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Donna Karla Gargaceran

on 13 February 2014

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The Filipino revolutionist won against the Spaniards who colonized Philippines for more than 300 years. The Philippine flag was hoisted on June 12, 1898 as a symbol of independence. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was elected the first president of the Philippine Republic, which was short – lived. Americans colonized the country. And in 1901, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo surrendered to the Americans.
Spanish and Tagalog and the Vernaculars were the languages used in writing during the first years in American period, but Spanish and Tagalog were the predominated language.
In 1910, a new group started to write in English. Hence, Spanish, Tagalog, the Vernaculars and finally English, were the mediums used in literature during these times.

Historical Background
The creation of Philippine literary works during the American Period in the Philippines was advanced 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.
SPANISH writers wrote about nationalism.
TAGALOG writers wrote about their lamentations on the conditions of the country and their attempts to arouse love for one’s native tongue.
ENGLISH writers imitated the themes and methods of the Americans.
Poets of the Heart (Makata ng Puso)
Lope K. Santos,
Iñigo Ed. Regalado
Carlos Gatmaitan
Pedro Deogracias del Rosario
Ildefonso Santos
Amado V. Hernandez,
Nemecio Carabana
Mar Antonio
Poets of Life (Makata ng Buhay)
Lope K Santos
Jose Corazon de Jesus
Florentino Collantes
Patricio Mariano
Carlos Gatmaitan
Amado V. Hernandez.
Poets of the Stage (Makata ng Tanghalan)
Aurelio Tolentino
Patricio Mariano
Severino Reyes
Philippine Literature in English is divided into three time frames:
A.The Period of Re – orientation: 1898 – 1910

English as a literary vehicle came with the American occupation on August 13, 1898 and by 1900, English became the medium of instruction in public schools.

Writers of this period were still adjusting to the newfound freedom different from the Spanish regime where thoughts and speech were suppressed. They were also adjusting in the use of the new language and to the standards of the English literary style. Thus it is not surprising that there were not much production of literature during this period.
Writers in this period made their way into imitating the American and British’s way of writing that resulted in rigid and unnatural styles that lack vitality and spontaneity.
By this time, Filipino writers had acquired the mastery of English writing. They now confidently and competently wrote on a lot of subjects although the old – time favorites of love and youth persisted.
1910 - English - Medium of instruction on public schools
El Renacimiento - Rafael Palma - 1901
Philippines Free Press - 1905
Sursum Corda - Justo Juliano - 1907 - first work published in English
My Mother and Air Castles - Juan F. Salazar - 1909
1919 - UP College Folio
1920 - Bulletin, Philippine Herald
1924 - The Philippine Review, the Independent, Rising Philippines and Citizens, and the Philippine Education Magazine.
Some of the Filipino Writers during American Colonization
Paz Marquez-Benitez (1894-1983)
Authored the first Filipino modern English language short story,
Dead Stars, Published in the Philippine Herald in 1925.
Maximo Maguiat Kalaw(1891-1955)
He studied at the Philippine Normal School and the University of the Philippines wherein he became the editor of Collegio Folio, the first school paper in UP.
Amado Vera Hernandez (1903-1970)
A Filipino writer and labor leader who was known for his criticism of social injustices in the Philippines and was later imprisoned for his involvement in the communist movement. He was the central figure in a landmark legal case that took 13 years to settle.
Zoilo Galang (1895-1959)
Manuel Arguilla (1911-1944)
He graduated in University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science Education degree.
She was a member of the first class of the University of the Philippines, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912.
His published works include Usapin ng mga Pilipino (1915), The Development of Philippine Politics (1926), The Filipino Rebel: A Romance of the American Occupation of the Philippines (1930), The Philippine Question: An Analysis (1931), An Introduction to Philippine Social Science (1933), and Materials for the Constitution (1934).
He became an associate editor of the Manila Times, a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines,an exchange professor at the University of Michigan, becoming the first Filipino to teach in an American university.
Faustino S. Aguilar (1882-1955)
He was one of the first novelists in the Philippines to explore and present social realism through literature.
As a novelist, he authored the Tagalog-language novels Busabos ng Palad (Pauper of Fate) in 1909, Sa Ngalan ng Diyos (In the Name of God) in 1911, Ang Lihim ng Isang Pulo (The Secret of an Island) in 1926, Ang Patawad ng Patay (The Pardon of the Dead) in 1951, Ang Kaligtasan (The Salvation) in 1951, and Pinaglahuan (Place of Disappearance) in 1906 (published in 1907).
According to Soledad Reyes, Faustino’s Pinaglahuan was a pioneer novel in Philippine literature that tackled social realism in the Philippines, meaning it was one of the first books to focus on the realistic state of Philippine society. Faustino wrote the novel after being influenced by the socialist teaching of 19th century European thinkers. Pinaglahuan was Faustino’s response against imperialism and colonialism
Her other story is "A night in the Hill" (1925)
While still a teenager, he began writing in Tagalog for the newspaper Watawat (Flag). He would later write a column for the Tagalog publication Pagkakaisa (Unity) and become editor of Mabuhay (Long Live).
His writings gained the attention of Tagalog literati and some of his stories and poems were included in anthologies, such as Clodualdo del Mundo's Parolang Ginto and Alejandro Abadilla's Talaang Bughaw.
In 1922, at the age of 19, Hernandez became a member of the literary society Aklatang Bayan which included noted Tagalog writers Lope K. Santos and Jose Corazon de Jesus.
One of the founders of Philippine Women College. (Now PWU)
He wrote the first Philippine novel written in English, "A Child of Sorrow"
Other notable works include "Nadia", "For Dreams Must Die", "Springtime", "Leaders of the Philippines", "Glimpses of the World", "Life and Success", "Master of Destiny", "Unisophy" and "Barrio Life".
Wrote and edited the First 10-volume Encyclopedia of the Philippines which covered Philippine literature, biography, commerce and industry, art, education, religion, government, science, history and builders of the new Philippines.
Authored the short story, How my brother Leon brought Home a Wife, which won first prize in the Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940.
He also wrote the stories Midsummer and Heat which was published in the United States.
Juan Cabreros Laya (1911-1952)
He was a Filipino novelist and publisher.
He was the founder of Inang Lupa publishing and was active in textbook in the 1950s.
He also wrote many stories and novels about his country and native land.
He was awarded a Commonwealth prize for his English novel "His Native Soil".
Carlos Bulosan wrote in 1942:
"[The novel is] an important historical document because it marks the continuation of a literary tradition started by Francisco Balagtas in Tagalog and by Jose Rizal in Spanish. Only forty years in the Philippines, English has become a dynamic weapon in the hand of the young author who, using the rich scenery of his own childhood and the shifting intellectual life of his generation, is able to recreate and reflect the rapidly changing political and social attitudes of the Filipino people.”
Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (1911-1995)
He also became the director Filipino Players from 1941-1947.
He wrote well over a hundred plays, 41 one which have been published. His published and unpublished plays have either been broadcast over the radio or staged in various parts of the Philippines.
In 1947, he was appointed as UP Dramatic Club director and served for 16 years. As founder and artistic director of the UP Mobile Theater, he pioneered the concept of theater campus tour and delivered no less than 2,500 performances in a span of 19 committed years of service. By bringing theatre to countryside, Guerrero made it possible for students and audiences in general to experience the basic grammar of staging and acting in familiar and friendly ways through his plays that humorously reflect the behavior of the Filipino.
by Paz Marquez Benitez
THROUGH the open window the air-steeped outdoors passed into his room, quietly enveloping him, stealing into his very thought. Esperanza, Julia, the sorry mess he had made of life, the years to come even now beginning to weigh down, to crush—they lost concreteness, diffused into formless melancholy. The tranquil murmur of conversation issued from the brick-tiled azotea where Don Julian and Carmen were busy puttering away among the rose pots.
“Papa, and when will the ‘long table’ be set?”
“I don’t know yet. Alfredo is not very specific, but I understand Esperanza wants it to be next month.”
Carmen sighed impatiently. “Why is he not a bit more decided, I wonder. He is over thirty, is he not? And still a bachelor! Esperanza must be tired waiting.”
“She does not seem to be in much of a hurry either,” Don Julian nasally commented, while his rose scissors busily snipped away.
“How can a woman be in a hurry when the man does not hurry her?” Carmen returned, pinching off a worm with a careful, somewhat absent air. “Papa, do you remember how much in love he was?”
“In love? With whom?”
“With Esperanza, of course. He has not had another love affair that I know of,” she said with good-natured contempt. “What I mean is that at the beginning he was enthusiastic—flowers, serenades, notes, and things like that—“
Alfredo remembered that period with a wonder not unmixed with shame. That was less than four years ago. He could not understand those months of a great hunger that was not of the body nor yet of the mind, a craving that had seized on him one quiet night when the moon was abroad and under the dappled shadow of the trees in the plaza, man wooed maid. Was he being cheated by life? Love—he seemed to have missed it. Or was the love that others told about a mere fabrication of perfervid imagination, an exaggeration of the commonplace, a glorification of insipid monotonies such as made up his love life? Was love a combination of circumstances, or sheer native capacity of soul? In those days love was, for him, still the eternal puzzle; for love, as he knew it, was a stranger to love as he divined it might be.
Zoilo M. Galang's A Child of Sorrow(1921)

The opening lines:

Lucio had just received his sheepskin diploma from the provincial high school, and had laid his books on the dust-covered shelves. He had not decided yet what he would do. Perhaps he would play the proverbial happy role of youth—the life of fun, frolic and adventure.

It was April in the Fertile Valley, the month when the sampaguita began to open its petals to receive the soothing dew of the starry evening hour; when the rose, lovely and tender, gave its best and lured countless butterflies; when the dama-de-noche, fragrantly suffused the atmosphere at the magic touch of the night which gave it vitality.
How my Brother Leon brought Home a Wife
by Manuel Arguilla
She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick, delicate grace. She was lovely. She was tall. She looked up to my brother with a smile, and her forehead was on a level with his mouth. 
“You are Baldo,” she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. Her nails were long, but they were not painted. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek.  “And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much.” She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum. 
I laid a hand on Labang’s massive neck and said to her: “You may scratch his forehead now.”
She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long, curving horns. But she came and touched Labang’s forehead with her long fingers, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes half closed. And by and by she was scratching his forehead very daintily. 
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