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Submitted By Merlito29
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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;

- Literature in this period is based on tradition, reflecting daily life activities such as housework, farming, fishing, hunting, and taking care of the children as well;

- Oral pieces told stories which explained heroes and their adventures; they attempted to explain certain natural phenomena, and, at the same time, served as entertainment purposes;

- Pre-colonial literature showed certain elements that linked the Filipino culture to other Southeast Asian countries (e.g. oral pieces which were performed through a tribal dance have certain similarities to the Malay dance);

- This period in Philippine literature history represented the ethos of the people before the arrival of a huge cultural influence – literature as a cultural tradition, than a form of art that had a particular set of decorum.

· Early Forms of Philippine Literature:

o Bugtong (riddles; a bugtong contains a metaphor called, Talinghaga), Salawikain (proverb); o Pre-colonial poetry – Tanaga (expresses a view or a value of the world), Ambahan (songs about childhood, human…...

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