Literature during the Spanish Period in the Philippines

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What was the title of the prayerbook written by Fray Juan de Plasencia in 1593?

Doctrina Christiana

Why did religious leaders assign translators during the Spanish period in the Philippines?

To translate prayers and religious instructional materials to the native language

What marked the beginning of Indio-literacy according to the text?

Native translators learning to read and write in both Spanish and their native language

Which literary works were mainly published by the ladinos in the first decade of the 17th century?

Devotional poetry

In which publication was the text 'Salamat nang Walang Hanggan' or 'Gracias de sin Sempiternas' found?

Memorial de la Vida Cristiana en Lengua Tagala

What language did the native translators learn to fluently read and write, leading to the creation of some literary works in Spanish?

Spanish and Tagalog

Who wrote the adaptation of Daniel Defoe's novel 'The New Robinson'?

Joaquin Tuason

Which two maidens corresponded in Modesto de Castro's work 'Pagsusulatan ng Dalawang Binibini na si Urbana at si Feliza'?

Urbana and Feliza

Which metrical romance is set in octosyllabic quatrains?


Who were some of the prominent secular poets mentioned in the text?

Isabelo de los Reyes and Rafael Gandioco

Which tradition did the most prominent secular lyrics follow according to the text?

Romantic tradition

What class of people could now read printed works that were previously exclusive to the missionaries?

The wealthy class and the middle class

Who is known as the acknowledged Master of Traditional Tagalog Poetry?


Which literary work by Francisco Baltazar is a metrical tale written in octosyllabic quatrains?


Who was popularly known as 'Huseng Sisiw'?

Jose de la Cruz

In which literary work would you find a dramatization of the pasyon?


Who is honored as the 'King of Tagalog Poetry' in the Philippines?

Jose de la Cruz

What type of works did Francisco Baltazar write during an age when Filipino writing was predominantly in Spanish?

Prose narratives

What was the profession of F. Jose Rizal?


For what reason was F. Jose Rizal executed by the Spanish colonial government?

Inciting rebellion

Which two novels were authored by F. Jose Rizal?

Noli Me Tángere and El Filibusterismo

What is the Ilocano equivalent of the Balagtasan?


'Blasted Hopes' by Leona Florentino is originally written in which language?


'Awa sa Pag-ibig' was written by which author?

'Huseng Sisiw'

Who is considered the 'Father of Ilocano Literature'?

Pedro Bukaneg

Which Filipino poetess is known as the 'Mother of Philippine Women's Literature'?

Leona Florentino

Who wrote the first Filipino novel in Spanish?

Pedro Paterno

In which international forum did Leona Florentino's poetry gain attention?


Which literary work is attributed to Pedro Bukaneg?

'Biag ni Lam-ang'

At which exposition was Leona Florentino's work exhibited in 1887?

Exposition Filipina in Madrid

Study Notes

Filipino Literary Laureates

  • C. Pedro Paterno (1857-1911) wrote "Ninay", the first Filipino novel written in Spanish.
  • Leona Florentino (1849-1884) is considered the "Mother of Philippine Women's Literature" and a bridge from oral to literary tradition.
  • She is believed to be the first Filipina to receive international recognition, included in the Encyclopedia Internationale des Oeuvres des Femmes (International Encyclopedia of Women's Works) in 1889.
  • Pedro Bukaneg (1592-1630) is the acknowledged author of the Ilocano epic "Biag ni Lam-ang" (Life of Lam-ang) and is considered the "Father of Ilocano Literature".

Spanish Period in Philippine Literature

  • The Spanish period in Philippine literature is characterized by the spread of Christianity.
  • The church authorities adopted a policy of spreading Church doctrines by communicating to the natives in their own language.
  • Doctrina Christiana, written by Fray Juan de Plasencia in 1593, was the first book to be printed in the Philippines.
  • The native translators learned to read and write in Spanish and their native language, resulting in the creation of the first written literary native text.

Literary Works

  • Awit is a colorful tale of chivalry based on European roots, made for singing and chanting, set in dodecasyllabic quatrains.
  • Korido is a metrical romance with octosyllabic quatrains.
  • Zarzuela is a three-act musical comedy or melodrama that deals with man's passion and emotion.
  • Prose narratives are written works that prescribe proper decorum.

Prominent Writers

  • Jose de la Cruz (1746-1829) is known as 'Huseng Sisiw' and is the "Hari ng Makatang Tagalog" (King of Tagalog Poetry) in the Philippines.
  • Francisco Baltazar (1788-1862) is the acknowledged Master of Traditional Tagalog Poetry.
  • Jose Rizal (1861-1896) is a Filipino nationalist and writer who was labelled as the national hero of the Filipino people.

Explore the influence of Christianity on literature during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. Learn about important literary works and their religious themes.

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