There have been some very well-respected Filipino authors in the history of the Philippines, particularly authors such as Jose Rizal, whose writing during the Spanish colonial era helped to mobilize and reform the thinking of the Filipino people against the Spanish in their conquest of the country and give pride to the Filipino people. It was the controversial writings of Rizal that became a factor in his execution by the Spanish. The Philippines, having been under Spanish rule for nearly three centuries, changed hands to American rule following the Spanish-American War and a lot of the literature that followed gave a pro-Hispanic theme as the country began to adapt to life under American rule, at that time preferring life under Spanish rule.
The study of literature during this period (the 20th and 21st Century writings) gives fascinating insight to the change that was going on in the Philippines and how the Filipino people were dealing with this. In this way the study of Philippine literature is actually also a study of part of the history of both Spain and America and demonstrates how the Filipino people related to these countries.
The writings also point to the identity of the Filipino people during this era and their struggle to have an independent identity under the yoke of foreign rulers.