Wilfredo Essay

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A Brief History of Philippine Literature in English
I. Pre-Colonial Period

- Consisted of early Filipino literature passed down orally; oral pieces have a communal authorship – it was difficult to trace the original author of the piece since oral literature did not focus on ownership or copyright, rather on the act of storytelling itself;

- Many oral pieces became lost in the wave of the new literary influence brought about by the Spanish colonization; however, according to the Philippine Literature: A History & Anthology, English Edition (Lumbera, B. & Lumbera C.), the pre-colonial period of Philippine literature is considered the longest in the country’s history;

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· Notable Works of the Pre-colonial Period: o Tuwaang, Lam-ang, Hinilawod, Bantugan

II. Spanish Colonial Period (Mid-16th – late 19th century)

- The Spanish culture, as reflected in the works of this literature period, showed a clash with the pre-colonial Filipino literature in the beginning. However, due to the length of stay of the colonizers, the Spanish culture was eventually imbued in the Filipino literature of the period;

- Religion became an important theme that had influenced the early Filipino writings which had the presence of paganism – “Christian Folk-Tale”;

- In addition, the influence of religion, besides on the daily life of the natives, was lead by the friar/missionary/parish priest who were appointed by the Spanish government;

- Despite the goal of the Spanish government to turn the country into a full-fledged European colony, the Spanish influence ironically inspired a reformation from the natives, which eventually turned into a revolution;

- Yet regardless of the conflicts that plagued the relationship between the Spaniards and the Filipinos, a sense of nationalism was formed among the oppressed, and had caused them to rise up to a nationalistic cause;


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