Ninay is considered the first Philippine and Tagalog novel. Written by Pedro Paterno and published in 1908, it portrayed the richness of the Philippine environment and culture through intertwined narratives and descriptions of the countries sights and rituals. It served to disprove the Spanish assertion that the Philippines did not have a distinct culture.
The novel uses the local tradition of pasiyam or nine-day novena as a frame to two narratives of unrequited and ill-fated love. The pasiyam is being held for Ninay.
The first narrative is that of Ninay and her lover Carlos Mabagsic who is wrongly accused of leading an insurrection by a Portuguese businessman, Federico Silveyro. Carlos leaves for a colorful journey abroad, but when he comes back, Ninay has entered the convent. He acquires and dies of cholera and soon after, Ninay is struck and killed by the same disease.
The second narrative is that of Loleng and Berto. Don Juan Silveyro's evil schemes prevent the lovers from being together. Loleng dies and Berto turns into an outlaw to take revenge on Don Juan. Berto also unwittingly avenges Ninay and Carlos by ending Federico's wickedness as well.
The novel has ten chapters: an introduction followed by one chapter for every night of the pasiyam.
- Paterno, Pedro . Ninay. Manila: Limbagan ng La Republika Kiotan Bilang 30, 1908.