The intent of this paper is to present an argument for the position that the decadence of anlong (poetry) in Pangasinan was due to the fact that the vernacular writers were more attuned to prose writing since Pangasinan was elevated into the rank of liturgical and literary language in the nineteenth century by the Dominican missionaries. The vernacular was first consciously used for political, social and cultural values after the Spanish Era in the writings of the zarzuelistas (1900s- 1930s) up to the time of the novelists (1930s-1960s).
The first half of the twentieth century is said to have been the Golden Age of Pangasinan Literature, but indubitably without succeeding in establishing Pangasinan as a popular literature. The emergence of umaanlong (poet) in the said period produced excellent poems written in the vernacular but only few were published. There was not even an anthology of poetry published in that period. Anlong was not the principal expression of our writers in that era.
The Pangasinan anlong or poetry was once predominantly oral: tumatagaumen and umaanlong performed poems. Often, it was accompanied by kutibeng (ancient guitar) and/or tulali (a kind of string instrument similar to kudyapi or lyre.) One good example of Pangasinan oral poetry was the Petek, a kind of poetic joust similar to the Tulang Patnigan of the Tagalogs. When the written form of poetry became dominant, oral poetry became unpopular.