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Evolution of Philippine literature through times

Philippine literature started with stories and legends of the pre-colonial Philippines.

Philippines literature was written in pre-Hispanic system of writing, with Spanish and Mexican influences, while today it is written in English.

Rangrang is one of the examples of earliest writings in Philippines Literature. It was a folktale that widespread with the arrival of Spanish in 1521. The Spaniards that had arrived recorded the people of Manila on bamboo and specially prepared leaves using styli and knives. They used 17 symbols of ancient Tagalog script. In 1863, Spanish decree introduced free public schooling in Spanish language. The educated class that rose from this system later wrote important literary works in Spanish, which is considered as Philippine Classical Literature.

Historical Documents namely national anthem and revolutionary propaganda are also considered as classical literature.

In 20th century, the great portion of Spanish literature was written during the period of American commonwealth as Spanish language was still influential. Many prominent writers kept writing in Spanish till 1946. A number of newspapers were even published in Spanish. In 1914, local newspaper started publishing the stories in English.

On the other side, Philippines Asian literature excelled in the short stories in English. It was at this time that Filipinos felt at more ease with using English as their medium of language. They took the writing in English language and transformed it into an artistic expression. They showed a much zest and talent that was transformed into writing through English Language. A book published in 1991, stated that the best short stories were from Philippines as Filipinos writes felt at more ease with using the English language as their medium of expression.

Philippine literature history can be dated back to as long as the early 16th century. You can get detailed history of Philippines literature with a little research. Internet can be a great starting place.

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