The Philippines can be seen as an abboration in relation to other Asian countries. Early on in its history it was subject to colonial rule by the Spanish. The Spanish introduced Spanish culture and Roman Catholicism to the Philippines. The period of long colonial rule also produced a culture that was neither directly Spanish nor directly Filipino. Filipino society and culture today can be best described as a synthesis of the two cultures that has been tempered over time. However for some Filipinos this is not enough. Some long for a more solid notion of identity. They ask, “What is Filipino?” Two novels from the Philippines, When The Rainbow Goddess Wept, by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, and Dusk by F. Sionil Jose, suggest that Filipino identity can be seen in the struggles and oral traditions of their past.
The Philippines were originally Asian in culture and race, but lost this identity through the Spanish, and American colonial experience. But we see that through the colonial experience a new Filipino Identity developed. In the novel, Recuerdo, by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, one learns that prior to colonialism the Philippines traded and had contact with China. At this time the Philippines had what one could consi
He is a metaphor for the Philippines and the revolution at large. This new identity became what Filipinos accepted as Filipino culture for they new nothing else. He struggles through all the adversity searching for faith and meaning. It is a sense of purpose of identity. The family then must flee and move away. The people experienced injustice a result of the fact that they were not considered Spanish spurred within the masses a sense of commonality, or purpose, of identity. From the novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, one learns of rich oral traditions of the Philippines. Dusk is a story of struggle, injustice, hope, fear, and courage. The Spanish government had taken parishes away from the local clergy and given it to the friars. As illustrated in Dusk and When The Rainbow Goddess Wept, adversity brings out the worst and the best in people. The Spanish Philippine War is the backdrop for Dusk. The people of the Philippines may have forgotten their past, their heritage, and culture through the colonial experience but the struggles that they have gone through, their trials, and tribulations have given them a sense of identity. This is what Yvone"tms father, and Doc comes to term with and embrace. The clergy who filed the complaint were branded as insurrectionists and were tried and executed. The struggle against despair and injustice shows how brave Istak is.