Kabataan (Tula)

Tulang isinulat ni Lorie Jen Rojo

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Metrical Romances: Awit at Kurido

by Dean S. Fansler, Ph.D.

Forty years after the Spaniards had founded a permanent settlement in the Philippine Islands, Cervantes published in Spain the first part of the “Adventures of the Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha,” a book that effectually destroyed, among the cultured classes at least, the taste for romances of chivalry. Nearly three hundred years later, when Spain withdrew from the isles of the Pacific, nine-tenths of the books printed in the Filipino dialects were either religious (prayers, saints’ lives, and moral tales) or romantic and fantastic stories of the type ridiculed to death in the peninsula by Cervantes. Until the American occupation brought the freedom of the press to the Philippines, the reading-matter of the natives was largely the reading-matter of the Spaniards of the sixteenth century and earlier. Nor have the last fifteen years accomplished among the masses any decided revolution in literary taste. The literature of modern Spain has had very little effect upon Philippine literature. The most popular single book in the. Islands to-day—the “Pasión,” a fourteen-thousand-line metrical account, in quintillas, of the life and sufferings of Jesus Christ — goes back to a Spanish original of the early seventeenth century. While it is true that the commercial presses in Manila, Iloilo, and Cebú, during the last decade, have been printing many new realistic novels and plays from the pens of young writers, the metrical romance continues to hold its place. The stories of Rodrigo de Villas (the “Cid”), Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers, Bernardo del Carpió, the Seven Lords of Lara, and a number of others based upon early Spanish history and legend, keep appearing in larger and larger yearly editions. The enchanter Freston, who Don Quixote was convinced had carried off his beloved library, must have deposited it in the Philippines.

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“Canto de María Clara” por José Rizál. Declamada por la Sra Doña Delfina San Agustín de González (1905-1992) – Recitadora Filipina en Castellano. La estrella mas grande del teatro Español en Las Filipinas. Encantadora y artista de la palabra.



¡Dulces las horas en la propia patria
donde es amigo cuanto alumbra el sol,
vida es la brisa que en sus campos vuela,
grata la muerte y más tierno amor!

Ardientes besos en los labios juegan,
de una madre en el seno al despertar,
buscan los brazos a ceñir el cuello,
y los ojos sonríense al mirar.

Dulce es la muerte por la propia patria
donde es amigo cuanto alumbra el sol;
muerte es la brisa para quien no tiene
una patria, una madre y un amor.

Ito ang Awit ni Maria Clara mula sa nobelang Noli Me Tangere.

Literary Quotes

Kung ang isalubong sa iyong pagdating
Ay masayang mukha’t may pakitang giliw,
Lalong pag-ingata’t kaaway na lihim. 

If on your return
you are met with a smile,
beware! for it means that you have a secret enemy.

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Jose Rizal’s First Poem

According to his sister Soledad, Mi Primera Inspiración is Jose Rizal’s first poem, written when he was nine years old. Continue reading “Jose Rizal’s First Poem”

Juan Wearing a Monkey’s Skin

This Filipino story was written down in English based on a Kapampangan (Pampango, from the province of Pampanga) version in the early 20th century. There is also a Bicolano (Bikulano, from Bicol) version of this story.

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Ang Batang Babaing Mai Dalang Sakafuego

NIAO’I KATAKUTTAKUT NA ginau; nalalaglag ang busilak, at nagdidilim ang gabi! Sa ginau na ito at ganitong kadiliman ai naglalakad ang isang maliit at abang batang babai, ualang pandong, hubad ang paa sa gitna ng daan. Nagkaroon nga siang tunai ng.sinelas ng sia’i umalis sa bahai, nguni at anong saisai! Yaong sinelas ai lubhang mala1aki, na gmamit linuntai ng ml lubhang kalaki ng tumapon sa batang sia’i nagmarnadaling turnauid sa daan, ng ang dalauang karuahe ai mabilis na natakbo! Ang isang paa ai di na nia nakulta, at ang isa’i itinakbo ng isang batang lalaki, na ang sabi’ ai gagauin Mang higaan ng anak kung sakali at sia’i magkaroon.

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Juan Gathers Guavas

Nang Namitas ng Bayabas si Juan (When Juan Picked Guavas) is a short vignette about the naughty boy Juan. It’s a funny story when you hear it in Tagalog for the first time. Reading it may give you  some idea of Filipino humor.

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