you're reading
Literary Criticism

The Relevance of Studying Philippine Literature in English

As we have learned in Philippine history, apart from superior arms to subdue the true revolutionaries who waged a continuing war against colonial rule, the Americans used education, propagated the English language and lifestyle. In effect, this changed the milieu of literary production as the English language became the standard for what is canon.

Many important things can be learned in the study of Philippine literature in English. Studying Philippine literature in English is important because these are reflections of history. Works of art and literature are not separate from history. In fact, these are intricately intertwined along with the contradictions in the society in a given point in time. Works of art and literature do not stand by themselves. Writers and artists are not creators who fashion words and works. These texts and pieces of art are products of the political institutions and ideological stance of the writers which are shaped by the social conditions.

In essence, the study of Philippine literature in English aids us in historicizing texts. Furthermore, it also allows us to think of the extent of American influence through the use of their language. Obviously, our willing appropriation of their language during the time of the American colonial period affects the present generation and the formulation of the canon of Philippine literature in English. Even the past generations of literati together with the current prominent writers bring along with them the English language and its ideology. However, it is also wrong to discount the writers and intellectuals who use the English language in order to subvert the ideology it carries.

Studying Philippine literature in English gives us a brief and fleeting landscape of the literary milieu since after the World War II. We should also consider those writers who went against American domination in education. These writers carry with them an ideology that is anti-colonial and therefore, an assertion of genuine nationalism. Nationalism has different manifestations in different periods in history. The true affirmation of nationalism during the American colonial period is the seeking of genuine freedom and democracy.

The assertion of nationalism depends on the ideology of the class, group or person who is voicing it out. Many times, our people have always been deceived by the ruling class since they limit the assertion of nationalism through emotional and subjective means. Putting one’s hand over the heart and singing the National Anthem with tears is not enough if one doesn’t do anything to alleviate the poorest of the poor who comprise the majority of our population. These are reflected in works that may or may not be written in the English language. These are in texts whose authors’ names we hardly know but nonetheless, these writers knew where they stood, and that is for the broad masses.

About imakulit

restless. independent. rock music and classical music, third world poetry and literature, theory and criticism, beaches, sunsets, wide open spaces, sports and running, laughter, art, and photography sustain me. i love to travel alone. it's the best way to get lost in the labyrinth of my thoughts.


One thought on “The Relevance of Studying Philippine Literature in English

  1. This actually answered my drawback, thank you! adegefkckdfa

    Posted by Johnf28 | September 5, 2014, 16:32

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

RSS Pinoy Weekly

  • #SONA2015 | Defiance in face of lies, repression (Photos) July 28, 2015
    Outside Batasan Pambansa, tens of thousands braved the torrential rain, the pre-SONA threats and intimidation by state forces, and of course, the police barricade that virtually became a garrison in the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, to register intense dissatisfaction with the country's state of affairs under Aquino. Inside, meanwhile, people's re […]

RSS Philippine Daily Inquirer

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS The Economist: Finance and Economics

  • Bargaining chips July 23, 2015
    “WHEN you’ve already settled the price of the car, there’s no point quibbling over whether the gas tank is full.” Thus did Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, urge WTO ambassadors this week to conclude the second Information Technology Agreement (ITA-II). They duly agreed to eliminate import tariffs on 201 new electronics produ […]

RSS The Economist: Books and Arts

  • Boxed in July 23, 2015
    Where’s the beef? BOXING is Hollywood’s favourite sport. Baseball and basketball may be contenders, but it is boxing that has the violence, the theatricality and the winner-takes-all simplicity which underpin so much of American cinema—hence its central place in films from “Body and Soul” and “Raging Bull” to such recent award-winners as “Million Dollar Baby […]

RSS Asian Correspondent

  • India hangs Mumbai bomber Yakub Memon July 30, 2015
    The Indian government has confirmed that Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the only death row convict in India's deadliest terror attack, the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people, has been hanged after India's president rejected a last-minute mercy plea.
  • Thrill seekers take insane selfies on China’s tallest skyscrapers July 30, 2015
    We're getting vertigo just looking at these! To say these three guys have nerves of steel would be a serious an understatement. The thrillseekers from Hong Kong in Russia recently toured China, climbing the tallest buildings in a number of cities and taking these amazing images at the top.
  • UQ’s industry placements ensure OHS degree is relevant to employers July 30, 2015
    The University of Queensland occupational health and safety science students spend a lot of time in the field, and industry placements are an important part of the programs. Just ask Wesley Ho, who is in his third year of studying the Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety Science (Honours) at UQ in Brisbane, Australia. “I
  • Debris found on Indian Ocean island could be from missing flight MH370 July 30, 2015
    A U.S. official says air safety investigators have a "high degree of confidence" that a photo of aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component unique to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane that disappeared last year.
  • Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi to contest November election July 29, 2015
    THANLYIN, Burma (AP) — Burma's democracy leader and lawmaker Aung San Suu Kyi has registered for a seat in November elections.
  • Hong Kong University council member’s ‘dive’ triggers online ridicule July 29, 2015
    It looks like Hong Kong has a new meme after a Hong Kong University took a questionable ‘dive’ after about 100 protesting students stormed a council meeting at the university Tuesday night.
  • Chiang Mai conference highlights ‘academic activism’ in Burma July 29, 2015
    Academics, students and activists from Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and around the world were among those who attended the first Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies at Chiang Mai University from 24 to 26 July.
  • WATCH: Land dispute sparks massive armed brawl in China July 29, 2015
    Video footage has emerged of a massive armed battle in Shandong, China sparked by a disagreement over land expropriation issues. Local police confirmed about 100 people were involved in the July 24 brawl.
  • Former Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa blames others for anti-Muslim attacks July 29, 2015
    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's former strongman leader has blamed unnamed conspirators for carrying out anti-Muslim attacks during his tenure as he tries to woo estranged minority communities in his comeback bid in next month's parliamentary elections.
  • Turkish President Erdogan visits China amid Uighur tensions July 29, 2015
    BEIJING (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Beijing amid tensions over China's treatment of its Uighur minority and sensitive negotiations surrounding the possible purchase of a Chinese missile system.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: