The stages of that prehistory show how the early Filipinos grew in control over their environment. Through the researches and writings about Philippine history, much can be reliably inferred about precolonial Philippine literature from an analysis of collected oral lore of Filipinos whose ancestors were able to preserve their indigenous culture by living beyond the reach of Spanish colonial administrators.
The oral literature of the precolonial Filipinos bore the marks of the community. The subject was invariably the common experience of the people constituting the village-food-gathering, creature and objects of nature, work in the home, field, forest or sea, caring for children, etc.
This is evident in the most common forms of oral literature like the riddle, the proverbs and the song, which always seem to assume that the audience is familiar with the situations, activities and objects mentioned in the course of expressing a thought or emotion.
The language of oral literature, unless the piece was part of the cultural heritage of the community like the epic, was the language of daily life. At this phase of literary development, any member of the community was a potential poet, singer or storyteller as long as he knew the language and had been attentive to the conventions f the forms.
Thousands of maxims, proverbs, epigrams, and the like have been listed by many different collectors and researchers from many dialects. Majority of these reclaimed from oblivion com from the Tagalos, Cebuano, and Ilocano dialects.
And the bulk are rhyming couplets with verses of five, six seven, or eight syllables, each line of the couplet having the same number of syllables. The rhyming practice is still the same as today in the three dialects mentioned. A good number of the proverbs is conjectured as part of longer poems with stanza divisions, but only the lines expressive of a philosophy have remained remembered in the oral tradition.
Classified with the maxims and proverbs are allegorical stanzas which abounded in all local literature. They contain homilies, didactic material, and expressions of homespun philosophy, making them often quoted by elders and headmen in talking to inferiors.
They are rich in similes and metaphors. These one stanza poems were called Tanaga and consisted usually of four lines with seven syllables, all lines rhyming. The most appreciated riddles of ancient Philippines are those that are rhymed and having equal number of syllables in each line, making them classifiable under the early poetry of this country.
Riddles were existent in all languages and dialects of the ancestors of the Filipinos and cover practically all of the experiences of life in these times. Almost all the important events in the life of the ancient peoples of this country were connected with some religious observance and the rites and ceremonies always some poetry recited, chanted, or sung.
The lyrics of religious songs may of course be classified as poetry also, although the rhythm and the rhyme may not be the same. Drama as a literary from had not yet begun to evolve among the early Filipinos.
Philippine theater at this stage consisted largely in its simplest form, of mimetic dances imitating natural cycles and work activities. At its most sophisticated, theater consisted of religious rituals presided over by a priest or priestess and participated in by the community.
The dances and ritual suggest that indigenous drama had begun to evolve from attempts to control the environment. Philippine drama would have taken the form of the dance-drama found in other Asian countries. Prose narratives in prehistoric Philippines consisted largely or myths, hero tales, fables and legends.
Their function was to explain natural phenomena, past events, and contemporary beliefs in order to make the environment less fearsome by making it more comprehensible and, in more instances, to make idle hours less tedious by filling them with humor and fantasy.
There is a great wealth of mythical and legendary lore that belongs to this period, but preserved mostly by word of mouth, with few written down by interested parties who happen upon them.
The most significant pieces of oral literature that may safely be presumed to have originated in prehistoric times are folk epics. Epic poems of great proportions and lengths abounded in all regions of the islands, each tribe usually having at least one and some tribes possessing traditionally around five or six popular ones with minor epics of unknown number.
Filipinos had a culture that linked them with the Malays in the Southeast Asia, a culture with traces of Indian, Arabic, and, possibly Chinese influences. Their epics, songs, short poems, tales, dances and rituals gave them a native Asian perspective which served as a filtering device for the Western culture that the colonizers brought over from Europe.
Women Enjoyed Equal Status with Men. During precolonial times, women shared equal footing with men in society. They were allowed to divorce, own and inherit property, and even lead their respective barangays or territories.
In matters of family, the women were for all intents and purposes the working heads, possessing the power of the purse and the sole right to name their children. They could dictate the terms of their marriage and even retain their maiden names if they chose to do so.
During this time, people also traced their heritage to both their father and mother. In fact, it could be said that precolonial Philippines was largely matriarchal, with the opinions of women holding great weight in matters of politics and religion they also headed the rituals as the babaylans.
As a show of respect, men were even required to walk behind their wives. This largely progressive society that elevated women to such a high pedestal took a serious blow when the Spanish came.Jan 09, · 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. Philippine literature is literature associated with the Philippines from prehistory, through its colonial legacies, and on to the present.
Pre-Hispanic Philippine literature was actually epics passed on from generation to generation, originally through an oral tradition. Philippine literature during american period 1.
The Filipino Revolutionists won against the Spaniards who colonized for more than years. June 12, raised the Philippine flag as a symbol of our independence.
Feb 26, · Precolonial Period. Filipinos often lose sight of the fact that the first period of the Philippine literary history is the longest. Certain events from the nation’s history had forced lowland Filipinos to begin counting the years of history from , the first time written records by Westerners referred to the archipelago later to be called “Las Islas .
An Introduction Philippine Literature is a diverse and rich group of works that has evolved side-by-side with the country’s history. Literature had started with fables and legends made by the ancient Filipinos long before the arrival of Spanish influence.
The different literary periods in Philippine literature include the pre-colonial period, the Spanish colonial era, the American colonial era and the contemporary period. Literature in the Philippines evolved as part of the country's changing history.