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Philippine Literature During The Spanish Colonial Period

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Ashley Barry

on 1 July 2014

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Transcript of Philippine Literature During The Spanish Colonial Period

The Spanish Period (1565-1898)

 Historical Background

A. SPANISH INFLUENCES ON PHILIPPINE LITERATURE

1. The first Filipino alphabet called ALIBATA was replaced by the Roman alphabet.
2. The teaching of the Christian Doctrine became the basis of religious practices.
3. The Spanish language which became the literary language during this time lent many of its words to our language.
4. European legends and traditions brought here became assimilated in our songs, corridos, and moro-moros.
5. Ancient literature was collected and translated to Tagalog and other dialects.
6. Many grammar books were printed in Filipino, like Tagalog, Ilocano and Visayan.
7. Our periodicals during these times gained a religious tone.

B. THE FIRST BOOKS
1. ANG DOCTRINA CRISTIANA (THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE)
G. Dung-aw
D. FOLK SONGS

Folk songs became widespread in the Philippines. Each region had its national song from the lowlands to the mountains of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
-This is a chant in free verse by a bereaved person or his representative beside the corpse of the dead.
-No definite meter or rhyming scheme is used.
-The person chanting it freely recites in poetic rhythm according to his feelings, emotions and thoughts.
-It is personalized and usually deals with the life, sufferings and sacrifices of the dead and includes apologies for his misdeeds.
- popularly called Balagtas, is the acknowledged master of traditional Tagalog poetry.
- His narrative poem, "Florante at Laura," written in sublime Tagalog, is about tyranny in Albanya, but it is also perceived to be about the tyranny in his Filipino homeland.
Philippine Literature During The Spanish Colonial Period
It is known that the Spanish were able to colonize of the Philippines started in 1565, during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who was the first Spanish governor-general in the Philippines. Literature started to flourish and expand during his time. This spurt continued unabated until the Cavite Revolt in 1872. The Spaniards colonized the Philippines for more than three centuries.

a.This was the first book printed in the Philippines in 1593 in xylography.
b. It was written by Fr. Juan de Placencia and Fr. Domingo Nieva, in Tagalog and Spanish.
c. It contained the Pater Noster (Out Father), Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Regina Coeli (Hail Holy Queen), the Ten Commandments of God, the Commandments of the Catholic Church, the Seven Mortal Sins, How to Confess, and the Cathecism.
3. Libro de los Cuatro Postrimerías del Hombre
- First written book in typography

- Fr. Francisco Blancas in 1604
2. Nuestra Señora del Rosario
Written by Fr. Blancas de San Jose in 1602, and printed at the UST Printing Press with the help of Juan de Vera, a Chinese mestizo. It contains the biographies of saints, novenas, and questions and answers on religion.

5. The Pasion
This is the book about the life and sufferings of Jesus Christ. It is read only during Lenten season.
4. Ang Barlaan at Josephat
- Biblical Story printed in the Philippines

- Translated from Greek to Tagalog by Fr. Antonio de Borja

- First Tagalog novel printed in the Philippines even though it is only a translation
6. Urbana at Felisa
- Modesto de Castro- Father of Classical Prose in Tagalog

- Letters between two sisters

- Influenced greatly the behavior of the people in the society
7. Ang Mga Dalit kay Maria (Psalms for Mary)
- Collection of songs praising the Virgin Mary

- By Fr. Mariano Sevilla in 1865

- Popular during the Flores de Mayo Festival
Arte de la Lengua Bicolana
(The Art of the Bicol Language)
- First book in the Bicol Language by Fr. Marcos Libson in 1754

Arte y Reglas de la Lengua Tagala
(Art and Rules of the Tagalog Language)
- Written by Fr. Blancas de San Jose

- Translated to Tagalog by Tomas Pinpin in 1610
Compendio de la Lengua Tagala
(Understanding the Tagalog Language)
- Written by Fr. Gaspar de San Agustin in 1703
Vocabulario de la Lengua Bisaya
(Bisayan Vocabulary)
- Best Visayan language book

- Written by Mataeo Sanchez in 1711
Arte de la Lengua Ilokana (The Art of the Ilocano Language)
- First Ilocano grammar book by Francisco Lopez
C. LITERARY COMPOSITIONS

Examples of Folk Songs
A. Leron-leron Sinta
B. Pamulinawen
C. Dandansoy
D. Atin Cu Pung Sing-sing
E. RECEREATIONAL PLAYS
There are many recreational plays performed by Filipinos during the Spanish times. Almost all of them were in poetic form.
Examples of Recreational Plays
1. Tibag – the word tibag means to excavate. This ritual was brought here by the Spaniard to remind the people about the search of St. Helena for the Cross on which Jesus died.
2. Lagaylay – this is a special occasion for the Pilareños of Sorsogon during Maytime to get together.
3. The Cenaculo – this is a dramatic performance to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
4. Panunuluyan – this is presented before 12:00 on Christmas Eve. This is a presentation of the search of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph for an inn wherein to deliver the baby Jesus.
5. Carillo (Shadow Play) – this is a form of dramatic entertainment performed on a moonless night during a town fiesta or on dark nights after a harvest. This shadow play is made by projecting cardboard figures before a lamp against a white sheet. The figures are moved like marionettes whose dialogues are produced by some experts.
6. The Zarzuela – considered the father of the drama; it is a musical comedy or melodrama three acts which dealt with man’s passions and emotions like love, hate, revenge, cruelty, avarice or some social or political proble.
F. Fransisco Baltazar (1788-1862)
Jose Rizal (1861-1896)
Rizal's two novels, "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.
His two novels are known to be realistic because it relates to what is happening to the readers/Filipinos back then.
The Philippine revolutionary period also had its share of women writers
A. Gregoria de Jesus, wife of Andres Bonifacio, wrote notable Tagalog poetry.
B. In Vigan of the Ilocano North, Leona Florentino, by her poetry, became the foremost Ilocano writer of her time.
The church authorities adopted a policy of spreading the Church doctrines by communicating to the natives in their 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.

The task of translating religious instructional materials forced the Spanish missionaries to employ natives as translators. Eventually, these natives learned to read and write both in Spanish and in their native tongue. These bilingual natives were called the Ladinos. They published their works, mainly devotional poetry, in the first decade of the 17th century. The most gifted among the Ladinos was Gaspar Aquino de Belen who wrote Mahal na Pasion ni Jesu Christo, a Tagalog poem based on Christ's passion, was published in 1704.
Until the 19th century, the printing presses were owned and managed by the religious orders. Thus, religious themes dominated the literature of the time.
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