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Philippine nation has always been rich with poets, writers, essayists. Here is a very short list of some of the most essential and well-known authors and poets of the country.
Francisco Baltazar y dela Cruz, (also known under a pseudonym Balagtas, 1788-1862), was a prominent Filipino poet, and is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature. Balagtas is so greatly revered in the Philippines that the term for Filipino debate in extemporaneous verse is named for him: balagtasan. He is the author of the following works: Orosmán at Zafira, Don Nuño at Selinda, Auredato at Astrome, Clara Belmore, Abdol at Misereanan, Bayaceto at Dorslica, Alamansor at Rosalinda, La India elegante y el negrito amante, Nudo gordeano, Rodolfo at Rosemonda, Mahomet at Constanza, Claus, Florante at Laura which is one of Balagtas main masterpieces.
Francisco Arcellana (1916-2002), writer, poet, essayist, critic, journalist and teacher, is one of the most important progenitors of the modern Filipino short story in English. He pioneered the development of the short story as a lyrical prose-poetic form. For Arcellana, the pride of fiction is "that it is able to render truth, that is able to present reality". Arcellana has kept alive the experimental tradition in fiction, and has been most daring in exploring new literary forms to express the sensibility of the Filipino people. A brilliant craftsman, his works are now an indispensable part of a tertiary-level-syllabi all over the country. Arcellana's published books are Selected Stories (1962), Poetry and Politics: The State of Original Writing in English in the Philippines Today (1977), The Francisco Arcellana Sampler (1990) etc.
Bienvenido Lumbera (born in 1932) poet, librettist, and scholar. As a poet, he introduced to Tagalog literature what is now known as Bagay poetry, a landmark aesthetic tendency that has helped to change the vernacular poetic tradition. He is the author of the following works: Likhang Dila, Likhang Diwa (poems in Filipino and English, 1993); Balaybay, Mga Tulang Lunot at Manibalang (2002); Sa Sariling Bayan, Apat na Dulang May Musika (2004); "Agunyas sa Hacienda Luisita," Pakikiramay (2004). As a librettist for the Tales of the Manuvu and Rama Hari, he pioneered the creative fusion of fine arts and popular imagination. As a scholar, his major books include the following: Tagalog Poetry, 1570-1898: Tradition and Influences in its Development; Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology, Revaluation: Essays on Philippine Literature, Writing the Nation/Pag-akda ng Bansa.
Angela Manalang-Gloria (1907-1995) lyrical poet, pianist, and editor. Poems (1940) was the only partial collection of her notable poems. She is essentially a lyric poet voicing her moods and desires in musical, singing stanzas. She finds standard rime and rhythm adequate to her needs. Commentators refer to the music in her sonnets as “sweet, tender and melodious".
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