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Archive for the ‘Philippines’ Category

China/Hongkong – food for thought‏

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

whoever wrote this, thank you, very well said…

You hate the Filipino people for the hostage fiasco that unfortunate incident that went out of control at the end. This was a hostage situation that was under control and which netted 7 Chinese tourists to be released upon the efforts of our policemen.

You appear and sound sanctimonious and have even stepped upon our sovereignty. You have demanded apology, the moon and the heavens. You hate the Filipino people as if we wanted this unfortunate incident to happen. First and foremost, we offer our condolences to the families of the 8 that were killed in this incident. Secondly, we are sorry for the bungled handling of this hostage taking. It was unfortunate, it was an accident,
we never planned it that way. Is it fair to blame a whole nation for a
situation that was never planned?

Let me ask you this question, “Should we hate you also for the lead poisoning caused by the paint you used in your baby furniture and toys for the children of the world, Should we hate you also for the use of cardboard in the “siopao” that you sell to tourists? Should we hate you also for the melamine contamination wherein not 8, but hundreds, maybe even thousands have suffered and some even died?

Or, let us talk of Filipino casualties. A few years ago, 3 Filipino tourists, all surnamed Madrigal, a family of 5 were walking on Tienemen Square and Beijing. One Chinese stabbed the father and two of his children, killing all three. Were you even sorry for what this one Chinese did? Did the Filipino people even demand that China apologized for this unfortunate incident. This was PRE-MEDITATED MURDER.

Just as the use of lead, cardboard, melamine was pre-meditated – used because they were cheaper materials, in order to generate PROFITS for the Chinese businessman. Did you pay damages the same way you are demanding damages from the Filipino nation and people.

Where was the anger of the Chinese and Hongkong people? Did you even apologize to the world? My God in the case of melanine, you even kept this information from the world, until you were exposed for what you are!!!

Enough! We symphatize but don’t blame the Filipino people.

So you want to send our OFWs home, that take care of your children? They play an important part in your lives. Both spouses are able to work, earn money because of the tender loving care being heaped on your children by Filipino maids and yayas/amahs. While you pay our OFWs for the work they do, you earn more for the love and care they bestow on your children. Go ahead, send our OFWs home. Let us see how that will affect your family incomes.


Pass this to all Filipinos you know. If you love your country, perhaps you’ll send this.

Lyrics of Philippine Folk Songs

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Lyrics of Philippine Folk Songs

I’ve been searching for the lyrics of Philippine folk songs there are only few information online.

At opmpinoy.com of the user folk song, I saw the lyrics of MAGTANIM AY DI BIRO and Atin Cupung Singsing (tagalog version).

Atin Cupung Singsing (tagalog)

meron akong singsing
isang kayamanan
namana ko ito
sa aking magulang
aking pinakatago-tago
sa isang lalagyan
nawala na lang ito
di man lang napansin

ang poot ng puso(saloobin) ko
umaabot sa langit
naka-krus kong kamay(umiiyak)
sa taas ng mesa
sino mang makakita
sa singsing kong minana
kawawang puso ko
nakikiusap sa kanya


Magtanim ay di biro
Maghapong nakayuko
Di naman makaupo
Di man lang makatayo

Sa umaga paggising
Lagi nang iisipin
Kung saan may patanim
Doon masarap ang pagkain

Halina, halina, mga kaliyag
Tayo’y magsipag unat-unat
Magpanibago tayo ng lakas
Para sa araw ng bukas.

Magtanim ay di biro
Maghapong nakayuko
Di naman makaupo
Di man lang makatayo

Sa umaga paggising
Lagi nang iisipin
Kung saan may patanim
Doon masarap ang pagkain

Halina, halina, mga kaliyag
Tayo’y magsipag unat-unat
Magpanibago tayo ng lakas
Para sa araw ng bukas.

Here are some links that features the lyrics of Philippine folk songs too:





From The Author Robert Bell listed in articlealley.com:

Folk songs are, quite literally, songs of the people. And in determining the identity of a country, one can look no further than this form of music for clues to a particular culture. This list of Filipino folk songs offers a few examples of the many simple yet timeless tunes long since ingrained into the Philippine people’s consciousness.


This song is as familiar to Filipino schoolchildren as the “ABC’s” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are to kids everywhere. Credited to have been written by composer and 1997 National Artist for Music Felipe de Leon (1912-1992), it tells of the traditional Filipino rural house, the humble “bahay kubo” or nipa hut, and goes on to enumerate the various vegetables planted in its vicinity.


Also called “Tong Tong Tong Tong Pakitong-kitong,” this Filipino folk song has both a Tagalog and Cebuano version. It describes a crab that is delicious to eat, but hard to catch because of its snapping pincers.


Credited to Felipe de Leon, “Magtanim Ay ‘Di Biro” (“Planting Rice is Never Fun”) describes the tedious chore of planting rice. It has been covered by Filipino rock band The Dawn, and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada even rewrote it into a much more “inspirational” version entitled “Kung Tayo’y Magtatanim” (“If We All Plant Rice”).


A popular example of the traditional Filipino love song genre “kundiman”, this song was made famous by Filipino singer and actor Ruben Tagalog (1920-83). The real title of the song is actually “Aking Bituin” (“My Star”), its current title having been derived from its first two words “o ilaw” (“o light”).


“Ang Pipit” (“The Sparrow”) relates the story a sparrow who falls off the branch its perched on after being stoned by a cruel man. It was co-written by Lucio D. San Pedro (1913-2002) and Levi Celerio (1910-2002). Named National Artist for Music and Literature in 1997, Celerio had composed over 4,000 songs and has even been included in the Guiness Book of World Records for his unusual talent of playing music from a leaf.


Another collaboration from Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio. “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” (“The Swing of the Cradle”) is a haunting and nostalgic lullaby expressing the feelings of a child finding tranquil security in the arms of a loving mother.


This song describes the beauty and serenity of life in the countryside. It was written by Santiago S. Suarez and popularized by Filipina singer and “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia la Torre.


Written in 1929 by Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus (“Huseng Batute” 1896-1932) and later set to music by Constancio de Guzman (1903-83), “Bayan Ko” (“My Country”) was meant as a patriotic song protesting the American occupation of the Philippines. Since then, it has practically been a second national anthem for freedom-loving Filipinos, a theme song for some of the most momentous events in Philippine history. Its most famous rendition is the one by Filipino folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

It can be said that a country is defined by its folk songs. From this list of Filipino folk songs, we can gather that the people of the Philippines are a humble folk, full not only of mirth but also of deep aspiration. They are also an industrious people, with a love for the simple things in life, as well as a great yearning for peace and national freedom. And of course, the Filipino people are a talented lot, capable of crafting songs that reflect the nature of their beloved country.Please click these links if you want to know more about list of Filipino folk song or list of love songs in general.

Lyrics of Philippine Folk Songs

Philippine Short Stories: Amado V. Hernández

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Philippine Short Stories – Filipino Short Stories Writer From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Amado Vera Hernández (September 13, 1903March 24, 1970) was a Filipino writer and labor leader who was known for his criticism of social injustices in the Philippines and was later imprisoned for his involvement in the communist movement. He was the central figure in a landmark legal case that took 13 years to settle.

He was born in Hagonoy, Bulacán but grew up Tondo, Manila, where he studied at the Manila High School and at the American Correspondence School.

While still a teenager, he began writing in Tagalog for the newspaper Watawat (Flag). He would later write a column for the Tagalog publication Pagkakaisa (Unity) and become editor of Mabuhay (Long Live).

His writings gained the attention of Tagalog literati and some of his stories and poems were included in anthologies, such as Clodualdo del Mundo’s Parolang Ginto and Alejandro Abadilla’s Talaang Bughaw.

In 1922, at the age of 19, Hernandez became a member of the literary society Aklatang Bayan which included noted Tagalog writers Lope K. Santos and Jose Corazon de Jesus.

In 1932, he married the Filipino actress Atang de la Rama. Both of them would later be recognized as National Artists: Hernandez for Literature, de la Rama for Theater, Dance and Music.



His socio-political novels were based on his experiences as a guerilla, as a labor leader and as a political detainee.

[edit] Poems

  • Isang Dipang Langit (An Arm’s Length Piece of the Sky)
  • Panata sa Kalayaan (Oath to Freedom)
  • Ang Dalaw (The Visit)
  • Bartolina (Solitary Confinement)
  • Kung Tuyo Na ang Luha Mo Aking Bayan(When Your Tears Dry Up, My Country)

[edit] Short Stories

  • Wala nang Lunas (No more Remedy)
  • Kulang sa Dilig (Needs Watering)
  • Langaw sa Isang Basong Gatas (Fly in a Glass of Milk)
  • Dalawang Metro sa Lupang Di-Malipad ng Uwak (Two Meters in the Land Which a Crow Can’t Fly on)
  • Ipinanganak ang Isang Kaaway sa Sosyedad (An Enemy of the Society is Born)
  • Magpinsan (Cousins)

[edit] Plays

His plays are mostly based on his experiences in prison.

  • Muntinglupa , 1957
  • Hagdan sa Bahaghari (Stairway to the Rainbow), 1958
  • Ang Mga Kagalang-galang (The Venerables), 1959
  • Magkabilang Mukha ng Isang Bagol (Two Sides of A Coin), 1960

[edit] Essays

  • Si Atang at ang Dulaan (Atang and the Theater)
  • Si Jose Corazon de Jesus at ang Ating Panulaan (Jose Corazon de Jesus and Our Poetry)
  • Pilipinismo: Susi sa Bayang Tagumpay (Filipinism: Key to a Successful Country)kim

[edit] Freedom fighter

Hernandez joined the resistance movement when the Japanese invaded in the Philippines in 1941. He was an intelligence operative of the guerilla outfit of Marking and Anderson, whose operations covered Bulacan and the Sierra Madre mountains, throughout the Second World War.

While he was a guerilla, Hernandez came in contact with guerillas of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap) which was founded by Luis Taruc and other communist ideologues continued by the Philippine Commonwealth troops entered in Bulacan. It is believed that this was when Hernandez developed sympathies, if not belief, with the communist movement.

[edit] Labor leader

After the war, President Sergio Osmena appointed him councilor of Manila during the reconstruction of the war-devastated city. He also became president of the defunct Philippine Newspaper Guild in coordination with its editor in chief, Narjeey Larasa.

But his most significant activities after the war involved organizing labor unions across the country through the labor federation Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO). Influenced by the philosophy of Hobbes and Locke, he advocated revolution as a means of change. On May 5, 1947, he led the biggest labor strike to hit Manila at that time. The following year, he became president of the CLO and led another massive labor demonstration on May 1, 1948.

In 1950, the Philippine military started a crackdown against the communist movement, which was had sparked open rebellion in some areas on Luzon island, and the CLO headquarters was raided on January 20, 1951. Hernandez was arrested on January 26 on the suspicion that he was among the leaders of the rebellion.

edit] Imprisonment

But the authorities could not find evidence to charge him. For six months, he was transferred from one military camp to another and it took nearly a year before he was indicted on a charge of rebellion with murder, arson and robbery – a complex crime unheard of in Philippine legal history.

The case stirred the interest of civil rights activists in the Philippines and Hernandez was assisted at various times by legal luminaries like Senator Claro M. Recto, former President Jose P. Laurel and Claudio Teehankee, who would later become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. But he remained in prison while his appeal was pending.

It was while he was imprisoned that he wrote his most notable works. He wrote Isang Dipang Langit (A Stretch of Heaven), which later won a Republic Cultural Heritage Award, and Bayang Malaya (Free Nation), which later won a Balagtas Award. Also written in prison was his masterpiece Luha ng Buwaya (Tears of the Crocodile). Portions of his novel Mga Ibong Mandaragit (Birds of Prey) was also written while he was at the New Bilibid Prison. He also edited the prison’s newspaper Muntinglupa Courier.

After five years of imprisonment, the Supreme Court allowed Hernandez to post bail on June 20, 1956. He then resumed his journalistic career and wrote a column for the Tagalog tabloid Taliba. He would later be conferred awards in prestigious literary contests, like the Commonwealth Literary Contest (twice), Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (four times) and journalism awards given by the National Press Club of the Philippines (four times).

On May 30, 1964, the Supreme Court acquitted Hernandez in a decision that would be a landmark in Philippine jurisprudence. The case People of the Philippines vs. Amado V. Hernandez is now a standard case study in Philippine law schools.

Hernandez continued to write and teach after his acquittal. He was teaching at the University of the Philippines when he died on March 24, 1970. The University of the Philippines posthumously conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Humanities honoris causa. The Ateneo de Manila University awarded him its first Tanglaw ng Lahi award. He was posthumously honored as National Artist for Literature in 1973. Together with poet José García Villa, Hernández was the first to receive the title in literature.

Philippine Short Stories – Filipino Short Stories Writer

Buddhism in the Philippines

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Buddhism, specifically Vajrayana, gained a foothold in the Philippines with the rise of the Indianized Buddhist Srivijaya Empire centered in Sumatra in the 7th century. Archaeological finds in the Philippines include a number of Buddhist images common to Vajrayana iconography that dates back to this period. These include a number of Padmapani images and the Golden Tara found in 1917 at Esperanza, Agusan.[1]


Pre-Colonial Period

In the 9th century, Butuan (in Mindanao, southern Philippines) and Ma-i (Mindoro, central Philippines) began extensive trading with the kingdom of Champa (now southern Vietnam), an Indianized state then undergoing a period of strong Buddhist influence.

In 1001 AD, the Buddhist ruler of Bhutan (P’u-tuan in the Sung Dynasty records), Sari Bata Shaja, made the first tributary mission to China and this was followed by the rulers of Basilan (in southern Philippines) and the Luzon Empire more than two hundred years later, and by Mindoro, Sulu and Pangasinan (northern Philippines) four hundred years later. However, according to the Sung Shih (宋史), the official History of the Sung Dynasty, Butuan made regular tributary missions to China since 1001 AD, and that it rulers usually arrived at the same time as the rulers of Tibet, Champa (Southern Vietnam), and the Mongols.

Spanish colonial Period

The saniculas (Saint Nicholas) biscuit, a popular delicacy among Kapampangan Catholics, has its roots Buddhism.[citation needed]

With the advent of Spanish colonialism via Mexico in the 16th century, the Philippines became a closed colony and cultural contacts with other Southeast Asian countries were closed. In 1481, the Spanish Inquisition commenced with the permission of Pope Sixtus IV and all non-Catholics within the Spanish empire were to be expelled or to be “put to the question” (tortured until they renounced their previous faith). With the refounding of Manila in 1571, the Philippines became subject to Spanish law and the Archbishop of New Galicia (Mexico) became the Grand Inquisitor of the Faithful in Mexico and the Philippines. In 1595, the newly appointed Archbishop of Manila became the Inquisitor-General of the Spanish East Indies (the Philippines, Guam, and Micronesia) and until 1898, the Spanish Inquisition was active against Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. As was the case in Latin America and Africa, forced conversions were not uncommon and any attempt not to submit to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church was seen as both rebellion against the Pope and sedition against the Spanish King, which was punishable by death.

Buddhist practices, festivals and iconography had to be converted and adopted to Catholicism if they were to survive Spanish persecution. A good example of this was is the saniculas biscuit of Pampanga that has its roots in Buddhism. Syncretism (the blending indigenous religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism and indigenous folk religions) became necessary. This can be seen instantly with statues of the Virgin Mary, including the depiction of the halo, hand poses, and rainbow-arches, look almost identical to statues of Tara especially in Binondo and other areas. In time, Buddhism seemed to have virtually disappeared during the 400 years of Spanish rule.

American Colonial Period

With Revolution of 1896 against Spain and later with the coming of the American colonial regime in 1898, religious freedom was instituted. Mahayana and Zen Buddhist temples began to be built in the 1920s and 30s. Davao, due to the large number of Japanese residents, and Cebu, due to the large number of Chinese settlers had the largest Buddhist populations in the Philippines. After World War II, most Japanese were expatriated to Japan and the Chinese and Chinese-Filipinos became the predominant Buddhist ethnic group. In the 1960s, Vietnamese refugees arrived and established a temple in Palawan. At the same time, Japanese Buddhist temples and organizations began to re-emerge such as Sokka Gakkai International.

Buddhism Today

Today, Buddhists account for about 1-3% of the Philippine population. Currently, only the Mahayana and Zen are present in the Philippines. Theravada Buddhism is now only confined to nationals from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar, as well as Cambodia and Laos.


However, the linguistic influence left its most lasting marks on every Philippine language throughout the archipelago with the following Buddhist and Hindu concepts directly from the original Sanskrit. About 25% of the words in many Philippine languages are Sanskrit terms:

From Tagalog:

  • budhi “conscience” from Sanskrit bodhi
  • dukha “one who suffers” from Sanskrit dukkha
  • guro “teacher” from Sanskrit guru
  • sampalataya “faith” from Sanskrit sampratyaya
  • mukha “face” from Sanskrit mukha
  • laho “eclipse” from Sanskrit rahu
  • maharlika “noble” from Sanskrit mahardikka

From Kapampangan:

  • kalma “fate” from Sanskrit karma
  • damla “divine law” from Sanskrit dharma
  • mantala “magic formulas” from Sanskrit mantra
  • upaya “power” from Sanskrit upaya
  • lupa “face” from Sanskrit rupa
  • sabla “every” from Sanskrit sarva
  • lawu “eclipse” from Sanskrit rahu
  • galura “giant eagle” (a surname) from Sanskrit garuda
  • laksina “south (a surname)” from Sanskrit dakshin
  • laksamana “admiral (a surname)” from Sanskrit lakshmana

From Tausug:

  • suarga “heaven”
  • neraka “hell”
  • agama “religion”

Sanskrit and Sanskrit-derived words common to most Philippine languages:

  • sutla “silk” from Sanskrit sutra
  • kapas “cotton” from Sanskrit kerpas
  • naga “dragon or serpent” from Sanskrit naga

Buddhism in the Philippines

Philippine Mythology

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Philippine mythology and folklore include a collection of tales and superstitions about magical creatures and entities. Some Filipinos, even though heavily westernized and Christianized, still believe in such entities. The prevalence of belief in the figures of Philippine mythology is strong in the provinces.

Because the country has many islands and is inhabited by different ethnic groups, Philippine mythology and superstitions are very diverse. However, certain similarities exist among these groups, such as the belief in Heaven (kaluwalhatian, kalangitan’,’kamurawayan), Hell (impiyerno, kasanaan), and the human soul (kaluluwa).

Philippine Folk Literature

Philippine mythology is derived from Philippine folk literature, which is the traditional oral literature of the Filipino people. This refers to a wide range of material due to the ethnic mix of the Philippines. Each unique ethnic group has its own stories and myths to tell.

While the oral and thus changeable aspect of folk literature is an important defining characteristic, much of this oral tradition had been written into a print format. To point out that folklore in a written form can still be considered folklore, Utely pointed out that folklore “may appear in print, but must not freeze into print.”[1] It should be pointed out that all the examples of folk literature cited in this article are taken from print, rather than oral sources.

University of the Philippines professor, Damiana Eugenio, classified Philippine Folk Literature into three major groups: folk narratives, folk speech, and folk songs.[2] Folk narratives can either be in prose: the myth, the alamat (legend), and the kuwentong bayan (folktale), or in verse, as in the case of the folk epic. Folk speech includes the bugtong (riddle) and the salawikain (proverbs). Folk songs that can be sub-classified into those that tell a story (folk ballads) are a relative rarity in Philippine folk literature. These form the bulk of the Philippines’ rich heritage of folk songs.

The Philippine pantheon

The stories of ancient Philippine mythology include deities, creation stories, mythical creatures, and beliefs. Ancient Philippine mythology varies among the many indigenous tribes of the Philippines. Some tribes during the pre-Spanish conquest era believed in a single Supreme Being who created the world and everything in it, while others chose to worship a multitude of tree and forest deities (diwatas). Diwatas came from the Sanskrit word devadha which means “deity“, one of the several significant Hindu influences in the Pre-Hispanic religion of the ancient Filipinos. Below are some of the gods and goddesses of the various ancient Philippine tribes:

Luzon gods

Bathala – The supreme god of the Tagalogs. He is the Tagalogs‘ chief god, the creator of the universe and humanity. The origin of his name is Sanskrit, Battara Guru which means “The Great Teacher”.

Apolake – Tagalog protector of the sun and lord of war.

Anitun Tabu – the Tagalog goddess of the wind and rain.

Dian Masalanta – The ancient Tagalogs’ goddess of love, conception and childbirth

Idianalé – The ancient Tagalog goddess of animal husbandry and agriculture.

Lakambakod – The protector of the growing crops.

Lakampati – The ancient Tagalog’s deity of harvest and agricultural fields, a hermaphrodite.

Mayari – The ancient Tagalog goddess and protector of the moon. Hanan is her sibling.

Other gods

The Bicolanos also have Aswang, the god of evil. Aswang is the brother and enemy of Kagurangnan/Gugurang. Gugurang/Kagurangnan is the Bicolano chief god and keeper of a sacred fire atop Mt. Mayon. Haliya is the Bicolano goddess of the moon and protector of women. The Visayan supreme deity is Kan-Laon (or Lalahon). He lives in Mt. Kanlaon. The ancient Visayan sky god is Kaptan, who he is often shown as the sibling of Maguayen, the god of the sea.

Creation stories

There are many different creation stories in Philippine mythology, originating from various ethnic groups.
Malakas and Maganda
When the world first began, there was no land, only the sea and the sky, and between them was a crow. One day this bird, which has no where to land, grew tired of flying around, so she stirred up the sea until it threw its waters against the sky. The sky, in order to restrain the sea, showered upon it many islands until it could no longer raise but instead flow back and forth, making a tide. Then the sky ordered the crow to land on one of the islands to build her nest and to leave the sea and the sky in peace. From then on the crow lived peacefully, so as the other birds in islands between the sea and the sky.

Now at this time the land wind and the sea wind were married, and they had a child which was a bamboo. One day when this bamboo was floating beside the seashore when it struck the feet of the crow who was on the beach. Shocked, hurt and angered; the crow hysterically pecked at the bamboo until it split into two section, and out one section came out a man named Malakas (Strong), and from the other a woman named Maganda (Beautiful).

Then the earthquake called on all the birds and fishes to see what should be done with these two, and it was decided that they should marry. Many children were born to the couple, and from them came all the different races of people.

After a while the parents grew very tired of having so many idle and useless children around. They wished to be rid of them, but they knew of no place to send them. Time went on, and the children became so numerous that the parents enjoyed no peace. One day, in desperation, the father seized a stick and began beating them.

This so frightened the children that they fled in different directions, seeking hidden rooms in the house. Some concealed themselves in the walls, some ran outside, others hid in the earthen stove, and several fled to the sea.

Now it happened that those who went into the hidden rooms of the house later became the chiefs of the islands, and those who concealed themselves in the walls became slaves, while those who ran outside were free men. Those who hid in the stove became the dark-skinned and curled haired aetas or negritos. Those who fled to the sea were gone many years, and when their children came back, they were the foreigners.

The Story of Bathala

In the beginning of time there were three powerful gods who lived in the universe. Bathala was the caretaker of the earth, Ulilang Kaluluwa (lit. Orphaned Spirit), a huge serpent who lived in the clouds, and Galang Kaluluwa (lit. Wandering spirit), the winged god who loves to travel. These three gods did not know each other.

Bathala often dreamt of creating mortals but the empty earth stops him from doing so. Ulilang Kaluluwa who was equally lonely as Bathala, liked to visit places and the earth was his favorite. One day the two gods met. Ulilang Kaluluwa, seeing another god rivalling him, was not pleased. He challenged Bathala to a fight to decide who would be the ruler of the universe. After three days and three nights, Ulilang Kaluluwa was slain by Bathala. Instead of giving him a proper burial, Bathala burned the snake’s remains. A few years later the third god, Galang Kaluluwa, wandered into Bathala’s home. He welcomed the winged god with much kindness and even invited him to live in his kingdom. They became true friends and were very happy for many years.

Galang Kaluluwa became very ill. Before he died he instructed Bathala to bury him on the spot where Ulilang Kaluluwa’s body was burned. Bathala did exactly as he was told. Out of the grave of the two dead gods grew a tall tree with a big round nut, which is the coconut tree. Bathala took the nut and husked it. He noticed that the inner skin was hard. The nut itself reminded him of Galang Kaluluwa’s head. It had two eyes, a flat nose, and a round mouth. Its leaves looked so much like the wings of his dear winged friend. But the trunk was hard and ugly, like the body of his enemy, the snake Ulilang Kaluluwa.

Bathala realized that he was ready to create the creatures he wanted with him on earth. He created the vegetation, animals, and the first man and woman. Bathala built a house for them out of the trunk and leaves of the coconut trees. For food, they drank the coconut juice and ate its delicious white meat. Its leaves, they discovered, were great for making mats, hats, and brooms. Its fiber could be used for rope and many other things.

Visayan version

This is an ancient Visayan account of creation:

Thousands of years ago, there was no land, sun, moon, or stars, and the world was only a great sea of water, above which stretched the sky. The water was the kingdom of the god Maguayan, and the sky was ruled by the great god, Kaptan.
Maguayan had a daughter called Lidagat, the sea, and Kaptan had a son known as Lihangin, the wind. The gods agreed to the marriage of their children, so the sea became the bride of the wind.
A daughter and three sons were born to them. The sons were called Likalibutan, Liadlao, and Libulan, and the daughter received the name of Lisuga.
Likalibutan had a body of rock and was strong and brave; Liadlao was formed of gold and was always happy; Libulan was made of copper and was weak and timid; and the beautiful Lisuga had a body of pure silver and was sweet and gentle. Their parents were very fond of them, and nothing was wanting to make them happy.
After a time Lihangin died and left the control of the winds to his eldest son Likalibutan. The faithful wife Lidagat soon followed her husband, and the children, now grown up, were left without father or mother. However, their grandfathers, Kaptan and Maguayan, took care of them and guarded them from all evil.
After some time, Likalibutan, proud of his power over the winds, resolved to gain more power, and asked his brothers to join him in an attack on Kaptan in the sky above. They refused at first, but when Likalibutan became angry with them, the amiable Liadlao, not wishing to offend his brother, agreed to help. Then together they induced the timid Libulan to join in the plan.
When all was ready, the three brothers rushed at the sky, but they could not beat down the gates of steel that guarded the entrance. Likalibutan let loose the strongest winds and blew the bars in every direction. The brothers rushed into the opening, but were met by the angry god Kaptan. So terrible did he look that they turned and ran in terror, but Kaptan, furious at the destruction of his gates, sent three bolts of lightning after them.
The first struck the copper Libulan and melted him into a ball. The second struck the golden Liadlao and he too was melted. The third bolt struck Likalibutan and his rocky body broke into many pieces and fell into the sea. So huge was he that parts of his body stuck out above the water and became what is known as land.
In the meantime the gentle Lisuga had missed her brothers and started to look for them. She went toward the sky, but as she approached the broken gates, Kaptan, blind with anger, struck her too with lightning, and her silver body broke into thousands of pieces.
Kaptan then came down from the sky and tore the sea apart, calling on Maguayan to come to him and accusing him of ordering the attack on the sky. Soon Maguayan appeared and answered that he knew nothing of the plot as he had been asleep deep in the sea. After some time, he succeeded in calming the angry Kaptan. Together they wept at the loss of their grandchildren, especially the gentle and beautiful Lisuga, but even with their powers, they could not restore the dead back to life. However, they gave to each body a beautiful light that will shine forever.
And so it was the golden Liadlao who became the sun and the copper Libulan, the moon, while Lisuga’s pieces of silver were turned into the stars of heaven. To wicked Likalibutan, the gods gave no light, but resolved to make his body support a new race of people. So Kaptan gave Maguayan a seed and he planted it on one of the islands.
Soon a bamboo tree grew up, and from the hollow of one of its branches, a man and a woman came out. The man’s name was Sikalak and the woman was called Sikabay. They were the parents of the human race. Their first child was a son whom they called Libo; afterwards they had a daughter who was known as Saman.
Pandaguan, the youngest son, was very clever and invented a trap to catch fish. The very first thing he caught was a huge shark. When he brought it to land, it looked so great and fierce that he thought it was surely a god, and he at once ordered his people to worship it. Soon all gathered around and began to sing and pray to the shark. Suddenly the sky and sea opened, and the gods came out and ordered Pandaguan to throw the shark back into the sea and to worship none, but them.
All were afraid except Pandaguan. He grew very bold and answered that the shark was as big as the gods, and that since he had been able to overpower it he would also be able to conquer the gods. Then Kaptan, hearing this, struck Pandaguan with a small lightning bolt, for he did not wish to kill him but merely to teach him a lesson. Then he and Maguayan decided to punish these people by scattering them over the earth, so they carried some to one land and some to another. Many children were afterwards born, and thus the earth became inhabited in all parts.
Pandaguan did not die. After lying on the ground for thirty days he regained his strength, but his body was blackened from the lightning, and his descendants became the dark-skinned tribe, the Negritos.
As punishment, his eldest son, Aryon, was taken north where the cold took away his senses. While Libo and Saman were carried south, where the hot sun scorched their bodies. A son of Saman and a daughter of Sikalak were carried east, where the land at first was so lacking in food that they were compelled to eat clay.

Mythological stories

The legend of Maria Makiling

A popular Filipino myth is the legend of Maria Makiling, a fairy who lives on Mount Makiling.

Mythological creatures

Filipinos also believed in mythological creatures. The Aswang is one the most famous of these Philippine mythological creatures. The aswang is a ghoul or vampire, an eater of the dead, and a werewolf. Filipinos also believed in the Dila (The Tongue), a spirit that passes through the bamboo flooring of provincial houses, then licks certain humans to death.[citation needed] Filipino mythology also have fairies (Diwata and Engkanto), dwarfs (Duwende), Kapre (a tree-residing giant), Manananggal (a self-segmenter), witches (Mangkukulam), spirit-summoners (Mambabarang), goblins (Nuno sa Punso), ghosts (Multo), fireballs (Santelmo), mermaids (Sirena), mermen (Siyokoy), demon-horses (Tikbalang), Hantu Demon and demon-infants (Tiyanak).

Indian Influence

The Philippines has cultural ties with India through the other Indianized kingdoms of Southeast Asia. [3] Ancient Filipino literature and folklore show the impress of India. The Agusan legend of a man named Manubo Ango, who was turned into stone, resembles the story of Ahalya in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The tale of the Ifugao legendary hero, Balituk, who obtained water from the rock with his arrow, is similar to Arjuna’s adventure in Mahabharata, another Hindu epic. The Ramayana have different versions among the many Philippine ethnic groups. The Ilocanos have the story of Lam-Ang. The Darangan, or Mahariada Lawana, is the Maranao version of the Ramayana.

 Philippine Mythology, Philippine Folktale, Philippine Folklore

Philippine Salawikain – Filipino proverbs

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Philippine Salawikain – Filipino proverbs

Filipino proverbs[1] or Philippine proverbs[2] are traditional sayings or maxims used by Filipinos based on local culture, wisdom, and philosophies from Filipino life. The word proverb corresponds to the Tagalog words salawikain[3][4] , kasabihan[3] (saying) and sawikain[4] (although the latter may also refer to mottos or idioms), and to the Ilocano word sarsarita. Proverbs originating from the Philippines are described as forceful and poetic expressions and basic forms of euphemisms. If used in everyday conversations, proverbs are utilized to emphasize a point or a thought of reasoning: the Filipino philosophy.[2] One notable and locally popular example of a Filipino proverb is this: A person who does not remember where he (she) came from will never reach his (her) destination. Of Tagalog origin, it conveys and urges one person to give “importance in looking back at one’s roots and origins.” The maxim also exemplifies a Filipino value known as the “utang na loob“, one’s “debt of gratitude” to the persons who have contributed to an individual’s success.[2] Damiana L. Eugenio, a professor from the University of the Philippines, author of Philippine Proverb Lore (1975), and who is also referred to as the “Mother of Philippine Folklore[5] grouped Filipino proverbs into six categories based on the topic expressed, namely: ethical proverbs (those that express a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life itself), proverbs that recommend virtues and condemn vices, proverbs that express a system of values, proverbs that express general truths and observations about life and human nature, humorous proverbs, and miscellaneous proverbs.[2]


Philippine proverbs are further illustrated to be ornaments to language, words of ancestors handed down from one generation to another, and as wisdom gained from experience, which can be quoted to express a sentiment, a statement, or an opinion. Apart from this, Filipino proverbs are also used to prevent offending other individuals. This is one example of such a proverb: Bato-bato sa langit, ‘pag tinamaan huwag magagalit, meaning “a stone thrown heavenward, if you get hit on its way down, don’t get mad.” Equipped with the appropriate and timely proverb, a Filipino can communicate empathy, and might be able to convince another person leading to the closure of an argument. Some Filipino proverbs are also intended to provide a warning, a lecture, an advice, and as a supporting statement for a particular viewpoint or issue. [1]

 Philippine Salawikain – Filipino proverbs

General Emilio Aguinaldo – Philippine President

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

General Emilio Aguinaldo – Philippine President

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy[3][4] (March 22, 1869 – February 6, 1964) was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role in Philippine independence during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War that resisted American occupation. He eventually pledged his allegiance to the US government.

In the Philippines, Aguinaldo is considered to be the country’s first and the youngest Philippine President.

Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo

1st President of the Philippines
Dictator of the Dictatorial Government[1]
President of the Revolutionary Government
President of the First Philippine Republic

In office
March 22, 1897[2] – April 1, 1901
Prime Minister Apolinario Mabini (1899)
Pedro Paterno (1899)
Vice President Mariano Trias
Preceded by Newly Established
Succeeded by Abolished “Title next held by Manuel Quezon

Born March 22, 1869(1869-03-22)
Cavite El Viejo (Kawit), Cavite
Died February 6, 1964 (aged 94)
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Political party Magdalo faction of the Katipunan, National Socialist Party
Spouse (1) Hilaria del Rosario-died
(2) Maria Agoncillo
Occupation Military
Religion Roman Catholic

Early life and career

The seventh of eight children of Crispulo Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy, he was born into a Filipino family on March 22, 1869 in Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. His father was gobernadorcillo (town head), and, as members of the Chinese Tagalog mestizo minority, they enjoyed relative wealth and power.

As a young boy he received education from his great-aunt and later attended the town’s elementary school. In 1880, he took up his secondary course education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which he quit on his third year to return home instead to help his widowed mother manage their farm.

At the age of 28, Emilio was elected cabeza de barangay of Binakayan, the most progressive barrio of Cavite El Viejo. He held this position serving for his town-mates for eight years. He also engaged in inter-island shipping, travelling as far south as the Sulu Archipelago.

In 1893, the Maura Law was passed to reorganize town governments with the aim of making them more effective and autonomous, changing the designation of town head from gobernadorcillo to capitan municipal effective 1895. On January 1, 1895, Aguinaldo was elected town head, becoming the first person to hold the title of capitan municipal of Cavite El Viejo.


His first marriage was in 1896 with Hilaria Del Rosario (1877-1921). They had five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., Maria and Cristina). His second wife was Maria Agoncillo (1882-1963).

Several of Aguinaldo’s descendants became prominent political figures in their own right. A grandnephew, Cesar Virata, served as Prime Minister of the Philippines from 1981 to 1986. Aguinaldo’s granddaughter, Ameurfina Herrera, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1979 until 1992

Philippine Revolution

Emilio Aguinaldo c. 1898

In 1895, Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan, a secret organization led by Andrés Bonifacio, dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines through armed force. Aguinaldo used the nom de guerre Magdalo, in honor of Mary Magdalene. His local chapter of the Katipunan, headed by his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, was also called Magdalo.[5]

The Katipunan revolted against the Spanish colonizers in the last week of August 1896, starting in Manila. However, Aguinaldo and other Cavite rebels initially refused to join in the offensive due to lack of arms. Their absence contributed to Bonifacio’s defeat in San Juan del Monte.[5] While Bonifacio and other rebels were forced to resort to guerrilla warfare, Aguinaldo and the Cavite rebels won major victories in set-piece battles, temporarily driving the Spanish out of their area.[5]

Conflict between the Magdalo and another Cavite Katipunan faction, the Magdiwang, led to Bonifacio’s intervention in the province. The Cavite rebels then made overtures about establishing a revolutionary government in place of the Katipunan. Though Bonifacio already considered the Katipunan to be a government, he acquiesced and presided over elections held during the Tejeros Convention in Tejeros, Cavite (deep in Aguinaldo territory) on March 22, 1897. Away from his power base, Bonifacio lost the leadership to Aguinaldo, and was elected instead to the office of Secretary of the Interior. Even this was questioned by an Aguinaldo supporter, claiming Bonifacio had not the necessary schooling for the job. Insulted, Bonifacio declared the Convention null and void, and sought to return to his power base in Morong (present-day Rizal). He and his party were intercepted by Aguinaldo’s men and violence resulted which left Bonifacio seriously wounded. Bonifacio was charged, tried and found guilty of treason by a Cavite military tribunal, and sentenced to death. After some vacillation, Aguinaldo confirmed the death sentence, and Bonifacio was executed on May 10, 1897 in the mountains of Maragondon in Cavite, even as Aguinaldo and his forces were retreating in the face of Spanish assault.[5]


Spanish pressure intensified, eventually forcing Aguinaldo’s forces to retreat to the mountains. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo signed the treaty of Biak-na-Bato, which specified that the Spanish would give self-rule to the Philippines within 3 years if Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was exiled. On December 14, 1897, Aguinaldo was shipped to Hong Kong. Under the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to end hostilities as well in exchange for amnesty and “$800,000 (Mexican)” (Aguinaldo’s description of the amount)[6][7] as an indemnity. Aguinaldo took the money offered. Emilio Aguinaldo was President and Mariano Trias (Vice President). Other officials included Antonio Montenegro for Foreign Affairs, Isabelo Artacho for the Interior, Baldomero Aguinaldo for the Treasury, and Emiliano Riego de Dios for War.

However, thousands of other Katipuneros continued to fight the Revolution against Spain for a sovereign nation. Unlike Aguinaldo who came from a privileged background, the bulk of these fighters were peasants and workers who were not willing to settle for ‘indemnities.’

In early 1898, war broke out between Spain and the United States. Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines in May 1898. He immediately resumed revolutionary activities against the Spaniards, now receiving verbal encouragement from emissaries of the U. S.

Philippine-American War

On the night of February 4, 1899, a Filipino was shot by an American sentry. This incident is considered the beginning of the Philippine-American War, and open fighting soon broke out between American troops and pro-independence Filipinos. Superior American firepower drove Filipino troops away from the city, and the Malolos government had to move from one place to another.

Aguinaldo led resistance to the Americans, then retreated to northern Luzon with the Americans on his trail. On June 2, 1899, a telegram from Aguinaldo was received by Gen. Antonio Luna, an arrogant but brilliant general and looming rival in the military hierarchy, ordering him to proceed to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija for a meeting at the Cabanatuan Church Convent. However, treachery was afoot, as Aguinaldo felt the need to rid himself of this new threat to power. Three days later (June 5), when Luna arrived, he learned Aguinaldo was not at the appointed place. As Gen. Luna was about to depart, he was shot, then stabbed to death by Aguinaldo’s men. Luna was later buried in the churchyard, and Aguinaldo made no attempt to punish or even discipline Luna’s murderers.

Less than two years later, after the famous Battle of Tirad Pass with the death of Gregorio del Pilar, one of his most trusted generals, Aguinaldo was captured in Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901 by US General Frederick Funston, with the help of Macabebe trackers (who saw Aguinaldo as a bigger problem than the Americans). The American task force gained access to Aguinaldo’s camp by pretending to be captured prisoners.

Aguinaldo boarding USS Vicksburg following his capture in 1901.

Funston later noted Aguinaldo’s “dignified bearing”, “excellent qualities,” and “humane instincts.” Of course, Funston was writing this after Aguinaldo had volunteered to swear fealty to the United States, if only his life was spared. Aguinaldo pledged allegiance to America on April 1, 1901, formally ending the First Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines. Nevertheless, many others (like Miguel Malvar and Macario Sakay) continued to resist the American occupation.


The First Philippine Republic was formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899 in Malolos, Bulacan until the capture and surrender of Emilio Aguinaldo to the American forces on March 23, 1901 in Palanan, Isabela, which effectively dissolved the First Republic.
Aguinaldo appointed two premiers in his tenure. These were Apolinario Mabini and Pedro Paterno.

Aguinaldo cabinet

President Aguinaldo had two cabinets in the year 1899. Thereafter, the war situation resulted in his ruling by decree.

President Emilio Aguinaldo 1899–1901
Vice-President Mariano Trias 1897
Prime Minister Apolinario Mabini January 21 – May 7, 1899
  Pedro Paterno May 7 – November 13, 1899
Minister of Finance Mariano Trias January 21 – May 7, 1899
  Hugo Ilagan May 7 – November 13, 1899
Minister of the Interior Teodoro Sandico January 21 – May 7, 1899
  Severino de las Alas May 7 – November 13, 1899
Minister of War Baldomero Aguinaldo January 21 – May 7, 1899
  Mariano Trias May 7 – November 13, 1899
Minister of Welfare Gracio Gonzaga January 21 – May 7, 1899
Minister of Foreign Affairs Apolinario Mabini January 21 – May 7, 1899
  Felipe Buencamino May 7 – November 13, 1899
Minister of Public Instruction Aguedo Velarde 1899
Minister of Public Works and Communications Maximo Paterno 1899
Minister of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce Leon Ma. Guerrero May 7 – November 13, 1899

U.S. Territorial Period

Aguinaldo and Quezon during Flag Day, June 12, 1941.

During the United States occupation, Aguinaldo organized the Asociación de los Veteranos de la Revolución (Association of Veterans of the Revolution), which worked to secure pensions for its members and made arrangements for them to buy land on installment from the government.

When the American government finally allowed the Philippine flag to be displayed in 1919, Aguinaldo transformed his home in Kawit into a monument to the flag, the revolution and the declaration of Independence. His home still stands, and is known as the Aguinaldo Shrine.

Aguinaldo retired from public life for many years. In 1935, when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in preparation for Philippine independence, he ran for president but lost by a landslide to fiery Spanish mestizo Manuel L. Quezon. The two men formally reconciled in 1941, when President Quezon moved Flag Day to June 12, to commemorate the proclamation of Philippine independence.

Aguinaldo again retired to private life, until the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II. He cooperated with the Japanese, making speeches, issuing articles and infamous radio addresses in support of the Japanese — including a radio appeal to Gen. Douglas MacArthur on Corregidor to surrender in order to spare the innocence of the Filipino youth.

After the Americans retook the Philippines, Aguinaldo was arrested along with several others accused of collaboration with the Japanese. He was held in Bilibid prison for months until released by presidential amnesty. In his trial, it was eventually deemed that his collaboration with the Japanese was probably made under great duress, and he was released.

Aguinaldo lived to see the recognition of independence to the Philippines July 4, 1946, when the United States Government fully recognized Philippine independence in accordance with the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934. He was 93 when President Diosdado Macapagal officially changed the date of independence from July 4 to June 12, 1898, the date Aguinaldo believed to be the true Independence Day. During the independence parade at the Luneta, the 93-year old former president carried the flag he raised in Kawit.

Post-American era

Emilio Aguinaldo is depicted on the front of the 5-peso bill (phased out but still considered legal tender).

In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino appointed Aguinaldo as a member of the Council of State, where he served a full term. He returned to retirement soon after, dedicating his time and attention to veteran soldiers’ interests and welfare.

He was given Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa by the University of the Philippines in 1953.

In 1962, when the United States rejected Philippine claims for the destruction wrought by American forces in World War II, president Diosdado Macapagal changed the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Aguinaldo rose from his sickbed to attend the celebration of independence 64 years after he declared it.

Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964 of coronary thrombosis at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. He was 94 years old. His remains are buried at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. When he died, he was the last surviving non-royal head of state (self-proclaimed) to have served in the 19th century.

In 1985, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas made a new 5-peso bill depicted with a portrait of Aguinaldo on the front of the bill. The back of the bill features the declaration of the Philippine independence on June 12, 1898 with Aguinaldo on the balcony of his house surrounded by crowds of rejoicing Filipinos holding the Philippine flag and proclaiming independence from Spain.

 General Emilio Aguinaldo – Philippine President

Philippine Heroes – Philippine National Heroes

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Philippine Heroes – Philippine National Heroes

These are the nine Filipino historical figures that were recommended as national heroes by the National Heroes Committee on November 15, 1995.

The report was submitted to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports on November 22, 1995. However, no action was taken afterwards. It was speculated that any action might cause a number of requests for proclamation or trigger debates that revolve around the controversies about the concerned historical figures.

The National Heroes Committee was formed on March 28, 1993 by President Fidel V. Ramos under Executive Order No. 75. E.O. 75 was titled “Creating the National Heroes Committee Under the Office of the President”. The National Historical Committee’s duty was to study, evaluate and recommend Filipino national heroes to recognize their heroic character and remarkable achievements for the country.

The Philippine National Heroes

Philippine Heroes – Philippine National Heroes

Philippine Literature

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Philippine literature is the literature associated with the Philippines and includes the legends of prehistory, and the colonial legacy of the Philippines, written in both Indigenous, and Hispanic languages. Most of the notable literature of the Philippines were written during the Mexican, and Spanish period. Philippine literature is written in Spanish, Filipino, English, and other native Philippine languages.

Compared to other Asian nations, the Philippine Islands has very few artifacts that show evidence of Asian writing. However, a script called Baybayin, was used in Luzon when the Spaniards settled the islands in 1521.[citation needed]

The Spaniards recorded that Indigenous people in Manila, and among other native groups in the Philippines, wrote on bamboo, and specially prepared Arecaceae palm leaves, using knives, and styli. They were using the primitive Tagalog script which had basic symbols. These were the vowels a/e, i, and o/u. Each basic consonantal symbol had the inherent a sound: ka, ga, nga, ta, da, na, pa, ba, ma, ya, la, wa, sa, and ha.

A diacritical mark, called “kudlit”, modified the sound of the symbol. The kudlit could be a dot, a line, or even an arrowhead. When placed above the symbol, it changed the inherent sound of the symbol from a/e to i, placed below, the sound became o/u. Thus a ba/be with a kudlit placed above became a bi, if the kudlit was placed below, the symbol became a bo/bu.

Classical literature in Spanish (19th Century)

In 1863, the Spanish government introduced public education. This had an important role in the rise of an educated class called the “Ilustrado” (meaning, well-informed). Members of this group included the Philippine national hero, José Rizal, who wrote literary novels in Spanish. His novels included “Noli Me Tangere” (Touch Me Not), and “El Filibusterismo” (The Reign of Greed), considered a Philippine classical literature. Other popular Philippine writers include Francisco Balagtas who is recognized for his novel called “Florante at Laura” (Florante, and Laura).

The Philippine historical documents such as the national anthem, the Malolos Constitution or Constitución Política de Malolos, and the revolutionary propaganda is also considered a classical literature. Philippine literature propagated in the Spanish language, especially in the writings of Marcelo H. Del Pilar, who produced the La Solidaridad (The Solidarity). In Cebu City, the first Spanish newspaper, “El Boletín de Cebú” (The Bulletin of Cebu), was published in 1886.

Modern literature (20th and 21st century)

The greatest portion of Spanish literature made by Philippine scholars was written during the American period. One of the Philippines’ famous writers, Claro M. Recto, continued writing in Spanish. Other well-known Spanish language writers were Isidro Marfori, Cecilio Apostol, Fernando Guerrero, Flavio Zaragoza Cano, Jesús Balmori, Enrique Fernandez Lumba, and Francisco Zaragoza.

Among the newspapers published in Spanish were “El Renacimiento”, (The Renaissance), “La Democracia” (The Democracy), “La Vanguardia” (The Outer Works), “El Pueblo de Iloilo” (The People of Iloilo), “El Tiempo” (The Season), and other titles. Magazines such as “The Independent”, “Philippine Free Press”, and “Philippine Review” were published in Spanish, and English.

In 1915, the Philippine newspapers began publishing writings in English. Cebu produced writers in Spanish, most of whom flourished during the decades of the 20th century. José del Mar won a Zobel Prize (Premio Zobel) for his work “Perfiles” in 1965.

Notable Philippine writers

Notable Philippine literary works

Philippine literature – Literature in the Philippines

Philippine Legends – Philippines Alamat: Alamat ng Gubat

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Philippine Legends – Philippines Alamat

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The Alamat ng Gubat (Legend of the Forest) is a 2004 novel which was the fourth book published by Bob Ong, a Filipino contemporary author noted for using conversational Filipino to create humorous and reflective depictions of life as a Filipino.[1] Among Bob Ong’s works, it is notable for being the first one to be a self-contained straightforward narrative rather than a collection of anecdotes.[2] Bob Ong later came up with another book written as a straightforward narrative, MacArthur, but it is a very different work because it does not have Bob Ong’s signature humorous tone.

The story is about a little crab named “Tong” searching for a banana heart to cure his father from sickness. While he begins his journey he finds he and his friends also fight the evil animals in the forest.

Main Characters


Tong is a small crab who is looking for a banana heart in the forest to cure his sickly father. He is the son of the king of the sea, along with his siblings who are not assigned to the quest. He is engaged to a fish named Dalagang. Tong is pinkish red and is the youngest in the pack of their crab family.


Pagong is a tortoise who is helping Tong in his adventure. He amazes Tong with his collection of turtle eggs. Pagong is an enormous tortoise that is very slow. He is also confused with his sayings and is said to be wisely stupid.


Aso is a wild dog . He is a lost dog living in a forest (which he likes). He also helps tong to find the banana heart, the whole forest will likely die. Aso has a spot on his left eye and is a little confused with everything he says.


Kuneho is mostly described as a Filipino version of Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh). He also joins Tong in his adventure in finding the banana heart. Kuneho is a little demanding on everything he says and is a little of always angry . He is tall and gray.



Buwaya is a crocodile who at the end, eats Tong’s friends and Tong left behind. He announces Tong his “best friend”. But Tong doesn’t agree. Buwaya joins an evil gang in the forest which includes Leon and Berdie girl, the gang leader and Maya, a small innocent bird who is someone you can’t understand: if he is good or evil.


Daga, a rat living in the woods of . He is the tiny sidekick of Leon, Leon influenced Daga to Roar like lions and now, Daga is a part of the gang of evil animals in the forest.


Leon is a lion and is the leader and the founder of the evil packed gang. He influenced Tong’s brother, Katang, in joining the evil gang of animals in the forest. Now, him and his gang is an obstacle to Tong’s journey in finding the banana heart and saving his beloved father.


Maya is a sparrow which has his own mystery in the book : Good or Evil . Still, even at the end of the book, no one knows what side is he. But he so , he is also the sidekick of Buwaya, and is always eaten by Buwaya and escapes free and still is the sidekick of Buwaya.


Katang is the brother of Tong and decided to join the gang because of Tong. He is planning revenge for Tong because of Tong tricking him that getting deficated on an Adarna bird was good for his asthma. Now he has stolen Tong’s is now part of the gang. But at the end, he got squashed by a bamboo stick .


Tong and his friends help find the banana heart in the forest. When Tipaklong won as the new leader of the forest, he got squashed by an animal. And also, they are being threatened by a gang of evil animals. So Tong, Pagong, Aso ang Kuneho fight for the forest and are planning to save Tong’s father. But when Tong’s friends were eaten by Buwaya, Tong is left behind. Will Tong ever get the banana heart without killing the whole forest?


WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE! Samahan si Tong at ang kanyang mga kaibigan sa napakasayang alamat ng kahayupan sa Saging Republic. Magkibahagi sa kuwentong garantisadong Hindi kapupulutan ng aral. At salubungin ang napakagandang bukas na naghihintay sa ating lahat! Alamat mo. Alamat ko. Alamat ng Gubat. ANG LIBRONG PAMBATA PARA SA MATATANDA![3]

 Philippine Legends – Philippines Alamat

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