Chapter2: Review of Related Literature and Studies

Chapter II Review of Related Literature and Studies This chapter presents the literature and related studies which have direct bearing on this study. It also discusses the values reflected in the proverbs and the proverb as a reflection of Filipino character, its function in the society, its nature and purpose, its stylistic peculiarity and its significance in Filipino culture. Folklore Prof. Damiana Eugenio (2002), a renowned Filipina folklorist, said that there is no universally accepted definition for the word “folklore”.

But she gave a description that folklore is any form of knowledge that is handed down from generation to generation that portrays the way of life of ancestors of the chosen ethnic group can be considered part of folklore. She likewise emphasized that students should seek ways in studying folklore for preservation purposes. She continued that what students usually do are transcribe and interpret what is related to them by storytellers and it ends there. Further, she expressed that students have to explore different aspects in folklore, use new approaches and experiment new ways.

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Eugenio further emphasized that the study of folklore in the Philippines is diminishing. She attributed this to these following reasons: lack of interest in studying folklore and difficult work that goes along in studying folklore. Folk Literature Eugenio (2001) defined folk literature as the sum total of the traditional learning of the folk which is expressed in their literature, their customs and beliefs, their games and recreations, their music songs and dances, their arts and crafts, and other forms material culture.

She added that Filipinos know very little of folk literature by stating: “… even educated Filipinos know little about folk literature. ” This is not surprising according to her because “there is an incomplete state of collection and inaccessibility of existing manuscripts about Philippine folk literature. ” (Eugenio, 2001) She continued tha folk literature is like a treasure house of information about a people’s outlook in life, the basic patterns of their attitudes, and also the feelings towards themselves, their family, their neighbors and towards the Supreme Being.

For her, folk literature gives valuable insights into a people’s native ambitions, and aspirations. In other words, the identity of a people is manifested in their folk literature. Proverbs As regards to proverbs, Taylor (1950) as quoted by Eugenio (2001) said that “a proverb is a terse, didactic statement that is current in tradition, or as an epigram says, the wisdom of many and the wit of one. It ordinarily suggests a cause of action or passes judgment on a situation. For her part, Eugenio (2002) classified Philippine proverbs into six groups according to subject matter. These are: (1) Proverbs expressing a general attitude towards life and the laws that govern life; (2) Ethical proverbs recommending certain virtues and condemning certain vices; (3) Proverbs expressing a system of values; (4) Proverbs expressing general truths and observations about life and human nature; (5) Humorous Proverbs; and (6) Miscellaneous Proverbs.

Moreover, she defined proverbs as short, generally known sentences of the folk which contain wisdom, truth, morals, and are traditionally viewed in a metaphorical, fixed and memorizable form and which are handed down from generation to generation (Eugenio, 2002), Filipino Proverbs In a related development, Lopez (2006), opined that regional studies on Philippine proverbs have been extensive because the genre is a favorite subject matter by both Filipinos and foreigners. Ironically, no one has provided a clear, working, definition of this genre.

According to her the Filipinos concentrate on the hows and whys and the function of proverbs but not on what a proverb is. She also stated that, Jorge Bacobo who wrote the “Ethics in the Philippine Proverb” discussed the didactic role of the proverb in the Philippine society. Others studied the Philippine national traits reflected in proverbs such as Jose Batungbakal’s Selected Tagalog Proverbs and Maxims (1948), Solfronio Calderon’s Ang mga Kawikaan sa Larangan ng Pamumuhay (1947), Paul Rodriguez Versosa’s The Psychology of Tagalog Proverbs (1950) etc. This shows that many people are interested in proverbs.

Lopez (2006) further added that the important rule in the study of folksaying is not to cite what one people say in one culture but to explain what another people say for another culture. For her, any folklore material translated to another language suffers in the process of translation. Thus, the definition of proverb is necessary for serious research on this genre. Many definitions of proverb have actually been made. According to Lydia Arguilla as cited by Lopez (2006) “Proverbs are a people’s soul”, while Carmelo Jamias as also cited by Lopez (2006) said that “Proverbs are the wisdom of the elders”.

However, the definition of the proverb as “Folk wisdom” is rejected in the Philippine culture because of the existence of “crossed proverbs”? two proverbs that recommend two contrary kinds of action. Lopez (2006) continued that the biggest problem in the Philippine proverbial studies that should be solved is the total neglect of the context of the materials collected. The study of proverbs requires not only knowing the content of the material, but also knowing when to use them because usage is the most important aspect of proverbs.

She added that there is distinction between recording the text of proverbs and recording the use of texts in context; similarly there is a difference between the study of general functions of the Philippine proverbs and the study of the actual use of a certain proverb by a particular individual(s) at a specific time and place. Content of Philippine Proverbs Damiana Eugenio (2002) in her book “Philippine Folk Literature: Proverbs” stated that proverbs reflect certain values of life. For example, the Filipino, as the proverbs reflect him, takes a very serious view of life.

Life is hard, and although the favorite portrayal of life in the proverbs is that it is a wheel with its alternation of joys and sorrows, one senses a general feeling that the sorrows predominate. In the Philippines, whether intended seriously or humorously, proverbs are quoted for instruction purposes. For this reason, there are a lot of Philippine ethical proverbs. A large number of these proverbs are direct exhortations, serving as do’s and don’ts of everyday living, a few employing metaphor but the majority merely being stated in plain literal language.

Filipino Values Sytem According to Gorospe (1994) in his article “Understanding the Filipino Value System”, a brief introduction to the philosophy of human values is necessary for an understanding of Filipino values and values education. Further, he said that Filipino values for social acceptance include pakikisama, amor propio, economic security, pagmamay-ari; and trust in God find their philosophical basis in man’s dynamic openness toward nature and the world, one’s fellowmen, and God.

He continued that values can be both subjective and objective. They involve a subject or person who values (e. g. , a young girl) an object or has a value to be realized (e. g. , pagkamahinhin). Justice is considered objective because it is a value that should be realized by all. Further he adds that values are not objective in the sense that they are relational and embodied in person-value-types (ideal moral persons).

For example, to a tipong-mukhang kuarta [an avaricious look] profit is more important than service; to a tipong-politiko [political type], pera [money], propaganda, politika [politics] are more valuable than honesty; tipong siyentipiko [scientist type] or tipong-artista [actor type] personify agham [science] and sining [art]; tipong madasalin [pious type] may exemplify kabanalan (piety). The ideal type or Filipino model during the “parliament of the streets” was the tipong-maka-Diyos (religions), makatao (people-oriented), makabayan (nationalistic). Gorospe added that the Filipino value system arises from culture or way of ife, a distinctive way of becoming human in this particular place and time. Meanwhile, according to Hunt (1987), Philippine values help explain and predict the philosophy of Filipino behavior, the patterns of interrelationships and the traits that constitute the Filipino personality. He adds that the aims, goals, and aspiration of Filipinos converge around the following value themes: (1) social importance (2) economic security, and (3) social mobility. Hunt (1987) added that the potentials of Philippine values are not sufficiently explored. They are abused and manipulated for self or small group interests.

He continued that because of the increasing awareness of the Filipino identity and the clamor for social change, there is a need to identify and reaffirm those values derived from national tradition to help bring about a better Philippine society. Related Studies on Values Meanwhile, according to Sultan (2002) in her study, “The Filipino Values in Gregorio Brillantes’ Five Selected Stories,” values are the goals of man’s shining, that values render meaning to one’s existence and complete fulfillment to a man’s personality as an individual and as a member of the community.

Ditucalan’s “A Study of Maranao Customs and Traditions as Reflected in the Folk Epic Radia Indarapatra” (2000) ventured into an analysis of Maranao values such as strong family ties, maratabat, strong sense of morality of Maranao women, service, love of place, filial piety and purity. He confirmed how traditional folk epic could intensify the Filipino’s sense of nationalism and how can this folk material be used in the teaching of values in the classroom for the benefit of children and youth.

In his study, he concluded that the structure and social organization of the contemporary Maranao society is based on the social system established by the culture heroes in the folk narrative Radi a Indarapatra. Another related study is that of Munang’s “Attitudes and Values as Reflected in the Maranao Courtship Proverbs and Folktales” (2003). Her undergraduate thesis focused primarily on the attitudes and values found in the Maranao courtship proverbs and folktales.

From the study, she found out the practice and the importance of maratabat ; the concern for family prestige of Kapanokatokawa or searching; collective responsibility and family or kinship ties, hospitality and friendliness, the importance of personal abilities such as straightforwardness, sincerity, modesty and humility, flexibility, value of a stable family, the acceptance of proposal and acceptance of proposal and acceptance of obligation; display of revenge and/ or act of rido, enmity, rivalry and competition, spiritual faith, the importance of marriage, reward and punishment, brotherhood, and alliance.

The researcher ended her study with the conclusion that the Maranao courtship proverbs and folktales contribute much in the understanding of Maranao society and cultural traits and they help in the preservation of Maranao cultural heritage. Lastly, Ladjabangsa and Velez’s “Tausug Values as Reflected in Selected Tausug Proverbs” (2003) focused on the Tausug values found in Tausug proverbs.

The Tausug values manifested in the proverbs are: hard work/industry, belief/ faith in God, friendship, kinship, honor/dignity, humility, and prudence. The study also used a survey to validate if these values are still observed by the Tausug at the present. The result showed that the respondents still practiced these values. This also clarified the common misconceptions about the Tausug people. Source: http://www. docstoc. com/docs/DownloadDoc. aspx? doc_id=51354797

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