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Post-war Philippine fiction in English

Illa Sarvia


PHILIPPINE fiction in English is one of the many consequences of Spain's cession of the islands to the United States after the war of 1898. The coming of the Americans mtroduced a new language and a new culture to the people. During the early part of the twentieth century Spanish continued to dominate as the literary idiom, but works were also written in the vernacular languages such as Tagalog (Pilipino), Ilokano and Cebuano. Writers of this period who deserve mention are the pioneering novelist L. K. Santos, Fanny A. Garcia, a noted writer of short stories and fiction in Pilipino, Jose F. Lacaba, who was a poet and a journalist in both English and Pilipino, and Bienvenido L. Lumbera, a literary critic and authority on Philippine vernacular literature. However, 1908 saw the establishment of the University of the Philippines which, as the first English university in the country, became deeply involved in the rise of Filipino literature in English. English became the medium of communication and of instruction in schools and by the 1930s was also increasingly popular as the language of literature.

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