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The variety and abundance of Philippine literature evolved even before the colonial periods. Folk
tales, epics, poems and marathon chants existed in most ethno linguistic groups that were passed on
from generation to generation through word of mouth. Tales associated with the Spanish conquest
also took part in the country’s rich cultural heritage. Some of these pre-colonial literary pieces
showcased in traditional narratives, speeches and songs are tigmo in Cebuano, bugtong in Tagalog,
patototdon is Bicol and paktakon in Ilongo. Philippine epics and folk tales are varied and filled with
magical characters. They are either narratives of mostly mythical objects, persons or certain places,
or epics telling supernatural events and bravery of heroes, customs and ideologies of a community.
• RIDDLE (Bugtong)
-it involves to one or two images that symbolize the characteristics
of an unknown object that is to be quessed
* Ate mo, ate ko, ate ng lahat ng tao.
(My sister, your sister, everyone’s sister)
ATIS (SUGAR APPLE)
*Hindi hari, hindi pari. Ang damit ay sari-sari.
(Neither king nor priest. But has a variety of clothes)
*May puno, walang bunga. May dahon, walang sanga.
(It is a tree trunk but without fruit. It has leaves but has no branches.)
• CHANTS (Bulong)
-used in witchcraft or enchantments
Tabi, tabi po, Ingkong
Makikiraan po lamang
• PROVERBS (Salawikain)
-short poems that have been customarily been used and served as laws or
rules on good behavior by our ancestors
*Ang matapat na kaibigan, tunay na maaasahan.
You will know a true friend in times of need.
*Ang umaayaw ay di nagwawagi, ang nahwawagi ay di umaayaw.
He who quits does not succeed, he who succeeds does not quit.
*Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa
A person who does not remember where he/she came from, will never reach
• FOLK SONGS
-it is a form of folk lyric expresses the hope, aspiration and
-inspired by the reaction of the people to their environment
*uyayi – lullaby
*komintang – war song
*kalusan – work song
*kundiman – melancholic love song
*harana - serenade
* tagay – drinking song
* mambayu – kalinga rice pounding song
* subli – dance-ritual song of courtship/marriage
* tagulaylay – songs of the dead
*ambahan – huamn relationships and social treatment
* Kanogan – song of lamentation for the dead
• FOLK TALES
-explain how the world is created and many other
Example of Myths fron the different Regions of the Philippines:
* The Gods and Goddesses (Iloko)
* Why there is a High Tide during a Full Moon (Ibanag)
* Why the Dead Come Back No More (Ifugao)
* Mag-asawang Tubig (Tagalog)
* How the Moon and the Stars Came to Be (Bukidnon, Mindanao)
The Gods and the Goddesses
Cabalangegan was a formerly a jungle at the edge of the river Abra. On the far side of the river were
mountains, high and steep. On these mountains lived an old man named Abra, the father of
Caburayan. The old
man controlled the weather. It is said that the river Abra was covered by a gathering of water vapor at
and during the days, it was always bright with sunlight.
At that time, Anianihan, god of harvests, was in love with Caburayan, goddess of healing. Her mother,
Lady Makiling, knew about their mutual attraction, but Abra did not know it because the three were
afraid to tell him since he might punish them as he disapproved of Anianihan. Abra wanted his
daughter to marry either Saguday, god of the wind, or Revenador, god of thunder and lightning. This
being so, Anianihan took Caburayan from her home. Abra wept a great deal. He sent Lady Makiling
When Abra was alone, he wept day and night till Bulan, god of peace and calm, came. Though Bulan
was there to brighten Abra's spirits, Abra did not stop weeping. He could not express his anger. He
One day the sun, eye of Amman, shone so brightly that the water of the river Abra was excessively
heated. Smoke rose from the river. Soon, thick, black clouds began to darken the sky. Then Saguday
sent the strongest wind until the crowns of the trees brushed the ground. The god Revenador sent
down the largest strings of fire. The heaviest rains fell. All these frightful events lasted seven days.
The river Abra then rose and covered the trees. There rose a vast body of water until only the highest
part of the mountain could be seen. It looked like a back of a turtle from a distance. This was the spot
where Abra lived.
On the seventh day, Abra heard a cry. He also heard a most sorrowful song. Abra dried his tears and
looked around, but he saw no one. He was determined to find Maria Makiling, his grandchild. He did
not find her, for the cries of the baby stopped.
The search for the baby lasted three full moons but to no avail, and the poor old man returned to his
home very sad. He lost all hope; his wits were gone. At that time Maria Makiling was under the care of
the fierce dog, Lobo, who was under a god of the Underworld. He had been punished by the other
gods, and that is why he looked like a fierce dog. He was sent down to do charity.
Why There is High Tide during a Full Moon
Long, long ago only gods lived in this world, the earth, seas, and sky were ruled by three different
powerful gods.The sun god, who ruled the sky, had a very beautiful daughter, Luna, the moon. Luna
enjoyed going around the heavens in her golden chariot. One day she found herself taking another
path which led her outside her kingdom. She wandered on until she reached the place where the
sky met the sea. Beautiful and unusual sights greeted her eyes. As she was admiring the beautiful
Things around, a voice startled her. It asked, "Where has thou come from, most beautiful one?"
Turning around she saw a young man who looked much like her father though fairer. She wanted to
run away, but when she looked at him again, she saw that he was smiling at her. Taking courage
she answered, "I am Luna, daughter of the sun god.”
The young man smiled at her and answered, "I am Mar, the son of the sea god. Welcome to our
kingdom." Soon the two became good friends. They had many interesting stories to tell each other.
When it was time for Luna to go, they promised to see each other as often as they could, for they
have many more tales to tell. They continued meeting at the same spot until they realized that they
were in love with each other.
One day after one of their secret meetings, Luna went back to the heavens full of joy. She was so
happy that she told her secret to one of her cousins. The cousin, jealous of her beauty and her
happiness, reported the affair to the sun god. The sun god was angered at his daughter's
disobedience to the immortal laws. He shut her in their garden and did not allow her to get out. Then
he sent a messenger to the sea god informing him that his son Mar disobeyed the immortal law. The
sea god, who was also angered by his son's disobedience, imprisoned him in one of his sea caves.
Luna stayed in the garden for some time.
She was very sad at not being able to see Mar. She longed to be with him again. Feeling very restless one
escaped from the garden. She took her golden chariot and rushed to their meeting place. Mar, who was
the sea cave, saw her reflection on the water. He wanted to get out to meet her. He tried hard to get out of
causing unrest in the sea. Luna waited for Mar to appear, but he did not come. Then she went back home
very sad. Each
time she remembered Mar, she would rush out in the golden chariot to the meeting place in hopes of seeing
The fishermen out in the sea believe that each time Luna, the moon, appears, the sea gets troubled.
"It is Mar trying to escape from his cave," they say.
Why the Dead Come Back No More
A very long time ago, there lived a very kind woman with her three little children. She loved her
children so much that she worked hard to be able to feed them.
One day she fell ill, and in a short time she died. Her spirit went to Kadungayan, of course, as she lived
a good life, but one night she thought of her poor little children whom she left on earth. She imagined
that no one cared for them and that they must be hungry and cold. She pitied them so much that she
decided to go back to earth.
When she reached their house, she called her eldest child to open the door for her. The children
recognized their mother's voice and opened the door at once. She went in and spoke to them, but
they could not see her because it was so very dark and their fire had gone out. The children had not
built a fire since their mother died. The children were too small, and they did not know how to build
So the woman sent her eldest child to beg for fire from the neighbors as she felt very cold. The
poor child went to the first house, but when she told them that she wanted fire for her mother
who had come back home, the people just laughed at her. They did not give her fire. She went
to the next house, but the same thing happened. Thus, she went to the next house, from house
to house, but no one believed that her mother had come back. They thought the poor child had
gone out of her mind. So the poor child went home without fire. The woman was very angry with
all the unkind people. She said, "Am I to die a second death because men are so selfish?
Come, my children, let us all go to that better place where I came from - Kandungayan. There
are no selfish people there.“ She took a jar of water and went outside in the yard. She shouted
to all the people, "Ah, what selfish people you all are. From this time on all people will follow my
example. No man will ever come back again to earth after death." With these words she
smashed the jar on a big stone. This made a horrible sound. All the people became silent with
fear. The next morning the people came out to see what had caused the great voice. They saw
the bits of broken jar and they found the three children dead. They now knew that the woman
had really come back home that night and that in her anger at their selfishness had taken her
three children with her. The people were so sorry for not having given fire to the little girl. Since
then no dead person has ever come back to earth.
In the olden days, there was a small town in which few farmers' families lived. Among
them was the couple known as Ba Imo and Ba Sinta. They were well liked and
respected in that place, for although they were well off, they were humble and
generous. One day Bathala put them to the test. A beggar in tattered clothes came to
their house and asked for lodgings. The couple very hospitably welcomed their guest
and even joined him for a meal at their table. To the great amazement of the couple,
although they had been eating for some time, the food at the table did not decrease.
Realizing that their guest was God, the couple knelt before him and prayed. The old
man blessed them. In their prayer, the couple asked that they may die at the same
time, so that neither of them would experience grief and loneliness which would surely
happen if one of them died first. God granted the wish of the couple. They died at the
same time and were buried in adjoining graves. Not long afterwards, a brook sprang
from their graves. This later grew and grew until it became a river, which was named
Mag-asawang Tubig in memory of the loving couple.
How the Moon and the Stars Came to Be
One day in the times when the sky was close to the ground a spinster went out to pound rice.
she began her work, she took off the beads from around her neck and the comb from her hair,
hung them on the sky, which at that time looked like coral rock. Then she began working, and
that she raised her pestle into the air it struck the sky. For some time she pounded the rice, and
raised the pestle so high that it struck the sky very hard. Immediately the sky began to rise, and
it went up
so far that she lost her ornaments. Never did they come down, for the comb became the moon
-explaining the origin of things
-traditional narrative or collection of related narratives, popularly
regarded historically factual but actually a mixture of fact and fiction.
* Legend of the Banana Plant
* Legend of the Firefly
Legend of the Banana Plant
In the early days when the world was new, spirits and ghosts lurked everywhere. They lived in gloomy
hid in anthills and tree trunks they frolicked in nooks and corners under the houses. In the dark,
tiny voices could be heard dimly, or their ghostly presence be felt. But they were never seen.
It was during these days of phantoms and unseen spirits that a young and beautiful girl lived. Her
name was Raya, and she was a girl bold and daring. She was never afraid of spirits. She would walk
the shadowy forests, bringing along a lighted candle.
Then she would tiptoe into dark and dirty caves, searching the place for spirits. Raya only felt or
them never having seen them. But Raya always felt the presence of one kind spirit, whenever she
walked in the forest the spirit was with her at all times.
One day she heard someone call her name, and she looked up to see a young handsome man. She
asked him who he was, and he replied that his name was Sag-in, and he was the spirit who followed
her around, and even confessed that he had fallen in love with a mortal.
They married had a child and lived happily, but Sag-in knew that his time on earth was short for he
was a spirit-man, and would have to return to the spirit world soon. When he knew his time had
he called Raya and explained why he had to leave. As he was slowly vanishing, he told Raya that he
would leave her a part of him. Raya looked down and saw a bleeding heart on the ground. She took
the heart and planted it. She watched it night and day. A plant with long green leaves sprouted from
One day, the tree bore fruit shaped like a heart. She touched the fruit and caressed it. Thinking could
this be Sag-in's heart? Slowly the fruit opened , Long golden fruits sprouted from it. Raya picked one,
peeled it and bit into it. Then, she heard Sag-in's voice floating in the air:
"Yes, Raya, it is my heart. I have reappeared to show you that I will never forsake you and our child.
Take care of this plant, and it will take care of you in return. It's trunk and leaves will give you shelter
and clothing. The heart and fruits will be your food. And when you sleep at night, I will stand and
watch by your window. I will stay by your side forever!"
Legend of the Firefly
Lovely little creatures, glittering, sparkling, throwing fragments of light in the dark night skies. How did the
fireflies or alitaptap come about? Once, along time ago, in the valley of Pinak in Central Luzon, one of the
islands in the Philippines. There was a deep large lake rich with fish. There, the people of Pinak fished for
their food, and always, there was plenty for all. Then suddenly, the big river dried up. In the shallow mud,
there wasn’t a fish to catch. For months, there were no rains. Out in the fields, the land turned dry. The rice-
stalk slowly withered. Everywhere in Pinak, there was hunger. Night after night, the people of Pinak prayed
"Dear Bathala," they would recite together in their small and poorly-built chapel, “send us rains, give us food
to eat. For the people are starving, and there is want among us!“
Then one black and starless night, the good Bathala answered the prayers of the faithful people of Pinak.
For suddenly up in the dark skies appeared a blaze of gold! A beautiful chariot of gold was zooming thru the
sky. The people started to panic but a big booming voice came from the chariot soothing them with words. "
I am Bula-hari, and I have come with my wife, Bitu-in. We are sent to the heavens to rule Pinak from now
on. We have come to give you good life!" As Bulan-hari spoke, the black skies burst open. The rain fell in
torrents. Soon the dry fields bloomed again. The large lake rose and once again was filled with fish. The
people were happy once more under the rulership of Bulan-hari.
Soon Bulan-hari and Bitu-in had a daughter. She grew up to be a beautiful maiden. Such long dark hair! Such
lovely eyes under long curling lashes! Her nose was chiselled fine. Her lips like rosebuds. Her skin was soft and
fair like cream. They named her Alitaptap for on her forehead was a bright sparkling star. All the young, brave
handsome men of Pinak fell in love with Alitaptap. They worshipped her beauty. They sang songs of love
beneath her windows. They all sought to win her heart.
But alas! The heart of Alitaptap wasn't human. She was the daughter of Bulan-hari and Bitu-in, who burst from
the sky and were not of the earth. She had a heart of stone, as cold and as hard as the sparkling star on her
forehead. Alitaptap would never know love.
Then one day, an old woman arrived at the palace. Her hair long and dirty. Her clothing tattered and soiled.
Before the king Bulan-hari, Balo-na, the old, wise woman whined in her sharp voice... that she had come from
her dwelling in the mountains to bear the king sad news. The news being that she saw the future in a dream and
it betold of their fate... the warriors of La-ut are coming with their mighty swords to conquer the land, the only
solution is to have a marriage between Alitaptap and one of the young men, so as to have a heir to win the war.
At once Bulan-hari pleaded with his daughter to choose one of the young men in their village. But how could the
beautiful maiden understand? Alitaptap's heart of stone merely stood in silence. Bulan-hari gripped his sword in
despair... "Alitapatap!" he bellowed in the quiet palace, "You will follow me, or you will lay dead this very minute!"
But nothing could stir the lovely young woman's heart. Bulan-hari blind with anger and
fear of the dark future finally drew his sword. Clang! the steel of his sword's blade rang
in the silence of the big palace. It hit the star on Alitaptap's lovely forehead!
The star burst! Darkness was everywhere! Until a thousand chips of glitter and light
flew around the hall. Only the shattered pieces of the star on Alitaptap's forehead
lighted the great hall, flickering as though they were stars with tiny wings.
Alitaptap, the lovely daughter from the heavens lay dead.
And soon, Balo-na's prediction had come true. Riding in stamping wild horses, the
warriors of La-ut came like the rumble and clashes of lightning and thunder. They
killed the people of Pinak, ruined crops, and poisoned the lake. They spread sorrow
and destruction everywhere.
When it all ended, the beautiful, peaceful valley of Pinak had turned into an empty and
shallow swamp. At night, there was nothing but darkness. But soon, tiny sparkles of
light would flicker and lend glimmers of brightness in the starless night.
And so, the fireflies came about. Once, a long time ago, they were fragments from the
star on theforehead of Bulan-hari's daughter, the beautiful Alitaptap.
- used animals characters and allegory
Ang Pagong at ang Matsing
- these are narratives of sustained length based on oral
revolving around suprenatural events or heroic deeds
Example of Epics:
• Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang) of the Ilocanos narrates the adventures of the
hero, Lam-ang who exhibits extraordinary powers at an early age. At nine months he is
able to go to
war to look for his father’s killers. Then while in search of lady love, Ines Kannoyan, he is
by a big fish, but his rooster and his friends bring him back to life.
• The Agyu or Olahing of the Manobos is a three part epic that starts with the pahmara
(invocation) then the kepu’unpuun ( a narration of the past) and the sengedurog (an
complete in itself). All three parts narrate the exploits of the hero as he leads his people
been driven out of their land to Nalandangan, a land of utopia where there are no
• Sandayo, of the Subanon tells of the story of the hero with the same
name, who is born through extraordinary circumstances as he fell out
of the hair of his mother while she was combing it on the ninth stroke.
Thence, he leads his people in the fight against invaders of their land
• Aliguyon or the Hudhud of the Ifugaos tells of the adventures of
Aliguyon as he battles his arch enemy, Pambukhayon among rice
fields and terraces and instructs his people to be steadfast and learn
the wisdom of warfare and of peacemaking during harvest seasons.
• Labaw Donggon is about the passionate exploits of the son of a
goddess Alunsina, by a mortal, DatuPaubari. The polygamous hero
battles the huge monster Manaluntad for the hand of Abyang
Ginbitinan; then he fights Sikay Padalogdog, the giant with a hundred
arms to win Abyang Doronoon and confronts the lord of darkness,
Saragnayan, to win Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata.
Spanish colonization of the Philippines started in 1565 during
the time of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Spanish Governor-
General in the Philippines. Literature started to flourish during this time.
The spurt continued unabated until the Cavite Revolt in 1872. The
Spaniards colonized the Philippines for more than three centuries.
The Spaniards colonial strategy was to undemine the native
oral tradition by substituting for if the story the Passion of Christ.
Althought Christ was by no means war like or sexually attractive as
many of the heroes of the oral epic tradition. Spain brought to the
country though at a much later time, liberal ideas and an
internationalism that influenced our own Filipino intellectuals and writes
for them to understand the meaning of “liberty and freedom.”
1. Religious Literature
-religious lyrics written by ladino poets
-long narrative poen that about passion and death of
Example: “Ang Mahal na Passiom ni Jesu Christong
-dramatization of the pasyon, it shows the passion and
2. Secular Literature
-colorful tales of chivalry made from singing and
-metrical tale written on octosyllabic quatrains
C. Prose Narratives
-written to prescribe proper decorum
l. Dialogo lll. Ejemplo
ll. Manuel de Urbanidad lV. Tratado
THE FIRST BOOKS
1. Ang Doctrina Cristiana (The Christian Doctrine)
2. Nuestra Senora del Rosario
3. lLibro de los Cuatro Postprimeras de Hombre
4. Ang Barlaan at Josephat
5. The Passion
6. Urbana at Felisa
7. Ang mga Dalit kay Maria (Psalms for Mary)
1. Arte y Reglas de la Lengua Tagala (Art and Rules of the Tagalog
2. Compendio de la Lengua Tagala (Understanding the Tagalog
3. Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (Tagalog Vocabulary)
4. Vocabulario de la Lengua Pampanga (Pampango Vocabulary)
5. Vocabulario de la Lengua Bisaya (Bisayan Vocabulary)
6. Arte de la Lengua Ilokana (The Art of the Ilocano Language)
7. Arte de la lengua Bicolano (The Art of the Bicol Language)
Leron- Leron Sinta
Leron, Leron, sinta
Buko ng papaya
Dala dala’y buslo
Sisidlan ng sinta
Pagdating sa dulo’y
Nabali ang sanga,
Humanap ng iba.
Gumisang ka Neneng, tayo’y manampalok
Dalhin mo ang buslo, sisidlan ng hinog
Pagdating sa dulo’y uunda-undayog
Kumapit ka Neneng, baka ka mahulog.
Halika na Neneng at tayo’y magsimba
At iyong isuot ang baro mo’t saya
Ang baro mo’t sayang pagkaganda-ganda
Kay ganda ng kulay — berde, puti, pula.
Ako’y ibigin mo, lalaking matapang
Ang baril ko’y pito, ang sundang ko’y siyam
Ang lalakarin ko’y parte ng dinulang
Isang pinggang pansit ang aking kalaban.
• Ang Mahal na Passion ni Jesu Christong Panginoon natin
• Sampaguita Y Poesias Varias
• Pag-ibig Sa Tinubuang Lupa
• Salamat ng Ualang Hanga
•Florante at Laura
•Gonzalo de Cordoba
• Noli Me Tangere
• El Filibusterismo
Alianie A. Etorma
Daryl Louise Lloren
12- FRANC Anamae Malait
Mia Grace Rosellosa