The Development of Philippine Literature in English During Modern Period

POETRY IN ENGLISH DURING THIS PERIOD

For the first twenty years, many books were published…both in Filipino and in English.  Among the writers during this time were: Fred Ruiz Castro, Dominador I. Ilio, and C.B. Rigor.

                Some notable works of the period include the following:

                1.       HORIZONS LEAST (1967) – a collection of works by the professors of UE, mostly in English (short stories, essays, research papers, poem and drama) by Artemio Patacsil and Silverio Baltazar

The themes of most poems dealt with the usual love of nature, and of social and political problems.  Toribia Maño’s poems showed deep emotional intensity.

               2.       WHO SPOKE OF COURAGE IN HIS SLEEP – by NVM Gonzales

               3.        SPEAK NOT, SPEAK ALSO – by Conrado V. Pedroche

               4.        Other poets were Toribia Maño and Edith L. Tiempo

               5.       Jose Garcia Villa’s HAVE COME, AM HERE won acclaim both here and abroad.

NOVELS AND SHORT STORIES IN ENGLISH DURING THIS PERIOD

                Longer and longer pieces were being written by writers of the period.  Stevan Javellana’s WITHOUT SEEING THE DAWN tells of the grim experiences of war during the Japanese Occupation.

  •  1961, Kerima Polotan’s novel THE HAND OF THE ENEMY won the Stonehill Award for the Filipino novel in English.
  •  1968, Luis V. Teodoro Jr.’s short story THE ADVERSARY won the Philippines Free Press short story award
  •  1969, his story THE TRAIL OF PROFESSOR RIEGO won second prize in the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature
  •  1970, his short story THE DISTANT CITY won the GRAPHIC short story award.

THE NEW FILIPINO LITERATURE DURING THIS PERIOD

                Philippines literature in Tagalog was revived during this period.  Most themes in the writings dealt with Japanese brutalities, of the poverty of life under the Japanese government and the brave guerrilla exploits.

                Newspapers and magazine publications were re-opened like the Bulaklak, Liwayway, Ilang Ilang and Sinag Tala.  Tagalog poetry acquired not only rhyme but substance and meaning. Short stories had better characters and events based on facts and realities and themes were more meaningful.  Novels became common but were still read by the people for recreation. 

The people’s love for listening to poetic jousts increased more than before and people started to flock to places to hear poetic debates.

BOOKS IN ENGLISH DURING THIS PERIOD

  •  (1962) Maikling Katha ng Dalawampung Pangunahing Autor  by A.G. Abadilla and Ponciano E.P. Pineda
  • (1964) Parnasong Tagalog  collection of selected poems by Huseng Sisiw and Balagtas, collected by A.G. Abadilla
  • (1965) Sining at Pamamaraan ng Pag-aaral ng Panitikan  by Rufino Alejandro.   He prepared this book for teaching in reading and appreciation of poems, dramas, short stories and novels.
  • (1961-1967) Manlilikha, Mga Piling Tula  by Rogelio G. Mangahas
  • (1965) Mga Piling Akda ng Kadipan (Kapisanang Aklat ng Diwa at Panitik)  by Efren Abueg
  • (1967) Makata  first cooperative effort to publish the poems of 16 poets in Pilipino
  • (1968) Pitong Dula  by Dionisio Salazar
  • (1970) Manunulat: Mga Piling Akdang Pilipino  by Efren Abueg.  In this book, Abueg proved that it is possible to have a national integration of ethnic culture in our country.
  • Mga Aklat ni Rizal:  Many books about Rizal came out during this period.  The law ordering the additional study of the life of Rizal helped a lot in activating our writers to write books about Rizal.

1970-1972

  •  According to Pociano Pineda, youth activism in 1970-72 was due to domestic and worldwide causes.
  • Activism is connected with the history of our Filipino youth. Because of the ills of society, the youth moved to seek reforms.  Some continued to believe that the democratic government is stable and that it is only the people running the government who are at fault.  Some believed that socialism or communism should replace democracy.  Some armed groups were formed to bring down the democratic form of government.
  • Many young people became activists to ask for changes in the government.  In the expression of this desire for change, keen were the writings of some youth who were fired with nationalism in order to emphasize the importance of their petitions.
  • Many young activists were imprisoned in military camps together with rebel writers.  As early as this period of history we can say that many of those writers who were imprisoned were true nationalists and heroes of their time.
  • Many books aptly record and embody these times but many of these are not known to many and many of these writers still have to be interviewed.  We just leave to scholars and researchers the giving of credit where credit is due.

A.  THE SEED OF ACTIVISM

                The seeds of activism resulted in the declaration of Martial Law in 1972.  We can, however, say that the seeds were earlier sown from the times of Lapu-lapu, Lakandula, and Rizal.  The revolution against the powerful forces in the Philippines can be said to be the monopoly of the youth in whose veins flow the fire in their blood.  What Rizal said of the youth being the hope of the Fatherland – is still valid even today.

B.  PERIOD OF THE BLOODY PLACARDS

               Pineda also said that this was the time when the youth once more proved that it is not the constant evasion that shapes our race and nationalism.  There is a limit to one’s patience.  It may explode like a volcano if overstrained. Life? What avails like if one is a coward who does not take a stand for himself and for the succeeding generations?

C.  THE LITERARY REVOLUTION

                The youth became completely rebellious during this period.  This was proven not only in the bloody demonstrations and in the sidewalk expressions but also in literature.  Campus newspapers showed rebellious emotions.  The once aristocratic writers developed awareness for society.  They held pens and wrote on placards in red paint the equivalent of the word  MAKIBAKA (To dare!).

                They attacked the ills of society and politics.  Any establishment became the symbol of the ills that had to be changed.  The frustrations of youth could be felt in churches and school.  Even the priests, teachers and parents, as authorities who should be respected became targets of the radical youth and were though of as hindrances to the changes they sought.

                The literature of the activists reached a point where they stated boldly what should be done to effect these changes.  Some of those who rallied to this revolutionary form of literature were Rolando Tinio, Rogelio Mangahas, Efren Abueg, Rio Alma, and Clemente Bautista.

               

WRITING DURING THE PERIOD OF 1970-1972

                The irreverence for the poor reached its peak during this period of the mass revolution.  It was also during this period that Bomba films that discredit our ways as Filipinos started to come out.

PALANCA AWARDEES FOR LITERATURE IN ENGLISH

ENGLISH SHORT STORY

  •  1970-71

              First Prize – “THE RITUAL” by Cirilo F.Bautista

              Second Prize – “BEAST IN THE FIELDS” by Resil  Mojares

              Third Prize – “CHILDREN OF THE CITY” by Amadis Ma. Guerrero

  •   1970-71

                First Prize – “THE ARCHIPELAGO” by Cirilo F. Bautista

                Second Prize – “FIVE POEMS” by Wilfredo Pascua Sanchez

                Third Prize – “FROM MACTAN TO MENDIOLA” by Frederico Licsi Espino Jr.

               

ENGLISH ONE-ACT PLAY

  •   1970-71

                First Prize – “THE GROTESQUE AMONG US” by Maiden Flores

ENGLISH POETRY

  •  1971-72

               First Prize – “THE TOMATO GAME” by N.V.M. Gonzales

               Second Prize – “THE APOLLO CENTENNIAL” by Gregorio C. Brillantes

               Third Prize – “AFTER THIS, OUR EXILE” by Elsa Martinez Coscolluela

  •  1971-72

               First Prize – “BATIK MAKER AND OTHER POEMS” by Virginia R. Moreno

               Second Prize – “THE EDGE OF THE WIND” by Artemio Tadena

               Third Prize – “TINIKLING (A SHEAF OF POEMS)” by Frederico Licsi Espino Jr.

  •  1971-72

               First Prize – “GRAVE FOR BLUE FLOWER” by Jesus T. Peralta

               Second Prize – “THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY” by Manuel M. Martell

               Third Prize – The judges recommend that in as much as the three third prize winners especially deserve, the prize of P 1,000.00 be divided among these three:

                                   1. “THE BOXES” by Rolando S. Tinio

                                   2. “NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY” by Julian E. Dacanay

                                   3. “THE RENEGADE” by Elsa Martinez Coscolluela

WRITERS DURING THIS PERIOD

                   Jose F. Lacaba in his book DAYS OF DISQUIET, NIGHTS OF RAGE; THE FIRST QUARTERS STORM AND RELATED EVENTS, wrote of the tragic and tumultuous moments in our country’s history. Describing this period, he writes: “That first quarter of the year 1970…It was a glorious time, a time of terror and of wrath, but also a time for hope.  The signs of change were on the horizon.  A powerful storm was sweeping the land, a storm whose inexorable advance no earthly force could stop, and the name of the storm was history. He mentions that those students demonstrating at that time knew and were aware that what they were doing would be crucial to our country’s history.  Student leaders thought up grandiose names for their organizations and hence, the proliferation of acronyms likes SUCCOR, YDS, KTPD, SAGUPA, SMP, KKK, KM, MDP, and SDK. Politicians endorsed bills for those who interfered with student demonstrators.  Mayor Antonio Villegas himself, on Feb. 18, 1970, led demonstrators away from angry policemen.  Other politicians like Eva Estrada Kalaw, and Salvador Laurel, Benigno Aquino Jr. wrote about condemnation of police brutalities.

                Lacaba’s book is truly representative of writers who were eyewitnesses to this time “of terror and wrath.” Other writers strove to pour out their anguish and frustrations in words describing themselves as “gasping for the air, thirsting for the water of freedom.”  Thus, the Philippine Center for the International PEN (Poets, Essayists, and Novelists) held a conference centering on the “writer’s lack of freedom in a climate of fear.”

                For a day they denounced restrictions on artistic freedom and passionately led a plea for freedom.  Among the writers in this group were: Nick Joaquin, S.P. Lopez, Gregorio Brillantes, F. Sionil Jose, Petronilo Daroy, Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, Mauro Avelina, and Jose W. Diokno.

                People in the other media participated in this quest for freedom.  Journalists Jose Burgos Jr., Antonio Ma. Nieva, movie director Lino Brocka, art critic Anna Leah S. de Leon were battling head – on against censorship. They came up with resolutions that pleaded for causes other than their own – like the general amnesty for political prisoners, and other secret decrees restricting free expression. They requested editors and publishers to publish the real names of writers in their columns.  It called on media to disseminate information on national interest without partisan leanings and resolved to be united with all causes decrying oppression and repression.

WRITING DURING THE PERIOD OF 1972-1980

                 The period of the New Society started on September 21, 1972.  The Carlos Palanca Awards continued to give annual awards. Almost all themes in most writings dealt with the development or progress of the country – like the Green Revolution, family planning, proper nutrition, environment, drug addiction and pollution.  The New Society tried to stop pornography or those writings giving bad influences on the morals of the people.  All school newspapers were temporarily stopped and so with school organizations.

                The military government established a new office called the Ministry of Public Affairs that supervised the newspapers, books and other publications. The government took part in reviving old plays like the Cenaculo, the Zarzuela and the Embayoka of the Muslims.  The Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Folk Arts Theater and even the old Metropolitan Theater were rebuilt in order to have a place for these plays. Singing both Filipino and English songs received fresh incentives.  Those sent abroad promoted many Filipino songs.

               The weekly publications like KISLAP, and LIWAYWAY helped a lot in the development of literature.  These became outlets for our writers to publish many of their works.

A. FILIPINO POETRY DURING THE PERIOD OF 1972-1980

                Themes of most poems dealt with patience, regard for native culture, customs and the beauties of nature and surroundings.  Those who wrote poetry during this period were: Ponciano Pineda, Aniceto Silvestre, Jose Garcia Revelo, Bienvenido Ramos, Vicente Dimasalang, Cir Lopez Francisco, and Pelagio Sulit Cruz. Many more composers added their bit during this period.  Among them were Freddie Aguilar, Jose Marie Chan and the group Tito, Vic and Joey.  ANAK of Freddie Aguilar became an instant success because of the spirit and emotions revealed in the song.  There were even translations in Japanese and in other languages.

B.   THE PLAY UNDER 1972-1980

                The government led in reviving old plays and dramas, like the Tagalog Zarzuela, Cenaculo and the Embayoka of the Muslims which were presented in the rebuilt Metropolitan Theater, the Folk Arts Theater and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. 

                Many schools and organizations also presented varied plays. The Mindanao State University presented a play Sining Embayoka at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

                In 1977, the Tales of Manuvu, a new style of rock of the ballet opera was also added to these presentations.  This was performed by Celeste Legaspi, Lea Navarro, Hadji Alejandro, Boy Camara, Anthony Castello, Rey Dizon and choreographed by Alic Reyes.

                Even the President’s daughter at the time participated as a performing artist in the principal role of Santa Juana of Koral and in The Diary of Anne Frank.

The following organizations contributed a lot to the development of plays during this period:

                1.  PETA of Cecille Guidote and Lino Brocka

                2.  Repertory Philippines: of Rebecca Godines and Zenaida Amador

                3.  UP Repertory of Behn Cervantes

                4.  Teatro Filipino by Rolando Tinio

C.  RADIO AND TELEVISION

                Radio continued to be patronized during this period.  The play series like SI MATAR, DAHLIA, ITO AND PALAD KO, and MR. LONELY were the forms of recreation of those without television.  Even the new songs were first heard over the airwaves.

                However, many performing artists in radio moved over to television because of higher pay.  Among these were Augusto Victa, Gene Palomo, Mely Tagasa, Lina Pusing, and Ester Chavez.

                Popular television plays were GULONG NG PALAD, FLOR DE LUNA, and ANNA LIZA.

                SUPERMAN AND TARZAN were also popular with the youth.

D.  FILIPINO FILMS

                A yearly Pista ng mga Pelikulng Pilipino (Yearly Filipino Film Festival) was held during this time.  During the festival which lasted usually for a month, only Filipino films were shown in all theaters in Metro Manila.  Prizes and trophies were awarded at the end of the festival in recognition of excellence in film making and in role performances.

                New kinds of films without sex or romance started to be made but which were nevertheless well-received by the public.  Among these were:

                           1.  MAYNILA… SA MGA KUKO NG LIWANAG written by Edgardo Reyes and filmed under the direction of Lino Brocka.  Bembol Roco was the lead role.

                          2.  MINSA’Y ISANG GAMU-GAMO by Nora Aunor was the principal performer here.

                          3.  GANITO KAMI NOO…PAANO KAYO NGAYON led by Christopher de Leon and Gloria Diaz.

                          4.  INSIANG by Hilda Koronel

                          5.  AGUILA led by Fernando Poe Jr., Jay Ilagan and Christopher de Leon

                Sex films could not be shelved.  Foreign, as well as local films dealing the bold themes were the vehicles of producers to earn more money.

E.  COMICS, MAGAZINES AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS

                During this period of the New Society, newspapers donned new forms.  News on economic progress, discipline, culture, tourism and the like were favored more than the sensationalized reporting of killings, rape and robberies.

                The leading papers during this period were:

                1. BULLETIN TODAY                 5.  PILIPINO EXPRESS

                2. TIMES JOURNAL                  6. PHILIPPINE DAILY EXPRESS

                3. PEOPLES JOURNAL             7.  EVENING POST

                4. BALITA                                  8.  EVENING EXPRESS


LIWAYWAY had been an old-time favorite of the Filipinos since 1920. Other magazines were:

                1. KISLAP                                           3.  EXTRA HOT

                2.  BULAKLAK                                    4.  JINGLE SENSATION

                Like mushrooms, comics also proliferated everywhere and were enjoyed by the masses.  Among these were:

                 1.  PILIPINO                                   4.  HIWAGA

                 2.  EXTRA                                    5.  KLASIK

                 3.  LOVE LIFE                               6.  ESPESYAL

F.  PALANCA AWARDEES

 1. SHORT STORY CATEGORY

  • 1972-73

                     First Prize – “SPOTS ON THEIR WINGS AND OTHER STORIES” by Antonio Enriquez

                     Second Prize – “ON FRIENDS YOU PIN SUCH HOPES” by Ines Taccad Camayo

                     Third Prize – “THE LIBERATION OF MRS. FIDELA MAGSILANG” by Jaime A. Lim

  • 1973-74

                    First Prize – “THE CRIES OF CHILDREN ON AN APRIL AFTERNOON IN THE YEAR 1957” by Gregorio C. Brillantes

                    Second Prize – “THE WHITE DRESS” by Estrella D. Alfon

                    Third Prize – “TELL ME WHO CLEFT THE DEVIL’S FOOT” by Luning Bonifacio Ira

                     Honorable Mention – “SCORING” by Joy T. Dayrit

  • 1974-75

                    First Prize – co-winners

                            1. “THE DAY OF THE LOCUSTS” by Leoncio P. Deriada

                            2. “ROMANCE AND FAITH ON MOUNT BANAHAW”  by Alfred A. Yuson

                   Second Prize – co-winners

                            1. “THE MAN WHO MADE A COVENANT WITH THE WIND” by Cirilo F. Bautista

                            2. “ONCE UPON A CRUISE: GENERATIONS AND OTHER LANDSCAPES” by Luning Bonifacio Ira

                            3. “AGCALAN POINT” by Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr.

                   Third Prize – co-winners

                            1. “THE DOG EATERS” by Leoncio P. Deriada

                            2. “THE PEOPLE’S PRISON” by Mauro R. Avena

                            3. “DISCOVERY” by Dr. Porfirio F. Villarin, Jr.

                            4. “A SUMMER GOODBYE” by Linda Ledesma and Benjamin Bautista

  2.  PLAY CATEGORY

  • 1972-73

                     First Prize – “THE HEART OF EMPTINESS IS BLACK” by Ricardo Demetillo

                     Second Prize – “GO, RIDER!” by Azucena Crajo Uranza

                     Third Prize – “THE RICEBIRD HAS BROWN WINGS” by Federico Licsi Espino, Jr.

  • 1973-74

                     First Prize (No Award)

                     Second Prize – “AFTERCAFE by Juan H. Alegre

                     Third Prize – “DULCE EXTRANJERA” by Wilfredo D. Nollede

  • 1974-75

                      First Prize – “A LIFE IN THE SLUMS” by Rolando S. Tinio

                      Second Prize – “PASSWORD by Paul Stephen Lim

                      Third Prize – “THE MINERVA FOUNDATION” by Maidan Flores

 3.  POETRY CATEGORY

  • 1972-73

                     First Prize – “CHARTS” by Cirilo F. Bautista

                     Second Prize – “A TRICK OF MIRRORS” by Rolando S. Tinio

                    Third Prize – “ALAPAAP’S MOUNTAIN” by Erwin E. Castillo

  • 1973-74

                    First Prize – co-winners

                             1.  “MONTAGE” by Ophelia A. Dimalanta

                             2.  “IDENTITIES” by Artemio Tadena

                    Second Prize – co-winners

                             1.  “BOXES” by Ricardo de Ungria

                             2.  “GLASS OF LIQUID TRUTHS” by Gilbert A. Luis Centina III

                   Third Prize – co-winners

                             1.  “A LIEGE OF DATUS AND OTHER POEMS” by Jose N. Carreon

                             2.  “RITUALS AND METAPHORS” by Celestino M. Vega

  • 1974-75

                   First Prize – “TELEX MOON” by Cirilo F. Bautista

                   Second Prize – “ADARNA: SIX POEMS FROM A LARGER CORPUS” by Wilfredo Pascua  Sanchez

                   Third Prize – “THE CITY AND THE THREAD OF LIGHT” by Ricardo Demetillo

REPUBLIC CULTURAL HERITAGE AWARDEES (1960-1971)

NATIONAL ARTISTS

(1973)

  • Amado V.  Hernandez (Posthumous) (Literature)
  • Jose Garcia Villa (Literature)
  • Francisco Reyes Aquino (Dance)
  • Carlos V. Francisco (Posthumous) (Painting)
  • Antonio J. Molina (Music)
  • Guillermo Tolentino (Sculpture)

(1976)

  • Nick Joaquin (Literature)
  • Napoleon V. Abueva (Sculpture)
  • Pablo Antonio (Posthumous) (Architecture)
  • Lamberto V. Avellana (Movies)
  • Victorio G. Edades (Painting)
  • Jovita Fuentes (Music)

G. AN OVERVIEW OF THE LITERATURE DURING 1972-1980

                Bilingual education which was initiated by the Board of National Education as early as 1958 and continued up to the period of Martial Rule in September 21, 1972, resulted in the deterioration of English in the different levels of education.  The focus of education and culture was on problems of national identity, on re-orientation, renewed vigor and a firm resolves to carry out plans and programs.

                The forms of literature that led during this period wee the essays, debates and poetry.  The short stories, like the novels and plays were no different in style from those written before the onset of activism.

Some of the books that came out during this period were:

  •  1976 –  I Married a Newspaperman (essay) by Maria Luna Lopez (wife of newsapaperman Salvador B. Lopez)
  • 1980 –  The Modern Filipino Short Story by Patricia Melendrez Cruz
  • 1976 – Cross Currents in Afro-Asian Literature, by Rustica D. Carpio
  • Brief Time to Love by Ofelia F. Limcaco
  • Medium Rare and Tell the People (feature articles and TV Program) by Julie Yap Daz

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Categories: Uncategorized | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “The Development of Philippine Literature in English During Modern Period

  1. Malou Marasigan

    The improvement of essay, short stories and poetry are clearly defined in this website. This article is very useful to those students who will take Philippine Literature. Achievements and rewards written here proves the intelligence of the Filipino people.
    “Two thumbs up!.”
    — Malou M. Marasigan

  2. We know that the Pilipino writers in the middle period is fast to improve in essay, and short story except in poem. It focus on the essay and poem so it growth fast. The short story is slow to growth because it only focus on the one theme Romantic.

  3. nice theme for the topic!

  4. kennedy villanueva

    Nice Blog

  5. the topic that was given to you was given justice :)) nice work and theme, this will be a big help for future researchers & students..

  6. Too long but its nice it can be reference to other researcher. Nice theme and very hardworking.

  7. The Topic is very interesting but its too long but still its nice and have beautiful background

  8. Jayzon A. Valenzuela

    the topic is very helpful to the students who are not understand the justice in life.. :D and it help them to know how it improve the philippine literature

  9. This blog is full of information.. very nice blog! :))

  10. really big help for the students who will take ENGL07.. Good work.. Very very Helpful… :D

  11. For your theme it’s perfect for your topic and the content, simple and detailed.

  12. Khrisel

    I enjoyed reading your it, and I know you worked hard on it.
    nice blog..
    Brilliant concept… :))))

  13. MikkoEvangelio

    its very informative and factual. good job on your research.

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