What-pad and Philippine Lite-where-ture

“Philippine Literature is dying. All I can see are books from teens writing about romance.”

What is literature? Any form of written work. Then how come that even with the presence of books written by Filipino authors, one would say that Philippine literature is dying?

I cannot blame one who thinks that books about YA and romance are getting out of hand. After all, you’ll see a lot of books made popular by Wattpad in the front shelves of some bookstores. However, to say that Philippine literature is dying is offensive to writers not only to those who came from sites like Wattpad and Scribd, but also to those who put effort into writing novels without the help of online sites. (Though it made me ponder if some writers think that authors from Wattpad are killing Philippine Literature. That’ll really make me sad.)

Yesterday, I read an open letter addressed to a popular Filipino youth author. While I agree to some of his points like this certain Filipino author did plagiarism by not putting credits to all the quotes he borrowed from somewhere else, his points were invalidated by stating that he hasn’t read any of his books (except maybe his quotes). How can one criticize effectively without even reading the work? (Judging the book even without seeing the cover, eh?) Presumptions? Hearsay? Cultural elitism?

Shakespeare just wrote tragedies depicting present society. In relation, your literature is the manifestation of the current society. It is not a degradation of literature. It is in itself literature of the current generation. Shakespeare did write about suicide after a failed romance. Isn’t it the same? Was he promoting suicide after a failed romance? Or was he promoting murdering everyone when your honor is tainted?

Even Bonifacio understood that Rizal didn’t want a revolution. He didn’t force him. He just revolted himself.

Arellano, James Peter Z.

It saddens me that others assume that we “are willing to take down the old [in] order to advance their interests” like the letter writer accused. It wasn’t our purpose, or at least, it wasn’t my purpose. When I wrote my own in 2008, I just wanted to write my own ending.

Why do people judge the generation they are in? Judge . . . and not offer a solution?

Here’s my take: Why not encourage young people to write about nationalism than to discourage young people to write about romance or chicklit?

On another note, I’ve read an article on PhilStar’s website about Wattpad stories to be included in the high school curriculum. I’m still unsure about my absolute decision, but I wrote this point:

If Wattpad stories were to be included, then the board members of whoever decided this should choose works that would make students analyze social issues that are widely discussed in today’s generation.

Disclaimer. The views expressed on this blog are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect views of my employer.

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