What better way, I thought, to make Creative Writing students locate themselves in Philippine literature than to choose a side in the Villa-Lopez controversy.
The exercise was basically to make the students recall what they had read and discussed in CL 150 (The Literature of the Philippines in English I) last semester. By asking students to take a side in the Villa-Lopez debate, perhaps the students would also recall the developments in Philippine writing from the pre-Spanish to the Spanish eras and up to the 1940s.
So before the class would engage itself this semester in discussions on Philippine literature in English from the 1940s to the present, I thought it would be enlightening to see how students saw themselves in either the tradition of Villa's aesthetic formulation or in the tradition of Lopez and other socially-committed writers.
And what a discussion it turned out to be, with more questions being asked than answered. Implicated in the exchange were such issues as:
And so many other questions we hope to answer in a semester of CL 151 (The Literature of the Philippines in English II).
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