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- Poems were romantic and revolutionary
- Writers wrote openly of their criticism
against the government.
- The supplications of the people were
coached in fiery, colorful, violent, profane
and insulting language.
-Dealt with true-to-life themes.
- Many composers, grieved over Ninoy Aquino’s assassination. Among them were: Coritha, Eric and Freddie Aguilar.
- Coritha and Eric composed a song titled LABAN NG BAYAN KO which was first sung by Coritha during the National Unification Conference of the Opposition in March, 1985. It was also sung during the Presidential Campaign Movement for Cory Aquino to inspire the movement against Marcos in February 1986.
- Freddie Aguilar revived the song BAYAN KO which was written by Jose Corazon de Jesus and C. de Guzman during the American period.
- The yearly Festival of Filipino Films continued to be held during this period.
- The people’s love for sex films also was unabated. Many producers took advantage of this at the expense of public morality.
POETRY IN ENGLISH
- “Darkness in the mind and soul is how some forgotten poet puts it. Its suddenness was so profound that we couldn’t but react to it in any other way.” – Alfredo Navarro Salonga
- Poets found themselves writing on a common subject. Reproduction of some of them is reprinted and we call them Protest Poetry of the ‘80’s.
- The themes of most poems during this time dealt with courage, shock and grief over the “treachery inflicted upon Aquino.”
UNDER THE THIRD REPUBLIC
- Martial Law was lifted on January 2, 1981.
- To those in government, the lifting of military rule made a change. The Philippines became a renewed nation.
- Former President Marcos called it The New Republic of the Philippines; A historian called this the Third Republic.
- Because of the continued oppression and suppression, many people during this period
are still protesting and rebellious.
- The murder of Senator Benigno S. Aquino Sr. on
August 21, 1983 aggravated the rebellious spirits
of the Filipino masses.
- After the Aquino assassination, the people’s voices were no longer contained - public and private sectors in government were chanting, and shouting; women, men and the youth became bolder.
-In the midst of many restrictions during this period, the Philippine literature still retained its luster.
The Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for literature which was launched in 1950,
continued its recognition of the best in the literary fields – poetry, short story, essays, and the one and three-act plays.
Jessie B. Garcia’s –“In Hog Heaven”
Luning Bonifacio – Ira’s “The Party Hopper”
Jesus Q. Cruz – “In These Hallowed Halls”
“Heart Island” by Jose Dalisay Jr.
“Pas de Deux” by Azucena Grajo Uranza
“The Sky Is Always Blue” by Joe Marie A. Abueg
In 1983, the mood was restive, characteristics of the times. The nation was angry after the murder of opposition leader Benigno Aquino Sr. but the awards ceremonies continued after a delay. The winners are:
First Prize: “Oldtimer” by Jose Dalisay Jr.
Second Prize: “Games” by Jesus O. Cruz
Third Prize: “Perfect Sunday” by Jose Y. Ayala
First Prize in poetry (Pilipino):
Jose F. Lacaba
Second Prize (English essay):
Third Prize (English essay):
“The Reprieve” by Susan S. Lara
“The Tangerine Gumamela” by Sylvia Mendez Ventura
“The Little Wars of Filemon Sayre” by Lemuel Torrevillas
“Stranger in an Asian City” by Gregorio Brillantes
“The Hand of God” by Conrado de Quiros
“A Novel Prize for Jorge” by Eli Ang Barroso
“Mecca of the East” by Charles Loong
In 1984, the Palanca Awards started choosing the
best in novel writing. This contest, held every three
years, gives time for local writers to write more
beautiful and quality works. The next contest on the
best novel was held in 1987. La Tondeña
continues to be its sponsor.
- “It was a year of ferment, and change, of old
problems made more oppressive by the new
throbbing beat of the times.” – Sheila S. Coronel
- For journalists, it was a year loaded with libel
charges, lawsuits and seditious trials.
- JAJA (Justice for Aquino, Justice for All)
Movement called for a boycott of government – controlled newspapers in protest of
- In campuses, newspapers were set afire to protest
lack of free expression. Journalists of 3 major dailies demanded a dialogue with their publishers to “restore credibility and respectability” to newspapers.
- Opposition tabloids flourished; Magazines like the TIKTIK, PLAYBOY SCENE, and SAKDAL also played the sidewalks.
- There was a perceptible liberalization of editorial policies in the major newspapers.
Among the well-loved forms of writing.
The Children’s Communication Center (CCC) directed by poet and writer Virgilio S. Almario has built up an impressive collection of these kinds of books. The following are some of the books of the period.
1982: PLAYS FOR CHILDREN by Jame B. Reuter S.J. (New Day Pub.)
1983: 1983: JOSE AND CARDO by Peggy Corr Manuel
1983: Joaquinesquerie: MYTH A LA MOD (Cacho Hermanos)
1984: RIZALIANA FOR CHILDREN: ILLUSTRATIONS and FOLKTALES by: Jose P. Rizal, Intoduced and annotated by Alfredo Navarro Salanga
1984: GATAN AND TALAW by Jaime Alipit Montero
The people’s cry of protest found outlets not only in poetry
but also in veiled prose fables which transparently satirized
the occupants of Malacañang. In all the fables, characters were
drunk with power and were punished in the end for their
misdeeds. Among those that saw prints were:
- The Crown Jewels of Heezenhurst by Sylvia Mendez Ventura
- The Emperor’s New Underwear by Meynardo A. Macaraig
- The King’s Cold by Babeth Lolarga
- The Case of the Missing Charisma (unfinished) by Sylvia L. Mayuga.
STATE OF PHILIPPINE LITERATURE
Isagani Cruz observed that the “Philippine literature is definitely changing,” and he summarizes these as follows:
- Direction of greater consciousness in content and form.
- Number of readers and the number of writers and the kind of class of writers.
- The resurgence of Balagtasismo and the continued dominance of Modernismo.
- The birth of a new poetic movement still dims in outline.
- Merging of the oral and written literature.
OTHER WRITERS AND COMPOSITIONS
- PHILIPPINE FOLK LITERATURE by Damiana Eugenio
- ADVENTURES OF MARIAN by Carissa Orosa Uy
- SOMEWHERE BETWEEN YOUR SMILE AND
YOUR FROWN AND OTHER POEMS
by Bienvenido M. Noeiga Jr.
- PARES-PARES by Bienvenido M. Noriega Jr.
- AGON: POEMS, 1983 by Edgar B. Maranan
- THE FARMER by Alfredo Navarro Salanga
- THE ROAD TO MOWAB AND OTHER STORIES
by Leoncio P. Deriada
UNDER THE CONTEMPORARY
UNDER THE CONTEMPORARY PERIOD1986-2000
- Once more, the Filipino people regained their independence which they lost twenty years ago.
- The People Power prevailed. Together, the people barricaded the streets petitioning the government for changes and reforms.
- Philippine society was in turmoil for a few weeks.
- The events created overnight heroes
- To the Filipino people, this is the True Philippine Republic, the True Republic of the Philippines.
STATE OF LITERATURE
In the short span of the existence of the True Republic of the Philippines, several changes already became evident.
- ON NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
- ON BOOKS PUBLISHED
ON NEWSPAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS
- Newspapers which were once branded crony became
instant opposition papers overnight. This was true of
BULLETIN TODAY which became the opposition paper.
- The now crony newspapers that enjoyed an overnight
increase in circulation were THE INQUIRER, MALAYA, and
the PEOPLE’S JOURNAL.
- Newspapers felt that the shackles that muzzled their voices during the repressive years had been broken and, like a bird “trying its wings after a long time of bondage,” the desire
to write about this “miracle of change” was electric.
ON NEWSPAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS
- Columnists became vocal and unrestricted in there are and a bumper crop of young journalists emerged.
- The old stalwarts of the former dispensation like Maximo Soliven, Louie Beltran, Hilarion Henares, and Francisco Soc Rodrigo came back with a vengeance.
- By June 12, 1986, a total of 19 local dailies both in English and Filipino were in circulation. These newspapers include: BULLETIN, TEMPO, BALITA, MALAY, MIDDAY, MASA, MANILA TIMES, NEWS HERALD, TRIBUNE, NGAYON, INQUIRER, EXPRESS TONIGHT, EVENING POST, PEOPLE’S, DAILY MIRROR, BUSINESS DAY, and MANILA CHRONICLE.
- This was just beginning a new era.
- The Philippine revolution of 1986 and the fire of its spirit that will carry the Filipinos through another epoch in Philippine history was documented.
- Two books were conceived during the period namely:
1. PEOPLE POWER was produced under a grant by the PCI Bank Human Resources Development Foundation, edited by Monina Allarey Mercado and published by the James B. Reuter, S.J. Foundation
2. BYAN KO was published by Project 28 Days LTD. in June, 1986 in Kowloon, Hong Kong and co-published in the Philippines by Veritas Publications and Communications Foundation.
- In March 19, 1987 the Seventh National Book Awards
cited several best books published in 1987 according to the choices made by the Manila Critics Circle. Among those awarded were:
Dreamweavers Selected Poems (1976-1986) by Marjorie Pernia
Awit at Corrido: Philippine Metrical Romances by Damiana L. Eugenio.
- Bookfair Manila ’88 organized by the Philippine Exhibit Company was held on February 20-28, 1988.
An album named HANDOG NG PILIPINO SA MUNDO carried a compilation of songs during the period. The song that continued to be sung throughout the trying period of the Revolution, almost like a second national anthem and which gave fire to the Filipino spirit was BAYAN KO. Its lyrics were written by Jose Corazon de Jesus way back in 1928.
Reported by: Lozada, Marcos, Papera
July 3, 2012