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Pre-Spanish Philippine Literature

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (790 words)
Categories: Literature
Downloads: 32
Views: 4

Bambi Rose M. Espanola BA Psychology III December 13, 2011 Philippines Pre-spanish Literature Even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the country already possessed a rich literary tradition. This tradition serves as a mirror of the life, values, hopes, ideals and aspirations of the ancient Filipino people.

In this tradition, literary works were usually orally passed to the next generations. Ancient people used these literary works for recreation and ritual purposes. These works are fables, legends, myths, folktales, folksongs, riddles and proverbs, with subjects involving the common daily experiences of ancient Filipino people.

One of these literary works is the epic. Epics are narrative explanations of heroic deeds or events of hero under supernatural control, which validate the beliefs and ideals of a certain tribe. These are either sung or chanted during events such as harvests, funerals, weddings and other special occasions. An example of an epic is the “Tuwaang Attends a Wedding. ” It is an epic of the Manuvu about a certain wedding guest named Tuwaang, who became the bride’s groom.

In this epic, one could learn the practices and beliefs of the Manuvu people.

For example, marriage among the Manuvu people are usually arranged by their parents to gain alliances and the future groom must give brideswealth or dowry to the bride’s family before they would be married. This practice of the Manuvu people was reflected in the epic, wherein the marriage was arranged by their parents and that the Young Man of Sakadna (the groom) offered brideswealth to the bride’s family before they could be married to each other. Also reflected in the story is the importance of betel chew among the Manuvu people.

In the song, the betel chew played a very important role, for it served as a determiner of the bride for his groom. Also included in the story was the energy that the people could get from betel chew, which was shown when Tuwaang chewed a betel before going into the battle against the Young man of Sakadna. Betel chew could give a certain person extra energy and could make him stronger. Another literary work is the legend. Legends are stories telling about the origin of things. An example of this is the story about the origin of Lake Lanao.

Lake Lanao was built because of the disequilibrium between the two regions of Mantapoli. It was a joint effort of the angels to transfer the Mantapoli at the center of the earth, to avoid the world from turning upside down that caused the creation of the Lanao Lake. It could be observed that legends usually involve supernatural beings like god and angels to explain the beginnings of things. This could be traced down to the belief of the ancient Filipino people in the power of the supernatural beings. Ancient people have a strong belief in these beings that they have associated them to the creation of the things around them.

Another literary work is the riddles. Riddles use one or more images as a metaphor to refer to a certain object to be guessed. This is used as form of recreation, which could enrich the imagination and sharpen the senses of the people using it. An example of a riddle is, “May korona pero hindi reyna, May kaliskis pero hind isda. ” The answer for this riddle is pinya. Riddles are usually written on the own dialect of the tribe, for better comprehension of the people using it. Each tribe has its own set of riddles, which may or may not be the same with other tribes.

Also, another literary work is the proverbs. Proverbs are short sayings, which highlight rules of conduct and general truths about human nature. An example of a proverb is, “Mayaman ka man sa sabi, dukha ka rin sa sarili. ” This means that even though you keep telling and showing to other people that you’re rich, the fact still remains that you are poor. Also, proverbs could be a form of advice or teachings that could be given to the children. The Philippines has a vast number of literary works even before the colonization of foreign lands.

Even though there are some of these works that are preserved, still many of the works were lost and changed to give recognition to the foreign occupants. For example, there are legends like the legend of lanzones, in which Virgin Mary and Jesus were included in the story and were the reason why the lanzones was created. Reading pre-spanish literature is worthwhile even though I am already familiar with some of it. It is really amazing how our ancient ancestors created those literary works. They have created those works to give answers to their doubt, the origin of things and the existence of supernatural beings.

Cite this essay

Pre-Spanish Philippine Literature. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/pre-spanish-philippine-literature-new-essay

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