• Is a body of written works.
• Originated from oral traditions.
• Are imaginative works.
• Deals with stories and poetry.
• The content depends on the author.
Three Points of Literature
• Literature portrays human experience.
• Authors interpret these human experiences.
• It is an art form and a style of expression.
The Pre-Colonial Period
• This existed before the Spanish occupation
in the 1500s.
• It is oral in nature and is full of lessons and
ideas about life, its blessings, and its
• It contains ideas from birth to the grave.
• The oral characteristic of pre-colonial literature gives the possibility
for many alterations.
• In the Philippine context, no matter how it may be considered as
altered, pre-colonial literature is still revered to by many Filipinos.
• The sources are usually the local native town folk.
1. Oral Literature
2. Folk Songs
b. Drinking Songs
c. Love Songs
d. Songs of Death
e. Religious Songs
3. Folk Tales
Riddles (Mga Bugtong)
• These are statements that contain superficial
words, but they function figuratively and as
metaphors, and are in the form of questions.
• These are questions that demand deeper
• Deals with everyday life.
• It usually has mundane things as answers.
• This is used in the past as a form of game in
small or large gatherings.
Baboy sa lasang, (A wild pig of the forest,)
Ang tunok puro lansang. (Is covered with spikes.)
Answer: Nangka (Jackfruit)
Sominub lawiyan, (It dived,)
Mbowat lawitan. (It rose.)
Tagia que tagia, (You keep on slashing it,)
Hende ta penetra. (But it does not penetrate)
Answer: Ragum (Needle) Answer: Agua (Water)
Proverbs (Mga Salawikain)
• These are statements that are considered as
• These are usually given by parents or elders
of the community.
• There is belief that experience is
the best teacher.
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
• Meaning: Taking care of yourself leads to success and productivity.
“It's no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.”
• Meaning: Fixing a mistake won’t help after the consequences have
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.”
• Meaning: People prefer sharing good news over bad news.
1. Huwag gawin sa iba ang ayaw mong gawin sa iyo.
Kung hindi tayo magdudulot ng mga bagay na ayaw nating gawin sa atin ng ibang tao, pawang
mga kabutihan lang mangyayari.
2. Kung ano ang puno, siya ang bunga.
Kung ano ang pinanggalingan ay siya rin ang bunga. Kadalasan, ito ay tumutukoy sa
pagkakaparehas ng anak sa kanyang mga magulang.
3. Kung walang tiyaga, walang nilaga.
Walang pag-unlad kung hindi ka marunong mag tiyaga o magtrabaho ng maigi.
• These are folk lyrics that are usually
aspirations, hopes, everyday life
• These usually contain ideas on
expressions of love for loved ones.
• It is bounded by the learning of good
• It is easy to undestand because it is
straightforward and not figurative in
Bahay kubo, kahit munti
Ang halaman doon ay sari-sari.
Singkamas at talong, sigarilyas at mani
Sitaw, bataw, patani.
Kundol, patola, upo’t kalabasa
At saka mayroon pang labanos, mustasa,
sibuyas, kamatis, bawang at luya
sa paligid-ligid ay puro linga.
• Lullabies- these is locally known as the Hele.
These are sung to put to sleep babies. The
content varies, but usually, parents sing
these with ideas on how hard life is and how
they hope that their child will not
experience the hardships of life.
Sa Ugoy ng Duyan
Sana'y di magmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang
Awit nang pag-ibig habang ako'y nasa
Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing,
Ang bantay ko'y tala,ang tanod ko'y
Sa piling ni nanay langit ang buhay,
Puso kong may dusa, sabik sa ugoy ng
Nais kong matulog
sa dating duyan ko inay
• Love Songs- to many Filipinos, these
are known as the Harana. It can also be
called Courtship Songs and are used by
young men to capture the heart of the
girl that they love.
• Religious Songs- are songs or chants that are usually given
during exorcisms and thanksgiving during good harvest.
• Songs of Death- are lamentations that contain the roll of
good deeds that the dead has usually done to immortaliz his
or her good image.
Maturog kad tay bunga,
Tay lalaki nga napigsa
Ta inton dumakkel tay bunga,
Isunto aya tay mammati
Tay amon a ibaga me.
Go to sleep, dear little one
Will my child please sleep,
This strong boy
So when the child grows big
He will obey
Everything that we say.
Folk Tales (Mga Kwentong Bayan)
• These are stories of native Filipinos.
• These deal with the power of nature-
personified, their submission to a deity-
usually Bathala- and how this deity is
responsible for the blessings and
• These also tackle about irresponsibility, lust, stupidity,
deception, and fallibility that eventually leads to the instilling
of good morals.
• Pre and Post apocalypse
• Life and Death
• Gods and Goddesses
• Heroes and Heroines
• Supernatural beings
needed to appease the
• Myths- these tackle the natural to strange
occurences of the earth and how things
were created with an aim to give an
explanation to things.
-There is Bathala for the Tagalogs and the
Gueurang for the Bikolanos.
- Paradise is known as Maca, while Hell is
stories usually come with a moral lesson that
give credit to supernatural powers,
supernatural occurences, and other out-of-
this-world native imagination.
• Fables- are short or brief stories that cater the children of the native
Filipinos and are usually bounded by good manners and right
conduct. These stories use animals as characters that represent a
particular value or characteristic.
• Epics- are very lengthy narratives that are based on oral traditions.
These contain encounters of fighters, stereotypical princes or heroes
that save a damsel in distress.
Myths The Story of Bathala
Ang Pag-aaway ng Dagat at Langit
Legends The Legend of Maria Makiling
The Legend of the Sampaguita
Fables Ang Kuneho at and Pagong
Si Juan Tamad
The Spanish Period
• The start of the Philippine's more colorful history
took place in March 6, 1521 when Ferdinand
Magellan docked on the shores of Homonhon.
• The Filipinos were then called “Ladinos”, meaning
they were latinized.
• Filipinos were called two things. One is the “Taga-Bayan”, while the other is
the “Taga-bukid” or “Taga-bundok”.
• A person who is a Taga-bayan is considered urbane and civilized and were in
easy range of the church and state.
• A person who is a Taga-bundok or Taga-bukid is called a Bruto Salvage (Savage
Brute) or Indio and were the ones who lived far from the center of the
1. Religious Literature 2. Secular or
c. Prose Narratives
3. Propaganda Literature 4. Revolutionary Literature
• Revolves around the life and the death of Jesus
Forms of Religious Literature:
Pasyon- it is about the passion (journey and suffering) and the death of Jesus
Senakulo- it is the re-enctment of the Pasyon.
Komedya- it depicts the European society through love and fame, but can also
be a narrative about a journey, just like Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. It is
also considered religous, because it usually depicts the battle between the
Christians and the Saracens or the Moros.
Secular or Non- Religious Literature
• Revolves around tales of valiance and adventure.
Forms of Secular or Non-Religious Literature:
Awit- these are tales of chivalry where a knight saves a princess. Florante at
Laura is a good example.
Korido- is a metrical tale or a tale that follows the struture of a poem.
Prose Narratives- are easy to understand instructional materials that in a
literary light that teaches Filipinos on proper decorum. Pagsusulatan ng
Dalawang Binibini na si Urbana at Feliza (1864) is a good example.
• These were in the forms of satires, editorials, and
news articles that aimed to attack the Spanish
• The propaganda trinity is composed of Dr. Jose
Rizal, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, and Graciano Lopez
Graciano Lopez Jaena
Ang Fray Botod- One of his works written in Jaro, Iloilo in 1876, six years after
the Cavite Revolt attacking the friars in the Philippines. He exposed how some
of the friars were greedy, ambitious and immoral.
LA HIJA DEL FRAILE (The Child of the Friar) and
EVERYTING IS HAMBUG (Everything is mere show)-
the tragedy of marrying a
Here Jaena explains
Marcelo H. Del Pilar
KAIINGAT KAYO (Be Careful)- a humorous and sarcastic dig in answer to Fr. Jose
Rodriquez in the novel NOLI of Rizal, published in Barcelona in 1888. He used
Dolores Manapat as pen-name here.
DASALAN AT TOCSOHAN (Prayers and Jokes)- similar to a cathecism but
sarcastically done agains the parish priests, published in Barcelona in 1888.
Because of this, del Pilar was called “filibuster.” Done in admirable tone of
supplication and excellent use of Tagalog.
ANG CADAQUILAAN NG DIOS (God’s Goodness)-
published in Barcelona, it was also like a cathecism
sarcastically aimed against the parish priests but also
contains a philosophy of the power and intelligence of
God and an appreciation for and love for nature.
Dr. Jose Rizal
NOLI ME TANGERE- his was the novel that gave spirit to the propaganda
movement and paved the way to the revolution against Spain. In this book, he
courageously exposed the evils in the Spanish-run government in the
• are exposes that sparked revolution and resistance
in the hearts of Filipinos.
Katungkulang Gagawin ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Obligations of our Countrymen)
– an outline of obligations just like the Ten Commandments, hence, it is likewise
called Ang Dekalogo.
Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog (What the Tagalogs should Know) – an
essay outlining the basic tenets of Bonifacio’s ideas on nationalism.
Liwanag at Dilim (Light and Darkness) – a collection of
essays on different subjects like freedom, work, faith,
government and love of country.
El Desarollo y Caida de la Republica Filipina (The Rise and Fall of the Philippine
Republic) – this essay highlights the establishment of the Philippine republic
and its subsequent doom due to disunity among the Filipinos
Dr. Jose Rizal
El Filibusterismo– This is a sequel to the NOLI. While the
NOLI exposed the evils in society, the FILI exposed those in the
government and in the church. However, the NOLI has been dubbed the novel
of society while that of FILI is that of politics.
El Heraldo de la Revolucion (Herald of the Revolution)
– printed the decrees of the Revolutionary
Government, news and works in Tagalog that aroused nationalism.
This is the Official Newspaper of the Revolutionary Government
La Independencia (Independence) – an independent newspaper founded and
edited by General Antonio Luna.
La Republica Filipina (The Philippine Republic) – a private newspaper edited by
La Libertad (Liberty) – another private newspaper edited by Clemente Zulueta.
The American Period
• . The Philippines had a great leap in Education and
• The use of English alongside Filipino was practiced.
• The Philippines Public School system was
• Free public instruction was given to the Filipinos.
• The literature during the American period was considered as imitative of
American model. Instead of asking the students to write originals, students
ended up following the form of American poets.
1.Poetry- poetry under the American rule still followed
the style of the old, but had contents that ranged from
free writing to societal concerns under the Americans.
2.Drama- was usually used in the American period to degrade the Spanish rule
and to immortalize the heroism of the men who fought under the Katipunan.
3.Remake Novels- took up Dr
. Jose Rizal's portrayal of social conditions by
Jose Corazon de Jesus (1832-1896) popularly known
as “Batute,” created his own generation with his first
book of poems.
Mga Gintong Dahon (1920)- were poems pre-occupied with such non-
traditional themes as passion-slaying, grief-induced, insanity, and lover’s
Sa Dakong Silangan (1928)- returned to the awit form, retelling the history of
Philippines under Spain, the coming of the U.S under the guise of friendship to
take over from Spain
Severino Reyes (1861-1942) – spearheaded a
movement to supplant the komedya with a new type of
drama, the sarsuwela, a Filipino adaptation of the Spanish zarzuela.
Walang Sugat (1902)- is a sarsuwela (drama in the form singing) drawn from the
period of Revolution, depicting the cruelty and corruption of friars and the
heroism of the soldiers of the Katipunan.
Other successful sarsuwelas:
Hindi Aco Patay (1903) by Juan Matapang Cruz
Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas (1903) by Aurelio
Tolentino- is an allegorical presentation of the history of the
nationalist struggle and how the U,S. frustrated the Philippine
Tanikalang Guinto (1902) by Juan Abad (1872-1932)- is about Liwanag and
K’Ulayaw, lovers who stand for freedom and the Filipino.
Gabriel Beato Francisco (1850-1935)- is best known
for his trilogy of Fulgencia Galbillo (1907), Capitan
Bensio (1907), Alfaro (1909), depicting the 30 years of colonial
repression by the Spanish rule.
Inigo Ed. Regalado (1888-1976)- Madaling Araw (1909) was his first novel
showing the complex interrelations of issues and people in contemporary
Juan Lauro Arsciwals (1889-1928)- Lalaking Uliran o Tulisan (1914), allusion to
the colonial law that branded Filipino patriots as bandits.
The Japanese Period and the Republic
• The Philippine literature came into a halt.
• The use of the English language was forbidden, and the use of the Filipino
language was mandated under the Japanese rule.
• For some this was a problem, but to most writers, it was a blessing in
• Almost all news papers were stopped except for some.
• Filipino literature was given a break during this period. Many wrote plays,
poems, short stories, etc. Topics and themes were often about life in the
The drama experienced a lull during the
Japanese period because movie houses showing
American films were closed. The big movie houses
were just made to show stage shows. Many of the plays were
reproductions of English plays to Tagalog..
Writings that came out during this period were journalistic in nature. Writers felt
suppressed but slowly, the spirit of nationalism started to seep into their
consciousness. While some continued to write, the majority waited for a better
climate to publish their works.
The common theme of most poems during the
Japanese occupation was nationalism, country,
love, and life in the barrios, faith, religion and the arts.
The field of the short story widened during the Japanese Occupation.
Many wrote short stories.
Essays were composed to gorify the Filipinos
and at the same time to figuratively attack the Japanese.
21st Century Literature
In the 21st centruy Philippines, there are a lot of
literary innovations that are adapted and created by
Filipinos. Nowadays, even those who do not have any
significant literary background make their own way using the freedom
that they have to write and to express.
There are a lot of new froms from the basic genres of literature; thus,
proving how far the literature in the Philippines has gone and how far
it will go on from here.