Philippine literature is the literature associated with the Philippines and includes the legends of prehistory, and the colonial legacy of the Philippines. Most of the notable literature of the Philippines was written during the Spanish period and the first half of the 20th century in Spanish language. Philippine literature is written in Spanish, English, Tagalog, and/or other native Philippine languages.
Poetry and metrical romances
* Ladino Poems – Were natives of first Tagalog versifiers who saw print: highly literate in both Spanish and the vernacular. * Corridos – Were widely read during the Spanish period that filled the populace’s need for entertainment as well as edifying reading matter in their leisure moments.
* Awit – like corridos, these were also widely read during the Spanish period as entertaining, edifying, reading manner in their leisure time. It is also a fabrication of the writers imagination although the characters and the setting may be European. The structure is rendered dodecasyllabic quatrains. Prose
The prose works of the Spanish Period consisted mostly of didatic pieces and translations of religious writings in foreign languages. Dramas
* The Panunuluyan– Literally, seeking entrance, the Tagalog version of the Mexican Las Posadas. Held on the eve of Christmas, it dramatizes Joseph’s and Mary’s search for Bethlehem. * Cenaculo – Was the dramatization of the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
* Salubong – An Easter play that dramatizes the meeting of the Risen Christ and His Mother. * Moriones – Refers to the participants dressed roman soldiers, their identities hidden behind colorful, sometimes grotesque, wooden masks. * The Santacruzan – Performed during the month of May which have the devotion for the Holy Cross. It depicts St. Elena’s search for the cross on which Christ died. * Pangangaluwa – An interesting socio-religious practice on All Saint’s Day which literally means for The Soul. Secular dramas
These were generally held during the nine nights of vigil and prayers after someone’s death, on the first death anniversary when the family members put away their mourning clothes. * The Karagatan – comes from the legendary practice of testing the mettle of young men vying for a maiden’s hand. The maiden’s ring would be dropped into sea and whoever retrieves it would have the girl’s hand in marriage.
* The Duplo – A forerunner of the balagtasan. The performances consist of two teams; One composed of young women called Dupleras or Belyakas; and the other, of young men calledDupleros or Belyakos. * The Comedia – It is about a courtly love between, a prince and a princess of different religions. It is about a Christian-Muslim relationship.