Wikang Filipino Essayists

This article is about the national and an official language of the Philippines. For an overview of all languages spoken in the Philippines, see Languages of the Philippines.

Filipino ( listen)[4] (Wikang Filipino[wɪ'kɐŋ ˌfiːliˈpiːno]), in this usage, refers to the national language (Wikang pambansa/Pambansang wika) of the Philippines. Filipino is also designated, along with English, as an official language of the country.[5] It is the standardregister of the Tagalog language,[6] an Austronesian, regional language that is widely spoken in the Philippines. As of 2007, Tagalog is the first language of 28 million people,[7] or about one-third of the Philippine population, while 45 million speak Tagalog as their second language.[1] Tagalog is among the 185 languages of the Philippines identified in the Ethnologue.[8] Officially, Filipino is defined by the Commission on the Filipino Language (Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino in Filipino or simply KWF) as "the native dialect, spoken and written, in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago."[9]

Filipino is officially taken to be a pluricentric language.[10] Indeed, there have been observed "emerging varieties of Filipino which deviate from the grammatical properties of Tagalog" in Cebu,[11]Davao City and Iloilo[12] which together with Metro Manila form the four largest metropolitan areas in the Philippines. In reality, however, Filipino has been variously described as "simply Tagalog in syntax and grammar, with no grammatical element or lexicon coming from ... other major Philippine dialects,"[13] and as "essentially a formalized version of Tagalog."[14] In most contexts, Filipino is understood to be an alternative name for Tagalog,[15][16] or the Metro Manila dialect of Tagalog.[17][18][19]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

There was no common language in the Philippine archipelago when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. The four major trade languages were Visayan, Kapampangan, Pangasinan and Ilocano.[citation needed] As the Philippine languages are all closely related and therefore easy for Filipinos to learn, most speakers of smaller languages spoke two or more of such regional languages.[citation needed]

The first dictionary of Tagalog, published as the Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala, was written by the Franciscan Pedro de San Buenaventura,[20] and published in 1613 by the "Father of Filipino Printing" Tomas Pinpin in Pila, Laguna. A latter book of the same name was written by CzechJesuit missionary Paul Klein at the beginning of the 18th century. Klein spoke Tagalog and used it actively in several of his books. He wrote the dictionary, which he later passed over to Francisco Jansens and José Hernandez.[21] Further compilation of his substantial work was prepared by Juan de Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar and published as Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala in Manila in 1754 and then repeatedly[22] re-edited with the last edition being in 2013 in Manila.[23]

Designation of a national language[edit]

Article XIII, section 3 of the 1935 constitution establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines provided that:

The National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages.

On November 13, 1936, Commonwealth act No. 184 created the National Language Institute and tasked it with making a study and survey of each existing native language, hoping to choose which was to be the base for a standardized national language.[24] On November 12, 1937, the First National Assembly of the Philippine Commonwealth approved the law for the establishment of the Surián ng Wikang Pambansâ (National Language Institute; NLI). This institute would be responsible for surveying and researching existing native languages in order to determine among them the basis for an artificial 'national language of the Philippines'. Then-president Manuel L. Quezon later appointed representatives for each major regional language to form NLI. Led by Jaime C. De Veyra, who sat as the chair of the Institute and as the representative of Samar-Leyte-Visayans, the Institute's members were composed of Santiago A. Fonacier (representing the Ilokano-speaking regions), Filemon Sotto (the Cebu-Visayans), Casimiro Perfecto (the Bikolanos), Felix S. Sales Rodriguez (the Panay-Visayans), Hadji Butu (the languages of Filipino Muslims), and Cecilio Lopez (the Tagalogs).[25]

On December 13, 1937, President of the new 'national language,' Quezon issued Executive order No. 134, s. 1937, approving the adoption of Tagalog as the language of the Philippines', and declared and proclaimed the national language so based on the Tagalog dialect as the national language of the Philippines.[26] On December 31 of the same year, Quezon proclaimed Tagalog as the basis of the Wikang Pambansâ (National Language) giving the following factors:[25]

  1. Tagalog is widely spoken and is the most understood in all the Philippine Regions;
  2. It is not divided into smaller daughter languages, as Visayan or Bikol are;
  3. Its literary tradition is the richest of all native Philippine languages, the most developed and extensive (mirroring that of the Tuscan languagevis-à-visItalian). More books are written in Tagalog than in any other autochthonous Philippine language but Spanish, but this is mainly by virtue of law and privilege;
  4. Tagalog has always been the language of Manila, the political and economic center of the Philippines during the Spanish and American eras.
  5. Spanish was the language of the 1896 Revolution and the Katipunan, but the revolution was led by people who also spoke Tagalog.

Attempts at disassociation with Tagalog and further standardization[edit]

In 1959, the language became known as Pilipino in an effort to dissociate it from the Tagalog ethnic group.[27]

The 1973 Constitution, in both its original form and as amended in 1976, designated English and Pilipino as official languages and provided for development and formal adoption of a common national language, termed Filipino, to replace Pilipino. However, neither the original nor the amended version specified either Tagalog or Pilipino as the basis for Filipino. Instead they tasked the National Assembly to:[28][29]

take steps toward the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.

This move has drawn much criticism from the nation's other ethnic groups.

In 1987, a new constitution designated Filipino as the national language and, along with English, as an official language.[30] That constitution included several provisions related to the Filipino language.[5]

Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:[5]

as Filipino evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.

And also states in the article:

Subject to provisions of law and as the Congress may deem appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.

and:

The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.

Republic Act No. 7104, approved on August 14, 1991, created the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commission on the Filipino Language, or KWF), superseding the Surián ng Wikang Pambansâ). The KWF reports directly to the President and was tasked to undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages.[31] On May 13, 1992, the commission issued Resolution 92-1, specifying that Filipino is the

indigenous written and spoken language of Metro Manila and other urban centers in the Philippines used as the language of communication of ethnic groups.[32]

However, as with the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, 92-1 neither went so far as to categorically identify nor dis-identify this language as Tagalog. Definite, absolute, and unambiguous interpretation of 92-1 is the prerogative of the Supreme Court in the absence of directives from the KWF, otherwise the sole legal arbiter of the Filipino language.[original research?]

Filipino was presented and registered with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), by Ateneo de Manila University student Martin Gomez, and was added to the ISO registry of languages on September 21, 2004 with it receiving the ISO 639-2 codefil.[33] On May 23, 2007, Ricardo Maria Nolasco, KWF chair, acknowledged in a keynote speech during the NAKEM Conference at the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac, Ilocos Norte, that Filipino was simply Tagalog in syntax and grammar, with as yet no grammatical element or lexicon coming from Ilokano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, or any of the other Philippine languages. He said further that this is contrary to the intention of Republic Act No. 7104 that requires that the national language be developed and enriched by the lexicon of the country's other languages, something that the commission is working towards.[34][35] On 24 August 2007, Nolasco elaborated further on the relationship between Tagalog and Filipino in a separate article, as follows:

Are "Tagalog," "Pilipino" and "Filipino" different languages? No, they are mutually intelligible varieties, and therefore belong to one language. According to the KWF, Filipino is that speech variety spoken in Metro Manila and other urban centers where different ethnic groups meet. It is the most prestigious variety of Tagalog and the language used by the national mass media.

The other yardstick for distinguishing a language from a dialect is: different grammar, different language. "Filipino", "Pilipino" and "Tagalog" share identical grammar. They have the same determiners (ang, ng and sa); the same personal pronouns (siya, ako, niya, kanila, etc.); the same demonstrative pronouns (ito, iyan, doon, etc.); the same linkers (na, at and ay); the same particles (na and pa); and the same verbal affixes -in, -an, i- and -um-. In short, same grammar, same language.[36]

On 22 August 2007, it was reported that three Malolos City regional trial courts in Bulacan decided to use Filipino, instead of English, in order to promote the national language. Twelve stenographers from Branches 6, 80 and 81, as model courts, had undergone training at Marcelo H. del Pilar College of Law of Bulacan State University following a directive from the Supreme Court of the Philippines. De la Rama said it was the dream of Chief Justice Reynato Puno to implement the program in other areas such as Laguna, Cavite, Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Rizal, and Metro Manila.[37]

Filipino vs. Tagalog[edit]

While the official view is that Filipino and Tagalog are considered separate languages; in practical terms, Filipino may be considered the official name of Tagalog, or even a synonym of it.[38] Today's Filipino language is best described as "Tagalog-based".[39] Use of term Filipino in this context is a metalepsis which suggests metaphorically that the national language is based on an amalgam of Philippine languages rather than on Tagalog alone. The language is usually called Tagalog within the Philippines and among Filipinos to differentiate it from other Philippine languages, but it has also come to be known as Filipino to differentiate it from the languages of other countries; the former implies a regional origin, the latter a national. This is similar to the use of names given to the Spanish language: Castilian tends to be used within Spain, and Spanish in international settings.[40]

In connection with the use of Filipino, or specifically the promotion of the national language, the related term Tagalista is frequently used. While the word Tagalista literally means "one who specializes in Tagalog language or culture" or a "Tagalog specialist", in the context of the debates on the national language and "Imperial Manila", the word Tagalista is used as a reference to "people who promote or would promote the primacy of Tagalog at the expense of [the] other [Philippine] indigenous tongues".[41]

In academic contexts, Tagalog may be written with diacritics, but this is generally ignored with Filipino. Filipino is constitutionally designated as the national language of the Philippines and, along with English, is one of the two official languages.[42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ abFilipino at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^Resulta mula sa 2010 Census of Population and Housing: Educational Characteristics of the Filipinos, National Statistics Office, 18 March 2005, archived from the original on 27 January 2008 
  3. ^Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Filipino". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^"English pronunciation of Filipino". 
  5. ^ abcConstitution of the Philippines 1987, Article XIV, Sections 6 and 7
  6. ^Nolasco, Ricardo Ma. (24 April 2007). "Filipino and Tagalog, Not So Simple". svillafania.philippinepen.ph. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  7. ^"Världens 100 största språk 2007" [The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007], Nationalencyklopedin, Nationalencyklopedin, 2007 
  8. ^"Philippines". Ethnologue. 
  9. ^Pineda, Ponciano B.P.; Cubar, Ernesto H.; Buenaobra, Nita P.; Gonzalez, Andrew B.; Hornedo, Florentino H.; Sarile, Angela P.; Sibayan, Bonifacio P. (13 May 1992). "Resolusyon Blg 92-1" [Resolution No. 92-1]. Commission on the Filipino Language (in Tagalog). Retrieved 22 May 2014.  
  10. ^Commission on the Filipino Language Act 1991, Section 2
  11. ^Constantino, Pamela C. (22 August 2000). "Tagalog / Pilipino / Filipino: Do they differ?". Translated by Antonio Senga. Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia: Northern Territory University. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  12. ^Rubrico 2012, p. 1
  13. ^Julian, Peter La. (18 June 2007). "New center to document Philippine dialects". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. 
  14. ^Patke 2010, p. 71
  15. ^Manipon 2013, p. 1: "The renaming of Tagalog to Filipino is for national and international use and intent, just like how Castilian, one of the languages of Spain, became known as Spanish all over the world as the national language of Spain."
  16. ^Paz 2008, p. 1: "Filipino is the national language of the Philippines, based on Tagalog. The new Constitution of 1987 renamed the language 'Filipino.'"
  17. ^Tabbada 2005, p. 31: "In fact, the Metro Manila local language and the Filipino language are synonymous to Pilipino, the earlier national language itself, which is largely Tagalog-based."
  18. ^Kaplan 2003, p. 73: "The [Institute of National Language] continued to work on standardisation, translation, research, and lexical elaboration. There were, however, language wars within the INL (and in the Congress and in the Courts) among purists and anti-purists and among proponents of Manila-based Tagalog (Filipino) and of Pilipino."
  19. ^Rubrico 2012, p. 1: "Filipino, the national lingua franca of the Philippines, is perceived as the Metro Manila Tagalog which has pervaded the entire country through media, local movies, and educational institutions."
  20. ^Ambeth Ocampo (August 1, 2014). "'Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  21. ^Juan José de Noceda, Pedro de Sanlucar, Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala, Manila 2013, pg iv, Komision sa Wikang Filipino
  22. ^Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala, Manila 1860 at Google Books
  23. ^Juan José de Noceda, Pedro de Sanlucar, Vocabulario de la lengua tagala, Manila 2013, Komision sa Wikang Filipino
  24. ^Commonwealth Act No. 184 (13 November 1936), AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL LANGUAGE INSTITUTE AND DEFINE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES 
  25. ^ abAspillera, P. (1981). Basic Tagalog. Manila: M. and Licudine Ent. 
  26. ^Executive Order No. 134 (30 December 1937), PROCLAMING THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF THE PHILIPPINES BASED ON THE "TAGALOG" LANGUAGE 
  27. ^Andrew Gonzalez (1998). "The Language Planning Situation in the Philippines"(PDF). Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 19 (5, 6): 487. Archived from the original(PDF) on June 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  28. ^Constitution of the Philippines 1973
  29. ^Amended Constitution of the Philippines 1976
  30. ^Constitution of the Philippines 1987
  31. ^Republic Act No. 7104 (14 August 1991), Commission on the Filipino Language Act, retrieved 5 November 2014 
  32. ^"Resolusyon Blg. 92-1" (in Filipino). Commission on the Filipino Language. 13 May 1992. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  33. ^"Documentation for ISO 639 identifier: fil". Summer Institute of Linguistics. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  34. ^Inquirer (2007). "New center to document Philippine dialects". Asian Journal. Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  35. ^"Wika / Maraming Wika, Matatag na Bansa - Chairman Nolasco". wika.pbworks.com. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 
  36. ^Ricardo Ma. Nolasco (August 30, 2007). "articles: filipino and tagalog, not so simple / how to value our languages". dalityapi.com. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. 
  37. ^"3 Bulacan courts to use Filipino in judicial proceedings". Globalnation.inquirer.net. August 22, 2007. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  38. ^Wolff, J.U. (2010). Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. Elsevier. pp. 1035–1038. ISBN 978-0-08-087775-4. 
  39. ^Paul Morrow (July 16, 2010). "The Filipino language that might have been". Pilipino Express. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  40. ^José Ignacio Hualde; Antxon Olarrea; Erin O'Rourke (2012). The Handbook of Hispanic Linguistics. John Wiley & Sons. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-4051-9882-0. 
  41. ^Martinez, David (2004). A Country of Our Own: Partitioning the Philippines. Los Angeles, California: Bisaya Books. p. 202. ISBN 9780976061304. 
  42. ^Language, Sections 6–9 of Article XIV, 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Chanrobles Law Library.

Sources[edit]

  • Commission on the Filipino Language Act, 14 August 1991 
  • "1973 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines", Official Gazette, Government of the Philippines 
  • "The Amended 1973 Constitution", Official Gazette, Government of the Philippines 
  • Constitution of the Philippines, 2 February 1987 
  • The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Chanrobles Law Library, February 2, 1987, retrieved 2017-02-12 
  • Tabbada, Emil V. (2005), Gripaldo, Rolando M.; McLean, George F., eds., "Filipino Cultural Traits: Claro R. Ceniza Lectures", Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change, IIID, Southeast Asia, Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 4, ISBN 1-56518-225-1 
  • Kaplan, Robert B.; Baldauf, Richard B. Jr. (2003), Language and Language-in-Education Planning in the Pacific Basin, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISBN 1-4020-1062-1 
  • Manipon, Rene Sanchez (January–February 2013), "The Filipíno Language"(PDF), Balanghay: The Philippine Factsheet, archived from the original(PDF) on 2013-10-12 
  • Patke, Rajeev S.; Holden, Philip (2010), The Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English, Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-203-87403-5 
  • Paz, Leo; Juliano, Linda (2008), Hudson, Thom; Clark, Martyn, eds., "Filipino (Tagalog) Language Placement Testing in Selected Programs in the United States", Case Studies in Foreign Language Placement: Practices and Possibilities, Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii, National Language Resource Center, pp. 7–16, ISBN 978-0-9800459-0-1 
  • Rubrico, Jessie Grace U. (2012), Indigenization of Filipino: The Case of the Davao City Variety, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: University of Malaya 

Sources[edit]

  • New Vicassan's English–Pilipino Dictionary by Vito C. Santos, ISBN 971-27-0349-5
  • Learn Filipino: Book One by Victor Eclar Romero ISBN 1-932956-41-7
  • Lonely Planet Filipino/Tagalog (Travel Talk)ISBN 1-59125-364-0
  • Lonely Planet Pilipino PhrasebookISBN 0-86442-432-9
  • UP Diksyonaryong Filipino by Virgilio S. Almario (ed.) ISBN 971-8781-98-6, and ISBN 971-8781-99-4
  • English–Pilipino Dictionary, Consuelo T. Panganiban, ISBN 971-08-5569-7
  • Diksyunaryong Filipino–English, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, ISBN 971-8705-20-1
  • New English–Filipino Filipino–English Dictionary, by Maria Odulio de GuzmanISBN 971-08-1776-0
  • Lim English–Filipino Filipino–English Dictionary, by Ed Lim (2008), Lulu.com ISBN 978-0-557-03800-8
  • "When I was a child I spoke as a child": Reflecting on the Limits of a Nationalist Language Policy by Danilo Manarpaac. In: The politics of English as a world language: new horizons in postcolonial cultural studies by Christian Mair. Rodopi; 2003 ISBN 978-90-420-0876-2. p. 479–492.
  • Free Filipino Flashcards by CoboCards

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Filipino.

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DR. LILIA QUINDOZA-SANTIAGO

       Philippine literary production during the American Period in the Philippines was spurred 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.

        Free public education made knowledge and information accessible to a greater number of Filipinos. Those who availed of this education through college were able to improve their social status and joined a good number of educated masses who became part of the country’s middle class.

        The use of English as medium of instruction introduced Filipinos to Anglo-American modes of thought, culture and life ways that would be embedded not only in the literature produced but also in the psyche of the country’s educated class. It was this educated class that 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. The poetry written by early poets manifested studied attempts at versification as in the following poem which is proof of the poet’s rather elementary exercise in the English language:

Vacation days at last are here,
And we have time for fun so dear,
All boys and girls do gladly cheer,
This welcomed season of the year.
In early June in school we’ll meet;
A harder task shall we complete
And if we fail we must repeat
That self same task without retreat.
We simply rest to come again
To school where boys and girls obtain
The Creator’s gift to men
Whose sanguine hopes in us remain.
Vacation means a time for play
For young and old in night and day
My wish for all is to be gay,
And evil none lead you astray

                        – Juan F. Salazar   

Philippines Free Press, May 9, 1909

        The poem was anthologized in the first collection of poetry in English, Filipino Poetry, edited by Rodolfo Dato (1909 – 1924). Among the poets featured in this anthology were Proceso Sebastian Maximo Kalaw, Fernando Maramag, Leopoldo Uichanco, Jose Ledesma, Vicente Callao, Santiago Sevilla, Bernardo Garcia, Francisco Africa, Pablo Anzures, Carlos P. Romulo, Francisco Tonogbanua, Juan Pastrana, Maria Agoncillo, Paz Marquez Benitez, Luis Dato and many others. Another anthology, The English GermanAnthology of Poetsedited by Pablo Laslo was published and covered poets published from 1924-1934 among whom were Teofilo D. Agcaoili, Aurelio Alvero, Horacio de la Costa, Amador T. Daguio, Salvador P. Lopez, Angela Manalang Gloria, Trinidad Tarrosa, Abelardo Subido and Jose Garcia Villa, among others. A third pre-war collection of poetry was edited by Carlos Bulosan, Chorus for America: Six Philippine Poets. The six poets in this collection were Jose Garcia Villa, Rafael Zulueta da Costa, Rodrigo T. Feria, C.B. Rigor, Cecilio Baroga and Carlos Bulosan.

        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 fictionists. Early short story writers in English were often dubbed as the Andersons or Saroyans or the Hemingways of Philippine letters. Leopoldo Yabes in his study of the Philippine short story in English from 1925 to 1955 points to these models of American fiction exerting profound influence on the early writings of story writers like Francisco Arcellana, A.E. Litiatco, Paz Latorena. .

        When the University of the Philippines was founded in 1908, an elite group of writers in English began to exert influence among the culturati. The U.P. Writers Club founded in 1926, had stated that one of its aims was to enhance and propagate the “language of Shakespeare.” In 1925, Paz Marquez Benitez short story, “Dead Stars” was published and was made the landmark of the maturity of the Filipino writer in English. Soon after Benitez, short story writers began publishing stories no longer imitative of American models. Thus, story writers like Icasiano Calalang, A.E. Litiatco, Arturo Rotor, Lydia Villanueva, Paz Latorena , Manuel Arguilla began publishing stories manifesting both skilled use of the language and a keen Filipino sensibility.

        This combination of writing in a borrowed tongue while dwelling on Filipino customs and traditions earmarked the literary output of major Filipino fictionists in English during the American period. Thus, the major novels of the period, such as the Filipino Rebel, by Maximo Kalaw, and His Native Soil by Juan C. Laya, are discourses on cultural identity, nationhood and being Filipino done in the English language. Stories such as “How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife” by Manuel Arguilla scanned the scenery as well as the folkways of Ilocandia while N.V. M. Gonzales’s novels and stories such as “Children of the Ash Covered Loam,” present the panorama of Mindoro, in all its customs and traditions while configuring its characters in the human dilemma of nostalgia and poverty. Apart from Arguilla and Gonzales, noted fictionists during the period included Francisco Arcellana, whom Jose Garcia Villa lauded as a “genius” storyteller, Consorcio Borje, Aida Rivera, Conrado Pedroche, Amador Daguio, Sinai Hamada, Hernando Ocampo, Fernando Maria Guerrero. Jose Garcia Villa himself wrote several short stories but devoted most of his time to poetry.

        In 1936, when 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 essays on Literature and Societyprovoked debates, the discussion centered on proletarian literature, i.e., engaged or committed literature versus the art for art’s sake literary orientation. But this discussion curiously left out the issue of colonialism and colonial literature and the whole place of literary writing in English under a colonial set-up that was the Philippines then.

        With Salvador P. Lopez, the essay in English gained the upper hand in day to day discourse on politics and governance. Polemicists who used to write in Spanish like Claro M. Recto, slowly started using English in the discussion of current events even as newspaper dailies moved away from Spanish reporting into English. Among the essayists, Federico Mangahas had an easy facility with the language and the essay as genre. Other noted essayists during the period were Fernando Maramag, Carlos P. Romulo , Conrado Ramirez.

        On the other hand, the flowering of a vibrant literary tradition due to historical events did not altogether hamper literary production in the native or indigenous languages. In fact, the early period of the 20th century was remarkable for the significant literary output of all major languages in the various literary genre.

        It was during the early American period that seditious plays, using the form of the zarsuwela, were mounted. Zarsuwelistas Juan Abad, Aurelio Tolentino ,Juan Matapang Cruz. Juan Crisostomo Sotto mounted the classics like Tanikalang Ginto, Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas and Hindi Ako Patay, all directed against the American imperialists. Patricio Mariano’s Anak ng Dagat and Severino Reyes’s Walang Sugat are equally remarkable zarsuwelas staged during the period.

        On the eve of World War II, Wilfredo Maria Guerrero would gain dominance in theatre through his one-act plays which he toured through his “mobile theatre”. Thus, Wanted a Chaperone and The Forsaken Housebecame very popular in campuses throughout the archipelago.

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

        Among the early Tagalog novelists of the 20th century were Ishmael Amado, Valeriano Hernandez Peña, Faustino Aguilar, Lope K. Santos and Lazaro Francisco.

        Ishmael Amado’s Bulalakaw ng Pag-asa published in 1909 was one of the earliest novels that dealt with the theme of American imperialism in the Philippines. The novel, however, was not released from the printing press until 1916, at which time, the author, by his own admission and after having been sent as a pensionado to the U.S., had other ideas apart from those he wrote in the novel.

        Valeriano Hernandez Peña’s Nena at Neneng narrates the story of two women who happened to be best of friends as they cope with their relationships with the men in their lives. Nena succeeds in her married life while Neneng suffers from a stormy marriage because of her jealous husband.

        Faustino Aguilar published Pinaglahuan, a love triangle set in the early years of the century when the worker’s movement was being formed. The novel’s hero, Luis Gatbuhay, is a worker in a printery who isimprisoned for a false accusation and loses his love, Danding, to his rival Rojalde, son of a wealthy capitalist. Lope K. Santos, Banaag at Sikat has almost the same theme and motif as the hero of the novel, Delfin, also falls in love with a rich woman, daughter of a wealthy landlord. The love story of course is set also within the background of development of the worker’s trade union movement and throughout the novel, Santos engages the readers in lengthy treatises and discourses on socialism and capitalism. Many other Tagalog novelists wrote on variations of the same theme, i.e., the interplay of fate, love and social justice. Among these writers are Inigo Ed Regalado, Roman Reyes, Fausto J. Galauran, Susana de Guzman, Rosario de Guzman-Lingat, Lazaro Francisco, Hilaria Labog, Rosalia Aguinaldo, Amado V. Hernandez. Many of these writers were able to produce three or more novels as Soledad Reyes would bear out in her book which is the result of her dissertation, Ang Nobelang Tagalog (1979).

        Among the Iloko writers, noted novelists were Leon Pichay, who was also the region’s poet laureate then, Hermogenes Belen, and Mena Pecson Crisologo whose Mining wenno Ayat ti Kararwa is considered to be the Iloko version of a Noli me Tangere.

        In the Visayas, Magdalena Jalandoni and Ramon Muzones would lead most writers in writing the novels that dwelt on the themes of love, courtship, life in the farmlands, and other social upheavals of the period. Marcel Navarra wrote stories and novels in Sugbuhanon.

        Poetry in all languages continued to flourish in all regions of the country during the American period. The Tagalogs, hailing Francisco F. Balagtas as the nation’s foremost poet invented the balagtasan in his honor. Thebalagtasan 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 March 1924 at the Instituto de Mujeres, with Jose Corazon de Jesus and Florentino Collantes as rivals, bubuyog (bee) and paru-paro (butterfly) aiming for the love of kampupot (jasmine). It was during this balagtasan that Jose Corazon de Jesus, known as Huseng Batute, emerged triumphant to become the first king of the Balagtasan. Jose Corazon de Jesus was the finest master of the genre. He was later followed by balagtasistas, Emilio Mar Antonio and Crescenciano Marquez, who also became King of the Balagtasan in their own time.

        As Huseng Batute, de Jesus also produced the finest poems and lyrics during the period. His debates with Amado V. Hernandez on the political issue of independence from America and nationhood were mostly done in verse and are testament to the vitality of Tagalog poetry during the era. Lope K. Santos, epic poem, Ang Panggingera is also proof of how poets of the period have come to master the language to be able to translate it into effective poetry.

        The balagtasan would be echoed as a poetical fiesta and would be duplicated in the Ilocos as thebukanegan, in honor of Pedro Bukaneg, the supposed transcriber of the epic, Biag ni Lam-ang; and theCrissottan, in Pampanga, in honor of the esteemed poet of the Pampango, Juan Crisostomo Sotto.

        In 1932, Alejandro G. Abadilla , armed with new criticism and an orientation on modernist poetry would taunt traditional Tagalog poetics with the publication of his poem, “Ako ang Daigdig.” Abadilla’s poetry began the era of modernism in Tagalog poetry, a departure from the traditional rhymed, measured and orally recited poems. Modernist poetry which utilized free or blank verses was intended more for silent reading than oral delivery.

        Noted poets in Tagalog during the American period were Julian Cruz Balmaceda, Florentino Collantes, Pedro Gatmaitan, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Benigno Ramos, Inigo Ed. Regalado, Ildefonso Santos, Lope K. Santos, Aniceto Silvestre, Emilio Mar. Antonio , Alejandro Abadilla and Teodoro Agoncillo.

        Like the writers in English who formed themselves into organizations, Tagalog writers also formed the Ilaw at Panitik, and held discussions and workshops on the value of literature in society. Benigno Ramos, was one of the most politicized poets of the period as he aligned himself with the peasants of the Sakdal Movement.

        Fiction in Tagalog as well as in the other languages of the regions developed alongside the novel. Most fictionists are also novelists. Brigido Batungbakal , Macario Pineda and other writers chose to dwell on the vicissitudes of life in a changing rural landscape. Deogracias Del Rosario on the other hand, chose the city and the emerging social elite as subjects of his stories. He is considered the father of the modern short story in Tagalog

        Among the more popular fictionists who emerged during the period are two women writers, Liwayway Arceo and Genoveva Edroza Matute, considered forerunners in the use of “light” fiction, a kind of story telling that uses language through poignant rendition. Genoveva Edroza Matute’s “Ako’y Isang Tinig” and Liwayway Arceo’s “Uhaw angTigang na Lupa” have been used as models of fine writing in Filipino by teachers of composition throughout the school system.

        Teodoro Agoncillo’s anthology 25 Pinakamahusay na Maiikling Kuwento (1945) included the foremost writers of fiction in the pre-war era.

        The separate, yet parallel developments of Philippine literature in English and those in Tagalog and other languages of the archipelago during the American period only prove that literature and writing in whatever language and in whatever climate are able to survive mainly through the active imagination of writers. Apparently, what was lacking during the period was for the writers in the various languages to come together, share experiences and come to a conclusion on the elements that constitute good writing in the Philippines.

About the Author:
Lilia Quindoza-Santiago is the author behind “Kagampanan at Iba Pang Tula” and “Ang Manggagamot ng Salay-Salay” (a collection of stories). She was named Makata ng Taon (1989) in the annual Talaang Ginto of the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa for her work “Sa Ngalan ng Ina, ng Anak, ng Diwata’t Paraluman”. She teaches Philippine Literature at the University of the Philippines.

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