The awit is
set in dodecasyllabic quatrains while the korido is in octosyllabic quatrains. These are colorful tales of
chivalry from European sources made for singing and chanting such as Gonzalo de Cordoba
(Gonzalo of Cordoba) and Ibong Adarna (Adarna Bird). There are numerous metrical romances in
Tagalog, Bicol, Ilongo, Pampango, Ilocano and in Pangasinan. The awit as a popular poetic genre
reached new heights in Balagtas Florante at Laura (ca. 1838-1861), the most famous of the
countrys metrical romances.

Again, the winds of change began to blow in 19th century Philippines. Filipino intellectuals
educated in Europe called ilustrados began to write about the downside of colonization. This, coupled
with the simmering calls for reforms by the masses gathered a formidable force of writers like Jose
Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, Emilio Jacinto and Andres Bonifacio.

This led to the formation of the Propaganda Movement where prose works such as the political
essays and Rizals two political novels, Noli Me Tangere and the El filibusterismo helped usher in the
Philippine revolution resulting in the downfall of the Spanish regime, and, at the same time planted
the seeds of a national consciousness among Filipinos.

But if Rizals novels are political, the novel Ninay (1885) by Pedro Paterno is largely cultural and
is considered the first Filipino novel. Although Paternos Ninay gave impetus to other novelists like
Jesus Balmori and Antonio M. Abad to continue writing in Spanish, this did not flourish.

Other Filipino writers published the essay and short fiction in Spanish in La Vanguardia, El
Debate,Renacimiento Filipino, and Nueva Era. The more notable essayists and fictionists were Claro
M. Recto, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Epifanio de los Reyes, Vicente Sotto, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Rafael
Palma, Enrique Laygo (Caretas or Masks, 1925) and Balmori who mastered the prosa romantica or
romantic prose.

But the introduction of English as medium of instruction in the Philippines hastened the demise of
Spanish so that by the 1930s, English writing had overtaken Spanish writing. During the languages
death throes, however, writing in the romantic tradition, from the awit and korido, would continue in
the novels of Magdalena Jalandoni. But patriotic writing continued under the new colonialists. These
appeared in the vernacular poems and modern adaptations of works during the Spanish period and
which further maintained the Spanish tradition.

The American Colonial Period

A new set of colonizers brought about new changes in Philippine literature. New literary forms
such as free verse [in poetry], the modern short story and the critical essay were introduced.
American influence was deeply entrenched with the firm establishment of English as the medium of
instruction in all schools and with literary modernism that highlighted the writers individuality and
cultivated consciousness of craft, sometimes at the expense of social consciousness.

The poet, and later, National Artist for Literature, Jose Garcia Villa used free verse and espoused
the dictum, Art for arts sake to the chagrin of other writers more concerned with the utilitarian
aspect of literature. Another maverick in poetry who used free verse and talked about illicit love in her
poetry was Angela Manalang Gloria, a woman poet described as ahead of her time. Despite the
threat of censorship by the new dispensation, more writers turned up seditious works and popular
writing in the native languages bloomed through the weekly outlets like Liwayway and Bisaya.
The Balagtas tradition persisted until the poet Alejandro G. Abadilla advocated modernism in
poetry. Abadilla later influenced young poets who wrote modern verses in the 1960s such as Virgilio
S. Almario, Pedro I. Ricarte and Rolando S. Tinio.

While the early Filipino poets grappled with the verities of the new language, Filipinos seemed to
have taken easily to the modern short story as published in the Philippines Free Press, the College
Folio and Philippines Herald. Paz Marquez Benitezs Dead Stars published in 1925 was the first
successful short story in English written by a Filipino. Later on, Arturo B. Rotor and Manuel E. Arguilla
showed exceptional skills with the short story.

Alongside this development, writers in the vernaculars continued to write in the provinces. Others
like Lope K. Santos, Valeriano Hernandez Pea and Patricio Mariano were writing minimal narratives
similar to the early Tagalog short fiction called dali or pasingaw (sketch).

The romantic tradition was fused with American pop culture or European influences in the
adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan by F. P. Boquecosa who also penned Ang Palad ni
Pepe after Charles DickensDavid Copperfield even as the realist tradition was kept alive in the
novels by Lope K. Santos and Faustino Aguilar, among others.

It should be noted that if there was a dearth of the Filipino novel in English, the novel in the
vernaculars continued to be written and serialized in weekly magazines like Liwayway, Bisaya,
Hiligaynon and Bannawag.

The essay in English became a potent medium from the 1920s to the present. Some leading
essayists were journalists like Carlos P. Romulo, Jorge Bocobo, Pura Santillan Castrence, etc. who
wrote formal to humorous to informal essays for the delectation by Filipinos.

Among those who wrote criticism developed during the American period were Ignacio Manlapaz,
Leopoldo Yabes and I.V. Mallari. But it was Salvador P. Lopezs criticism that grabbed attention when
he won the Commonwealth Literay Award for the essay in 1940 with his Literature and Society. This
essay posited that art must have substance and that Villas adherence to Art for Arts Sake is
decadent.

The last throes of American colonialism saw the flourishing of Philippine literature in English at
the same time, with the introduction of the New Critical aesthetics, made writers pay close attention to
craft and indirectly engendered a disparaging attitude towards vernacular writings a tension that
would recur in the contemporary period.

The Contemporary Period

The flowering of Philippine literature in the various languages continue especially with the
appearance of new publications after the Martial Law years and the resurgence of committed
literature in the 1960s and the 1970s.

Filipino writers continue to write poetry, short stories, novellas, novels and essays whether these
are socially committed, gender/ethnic related or are personal in intention or not.
Of course the Filipino writer has become more conscious of his art with the proliferation of writers
workshops here and abroad and the bulk of literature available to him via the mass media including
the internet. The various literary awards such as the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for
Literature, the Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, Home Life and Panorama literary awards
encourage him to compete with his peers and hope that his creative efforts will be rewarded in the
long run.

With the new requirement by the Commission on Higher Education of teaching of Philippine
Literature in all tertiary schools in the country emphasizing the teaching of the vernacular literature or
literatures of the regions, the audience for Filipino writers is virtually assured. And, perhaps, a
national literature finding its niche among the literatures of the world will not be far behind.

About the Author:


Christine F. Godinez-Ortega represents Central and Northern Mindanao in the National Literary Arts
Committee of the NCCA. Her poem Legend of Maria Cristina Falls was performed by the Integrated
Performing ArtsGuild during the Haguenau International Festival de Hoblon in France. She teaches at
the College of Arts and Social Sciences of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of
Technology and is a correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer for Iligan City.
Early Philippine Literature
Posted on April 14, 2015
Tagalog Literature: History and Tradition
DOMINGO GOAN LANDICHO

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

Tagalog literature has been born, cradled, nourished and peaked into fruition in the provinces
of Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and the present Metropolitan Manila or the National Capital
Region.

Among the Southern Tagalog provinces are Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Aurora, Oriental
Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Palawan and some towns of Rizal province. In Central
Luzon, there are three provinces where Tagalog is predominantly used and these are the provinces
of Nueva Ecija, Bataan and Bulacan. Metro Manila is comprised of cities composing the national
capital region namely Manila, Quezon City, Pasay City, Caloocan City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City,
Marikina City, Muntinlupa City and suburban towns of Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Pateros and
Taguig. Some parts of the provinces that are not originally Tagalog cannot escape the onslaught of
Tagalog language and culture, like some parts of the Bicol region and Pampanga.

THE CRADLE OF CULTURE

Tagalog region is the birthplace of a rich tradition of Philippine culture in language, politics,
economy and literature.

The oldest university in the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas is located in Manila. The first
printing press was established in Manila. This gave way to the publication of the first book, Doctrina
Cristiana in xylography in 1593, written in Spanish and Tagalog versions. The bible was first
translated into Tagalog in Barlaan and Josaphat in 1708 and 1712. The life of Christ in epic tradition
known popularly today as Pasyon was written in Tagalog by various writers like Gaspar Aquino de
Belen and Fr. Mariano Pilapil.

The literary tradition in the Tagalog regions specially outstanding in the field of oral literature
like bugtong(riddle), proverbs, native songs. These oral literatures are always in poetic forms, usually
seven-syllabic rhymes, so Asian in form and perspective.

Considering this rich and envigorating cultural matrix, it is not surprising that it is the Tagalog
region that was destined to be the birthplace of historic men in Philippine politics, culture and
literature that includes Francisco Balagtas Baltazar, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini,
Emilio Jacinto, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Jose P. Laurel, Claro M. Recto, Amado V. Hernandez, Lope K.
Santos, Lazaro Francisco, Faustino Aguilar, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Alejandro Abadilla, Modesto de
Castro.

It is not noticeable that such men are not only man of history that played a great role in Philippine
independence movement but men of letters as well.
THE LITERARY TRADITION

It is the pens of these men that shaped the political consciousness of the Filipinos.

Balagtas could be said to have voiced out the first concept of nationhood in Philippine politics
and literature in his epic poem, Florante at Laura. Says Balagtas:

Sa loob at labas ng bayan kong sawi


Kaliluhay siyang nangyayaring hari
Kagalingat bait ay nilulugami
Ininis sa hukay ng dusat pighati.

In and out of my miserable country


Repression is the dominant king
Goodness and well-meant intention are suppressed
Doomed in the grave of sufferings and grief.

Although Balagtas used Albania as an allegory, the situations clearly spoke of the
Philippines. This epic poems of Balagtas had inspired a generation of young writers of the period,
like Marcelo H. del Pilar, who spearheaded the Propaganda Movement in Europe and Jose Rizal,
whose novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo set the conflagration of revolutionary spirit and
movement.

While Rizal was living in banishment in a far-flung town of Dapitan in Mindanao island, a man of
the masses, Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, a revolutionary organization that sought total
independence from the Spanish yoke.

Even the revolutionary struggle of the people was guided by the light of literature. Bonifacio and
Emilio Jacinto, his close associate in the revolutionary struggle were men of letters, both writing
nationalist essays and poems.

Jacinto in his essay, Liwanag at Dilim (Light and Darkness), discoursed on the spirituality of
mans natural desire for freedom. On the other hand, Bonifacio spoke of the dimension of love of
country in his poem, Pag-ibig sa Tinibuang Lupa (Love for the Native Land). He says:

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya


Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa
Aling pag-ibig pa, wala na nga, wala.

Which love can be more powerful


More pure and noble
Than the love for ones native land
Which other love, there is no such.

This tradition of Tagalog literature has been bequeathed upon the national consciousness of the
Filipinos all over the Philippines. Manila being the center of the country in all aspects of national life
of the Filipinos becomes the logical conduit of national consciousness emanating from the literary
legacy of the regions gifted minds.
During the long period of Philippine subjugations by foreign dominations Spanish, American
and Japanese vigorous literary traditions have been nurtured.

In the contemporary Philippine society, Tagalog literature is continuing its role bequeathed upon
it by historical development.

However, Tagalog literature now, more and more is given a new name Filipino literature. But
this is another story.

About the Author:


Domingo Goan Landicho is one of the most-awarded writer in the Philippines. He writes poetry,
short fiction, drama, essays, biographies and literature for children. A professor of creative writing and
journalism in Filipino at the University of the Philippines, he has authored more than 30 books,
including four novels. He has travelled in so many countries as a writer. He is an actor for film, TV
and theater and acted in 1983 with Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver in MGMs The Year of Living
Dangerously.
EARLY PHILIPPINE LITERATURE

DR. LILIA QUINDOZA-SANTIAGO

The early inhabitants of the Philippine archipelago had a native alphabet or syllabary which
among the Tagalogs was called baybayin, an inscription akin to Sanskrit. It was through
the baybayin that literary forms such as songs, riddles and proverbs, lyric and short poems as well
as parts of epic poems were written. The bulk of these early literature however was just passed on
through oral recitation and incantation and were transcribed into the Roman alphabet only centuries
later by Spanish chroniclers and other scholars. It is believed that replacement of the baybayin by the
Roman alphabet must have obliterated a significant aspect of indigenous Philippine literature.

Among the early forms, it is the awit or the song that has endured. Most ethnolinguistic
communities remember the native tunes and lyrics of their songs. Fathers Chirino and Colin noted
that among the Tagalogs, there were some 16 song forms for various occasions. Among these are
the uyayi or hele, a lullaby for putting a child to sleep; the soliranin is a song for travelers while
the talindaw is the seafarers song; the kumintang is a war song; the maluway is a song for
collective labor while the kundiman is a melancholic love song. The dalit, is a song-ritual usually
sung to the rhythm of dance. The panambitan is a courtship song while the pamanhikan is a song-
ritual of the would-be bridegroom to his would-be bride as he asks permission to marry her.
The subli is another dance-ritual song of courtship and marriage.

In the north, among the Ilocanos, the more popular song forms are the dallot and
the duayya, both love songs, and the dung-aw which is a dirge or a wake song. The Bontoc of
Mountain Province have the bagbagto, a song ritual for harvest, while the Ivatan up in the Batanes
islands have three most popular folk song forms: the laji, the kanta and the kalusan. The laji is a
lyric rendition of a song usually sung after a days work when people gather together in their houses
to chat and drink the native wine, palek and just find time to be merry. Dr. Florentino Hornedos
research of the Ivatan laji yielded this following sample :

MAPAW AKO NA KANU NAPNU


DU VAKAG A DINAHURIS I HAVE BECOME LIGHTER
(Sung by informant Juana Cataluna) I have become lighter than a basket
Mapaw ako na kanu napnu nu of beaten cotton in the presence
vakag of so many relatives all heavily
a nidutdut mo a dinahuri a adorned
machipaywayam with double necklaces of gold and
du nadpun a kadaisa mo a precious beads;
minaypanananud heavy earrings of gold hung
nu mudag a inawa, inawa nu like leaves upon their ears;
vatutuk, but I sit in their midst with a
paychalugisugitan nu pinatapatan necklace of lasa seeds
a vuhung nu tadina, a vuhung nu interspersed with the humble seed
tadina; of the tugitugi
nia pachiduvangi chu a nanaryo nu and cheap green beads of glass,
lasa adorned with a cross
a inawa ko nu asi nu tugitngi made of squash shell because I
niladang ko nu mutin, ina nikarusan know not
ko nu how to tie properly a string around
pinsuan a tavayay duka di chu my neck,
dulivan which is the proper and decorous
ya mapaytanung sa huvid du thing for a young
putuhan woman
a nauri su madinay duyu kahenaken

Tagalog riddles are called bugtong, while the Ilocanos call these burburtia. Usually, riddles are
made to rhyme and utilize the talinghaga, a form of metaphor whose signification eventually conveys
the meaning of the answer to the riddle. Riddles such as these for instance illustrate the use of the
talinghaga:

Hindi hari, hindi pari Neither king nor priest


Ang damit ay sari-sari But has a variety of
(Sagot: sampayan) clothes
May puno, walang bunga (Answer: clothesline)
May dahon, walang sanga It is a treetrunk but is
(Sagot: sandok) without fruit
It has leaves but has no
branches
(Answer: ladle)

Sometimes, the riddles are relayed through familiar indigenous forms of poetry such as
the ambahan,which is a monorhyming heptasyllabic poem attributed to the Hanunuu-Mangyan ethnic
group in Mindoro. Apart from relaying riddles, ambahans are also used to narrate common folk
experiences. Father Antoon Postma has collected a number of these ambahans, an example of
which would be the following:

Ako mana manrigsan I would like to take a bath


sa may panayo pinggan scoop the water with a
sa may tupas balian plate wash the hair with
ako ud nakarigsan lemon juice; but I could
inambing bahayawan not take a bath, because
sinag-uli batangan the river is dammed with a
lot of sturdy trunks

A poetic form similar to the ambahan is the tanaga. Unlike the ambahan whose length is
indefinite, the tanagais a compact seven-syllable quatrain. Poets test their skills at rhyme, meter and
metaphor through thetanagabecause not only is it rhymed and measured but also exacts skillful use
of words to create a puzzle that demands some kind of an answer. Notice how this is used in the
following

Katitibay ka, tulos You may stand sturdy


Sakaling datnang agos, But when the waters flow
Akoy mumunting lumot, I, the humble moss
Sa iyoy pupulupot Can strangle you.
Mataas man ang bundok The mountain may be
Pantay man sa bakod high
Yamang mapagtaluktok It may reach the sky
Sa pantay rin aanod. Riches greedily
accumulated
Will eventually be leveled

Tagalog proverbs are called salawikain or sawikain while they are termed sarsarita in Iloko.
Like most proverbs the world over, Philippine proverbs contain sayings which prescribes norms,
imparts a lesson or simply reflects standard norms, traditions and beliefs in the community. Professor
Damiana Eugenio classifies Philippine proverbs into six groups according to subject matter. These
are (1) proverbs expressing a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life; (2) ethical
proverbs recommending certain virtues and condemning certain vices; (3) proverbs expressing a
system of values; (4) proverbs expressing general truths and observations about life and human
nature; (5) humorous proverbs and (6) miscellaneous proverbs. From her study, Eugenio observes
that it is possible to formulate a fairly comprehensive philosophy of life of the Filipino. The following
proverb for instance, which is one of the most popular, signifies the importance of looking back at
ones roots and origins. In a way, this proverb also echoes the Filipino value of utang na loob or
ones debt of gratitude to those who have contributed to his or her success.

Ang hindi lumilingon sa A person who does not


pinanggalingan remember where he/she
Hindi makararating sa came fromWill never
paroroonan reach his/her destination

The most exciting poetic as well as narrative forms of early Philippine literature however are the
Philippine epics or ethno-epics as critics and anthropologists call them. Almost all the major ethnic
groups in the country have an epic that is chanted in a variety of rituals. Because chanting is the
mode by which these epics have been produced, many of them still remain unwritten. The ASEAN-
sponsored study of Filipino epics asserts that there are about one hundred (100) extant epics in the
Philippines that have been discovered, most of these from the island of Palawan. The ASEAN
anthology features only translations into English and Filipino on Aliguyon (Hudhud) of the Ifugao,
translated by Amador Daguio, and edited by Josefina Mariano, Biag ni Lam-ang of the Ilocano,
composite text by Leopoldo Yabes and translated by Jovita Ventura Castro, Labaw Donggon, the
Sulod epic, the text by Dr. F. Landa Jocano and translated by Rosella Jean Makasian-Puno; Agyu or
Olahing or Ulahingan of the Manobos, composite text by Patricia Melendres Cruz from transcriptions
of E. Arsenio Manuel, Elena Maquiso, Carmen Ching Unabia, and Corazon Manuel and Sandayo of
the Subanun, text and translation by Virgilio Resma.

The editor/translators of these epics cite five common characteristics of these Filipino epics. One,
most of these epics are designated by names which means song, or chant, like the Ifugao hudhud,
the Manobo olagingor the Subanons guman. Two, the epics are episodic and proceed through
constructions that are en palier. There are repetitions of scenes at every episode the more familiar
among these would be the chewing of the betel nut, battle chants, getting dressed for marriage, etc.
Three, the epics abound with supernatural characters the diwatas, anitos, and other benign spirits
who come to the aid of the hero. Four, these epics are also reflective of the society where they
originate . They portray ethnic society before the coming of the Muslims (1380) and the Christians
(1521) and serve as vehicles for the transmission of ethnic customs and wisdom. Five, there are
always several versions of these epics, as well as a proliferation of episodes, phenomenon that is
explained by orality of the genre and its transmission through the ages to among the generations of
the group.
Aliguyon or the Hudhud of the Ifugaos tells of the exploits of Aliguyon as he battles his arch
enemy, Pambukhayon among rice fields and terraces and instructs his people to be steadfast and
learn the wisdom of warfare and of peacemaking during harvest seasons.

Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lamang) tells of the adventures of the prodigious epic hero, Lam-ang
who exhibits extraordinary powers at a very early age. At nine months he is able to go to war to look
for his fathers killers. Then while in search of lady love, Ines Kannoyan, he is swallowed by a big fish,
but his rooster and his friends bring him back to life.

Labaw Donggon is about the amorous exploits of the son of a goddess Alunsina, by a mortal,
Datu Paubari. The polygamous hero battles the huge monster Manaluntad for the hand of Abyang
Ginbitinan; then he fights Sikay Padalogdog, the giant with a hundred arms to win Abyang Doronoon
and confronts the lord of darkness, Saragnayan, to win Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata.

The Agyu or Olahing is a three part epic that starts with the pahmara (invocation) then
the kepuunpuun ( a narration of the past) and the sengedurog (an episode complete in itself). All
three parts narrate the exploits of the hero as he leads his people who have been driven out of their
land to Nalandangan, a land of utopia where there are no landgrabbers and oppressors.

Sandayo, tells of the story of the hero with the same name, who is born through extraordinary
circumstances as he fell out of the hair of his mother while she was combing it on the ninth stroke.
Thence he leads his people in the fight against invaders of their land and waterways.

Other known epics are Bantugan of the Maranao, the Darangen which is a Muslim epic,
the Kudaman of Palawan which was transcribed by Dr. Nicole McDonald, the Alim of the Ifugao,
the Hinilawod of Panay, the Ibalonof Bikol and Tuwaang of the Manobo, which was transcribed by
anthropologist E. Arsenio Manuel.. The Tagalog have no known epic but it is generally believed that
the story of Bernardo Carpio, the man who has been detained by the huge mountains of Montalban is
their epic.

Dr. Resil Mojares, literary scholar, asserts that the generic origins of the Filipino novel are found
in the epic narratives .

As for shorter narratives, there are stories that tell of the origins of the people, of the stars, the
sky and the seas. A common story of the origin of man and woman is that of Sicalac (man) and
Sicavay (woman) who came out of a bamboo after being pecked by a bird. This, and other stories of
equal birthing of man and woman throughout the archipelago could actually assert womans equality
with man among indigenous settings.

The eminent scholar and critic, Don Isabelo de los Reyes, had collected a good number of folk
tales, legends and myths which he had exhibited in Madrid in 1887 and won a distinguished award of
merit for it. These are now anthologized in a book El Folklore Filipino (1996).

About the Author:


Lilia Quindoza-Santiago is the author behind Kagampanan at Iba Pang Tula and Ang
Manggagamot ng Salay-Salay (a collection of stories). She was named Makata ng Taon (1989) in
the annual Talaang Ginto of the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa for her work Sa Ngalan ng Ina, ng
Anak, ng Diwatat Paraluman. She teaches Philippine Literature at the University of the Philippines.
Philippine Contemporary Art as a Post-War Phenomenon
LEO BENESA

Modern or contemporary art, although a by-word for decades in the Western world, is a
phenomenon of the post-war period in the Philippines. This is not meant to detract from the yeoman
efforts of Victorio Edades, Carlos Francisco and Galo Ocampo, who were known as the Triumvirate
in progressive art circles of the pre-war period. The art of these three men was indeed contemporary
in intention and direction, but their role was more needed historical and transitional rather than
iconoclastic. A new group was needed negotiate the actual aesthetic breakaway from the established
canon to the abstract, expressionist, symbolist and other modes of creative expression characteristic
of the art of the modern world.

For a while the Thirteen Moderns, a loose grouping which included the three men, appeared to effect
the desired seachange, but somehow they did not have die necessary collective anima. This could
probably be attributed to the enervating traumas of World War II. The iconoclastic role, instead, was
assumed by a more dynamic group of six artists whose names are closely associated with the early
years of the Philippine Art Gallery (PAG) in Ermita, Manila: Romeo Tabuena, Hernando Ocampo,
Vicente Manansala, Victor Oteyza, Ramon Estella and Cesar Legaspi.

Three of the Neo-Realists, as critic Aguilar Cruz called them, namely, Oteyza, Estella and Ocampo,
were self-taught artists. But they were no mere Sunday painters. Ocampos paintings, in particular,
showed an almost scientific preoccupation with color and design that nevertheless seemed to spring
from a feeling for organic form. A synthesis work entitled Ancestors was shown at one of the annual
exhibitions of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), a national organization of artists and art
lovers which was founded in 1947-48.

In addition to Hernando Ocampo and his group, the PAG in its early years also started to attract other
painters like Anita Magsaysay Ho, Nena Saguil, Mario and Helen Roces, and Manuel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez subsequently moved away to found his own Contemporary Artist Gallery and workshop.
Although diverse in style and temperament, the Neo-Realists and their companions shared a
common dissatisfaction with what they considered as the static art of the Establishment, as
exemplified by the painters belonging to the rural-pastoral school of Fernando Amorsolo.

The decisive battles between academic art and the new expressionism took place in the annual
competitions of the early fifties. In an effort to avoid a direct confrontation and showdown, the AAP
divide the entries into two categories, conservative and modern, artificial and untenable
classification which was subsequently abolished. For all practical purposes, the war between the two
camps was won during the 1954 AAP exhibition at the Northern Motors showrooms. In protest over
the choice of winning entries in the competition, a group of genre and landscape painters led by
Antonio Dumlao walked out with their works and forthwith set them up on the sidewalks for public
viewing. They then organized the Academy of Filipino Artists, which continued the sidewalk
exhibitions for a few years in front of the Manila Hotel, only to disband unobtrusively later on and
leave the field to the practitioners of the new movement. Before 1954, in fact, two painters, Arturo Luz
and Fernando Zobel, who were to influence the directions of this new movement considerably, had
started to show their works at the PAG and AAP exhibitions. The two represented a new breed:
educated abroad, they stood for the painting for paintings sake point of view, the so-called painterly
approach Luz through his spare lyrical style, with its emphasis on neatness and linear values, and
Zobel through his Matisse-like color improvisations but chiefly through his lectures on art at the
Ateneo de Manila which have had a profound influence on Philippine art appreciation and criticism.
Another painter of the same orientation and spirit also came back from studies abroad to strengthen
the camp of the PAG group. This was Constancio Bernardo, who was a disciple of Albers and his
optico-geometric colorism.

Thus, with the entry of these newcomers and the walkout of the followers of Amorsolo and Fabian de
la Rosa (and indirectly of Luna and Hidalgo), the controversy which had begun with the return of
Edades in 1928 and had been exacerbated by his arguments with the sculptor Guillermo Tolentino
and Dominador Castaeda on the nature of artistic distortion and representation came to an end. It
was a complete rout in favor of a new expression and expressionism. All that was needed now at this
stage was the emergence of the daring ones who would plunge Philippine art into the mainstream of
the international style of abstraction.

Indeed, with the appearance of Zobel and Luz, new names began to assert themselves in the late
fifties and early sixties: Cenon Rivera, J.E. Navarro, Jose Joya Jr., Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Joan
Edades, David Medalla, Lee Aguinaldo, Ang Kiukok, Jess Ayco, Zeny Laygo, Malang, Hugo Yonzon,
Oscar Zalameda, Rodolfo Perez, and Juvenal Sanso. The majority gravitated this time around a new
showplace, the Luz Gallery, which assumed the functions of the PAG as the latter gradually lost its
old vitality.

Two painters, in particular, Joya and Aguinaldo, started producing canvases in the tradition of the
New York school of abstract expressionism. Joya orbited into non-objective art while he was painting
in Detroit, Michigan, with an explosion of spring colors entitled Magnolia Tree. Probably taking his cue
from Zobel who was doing his saeta series which were paintings applied with syringe instead of
brush, Aguinaldo started flicking threads of paint with palette knife onto canvas to produce expressive
abstractions with monumental effect. Perez advanced the frontiers further by spraying his colors on,
to produce vibrating tonal zones in the soft-edged idioms of Rothko.

And, as if to dramatize the fact that Philippine Art had become international in grammar, spirit and
geography, Aguilar Alcuaz left for Europe in 1956 and came back in 1964 still doing figuration but in a
highly abstract yet viscerally disturbing style. The Philippine-artist-in-voluntary-exile is no new theme
in the history of Philippine art, and the case of Aguilar Alcuaz is not unique even in recent times. In
fact, Tabuena the most prolific and sensitive among the early Neo-Realists had left much earlier
and has not come back so far, preferring an artists life in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to painting
in his own country. Nena Saguil had also left earlier, and ended up living and painting in Paris for 14
years before finally coming back to Manila for a retrospective show in 1968 at the new Solidaridad
Galleries. Manansala, who paints in what he himself has called transparent cubism, has done some
world traveling. Anita Ho has lived in Brazil, and now resides in Canada. Zalameda is an inveterate
continental traveller. The gifted Medalla, who has abandoned painting in favor of kinetic sculpture,
has been living in England for the fast few years. Zobel and Sanso, who are Philippine-born Spanish
citizens, sojourn mostly in Europe, although they come back periodically to Manila to show their latest
works.

How far Philippine contemporary art has progressed since Edades and his painting, The Builders,
may be seen in the fact that at the 1964 Venice Biennial the painter chosen to represent the
Philippines was abstractionist Jose Joya, together with the modernist sculptor Napoleon Abueva.
Also, it was the first time that a Philippine painter ever took part in an international exhibition of this
magnitude. The Philippines did not win any medals (Pop Art was the word then), but the participation
itself was historically significant and prepared the way for other Philippine painters seeking
international stature.
The following year 1965, Tabuena sent his works to Brazil to represent his country in the 8th Sao
Paulo Biennial. Two year later, in 1967, the paintings of Hernando Ocampo were also shown in Brazil
at the same biennial, while Aguilar Alcuaz represented the younger generation at the 5th Biennial de
Paris.
A painter of sardonic humor, Navarro also took part in the 1967 Sao Paolo exhibition, but in the field
of sculpture. Indeed, a whole book can be written on the works of a number of Philippine artists who
have been active in both painting and sculpture.
In the meantime, the mid-sixties also witnessed the maturation and emergence of a new generation
of young painters who may be considered as the legitimate aesthetic offspring of the progressive
elements of the immediate post war period, especially of the Neo-Realists. Highly conscientious and
competent, the young painters have been winning the big prizes offered yearly in national
competitions. It is noteworthy that the older painters, apart from the fact that they are already well-
known, have declined to compete against these young men in the annuals of the Art Association of
the Philippines, preferring when they do take part to participate hors concours as guest artists.

This new generation divides itself into two groupings, but with no real discernible organization or
leadership. The first cluster consists of Roberto Chabet, Angelito Antonio, Florencio Concepcion,
Charito Bitanga, Antonio Austria, David Aquino, Norma Belleza, Antonio Chan, William Chua,
Veronica Lim, Leonardo Pacunayen, Angelito David, Antonio Hidalgo, Noel Manalo, and Manuel
Rodriguez Jr. The second cluster consists of Alfredo Liongoren, Kelvin Chung, Marciano Galang,
Virgilio Aviado, Ben Maramag, Benedicto Cabrera, Edgar Doctor, Lucio Martinez, Efren Zaragosa,
Raul Lebajo, Raul Isidro, Prudencio Lammaroza, Jaime de Guzman, and Lamberto Hechanova Jr.

In the works of this new generation of Philippine painters are polarized all the progressive tendencies
and thrusts of Philippine art, as well as the basic drawbacks inherent in the act of working derivatively
within the continuum of the international art movement (and its various recent manifestations like pop,
op, minimalism-maximalism, hard-and soft-edgism, colorschoolism, and so on), to the detriment of
the growth of national art, whatever that may mean. In any case, these young artists are the true heirs
of the Philippine contemporary art movement. Their performance in the next few years together with
that of their more spirited elders will largely determine the shape of its content.

Reference/s:
From the NCCA-published book by Benesa What is Philippine about Philippine Art? and Other
Essays (originally from Verlag Neves Forum, 1970). For inquiries on the book, contact Glenn
Maboloc of Public Affairs at 527-2192 local 614 or email address paid@ncca.gov.ph. Available also
at all National Bookstores.
About the Author:
Leo Benesa is a poet, essayist, and above all, a professional art critic. His works in art criticism
include his column for the Weekend of Daily Express. He was one of the founders of the International
Association of Art Critics. Among his books are Joya Drawings (1975), Galo B. Ocampo: 50 Years of
Art, The Printmakers (1975), The Art of Fine Prints: A View of 25 Years (1980), and Okir: The
Epiphany of Philippine Graphic Art (1981).
Philippine Literature during the American Period
DR. LILIA QUINDOZA-SANTIAGO

Philippine literary production during the American Period in the Philippines was spurred by two
significant developments in education and culture. One is the introduction of free public instruction for
all children of school age and two, the use of English as medium of instruction in all levels of
education in public schools.

Free public education made knowledge and information accessible to a greater number of
Filipinos. Those who availed of this education through college were able to improve their social status
and joined a good number of educated masses who became part of the countrys middle class.

The use of English as medium of instruction introduced Filipinos to Anglo-American modes of


thought, culture and life ways that would be embedded not only in the literature produced but also in
the psyche of the countrys educated class. It was this educated class that would be the wellspring of
a vibrant Philippine Literature in English.

Philippine literature in English, as a direct result of American colonization of the country, could
not escape being imitative of American models of writing especially during its period of
apprenticeship. The poetry written by early poets manifested studied attempts at versification as in
the following poem which is proof of the poets rather elementary exercise in the English language:

Vacation days at last are here,


And we have time for fun so dear,
All boys and girls do gladly cheer,
This welcomed season of the year.
In early June in school well meet;
A harder task shall we complete
And if we fail we must repeat
That self same task without retreat.
We simply rest to come again
To school where boys and girls obtain
The Creators gift to men
Whose sanguine hopes in us remain.
Vacation means a time for play
For young and old in night and day
My wish for all is to be gay,
And evil none lead you astray

Juan F. Salazar

Philippines Free Press, May 9, 1909

The poem was anthologized in the first collection of poetry in English, Filipino Poetry, edited by
Rodolfo Dato (1909 1924). Among the poets featured in this anthology were Proceso Sebastian
Maximo Kalaw, Fernando Maramag, Leopoldo Uichanco, Jose Ledesma, Vicente Callao, Santiago
Sevilla, Bernardo Garcia, Francisco Africa, Pablo Anzures, Carlos P. Romulo, Francisco
Tonogbanua, Juan Pastrana, Maria Agoncillo, Paz Marquez Benitez, Luis Dato and many others.
Another anthology, The English German Anthology of Poetsedited by Pablo Laslo was published
and covered poets published from 1924-1934 among whom were Teofilo D. Agcaoili, Aurelio Alvero,
Horacio de la Costa, Amador T. Daguio, Salvador P. Lopez, Angela Manalang Gloria, Trinidad
Tarrosa, Abelardo Subido and Jose Garcia Villa, among others. A third pre-war collection of poetry
was edited by Carlos Bulosan, Chorus for America: Six Philippine Poets. The six poets in this
collection were Jose Garcia Villa, Rafael Zulueta da Costa, Rodrigo T. Feria, C.B. Rigor, Cecilio
Baroga and Carlos Bulosan.

In fiction, the period of apprenticeship in literary writing in English is marked by imitation of the
style of storytelling and strict adherence to the craft of the short story as practiced by popular
American fictionists. Early short story writers in English were often dubbed as the Andersons or
Saroyans or the Hemingways of Philippine letters. Leopoldo Yabes in his study of the Philippine short
story in English from 1925 to 1955 points to these models of American fiction exerting profound
influence on the early writings of story writers like Francisco Arcellana, A.E. Litiatco, Paz Latorena. .

When the University of the Philippines was founded in 1908, an elite group of writers in English
began to exert influence among the culturati. The U.P. Writers Club founded in 1926, had stated that
one of its aims was to enhance and propagate the language of Shakespeare. In 1925, Paz Marquez
Benitez short story, Dead Starswas published and was made the landmark of the maturity of the
Filipino writer in English. Soon after Benitez, short story writers began publishing stories no longer
imitative of American models. Thus, story writers like Icasiano Calalang, A.E. Litiatco, Arturo Rotor,
Lydia Villanueva, Paz Latorena , Manuel Arguilla began publishing stories manifesting both skilled
use of the language and a keen Filipino sensibility.

This combination of writing in a borrowed tongue while dwelling on Filipino customs and
traditions earmarked the literary output of major Filipino fictionists in English during the American
period. Thus, the major novels of the period, such as the Filipino Rebel, by Maximo Kalaw, and His
Native Soil by Juan C. Laya, are discourses on cultural identity, nationhood and being Filipino done
in the English language. Stories such as How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife by Manuel
Arguilla scanned the scenery as well as the folkways of Ilocandia while N.V. M. Gonzaless novels
and stories such as Children of the Ash Covered Loam, present the panorama of Mindoro, in all
its customs and traditions while configuring its characters in the human dilemma of nostalgia and
poverty. Apart from Arguilla and Gonzales, noted fictionists during the period included Francisco
Arcellana, whom Jose Garcia Villa lauded as a genius storyteller, Consorcio Borje, Aida Rivera,
Conrado Pedroche, Amador Daguio, Sinai Hamada, Hernando Ocampo, Fernando Maria Guerrero.
Jose Garcia Villa himself wrote several short stories but devoted most of his time to poetry.

In 1936, when the Philippine Writers League was organized, Filipino writers in English began
discussing the value of literature in society. Initiated and led by Salvador P. Lopez, whose essays
on Literature and Societyprovoked debates, the discussion centered on proletarian literature, i.e.,
engaged or committed literature versus the art for arts sake literary orientation. But this discussion
curiously left out the issue of colonialism and colonial literature and the whole place of literary writing
in English under a colonial set-up that was the Philippines then.

With Salvador P. Lopez, the essay in English gained the upper hand in day to day discourse on
politics and governance. Polemicists who used to write in Spanish like Claro M. Recto, slowly started
using English in the discussion of current events even as newspaper dailies moved away from
Spanish reporting into English. Among the essayists, Federico Mangahas had an easy facility with the
language and the essay as genre. Other noted essayists during the period were Fernando Maramag,
Carlos P. Romulo , Conrado Ramirez.
On the other hand, the flowering of a vibrant literary tradition due to historical events did not
altogether hamper literary production in the native or indigenous languages. In fact, the early period
of the 20th century was remarkable for the significant literary output of all major languages in the
various literary genre.

It was during the early American period that seditious plays, using the form of the zarsuwela,
were mounted. Zarsuwelistas Juan Abad, Aurelio Tolentino ,Juan Matapang Cruz. Juan Crisostomo
Sotto mounted the classics like Tanikalang Ginto, Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas and Hindi Ako
Patay, all directed against the American imperialists. Patricio Marianos Anak ng Dagat and Severino
Reyess Walang Sugat are equally remarkable zarsuwelas staged during the period.

On the eve of World War II, Wilfredo Maria Guerrero would gain dominance in theatre through
his one-act plays which he toured through his mobile theatre. Thus, Wanted a Chaperone and The
Forsaken Housebecame very popular in campuses throughout the archipelago.

The novel in Tagalog, Iloko, Hiligaynon and Sugbuanon also developed during the period aided
largely by the steady publication of weekly magazines like
the Liwayway, Bannawag and Bisaya which serialized the novels.

Among the early Tagalog novelists of the 20th century were Ishmael Amado, Valeriano
Hernandez Pea, Faustino Aguilar, Lope K. Santos and Lazaro Francisco.

Ishmael Amados Bulalakaw ng Pag-asa published in 1909 was one of the earliest novels that
dealt with the theme of American imperialism in the Philippines. The novel, however, was not
released from the printing press until 1916, at which time, the author, by his own admission and after
having been sent as a pensionado to the U.S., had other ideas apart from those he wrote in the
novel.

Valeriano Hernandez Peas Nena at Neneng narrates the story of two women who happened
to be best of friends as they cope with their relationships with the men in their lives. Nena succeeds in
her married life while Neneng suffers from a stormy marriage because of her jealous husband.

Faustino Aguilar published Pinaglahuan, a love triangle set in the early years of the century
when the workers movement was being formed. The novels hero, Luis Gatbuhay, is a worker in a
printery who isimprisoned for a false accusation and loses his love, Danding, to his rival Rojalde, son
of a wealthy capitalist. Lope K. Santos, Banaag at Sikat has almost the same theme and motif as the
hero of the novel, Delfin, also falls in love with a rich woman, daughter of a wealthy landlord. The love
story of course is set also within the background of development of the workers trade union
movement and throughout the novel, Santos engages the readers in lengthy treatises and discourses
on socialism and capitalism. Many other Tagalog novelists wrote on variations of the same theme,
i.e., the interplay of fate, love and social justice. Among these writers are Inigo Ed Regalado, Roman
Reyes, Fausto J. Galauran, Susana de Guzman, Rosario de Guzman-Lingat, Lazaro Francisco,
Hilaria Labog, Rosalia Aguinaldo, Amado V. Hernandez. Many of these writers were able to produce
three or more novels as Soledad Reyes would bear out in her book which is the result of her
dissertation, Ang Nobelang Tagalog (1979).
Among the Iloko writers, noted novelists were Leon Pichay, who was also the regions poet laureate
then, Hermogenes Belen, and Mena Pecson Crisologo whose Mining wenno Ayat ti Kararwa is
considered to be the Iloko version of a Noli me Tangere.

In the Visayas, Magdalena Jalandoni and Ramon Muzones would lead most writers in writing the
novels that dwelt on the themes of love, courtship, life in the farmlands, and other social upheavals of
the period. Marcel Navarra wrote stories and novels in Sugbuhanon.

Poetry in all languages continued to flourish in all regions of the country during the American
period. The Tagalogs, hailing Francisco F. Balagtas as the nations foremost poet invented
the balagtasan in his honor. Thebalagtasan is a debate in verse, a poetical joust done almost
spontaneously between protagonists who debate over the pros and cons of an issue.

The first balagtasan was held in March 1924 at the Instituto de Mujeres, with Jose Corazon de
Jesus and Florentino Collantes as rivals, bubuyog (bee) and paru-paro (butterfly) aiming for the love
of kampupot (jasmine). It was during this balagtasan that Jose Corazon de Jesus, known as Huseng
Batute, emerged triumphant to become the first king of the Balagtasan. Jose Corazon de Jesus was
the finest master of the genre. He was later followed by balagtasistas, Emilio Mar Antonio and
Crescenciano Marquez, who also became King of the Balagtasan in their own time.

As Huseng Batute, de Jesus also produced the finest poems and lyrics during the period. His
debates with Amado V. Hernandez on the political issue of independence from America and
nationhood were mostly done in verse and are testament to the vitality of Tagalog poetry during the
era. Lope K. Santos, epic poem, Ang Panggingera is also proof of how poets of the period have
come to master the language to be able to translate it into effective poetry.

The balagtasan would be echoed as a poetical fiesta and would be duplicated in the Ilocos as
thebukanegan, in honor of Pedro Bukaneg, the supposed transcriber of the epic, Biag ni Lam-ang;
and theCrissottan, in Pampanga, in honor of the esteemed poet of the Pampango, Juan Crisostomo
Sotto.

In 1932, Alejandro G. Abadilla , armed with new criticism and an orientation on modernist poetry
would taunt traditional Tagalog poetics with the publication of his poem, Ako ang Daigdig. Abadillas
poetry began the era of modernism in Tagalog poetry, a departure from the traditional rhymed,
measured and orally recited poems. Modernist poetry which utilized free or blank verses was
intended more for silent reading than oral delivery.

Noted poets in Tagalog during the American period were Julian Cruz Balmaceda, Florentino
Collantes, Pedro Gatmaitan, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Benigno Ramos, Inigo Ed. Regalado, Ildefonso
Santos, Lope K. Santos, Aniceto Silvestre, Emilio Mar. Antonio , Alejandro Abadilla and Teodoro
Agoncillo.

Like the writers in English who formed themselves into organizations, Tagalog writers also
formed the Ilaw at Panitik, and held discussions and workshops on the value of literature in society.
Benigno Ramos, was one of the most politicized poets of the period as he aligned himself with the
peasants of the Sakdal Movement.

Fiction in Tagalog as well as in the other languages of the regions developed alongside the
novel. Most fictionists are also novelists. Brigido Batungbakal , Macario Pineda and other writers
chose to dwell on the vicissitudes of life in a changing rural landscape. Deogracias Del Rosario on the
other hand, chose the city and the emerging social elite as subjects of his stories. He is considered
the father of the modern short story in Tagalog
Among the more popular fictionists who emerged during the period are two women writers,
Liwayway Arceo and Genoveva Edroza Matute, considered forerunners in the use of light fiction, a
kind of story telling that uses language through poignant rendition. Genoveva Edroza
Matutes Akoy Isang Tinig and Liwayway Arceos Uhaw ang Tigang na Lupa have been used
as models of fine writing in Filipino by teachers of composition throughout the school system.

Teodoro Agoncillos anthology 25 Pinakamahusay na Maiikling Kuwento (1945) included the


foremost writers of fiction in the pre-war era.

The separate, yet parallel developments of Philippine literature in English and those in Tagalog
and other languages of the archipelago during the American period only prove that literature and
writing in whatever language and in whatever climate are able to survive mainly through the active
imagination of writers. Apparently, what was lacking during the period was for the writers in the
various languages to come together, share experiences and come to a conclusion on the elements
that constitute good writing in the Philippines.

About the Author:


Lilia Quindoza-Santiago is the author behind Kagampanan at Iba Pang Tula and Ang
Manggagamot ng Salay-Salay (a collection of stories). She was named Makata ng Taon (1989) in
the annual Talaang Ginto of the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa for her work Sa Ngalan ng Ina, ng
Anak, ng Diwatat Paraluman. She teaches Philippine Literature at the University of the Philippines.
Philippine Literature in English
Posted on April 14, 2015
RICARDO DE UNGRIA

Philippine Literature in English has its roots in the efforts of the American forces at the turn of the
century to pacify the Filipino people and instill in them the American ideals of universality,
practicality, and democracy. By 1901, public education was institutionalized, with English serving as
the medium of instruction. Around 600 educators who arrived in that year aboard the S.S.
Thomas replaced the soldiers who also functioned as teachers. The people learned the language
quickly, helped no doubt by the many support systems, e.g., books, magazines, newspapers, etc.,
outside of the academe.

Today, around 80% of the population could understand and speak English

The founding of Philippine Normal School in 1901 and the University of the Philippines in 1908,
as well as of English newspapers like the Daily Bulletin (1900), The Cablenews (1902), and
the Philippines Free Press (1905), helped boost the spread of English. The first ten years of the
century already saw the verse and prose efforts of the Filipinos in such student publications as The
Filipino Students Magazine (first issue, 1905), which was a short-lived quarterly published in
Berkeley, California, by Filipino pensionados (or government scholars); the UP College Folio(first
issue, 1910); The Coconut of the Manila High School (first issue, 1912); and The Torch of the PNS
(first issue, 1913). But it was not until the 30s and 40s that Filipino writers in English emerged into
their own.

Newspapers and magazines were foundedlike the Philippines Herald in 1920, the Philippine
Education Magazine in 1924 (renamed Philippine Magazine in 1928), and later the Manila Tribune ,
the Graphic, the Womans Outlook, and the Womans Home Journalthat helped introduce to the
reading public the works of Paz Marquez Benitez, Jose Garcia Villa, Loreto Paras, and Casiano
Calalang among others. Cash incentives were given to writers in 1921 when the Free Press started to
pay for published contributions and awarded P1,000 for the best stories. The organization in 1925 of
the Philippine Writers Association and in 1927 of the U.P. Writers Club, which put out the Literary
Apprentice, also helped encourage literary production. In 1939, the Philippine Writers League was put
up by politically conscious writers, intensifying their debate with those in the art for arts sake school
of Villa.

Among the significant publications of this fertile period were: Filipino Poetry (1924) by Rodolfo
Dato;English-German Anthology of Filipino Poets (1934) by Pablo Laslo; Jose Garcia Villas Many
Voices (1939) andPoems of Doveglion (1941); Poems (1940) by Angela Manalang Gloria; Chorus for
America: Six Philippine Poets(1942) by Carlos Bulosan; Zoilo Galangs A Child of Sorrow (1921), the
first Filipino novel in English, and Box of Ashes and Other Stories (1925), the first collection of stories
in book form; Villas Footnote to Youth: Tales of the Philippines and Others (1933); The Wound and
the Scar (1937) by Arturo Rotor, a collection of stories; Winds of April (1940) by NVM Gonzalez; His
Native Soil (1941) by Juan C. Laya; Manuel Arguillas How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife
and Other Stories ( 1941); Galangss Life and Success (1921), the first volume of essays in English;
and the influential Literature and Society (1940) by Salvador P. Lopez. Dramatic writing took a
backseat due to the popularity of vaudeville and Tagalog movies, although it was kept alive by the
playwright Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero.
In 1940, the first Commonwealth Literary Awards were given by Pres. Manuel Quezon to the
following winners: Salvador P. Lopez for Literature and Society (essay); Manuel Arguilla for How My
Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife and Other Stories (short story); R. Zulueta da Costa for Like the
Molave (poetry); and Juan C. Laya for His Native Soil (novel).

During the Japanese Occupation when Tagalog was favored by the Japanese military authority,
English writing was consigned to limbo. After the war however, it picked up anew and claimed the
fervor and drive for excellence that continue to this day. Stevan Javellanas Without Seeing the
Dawn (1947), the first postwar novel in English, was published in the USA. In 1946, the Barangay
Writers Project was founded to help publish books in English.

Against a background marked by political unrest and government battles with Hukbalahap
guerrillas, writers in English in the postwar period honed their sense of craft and techniques. Among
the writers who came to their own during this time were: Nick Joaquin, NVM Gonzalez, Francisco
Arcellana, Carlos Bulosan, F. Sionil Jose, Ricaredo Demetillo, Kerima Polotan Tuvera, Carlos
Angeles, Edilberto Tiempo, Amador Daguio, Estrella Alfon, Alejandrino Hufana, Gregorio Brillantes,
Bienvenido Santos, Dominador Ilio, T.D. Agcaoili, Alejandro Roces, Sinai C. Hamada, Linda Ty-
Casper, Virginia Moreno, Luis Dato, Gilda Cordero Fernando, Abelardo and Tarrosa Subido, Manuel
A. Viray, Vicente Rivera Jr., and Oscar de Zuniga, among many others.

Fresh from studies in American universities, usually as Fulbright or Rockefeller scholars, a


number of these writers introduced New Criticism to the country and applied its tenets in literature
classes and writing workshops. In this way were born the Silliman Writers Summer Workshop (started
in 1962 by Edilberto and Edith Tiempo) and the U.P. Writers Summer Workshop (started in 1965 by
the Department of English at the U.P.).To this day, these workshops help discover writing talents and
develop them in their craft.

The Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature were instituted in 1950 and became
synonymous with quality literature and the new writers rite of passage to fame. It gave awards in the
various genres in English and Pilipino, and more recently, expanded its range to include categories
for regional writings. Government recognition of literary merit took a turn for the better through the
Republic Cultural Heritage Awards (1960), the Pro Patria Awards for Literature (1961), and the
National Artist Awards (1973). Only the last survives today, and such honor and privilege had been
given only to the following creative writers: Amado V. Hernandez and Jose Garcia Villa (1973), Nick
Joaquin (1976), Carlos P. Romulo (1982), Francisco Arcellana (1990), NVM Gonzalez, and Rolando
Tinio (1997) (Eds note: Edith Tiempo was named National Artist in 2000). The prestigious
international Magsaysay Award has also been given to just three Filipinos for their literary
achievements: F. Sionil Jose, Nick Joaquin, and Bienvenido Lumbera. To this day, yearly awards are
handed out by the Philippines Free Press and Graphic magazines for the best poetry and fiction
published in their pages.

Like the Veronicans in the thirties, writers continued to form groups, the better to compete with
and advance one anothers writings. Notable of these literary barkadas are the Ravens in the fifties
(with Adrian Cristobal, Virginia Moreno, Alejandrino Hufana, Andres Cristobal Cruz, and Hilario
Francia Jr., among others), the Bagay poets of Ateneo in the sixties (Rolando Tinio, Bienvenido
Lumbera, Jose Lacaba, and Edgar Alegre), and the Philippine Literary Arts Council in the eighties (
Gemino H. Abad, Cirilo Bautista, Ricardo de Ungria, Alfrredo Navarro Salanga, and Alfred Yuson).

In spite of a lack of a critical tradition, poetry and fiction in English continue to thrive and be
written with depth, sophistication, and insight. Among the important and still active fictionists of recent
years are: F.Sionil Jose, Erwin Castillo, Ninotchka Rosca, Antonio Enriquez, Resil Mojares, Renato
Madrid, Wilfredo Nolledo, Alfred Yuson, Amadis Ma. Guerrero, Jose Dalisay Jr., Jaime An Lim, Eric
Gamalinda, and Charlson Ong. And among the poets: Emmanuel Torres, Cirilo Bautista, Gemino
Abad, Federico Licsi Espino Jr., Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta, Emmanuel Lacaba, Marjorie Evasco,
Simeon Dumdum Jr., Ma. Luisa Aguilar Carino, Anthony Tan, Elsa Coscoluella, Ramon Sunico,
Ricardo de Ungria, and Marne Kilates.

Dramatic writing never really took off after Guerrero and Joaquin, due perhaps to the awareness
by the writers, especially in the seventies, of the implausibility and severe limitations of using English
on stage. Nevertheless, theater in English continues to be presented through Broadway adaptations
and the like by Repertory Philippines and other small drama groups.

Not yet a hundred years old, Philippine writing in English has already established a tradition for
itself and continues to help definetogether with the literatures in the regionsthe self and soul of
the Filipino.

About the Author:


Ricardo de Ungria is a founding member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council and Unyon ng mga
Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL). His poetry collection Cages won first prize in the CCP Literary
Contest (1976) while Decimal Places received the National Book Award for poetry from the Manila
Critics Circle in 1992. He chairs UP Manilas Department of Arts and Communications.
Philippine Literature in the Post-War and Contemporary Period
FRANCIS C. MACANSANTOS
PRISCILLA S. MACANSANTOS

Published in 1946, Ginto Sa Makiling a novel by Macario Pineda, is the first work of note that
appeared after the second world war. In plot, it hews close to the mode of romantic fantasy traceable
to the awits, koridos and komedyas of the Balagtas tradition. But it is a symbolical narrative of social,
moral and political import. In this, it resembles not only Balagtas but also Rizal, but in style and plot it
is closer to Balagtas in not allowing the realistic mode to restrict the element of fantasy.

Two novels by writers in English dealt with the war experience: (Medina, p. 194) Stevan
Javellanas Without Seeing the Dawn (1947), and Edilberto Tiempos Watch in the Night. Both novels
hew closely to the realist tradition. Lazaro Francisco, the eminent Tagalog novelist of the pre-war
years, was to continue to produce significant work. He revised his Bayaning Nagpatiwakal (1932),
refashioning its plot and in sum honing his work as a weapon against the policies that tended to
perpetuate American economic dominance over the Philippines. The updated novel was titled Ilaw Sa
Hilaga (1948) (Lumbera, p. 67). He was to produce three more novels.Sugat Sa Alaala (1950) reflects
the horrors of the war experience as well as the human capacity for nobility, endurance and love
under the most extreme circumstances. Maganda Pa Ang Daigdig (1956) deals with the agrarian
issue, and Daluyong (1962) deals with the corruption bred by the American-style and American-
educated pseudo-reformers. Lazaro Francisco is a realist with social and moral ideals. The Rizal
influence on his work is profound.

The poet Amado Hernandez, who was also union leader and social activist, also wrote novels
advocating social change. Luha ng Buwaya (1963) (Lumbera) deals with the struggle between the
oppressed peasantry and the class of politically powerful landlords. Mga Ibong Mandaragit (1969)
deals with the domination of Filipinos by American industry (Lumbera, p. 69).

Unfortunately, the Rizalian path taken by Lazaro Francisco and Amado Hernandez with its social-
realist world-view had the effect of alienating them from the mode of the highly magical oral-epic
tradition. Imported social realism (and, in the case of Amado Hernandez, a brand of socialist
empiricism), was not entirely in touch with the folk sentiment and folk belief, which is why the Tagalog
romances (e.g., Ginto Sa Makiling, serialized in the comics), were far more popular than their work.

It was Philippine Literature in English which tapped the folk element in the Philippine unconscious
to impressive, spectacular effect. Nick Joaquin, through his neo-romantic, poetic and histrionic style,
is reminiscent of the dramas of Balagtas and de la Cruz. His dizzying flashbacks (from an idealized
romantic Spanish past to a squalid Americanized materialistic present) are cinematic in effect,
ironically quite Hollywood-ish, serving always to beguile and astonish.

Francisco Arcellana, his younger contemporary, was a master of minimalist fiction that is as
native as anything that could be written in English, possessing the potent luminosity of a sorcerers
rune.

Wilfrido Nolledo, fictionist-playwright growing up in the aura of such masters, was the disciple
who, without conscious effort, created a school of his own. His experiments in plot and plotlessness,
his creation of magical scenes, made splendorous by a highly expressive language, easily became
the rage among young writers who quickly joined (each in his/her own highly original style) the
Nolledo trend. Among these poetic fictionists of the 1960s were Wilfredo Pasqua Sanchez, Erwin
Castillo, Cesar Ruiz Aquino, Resil Mojares, Leopoldo Cacnio and Ninotchka Rosca. Of them all, only
the last two did not publish verse. Their non-realistic (even anti-realistic) style made them perhaps the
most original group of writers to emerge in the post-war period. But such a movement that slavishly
used the American colonists language (according to the Nationalist, Socialist Tagalog writers who
were following A.V. Hernandez) were called decadent (in the manner of Lukacsian social realism).

Post-war poetry and fiction was dominated by the writers in English educated and trained in
writers workshops in the United States or England. Among these were the novelists Edilberto and
Edith Tiempo (who is also a poet), short-fictionist Francisco Arcellana, poet-critic Ricaredo Demetillo,
poet-fictionist Amador Daguio, poet Carlos Angeles, fictionists N.V.M. Gonzales and Bienvenido N.
Santos. Most of these writers returned to the Philippines to teach. With their credentials and solid
reputations, they influenced the form and direction of the next generation mainly in accordance with
the dominant tenets of the formalist New Critics of America and England.

Even literature in the Tagalog-based national language (now known as Filipino) could not avoid
being influenced or even (in the critical sense) assimilated. College-bred writers in Filipino like
Rogelio Sikat and Edgardo Reyes saw the need to hone their artistry according to the dominant
school of literature in America of that period, despite the fact that the neo-Aristotelian formalist school
went against the grain of their socialist orientation. Poet-critic Virgilio Almario (1944- ), a.k.a. Rio
Alma, in a break-away move reminiscent of Alejandro Abadilla, and in the formalist (New Critical)
mode then fashionable, bravely opined that Florante at Laura, Balagtas acknowledged masterpiece,
was an artistic failure (Reyes, p. 71-72). It was only in the early 1980s (Reyes, p. 73) that Almario
(after exposure to the anti-ethnocentrism of structuralism and Deconstruction) revised his views.

The protest tradition of Rizal, Bonifacio and Amado Hernandez found expression in the works of
Tagalog poets from the late 1960s to the 1980s, as they confronted Martial Law and repression.
Among these liberationist writers were Jose Lacaba, Epifanio San Juan, Rogelio Mangahas,
Lamberto Antonio, Lilia Quindoza, and later, Jesus Manuel Santiago. The group Galian sa Arte at
Tula nurtured mainly Manila writers and writing (both in their craft and social vision) during some of
the darkest periods of Martial Law.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes on the printed page, oral literature flourished in the outlying
communities. Forms of oral poetry like the Cebuano Balak, the Ilokano Bukanegan, the
Tagalog Balagtasan, and the SamalTinis-Tinis, continued to be declaimed by the rural-based bards,
albeit to dwindling audiences. In the late 1960s, Ricaredo Demetillo had, using English (and English
metrics) pioneered a linkage with the oral tradition. The result was the award-winning Barter in Panay,
an epic based on the Ilonggo epic Maragtas. Inspired by the example, other younger poets wrote
epics or long poems, and they were duly acclaimed by the major award-giving bodies. Among these
poets were writers in English like Cirilo Bautista (The Archipelago, 1968), Artemio Tadena (Northward
into Noon, 1970) and Domingo de Guzman (Moses, 1977).

However, except for Demetillos modern epic, these attempts fall short of establishing a linkage
with the basic folk tradition. Indeed, most are more like long meditative poems, like Eliots or Nerudas
long pieces. Interest in the epic waned as the 1980s approached. The 1980s became a decade of
personalistic free verse characteristic of American confessional poetry. The epic big picture
disappeared from the scene, to be replaced by a new breed of writers nourished by global literary
sources, and critical sources in the developed world. The literary sources were third world (often
nativistic) poetry such as that of Neruda, Vallejo and Octavio Paz. In fiction, the magic-realism of
Borges, Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie, among others, influenced the fiction of Cesar Aquino,
Alfred Yuson, and poet-fictionist Mario Gamalinda.

On the other hand, the poets trained in American workshops continue to write in the lyrical-realist
mode characteristic of American writing, spawned by imagism and neo-Aristotelianism. Among these
writers (whose influence remains considerable) are the poet-critics Edith L. Tiempo, Gemino Abad,
Ophelia A. Dimalanta and Emmanuel Torres. Their influence can be felt in the short lyric and the
medium-length meditative poem that are still the Filipino poets preferred medium. Some
contemporary poets in English such as Marjorie Evasco and Merlie Alunan, derive their best effects
from their reverence for the ineluctable image. Ricardo de Ungrias and Luisa Aguilar Carios poems,
on the other hand, are a rich confluence of imagism, surrealism and confessionalism.

The Philippine novel, whether written in English or any of the native languages, has remained
social-realist. Edgardo Reyes Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1966), for instance, is a critique of urban
blight, and Edilberto K. Tiempos To Be Free is a historical probe of the western idea of freedom in
the context of indigenous Philippine culture. Kerima Polotan Tuveras novel The Hand of the
Enemy (1972), a penetratingly lucid critique of ruling-class psychology, is entirely realistic, if Rizalian
in its moments of high satire, although unlike the Rizalian model, it falls short of a moral vision.

Only a few novelists like Gamalinda, Yuson and Antonio Enriquez, can claim a measure of
success in tapping creative power from folk sources in their venture to join the third world magic-
realist mainstream.

But the poets of oral-folk charisma, such as Jose Corazon de Jesus, are waiting in the wings for
a comeback as astonishing as Lam-angs legendary resurrection. Modernist and post-modernist
criticism, which champions the literature of the disempowered cultures, has lately attained sufficient
clout to shift the focus of academic pursuits towards native vernacular literatures (oral and written)
and on the revaluation of texts previously ignored, such as those by women writers. Sa Ngalan Ng
Ina (1997), by prize-winning poet-critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago, is, to date, the most comprehensive
compilation of feminist writing in the Philippines.

About the Authors:


Francis C. Macansantos is a Palanca Literary Award veteran winning first prize for poetry in 1989
with UP Press publishing his book The Words and Other Poems in 1997.
Priscilla S. Macansantos has won in the 1998 Palanca Literary Awards for her poetry Departures
and is now an Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines.
Philippine Literature in the Spanish Colonial Period
Posted on April 14, 2015
FRANCIS C. MACANSANTOS
PRISCILLA S. MACANSANTOS

The existing literature of the Philippine ethnic groups at the time of conquest and conversion into
Christianity was mainly oral, consisting of epics, legends, songs, riddles, and proverbs.
The conquistador, especially its ecclesiastical arm, destroyed whatever written literature he could
find, and hence rendered the system of writing (e.g., the Tagalog syllabary) inoperable. Among the
only native systems of writing that have survived are the syllabaries of the Mindoro Mangyans and the
Tagbanua of Palawan.

The Spanish colonial strategy was to undermine the native oral tradition by substituting for it the
story of the Passion of Christ (Lumbera, p. 14). Although Christ was by no means war-like or sexually
attractive as many of the heroes of the oral epic tradition, the appeal of the Jesus myth inhered in the
protagonists superior magic: by promising eternal life for everyone, he democratized the power to
rise above death. It is to be emphasized, however, that the native tradition survived and even
flourished in areas inaccessible to the colonial power. Moreover, the tardiness and the lack of
assiduity of the colonial administration in making a public educational system work meant the survival
of oral tradition, or what was left of it, among the conquered tribes.

The church authorities adopted a policy of spreading the Church doctrines by communicating to
the native (pejoratively called Indio) in his own language. Doctrina Christiana (1593), the first book to
be printed in the Philippines, was a prayerbook written in Spanish with an accompanying Tagalog
translation. It was, however, for the exclusive use of the missionaries who invariably read them aloud
to the unlettered Indio catechumens (Medina), who were to rely mainly on their memory. But the task
of translating religious instructional materials obliged the Spanish missionaries to take a most
practical step, that of employing native speakers as translators. Eventually, the native translator
learned to read and write both in Spanish and his native language.

This development marked the beginning of Indio literacy and thus spurred the creation of the first
written literary native text by the native. These writers, called ladinos because of their fluency in both
Spanish and Tagalog (Medina, pp. 55-56), published their work, mainly devotional poetry, in the first
decade of the 17th century. Among the earliest writers of note were Francisco de San Jose and
Francisco Bagongbata (Medina). But by far the most gifted of these native poet-translators was
Gaspar Aquino de Belen (Lumbera, p.14). Mahal Na Pasion ni Jesu Christo, a Tagalog poem based
on Christs passion, was published in 1704. This long poem, original and folksy in its rendition of a
humanized, indeed, a nativized Jesus, is a milestone in the history of Philippine letters. Ironically
and perhaps just because of its profound influence on the popular imagination as artifact it marks
the beginning of the end of the old mythological culture and a conversion to the new paradigm
introduced by the colonial power.

Until the 19th century, the printing presses were owned and managed by the religious orders
(Lumbera, p.13). Thus, religious themes dominated the culture of the Christianized majority. But the
native oral literature, whether secular or mythico-religious continued. Even among the Christianized
ethnic groups, the oral tradition persisted in such forms as legends, sayings, wedding songs such as
the balayan and parlor theater such as theduplo (Medina, p. 32).
In the 18th century, secular literature from Spain in the form of medieval ballads inspired the
native poetic-drama form called the komedya, later to be called moro-moro because these often dealt
with the theme of Christians triumphing over Moslems (Lumbera, p. 15).

Jose de la Cruz (1746 1829) was the foremost exponent of the komedya during his time. A
poet of prodigious output and urbane style, de la Cruz marks a turning point in that his elevated
diction distinguishes his work from folk idiom (as for instance, that of Gaspar Aquino de Belen). Yet
his appeal to the non-literate was universal. The popularity of the dramatic form, of which he was a
master, was due to it being experienced as performance both by the lettered minority and the illiterate
but genuinely appreciative majority.

Francisco Baltazar (1788 1862), popularly called Balagtas, is the acknowledged master of
traditional Tagalog poetry. Of peasant origins, he left his hometown in Bigaa, Bulacan for Manila, with
a strong determination to improve his lot through education. To support his studies, he worked as a
domestic servant in Tondo. He steeped himself in classical studies in schools of prestige in the
capital.

Great social and political changes in the world worked together to make Balagtas career as poet
possible. The industrial revolution had caused a great movement of commerce in the globe, creating
wealth and the opportunity for material improvement in the life of the working classes. With these
great material changes, social values were transformed, allowing greater social mobility. In short, he
was a child of the global bourgeois revolution. Liberal ideas, in time, broke class and, in the
Philippines even racial barriers (Medina). The word Filipino, which used to refer to a restricted
group (i.e., Spaniards born in the Philippines) expanded to include not only the acculturated wealthy
Chinese mestizo but also the acculturated Indio (Medina). Balagtas was one of the first Indios to
become a Filipino.

But the crucial element in Balagtas unique genius is that, being caught between two cultures (the
native and the colonial/classical), he could switch codes (or was perceived by his compatriot
audience to be switching codes), provide insight and information to his oppressed compatriots in the
very style and guise of a tradition provided him by a foreign (and oppressive) culture. His narrative
poem Florante at Laura written in sublime Tagalog, is about tyranny in Albanya, but it is also
perceived to be about tyranny in his Filipino homeland (Lumbera).

Despite the foreign influence, however, he remained true to his native traditions. His verse plays
were performed to the motley crowd. His poems were sung by the literate for the benefit of the
unlettered. The metrical regularity and rhyme performed their age-old mnemonic function, despite and
because of the introduction of printing.

Printing overtook tradition. The printed page, by itself, became the mnemonic device, the stage
set for the development of prose. The first Filipino novel was Ninay, written in Spanish by Pedro
Paterno, a Philippine-bornilustrado (Medina p. 93). Following the sentimental style of his first
book Sampaguitas (a collection of poems in Spanish), the novel endeavored to highlight the
endearingly unique qualities of Filipinos.

National Hero Jose Rizal (1861 1896) chose the realistic novel as his medium. Choosing
Spanish over Tagalog meant challenging the oppressors on the latters own turf. By writing in prose,
Rizal also cut his ties with the Balagtas tradition of the figurative indirection which veiled the
supposed subversiveness of many writings at that time.
Rizals two novels, the Noli Me Tangere and its sequel El Filibusterismo, chronicle the life and
ultimate death of Ibarra, a Filipino educated abroad, who attempts to reform his country through
education. At the conclusion of the Noli, his efforts end in near-death and exile from his country. In
the Filibusterismo, he returns after reinventing himself as Simoun, the wealthy jeweler, and hastens
social decay by further corrupting the social fabric till the oppressed react violently to overthrow the
system. But the insurrection is foiled and Simoun suffers a violent death.

In a sense, Rizals novels and patriotic poems were the inevitable conclusion to the campaign for
liberal reforms known as the Propaganda Movement, waged by Graciano Lopez Jaena, and M.H. del
Pilar. The two novels so vividly portrayed corruption and oppression that despite the lack of any clear
advocacy, they served to instill the conviction that there could be no solution to the social ills but a
violent one.

Following closely on the failed reformist movement, and on Rizals novels, was the Philippine
revolution headed by Andres Bonifacio (1863 1897). His closest aide, the college-bred Emilio
Jacinto (1875 1899), was the revolutionary organizations ideologue. Both were admirers of Rizal,
and like Rizal, both were writers and social critics profoundly influenced by the liberal ideas of the
French enlightenment, about human dignity. Bonifacios most important work are his poems, the most
well-known being Pag-Ibig Sa Tinubuang Lupa. Jacinto wrote political essays expressed in the
language of the folk. Significantly, although either writer could have written in Spanish (Bonifacio, for
instance, wrote a Tagalog translation of Rizals Ultimo Adios), both chose to communicate to their
fellowmen in their own native language.

The figure of Rizal dominates Philippine literature until the present day. Liberalism led to
education of the native and the ascendancy of Spanish. But Spanish was undermined by the very
ideas of liberation that it helped spread, and its decline led to nativism and a renaissance of literature
in the native languages.

The turn of the century witnessed not only the Philippine revolution but a quieter though no less
significant outbreak. The educated women of the period produced significant poetry. Gregoria de
Jesus, wife of Andres Bonifacio, wrote notable Tagalog poetry. Meanwhile, in Vigan of the Ilocano
North, Leona Florentino, by her poetry, became the foremost Ilocano writer of her time.

About the Authors:


Francis C. Macansantos is a Palanca Literary Award veteran winning first prize for poetry in 1989
with UP Press publishing his book The Words and Other Poems in 1997.
Priscilla S. Macansantos has won in the 1998 Palanca Literary Awards for her poetry Departures
and is now an Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines.
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National Artist Award of the Philippines
ARCHITECT MANUEL D. C. NOCHE

The National Artist Award is the highest distinction bestowed upon Filipino Artists whose body of work
is recognized by their peers and more importantly by their countrymen as sublime expression of
Philippine music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literature, film and media, arts, architecture and design.
These are artists who have promoted Filipino cultural identity and dignity through their art.
Administered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Sentrong pang Kultura sa Filipinas) through
proclamation no.1001 dated April 2 1972 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, the government of
the Philippines confers the award to deserving individuals as recommended by the Cultural Center of
the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The National Artist Award for Architecture has only been bestowed to three notable architects.
Each of them has contributed, through their body of work, a style of architecture that has elevated the
standards of architecture in the country. Their architecture, modern and contemporary for their period
are at the same time a symbol of Filipinoarchitecture.

Juan F. Nakpil: 1899-1986

Juan F. Nakpil is a pioneer of modern Philippine architecture. As an architect, Nakpil has


contributed immensely to the present shape and form of Philippine modern architecture. Born on the
26th of May, 1899 in the district of Quiapo, Nakpil first ventured into the arts as a young child. Joining
various competitions in school, Nakpil showed his immense talents in arts winning various distinctions
in his drawing classes. As a young man, Nakpil took up and eventually obtained a degree in Civil
Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1922, where in 1950 he was honored by the same
school as distinguished alumnus. After being encouraged by an uncle, the young Nakpil ventured in
1922 into his first love, architecture, enrolling at the prestigiousFontainebleau School of Fine Arts in
France, Nakpil under the tutorage of Carlu and Laloux, noted architects of the Palais de Chaillot,
gained insights into European architecture particularly French Beux Art which was still popular at the
time. As a student in Fontainebleau, Nakpil showed great talent being listed as among the top 10 of
40 in his class. Being a Filipino in Europe at that time, Nakpil was able to continue the great triumphs
of early Filipino nationalists such as Luna, Hidalgo and most notably Rizal, a couple of decades
earlier. With a degree in both civil engineering and architecture in hand, Nakpil furthered his
education by gaining the Joseph Evelyth Scholarship in 1925 at the Harvard Graduate School for
Architecture. While studying in Harvard, Nakpil entered a design competition open to students of
Boston Institute of Technology , the Architects Club of Boston and the students of Harvard University.
As a Filipino student in a bastion of White American society, Nakpil triumphed among all others, being
the only student not only of Harvard but from the Philippines to have won.

Juan Nakpil eventually returned to the Philippines in December of 1926 to work as an assistant
architect to the then Bureau of Public Works and at the same time pursue Anita Noble, whom he
married and had 5 children with.

In 1928, the young Nakpil joined the prestigious firm of Andres Luna de San Pedro. Working on
noted projects such as The Crystal Arcade and the Don Gonzalo Puyat and Sons
Building. Influenced by the great artists son, Nakpil opened his own firm in 1930, creating marvels of
modern architecture. Throughout his long studies abroad, as well as the diverse influences he has
received, Nakpil has created in time a diverse catalogue of structures. Showing influences of French
Beau Arts, Art Deco, and the International Modern Style. A master of designing, Nakpil was able to
merge and create a distinctly Filipino Style with the different mediums he handled. A much honored
Architect, Nakpil received the highest honor for his craft in 1973. He died in 1986 leaving a vast
legacy of monuments in honor of the modern Filipino architect.

Pablo S. Antonio 1901-1981

Pablo S. Antonio was born in the Manila district of Binondo in 1901. The son of Apolonio Antonio,
a maestro de obras as well as amateur painter and sculptor, the young Antonio learned his craft
through his father. Not receiving any formal training in arts and architecture, the young Antonio
worked his way to his profession by gaining experience as a draftsman for the Bureau of Public
Works while pursuing his High School diploma. Upon finishing secondary education, the young
Antonio took a correspondence course in architecture and structural engineering. Eventually,
enabling himself formal education, Antonio enrolled in Tomas Mapua`s newly opened school of
architecture but due to pressures from work, he dropped out of the course. After resigning from the
Bureau of Public Works, Antonio worked as a draftsman and construction foreman to his former
mentor in Mapua, the Mapua-Arevalo-Siochi Construction Company. In 1927 after being lent money
by one of the partners, Antonio went to the University of London where he finished a five-year course
in architecture in three years. He triumphantly returned to Manila and successfully passed the
licensure examination in 1932.

1933 saw Antonios first major work, the construction of the Ideal Theatre in Avenida Rizal, then
one of Manilas popular thoroughfares. His triumph subsequently led to other commissions notably,
the Far Eastern University Buildings, the Boulevard-Alhambra Apartments (re-named Bel-Air
Apartments), Capitan Luis Gonzaga Building, Manila Polo Club and others.

Compared to his predecessors, Antonios architecture represented a new direction in Philippine


Architecture. Characterized by clean lines, plain surfaces, and bold rectangular masses, his style
identifies itself with the International Movement popularized by le Corbusier in Europe. A master of
wood, stone and reinforced concrete, Antonio regarded every design project as unique and imparted
to every building he created a distinctive form and character, avoiding anything that might be seen as
a trademark.

He was honored Architect of the Year by the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA) in 1952 and
was bestowed posthumously the highest distinction in the land, the National Artist Award for
Architecture in 1976.

Leandro V. Locsin 1928-1994

Leandro V. Locsin had his early schooling in his home town of Silay in the province of Negros
Occidental in the island of Negros in the Visayas. In 1935, the young Locsin was brought to Manila by
his parents and enrolled with the La Salle brothers. During the outbreak of the second world war, the
Locsins returned to their province of Negros and there the young Locsin continued his schooling.
After the war, Locsin returned to Manila to continue his education at La Salle and after finishing
secondary education was enticed to pursue three professions: music, architecture and medicine.
Though his mother wanted him to pursue medicine, and initially frightened by the mathematics
involved in architecture, the young Locsin settled for a degree in Music being his first love. A talented
pianist, he persuaded his parents into enrolling him at the Conservatory of Music of the University of
Santo Tomas. During his free time, Locsin as well enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts while
pursuing his degree in Music. This detour eventually led him to another course, architecture to which
he shifted after only one more year from finishing his degree in Music.

A fervent artist, Locsin grew interested in modern painting. While frequenting the Philippine Art
Gallery, Locsin became acquainted with Fernando Zobel, curator and patriarch of Ayala Corporation,
one of the Philippines foremost corporations. Locsin initially landed a job with Ayala Corporation as
an artist-draftsman and after finishing architecture in 1953 he was recommended by Zobel to Sr.
Ossorio of Victorias Mills to design a chapel in Victorias, Negros Occidental. Though this project
never materialized, the glorious road to success was not far behind. In 1954, Locsin met the
influential Jesuit priest Fr. John Delaney S.J. then, chaplain of the University of the Philippines. Fr.
Delaney requested Locsin to design a chapel for the university and the result was a creation that was
unique in Philippine modern architecture. A chapel in the round, whose sides were open from outside.
This innovative design became the hallmark of Filipino modernism for a very long time. Continuing his
association with the Zobels and the Ayala Corporation, Locsin`s star continued to shine with
commission for houses, buildings and commercial structures. His greatest triumph came in 1966
when after being heralded as among the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1959, was invited by then
First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos to design the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This work,
designed as the home of Filipino Culture emphasized Locsin`s architectural grammar. Floating
volume, the durability of light and heavy, buoyant and massive became his trademark . Locsin has
received countless awards for his craft, from his peers to various government agencies. And as truly
Filipino Architect with no foreign training, Locsin was honored with the National Artist Award for
Architecture in 1990.

About the Author:


Manuel D. C. Noche took up masteral studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture & Planning,
London majoring in Environmental Design and Engineering. His love for travelling and photography
eventually led him to the doors of the countrys historic churches, which he hopes to someday catalog
in a book. He is currently the principal architect for Art, Architecture, and Design.
Formal Properties of Literature
When I talk about the formal properties of literature, what am I talking about?

Form means shape. But writing doesnt literally have a shape. Rather, when we talk
about its shape or form, were emphasizing how its written rather than what it says. Think
of a car: cars come in lots of shapes and sizes, but they all do more or less the same
thingget you from point A to point B. On the other hand, they emphasize different
aspects of that basic task. Do you want speed? Dependability? Room for cargo? Safety?
Flashy looks? Comfort? Head and leg room? All these elements and more can be
combined in dozens of different ways to produce a different driving experience.

Similarly, all literature does similar things (tell a story, describe something) but in very
different ways. Some people even say that there are only a few stories in the world, and
the only difference is in how theyre told. When you describe the way something is written
as opposed to the meaning or information it conveys, youre talking about its formal
properties.

Heres a really simple approach to formal analysis: Ask yourself, what choice did the
author have here? What other ways might this be said? Any time you can find another
way to say the same thing, youve identified some sort of formal propertya description
of how it is written.

Simply put, choice equals style. And style is a formal property of literature.

Please note, however, that the distinction between what and how is just a useful tool, not
a hard-and-fast reality. Really theyre just different aspects of the same thing. After all, you
can always find another way to say something. That means everything is a formal
property, just as much as it is part of the content. Its a matter of how you look at a piece
of writing, what questions you ask about it, not a matter of the writing itself.

Consider this example. First, a passage from the King James translation of the book of
Ecclesiastes:

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the
strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor
to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Now, a different version of the same text, by the writer George Orwell:

Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success


or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate
capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must inevitably be taken
into account.
(Politics and the English Language).
Are these really the same? The first is full of poetry (first-person point of view, concrete
imagery, parallel structures, sonorous list, dramatic conclusion, etc.). The second is full of
bureaucratic jargon. To what extent is this mere window dressing? To what extent does it
change the meaning?

What if the meaning includes how it makes us feel?

The whole idea of literary analysis is that literature tries to make us feel, not just think or
know or understand. The way it is written affects how we feel. And that means the way it is
written is part of the meaning.

Heres another exampletwo poems that in some way say the same thing, but
the way they say it is radically differentso much so that the meaning itself changes.

Shall I compare thee to a summers day?


Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Roses Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
are And summers lease hath all too short a date:
red,
violets
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
are And often is his gold complexion dimmd;
blue, And every fair from fair sometime declines,
sugar By chance or natures changing course untrimmd;
is But thy eternal summer shall not fade
sweet
and so Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
are Nor shall Death brag thou wanderst in his shade,
you. When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

So, what are the things we look at in a piece of writing when we want to focus on how its
written rather than on what its saying? There are many more than I can list here, so Ill
just discuss a few of the most important ones. Itll be easier to keep track of them if we
organize them somehow, and the simplest way that I can think of is in terms of size: from
the individual word to the entire book or story. Heres a list of some basic formal properties
of a work of fiction, organized roughly according to the size of the element being analyzed.
(Dont get too hung up on the size issue; its just a handy way of listing these things.)

As time permits, I will add terms that relate specifically to other genres, such as plays and
poetry. For now, Ill just mention a few.

In drama, besides the things mentioned here, we can also look at staging, which includes
many elements, such as:

stage directions (These are all the things the playwright includes to tell the actors
what to do and how to do it, which are not spoken aloud during the performance but
are used to shape how it is performed. In some plays these directions are minimal
or even nonexistent, while in others they are quite extensive. They can cover all the
elements listed below, as well as the settingtime of year, location, time of day,
etc.furniture or other objects, the inner feelings of the characters, their
background or anything else the playwright considers important.)
lighting (depending on the play, this may play an important part in the stage
directions, a small part or none at all)
set (the physical setting of the play, including furniture; architectural features such
as rooms or balconies; outdoor features such as meadows or woods or a park
bench; decorative elements such as pictures, curtains, plants, wallpaper; and more)
props (short for propertiesobjects the characters pick up and use in the course of
the play)
blocking (this refers to the directions given to how the characters move and are
located relative to each other and to the audience, and includes the specific
directions upstage [away from the audience], downstage [toward the
audience], stage right[to the audiences right] and stage left [to the audiences left].)

In poetry most of the terms here apply, although the ones having to do with plot and
narrative structure are less important because most modern poetry is not strictly about
telling a story. At the same time, much attention is given to the sound of the language, and
there is a host of terms that describe different aspects of that sound:

Rhythm
Meter (a regular, patterned rhythm, usually following a traditional form)
Rhyme
Alliteration (same initial sounds in a series of words, as in this example from
Wallace Stevens poem The Emperor of Ice Cream: in kitchen cups
concupiscent curds.)
Assonance (same vowel sounds surrounded by different consonants: a crummy run
of just dumb luck.
Consonance (same consonant sounds around different vowels: a bat bites bad but
a beet is better.

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Small
Word choice (aka diction): Is it casual or formal? Colorful or plain? Blunt or subtle?
Concrete or abstract? The types of words the author uses give the piece its characteristic
tone, which influences how we experience the work, even when were not consciously
aware of it. (See the Bible example above for an illustration.)

Sentence structure: Are the sentences short and choppy or long and flowing? Repetitive
or varied? Simple, compound or complex? Standard order or rearranged in various ways?
Consider how these sentences reverse the usual English word order (I
have italicized and underlined parts that appear out of the order we would expect, at least
in modern English):
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds

Standard word order would have the sentences read like this: Let me not admit
impediments to the marriage of true minds. Love which alters when it finds alteration is not
lovewhich is hideous, but it illustrates the point.

The Bible example also illustrates sentence structure. Even though both versions consist
of one long sentence, the way the sentences are structured is quite different (simple one-
word subjects with a string of parallel prepositional phrases as opposed to a series of
complex subjects and objects).

Dialogue: Like any other piece of writing, the dialogue (what the characters say directly)
will have its characteristic word choice and sentence structure, which will tell you a lot
about the character: Is he or she down to earth? Well educated? Evasive? Funny?

Paragraph structure: Are the paragraphs short and choppy or long and flowing?
Repetitive or varied? Are they all the same length or are some long and flowing, others
short and choppy? Or long and choppy, short and flowing? How does the author use
paragraphs to organize the story? As with words and sentences, the way the author
structures paragraphs will have an impact on how we experience what we read,
regardless of the content.

Metaphor and Imagery

When you are looking at the small elements (word, sentence and paragraph) you also
have to look at another aspect of the writing that affects the way we experience it. There is
a set of related concepts that are very useful in this area. Two of the most basic
are metaphor and imagery.

Metaphor

Websters defines metaphor this way: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase
literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a
likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly: figurative
language.

More simply, a metaphor is a statement that identifies one thing with another in order to
emphasize certain features of the first.

For example: If I say Seattle is a swamp, I dont mean that literally. Depending on the
context, I might mean a couple of different things:

Seattle is wet and soggy, or,


if youre not careful it will suck you in and youll never get out alive.
Three important points emerge from this example.

1. Metaphor is figurative. By figurative I mean its not a literal comparison or


identification, and as such, it appeals as much to your imagination as to your literal
or analytical side. From an analytical standpoint you might think its silly to compare
Seattle to a swamp, but with a good metaphor your imagination knows what is
meant even if your analytical side doesnt get it.

2. In part because they are figurative, metaphors are always open to interpretation.
Good ones typically suggest multiple meanings, which is one reason writers like
them so much. This is one of the chief features that distinguishes literature
from other types of writing. Where much writingfor example, legal and technical
writingstrives to eliminate all but one possible interpretation to avoid confusion,
literature thrives on ambiguity.

This is not to say that it is imprecise. On the contrary, it can be very precise, often
by being ambiguous. How? Simply because the things that literature is concerned
withhuman emotion, the conflicts and stresses we struggle with, the ways we give
our lives meaningare complex and contradictory. In order to describe them
accurately it is necessary to convey multiple meanings simultaneously.

An obvious example: some things are both tragic and hilarious simultaneously. A
good metaphor can convey this and more in a single image, whereas analytical
writing might require whole paragraphs or pages, and still not catch all the subtlety
and nuance that the metaphor did.

3. Metaphors are fun to play with: They appeal to your imagination, theyre open to
interpretation, the comparisons can be really outrageous and surprising, and for
other reasons. Once youve figured out that you can convey very precise but
complex and even contradictory feelings and ideas through metaphor, you can start
fooling around with them regardless of whether they convey anything true or
meaningful about life. Often the pleasure of a piece of literature lies in the authors
inventiveness with metaphor and other games of language, not what it tells us about
the real world or our lives. Like a car thats flashy, or can go faster than youll ever
need to go, it has an appeal that is distinct from its plain, practical purpose of telling
a story or conveying information.

When we look at metaphor were paying attention to the content (what is the metaphor
telling us) but were also paying attention to how that content is expressed.

For one thing, just using metaphor at all is a choiceand remember, any time the author
could have done things differently, youre looking at a formal property, a feature of how the
work is written. On top of that, theres the particular metaphor the author has chosen. Why
that and not another? Again, a choice.

Think of it this way. You could always be literal about it rather than using metaphor. You
could always say,
Seattle is wet and soggy, or
Seattle will suck you in and youll never get out alive.

Or, you could use a different metaphor:

Seattle is a maze, instead of


Seattle is a swamp.

Seattle is a maze might give you the idea that Seattle will suck you in and youll never
get out, but it will also suggest other meanings. So whenever you use metaphor youre
doing more than just conveying basic informationand its always a choice.

Heres another way to think about it: Metaphor affects how we feel when we read; it has
an aesthetic and emotionalfunction as well as an informational one. These make
metaphor part of the works formal properties.

(If youre curious about the distinction between metaphor and simile, click here.)

Imagery

This term is broader than metaphor. I use it to refer to the various concrete, physical
details a writer provides, as well as to the metaphors. Anything you can see, hear, smell,
taste or touch is included.

A pattern of recurring images is one of the most common and effective techniques used in
literature (and film) to create a desired effectsadness, humor, fear, recognition,
whatever. These images can be located in the actual physical world being described (a
tree, a house, a nose, a dress) or they can be used metaphoricallythat is, in a non-literal
way (friendship is a lighthouse or his eyes were like rocks).

Ive already talked about imagery in discussing metaphor, so here I just want to mention
some points about non-metaphorical imagery. It may take you a while to notice these
things. They are so obvious that they are hidden in plain sight. But the fact is that an
author makes choices when describing something as simple as an article of clothing or a
piece of furniture. For example, does the description include:

the color?
the material it is made of?
its texture?
a brand name or technical name?
its likely cost?
who made it?

You can also ask about how the description is written. Does the description consist mostly
of nouns or adjectives?

Then, of course, theres the question of what the author chooses to describe:
clothes?
natural objects?
tools?
faces?
expressions?
postures?
tone of voice?

There is an almost infinite number of choices hereand, as I said, choice equals style.
These, too, are part of the formal properties of the work.

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Medium
Once you start talking about elements larger than paragraphs you get into issues
of structure and pattern. In the medium range of a good story or novel, there are a
number of elements to think about, but Im just going to talk about a couple.

Motif

This term has a number of definitions, but as Ill be using it here, it means an element
that repeats throughout the story, and in so doing carries additional
significance beyond its literal meaning. Motifs can take different forms:

images (a tree that the character sees repeatedly, perhaps in different seasons,
conveying ideas about growth, death, rebirth),
words or phrases (something a character or the narrator repeats, with different
connotations at different times),
places (the character keeps coming back to a certain place, or remembering the
place)
events (an exam that several characters have to take at different points in the story)
ideas (the narrator keeps referring to, say, the idea of reincarnation)

How motifs work: An image or other element that repeats acquires greater significance
from the repetition. You recognize it when it pops up again and you associate it with what
was happening the last time you saw it. The changes in the storysay, someone close to
the main character has diedcast a new light on the repeated image, while seeing that
image again also makes you see the changed situation differently, because it recalls the
way things were earlier in the story. Thus, the death might take on added poignancy
because the repeated image recalls a time when the main characters friend was alive.
The more such associations and contextual shifts the motif accumulates, the more
powerful it can become.

Symbol
Images can do more than simply acquire significance from repetition and context. Often
they are used to represent important ideas or values. These are abstractions that the
image makes concrete, visible, tangible. When theyre used in this way they are referred
to as symbols. Like metaphors, symbols are typically ambiguous, open to interpretation.
Thus, a symbol may represent death, but what does that mean exactly? A good story will
usually throw different lights on the question, so theres no simple answer. Death might be
a tragedy for one person, justice for another and relief or rest for a third. Symbols can
appear once in a story or repeatedly; if they are repeated, they are motifs and symbols at
the same time.

Symbols are a major element in how literature works. They bridge the concrete, everyday
world of lived experience and the larger meanings the author makes of that experience.
By associating abstract ideas with concrete images, they allow those deeper meanings to
reach a part of our minds that lives in the physical world, which abstract ideas cannot
reach. This means that they also appeal to a part of our mindsthe unconscious part
that we arent necessarily aware of at all when we read, but that accounts for some of our
most powerful reactions: why we get angry at one character and admire another, why we
are frightened or excited or happy when we read. A good author can manipulate these
reactions, and a big part of the way authors do this is through the use of symbolism. One
important difference between merely reading a story and interpreting it is that
interpretation makes us aware of this use of symbols.

Its hard to over-emphasize the importance of symbolism in literature, because it is so


common and so powerful. It is, however, possible to over-interpret a particular piece of
writing. Not every detail is a symbol. Dont go off on a tangent, finding brilliant, creative
interpretations of some image that doesnt deserve it. Some things to look for when trying
to decide if an image is a symbol include:

repetition (does the image appear frequently),


emphasis (does the author spend a lot of time on the image, or use markedly
different language describing it, or have the characters or the narrator talk about it a
lot), and
structural importance, including placement (is the image or object central to the
story or to one of the main characters in the story; does it play a key role in the
story; does it appear at a key place or moment in the story).

Pattern

Patternsof imagery, word choice, sentence structure, etc.characterize larger chunks


of the text. The key point to remember here is that patterns are formed by
repetition. (The term motif is just a specialized term for describing a pattern of repetition
of a particular element.) If the author consistently uses long, complex sentences, thats a
patternand the pattern is a formal property of the work as a whole, not just a particular
passage. Identifying patterns is a key task in describing and analyzing the formal
properties of a text. Again, this is a matter of authorial choice.
All of the small elements Ive described can be repeated to create a pattern:

word choice,
sentence structure,
paragraph structure,
metaphor,
imagery.

Larger elements such as characters and events can repeat as well.

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Big
At this level we get into stuff that looks, at first glance, much more like what than how
content, not form. I hope to show you that these, too, are actually formal elements,
choices in how the story is told. But as I said at the beginning, form and content, or
how and what, are really two aspects of the same thing. We are separating them here
strictly for purposes of analysis and explanation.

Plot: This is the pattern or shape of the overall story, the series of eventsin other words,
what happens. The plot in traditional novels can usually be represented in simplified form
as an uneven triangle: rising action, climax, falling action, denouement. (This is a
simplified version of an idea that dates back to Aristotle).

Rising action: The part of the story that builds or leads up to the climax; the early
development. Some people include an earlier section, called exposition, where the
problem or situation is first explained.

Climax: The turning point or point of highest interest in a story. This is the point at which
the most important part of the action (whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or all
of the above) takes place and the final outcome becomes inevitable.

Falling action: Also called resolution, this term refers to what follows from the climax,
bringing the story to its conclusion or denouement. Falling action can take up whole
chapters, or a single paragraph, depending on the pace of the work as a whole.

Denouement: [day-noo-MAHNT, from a French word meaning unraveling or untying (a


knot).] The conclusion of the story, in which the falling action is brought to a close and the
outcome of the climax is revealed.
The first thing to notice about plot is that you can tell a story in a different order. So one
formal property of any work of fiction is its structure, which has a number of elements, but
one of the main ones is just thatthe order in which events are told. For example, a story
might start at the climax, the point of highest excitement, then go back and fill in what led
up to the climax, and then show you what happens after the climax. Others begin with the
wrapping up, or denouement, and tell everything as a flashback.

Of course there are even more complicated ways of doing things, limited only by your
imagination. The 2000 movie Memento was told backwards, starting from the climax and
working backwards to the very beginning. The 1963 novel Hopscotch, by Julio Cortzar, is
designed to be read in many different ways, not in one set ordera precursor of hypertext
written 25 years before the Internet.

But even when a story that starts at the beginning goes straight through to the end, thats
a choice the author has made. It is a formal property of the work, and it has an effect on
how we experience the story.

In short: The order in which the events are narrated is a choice made by the author and,
as such, constitutes another formal property of the work.

Another formal element relating to plot is the question of how much time and attention is
devoted to each of these elements. Traditional novels in the 19th century had a very long
rising action, falling action, and denouement, relative to the climax. More contemporary
works tend to have shorter rising action and sometimes no denouement at all. Such works
are very compressed, with lots of attention focused on the climax. These choices are also
formal properties of the work.

Even at the basic level of what happened there are choices, formal properties that an
author can manipulate for esthetic purposes. This is one place where the distinction
between what and how begins to break down. Even the choice of what story to tell is, in
some sense, a formal question. Say an author wants to tell a story about a war. Does she
write about a soldier who spends years on the front lines, or does she write about a child
whose parents were killed by a bomb? These are also choices and, as such, formal
properties of the work.

The key point here is that stories themselves are choices. Dont make the mistake of
thinking that the author is just telling what happened. The author is making it up, and
good authors put the pieces together deliberately.

Character: Character refers to the centers of action in a storythe elements around


which the story revolves, whose energy and choices make it move. Usually these are
people, though they can be other things tooanimals, spirits, aliens, talking trees,
whatever.

Like plot, character is an element of what the story is about that also has to do with how it
is told. To begin with, while some characters might be considered essential to a story,
many are notthe minor characters that flesh out the story and throw a different light on
the main events. The choice to put such characters into a storyhow many, what kind,
how much to emphasize them, etc.is a choice and so its a formal property of the work.
The author can use such characters to emphasize hidden aspects of the story, to undercut
what we might be inclined to think or feel if we just saw it from the main characters
perspective, to add another dimension to the story, and so on.

But in fact, even the main characters can be considered formal elements. Consider
your basic murder mystery. The plot is relatively straightforward: someone is murdered,
and someone else has to figure out who did it. But who is the main character? Usually its
the person who solves the crime. But it could just as easily be a family member of the
victim, an observer who isnt directly involved, or the victim himself, speaking from beyond
the grave. And in some murder mysteries the main character is the murderer.

Whats more, in any story there are many choices the author must make about the main
character: age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, physical appearance, inner psychology,
speech patterns, style of dress, and so on and on. Since stories are all about people, any
change in such features means a change in the story itself.

Think about a typical mystery. Say the main character is the person who solves the
mystery. Will it be a man or a woman? Young or old? White, Black, Asian, Latino, Native
American, Pacific Islander...? Gay, straight, bisexual? Able-bodied or disabled? What will
he or she be like as a person? Suppose its a married man with a family. He might be a
proud, solitary, rather flinty character with really only one friend, not even close to his wife
or children. These choices shape the story. What if instead he were a weak, frightened
man who only acts as he does because he fears being punished? Again, this is a choice:
a formal property of the work.

Technically, you could say that the basic sequence of events is the same, but the effect
will be totally different as a result of such choices. This is a clear instance of where form
and content, how and what, are simply two sides of the same thing. You have to
consider both aspects if you want to fully understand how literature works.

Setting: where and when the story takes place. It can be a single room or an entire
universe, a single day or a century.

To use the example of the mystery again, suppose it happens mostly in a single room.
Part of the effect here might be to make us feel confined, closed in, perhaps the way the
victim felt, maybe how the murderer feels, maybe how the person solving the mystery
feels, maybe all three at once. Then at some point suppose the author opens the door, so
to speak, and lets us out into the wider world. How would we react? Relief, like taking a
breath of fresh air? Fear of the unknown? These choices affect how we experience the
story and as such are yet more formal properties of the work.

To sum up
Every element described here represents a choice that will affect how we experience the
story. And thats why the how and the what are really two aspects of the same thing:
after all, how we experience the story is the story, and that is determined just as much by
how its written as by what it says.

Genres of Literature
Genres of literature are important to learn about. The two main categories separating the different genres of
literature are fiction and nonfiction. There are several genres of literature that fall under the nonfiction category.
Nonfiction sits in direct opposition to fiction. Examples from both the fiction and nonfiction genres of literature
are explained in detail below. This detailed genres of literature list is a great resource to share with any scholars.

Types of Nonfiction:

Narrative Nonfiction is information based on fact that is presented in a format which tells a story.

Essays are a short literary composition that reflects the authors outlook or point. A short literary composition
on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.

A Biography is a written account of another persons life.

An Autobiography gives the history of a persons life, written or told by that person. Often written in Narrative
form of their persons life.

Speech is the faculty or power of speaking; oral communication; ability to express ones thoughts and emotions
by speech, sounds, and gesture. Generally delivered in the form of an address or discourse.

Finally there is the general genre of Nonfiction. This is Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life
subject. This genre of literature offers opinions or conjectures on facts and reality. This includes biographies,
history, essays, speech, and narrative non fiction. Nonfiction opposes fiction and is distinguished from those
fiction genres of literature like poetry and drama which is the next section we will discuss.

Genres of Fiction:

Drama is the genre of literature thats subject for compositions is dramatic art in the way it is represented. This
genre is stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are
expressed through dialogue and action.
Poetry is verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that evokes an emotional response from the reader. The art
of poetry is rhythmical in composition, written or spoken. This genre of literature is for exciting pleasure by
beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.

Fantasy is the forming of mental images with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which
invites suspension of reality.

Humor is the faculty of perceiving what is amusing or comical. Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement which
meant to entertain. This genre of literature can actually be seen and contained within all genres.

A Fable is a story about supernatural or extraordinary people Usually in the form of narration that demonstrates
a useful truth. In Fables, animals often speak as humans that are legendary and supernatural tales.

Fairy Tales or wonder tales are a kind of folktale or fable. Sometimes the stories are about fairies or other
magical creatures, usually for children.

Science Fiction is a story based on impact of potential science, either actual or imagined. Science fiction is one
of the genres of literature that is set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story is fiction of such briefness that is not able to support any subplots.

Realistic Fiction is a story that can actually happen and is true to real life.

Folklore are songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a person of folk that was handed down by word of mouth.
Folklore is a genre of literature that is widely held, but false and based on unsubstantiated beliefs.

Historical Fiction is a story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

Horror is an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by literature that is frightfully shocking, terrifying, or
revolting. Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.

A Tall Tale is a humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with an
here of nonchalance.

Legend is a story that sometimes of a national or folk hero. Legend is based on fact but also includes
imaginative material.
Mystery is a genre of fiction that deals with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets. Anything that is
kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown.

Mythology is a type of legend or traditional narrative. This is often based in part on historical events, that
reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods. A
body of myths, as that of a particular people or that relating to a particular person.

Fiction in Verse is full-length novels with plot, subplots, themes, with major and minor characters. Fiction of
verse is one of the genres of literature in which the narrative is usually presented in blank verse form.

The genre of Fiction can be defined as narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination
and is not necessarily based on fact. In fiction something is feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story.
STRESS MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION

Many people think they understand stress. In reality, however, stress is complex and often
misunderstood. To learn how job stress truly works, we must first define it and then relate it to
the individual in the workplace.

Stress Defined

Although stress has been defined in many ways, a common ground of most definitions is that
stress is caused by a stimulus, that the stimulus can be either physical or psychological and
that individual respond to the stimulus in some way. Here, then we define stress as a person's
adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on
that person.

Let us look at each component of this definition. First is the notion of adaptation. As we
discuss shortly, people adapt to stressful circumstances in any of several different ways.
Second is the role of the stimulus. This stimulus is generally called a stressor. That is, a
stressor is anything that induces stress. The definition also notes that stressors can be either
psychological or physical. Finally, the demands placed on the individual by the stressor must
be excessive for stress to result. Of course, what is excessive for one person may be perfectly
tolerable for another.

The Cost of Stress

The human cost is severe. In America, the estimated annual cost to industry of combined
absence from work, health charges, increased insurance and diminished productivity, is
thought to run close to $75 billion. The cost of stress related coronary heart disease alone is
about $30 billion. In Britain, at least 40 million working days are lost each year due to the
effects of stress and it is estimated that stress related illness costs the medical and social
services an average of 55 million pound per year, accounting for loss of 2-3 per cent in the
gross national product.

Stress and the Individual

POST WAR ERA

FRANCIS C. MACANSANTOS
PRISCILLA S. MACANSANTOS

Published in 1946, Ginto Sa Makiling a novel by Macario Pineda, is the first work of note that
appeared after the second world war. In plot, it hews close to the mode of romantic fantasy traceable
to the awits, koridos and komedyas of the Balagtas tradition. But it is a symbolical narrative of social,
moral and political import. In this, it resembles not only Balagtas but also Rizal, but in style and plot it
is closer to Balagtas in not allowing the realistic mode to restrict the element of fantasy.

Two novels by writers in English dealt with the war experience: (Medina, p. 194) Stevan
Javellanas Without Seeing the Dawn (1947), and Edilberto Tiempos Watch in the Night. Both novels
hew closely to the realist tradition. Lazaro Francisco, the eminent Tagalog novelist of the pre-war
years, was to continue to produce significant work. He revised his Bayaning Nagpatiwakal (1932),
refashioning its plot and in sum honing his work as a weapon against the policies that tended to
perpetuate American economic dominance over the Philippines. The updated novel was titled Ilaw Sa
Hilaga (1948) (Lumbera, p. 67). He was to produce three more novels.Sugat Sa Alaala (1950) reflects
the horrors of the war experience as well as the human capacity for nobility, endurance and love
under the most extreme circumstances. Maganda Pa Ang Daigdig (1956) deals with the agrarian
issue, and Daluyong (1962) deals with the corruption bred by the American-style and American-
educated pseudo-reformers. Lazaro Francisco is a realist with social and moral ideals. The Rizal
influence on his work is profound.

The poet Amado Hernandez, who was also union leader and social activist, also wrote novels
advocating social change. Luha ng Buwaya (1963) (Lumbera) deals with the struggle between the
oppressed peasantry and the class of politically powerful landlords. Mga Ibong Mandaragit (1969)
deals with the domination of Filipinos by American industry (Lumbera, p. 69).

Unfortunately, the Rizalian path taken by Lazaro Francisco and Amado Hernandez with its social-
realist world-view had the effect of alienating them from the mode of the highly magical oral-epic
tradition. Imported social realism (and, in the case of Amado Hernandez, a brand of socialist
empiricism), was not entirely in touch with the folk sentiment and folk belief, which is why the Tagalog
romances (e.g., Ginto Sa Makiling, serialized in the comics), were far more popular than their work.

It was Philippine Literature in English which tapped the folk element in the Philippine unconscious
to impressive, spectacular effect. Nick Joaquin, through his neo-romantic, poetic and histrionic style,
is reminiscent of the dramas of Balagtas and de la Cruz. His dizzying flashbacks (from an idealized
romantic Spanish past to a squalid Americanized materialistic present) are cinematic in effect,
ironically quite Hollywood-ish, serving always to beguile and astonish.

Francisco Arcellana, his younger contemporary, was a master of minimalist fiction that is as
native as anything that could be written in English, possessing the potent luminosity of a sorcerers
rune.

Wilfrido Nolledo, fictionist-playwright growing up in the aura of such masters, was the disciple
who, without conscious effort, created a school of his own. His experiments in plot and plotlessness,
his creation of magical scenes, made splendorous by a highly expressive language, easily became
the rage among young writers who quickly joined (each in his/her own highly original style) the
Nolledo trend. Among these poetic fictionists of the 1960s were Wilfredo Pasqua Sanchez, Erwin
Castillo, Cesar Ruiz Aquino, Resil Mojares, Leopoldo Cacnio and Ninotchka Rosca. Of them all, only
the last two did not publish verse. Their non-realistic (even anti-realistic) style made them perhaps the
most original group of writers to emerge in the post-war period. But such a movement that slavishly
used the American colonists language (according to the Nationalist, Socialist Tagalog writers who
were following A.V. Hernandez) were called decadent (in the manner of Lukacsian social realism).

Post-war poetry and fiction was dominated by the writers in English educated and trained in
writers workshops in the United States or England. Among these were the novelists Edilberto and
Edith Tiempo (who is also a poet), short-fictionist Francisco Arcellana, poet-critic Ricaredo Demetillo,
poet-fictionist Amador Daguio, poet Carlos Angeles, fictionists N.V.M. Gonzales and Bienvenido N.
Santos. Most of these writers returned to the Philippines to teach. With their credentials and solid
reputations, they influenced the form and direction of the next generation mainly in accordance with
the dominant tenets of the formalist New Critics of America and England.

Even literature in the Tagalog-based national language (now known as Filipino) could not avoid
being influenced or even (in the critical sense) assimilated. College-bred writers in Filipino like
Rogelio Sikat and Edgardo Reyes saw the need to hone their artistry according to the dominant
school of literature in America of that period, despite the fact that the neo-Aristotelian formalist school
went against the grain of their socialist orientation. Poet-critic Virgilio Almario (1944- ), a.k.a. Rio
Alma, in a break-away move reminiscent of Alejandro Abadilla, and in the formalist (New Critical)
mode then fashionable, bravely opined that Florante at Laura, Balagtas acknowledged masterpiece,
was an artistic failure (Reyes, p. 71-72). It was only in the early 1980s (Reyes, p. 73) that Almario
(after exposure to the anti-ethnocentrism of structuralism and Deconstruction) revised his views.

The protest tradition of Rizal, Bonifacio and Amado Hernandez found expression in the works of
Tagalog poets from the late 1960s to the 1980s, as they confronted Martial Law and repression.
Among these liberationist writers were Jose Lacaba, Epifanio San Juan, Rogelio Mangahas,
Lamberto Antonio, Lilia Quindoza, and later, Jesus Manuel Santiago. The group Galian sa Arte at
Tula nurtured mainly Manila writers and writing (both in their craft and social vision) during some of
the darkest periods of Martial Law.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes on the printed page, oral literature flourished in the outlying
communities. Forms of oral poetry like the Cebuano Balak, the Ilokano Bukanegan, the
Tagalog Balagtasan, and the SamalTinis-Tinis, continued to be declaimed by the rural-based bards,
albeit to dwindling audiences. In the late 1960s, Ricaredo Demetillo had, using English (and English
metrics) pioneered a linkage with the oral tradition. The result was the award-winning Barter in Panay,
an epic based on the Ilonggo epic Maragtas. Inspired by the example, other younger poets wrote
epics or long poems, and they were duly acclaimed by the major award-giving bodies. Among these
poets were writers in English like Cirilo Bautista (The Archipelago, 1968), Artemio Tadena (Northward
into Noon, 1970) and Domingo de Guzman (Moses, 1977).

However, except for Demetillos modern epic, these attempts fall short of establishing a linkage
with the basic folk tradition. Indeed, most are more like long meditative poems, like Eliots or Nerudas
long pieces. Interest in the epic waned as the 1980s approached. The 1980s became a decade of
personalistic free verse characteristic of American confessional poetry. The epic big picture
disappeared from the scene, to be replaced by a new breed of writers nourished by global literary
sources, and critical sources in the developed world. The literary sources were third world (often
nativistic) poetry such as that of Neruda, Vallejo and Octavio Paz. In fiction, the magic-realism of
Borges, Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie, among others, influenced the fiction of Cesar Aquino,
Alfred Yuson, and poet-fictionist Mario Gamalinda.

On the other hand, the poets trained in American workshops continue to write in the lyrical-realist
mode characteristic of American writing, spawned by imagism and neo-Aristotelianism. Among these
writers (whose influence remains considerable) are the poet-critics Edith L. Tiempo, Gemino Abad,
Ophelia A. Dimalanta and Emmanuel Torres. Their influence can be felt in the short lyric and the
medium-length meditative poem that are still the Filipino poets preferred medium. Some
contemporary poets in English such as Marjorie Evasco and Merlie Alunan, derive their best effects
from their reverence for the ineluctable image. Ricardo de Ungrias and Luisa Aguilar Carios poems,
on the other hand, are a rich confluence of imagism, surrealism and confessionalism.
The Philippine novel, whether written in English or any of the native languages, has remained
social-realist. Edgardo Reyes Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1966), for instance, is a critique of urban
blight, and Edilberto K. Tiempos To Be Free is a historical probe of the western idea of freedom in
the context of indigenous Philippine culture. Kerima Polotan Tuveras novel The Hand of the
Enemy (1972), a penetratingly lucid critique of ruling-class psychology, is entirely realistic, if Rizalian
in its moments of high satire, although unlike the Rizalian model, it falls short of a moral vision.

Only a few novelists like Gamalinda, Yuson and Antonio Enriquez, can claim a measure of
success in tapping creative power from folk sources in their venture to join the third world magic-
realist mainstream.

But the poets of oral-folk charisma, such as Jose Corazon de Jesus, are waiting in the wings for
a comeback as astonishing as Lam-angs legendary resurrection. Modernist and post-modernist
criticism, which champions the literature of the disempowered cultures, has lately attained sufficient
clout to shift the focus of academic pursuits towards native vernacular literatures (oral and written)
and on the revaluation of texts previously ignored, such as those by women writers. Sa Ngalan Ng
Ina (1997), by prize-winning poet-critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago, is, to date, the most comprehensive
compilation of feminist writing in the Philippines.

About the Authors:


Francis C. Macansantos is a Palanca Literary Award veteran winning first prize for poetry in 1989
with UP Press publishing his book The Words and Other Poems in 1997.
Priscilla S. Macansantos has won in the 1998 Palanca Literary Awards for her poetry Departures
and is now an Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines.
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Plot Summary
Showing all 4 plot summaries

The restless sales representative of a transport company Joanna Mills travels from Saint Louis to Texas in
a business trip. She is haunted by violent visions and after meeting her client, she visits her lonely father.
On the next morning, she decides to visit La Salle, a small town where she has never been before, but she
had recollections of many locations. She lodges in a hotel and later she meets and is befriended by the
local widower Terry Stahl, who helps her from an aggression. Her daydreams and nightmares increase and
she becomes obsessed for disclosing the truth about her visions of a brutal murder of a woman in a barn.
Along her investigation, Joanna gets close to the killer and feels that her life is in danger.

- Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Joanna Mills, a tough young Midwesterner, is determined to learn the truth behind the increasingly
terrifying supernatural visions that have been haunting her. Joanna has made a successful career for
herself, as sales representative for a trucking company. But her private life has been difficult; estranged
from her father, stalked by an obsessed ex-boyfriend, and with few friends, Joanna fears that she is losing
control. She sees and feels the brutal murder of a young woman she's never met, at the hands of a
heartless killer, a man who appears to be making Joanna his next target. Determined to fight back,
Joanna is guided by her nightmares to the murdered woman's hometown. Once there, she will discover
that some secrets can't be buried; some spirits never die; and that the murder she is trying to solve may
be her own.

- Written by Rogue Pictures

Joanna Mills been having strange visions since she was 11 years old after an automobile accident, which
they are violent and making her life difficult. Now a young woman, she beginning to realize her visions are
memories, after befriending a man named Terry Stahl, who appeared in one of them. As she getting
closer to the truth, she will know some secrets should stay hidden.

- Written by Ron

Joanna Mills, a traveling business woman, begins having nightmares of a murder that occurred 15 years
ago. Soon she is drawn to an old farmhouse, where the murder took place.

- Written by CaptainStigmata

Synopsis
Since a car crash when she was 11, Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has had visions of a town she's
never been to of people she's never met...
See full synopsis (Warning: contains spoilers!)