It can be said that Philippine literature in English has achieved a stature that is, in a way, phenomenal since the inception of English in our culture.
Our written literature, which is about four hundred years old, is one of slow and evolutionary growth. Our writers strove to express their sentiments while struggling with a foreign medium. The great mass of literature in English that we have today is, indeed, a tribute to what our writers have achieved in the short span of time. What they have written can compare with some of the best works in the world. Much is still to be achieved. Our writers have yet to write their OPUS MAGNUMS.
Meanwhile, history and literature are slowly unfolding before us and we are as witnesses in the assembly lines to an evolving literary life.
Time frames may not be necessary in a study of literature, but since literature and history are inescapably related it has become facilitative to map up a system which will aid us in delineating certain time boundaries.
These time boundaries are not exactly well-defined; very often, time frames blend into another in a seeming continuum. For a systematic discussion of the traditions, customs, and feelings of our people that can be traced in our literature, we shall adopt certain delimitations.
These time frames are:
Time Frames of Philippine Literature in English
Different opinions prevail regarding the stages that mark the development of Philippine literature in English. Let us take the following time frames for purpose of discussion:
1. The Period of Re-orientation: 1898-1910
2. Period of Imitation: 1910-1925
3. Period of Self-Discovery: 1925-1941
4. Japanese Period: 1941-1945
5. The Rebirth of Freedom: 1946-1970
6. Period of Activism: 1970-1972
7. Period of the New Society: 1972-1981
8. Period of the Third Republic: 1981-1985
9. Contemporary Period: 1986