2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
• Long before the Spaniards and other foreigners landed on Philippine
shores, our forefathers already had their own literature stamped in the
history of our race.
• Our ancient literature shows our customs and traditions in everyday life as
trace in our folk stories, old plays and short stories.
• Our ancestors also had their own alphabet which was different from that
brought by the Spaniards. The first alphabet used by our ancestors was
similar to that of the Malayo-Polynesian alphabet.
3. • Whatever record our ancestors left were either burned by the Spanish friars in the
belief that they were works of the devil or were written on materials that easily
perished, like the barks of trees, dried leaves and bamboo cylinders which could not
have remained undestroyed even if efforts were made to preserve them.
• Other records that remained showed folk songs that proved existence of a native
culture truly our own. Some of these were passed on by word of mouth till they
reached the hands of some publishers or printers who took interest in printing the
manuscripts of the ancient Filipinos.
• The Spaniards who came to the Philippines tried to prove that our ancestors were
really fond of poetry, songs, stories, riddles and proverbs which we still enjoy today
and which serve to show to generations the true culture of our people.
5. A. LEGENDS
• Legends are a form of prose the common theme of
which is about the origin of a thing, place, location
or name. The events are imaginary, devoid of truth
and unbelievable. Old Filipino customs are reflected
in these legends. Its aim is to entertain. Here is an
example of a legend is THE LEGEND OF THE
6. “THE LEGEND OF THE
In a certain wide region of Luzon, there was a
village frequented by young men. This town
was full of trees, beautiful flowers and a river
where clear waters flow. What attracted the
young men more than the scenery was a
beautiful nymph-like maiden
7. The maiden was Maria and she had lots of suitors who came from
afar and who fought for her hand. But Maria remained unconcerned
and very choosy. Because she was kind, her suitors remained
undaunted so Maria thought of a plan. She called all the young men
together and told them, “You are all good and kind and it is difficult
to choose among you. Let me decide with a test.” “I’ll marry the man
who can bring me a big, live and strong serpent,” Maria said in jest.
The young men were dumbfounded. After a while, the voice of Ilog
broke the silence. “I promise to bring you one, Maria. Even if I have
to risk my life, I’ll bring what you wish.” Ilog was a man known for
his bravery. He left immediately to fulfill his promise
8. The men whispered among themselves. They were sure that Ilog will
never be able to return. They waited for a long while but Ilog had not
returned. Even Maria was saddened because she also grieved the loss
of a man as brave and accommodating as Ilog. After many hours, Ilog
returned. They crowded to see how Ilog prove his bravery. Ilog held a
big snake by its nape and tail. While the men were thus occupied,
two Spaniards passed by. Their attention was caught not by what
Ilog held a big snake by its nape and tail. “Maria”, heroically called
Ilog. I’ve brought you the serpent you wished for. What else do you
want me to do to make you happy?” “Cut it up!” shouted Maria
9. The Spaniards were startled. They asked the people
around where they were and in what place they were in
but nobody paid attention for their attention was
focused on the snake and on Maria.” When Maria saw
that the snake was still struggling, she shouted. “Taga,
Ilog! Taga Ilog!” (Cut Ilog, Cut Ilog!) which she
addressed to Ilog so he would cut the snake up again.
The two Spaniards, thinking that this was in
answer to their question repeated the words
TAGAILOG, TAGAILOG which later became
10. B. FOLK TALES
• Folk tales are made up of stories about life,
adventure, love, horror and humor where
one can derive lessons about life. These are
useful to us because they help us appreciate
our environment, evaluate our personalities
and improve our perspectives in life. An
example of this is THE MOON AND THE SUN.
11. THE SUN AND THE MOON
Once upon a time the Sun and the Moon were married,
and they had many children who were the stars. The Sun
was very fond of his children, but whenever he tried to
embrace any of them, he was so hot that he burned them
up. This made the Moon so angry that finally she forbade
him to touch them again, and he was greatly grieved.
12. One day the Moon went down to the spring to do some washing,
and when she left she told the Sun that he must not touch any
of their children in her absence. When she returned, however,
she found that he had disobeyed her, and several of the children
She was very angry, and picked up a banana tree to strike him,
whereupon he threw sand in her face, and to this day you can
see the dark marks on the face of the Moon.
Then the Sun started to chase her, and they have been going
ever since. Sometimes he gets so near that he almost catches
her, but she escapes, and by and by she is far ahead again.
13. C. THE EPIC AGE
• Epics are long narrative poems in which a series of heroic
achievements or events, usually of a hero, are dealt with at
length. Nobody can determine which epics are the oldest
because in their translations from other languages, even in
English and Spanish. We can only determine their origins
from the time mentioned in the said epics.
• Aside from the aforementioned epics, there are still
other epics that can be read and studied like the following
14. EXAMPLES OF EPIC IN THE PHILIPPINE
a. Bidasari-Moro epic
b. Biag ni Lam-ang-Ilokano epic
c. Maragtas-Visayan epic
d. Haraya-Visayan epic
e. Lagda-Visayan epic
f. Hari sa Bukid-Visayan epic
g. Kumintang-Tagalog epic
h. Parang Sabir-Moro epic
i. “Dagoy” at “Sudsod”-Tagbanua epic
j. Tatuaang-Bagobo epic
k. Indarapatra at Sulayman
m. Daramoke-A-Babay – Moro epic in “Darangan”
15. D. FOLK SONGS
• one of the oldest forms of Philippine literature that emerged in the pre-
Spanish period. These songs mirrored the early forms of culture. Many of
these have 12 syllables. Here are the examples:
• a. Kundiman
• b. Kumintang o Tagumpay
• c. Ang Dalit o Imno
• d. Ang Oyayi o Hele
• e. Diona
• f. Soliranin
• g. Talindaw
20. 1. EPIGRAMS (SALAWIKAIN)
• These have been customarily used and
served as laws or rules on good behavior
by our ancestors. To others, these are
like allegories or parables that impart
lessons for the young.
21. 1.Madali ang maging tao, mahirap magpakatao.
2.Magsama-sama at malakas, magwatak-watak at
3.Kung ano ang puno, siya ang bunga.
4.Kung walang tiyaga, walang nilaga.
5.Ang taong nagigipit, sa patalim kumakapit.
22. 2. RIDDLES (BUGTONG) OR PALAISIPAN
•These are made up of one or more
measured lines with rhyme and
may consist of four to 12 syllables.
42. Ikaw ang magnanakaw ng Bigas
Lumuwa sana ang mga mata
Mamaga sana ang katawan mo,
Patayin ka ng mga Anito.
You stole my rice,
May your eye bulge,
And your body swell,
Be killed by the Anitos(gods)
3. CHANT (BULONG). USED IN WITCHCRAFT
43. 4. MAXIMS.
• Some are rhyming couplets with
verses of 5, 6 or 8 syllables, each
line having the same number of
syllables. a short, easily
remembered expression of a basic
principle, general truth or rule of
PAG DI UKOL,
SUKAT ANG ILANG
44. 5. SAYINGS (KASABIHAN).
•Often used in teasing or
to comment on a person’s
“News has wings,
while the ground has
“If someone throws a
rock at you, throw
45. 1. magdilang-anghel (magkatotoo ang sinabi)
2. balitang kutsero (balitang hindi totoo; fake news)
3. ilaw ng tahanan (nanay o ina sa pamilya)
4. mababaw ang luha (iyakin o madaling mapaiyak)
5. nakalutang sa ulap (masaya)
6. Sawikain- Ang pagpapahayag na mga ibig sabihin ng
mga sawikain ay hindi komposisyunal o mahirap