Twentieth century Bikol women writing: A history and anthology

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature Major in English

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Estrellita V. Gruenberg

Defense Panel Chair

Teresita Erestain

Defense Panel Member

Cirilo Bautista
Isagani Cruz
Socorro Villamejor
Bernadette Oloroso


This dissertation is a literary history with an accompanying anthology of literature of Bikol women. Four generations of Bikol women writers have been identified and their writings have been read and analyzed.The four generations of Bikol women writers in the twentieth century are those born around the turn of the century those born in the first three decades of the 1900s those born in the 1940s and 1950s and the emerging new writers born in the 1960s and 1970s. The writers of the first and second generations are predominantly fictionists who wrote in Spanish and in Bikol for regional and national publications. The third emerging generation, nine of whom may be considered new balyanas, write more poetry and drama than fiction in English, Filipino and Bikol. These women write on varied themes, from love and domestic issues to causes such as nationalism, regionalism, environmentalism and feminism.Even if they are not physically present in the region or write in a non-Bikol language, these Bikol women writers are rooted in the land. They document regional specificities through themes, values, imagery, and local color. On the woman question, the image of woman has moved from that of the weeping woman to that of the strong woman. All four generations of Bikol women tend to use nature images, whether they write fiction or poetry. Poetry tends to be lyrical in quality.

Colonialism, imperialism, internal urban elite-centric power relationships, and patriarchy have prevented the Bikol-based women writers from pursuing their craft. Advocacies such as nationalism and feminism have encouraged Bikol women to write.The Bikol woman writer can only be described rather than defined. No unique aesthetics of Bikol women writing has been developed from this study.Research is required to retrieve more primary materials and biographical information on the early writers. The use of contemporary theories to study aspects of Bikol writing, the outlining of a theory of regional women's writing, and the listing of canonical works by Bikol women are also recommended.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

320 numb. leaves


Women authors, Filipino; Literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.; Women and literature; Bikol literature; Philippine literature

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