Have you ever wondered why the homes of Filipino families in the United States display religious statues or celebrate Christmas and Lent in a different way from other Christians? Have you read Filipino poems, stories, songs, and festivals that focus on or mention Babaylan spritual leaders, the Virgin Mary, the Black Nazarene, the infant Jesus or the Muslim faith?

This class looks into literature and art as influenced by precolonial belief systems, the Catholic religion, Protestantism, and Islam. Among the topics that will be discussed are gods and goddesses in creation myths; Lenten rituals, theater and the trope of savagery; tattoo practices and spirituality; the cult of the Virgin Mary and the short story; modernism in the short stories of Ibrahim Jubaira; amulets, power and peasant uprisings as depicted in fiction; and the mystical mountains of Banahaw and Makiling in myth making.