Sunday, December 18, 2011

Notes on the Literary Forms of the Pre-colonial Period

Pre-colonial inhabitants of the Philippines have a rich oral tradition of literature, which is composed of folk speeches, folk songs, folk narratives, and indigenous rituals and mimetic dances.

Notes on Pre-Colonial Philippines

Early Philippine History
  • Little is known about Philippine history before the Spaniards arrived.
  • Written records made by the inhabitants of the Philippine islands were made of perishable bamboo or leaves.
  • For a long time, Philippine history started with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

Notes on the Philippines

Geographic Facts

The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia. It is an archipelago that has about 1,700 islands.The Philippines has three major groups of islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Notes on The Emergent Period (1935-1945)

The years 1935 to 1945 saw the emergence of a significant trend in Philippine literature in English. Jose M. Hernandez describes this period as a time of self-discovery and of rapid growth. Hernandez proceeds by the enumerating the qualities of the period:

  1. The writers consciously and purposefully to create a national literature.
  2. The writers had gained full control of the English language and could successfully manipulate it as a literary medium.
  3. Experimentation with different literary forms and techniques and moods was the fashion.
  4. Three groups of writers emerged:
    • Those who were concerned with social consciousness
    • Those whose main concern was craftsmanship
    • Those who were determined to explore local color. Some of the writers of this group formed the Veronicans. 

Notes on The Apprenticeship Period (1910-1935)

In 1900 English became the official medium of instruction in Philippine schools. The first teachers were army men and their wives. In 1901 the Philippine Normal School was founded to train the Filipino teachers to take charge of elementary education. In the same year the army transport, Thomas, bought 600 American teachers to the country to be incorporated into the educational system. These teachers introduced English and American literature to the Filipinos.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Notes on Rizal's Poetry

The poetry of Jose Rizal was mostly written in Spanish. Rizal wrote some twenty-two poems while attending Ateneo de Manila and the University of Sto. Tomas. These poems were full of apostrophes and classical allusions.

Notes on Rizal's Prose

Rizal was born in Calamba, Laguna on June 19, 1861. He came from a substantial family of traders and farm owners. He secured his formal education at the Ateneo de Manila.

Interested in pursuing medicine, Rizal studied at the University of Sto. Tomas. He did not stay long in this Dominican institution, but went abroad instead. In Madrid, Rizal studied both medicine and literature. He also took up courses in languages and other cultural subjects.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Notes on Philippine Literature During the American Period

Philippine literary production during the American Period was spurred by 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.

The use of English as medium of instruction introduced Filipinos to Anlgo-American modes of thought, culture, and life.

The educated class would be the wellspring of a vibrant Philippine literature in English.

Philippine literature in English, as a direct result of American colonization of the country, could not escape being imitative of American models of writing especially during its period of apprenticeship.

In fiction, the period of apprenticeship in literary writing in English is marked by imitation of the style of storytelling and strict adherence to the craft of the short story as practiced by popular American fictionist (Anderson, Saroyan, Hemingway)

In 1925, Paz Marquez Benitez short story, "Dead Stars," was published and was made the landmark of the maturity of the Philippine Writer in English. Soon after Benitez, short story writers began publishing stories no longer imitative of American models.

The combination of writing in English while dwelling on Filipino customs and traditions earmarked the literary output of major fictionist in English.

In 1936, the Philippine Writers League was organized; Filipino writers in English began discussing the value of literature in society. Initiated and led by Salvador P. Lopez, whose essay, “Literature and Society" won in the Commonwealth Literary Awards. This essay posited that art must have substance and that poet Jose Garcia Villa's adherence to "art for art's sake" is decadent.

The flowering of a literary tradition in English did not hamper the literary production in the native languages. The early period of the 20th century was remarkable for the significant literary output of all major languages,

It was in the early American period that seditious plays, using the form of the zarsuwela (a Philippine version of Spanish light operetta), were mounted.

Before the onset of WW II, Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero would gain dominance in theatre through his one-act plays, which he toured through his "mobile theatre."

The novel in Tagalog, Iloko, Hiligaynon, and Sugbuanon also developed during the period aided largely by the steady publication of weekly magazines like Liwayway, Bannawag, and Bisaya, which serialized the novels.

“Banaag at Sikat” or “From Early Dawn to Full Light” is one of the first literary novels written by Filipino author Lope K. Santos in the Tagalog language in 1906. As a book that was considered as the "Bible of working class Filipinos", the pages of the novel revolves around the life of Delfin, his love for a daughter of a rich landlord, while Lope K. Santos also discusses the social issues such as socialism, capitalism, and the works of the united associations of laborers.

Other Tagalog novelists wrote on variations of the same theme, the interplay of fate, love, and social justice.

Poetry in all languages continued to flourish. The Tagalogs, hailing Fransisco F. Balagtas as the nation's foremost poet invented the Balagtasan in his honor. The Balagtasan is a debate in verse, a poetical joust done almost spontaneously between protagonists who debate over the pros and cons of an issue.

The first balagtasan was held in April 6, 1924 at the Instituto de Mujeres. It was during this balagtasan that Jose Corazon de Jesus, known Huseng Batute, emerged triumphant to become the first king of Balagtasan. As Huseng Batute, de Jesus also produced the finest pomes and lyrics during the period.

The balagtasan would be duplicated in the Ilocos as the bukaneg, in honor of Pedro Bukaneg, the supposed trascriber of Biag ni Lam-ang; and the Crissottan, in Pampanga, in honor of the esteemed poet of the Pampango, Juan Crisostomo Sotto.

In 1932, Alejandro G. Abadilla with his poem, "Ako ang Daigdig" began the era of modernism in Tagalog poetry. Modernist poetry, which utilized free or blank verses was intended more for silent reading than oral delivery. 

For the complete NCCA article, click on the following link:

Monday, September 12, 2011

English Plus Classes (11:00-2:00, 2:00-5:00)

Your second group activity will be available tomorrow.

Sorry, guys . . . it seems I won't have the time to upload the second group activity. So just answer the questions that are on page 157. Again, this is a group activity.

Please use short bond paper, and you can have a handwritten output or a printout. And before I forget, prepare to share your answers on Saturday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

English 11 Midterm Grades

English 11 midterm grades are not yet available.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Notes on Philippine Literature in the Spanish Colonial Period

The Spanish colonizers wanted to undermine the native oral tradition by substituting for it the story of the Passion of Christ. However, the native tradition survived and even flourished in areas inaccessible to the Spaniards. Also, the Spaniards were late in instituting a public educational system, which contributed to the survival of the existing folk literature. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Notes on Hudhud and Darangen

*In March 18, 2001, UNESCO recognized the Hudhud chants of the Ifugao of Northern Luzon as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity."

*In November 25, 2005, the same recognition was given to the Maranao epic chant, the Darangen.

UNESCO defines oral and intangible heritage as: "the totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community, expressed by a group of individuals and recognized as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity; its standards and values are transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means.

Notes on the Epic

Epic comes the Greek word “epos,” meaning “word, story, poem.” The epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Notes on the Philippine Epic

Philippine folk literature reaches its highest point of development in its epics. These are long heroic narratives that recount the adventures of tribal heroes. E. Arsenio Manuel calls heroic narratives in verse “folk epics” or "ethno-epics” and defines them in terms of characteristics common to them as,

1)      narratives of sustained length,
2)      based on oral tradition,
3)      revolving around supernatural events or heroic deeds,
4)      in the form of verse,
5)      which is either chanted or sung, and
6)    with a certain seriousness of purpose, embodying or validating the beliefs, customs, ideals, or  life-values of the people (Manuel 1963:3)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Notes on Philippine Folk Literature

Philippine folk literature refers to the traditional oral literature of the Filipino people. Thus, the scope of the field covers the ancient folk literature of the Philippines' various ethnic groups, as well as various pieces of folklore that have evolved since the Philippines became a single ethno-political unit.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Notes on The Literary Forms in Philippine Literature

The diversity and richness of Philippine literature evolved together with the country's history.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Notes on What is Literature?

"What is literature?" is often interpreted as a question regarding the nature of literature, but it can also be a question about the distinguishing characteristics of works known as literature: what distinguishes them from non-literary works?

Hence, the question attains a certain degree of difficulty as works of literature come in many shapes and sizes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Notes on the History and Development of English

The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The invading tribes named  their new home Englaland and called their language Englisc - from which the words England and English are derived.