Genealogy of the National-Popular Project in the Philippines (1900-1940) by E.San Juan,Jr.


by E. San Juan, Jr.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

We did what we ourselves had decided upon—as free people, and power resides in the people. What we did was our heritage…We decided to rebel, to rise up and strike down the sources of power. I said, “We are Sakdals…No uprising fails. Each one is a step in the right direction.

—Salud Algabre, a leader of the Sakdalista Uprising, 1935

Writers are, by the nature of their chosen task, the spearhead of progress. They voice the grievances as well as the aspirations of a nation; they document its achievements; they treasure for posterity the worthwhile efforts of man. They are the critics of things as they are; they are the dreamers of things as they should be; they cannot escape a large part of the responsibility for the shape of things to come.

—Resolution of the First Filipino Writers Conference, 25 February 1940; Philippine Writers League

Of all theoretical concepts dominating global exchanges today, nationalism has proved the most contentious and intractable. The British scholar John Dunn, has probably seized the twin horns of the dilemma underlying the phenomenon. He diagnosed contemporary nationalism as “a moral scandal because the official ethical culture of almost the entire world is a universalist ethical culture.” Despite this, he locates its efficacy in its paradoxical situation: “If democracy is the resolved mystery of all constitutions, nationalism is perhaps the resolved mystery of all boundaries in a world which is densely practically related across boundaries—a world of international exchange and drastically unequal power and enjoyment” (1979, 62). In effect, the local enables the global, the particular the universal. Precisely this linkage would be inconceivable without the persistence of nations, or nation-states. Internationalism was sanctified in Woodrow Wilson’s proposal to affirm the right of self-determination for all nations, at least those already extant. Unfortunately, it did not extend to peoples under colonial rule (such as the Philippines, India, IndoChina) or about to be re-colonized (such as Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico).

Dunn’s Eurocentric view seems unconscionable in light of the emergence of socialist nation-states such as China, Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam. We understand that Dunn was addressing the excesses of Nazi racial nationalism, while ignoring the British Empire’s claim to moral superiority and Europe’s ascendancy over people of color in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We need to be reminded that Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, “The White Man’s Burden,” was a triumphalist apology for US troops marching into the islands and civilizing those uncouth, “sullen” Filipinos. Since the Filipino-American War of 1899-1913, the yet “uncivilized” masses of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands, to cite just one instance, have begun to build their nation on the ruins of the Portuguese empire in 1974, a year before the victory of the Vietnamese over the US empire and its surrogates (Davis 1978). Is the universal principle of self-determination vindicated by those specific examples?

President Wilson’s “14 Points” proposal came with the breaking-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. It offered breathing space for tribal groups in Africa, as well as a motive or rationale to discover a self, a political medium which can undergo a “recognizable process of self-determination.” Such aspiration is supposed to be a political reaction to the Napoleonic conquest of Europe, but surely it preceded Napoleon. Nations such as France or England had long realized such aspiration “grounded in some existing sentiment of national or racial identity associated with common territory, language or religion—to form its own sovereign state and to govern itself” (Scruton 1982, 421).

Following that model, the break-up of the Spanish Empire in the 19th century led to the formation of Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, and Mexico in the South American wars of independence. Led by creoles disillusioned with theocratic colonialism, the various ethnic communities revolted not so much in the name of national self-determination but with the ideals of the Frencn revolution—“liberty, equality, fraternity”—in mind. General ideas of autonomy and group integrity coalesced with unique language and customs to produce the nation/nationality and the multifaceted philosophies of nationalism.

Transitional Passages

Clearly, as Lenin once put it, we need to distinguish the “nationalism” of the oppressed peoples against the jingoist/chauvinist “nationalism” of the oppressor nation (Lenin 1968; San Juan 2002). This is due to the geopolitical law of unequal and uneven development between metropolitan powers and subordinate, peripheral formations (for a succinct formulation, see Harvey 1977). We need to historicize any specific phenomenon or event to integrate form and content in an intelligible synthesis. In this context, it might be heuristic to pose the following inquiry. Was the Spanish colony in 1899, about to be annexed by the United States, just “an imagined community,” as Benedict Anderson (1983) would label it? Was it an artifice simply generated by print capitalism and commercial exchange which triggered consent from the letrado minority? Or was it, in Eric Hobsbawm’s (1994) phrase, an “invented tradition”? Or was the Filipino “nation” a process of active genesis with plural components, not ethnic purity, as the active catalyzer for the national-popular patria?

Given the unprecedented election of an outsider, President Rodrigo Duterte, and the explosive dispute over the islands in the South China sea, I would contend that the Filipino “nation” remains today an ongoing project of reconstruction. We are witnessing the ethnIcally diverse multitude of its inhabitants as the “constituent power” (Negri 1999). Challenged by Moro, Lumad, and communist insurgencies, the Filipino polity defined by oligarchic rule in a dependent, tributary formation is moribund, stricken with contradictions. Its vicissitudes may validate Marx’s late discovery that diffferent societies pursue multilinear, even idiosyncratic paths of modernization (Anderson 2010). Whether the people reconstitute the nation anew, or the neocolony suffers decay and dissolution with the U.S. empire, is open for speculation.

Arguably we find elements of all these trends in analyzing nation-formation as a heterogeneous process. Print culture certainly displaced orature and ritualized speech-acts when the galleon trade ended in 1815 and the country was opened to international trade. But it was not books or printed manifestoes that marked the advent of integral if syncretic consciousness; it was a rebellion, more deep and widespread than hundreds of previous insurrections in the last two centuries. The consensus is that the Cavite Mutiny of 1872, the sacrifice of three priests involved in the secularization movement, ushered a widespread consciousness of shared identity (Ileto 1998; Corpuz 2002, 1-26). Rizal, Mabini, and others confirmed this view. Renato Constantino reviews this conjuncture: “Where the concept of Filipino used to have a racial and later a cultural limitation, the repression that followed the Cavite mutiny made the three racial groups—creoles, mestizos and natives—join hands and become conscious of their growing development as a Filipino nation” (Constantino 1975, 143). Thus, it was the experience of a “common historical fate,” a shared destiny (Bauer, quoted in Lowy 1998, 46; see also Davis 1978) and the constellation of responses that midwived Filipino nationalism; it was not print technology and its bourgeois mediators that spelled the difference. In brief, any cogent conceptualization of Filipino nationalism needs empirical substantiation in the long durable tradition of anticolonial revolts and insurrections mounted by the masses of peoples living in the subjugated territories of the Philippine archipelago.

The 1896 revolution against Spain was initially a product of Filipino creolized ilustrados, foremost of whom were Jose Rizal, Graciano Lopez Jaena, and Marcelo del Pilar. In Barcelona and Madrid, the propagandists collaborated on the newspaper La Solidaridad as a vehicle for reformist agitation. Using Spanish to communicate to their colonizers, their declared aspirations were universalistic, not particularistic, namely: “to combat reaction, to stop all retrogressive steps, to extol and adopt liberal ideas, to defend progress; in a word, to be a propagandist, above all, of democratic ideas in order to make these supreme in all nations here and across the seas” (Agoncillo and Guerrero 1970, 143). There was no mention of a common language, distinct territory, cohesive economic unit—the prime characteristics of a nation, not of a tribal assemblage.

The Spanish colony then was a network of feudal-managed haciendas and scattered ethnolinguistic communities dominated by the Church. The secularist reformers espoused democratic, libertarian principles. If we follow the classic Marxist formula, they should have demanded the creation of a national market for a homogeneous population. Even when Rizal initiated La Liga Filipina to reprise the agitational-propandistic function of La Solidaridad, the focus transcended mere cultural or ethnic qualities of “peoples without a history” (to use Engel’s phrase) destined to extinction or incorporation by a larger superior group. The Liga aimed to “unite the whole archipelago into one compact, vigorous and homogeneous body,” provide “mutual protection” and “defense against all violence and injustice” (Agoncillo and Guerrero 1970, 156). In effect, Rizal expressed a revolutionary aim by envisaging the creation of a separate, independent social order, and overthrowing the colonial polity. Neither Church nor Spanish civil authority formed the nation; it was engendered by the revolutionary process (for an early articulation, see Leandro Fernandez’s exploratory “The Formation of Filipino Nationality” [1921]).

Andres Bonifacio was one of the original members of the Liga. With the Liga proscribed, Bonifacio and his former associates in the Liga organized the Katipunan. Using Tagalog—the native tongue of the central provinces of Luzon—they articulated the political goal of separation from Spain, the moral objective of rational autonomy, and the civic ideal of defending the poor and oppressed. Following the credo of mutual aid and reciprocity, the Katipunan vowed to pay the funeral expenses of its members to undercut the exorbitant fees of the Church. It demonstrated the dialectic of universal ideals and concrete local action in the process of fashioning a new nation.

One Divides Into Two

Given the anticolonial thrust of the 1896 revolution led by the Katipunan, Filipino nationalism from its beginning was forged from a plebeian-popular matrix. It was national in ascribing to the subjugated Indios, the indigenes, a cluster of singular qualities: fraternal sharing of goods, commitment to promises, faith in the enslaved subalterns’ wisdom and power to create a prosperous, free future. This is the message of Bonifacio’s manifesto, “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog”: “Panahun na ngayong dapat na lumitaw ang liwanag ng katotohanan, panahon na dapat nating ipakilala na tayo’y may sariling pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya at pagdadamayan….Kaya o mga kababayan! ating idilat ang bulag na kaisipan at kusang igugol sa kagalingan ang ating lakas sa tunay at lubos na pag-asa na mag tagumpay sa nilalayong kaguinhawahan ng bayang tinubuan” (Agoncillo 1963, 69). Productive work defines honor, self-respect, sensibility. Truth inheres in communal sharing. From this perspective, one can infer that the nation being formed will be rooted in the dynamic relations of oppressed, toiling subjects who have become conscious of their collective plight and, in forging solidarity through actions, begun to to fashion a liberated future.

Despite the defeat of the Ilustrado-compromised Malolos Republic, and the capture of the Katipunan-inspired General Sakay, the vital core of Filipino nationalism preserved its national-popular essence up to the outbreak of World War II. This implies an organic connection between intellectuals, the pedagogical agents of knowledge, and the affective-feeling sensibility of the masses that can be mobilized for structural change. The peasant majority and its offshoot, the middle stratum of artisans, rich peasants, and pettybourgois traders (contra-distinguished from a distinct proletariat) supplied the organic intellectuals of the nascent body politic.

The revolution of 1896 survived in underground and legal struggles. Bonifacio and the inheritors of the Enlightenment tradition—Isabelo de los Reyes, Tagalog writers Faustino Aguilar, Pedro Gatmaitan, Jose Corazon de Jesus, and Benigno Ramos, as well as the partisans of the Philippine Writers League (more on this later)—continued to define the parameters of national becoming. The anti-imperialist intelligentsia endeavored to synthesize universal knowledge and local sentiments into a “structure of feeling” (Williams 1961) capable of mobilizing the masses. The Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci conceived of the reciprocal interaction between understanding (intellectual) and feeling (the grassroots constituency) as the foundation of the emergent nation. Writers using the vernacular proved to be the most effective builders of this shared, communicated “structure of feeling,” as demonstrated by the popularity of the seditious, quasi-allegorical sarsuwelas of Aurelio Tolentino, Juan Abad, and Juan Matapang Cruz that incited audiences and led to the arrest and imprisonment of the dramatists (Lumbera and Lumbera 1982, 103-106).

The failure of the 1896 revolution sharpened the social division of labor, with the US occupation destroying the productive linkages of family, village and other institutional affiliations. The imposition of English competency as a prerequisite to careers in government and business divided the populace; disciplinary regimes installed in schools, hospitals, civil service, trained Filipinos to think individualistically in a competitive environment. Peasants released from debt peonage became “free” wage laborers thrown into an anomic urban space where the market fragmented their psyches. The crisis of the old communal mores and primordial affinities widened the division between city and countryside. Defeated and repressed, Filipino nationalists tried to resolve their historical predicament by “feeling the elementary passions of the people, understanding them and therefore explaining and justifying them in the particular historical situation and connecting them dialectically to the laws of history and to a superior conception of the world, scientifically and coherently elaborated—i.e. knowledge” (Gramsci 1971, 418). Pedro Gatmaitan’s poem “Pinaglahuan” illustrates this pedagogical-ethical diagnosis of the fragmentation of the collective psyche (Lumbera and Lumbera 1982, 204-205). As shown in the practice of writers such as Lope K. Santos, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Benigno Ramos and others, the revolutionary intelligentsia’s project of historicizing emotional patterns was translated into the task of constructing the hegemonic (moral-intellectual) leadership of the working class, in alliance with the peasantry, as the foundation of the emerging Filipino national identity (Saulo 1990; San Juan 2015).

Folk and Proletarian Synergesis

The intellectual practice of Isabelo de los Reyes exemplifies an early attempt to bridge thought and feeling in quest of a hypothetical nation. This effort has been amply described by William Henry Scott’s account of the vicissitudes of the first Filipino labor union, the Union Obrera Democratica (1992). Only a sketch of Reyes’ complex career can be given here to indicate one example of a nation-building project (see Mojares 2006; Scott 1982; Anderson 2005).

Linguistic versatility characterized Reyes’ ethnographic discourse. In 1889 Reyes launched the first vernacular newspaper in the Philippines, El Ilocano. Pursuing the historiographic recovery embodied in Rizal’s annotations on Morga’s Sucesos and his recuperation of native poetics, Reyes’ researches—among them, El Folklore Filipino (1889) and Historia de Ilocos (1890)—strove to articulate an identity rooted in specific localities across temporal divides. But it was his prison memoirs in Spanish, La Sensacional Memoria sobre la Revolucion Filipina (1899), and his attack on American imperialism, Independencia y Revolution (1900), that reinscribed the radical-populist tradition in the annals of labor organizing. In February 1902, Reyes founded the first labor union under American occupation, Union Obrera Democratica. He also edited the first labor-union newspaper, La Redencion del Obrero. Engaged in the debate on class and national concerns, Reyes also operated in the ethico-ideological domain of inciting mass actions. He collaborated with Father Gregorio Aglipay in launching the nationalist-oriented Philippine Independent Church with trade-union members as core followers. Reyes distinguished himself at this time by spearheading a general strike of factory workers and farm tenants against American business firms and friar-owned haciendas for which then governor William Taft had to call the U.S. cavalry to disperse the crowd (Zaide 1970, 461).

Class struggle nourished the national-popular organism in insurrectionary praxis, a fusion of economic, educational and political activities in civic society. By deploying flexible modes of appeal, Reyes actualized a program of radical collectivism that coalesced national, class, and religious sentiments. His links with rural and urban agitation provided what Gramsci calls the theoretical “catharsis” of the economic to the political, the strategic and tactical requirements, of the campaign against colonialism (Gramsci 1971, 366-67; San Juan 2009). He fused dialectically the particular nativist elements of culture with universal notions of proletarian emancipation derived from the socialist movements of Europe. It was Reyes’ activism that re-located the emergent nation in the arena of the class war against the landlord-comprador bloc and its American sponsors. In vindicating the ideals of the Katipunan (in his book Religion of the Katipunan), Reyes suggested that their ultimate goal was really a “communist republic” (Werning 2011, 88).

Reyes was a political realist, not a doctrinaire syndicalist wedded to devoting his energies solely to trade-union work. Consequently, he participated in electoral-parliamentary struggles in the first two decades of American rule. While his belief in the value of popular knowledge and other indigenous practices cannot be over-emphasized, or made polysemous to erase the gap between the universal and particular, it would be disingenuous to overlook his debt to the virtues of conceptual elaboration inspired by Proudhon, Bakunin, Marx, and others. Such a “problematic indigenism” (Mojares 2006, 363) needs to be dialectically configured with his collaboration with intellectuals such as Hermenegildo Cruz who aided Reyes in founding the first labor federation and who played a crucial role in connecting the intelligentsia with grassroots insurgency (Richardson 2011).

Vernacular Speech-Acts

It was in this milieu that the first consistent articulation of class hopes and nationalist sentiments found symbolic prefiguration in Lope K. Santos’ Banaag at Sikat (1906). Rendered through allegorical manipulation of typical characters, the novel focused on the antagonism between capital and labor, with the ideal of national autonomy sublimated in the menace of repressive police action and compatriot’s treacheries. Unlike Reyes or the ilustrado elite such as Maximo Kalaw, Rafael Palma, or Claro Recto, Santos was a plebeian soldier in the revolutionary army. He admired Zola, Gorki, Eliseo Reclus, and other radical thinkers. Together with Cruz, Santos edited the paper of the printworkers’ union which carried on its masthead the Marxist slogan, “The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself” (Richardson 2011, 21). Santos did not succumb to sectarian “workerism” (unlike the US-tutored communists who marginalized peasants and privileged factory workers) since his idea of socialism emphasized chiefly moral and legal egalitarianism. He favored a broad united front of all democratic sectors. The hero of his novel Delfin, for example, found the U.S. Constitution filled with “socialist aspirations” informing government policies (Santos 1959, 236). This might explain why Santos’ book was not prohibited (on this issue, see Torres Reyes 2010; on his refusal to commodify his novel, see his autobiography Santos 1972, 70-71.). Was Santos trying to include the ilustrado elite in a hegemonic project of building consensus, even confounding liberal utilitarian reforms with Proudhonian socialism?

In the interregnum before English became widespread and Spanish as the language of public exchange declined, the Tagalog novel blossomed in the midst of intense mobilization of urban workers. This affected also the pettybourgeois sector of white-collar workers whose affairs were intimately bound with friends and relatives in city and countryside. This is reflected in the uniquely psychologized dramatization of individual, family, and racial conflicts in Faustino Aguilar’s Pinaglahuan (1907). This work germinated a few years after the Balangiga massacre of September 1901, which subsequently legitimized Gen. Franklin Bell’s scorched-earth punishment of the natives of Batangas and adjacent regions; the grand total of 1.4 million Filipino lives were sacrificed for “Manifest Destiny” and President McKinley’s policy of “Benevolent Assimilation” (Miller 1982).

The theme of national determination (tied to “the woman question”) is evoked right at the outset of the plot in Pinaglahuan. It informs the plight of the lovers and the imprisonment of the worker-intellectual Luis Gatbuhay by the collusion of the American factory-owner Mr. Kilsberg and the cunning merchant Rojalde, the epitome of entrepreneurial opportunism (Reyes 1982, 45). Rojalde traps the heroine’s father in a scheme that leads to Rojalde’s possession of her body, already pregnant by Luis—an emblem of the commodified object of desire, the motherland, caged by the comprador usurper. Focusing on the hero’s agony in prison, Aguilar’s novel registers obliquely a delayed mourning over Sakay’s execution. The beloved Danding fades away as reverberations of the massive May Day 1903 march still resound in the cries of protest from the victims of the market system and the U.S.-patronized feudal patriarchy.

Traditionally, the novel form in the West often dramatized the individualist quest for a lost cosmic purpose and meaning in life. This quest is refracted by Santos and Aguilar in a social-realist direction, via a mimesis of the dialectical interaction of the collective whole and its parts. In both Santos and Aguilar’s style, we encounter a realism diverging from the raw slice-of-life, sensational naturalism of Zola and Norris. Their models were Rizal, Tolstoy, Hugo, and Balzac. Tagalog realism, often didactic or homiletic, sought to “lay bare society’s causal network” (Brecht 1975, 424) in delineating the contours of the country’s development, pointing out where the broadest solutions to the most serious problems afflicting the majority may be found. It is an elaborate refinement of the melodramatic figural realism found in Rizal’s inflammatory Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

The year 1907 when Pinaglahuan was published also marked the dissolution of the Union del Trabajo de Filipinas headed by Lope K. Santos. While engaged in union militancy, he edited the daily newspaper, Muling Pagsilang, which serialized his didactic narrative. Three thousand copies of the novel were sold within the first few weeks—a sign of popular acclaim for a dangerously provocative polemic for American censors (Saulo 1990, 7). These two novels by Santos and Aguilar deployed the conventional romantic plot of frustrated love as a symptomatic testimony of how the 1896 revolution (the motherland figures as adored paramour-cum-mother) was lost due to betrayal, inherited inadequacies, or fatal convergence of forces beyond the lovers’ control. The theme evokes the allegory of Balagtas’ Florante at Laura as well as the misfortune of Crisostomo Ibarra and Maria Clara in Noli Me Tangere.

Traversing Metropolitan Boundaries

We need to contextualize these authors in the local-global-regional transcultural flux at the turn of the 19th century. Within three decades, the local operatic sarsuwela would be displaced by vaudeville and American cinema, the kundiman by jazz and radio advertisements. City and countryside absorbed massive importations from around the world. Reyes, Aguilar and Santos were all influenced by international developments at this period, from the Boer Wars (1902), the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and the outbreak of the first Russian revolution (1905-06). In March 1906, the most horrendous massacre of Moros occurred in the battle of Bud Bagsak, Jolo, where 600 men, women and children were slaughtered by troops commanded by Gen. Leonard Wood (Tan 2002, 176}. Such non-Christian victims were not yet fully accounted for in the maturing conscience of nationalists who, today, assume the role of colonizers for the reactionary optic of historians Stanley Karnow and Glenn May.

Was nationalism of the Rousseau/Fichte/Mazzini vintage being cultivated in islas Filipinas? The German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg recalled the advent of US imperialism: “On the Asiatic coast, washed by the waves of the ocean, lie the smiling Philippines. Six years ago we saw the benevolent Yankees, we saw the Washington Senate at work there. Not fire-spewing mountains—there, American rifles mowed down human lives in heaps” (Dunayevskaya 1981, 48), It seems the Hegelian “ruse of Reason” cunningly moves sideways, displaying the “labor of the negative” (Marcuse 1960, 27), the labor of the exploited workers and peasants of the earth.

We already remarked that workers in Manila in the first two decades of American rule were clamoring for Philippine independence, perhaps not having yet heard that the “working men have no nation,” as the Communist Manifesto proclaimed (Kiernan 1983, 344). But the natives were not all industrial workers then; the proletariat was a minority. Nonetheless they all inhabited a place and time that determined their identities whose physiognomy was actualized in the manifold contradictions of sociopolitical forces that shaped the rhythm and texture of their everyday lives. As always, time-space coordinates need to be mapped and understood. The fulfillment of the human-species’ potential can only be realized in a historically specific locus, in a concretely determinate time-space axis where freedom and necessity, naturalism and humanism, converge—a partnership “between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born” (Smith 1979, 125).

Demarcations and Thresholds

From a synoptic angle, the struggle for national emancipation is a larger version of the old bondsman’s struggle for recognition by the aristocratic lord, as Hegel described it. The ilustrado class (epitomized by T. Pardo de Tavera and Pedro Paterno) sought modernization via assimilation to the U.S. nation; they spoke English and advocated assimilation—a parody of the creole assimilationists. But given the power of feudal tributary institutions and practices that the US colonial regime utilized to control the dissident population, the democratic ideals purportedly legitimizing it proved ironically discordant. The oligarchic literati swallowed the two-party system managed by a centralized American bureaucracy, implementing compadre ethics (kinship and regional affiliations) and client-patronage expediency. For politicians such as Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmena, Manuel Roxas and others, Teresita del Rosario-Hanrath notes, “the question of independence became a question of timing rather than a moral stance against the encroachment of an imperialist power,” so that their avowed nationalism became “passive and conciliatory” (1988, 46). This is insightfully demonstrated by the trajectory of Claro Recto’s career in Renato Constantino’s biography The Making of a Filipino (particularly Chapters 2-7 [1969]).

But contrary to Anderson’s linear genealogy of Filipino “cacique democracy” 1995), it was not all sweetness and light for the masters. The intra-elite conflicts in the first two decades of American domination germinated a space for a limited public sphere in which the intellectuals close to the productive majority can articulate their collective passions by positing an antagonistic image of the Filipino identity. The utopian promise of independence was translated into a pretext for crisis that manifested in public discourse. Questions were posed: why and how can Quezon and the predatory flunkeys speak for the oppressed. impoverished nation when they represented narrow landlord-comprador interests? Which class—as Horace Davis (1978) rehearsed the classic historical-materialist query— can truly represent the productive populace as “the Filipino nation”? It is not simply a question of an essentialist form, regulatory compulsion, contingency or governmentality as such. Rather, it is a deadly antagonistic process involving control of the means of production, of the productive and reproductive forces that enable the actualization of equality, social justice, and species-life possibilities beyond welfare liberalism, humanitarian violence, and hedonistic individualism.

US expansive monopoly-capitalism may be said to have subverted a singular Filipino modernity by instrumentalizing the feudal oligarchic system. It opened up the invention of a modernity unique to this formation. We can diagram the narrative of this conflict between the national-popular protagonist versus the elitist politicians of the English-speaking landlord-comprador bloc by concentrating on a few revealing instances when Filipino artists confronted the imperative of choosing sides, specifically moments when personalistic aesthetics clashed with ethico-political demands, precipitating a crisis of the whole body politic.

The crisis began even before Aguinaldo surrendered to General Funston. When the capitulationist ilustrado clique defected to the U.S. hegemon, a significant group of intransigent intellectuals, represented by Apolinario Mabini (1969), remained faithful to the principles of the Katipunan. They articulated in vernacular the cause of the peasant-worker alliance kept alive up to Sakay’s capture in 1907. The Moros continued their resistance up to 1913. As noted earlier, playwrights such as Tolentino, Abad and others resorted to allegorical modes using Tagalog for wider appeal, defying the Sedition Law of 1901 prohibiting “scurrilous libels against the Government of the United States.” Though persecuted and ostracized, they conducted underground agitprop maneuvers. Periodicals like the Spanish El Renacimiento and the Tagalog Muling Pagsilang opposed colonial impositions such as the use of English as an “ideological state apparatus” (Althusser 1971). In 1908, El Renacimiento published a scathing attack on Dean Worcester, then Secretary of the Interior, for using his office to enrich himself (see the famous editorial, “Aves de Rapina” (see English translation in Reyes [1983]). Charged for libel, Teodoro Kalaw, editor, and Martin Ocampo, the publisher, were sentenced to a jail term and fined (Agoncillo and Guerrero 1970, 298-300; Kramer 2006, 342-44).

In a 1927 editorial in Spanish, Kalaw himself denounced “Americanization” as a “dead ideology,” coinciding with the demise of its leading exponent Pardo de Tavera. But he laments the successful Americanization of Filipino needs and wants, a more insidious danger than commodity-fetishism (1983, 156). A symptom of this fetishism may be discerned in the inventory of that epoch in Nick Joaquin’s “The Filipino as Sajonista,” where the striving for national liberation is expunged by the carnivalesque stream of happenings more dizzying than the postwar newsreels—weapons of mass distraction during the “peacetime years” before Pearl Harbor (1983, 235).

It was only during the administration of Francis Burton Harrison and his Filipinization of the bureaucracy that the function of articulating the popular content of nationalism passed on to Quezon and the Nacionalista Party. In the fight against Leonard Wood, the famous scourge of the Moros, Quezon seized the opportunity of symbolizing the struggle for independence. Read symptomatically, the intramural “Cabinet Crisis” 0f 1923-27 staged a battle for moral ascendancy. Quezon lost but gained moral high ground when he asserted: “I would rather have a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by Americans” (Agoncillo 1974, 31). But this rhetoric did not alleviate the worsening plight of the peasant majority severely exploited by rapacious landlords This diehard caciquism originated from the inquitous land-tenure system that the American administators preserved, thus keeping the economy underdeveloped and their oligarchic parasites in power (Labor Research Association 1958; Pomeroy 1970). Various quasi-religious, millenarian uprisings occurred throughout the islands, the most serious of which were led by Ruperto Rios (Tayabas), Felipe Salvador (Central Luzon), Dionisio Magbuelas or Papa Isio (Negros), the Pulajanes in Leyte, the Colorums during the 1920s, followed by the Tangulan movement, the Tayug Colorum, “banditry” ascribed to Teodoro Asedillo and Nicolas Encallado (both members of the communist front Congreo Obrero/Kapisanan ng Anak-Pawis); and the Sakdalista rebellion in the thirties (Constantino 1975, 270-74, 364-67; Veneracion 1987).

Bardic Intervention

We need to remember that metropolitan Manila was only a narrow island in a larger archipelago battered by decades of fierce class war. Its public sphere was confined to the pettybourgeois functionaries of the colonial bureaucracy. Aside from the synergistic worker-intellectual collaboration in the first decades of US colonial rule when novelists, dramatists and poets played central roles, the crisis after the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act (1909) and the Jones Act (1916) witnessed the shift of hegemonic struggle to the countryside. The first significant novel dealing with the tenancy problem is Lazaro Francisco’s Ama (1929) at the beginning of the Great Depression. Meanwhile, the ideological struggle to assert the popular dimension of culture as embodied in the vernacular continued with the most celebrated practitioner of the balagtasan ritual, Jose Corazon de Jesus, sacrificing his job as columnist in Taliba. It seemed a deja-vu scenario. On Feb 21, 1930, students at the Manila North High School boycotted their classes to protest Miss Mabel Brummit’s racist behavior. This was a repeat of the desecration of the Filipino flag by another American teacher in March 1921, an occasion that de Jesus seized on to attack imperial arrogance: “Bago ka magturo, /dapat mong makuro, / na bawat bandila ay mahal sa puso / ng bumabandilang sa lupa ko tubo,/ Kung ang isipan ninyo’y baluktot at liko, / dapat kang itapon sa banging malayo./Ikaw’y isang guro / na salat sa turo” (Atienza 1995, 194).

The romantic poet-orator’s charisma revealed its political edge again. Nine years after this incident, de Jesus felt compelled to intervene again. He asserted national pride by defending the students who were expelled: “Kung ang ituturo natin naman dito. / panay na pagyuko sa Wika ng amo, / panay na sumision at lambot ng ulo, / ay gagawa kayo ng lupaing hilo” (quoted in Almario 1984, 35). This form of polemical engagement via “secondary orality” (Ong 1977), witnessed in de Jesus’s intervention, evokes an aura of authority that surrounds the letrado as a populist tribune found in Latin America. The Philippines shares a similar tradition in which the practice of the spoken word “conjures together the presence of the communal and the sacred” (Beverley and Zimmerman 1990, 16), the unlettered voice of the people finding resonance in a village-oriented discourse opposed to the official print culture of the English-speaking urbanites. By the end of the thirties, however, the writers using English (Manuel Arguilla, Arturo Rotor, R. Zulueta da Costa) had become politicized by circumstances following the insurgencies in the countryside, the post-1929 Wall Street crash, and victorious fascism in Spain, Italy and Germany, as well as in militarized Japan. It would be instructive to examine some testimonies of this politicization in relation to the Philippine Writers League and the Sakdalista uprising.

Art for Whom?

Mark Twain’s anti-imperialist satire, “To A Person Sitting in Darkness,” was unknown throughout the first two decades. But the Genteel Age was ending. Filipinos had become aware of works by John Steinbeck, Langston Hughes, Lillian Hellman, Richard Wright, Thomas Mann, among others (Lopez 1976,9)—progressive writers whom Lopez and Mangahas met in the 2nd American Writers Congress in New York City in 1939. The establishment of the Philippine Writers League in 1939, twelve years after the 1927 founding of the Writers Club at the University of the Philippines which fostered the school of “art for art’s sake” led by Jose Garcia Villa, marked the convergence of the nationalist and the popular tendencies in the discursive arena (Ordonez 2010, 404-20).

The ideological schisms in the domain of intellectual labor heightened in the wake of the global and nationwide crisis. Unlike the earlier factional groupings of Aklatang Bayan (1900-21), Ilaw at Panitik (1922-34) and Panitikan (1935-), the League was founded on principles and partisanship, not quasi-tribal affiliation. Sponsored by Quezon’s Commonwealth administration, the League was initiated by Federico Mangahas, Salvador P. Lopez, Teodoro Agoncillo, Arturo Rotor, Jose Lansang, and Manuel Arguilla. It supported writers in both English and Tagalog by awarding prizes to socially conscious artists encouraged to be “the interpreter of the hope and despair, the freedom and predicament, the tradition and destiny of man in his time” (Lopez’s words cited in Ordonez 2010, 29). No mention of predatory US colonialism or capitalist greed is found in the League’s founding documents.

Lopez’s award-winning collection of essays, Llterature and Society (1940). may be considered the manifesto of the League (see the tendentious comment of the Jesuit Herbert Schneider [1967, 582-88]). It adumbrates a praxis of the dialectical synthesis of the national-popular maxim posited by Gramsci for societies in transition. Between the death of the old feudal system and the aborted birth of dependent capitalism, we encounter morbid cultural symptoms of the passage. The founders of the League envisioned writers as “workers in the building up of culture” whose values reject “economic injustice and political oppression”; they are urged to organize for the benefit of the community (Lopez 1976, 117-18). Several members, prominent of whom was Manuel Arguilla, author of the distinguished collection How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife and Other Stories, sacrificed their lives fighting Japanese aggression.

In his book, Lopez cited the case of Kalaw who quickly moved from the Ivory Tower to the civic arena as editor of El Renacimiento. In the confrontation with Governor Wood. Kalaw discovered that “the only true basis of lasting beauty in literature is—power,” by which Lopez means the ”power” to speak the truth on behalf of improving man’s condition and the defense of human freedom everywhere (2004, 297, 303). Contrary to Schneider’s notion that the Filipino writers succeeded in capturing “the Malayan Spirit” (1967, 587) under the twin guidance of Villa’s craft-minded teaching and Lopez’s warning against propaganda, we can argue that the nation projected by writers in English (Arguilla, Lansang, Bulosan, Laya) and in the vernacular (Deogracia Rosario, Brigido Batungbakal) reflected the urgent demands of the peasantry and working class, the constituent powers of the nation attested to by the historic merger of the Socialist Party led by Pedro Abad Santos and the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1930 (a year after which it was outlawed and its officers jailed).

Conscienticizing Fables

In any case, what James Joyce called “the uncreated conscience of the race” found its incarnation in a poignant story of Narciso Reyes, “Tinubuang Lupa,” published on the eve of World War II: mourning a dead relative, the young protagonist listens to his grandfather’s recollection of his father’s courtship days, memory fusing with anxiety and dreams, instilling in him a profound cathexis of love for the ancestral home, a sense of national belonging (Reyes 1954, 148). We could investigate as pedagogical exempla the texts of Deogracias Rosario’s “Greta Garbo” and “Aloha,” both subtle critiques of white-racial supremacy; Hernando Ocampo’s “Rice and Bullets,” Arguilla’s “Epilogue to Revolt,” Juan Laya’s His Native Soil, or Batungbakal’s “Aklasan.” But more instructive for this occasion is this speculative gloss on Arturo Rotor’s memorable story, “Convict’s Twilight” found in his 1937 collection The Wound and the Scar.

One can consider Rotor’s narrative an example of a Filipino “national allegory.” Jameson defines this genre as “the story of the private individual destiny [construed as] an allegory of the embattled situation of the public third world culture and society” (2000,320). Allegory in general employs sensuously delineated scenes and characters to dramatize abstract ideas. What is Rotor’s fiction translating and communicating to its readers?

My first suspicion is the alienation of the colonized intellectual, a bureaucrat serving the Commonwealth regime, witnessing the horror of the prison camp in Davao and rationalizing/legitimizing it as an exotic utopia, replete with the melancholy nostalgic resonance of an exiled soul. Given the multiple strands of meaning woven in this story, for economy, I would simply point out how the narrator deploys a containment strategy to mitigate the pain of imprisonment by (1) isolating the moment of twilight when the inmate forgets he is a convict, “the hour of forgetfulness of the sin and its atonement; an hour to play at being free” (1971, 375); (2) describing how the surroundings erase the boundary between inside and outside prison; and (3) humanizing the punitive institution by portraying one prisoner, Cornelio, and projecting a Madonna-metaphor with Cornelio’s wife and child into the dismal picture. But the narrator’s sympathy fails to reconcile the contradictions between the humanity of the prisoners—their solidarity around the radio during “the English Information Period” undermines the proud, knowing solitude of the narrator—and the dehumanizing intent/effect of the carceral, disciplinary regime. The literary form’s ideology of attempting to resolve lived contradictions fails precisely because of its uncriticized framework. And so the doctor/narrator could not understand the communication between Cornelio and his wife and child: he kept “wondering if after all they were not really talking audibly to one another in a language not only beyond my sense of hearing, but also utterly beyond my pitiful comprehension….But I could not make out anything….”(1971, 381). or

Several lessons on the enigma of communication are offered by the pathos of the ending. Routine noise supervenes. The doctor fails to make contact with Cornelio’s wife, compensating for this failure by staging a conventional technique of closure, and making sure we give credit to the naive, somewhat pious hubris of a fictive intelligence. Nature as healer returns, smoothing frictions and easing tensions, recuperating the sentimental atmosphere of the beginning of the narrative:

But I could not make out anything….The silence recalled the forest, a great
forest at twilight, the afterglow tinting the tallest trees a dull red, the animals slinking to their lairs, the wind being arrested in its flight as it passed through the lattice of leaves. The light failing was consciousness leaving a sick body, restlessness and strife and pain being replaced by a profound peace. I seemed to hear the sound of a distant bell tolling, and that and the silhouette of the woman kneeling naturally brought the thought of angelus: the woman was praying, the silence itself was a prayer, the darkening world’s daily invocation at twilight (1971, 381).

The iconic image is disturbing, not pacifying. Is this an apologia for the colonial State prison system? Does this mean that the English-speaking Filipino official can no longer communicate with the victims of the system? Does this imply that the class divisions have sharpened beyond repair, that a disalienated community seems irrecoverable? Rotor poses these alternatives. He also may be reminding the elite, the professional class, of the limits of their technocratic competence, and the systemic obstacles against moves for solidarity, justice, equality, compassion. Communication needs to be restored between the intelligentsia and the common people. This implication is not far-fetched. Rotor himself exhorted his fellow writers to “understand what is social justice, and why some peasants in Bulacan were caught stealing firewood from a rich landowner’s preserves” (quoted in Ordonez 2010, 29)

Actually, the peasants were not just engaged in poaching. Before the outbreak of World War II, the struggle for hegemony of the national-popular bloc began to engage with the problem of emancipating the “productive forces” in the countryside. The peasantry constituted the largest mass base of the nationalist struggle before and after the inauguration of the Commonwealth, a transitional period before the grant of formal independence in 1946 as provided by the Tydings-McDuffie Act. With the Communist Party suppressed and union activism curtailed, intellectuals were forced to pay attention to public exchanges across property lines. They were urged to reconstruct the strategy of the united front of peasant-workers. The mediation of organic intellectuals became the necessary agency to effect the catharsis of the economic nexus into political praxis. This was carried out in Carlos Bulosan’s stories and essays between 1933 and 1940 (San Juan 2009), in works by Teodoro Agoncillo, Amado Hernandez, Benigno Ramos, among others (Lumbera 1982; 1998).

Radicalization of the intelligentsia deepened after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, the global Depression after the 1929 Wall Street crash, Japanese occupation of Shanghai in 1932, the Nazi victory in 1933, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, and Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Of the many versatile intellectuals who performed that mediating role was the poet-orator, Benigno Ramos (after him, the most illustrious was Amado V. Hernandez whose activism in the fifties and sixties is beyond the scope of this paper; for Ramos’ influence on Hernandez, see Almario 1984). Ramos’ stature today is controversial; like Jose Laurel, Benigno Aquino Sr., and Recto, he was implicated in helping the Laurel puppet regime during the Japanese ocupation. He died before he could be tried in the People’s Court (Steinberg 1967). Still, we can ask here what role he played in shaping the nationalist project. What significance did Ramos’ poetic praxis hold for assaying the possibilities and limits of artistic intervention in radically transforming the colonial status quo at that specific conjuncture?
Storm over Arcadia

The stage was set for the inauguration of the transitional nation called “Philippine Commonwealth” on Nov. 15, 1935. The jockeying politicians (Quezon versus Osmena) took center-stage, not the people. It is now the consensus that the Tydings-McDuffie Act sealed the abject dependency of the country as a source of raw materials and a dumping ground for finished, industrial goods. With the economy and state apparatus (court system, foreign affairs, military, currency) controlled by the corporate interests in Washington, the groundwork was set for stabilizing a neocolony (Pomeroy 1970). The elite managers had been tested within the two-party patronage mechanism. Except for those owned by Americans, the Manila newspapers and its corps of journalists and publicists were all administered by the wealthy Madrigal or Roces families; they served either Quezon or the temporary opposition, as recalled by Hernando Abaya in his memoir of the thirties (1984, 32-47).

For various reasons, the urban intelligentsia followed Quezon and the pensionado gateway to success. But neither Abaya nor Renato Constantino, despite their pettybourgeois background, succumbed to the betrayal of the nationalist cause as their elders (for instance, Carlos Romulo) or contemporaries did (for Constantino’s background, see Ofreneo 2001). US colonial compromises rested on the client-patron relationship which operated chiefly on force, not persuasion nor extra-economic compulsion. US colonial “tutelage” relied on the enforcement of rules of property-ownership and traditional distribution of wealth rather than on equity or proportionate sharing. This structural-functionalist paradigm of clientelism continues to serve academic experts and media pundits in explaining the failure of Filipino nationalism, despite the inescapable historical reality of dependency and socioeconomic inequities that continue to energize the revolutionary tradition in current popular discourse and actions (Bauzon 1987; Woddis 1972, 38-40). For further elaboration of this argument, suffice it for me to recommend Renato Constantino’s “Origin of a Myth” (1970) for its lucid critique of the fabled American “tutelage” and “special relations” between the neocolony and the imperial hegemon.

It did not take a long time before an oppositional movement emerged to expose the Commonwealth fraud: the Sakdalistas. Conceived by the poet-intellectual Benigno Ramos, the Sakdal party had been campaigning against unequal wealth, excessive taxes, and for the confiscation of large landholdings for redistribution to the landless. Luis Taruc, the leading personality of the Huk rebellion in postwar years, spliced that historical specificity (land hungry peasantry) of the Philippines with the global crisis of capitalism at that time in his memoir, Born of the People:

It had been that way under the Spanish regime for centuries. When the Americans came, they made boasts about having brought democracy to the Philippines but the feudal agrarian system was preserved intact.
On the haciendas there were laborers who were paid less than ten centavos a day. Thousands more earned less than twice that much. From ten thousand miles away the Spreckles sugar interests in California reached into the sugar centrals of Pampanga and took their fortune from the sweat of Filipino labor. (cited in de la Costa 1965, 268).

The community of peasant activists invested the concept of nationalism with a radical democratic motivation. Ramos’ mobilizing organ was the weekly newspaper Sakdal, using Tagalog as the medium of communication. It began as a vehicle of Ramos’ criticism of the Quezon regime as composed of lackeys of U.S. imperialism, the landlord-comprador bloc, the Church hierarchy, and the Philippine Constabulary whose brutal treatment of peasants sparked violent resistance. The journalist Karnow echoes the Establishment dismissal of the rebel: “Filipinos thrive on abusive polemics, and Ramos’ vitriolic genius made him an instant celebrity” (1989, 273). Other groups like the Tanggulan, a patriotic secret society founded by writer Patricio Dionisio, a former member of the Communist-led Congreso Obrero, voiced their grievances in Sakdal, making it a non-sectarian tribune of the disenfranchised masses.

In hindsight, the Sakdal movement actualized the Leninist ideal of a worker-peasant alliance which Crisanto Evangelista and Pedro Abad Santos carried out in 1938 with the merger of their parties (Richardson 2011). The Sakdal replaced the official political parties as the articulator of mass sentiments and national aspirations, the grassroot “structure of feeling” (Williams 1961). The Sakdal program targetted the educational system glorifying American culture, the presence of military bases, and the U.S. stranglehold on the economy. Their leaders advocated “complete and absolute independence” by December 1936. In the 1934 election, Ramos’ parliamentary strategy proved effective in electing three representatives, a provincial governor and several municipal officials in provinces adjacent to the metropolitan center of power.

Quezon and his autocratic clique ignored Ramos’ appeal to the landless peasantry and its allies. A few days before the plebiscite on the Constitution designed to legitimize the refurbished colonial order, the peasantry staged a bloody uprising on May 2, 1935 involving at least sixty thousand armed partisans in nineteen towns. It spread to the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, Tayabas, Bulacan, and adjacent regions. Earlier their peaceful demonstrations were harassed and permits for assemblies revoked. In the three towns where the rebellion centered, fifty-seven peasants were killed, hundreds wounded, and over five hundred jailed by the Philippine Constabulary (Agoncillo 1970, 418). The nation-state’s coercive apparatus stifled the constituent power of its citizens.

Ramos was then in Japan, negotiating for support; eventually he was extradited and jailed. His admiration for the Japanese ethos and achievement failed to be critical of the reactionary, racist patriotism of its leaders then gearing up for brutal imperial conquest of his homeland (see Moore 1966). His intelligence did not discriminate over means or modalities of action, however undemocratic provided the goal of independence is achieved. In practice Ramos was committed to the mobilizing the disenfranchised and the outcasts, Fanon’s “wretched of the earth.” Eventually, the Sakdal leadership’s opportunist stance abandoned its mass base by devoting itself to the propagation of the Japanese-sponsored program of “Asiatic Monroeism” (Constantino 1975, 370). Notwithstanding its inadequacies, the Sakdal movement performed a necessary pedagogical function: it raised the level of political consciousness in a nationalist-radical emancipatory direction by connecting the privations of the people with the colonial setup and its ideological state apparatuses (education, media, diplomacy). Constantino’s judgment appreciates the positive impact of Ramos’ praxis: “The Sakdalista movement, despite its opportunist and fascist-inclined leadership, was a genuine expression of protest, and a milestone in the politicization of the people” (1975, 370). Quezon himself learned its lesson and quickly mounted a program of “social justice” which the Philippine Writers League adopted in its platform.

Unacknowledged Legislator?

Long before his Sakdal engagement, in 1912 Ramos reacted to the Westernization of the literary tastes and standards of his milieu: “…it is not pleasing to be told that one sounds like Victor Hugo, Zamacois, Blasco Ibanez, or any other foreign writer. We have started to demonstrate that in our country, we have our own literary masters” (quoted in Lumbera 1967, 311). The imposition of English has been regarded as the most decisive instrument to commodify culture and intensify class polarization. It deepened the reification of ordinary experience since the valorization of exchange-value (profit) over use-value (need) transformed art into saleable goods no different from copra, sugar and hemp, the bulk of the dollar-earning export crops. Enforced American English also fragmented the polity, dividing the educated elite from the plebeian subalterns. Up to now this motor of the culture industry serves to reinforce the docility of a consumerist public fixated on Euro-American spectacles, commodities. fashions—what Henri Lefebvre calls “the terrorism of everyday life” (1968). Given his pettybourgeois background, Ramos as a key translator in the Philippine Senate could have easily switched to writing in English. He did not. In the marketplace of social media, he chose the down-to-earth idiom of the productive forces, the working class and peasantry, and transformed himself into their organic intellectual guide/mentor.

Ramos’ situation has been replicated many times. Earlier we noted how the orator-poet Jose Corazon de Jesus was fired from his job for criticizing an American teacher for insulting Filipinos. Ramos joined his fellow writer and lambasted Quezon’s shameless public subservience to the American colonizers, for which he was immediately fired. Ten days after, Ramos set up the periodical Sakdal, followed by the founding of the Sakdalista party in October 1933. Language became again, as in the first decade, the crucial arena of ethical and ideological struggle. Given the fact that “all poetry is in origin a social act, in which poet and people commune” (Thomson 1946, 58), Ramos’ use of the vernacular—essentially magical and affect-inducing—was a wager of affirming the communicative praxis of his art. His verses reflect constellations of feeling directed and controlled by the social ego, by necessities of his particular time and place, in order not only to interpret but to change the entire social order (Caudwell 1937). Like an innovator in music, he sought to break the cycle of repeated codes of communication, construct difference, and perform a simulacrum of the sacrifice that colonial violence extracted from the natives in order to project a vision of a prosperous egalitarian community, albeit in the utopian, prophetic realm of declaimed poetry (for the semiotic interface of noise and music, see Attali 1985).

From his youth, Ramos needed an audience for realizing the value of his oratorical talent. Without the crowd of listeners and their responses, he was not an artist; with them he became poeta revolucionario (Almario 1984, 17). He forfeited the egocentric hubris of Villa and chose the task of actualizing the dialogic and carnivalesque virtues sedimented in the tradition of revolutionary Tagalog discourse. He felt compelled to popularize ideals and principles. Under the aegis of winning hegemony for the plebeian citizenry, “popular” art means (in Brecht’s aphoristic lexicon) “intelligible to the broad masses, taking over their own forms of expression and enriching them/adopting and consolidating their standpoint / representing the most progressive section of the people in such a way that it can take over the leadership: thus intelligible to other sections too / linking with tradition and carrying it further / handing on the achievements of the section of the people that is struggling for the lead” (1975, 423). Disseminating and communicating practicable knowledge of society was a prime objective for the artist. He conceived of himself as an educator. I quote Ramos ”Filipinas” composed in the transitional years 1929-30 before he was expelled from the clientelist machine and committed himself to the task of partisanship for its victims:

Kay-rami ng layak nitong aking Bayan! [Rubbish abounds in our homeland!]
Kay-rami ng dumi, kay-rami ng sukal! [Garbage galore, refuse abounding! ]
Pati na ang hanging aking pagkabuhay [Polluting the air that we need to live
kung aking langhapin ay may amoy-bangkay! [When you breathe, you inhale the stench of corpses! ]

Nasaan ang aking mga iniibig, [Where are the people I love,]
ang mga anak kong may pusong malinis? [my children with pure hearts? ]
Nahan ang panulat na namimilansik [Where is the pen that strikes fire
upang ang kadimla’y mawala sa langit? [ so that darkness may vanish from the sky}

Nahan ang matapang na mga makatang [Where are the brave poets
tutula ng aking puhunang dalita? [singing of my capital grief?
Nahan ang maraming anak na nanumpang [Where are the children who swore
tutubusin ako sa aking pagluha? [to redeem me in my lamentation?

Kung kahapon ako’y inapi ng Dasal [If I was tortured by Prayer yesterday
ngayon ay lalo pang kaapi-apihan. [now I languish in worse servitude
Namatay ang aking Magiting na Rizal [My valiant Rizal died
at patuloy pa rin ang kanyang kaaway. [His enemies continue to thrive

Ang mga lupa kong kinuha’t ginaga, [My lands were stolen and plundered,
nahan, o anak ko, nangabalik na ba? [where, my child, have they been returned
At kung hangga ngayo’y di mo nakukuha [If until now you have regained nothing
ano’t natitiis na ululin ka pa? [how can you tolerate being deceived?

(Ramos 1998, 180)

Praxis of Remembering and Anticipating

In this poem, the agonistic wager is over the homeland, the habitat, and its re-possession. Unlike the typical didactic and moralizing poems that were commodified in the mass periodicals, Ramos’ poem departs from the stereotype by ascribing this lament to the maternal figure of the nation. This follows a long allegorical tradition from Hermenegildo Flores’ “Hibik ng Filipinas sa Ynang Espana” (Ileto 1998, 11) to “Joselynang Baliwag” and Bonifacio’s “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” (Maceda 1995, 209-212; on music and nationalism,see Trimillos 1998). The imagistic cluster of pollution, abandonment, mourning, and dispossession suggests a miserable predicament that cries for urgent remedy, so antithetical to the utopian pastorals of Fernando Amorsolo and his counterparts in literature and music (see examples in Abueg 1973). The tone is simultaneously elegiac and hortatory. Not only does the poem advance the popular tradition, enriching and transmitting to the next generation the standpoint of the masses, but it also challenges the “children” to assume leadership. The mother’s exhortation to reclaim the stolen homeland and to stop enduring such privations invokes Rizal, the national icon and martyr. Noises of violence and mourning must be subdued or chanelled to a new musical setting.

We observe in the structure of Ramos’ poem the dialectic between land/blood and the ideals of sovereignty and sacrifice for collective liberation. Abstract, rhetorical notions of patriotism and autonomy are concretized in intelligible terms (more vividly nuanced in many poems collected by Delfin Tolentino Jr. in Gumising Ka, Aking Bayan). The poet’s fidelity to the struggle for liberation is unequivocal and uncompromising. While Ramos is generally censured for being a “traitor” by sympathizing with the Japanese anti-US imperialism during the war—a still contentious issue that defies sentimental reductionism (Steinberg 1967)—there is no doubt that, on the whole, Ramos’ poetic achievement may be taken as the most eloquent, realistic expression of the popular-democratic conscience in the first three decades of American domination.

Undoubtedly the poet cannot be divorced from the activist intellectual. Not even the eloquent “social justice” slogan of Quezon could distract from the Sakdal’s collective dream of emancipation, as distilled in Ramos’ poems and as passionately voiced by Salud Algabre (quoted as epigraph) as she reminisced on her participation in the rebellion. Ramos’ speech-acts effectively communicated a message of hope to a people yearning for dignity and self-determination, This is more symptomatic because his intervention occurs at a conjuncture where the commodification of the slogan of “independence” seduced the more privileged stratum of the citizenry whose privileged idiom (English) detached them from the pain, joy, anguish, and dreams of the majority of their neighbors, kin, and companions. This condition of subalternity has worsened today in the neoliberal intensification of commodity-fetishism against which conscienticized Filipino artists are uniting with cultural activists in other countries, just as Rizal, Reyes, Ramos, and the members of the Philippine Writers League did in the last turbulent century. The imperative of forging anew a national-popular vision out of the ruins and relics of the historical archive deserves priority when we draw up the agenda for the long delayed, urgent, and ineluctable transformation of our homeland. —##

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Lopez, Salvador P. 1976. “Literature and Society—A Literary Past Revisited.” In Literature and Society: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Ed. Roger Bresnahan. Manila: United States Information Service.
——-. 2004. “Literature and Society.” In Affirming the Filipino. Ed. Ma. Teresa Martinez-Sicat and Naida Rivera. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Department of English.
Lowy, Michael. 1998. Fatherland or Mother Earth? London: Pluto Press.
Lumbera, Bienvenido. 1967. “”The Literary Relations of Tagalog Literature.” In Brown Heritage. Ed. Antonio Manuud. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
——-. 1998. “The Nationalist Literary Tradition.” In Filipiniana Reader, ed. P. Legasto. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Open University.
——- and Cynthia Lumbera. 1982. Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology. Manila: National Book Store.
Mabini, Apolinario. 1969. The Philippine Revolution. Tr. Leon Maria Guerrero. Manila: National Historical Commission.
Maceda, Teresita. 1995. “Imahen ng Inang Bayan sa Kundiman ng Himagsikan.” In Ulat sa Ikatlong Kumperensya sa Sentenaryo ng Rebolusyong 1896. Baguio: UP Kolehiyo sa Baguio & Benguet State University.
Marcuse, Herbert. 1960. Reason and Revolution. Boston: Beacon Press.
Miller, Stuart Creighton. 1982. “Benevolent Assimilation”: The Anerican Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Mojares, Resil B. 2006. Brains of the Nation. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Moore, Barrington, Jr. 1966. Social Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship. Boston: Beacon Press.
Negri, Antonio. 1999. Insurgencies: Constituent Power and the Modern State. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Ong, Walter. 1977. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen.
Ofreneo, Rosalinda Pineda. 2001. A Life Revisited. Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies.
Ordonez, Elmer. 2010. The Other View: Literature, Culture and Society. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Pomeroy, William. 1970. American Neocolonialism. New York: International Publishers.
Ramos, Benigno. 1998. Gumising Ka, Aking Bayan. Ed. Delfin Tolentino Jr. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Reyes, Fidel. 1983. “Aves de Rapina/Birds of Prey.” In Rediscovery. Manila: National Book Store.
Reyes, Narciso. 1954. “ Lupang Tinubuan.” In Ang Maikling Kathang Tagalog. Ed. A.G. Abadilla, F.B. Sebastian, A. G. G. Mariano. Manila: Bede’s Publishing House.
Reyes, Soledad. 1982. Nobelang Tagalog 1905-1975. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Richardson, Jim. 2011. Komunista. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Rotor, Arturo B. 1971. “Convict’s Twilight.” In Early Philippine Literature, ed. Asuncion David-Maramba. Manila: National Book Store.
San Juan, E. 2002. “Nation-State, Postcolonial Thought, and Global Violence.” Social Analysis 46, 2 (Summer): 11-32.
——-. 2009a. “Antonio Gramsci and National-Popular Revolution in the Philippines.” In Perspectives on Gramsci, ed. Joseph Francese. London: Routledge.
——-. 2009b. Toward Filipino Self-Determination. Albany: SUNY Press.
——-. 2015a. Lupang Hinirang, Lupang Tinubuan. Manila: De La Salle University Publishing House.
——-. 2015b. Between Empire and Insurgency. Quezon City: University of the Phiippines Press.
Santos, Lope K. 1972. Talambuhay ni Lope K. Santos, Paham ng Wike. Ed. Paraluman S. Aspillera. Quezon City: Capitol Publishing House.
Saulo, Alfredo. 1990. Communism in the Philippines. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Schneider, Herbert. 1967. ‘The Period of Emergence of Philippine Letters/“ In Brown Heritage: Essays on Philippine Cultural Tradition and Literature. Ed. Antonio Manuud. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Scott, William Henry. 1982. Cracks in the Parchment Curtain. Quezon City: New Day Publishers
———. 1992. The Union Obrera Democratica: First Filipino Labor Union. Quezon City: New Day Publishers.
Scruton, Roger. 1982. A Dictionary of Political Thought. New York: Hill and Wang.
Steinberg, David Joel. 1967. Philippine Collaborationin World War II. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Sturtevant, David. 1976. Popular Uprisings in the Philippines, 1840-1940. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Tolentino, Delfin Jr. 1998. “Paunang Salita.” In Benigno Ramos, Gumising Ka, Aking Bayan. Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Torres-Reyes, Maria Luisa. 2010. Banaag at Sikat: Metakritisismo at Antolohiya. Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Tan, Samuel K. 2002. The Filipino-American War, 1899-1913. Quezon: University of the Philippine Press.
Thomson, George. 1946. Marxism and Poetry. New York; International Pubishers.
Trimillos, Ricardo D. 1998. “Music and Constructions of Nationalism During the American Era (1898-1945).” In The Philippine Revolution and Beyond, ed. Elmer
Ordonez. Manila: Philippine Centennial Commission.
Veneracion, Jaime. 1987. Agos ng Dugong Kayumanggi. Quezon City: The Education Forum.
Werning, Rainer. 2011. Crown, Cross and Crusaders. Essen, Germany: Verlag Neuer Weg.
Williams, Raymond. 1961. The Long Revolution. New York: Columbia University Press.
Woddis, Jack. 1972. Introduction to Neo-colonialism. New York: International Publishers.
Zaide, Gregorio. 1970. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Book Store.


Updated CV of E. San Juan, Jr.


Curriculum Vitae

Dr. E. SAN JUAN, Jr.
3900A Watson Place NW Apt. 4 D/E
Washington, DC 20016, USA

1958 A.B. magna cum laude University of the Philippines
1962 A.M. Harvard University
1965 Ph.D. Harvard University

Academic Positions

1965-66 Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis
1966-67 Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines
1967-79 Associate Professor of English, The University of Connecticut, Storrs
1978-80 Professor of Comparative Literature, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
1987-88 Fulbright Professor of American Literature and Criticism, University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University
1979-1994 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, The University of Connecticut, Storrs
1994-1998 Professor of Ethnic Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
1998-2001 Professor and Chair, Department of Comparative American Cultures,
Washington State University, Pullman
2001- Director, Philippines Cultural Studies Center, Connecticut
2002 Fellow, Center for the Humanities, and Visiting Professor of English, Wesleyan University
2003 Fulbright Professor of American Studies, Leuven University, Belgium
2004 National Science Council Fellow, National Tsing Hua University, Republic of China (Taiwan)
2006 Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Study (Fall 2006)
2008 (Spring) Visiting Professor of English & Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines
2009 (Spring) Fellow, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University
2012-2013 Fellow, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
2015-16 Professorial Lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila

1960-63 Fulbright-Smith Mundt Fellowship
1961-63 Teaching Fellow, Harvard University
1964 Comparative Literature Prize, Harvard University
1965 Howard Mumford Jones Award for Best Work in English, Harvard University
1963-65 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship
1987-88 Fulbright Lectureship in the Philippines
Fellow, The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of
Edinburgh, Scotland
1993 1993 National Book Award, Association for Asian American Studies
1993 Distinguished Book Award given by Gustavus Myers Human Rights Center
1994 Nominated for the Citizens’ Chair, University of Hawaii
1994 Katherine Newman Award, Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States
1995 Visiting Professor of English, University of Trento, Italy
Scholar in Residence, Institute for the Study of Culture, Society, and Human
Values, Bowling Green State University
Centennial Award for Achievement in Literature, Philippine Cultural Center,
Republic of the Philippines
Visiting Chair Professor, Graduate School, Tamkang University, Taiwan
Keynote Speaker, College English Association (CEA) 2002 Annual Convention
Invited Speaker, American Studies Institute, Dartmouth College, June 2002
Invited Participant, Workshop on Cultural Nationalism, University of Victoria, Canada; Keynote
Speaker, 12th International Symposium on English Teaching, English Teachers Association, Republic of China, Nov. 7-9, Taipeh, Taiwan; Keynote Speaker, Ninth Quadrennial International Conference on Comparative Literature, National Taiwan University, 19 June 2004
Keynote Lecturer, Open University, Arbeiterbildungszentrum, Gelsenkirche, Germany, Oct. 2, 2004
2004 Invited lecturer at 7 universities in Taiwan: Tsing Hua University, Chiaotung University,
Kaohsiung Normal University, Sun-Yat Sen University, National Kaohsiung University, National ChungHsing University, National Normal University, Taipeh
2007 Keynote Speaker, “Gramsci Now”: International Gramsci Conference, Michigan State
University, 9-11 November
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (excluding reviews and creative works)


1. The Art of Oscar Wilde. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967; reprinted 1978 by Greenwood Press, Inc. Chapter V reprinted in Harold Bloom, ed., Oscar Wilde Modern Critical Views (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988), 45-76. The chapter on “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” reprinted in Wege der Forschung–Oscar Wilde, ed. Norbert Kohl (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftlichen Buchgesellschaft, 1985). The chapter on The Importance of Being Earnest translated into German in Interpretationen, ed. Willy Erzgraber. Frankfurt: Fischer Bucherei, 1969.

2. Rice Grains: Selected Poems of Amado V. Hernandez. Translated from the original Tagalog. New York: International Publishers, 1966.

3. Balagtas: Art and Revolution (A Critical Study of Florante at Laura). Quezon City: Manlapaz, 1969. Reprinted in Patricia Cruz and A. Chua, eds., Himalay (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, l988).

4. A Casebook of T. S. Eliot’s Gerontion. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill, 1970.

5. The Radical Tradition in Philippine Literature. Quezon City: Manlapaz, 1970.

6. Critics on Ezra Pound. Coral Gables: Miami University Press, 1971.

7. James Joyce and the Craft of Fiction. New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1972.

8. Marxism and Human Liberation: Selected Essays by Georg Lukacs. New York: Dell, 1972.

9. Carlos Bulosan and the Imagination of the Class Struggle. Quezon City: University of the Philippines, 1972; reprinted by Oriole Editions, New York, 1975.

10. Preface to Pilipino Literature. Quezon City: Phoenix, 1972.

11. Introduction to Modern Pilipino Literature. Boston: Twayne, 1974.

12. Poetics: The Imitation of Action. Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Press, 1978.

13. Balagtas: Florante/Laura. Translated from the original Tagalog. Manila: Art Multiples, Inc., 1978.

14. Bulosan: An Introduction with Selections. Manila: National Book Store, 1983.

15. Toward a People’s Literature: Essays in the Dialectics of Praxis and Contradiction in Philippine Writing. Quezon City: U.P. Press, 1984. Winner of the Catholic Mass Media Award, 1985; and the National Book Award given by the Manila Critics Circle, 1985.

16. Crisis in the Philippines: The Making of a Revolution. South Hadley, Mass.:Bergin and Garvey, 1986. Chapter III reprinted in Tricontinental (Habana, Cuba) No. 129 (May-June 1990): 46-57.

17. Subversions of Desire: Prolegomena to Nick Joaquin. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1988; Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1988. “Preface” reprinted as “Preface to the Nick Joaquin Project,” Southeast Asia Journal 17.2 (1988-89): 8-13.

18. Transcending the Hero / Reinventing the Heroic: An Essay on Andre Gide’s Theater. New York & London: University Press of America, 1988.

19. Ruptures, Schisms, Interventions: Cultural Revolution in the Third World. Manila: De La Salle University Press, 1988.

20. Only by Struggle: Reflections on Philippine Culture, Society and History in a Time of Civil War. Manila: Kalikasan Press, 1989. Reissued in an expanded form: Only by Struggle: Reflections on Philippine Culture, Politics and Society. Quezon City, Philippines: Giraffe Books, 2002.

21. From People to Nation: Essays in Cultural Politics. Manila: Asian Social Institute, Inc., 1990.

22. Text Context Society and Critical Theory. Occasional Monograph 1. Manila, Philippines: Asian Social Institute, Inc., 1990.

23. Writing and National Liberation: Selected Essays 1970-90. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 1991.

24. Racial Formation/Critical Transformations: Articulations of Power in Ethnic and Racial Studies in the U. S. New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1992. Winner of the 1993 National Book Award from Association for Asian American Studies; 1993 Distinguished Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights.

25. Reading the West/Writing the East: Studies in Comparative Literature and Culture. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1992.

26. From the Masses, to the Masses: Third World Literature and Revolution. Minneapolis: MEP Press, 1994.

27. The Smile of the Medusa and Other Fictions. Quezon City: Anvil Publishing Co., 1994.

28. Allegories of Resistance. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 1994.

29. On Becoming Filipino: Selected Writings by Carlos Bulosan. With an introduction. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

30. The Cry and the Dedication by Carlos Bulosan. With an introduction. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

31. Hegemony and Strategies of Transgression: Essays in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1995.

31. The Philippine Temptation: Dialectics of Philippines-U.S. Literary Relations. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.

32. Mediations: From a Filipino Perspective. Quezon City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing, 1996.

33. History and Form: Selected Essays. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1996.

34. Rizal: A Re-Interpretation. Quezon City: Anvil Publishing, Inc., 1997.

35. From Exile to Diaspora: Versions of the Filipino Experience in the United States. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press/HarperCollins, 1998.

36. Beyond Postcolonial Theory. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

37. Filipina Insurgency: Writing Against Patriarchy in the Philippines. Quezon City: Giraffe Books, 1999.

38. Alay Sa Paglikha ng Bukang-Liwayway [Collected poems in Filipino/Pilipino]. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000.

38. After Postcolonialism: Remapping Philippines-United States Confrontation. Boulder, CO: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Co., 2000.

39. Racism and Cultural Studies: Critiques of Multiculturalist Ideology and the Politics of Difference. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

40. Spinoza and the Terror of Racism. UK: Sheffield Hallam University Press, 2002. A revised version appeared as “Spinoza, Marx and the Terror of Racism,” Nature, Society, and Thought 16.2 (2003), 193-230.

41. Working through the Contradictions: From Cultural Theory to Critical Practice. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2004.

42. Filipinos Everywhere. Quezon City: IBON, 2006,

43. In the Wake of Terror: Class, Race, Nation, Ethnicity in the PostModern World. Maryland: Lexington Books, 2007.

44. U.S. Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

45. BALIKBAYANG MAHAL: Passages from Exile. North Carolina:, 2007.

45. BALIKBAYANG SINTA: An E. San Juan Reader. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila Universiyy Press, 2008.

City: University of the Philippines Press, 2008.

47. Toward Filipino Self-Determination. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2009.

48. Critique and Social Transformation: Learning from Gramsci, Bakhtin and Williams. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009.

49. Critical Interventions: From Joyce and Ibsen to Peirce and Kingston. Saarbrucken, Germany: Lambert Acadermic Publishing Co., 2010.

50. Between Empire and Insurgency: The Philippines in the New Millennium. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2014.

51. Sisa’s Vengeance: Rizal / Women / Revolution. CT: Philippines Cultural Studies Center, 2011.

52. Lupang Hinirang, Lupang Tinubuan: Mga Sanaysay sa Kritika, Kasaysayan, at Politikang Pangkultura.Manila: De La Salle University Publishing House, 2015.

53. Learning from the Filipino Diaspora. Manila: University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2016.

54. Filipinas Everywhere. Manila: De La Salle University Publishing House, 2016.
ARTICLES (Selected, excluding creative writing)

1. “Vision and Reality: A Reconsideration of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio,” American Literature, XXXV (May 1963), 137-155; reprinted in Winesburg, Ohio, ed. John Ferres (New York: Viking, 1967).

2. “Matthew Arnold and the Poetics of Belief: Some Implications of Literature and Dogma,” The Harvard Theological Review, 57 (April 1964), 97-118.

3. “Material versus Totality of Literary Devices,” Discourse, VII (Summer 1964), 295-302.

4. “James’s The Ambassadors: The Trajectory of the Climax,” The Midwest Quarterly, V (July 1964), 293-310.

5. “William James as Prose Writer,” The Centennial Review, VIII (Summer 1964), 323-336.

6. “Toward a Definition of Victorian Activism,” Studies in English Literature, IV (Autumn 1964), 583-600; Reprinted in Victorian Literature: Recent Revaluations, ed. S. Kumar. New York: New York UP, 1968.

7. “The Question of Values in Victorian Activism,” The Personalist, XLV (Winter 1964), 41-59.

8. “The Actual and the Ideal in Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary,” University of Toronto Quarterly, XXXIV (Jan. 1965), 146-158. Included in Critical Perspectives, Volume V, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea Books, 1987.

9. “What is Balagtas’ ‘To Celia’ All About? An Experiment in Interpretation,” University College Journal, VII (1964-65), 48-63.

10. “Gosse and Gibbon: Two Witnesses of Interior Reality,” Discourse, VII (Autumn 1964), 399-403.

11. “The Significance of Andre Gide’s Oedipus,” Modern Drama, VII (Feb. 1965), 422-430; reprinted in Oedipus: Myth and Dramatic Form, ed. J. Sanderson and E. Zimmerman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968.

12. “Samuel Johnson as Lyric Poet,” The Diliman Review, XIII (Jan. 1965), 55-65.

13. “Proud: Anatomy of a Complex Word,” Philippine Social Science and Humanities Review, XXX (March 1965), 183-193.

14. “Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair and the Renaissance Crisis,” The Diliman Review, XIII (April 1965), 183-193.

15. “Spatial Orientation in American Romanticism,” The East-West Review, II (Spring-Summer 1965), 33-55.

16. “The Anti-Poetry of Jonathan Swift,” The Philological Quarterly, XLIV (July 1965), 387-396. Reprinted in David Vieth, ed. Essential Articles for the Study of Jonathan Swift’s Poetry. CT: Archon Books, 1985, 21-32.

17. “Social Consciousness and Revolt in Modern Philippine Poetry,” Books Abroad (Autumn 1965), 394-399.

18. “Pattern and Significance in Two Plays of Andre Gide,” Discourse, VIII (Autumn 1965), 350-369.

19. “The World of Abadilla,” Introduction to Alejandro G. Abadilla, Mga Piling Tula [Collected Poems]. Manila: Panitikan, 1965, 1-14.

20. “The Idea of Andre Gide’s Theater,” American Educational Theatre Journal, XVII (October 1965), 220-224.

21. “Integrity of Composition in the Poems of Hemingway,” The University Review (Fall 1965), 51-58.

22. “The Natural Context of Spiritual Renewal in Milton’s Samson Agonistes,” Ball State University Forum, VI (Autumn 1965), 55-59.

23. “Cultural Resurgence in Philippine Literature: In Tagalog,” Literature East and West (Winter 1965), 16-26.

24. “Wordsworth and Political Commitment,” The Dalhousie Review, 45 (November 1965), 299-306.

25. “Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale,'” Saint Louis University Quarterly, III (September 1965), 343-362.

26. “Explication of Emerson’s ‘Each and All,'” Emerson Society Quarterly: A Journal of the American Renaissance, 43 (2nd Quarter, 1966), 106-109.

27. “Similarity and Contiguity in Some Poems of Gongora,” Kentucky Foreign Language Quarterly, XLIII (First Quarter 1966), 43-50. Winner of the Susan B. Anthony Prize for Comparative Literature, Harvard University, May 1964.

28. “Tradition and Individuality in the Poems of Andrew Marvell,” Centro Escolar University Faculty and Graduate Journal (First Semester, 1966-67), 1-20.

29. “Symbolic Significance in the Poems of Emerson,” Saint Louis Quarterly, IV (March 1966), 37-54.

30. “Translation and Philippine Poetics,” The East-West Review, II (Spring-Summer 1966), 279-290.

31. “Panitikan: A Critical Introduction to Tagalog Literature,” Asian Studies, IV (December 1966), 412-429.

32. “The Structure of Narrative Fiction,” Saint Louis Quarterly, IV (December 1966), 485-502.

33. “The Form of Experience in Literature,” University of the East College Journal (First Semester 1966), 103-117.

34. “Orientations of Max Weber’s Concept of Charisma,” The Centennial Review, XI (Spring 1967), 270-285.

35. “Coleridge’s ‘The Eolian Harp’ as Lyric Paradigm,” The Personalist, XLVIII (January 1967), 77-88.

36. “Criticism as Elucidation,” The Scholar [Centro Escolar University, Manila] (Feb.-March 1967), 23-25, 27.

37. “The Form of Experience in Edgar Allan Poe’s Poetry,” Georgia Review (Spring 1967), 65-80.

38. “Ruskin and Exuberance/Control in Literature,” Orbis Litterarum, XXIII (December 1968), 257-264.

39. “Scientific Objectivity and Style: Notes on the Prose of Darwin and Faraday,” The Researcher 1 (May 1968), 87-92.

40. “Notes Toward a Clarification of Organizing Principles and Genre Theory,” Genre, I (October 1968), 257-268.

41. “Antaeus: Reality and the American Imagination,” Exchange: USIS Philippines, 40 (1968), 1-10.

42. “On the Motif of Incongruence in Samson Agonistes,” Orbis Litterarum, XXIII (October 1968), 221-224.

43. “Style and World Outlook in Pilipino Poetics,” The Researcher, I,3 (November 1968), 271-282.

44. “Rizal: Existence and the Dialectic of Reason,” The Researcher, I (Feb. 1969), 403-424; reprint of “Rizal and the Human Condition: Some Preliminary Notes,” University College Journal, VII (1964-65), 135-154.

45. “‘Eveline’: Joyce’s Affirmation of Ireland,” Eire-Ireland, IV (Winter 1969), 46-52.

46. “Joyce’s ‘The Boarding House’: The Plot of Character,” The University Review, XXXV (March 1969), 229-236.

47. “Transformations of the Feminine Psyche in Vanity Fair,” The Researcher, II (1969), 293-312.

48. “From Contingency to Probability: Joyce’s ‘A Painful Case,'” Research Studies, 37 (June 1969), 139-144.

49. “Epilogue” to Amado V. Hernandez, Mga Ibong Mandaragit [Birds of Prey]. Quezon City: Graphics, 1969.

50. “Carlos Bulosan: The Poetics and the Necessity of Revolution,” The Researcher, II (August 1969), 113-125.

51. “The Form and Meaning of T. S. Eliot’s ‘Gerontion,'” Renascence, XXII (Winter 1970), 115-126.

52. “Prolegomena to Philippine Poetics,” Comparative Literature Studies, VII (Summer 1970), 179-194.

53. “Introduction” to La Loba Negra. Quezon City: Malaya, 1970, vi-xxx.

54. “Theme Versus Imitation: D.H. Lawrence’s ‘The Rocking-Horse Winner,'” The D.H.Lawrence Review, III (Summer 1970), 136-140, included in Thomas L. Erskine and Gerald R. Barrett, eds., From Fiction to Film: D.H. Lawrence’s The Rocking Horse Winner (Encino, California, 1974).

55. “Form and Meaning in Joyce’s ‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room,'” Archiv fur das Studium der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, 207 (1970), 185-91.

56. “Reflections on The Hounds of the Baskervilles,” The Baker Street Journal, XX (September 1970), 137-139.

57. “Method and Meaning in Joyce’s ‘The Sisters,'” Die Neueren Sprachen, IV (Winter 1971), 490-496.

58. “The Problem of Continuity in Literary Form,” Southeast Asian Quarterly, V, 3-4 (1971), 25-28.

59. “Yeats’s ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ and the Limits of Modern Literary Criticism,” Revue des Langues Vivantes, XXXVIII (1972), 492-507. Included in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 116, ed. Linda Pavlovski (Thompsonville, MI: Gale Group, 2002).

60. “Reactionary Ideology in Philippine Culture,”Journal of Contemporary Asia, 3.4 (Winter 1973), 414-426.

61. “Marxism and the Poetics of Georg Lukacs,” Queens Quarterly, LXXX (Winter 1973), 547-555.

62. “The Process of Self-Knowledge in William Wordsworth’s ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” Revue des Langues Vivantes, XLI (1975), 60-67. Reprint of “Wordsworth’s Immortality Ode and the Dialectic of the Imagination,’ The Researcher, III, 1 (Jan.-March 1971), 25-34.

63. “The Artist in the Philippine National Democratic Revolution,” Third World Forum (May-June 1975), 3-18; another version in “Art, Literature and Revolution in the Philippines,” The Palestine Review (Jan.-Feb. 1981), 6-10.

64. “Art Against Imperialism” in The Weapons of Criticism, ed. Norman Rudich (Palo Alto: Ramparts, 1975), 147-160. Reprinted from Journal of Contemporary Asia, 4.3 (1974), 297 -307. Shorter versions in: Praxis 1 (Spring 1975) and Arts in Society, XII (Summer-Fall 1975), 222-225.

65. “In the Belly of the Monster: The Filipino Revolt in the U.S.,” Praxis 3 (Winter/Spring 1976-77), 60-66.

66. “Introduction” to The Philippines is in the Heart: Selected Stories by Carlos Bulosan. Edited by E. San Juan. Quezon City: New Day Press, 1978, vi-x.

67. “Literature and Revolution in the Third World,” Social Praxis (Toronto/The Hague), VI (1979), 19-34.

68. “Red Star Over Kansas?” Main Trend (Winter 1979), 22-23.

69. “Introduction” [Special issue: Writings of Carlos Bulosan. Edited by E. San Juan], AmerAsia Journal (May 1979), 3-29.

70. “Blueprint for Disaster,” Science for the People (Jan.-Feb., 1980), 23-26. Reprinted in Alternative Papers, ed. Elliott Shore, Pat Case and Laura Daly. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1982.

71. “For Whom Are We Writing?” in Two Perspectives on Philippine Literature and Society. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Center for Philippine Studies, 1981.

72. “Out of the Heart of Darkness, An Explosion: On the Kenyan Novelist Ngugi’s Petals of Blood,” Theoretical Review (Sept.-October 1981), 31-33.

73. “From Intramuros to the Liberated City: Salvaging the Aesthetics of the Polis,” Philippine Social Sciences and Humanities Review, XLVI, 3-4 (July-Dec. 1982), 249-274. Revised versions in: “The Poetics of the Metropolis in Philippine Literature,” Jadavpur Journal of Comparative Literature (1984), 34-58; “Encircle the Cities by the Countryside: The City in Philippine Writing,” Journal of South Asian Literature 25.1 (Winter/Spring 1990): 189-213.

74. “Amiri Baraka, Revolutionary Playwright,” Amiri Baraka: The Kaleidoscopic Torch, ed. James Gwynne (New York: 1985), 151-156.

75. “Overthrowing U.S. Hegemony: Dialectics of U.S.-Philippines Literary Relations,” Minnesota Review (Spring 1986), 61-82.

76. “Toward a Verdict on Nick Joaquin,” The New Progressive Review (Dec.1985-Jan.1986), 13-20.

77. “Pacifying the Boondocks: U.S. Cultural Imperialism in the Philippines,” Diliman Review (1987), 35-46, translated into German: “Die Befriedung der ‘boondocks’: US Kulturimperialismus auf den Philippinen,” Peripherie, 29 (Jan. 1988), 24-44.

78. “Textual Production in D.H. Lawrence’s ‘The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,'” De La Salle University Graduate Journal, XXII, 2 (1987), 223-230.

79. “Nature, History and the Organizing Principle of Wuthering Heights,” De La Salle Graduate Journal, XIII, 1 (1988), 67-82.

80. “Reflections on Philippines-U.S. Literary Relations,” Ang Makatao [Asian Institute, Manila] VII, 1 (Jan.-June 1988), 43-54.

81. “Ideology, Text, History: A Contextual Interpretation and Critique of Fiction by Filipino Writers,” Kultura, I (1988), 7-17.

82. “Towards A Poetics of National Liberation: Reflections of A Third World Cultural Activist,” Left Curve, 13 (1988-89), 61-66.

83. “Die Gewehre der Frau Carrar: Brecht’s Exemplum for the Third World?” Communications [International Brecht Society], 18 (1989), 27-33.

84. “Approaching Third World Cultural Revolution: The Philippine Conjuncture,” Solidaridad II (July-Dec. 1988), 55-58.

85. “Strategies of Reading: Sexual Politics in Aida Rivera-Ford’s ‘Love in the Cornhusks’,” Southeast Asia Journal 17 (1988-89), 15-24.

86. “Preface to the Nick Joaquin Project,” Southeast Asia Journal 17.2 (1988-89): 8-14.

87. “Ideology, Form, Desire: Toward a New Marxist Perspective on Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls,” Left Curve 14 (1990), 75-77.

88. “Western Sociological Literary Theory: An Introduction,” Philippine Sociological Review 35:3-4 (July-December 1987), 42-54.

89. “Problems in the Marxist Project of Theorizing Race.” Rethinking Marxism 2:2 (Summer 1989), 58-80.

90. “The Devil’s Advocate Prophesies the Advent of Deconstruction,” Diliman Review 37.3 (1989), 8-10. Reprinted as “The Power of Writing and the Question of Truth,” Southeast Asia Journal 18.2 (1989-90), 11-16.

91. “Race and Literary Theory: From Difference to Contradiction,” Proteus 7:1 (Spring 1990), 32-36; also in Southeast Asia Journal 18.1 (1989-90): 2-9.

92. “From Class to People and Nation: On the December Coup, Hegemonic Crisis, and the Strategy for National Liberation,” Diliman Review 37.4 (1989): 1-10; also in Midweek (31 January 1990): 13-19.

93. “Images of the Filipino in the United States.” Prisoners of Image: Ethnic and Gender Stereotypes. New York City: Alternative Museum, 1989.

94. “Farewell, You whose homeland is forever arriving as I embark,” Kultura 3:1 (August 1990), 34-41.

95. “Literature and Nationalism,” Tenggara 27 (1990): 50-59.

96. “From Lukacs to Brecht and Gramsci: The Moment of Practice in Critical Theory,” Nature, Society, and Thought 4.1/2 (January-April 1991): 81-102; an early version is “The Politics of Aesthetics: Praxis in Marxist Critical Theory,” Praxis 2:2 (June 1988): 64-83.

97. “The Sexual Fix in Rizal’s “Memorias de Un Estudiante de Manila por P. Jacinto,” The DLSU Graduate Journal, 15:1 (1990): 85-95.

98. “Articulating the Filipino Otherness: Reflections on Philippine-U.S. Literary Relations,” Philippine-American Journal 1:4 (Summer-Fall 1990): 6-10.

99. “The Political Economy of the Psyche in the Text of Stevan Javellana’s Without Seeing the Dawn (1947),” Kinaalam 3.1 (1989-90): 1-9.

100. “History, Textuality, Revolution: Sergio Ramirez’s To Bury Our Fathers,” Likha 11.2 (1989-90): 48-62.

101. “From Bakhtin to Gramsci: Intertextuality, Praxis, Hegemony,” New Orleans Review (Spring 1991): 75-85.

102. “Mapping the Boundaries: The Filipino Writer in the U.S.A.,” The Journal of Ethnic Studies 19:1 (Spring 1991): 117-31.

103. “The Cult of Ethnicity and the Fetish of Pluralism: A Counterhegemonic Critique,” Cultural Critique 18 (Spring 1991): 215-229; another version appeared as “Race, Ethnicity and Literary Culture in the United States,” Philippine American Studies Journal III (1991): 21-35.

104. “Symbolisierung des Widerstands auf den Philippinen,” Das Argument [Berlin], No. 187 (1991): 409-420. Also in Philippine Resource Center Monitor 9 (November 1990): 1, 3-5, 8, 11-12; another version in Chapter III of From People to Nation (see #25, book list).

105. “To Read What Was Never Written: From Deconstruction to the Poetics of Redemption,” Orbis Litterarum 46 (Fall 1991): 205-221. A revised version: “Criticism, Language, Hermeneutics,” Revue de litterature comparee 4 (Oct-Dec. 1991): 397-408.

106. “Beyond Identity Politics: The Predicament of the Asian American Writer in Late Capitalism,” American Literary History 3.3 (Fall 1991): 542-565.

107. “Theorizing Anti-Racist Struggle,” Against the Current, 6.4 (September-October 1991): 27-33.

108. “Cultural Pluralism versus Hegemony: Ethnic Studies in the Twenty First Century,” The Massachusetts Review, 32.3 (Fall 1991): 467-78. A shortened version is “Racism, Ideology, Resistance,” Forward Motion 10.3 (September 1991): 35-42.

109. “Post-Colonial Syncretism versus Art of National Liberation,” ARIEL 22.4 (October 1991): 69-88.

110. “Who’s Afraid of Mikhail Bakhtin?” The Arkansas Quarterly 1.4 (October 1992): 344-48.

111. “Semiotics and Fiction,” U.P. Visayas Journal 1.1 (August 1992): 67-75.

112. “Ideological Form, Symbolic Exchange, Textual Production: A Symptomatic Reading of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls,” North Dakota Quarterly (Spring 1992): 119-143.

113. “From Development to Liberation–The Third World in the ‘New World Order.'” In Kenneth Bauzon, ed., Development and Democratization in the Third World. Washington DC: Crane Russak, 1992. 297-310.

114. “Documenting the Struggle for Democratic Culture,” Works and Days 20 (Fall 1992): 119-124; also in The St. Louis Journalism Review (March 1993), 15.

115. “Symbolizing the Asian Diaspora in the United States: A Return to the Primal Scene of Deracination.” Border/Lines 24/25 (1992): 23-29. Revised version: “Migration, Ethnicity, Racism: Narrative Strategies in Asian American Writing,” Migration Themes (1979), 189-216.

116. “Toward Marx and Beyond,” Polygraph 6/7 (Winter 1993), 72-86.

117. “In Search of Filipino Writing: Reclaiming Whose America?” in The Ethnic Canon. Ed. David Palumbo-Liu. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1994. A shortened version found in Philippine Studies 41 (1993): 141-66. Reprinted in Asian American Studies: A Reader edited by Jean Yu-wen Shen Wu and Min Song (Rutgers University Press, 2000), 443-466.

118. “Reconstituting the “American Nation”: The Politics of Racism and Nationalism in the United States,” Nature, Society and Thought, 5.4 (Spring 1993): 307-19.

119. “Can’t We Get Along? The Politics of Racial Difference in an Age of Hegemonic Pluralism,” The Arkansas Quarterly 2.3 (July 1993): 168-176.

120. “The Resistance to Postcolonial Transnationalism: Allegorizing Nation/People in Philippine Writing,” Parenthesis 1.2 (Fall 1993): 25-32; also in The Discourse of Vision: The Meeting Point of Popular Culture and Art. Ed. Tsuneo Kenachi, Shoichi Maeda, and Yuichi Midzunoe. Tokyo, 1994. 43-61.
Revised versions appeared as: “From Postcolonial to Alter/native National Allegory: Dialectics of Nation/People and World System in Philippine Writing, Journal of English Studies 1.2 (December 1993): 28-42; “Von der postkolonialen zur alter/nativen nationalen Allegorie,” Weg und Ziel 5 (November 1993): 52-58; and in Nationalism vs. Internationalism. Eds. Wolfgang Zach and Ken L. Goodwin, eds. Stauffenburg, Germany: Stauffenburg Verlag, 1996, pp. 569-577.

121. “The Predicament of Filipinos in the United States,” The State of Asian America. Ed. Karin A. San Juan. Boston: South End Press, 1994. 205-18. A shorter version: “Filipinos in the United States at the Threshold of the Twenty-first Century,” Heritage 6.3 (September 1992): 6-8; 6.4 (December 1992): 6-8.

122. “Producing the Text: A Symptomatic Reading of D. H. Lawrence’s ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums,'” The Arkansas Review 3.1 (May 1994): 47-62.

123. “Problematizing Multiculturalism and the ‘Common Culture,’ MELUS 19.2 (Summer 1994): 59-84.

124. “Configuring the Filipino Diaspora in the United States,” Diaspora 3.2 (Fall 1994): 117-133. Reprinted in Race and Ethnic Relations 96/97. Ed. John A. Kromkowski. 5th edition. Guilford, Ct: Dushkin Publishing Group, 1996, pp. 139-145.

125. “Hugh MacDiarmid: Sketch of a Materialist Poetics,” Nature, Society, and Thought 6.4 (October 1993; issued 1995): 411-36.

126. “Bulosan: Writing for World Revolution, for People’s Liberation, ” Diliman Review 41, 3-4 (1993): 9-13. Another version appeared as: “Carlos Bulosan” in The American Radical . Ed. Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Harvey Kaye. New York: Routledge, 1994, pp. 253-260.

127. “James Baldwin’s Allegory of Black Self-Determination,” The Discourse of Multiplicity. Ed. Tsuneo Kunachi, Shoichi Maeda, and Yuichi Midzunoe. Tokyo, Japan: Taga-shuppan, 1995., pp. 5-35.

128. “From the ‘Boondocks’ to the ‘Belly of the Beast’: What We Can Learn from the Life-History of a Filipino Worker-Intellectual,” Mediations 19.1 (Spring 1995): 76-91.

129. “On the Limits of Postcolonial Theory: Trespassing Letters from the Third World,” ARIEL (August 1995): 89-115. Translated into German by Joachim Eggers: “Uber die Grenzen ‘postkolonialer’ Theorie: Kassiber aus der ‘Dritten Welte,’ ” Das Argument 215 (1996): 361-372.

130 “From National Allegory to the Performance of the Joyful Subject: Reconstituting Philip Vera Cruz’s Life,” Amerasia Journal 21.3 (1995-1996): 137-54.

131. “Postcolonial Theory Versus Philippine Reality: Regrounding the Diasporic Psyche in History and Praxis.” Working Papers in Asian/Pacific Studies . Durham, North Carolina: Duke University, Asian Pacific Studies Institute, 1996. Another version appeared as: “Postcolonial Theory and Philippine Reality: The Challenge of a Third World Culture to Global Capitalism,” Left Curve 20 (1996): 87-102.

132. “Articulations of Sexuality, Race, and Nationalism in Contemporary United States.” In Nationalism and Sexuality: Crises of Identity. Ed. Yiorgos Kalogeras and Domna Pastourmatzi. Thessaloniki, Greece: Hellenic Association of American Studies, 1996, pp. 199-214. French translation: “Articulations entre sexualite et nationalisme aux Etats-Unis,” L’Homme et la Societe (Paris: Editions L’Harmattan, 1996): 67-83.

133. “Foreword,” Inside Ethnic America: An Ethnic Studies Reader. Ed. R. Perry and L. Eason. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt, 1996.

134. Selections in Returning a Borrowed Tongue. Ed. Nick Carbo. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1995.

135. “Beyond Postcolonial Theory: The Mass Line in C.L.R. James’s Imagination,” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (August 1996): 25-44.

136. “The Revolutionary Aesthetics of Friedrich Engels,” Nature, Society and Thought 8.4 (1995): 405-32.
German translation: “Was wir aus Engels’ revolutionarer Asthetik lernen konnen,” Zwischen Utopia und Kritik, edited by Theodor Bergmann et al (Hamburg: Verlag Hamburg, 1996): 68-94.

137. “Against Post-Colonial Theory: The Challenge of the Philippine Revolution,” Diliman Review 43: 3/4 (1995): 55-67.

138. “Rizal’s Novels: Ideology, Class Consciousness, History,” Diliman Review 44.2 (1996): 10-22.

139. “The Challenge of U.S. Asians in the Year 2000,” Philippine News (Jan. 22-28, 1997: B1; (Jan. 29-Feb. 1997): B1. Shortened version in: Asian Week (Jan. 3-9): 7.

140. “Asian American Literary Studies and Its Discontents: From the ‘Melting Pot” into the Fires of Los Angeles,” Left Curve 21 (1997): 98-107. A revised version appeared as “Commodity Fetishism and the Value Forms of Ethnic Discourse,” Tenggara 39 (1997): 109-126. A Chinese version appeared in Taipeh, Taiwan, translated by Pei-chen Wu: “Ya Yi Mei Guo Ren Zai Mei Guo Kung Jian Li Hsun Zhao Wei Chih,” Con-Temporary Monthly January 2001): 122-133.

141. “Culture Wars: Truces, Stalemates, Negotiations,” CEA Critic 59.3 (Spring-Summer 1997): 1-18.

142. “Antonio Gramsci on Surrealism and the Avantgarde” (in German), Weg und Ziel [Vienna, Austria] 2 (1997): 4-10.

143. “Bakhtin and Philippine Writing in English.” World Literature Today 71.3 (Summer 1997): 541-44.

144. “Fragments from a Filipino Exile’s Journal,” Amerasia Journal 23.2 (1997): 1-25.

“Toward a Critique of Orthodox Ethnic Studies” Explorations in Ethnic Studies 18.2
(July 1995): 131-144.

146. “Ethnicity” (entry for Volume 2, Historisch-Kritisches Worterbuch des Marxismus, edited by Wolfgang Fritz Haug published by Argument, Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, 1997): 915-925.

147. “Narrativizing U.S.-Philippines ‘Postcolonial’ Relations: Gender, Identity Politics, Nation in the Novels of Jessica Hagedorn,” Gramma 5 (1997): 165-182. Shorter version: “In Pursuit of The Gangster of Love,” Philippine Studies 46 (First Quarter 1998): 111-121. Revised version: “Transforming Identity in Postcolonial Narrative: An Approach to the Novels of Jessica Hagedorn,” PostIdentity 1.2 (Summer 1998): 5-28.

148. “Migration, Ethnicity, Racism: Narrative Strategies in Asian American Writing,” Migration Themes/Migracijske teme [Zagreb, Croatia] 13 (1997): 189-216.

149. “Dialectics and History: Power, Knowledge, Agency in Rizal’s Discourses,” Diliman Review, 45.2-3 (1997): 60-75.

150. “Raymond Williams on Cultural Revolution,” Left Curve No. 22 (1998): 88-98. Reprinted as: “Raymond Williams and the Radical Project of Cultural Studies,” Danyag 1.2 (December 1996): 118-137.

151. “One Hundred Years of Producing and Reproducing the ‘Filipino,’ Amerasia Journal 24.2 (Summer 1998): 1-34.

152. “Kidlat Tahimik: Cinema of the ‘Naïve’ Subaltern in the Shadow of Global Capitalism,” Communal/Plural: Journal of Transnational and Crosscultural Studies 6.2 (October 1998): 171-187. A revised version appeared in Geopolitics of the Visible edited by Roland Tolentino (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2001).

153. “The Discourse of Edward Said,” Against the Current 77 (November-December 1998): 28-32.

154. “Gramsci, Cesaire, Benjamin: Tracking Surrealism Across Multi-Critical Boundaries,” Compar(a)ison II (1997; appeared Dec. 1998): 129-156.

155. “Filipinos.” In Encyclopedia of the American Left. Ed. Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press. 224-226.

156. “Interview with Joon Park: E. San Juan Lives Dangerously through ‘Commitment,’ “ The Asian Pacific American Journal 7.1 (Spring-Summer 1998): 100-109.

157. “The Symbolic Economy of Gender, Class and Nationality in Filipina Migrant Workers’ Narratives,” Lila: Asia-Pacific Women’s Studies Journal 7 (1998): 20-41.

158. “Multiculturalism or Emancipation,” Against the Current 78 (January-February 1999): 22-25. Revised version: “The Question of Race in the 21st Century,” Dialogue and Initiative (Spring 1999): 31-34.

159. “The Multiculturalist Problematic in the Age of Globalized Capitalism,” Left Curve 23 (1999): 60-64. A longer and revised version appeared in Discourse on Multilingual Cultures, ed. Yuichi Midzunoe (Tokyo, Japan: Taga Shuppan, 1999): 557-578.

160. “From the Immigrant Paradigm to the Praxis of Transformative Critique” in Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in the United States: Toward the Twenty-first Century, edited by Paul Wong (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999): 34-54.

161. “Fanon: An Intervention into Cultural Studies,” FranFanon: Critical Perspectives, ed. Anthony Alessandri (New York: Routledge, 1999): 126-145.

162. “Raymond Williams and Idea of Cultural Revolution,” College Literature 26.2 (Spring 1999): 118-136.

163. “Who speaks now? For whom? For what purpose?” The Asian Reporter 9.18 (May 4-10, 1999): 6. Reprinted in Panay News xxix, 100 (July 11, 1999): 4, 11.

164. “De-Centering Ethnicity: The Situation of Asian Americans in Contemporary Global Capitalism,” Gramma 6 (1998): 135-150.

165. “Postcolonialism and Uneven Development,” Danyag 3.1 (June 1998): 57-68.

166. “The Limits of Postcolonial Theory and the Cultural Politics of Raymond Williams,” Mediations (Spring 1999): 30-36.

167. “Reflections on Philippine Society and Culture at the End of the Century,” Pacific Enterprise 2, 1 (Winter 1999): 14-15, 23-25, 32. Reprinted in: Diliman Review 46.3-4 (1998): 84-90; and in Philippine Graphic (July 12, 1999): 28-31.

168. “The Question of Race in the 21st Century,” Dialogue and Initiative (Spring 1999): 31-34.

169. “Thinking Beyond Postcolonialism: An Interview with Epifanio San Juan, Jr.” by Ping-hui Liao,” Tamkang Review xxix.4 (Summer 1999): 139-147. Translated into Chinese by Shu-hui tsai, “Chao yue hou zhi min lun shu de si wei: fang wen Epifanio San Juan, Jr.,” Con-temporary Monthly 12.1 (1999): 88-95.

170. “The Filipino Diaspora and the Centenary of the Philippine Revolution,” in Journey of 100 Years. Ed. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and Edmundo Litton (Santa Monica, CA: Philippine American Women Writers and Artists, 1999): 135-158.

171. “Menchu/Silko Interrogates Postmodernism,” Pretexts 8.1 (July 1999): 51-58.

172. “Bakhtin: Uttering the ‘(Into)Nation’ of the Nation/People,” Bakhtin and the Nation edited by Donald Wesling et al (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2000): 118-133.

173. “Establishment Postcolonialism and Its Alter/Native Others,” in Dislocating Postcoloniality: Essays on American Culture edited by C. Richard King (Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press 2000): 171-200. An Italian translation is “Postcolonialismo e sviluppo ineguale,” Marxismo oggi XII. 3 (Settembre-Diciembre, 1999): 35-46.

174. “From Chinatown to Gunga Din Highway,” Left Curve No. 24 (Spring 2000): 58-68.

175. “The Multiculturalist Problematic in the Age of Globalized Capitalism,” Social Justice 27.1 (Spring 2000): 61-75.

176. “The Limits of Ethnicity and the Horizon of Historical Materialism” in Asian American Studies edited by Esther Ghymn (New York: Peter Lang, 2000): 9-34. A revised version has been translated into Chinese by Lisa Wu, National Tsing Hua University, under the title: “Ya yi mei guo ren zai mei guo kung jian li hsun zhao wei chih,” Chung-Wai Literary Monthly (Taiwan: 2000).

177. “The Limits of Contemporary Cultural Studies,”Connecticut Review xxii.2 (Fall 2000): 35-45. Reprinted in The Lyceum Review [Manila, Philippines] Millenium Series, No. 1 (2000): 33-38.

178. “Postcolonialism y desarollo desigual,” Casa de las Americas 219 (April-June 2000), 26-34. Italian version (see #172)

179. “Reconfiguring the History of Filipinos in the United States,” BLU Magazine 8: 55. Other versions appeared in The Asian Reporter (October 2000) and in Filipino American Bulletin (Jan-Feb. 2000).

180. “Aime Cesaire’s Poetics of Fugitive Intervention,” Third Text 53 (Winter 2000-01), 3-18. German translation: “Aime Cesaire Poetik des Augstands,” Das Argument 252 (2003), 668-682. A revised version appeared as “Aime Cesaire and Surrealism,” Working Papers Series on Historical Systems, Peoples, and Cultures (Bowling Green State University, Ohio); and in a longer version as “Surrealism and Revolution,” a special issue of Working Papers in Cultural Studies (Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Department of Comparative American Cultures, 2000). French translation by Alice Boheme, in the WEB page on surrealism sponsored by Prof. Henri Behar of the Sorbonne <;

181. “Trajectories of the Filipino Diaspora,” Ethnic Studies Report xviii.2 (July 2000), 229-244. A revised version appeared as “The Filipino Diaspora,” Philippine Studies 49 (Second Quarter 2001), 255-264. A
shorter version appeared as “Filipinizing Diasporic Re/turns,” DisOrient 9 (2001), 45-55.

182. “Cultural Studies—A Reformist or Revolutionary Force for Social Change?” Tamkang Review 31.2 (Winter 2000): 1-29. A revised version appeared in the on-line journal Kritika Kultura 1.1 (February 2002) sponsored by the English Department, Ateneo University <;

183. “Toward Cultural Revolution: A Critique of Contemporary Cultural Studies,” Special issue of Working Papers in Cultural Studies (Washington State University, Pullman, WA: Department of Comparative American Cultures, 2001). Partial translation into French: “Politique des Cultural Studies contemporaines,” L’Homme et la Societe, 149 (2003), 105-124. See also, for another version, “From Birmingham to Angkor Watt: Demarcations of Cultural Studies,” the WEB page of Kritika Kultura < kultura>

184. “Diyalektika at Materyalismong Pangkasaysayan sa Diskurso ni Rizal,” Malay [Manila, Philippines] xvi.1 (Agosto 2001): 1-18.

185. “Interrogating the Postcolonial Alibi: A Testimony from the Filipino Diaspora,” New Literatures Review 37 (Summer 2000): 85-112.

186. “From Chinatown to Gunga Din Highway,” Ethnic Studies Review 24.1-3 (2001): 1-28. A shorter version appeared as “From Fantasy to Strategy: Frank Chin’s Cultural Revolution,” Tamkang Review 31.3 (Spring 2001): 1-14.

187. “Culture and Freedom in People’s Liberation Struggles,” Dialogue and Initiative (Fall-Winter 2001): 21-24.

188. “Symbolic Violence and the Fetishism of the Sublime: a metacommentary on David Hwang’s M. Butterfly,” Journal of Intercultural Studies 23.1 (2002): 33-46.

189. “Post-Colonialism and the Question of Nation-State Violence,” Denver University Law Review 78.4 (2001): 887-905. A revised version is: “Nationalism, the Postcolonial State and Violence,” Left Curve 26 (2002): 36-44. Reprinted as “Postcolonialism and the Question of Nation-State Violence in the Age of Late Capitalism,” Lyceum Review [Manila, Philippines], Millennium Series, No. 2 (2001): 16-32.

190. “Cultural Studies Amongs the Sharks: The Struggle Over Hawaii,” Third Text 16.1 (2002): 71-78.

191. “Interrogating Transmigrancy, Remapping Diaspora: The Globalization of Laboring Filipinos/as,” Discourse 23.3 (Fall 2001): 52-74. A revised version appeared as “Postcolonial Discourse, Diasporic Critique: Filipina Migrant Narratives in the Shadow of Globalization,” Journal of Asian-Pacific Affairs 4.1 (2002): 19-48. Reprinted as “Interrogating Transnationalism: The Case of the Filipino Diaspora in the Age of Globalized Capitalism,” Diliman Review 51.1-2 (2003), 5-22.

192. “Postcolonialism and the Problematic of Uneven Development” in Marxism, Modernity and Postcolonial Studies, ed. Crystal Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002): 221-239.

193. “The Poverty of Postcolonialism,” Pretexts (Summer 2002): 57-74.

194. “Nation-State, Postcolonial Thought, and Global Violence,” Social Analysis 46.2 (Summer 2002), 11-32.

195. “Antonio Gramsci on Surrealism and the Avant-garde,” The Journal of Aesthetic Education 37.2 (Summer 2003), 31-45.

196. “Spinoza and the War of Racial Terrorism, Left Curve, No. 27, 62-72.

197. “Fundamentals of Cultural Studies: Extrapolations from Selected Texts of Raymond Williams,” Keywords: A Journal of Cultural Materialism 4 (2003), 78-93.

198. “The Imperialist War on Terrorism and the Responsibility of Cultural Studies,” Arena Journal 20 (2002-2003), 45-56. A revised version: “U.S. Imperial Terror, cultural studies, and the national liberation struggle in the Philippines,” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 4-3 (2003), 516-523. Reprined in Diliman Review 50.4 (2003), 39-46. A shorter version: “U.S. War on Terrorism and the Filipino Struggle for National Liberation,” Dialogue and Initiative (Fall 2003), 2-6. An expanded version appeared as: “Imperialist War Against Terrorism and Revolution in the Philippines,” Left Curve 28 (2004), 40-56.

199. “Challenging Contemporary American Studies,” The Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies 25.4 (October-December 2003), 303-333

200. “Marxism and the Race/Class Problematic: A Rearticulation,” Cultural Logic (2003) <; Reprinted in Diliman Review 51.3 (2004), 6-15.

201. “Aime Cesaire’s Insurrectionary Poetics,” in Surrealism, Politics and Culture,edited by Raymond Spiteri and Donald LaCoss (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003), 226-245.

202. “On the Filipino Diaspora and the Crisis in the Philippines,” St. John’s University Humanities Review 2.1 (Fall 2003), 81-99.

203. “ ‘Filipino’ Speech-Acts—Weapons for Self-Determination of the Filipino Nationality in the U.S.,” Danyag 7.1 (June 2002; published 2003): 29-46. Reprinted in Diliman Review 50.4 (2003), 3-12; also in . KritikaKultura 5 (Dec. 2004): 70-86 <; A longer version appeared as: “Inventing Vernacular Speech-Acts: Articulating Filipino Self-Determination in the United States,” Socialism and Democracy 19.1 (March 2005), 136-154.

204. “Knowledge, Representation, Truth: Learning from Charles Sanders Peirce’s Semiotics,” St. John’s University Humanities Review 2.2 (May 2004), 15-37.

“The Field of English in the Cartography of Globalization,” Philippine Studies 52.1 (2004), 94-118.

“Postcolonial Dialogics: Between Edward Said and Antonio Gramsci,” Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies 11,1-2 (2004), 56-74.

“From Race to Class Struggle: Re-problematizing Critical Race Theory,” Michigan Journal of Race and Law 11.1 (Fall 2005), 75-98.

208. “Preparing for the Time of Reparation: Du Bois, G. Jackson, Abu Jamal,” Souls 7.2 (2005), 63-74.

“Toward a Decolonizing Indigenous Psychology in the Philippines: Introducing Sikolohiyang Pilipino,” Journal for Cultural Research 10.1 (Jan. 2006), 47-67.

“Edward Said’s Affiliations: Secular humanism and Marxism,” Atlantic Studies 3.1 (April
2006), 43-60.

“Ethnic Identity and Popular Sovereignty: Notes on the Moro Struggle in the Philippines,” Ethnicities 6.3 (Sept. 2006), 391-422.

211. “Carlos Bulosan, Filipino Writer-Activist,” New Centennial Review 8.1 (Winter 2008), 103-

212. “Internationalizing the U.S. Ethnic Canon: Revisiting Carlos Bulosan,” Comparative
American Studies (June 2008): 123-143.

213. “Joyce/Ibsen: Dialectics of Aesthetic Modernism,” Orbis Litterarum 63.4 (2008): 267-284.

214. ”Antonio Gramsci’s Theory of the ‘National-Popular” and Socialist Revolution in the Philippines,” In Gramsci Now, ed. Joseph Francese. New York: Routledge, 2009. 163-185.

215. “Literary Studies in the Age of the Empire’s Collapse,” Danyag 14.1 (June 2009): 5-12.

216. “From Genealogy to Inventory: The Situation of Asian American Studies in the Age of the Crisis of Global Finance Capital,” International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies 6.1 (Jan. 2010): 47-76.

217. “Overseas Filipino Workers: The Making of an Asian-Pacific Diaspora,” Global South 3.2 (Winter 2010), 99-129.

218. “Jose Garcia Villa—Critique of a Subaltern Poetics, EurAmerica 40.1 (March 2010): 3-27.

219. “Toward Radicalizing Cultural Studies,” Left Curve 36 (2012): 74-82. Revised version appeared in the e-journal JOMEC Journal (2012) with the title: “Speculative Notes by a Subaltern Amateur in Cultural Studies.” <;

220. “Dialectics of Aesthetics and Politics in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Fifth Book of Peace” Criticism 51.2 (2010):.181-209.

221. “Leading Filipino Writers in the U.S.: Fin-de-Siecle Notes on Carlos Bulosan, Jose Garcia Villa, Jessica Hagedorn, and Bienvenido Santos.” Left Curve 35 (2011): 73-82.

222. “Revisiting Imperial Cultural Studies and Ethnic Writing,” HUMANITIES DILIMAN 9.1 (January-June 2012),: 1-27.

223. “Peirce/Marx; Project for a Dialogue between Pragmatism and Marxism.” Left Curve 37 (2013): 110-112.

224. “War in the Filipino Imagination,” War and Literature (2014). Web.

225. “On Photography in Late Capitalism: Reflections on the Vicissitudes of the Image from a Filipino Perspective,” Kritika Kultura 21/22 (2013=2014): Web.

226. “Reflections on Academic Cultural Studies and the Problem of Indigenization in the Philippines,” TOPIA (2014): 155-175.

227. “In Lieu of Saussure: A Prologue to Charles Sanders Peirce’s Theory of Signs,”
Cultural Logic, 2014. Web.

228. “Panitikan, Ideolohiya, Rebolusyon: Edukasyon at Pedagohiya sa Pagbasa ng Nobelang Desaparesidos ni Lualhati Bautista.” SWF Daluyan (2015): 218-226.

229. “Reading the Stigmata: Filipino Bodies Performing for the U.S. Empire.”, 25 April 2015. Web.

230. “Tracking the Spoors of Imperialism and Neocolonialism in the Philippines: Sketch of a Synoptic Reconnaissance.” Black Commentator, 22 January 2015. Web. Posted in Portside, 2 Feb. 2015). Web.

231. “Pagsubok sa Pagbuo ng Isang Kritikang Radikal ng Neokolonyalistang Orden” / Hypothesis Toward Synthesizing a Radical Critique of the Neocolonial Order.” Malay 27.2 (April 2015): 1-16.

232. ‘Kasaysayan, Sining, Lipunan: Ang Politika ng Panitikan sa Makabagong Panahon.”
Kritika Kultura 24 (2015): 239-247.

233. “Lagda ni Andres Bonifacio: Paghamon sa tadhana, himagsikan, at pagtupad sa kapalaran ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Social Science Diliman 12: 1 (January-June 2016): 48-77.

234. “Paghahanap at Pagtuklas sa Panitik ni Cirio Panganiban / Reconaissance and
Discovery of Cirio Panganiban’s Writing.” Malay 28.2 (2016): 29-42.


Editorial Activities: Editor, Working Papers in Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Studies Series (Dept of Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University, 1998-2001); Editorial Board, Atlantic Studies, AmerAsia Journal, Left Curve, Kultura Kritika, Cultural Logic, and Nature, Society, and Thought.


Editorial Activities: Editor, Working Papers in Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Studies Series (Dept of Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University, 1998-2001); Editorial Board, Left Curve, Kultura Kritika, Cultural Logic, and Nature, Society, and Thought.






The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the New People’s Army (NPA) must further expand use of command-detonated explosives (CDX) in launching tactical offensives against the reactionary armed forces, police and all its attached paramilitaries.
“The CPP and NPA reject the baseless demand of GRP President Rodrigo Duterte for the NPA to stop using CDX landmines which are legitimate weapons of war and are allowed under the Geneva Conventions and the Ottawa Treaty on Landmines.”

According to Duterte, he has long repeatedly told the NPA in Mindanao to stop using landmines which he claims are banned under international conventions. “Perhaps, he has not been closely listening to explanations about landmine conventions and distinctions made about different types of landmines.”

“The aim of the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines is to protect civilians from accidental explosions,” pointed out the CPP. The Treaty defines anti-personnel mines as those designed to be exploded by “the presence, proximity or contact of a person.”

“The explosives and landmines used by NPA are command-detonated or blasted manually, some with a battery-powered electronic trigger held by a Red fighter,” added the CPP. “CDX landmines, which NPA ordnance units manufacture carefully, will not explode simply if it is stepped on, tripped upon or kicked around.”

“Furthermore, CDX landmines are not laid out indiscriminately and are always manned or within the immediate proximity of the NPA unit that emplaced them,” pointed out the CPP. “There has yet to be an incident where a CDX landmine laid by the NPA was accidentally exploded by a civilian.”

“The NPA is very careful about using weapons that may accidentally hurt or injure civilians,” said the CPP. “Even indigenous booby traps such as punji sticks are used with discrimination and are not left unmanned.”

“Contrary to Duterte’s demand for the NPA to stop using its CDX landmines, the NPA and the people’s militias must further expand the use of such weapons,” said the CPP.

It added: “CDX landmines are a poor man’s weapon. These are mass-produced by people who have no recourse to the expensive rockets and howitzers of state-funded armies. It is a weapon than can only be effectively used by those who have mastery of terrain. It must continue to be effectively and widely employed in waging mass guerrilla warfare. The mass movement to manufacture CDX landmines must be stepped-up. Every unit of the NPA, including all units of the people’s militias, must have their own supply of CDX landmines, and must have the skill and plan to employ these as defensive and offensive weapons against the enemy.”

“CDX landmines have been proven to be highly effective weapons at thwarting the frenzied military offensives of the AFP,” said the CPP. “This is the reason why the AFP has been so adamant in its demand for the NPA to stop using CDX landmines to the point of mindlessly citing international prohibitions even without a comprehensive and clear understanding of those.”

August 8, 2016
Communist Party of the Philippines


Two books by E.San Juan, Jr.

San Juan double flyer

Image | Posted on by

On E. San Juan’s BALIKBAYANG MAHAL by Charmaine Bramida

E. San Juan Jr.’s

A Critique Paper by Charmaine Bramida
October, 2013


E. San Juan’s poetry collection, “Balikbayang Mahal: Passages from Exile”, as suggested by the title, was birthed through the many travels of the poet. This work is a collection of old and new poems and also includes a long essay on exile and diaspora entitled “Sa Loob at Labas ng Bayan Kong Sawi: Emergency Signals from a Filipino Exile.” It gives the impression of a travelling journal of some sort, especially with some of his poems entitled like a journal entry (Tag-sibol sa Den Haag, Nederland, 25 Marso 2007; Biyernes ng Hapon, Oktubre 1, 2005).

The author’s sweeping knowledge of geography, history, politics, religion, and literature blossoms in this poetry collection. Most of San Juan’s work, including his poetry, is political and looks outward upon the world (most evident probably in his poem “Spring in Den Haag, Nederland, 25 March 2007”, among others).

As you go along, page by page, his poems are explicitly and implicitly suggesting different places. The poet, in his exile, somehow finds himself in these places and comes to an almost nostalgic state of his homeland’s history. Wherever he goes, his country seems to follow him. It almost appears like it pays (an ironic) homage to the Greek epic, Illiad, where Oddyseus sailed for a homeward journey yet ends up in a twenty-year exile. But, instead of being lost on his way home, the poet, in his exile, meets his homeland somewhere along in his consciousness.

The diversity of language used in translation of the poet’s poems in this collection emphasizes not only the journey he is going or have gone through but also reflects him as a person. Someone who speaks an array of foreign languages impresses us that this person must have done a lot of travelling in his lifetime, or have lived in different places, or is simply well-versed as product of a privileged education. The poet is in fact all of the aforementioned. However, the bevy use of language does not exactly celebrate the multilingualism of the poet in exile. The variety of language may as well serve as a mapping device as to the whereabouts of the poet. However, it may primarily be that, although the majority of the poems in the collection were written in Filipino, but their translation into English, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, and French underscores the universal dimension of the struggle in the homeland of the poet. The poet might have intended to have his poems translated and transformed, to make the vernacular international, not particularly language wise, but the things addressed by his poems, the content–-his motherland. The poet wants the world to experience whatever it is that his motherland is going through, and this want makes him consciously or subconsciously think of the Philippines wherever he goes.

Travel, Diaspora, and Double Consciousness

The first poem of the collection, entitled “Voyages”, is very fitting as an opening for this collection. It conditions our sensibilities that we are about to set sail on a journey across lands through the pages, a poem steeped in classical mythology which starts in a memorable line: “To exile I ride on the bountiful surf. And foam-flowers/ of her dreams gather to waylay my anchors.”

The form of the poem at a distance mimics the waves through its enjambments and indentations. The image of the poem is relaxed and it gives us the experience of being in the middle of a sea on board a moving ship. Although travelling is the first thing that may come to mind once the first poem is read, the collective work is not necessarily a travel literature, but focuses more on the history and the going-ons of the poet’s motherland.

As one reads though most of the poems, you can encounter conflict between locations. W.E.B. Du Bois coined the term double consciousness, which is defined as the two-ness of a person’s identity. Double consciousness describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity (the conflict of being African and European/American discussed in Dub Bois’s book, “The Souls of Black Folk”, written in 1903). The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as the removal or conveyance from one person, place, or condition to another.

The poet, with the juxtaposition of his thoughts, most evidently found in his poem, “Balikbayang Mahal” (which could be identified as the main piece of his collection), we come to this idea that the poet is not really from that place but comes from or lives elsewhere and is very nostalgic and is internally coping with his chronic travels from one place to another. The epigraph chosen by the poet for this poem is from Dante Alighieri’s reputable, “Paradiso”: “You will leave everything you love; this is the arrow first released by the bow of your exile….” Excerpts from the first part of the poem shows the idea of this epigraph: “You’ve flown to Rome and London…You’ve flown to Riyadh and Qatar…You’ve flown to Toronto and New York…You’ve flown to Chicago and San Francisco…You’ve flown to Hong Kong and Tokyo…You’ve flown to Sydney and Taipeh…” The lines under these statements of the (seemingly) itinerary of the poet expresses a sense of longing for what he is about to leave behind at that moment: “You’ve flown to Rome and London/ Anxiously looking back to clouds loaded with dreams wandering/ Sunk in memories of tomorrow slowly drowning” … “You’ve flown to Hong Kong and Tokyo/ “I’ll never forget you”—the temptation of a farewell unclenched/ soars”.

One of the concluding lines of the first part confirms that feeling of nostalgia of the speaker: “You’ve flown, O beloved sweetheart, but on whose bosom/ will you land?” Wherever the poet is headed or has been, he feels that he have been set free, that he has the freedom of being a citizen of the world through the power of travel and is able to pursue his ambitions, but this question connects us to his feeling of uncertainty as to where he will end up at the last league of his worldwide journey. The last line of the first part shows how the poet have invested himself into every place he has ever been: “My soul cut up and scattered to all the corners of the planet”.

The above mentioned excerpts come from the first part of the poem. Obviously, it speaks of departure. However, in the second part of the piece, it offers a parallel, yet opposite and contrasting situation, thus, the double consciousness that is being shown in this piece. The lines directly show a mirror of the first part of the poem, that instead of departing, someone is: “Late, they said everything is late. It’s gone, that train loaded with/ memories and dreams,” … “Late, we’ve been left behind by the airplane headed for Tokyo/ and Los Angeles”, … “Already departed/ So distant now is the ship sailing toward Hong/ Kong and Singapore”. Throughout the second part of the poem, the speaker is expressing his feelings of regret over lost time, “Taking a chance that the telegram will reach—what a pity, no/ kidding, a terrible waste”.

Apparently, the poet is addressing someone which is confirmed in the line: “You’re late—your promises rotting with anxiety and doubts…/ Finished!” The unnamed persona that the poet is addressing in these statements is confusing. Is he addressing himself? Is he speaking for a wider demography? His countrymen, maybe? The proceeding lines of the poem presents us the image of the persona that the poet is addressing: “Wilder than desire struggling to escape—where did you come/ from? Where are you going?/ Hoarse, exhausted, starved, elbows and knees bruised, crawling/ on all fours from the abyss…” These lines seem to give us an image of the struggle of what the Filipinos underwent through the different colonizers and how they battled for freedom. Yet, with this freedom, the poet continues to question where they are headed.
Basically, the most evident issue that the poet is embodying in his poems in this collection is his homeland. Despite him being in other places, or in “exile”, he cannot tear away from the reality of where he come from. However, one may also think that the poet is addressing the colonization of the Philippines. The line, “My soul cut up and scattered to all the corners of the planet,” also seems to suggest that the Filipino identity has become a mixture of the different countries that have colonized the Philippines, or rather, it gives us the idea of the Filipino people inhabiting (almost) all places in the world.

The concluding line of the poem enlightens us and confirms as to who is the addressee of the second part of the poem, “Beloved foreigner, let’s catch what’s left inside, waiting for joy in/ abeyance, nothing ahead or behind, endless….” As confusing as it may seem, but the persona that the poet named as a “Beloved foreigner” may refer to his countrymen, the Filipinos. The contrasting idea given through this label shows us the reality of the Filipino lifestyle. We travel. We migrate. We build our homes not in the lands of our mother country. The Filipinos have become citizens of the world. The home of Filipinos have become “endless”, so to speak.

The above excerpts embodies diaspora. Diaspora in the Philippines is very much palpable. His essay that concludes the collection ratifies that fact. This may be the reason for his double consciousness because of bilocation.

Allusion and Free Verse in a socially driven poetry

The most consistent features of the poet’s poems are the use of free verse and allusion. Some of his poems heavily use allusion as a device. The poetry reminds one of T.S. Eliot in its overflow of allusions. This could be expected since his theme is very historical and political. An example of this is his poem “Spring In Den Haag, Nederland, 25 March 2007”, where the poet alludes to Arroyo and the socio-political happenings in his country. It commemorates the Permanent People’s Tribunal’s verdict of “’Guilty!’ for the U.S.-Arroyo regime”. The poem also mockingly contrasts the peacefulness of the Dutch city of The Hague with the “murders and abuses”, still found in the Philippines despite the findings of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, the subtle point being that the sense of satisfaction the speaker receives from the verdict does not translate into action in his homeland — the verdict does not stop the suffering half a world away. Although, the poem ends with hope: through continued and renewed struggle, justice will be found: “Your lips breaking apart the chains binding the morning’s/ sunburst —”, suggesting that The Arroyo regime will be defeated, and peace will prevail.

This poem, once again, shows evidence of double consciousness as most of his politically themed poems are. Such as the discussed poem above, it is springtime in The Hague and the poet thinks of political detainees in Muntinlupa. Or again, as dusk descends, for instance, on the Italian town of “Punta Spartivento” (the title of the poem), the poet-exile is haunted by names of the dead — Juvy Magsino, Benjaline Hernandez, Eden Marcellana, Rafael Bangit, Alyce Claver, as shown by the following lines: “Souvenirs of the future—/ what tidings are trumpeted by the turbulent winds?/ They killed Juvy Magsino, Benjaline Hernandez, Eden Marcellana,/ Rafael Bangit, Alyce Claver…./ On the shores of Punta Spartivento, the waves encounter each other/ and separate—/ right or left, here and there—as if without any/ decision, pushed to the right/ or pulled to the left/ divided by fate or fortune?” His bilocation between where he is physically and his consciousness straying towards his motherland is shown. The poet-exile remembers the Moslem insurgency in Mindanao as night falls in the land of the Pequot Indians in his poem “Friday Afternoon, October 1, 2005, In Willimantic, Connecticut, USA” with the lines: “My cigarette stubb I interred beside the Bridge of Frogs while the/ traffic procession headed for the Foxboro Casino now owned by the/ Pequots./ But why does the Abu Sayyaf sneak into the mind”.
In his poem “Megamall in Metro Manila” (Megamall sa Metromanila), with the use of statements, it becomes evident that the poet is addressing the different problems of the Philippines; from commoditization: “Your vision is shrouded by Stateside goods galore even though you/ don’t know the signification of commodity fetishism.”; to politics: “No more barricades even though crocodiles continue to scavenge the/ shores./ The odor of Pasig River snakes its way up to the boudoir of/ Malacanang Palace”; to the Westernization of his countrymen: “We watch on the movie screen the fantastic rumbles of/ Schwarzenegger, James Bond, Bruce Lee and Sigourney Weaver.” The poem somehow exploits how dense the Filipinos have become, “Your dreams are now on motorcycles.”

In the same way, his poem “Wanderlust in Makat”i (Lagalag sa Makati) touches on the socio-political issues looming over his country, specifically, poverty. The poem set at the darker side of the streets of Makati–-the great metropolitan city of Manila, which is “Whirling in the maniacal traffic”. The person addressed by the speaker of the poem explains to us the situation: “…you’re still jobless and traipsing/ here and there./ Counting posts and stars, you arrive at “nirvana”/…” The persona of the poem is a representation of the many jobless Filipinos in the country, a country ran by “the machinations of capitalist society”, as the poet puts it. Jobless. No stable path. Hungry. The last line of the poem offers no hope. As in its original Filipino version – “kumapit na lang sa patalim.”

The poet’s poem also touches the subject of industrialization where he alludes to Valdimir Mayakovsky. Valdimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet poet, playwright, artist and stage and film actor. He is among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism. As it appears, Mayakovsky, being a futurist, adores and worships the age of technology and the speed, efficiency and noise that comes with it, which is evident in the poem, “Vicissitudes of The Love and Death of Valdimir Mayakovsky”. The poet uses strong images that creates the idea of the noise and chaos brought about by these advancements and the fascination of Mayakovsky towards these things. Even the form of the poem imitates disarray. It also appears the poet creates a fusion of the physicality of Mayakovsky together with a machine in order to heighten Mayakovsky’s regard for technology: “Your torso rocketed beyond the Eiffel Tower/ Now your lobster-red tongue spits Pentecostal vodka… / But neon x-rays from your submarine catacombs/ kicked them in the loins—…”

The poet’s use of statements

According to the principles of poetic content, a poetic idea is best expressed through the use of special images and situations that dramatize the idea. The poet, clearly, with his use of free verse and allusions, used statements in most of his poems in this collection. However, these direct statements were not used merely literal facts and assertions, but were used to embody the idea of the poem. His poems include situations, details, and characters that satisfies the conclusion (see: Wanderlust in Makati, Vicissitudes of the Love and Death Of
Valdimir Mayakovsky, Punta Spartivento, among others).

Lyrical poems

Although the poet’s poems in this collection is more evident of free verse and allusion, his poems such as Voyages, The Three Temptations, The Way Things Are, and Hail and Farewell, and others, show a lyrical side. Perhaps the most lyrical poem is “The Way Things Are,” which is made of five quatrains with images of birds hovering in old buildings; yet even here “We wait for miracles / With daggers to console / Us,” and a metaphor for circling birds — of angel droppings that “May nourish the exchange / We are possessed of and by” — suggests a vision to console “Every animal that dies.”

As discussed earlier, the poems begin on a lyric called “Voyages”, with the line, “To exile I ride on the bountiful surf”. The same as the collection is introduced, the poetry ends on a lyric called “Hail and Farewell,” with a closing quatrain still alluding to Mayakovsky: “But Mayakovsky is our kin — / We also reek / Of incense / And formalin.” wherein the poet sanctions the attitude of the Filipinos towards industrialization, Westernization, and the technology of the new age as he suggests that we are in the same fascinated consciousness to that of Mayakovsky.

Away from the political outlooks and looking inwards

Although most of the work is heavily political and looks outward upon the world, “Mask of the Poet” is one of the few poems in this collection that looks inward. The poet speaks of solitude: “No self, none at all; I exist alone”. The voice of the poem is the poetic inspiration itself. It’s paradoxical and metaphysical message being that in randomness and aloneness, we find ourselves connected to the world: “In one’s vision and hearing/ In the soul and love of every creature/ Moves and dances every organic being.”

Conclusion: Essay on Exile

The collection ends with an almost twelve-thousand-word essay entitled, “Sa Loob at Labas ng Bayan Kong Sawi: Emergency Signals from a Filipino Exile”. This essay addresses aspects of many types of exile and many diasporas, but it begins and ends with the complexities and consequences of what it means to be a Filipino far from home. In this sense, the diaspora of the Filipino race, which usually tends to gear towards the West, is an evidence of Orientalism (Edward Said, 1978). It may seem that Filipinos are still, hypothetically, colonized by the Westerners through political forces. Filipinos, being Orientals, are, in a way, seen as people who exist for the West. However, on the contrary on the thought that the diaspora of Filipinos towards these parts of the globe embodies a different kind of colonization, yet still a colonization in that sense, these migrations actually is a liberating moment for the Filipinos, that this time, they get to be the colonizers.

The poems and the concluding essay confront injustice—the ways, for instance, in which oppressors colonize even time and space. From labourers to domestic helpers, caregivers, entertainers, and professionals around the planet today, the Filipino, as a subject, shares the history of slaves, refugees, detainees, war veterans, and immigrants. These are the communities in motion that the poet-exile is addressing on behalf of Filipinos everywhere–-the kinship.

It seems that this collection of San Juan marks an important break in the Filipino literary tradition. From Francisco Balagtas to Jose Rizal, the homeland has been imagined as a bounded territory where people cannot go beyond their motherlands.

In this work of the poet-exile, a new conception of homeland is heralded. The poet may be dreaming of returning to Manila (as suggested by his poem Balikbayang Mahal), but the place is not a final destination for him. Instead, it is a portal to other places where homeland is without boundaries: “endless”. It is not an essential place, but a set of kinships that Filipinos everywhere and other people with similar fates can embrace and connect. The poet presents us that the planet has become the homeland of the Filipinos.

The poems in “Balikbayang Mahal: Passages from Exile” are mostly about the sorrows of migration and exile and the history and struggles of the poet-exile’s homeland, to be sure, but they are also about the hope of connections and with this, the poet-exile, E. San Juan Jr., of Balikbayang Mahal is, in the best sense of the word, the translator of the many Filipinos in the different corners of the world.R E F E R E N C E S
Bruce, Dickson D. Jr. (June, 1992). W. E. B. Du Bois and the Idea of Double Consciousness. American Literature. Vol. 64, No. 2. pp. 299-309: University Press

Du Bois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. (1903). New York, Avenel, NJ: Gramercy Books; 1994

Brown, E. J. (1973). Mayakovsky: a poet in the revolution. Princeton Univ. Press

Oxford English Dictionary. (1989). Second Edition.

San Juan, E. Jr. (2007). Balikbayang Mahal: Passages from Exile. Morrisville, North
Carolina: Lulu Enterprices, Inc.

Said, Edward. (1978). Orientalism. Post-colonial studies at Emory. 2012.


E. San Juan’s TOWARD FILIPINO SELF-DETERMINATION–review by Michael Viola

Toward Filipino Self-Determination: Beyond Transnational Globalization. By Epifanio San Juan Jr. (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2009. 184 pp. hardcover, $65).

Reviewed by Michael Viola, University of California, Los Angeles

The term globalization has several definitions associated with the accelerated social, economic, and political shifts in late 20th century capitalism. In a United Nations report, globalization has winners and losers. This report explains, “A rising tide of wealth is supposed to lift all boats, but some are more seaworthy than others. The yachts and ocean liners are rising in response to new opportunities, but many rafts and rowboats are taking on water – and some are sinking” (United Nations Report, 1997). While the definition of globalization is often debated, for the majority of people in the Philippines the process of globalization can be more accurately described as “gobble-ization” (McLaren and Farahmandpur, 2001).

Similar to the mass destruction caused at the wake of Hurricane Ondoy, the mechanisms of corporate globalization has enabled an international ruling class to pillage the resources of the Philippines leaving behind an entire populations submerged in the swollen overflows of structural adjustment, debt, and privatization. The rule of the high water is the doctrine of neoliberalism where every layer of the nation’s social fabric is a site of looting, as the market has become the organizing logic of an entire social sphere. Global conditions set in motion by the tides of production have influenced the domains of culture for Filipinos in a global diaspora.

In his latest book, Toward Filipino Self-Determination: Beyond Transnational Globalization, Epifanio San Juan Jr. uncovers the concealed operations of power and the underlying social relations that have impacted social life (language, culture, work, and identity) for Filipinos in an age of global crisis and contradiction.

This book, a compilation of essays written after 9/11 serves as a sequel to his influential writings, in particular, From Exile to Diaspoa (1998) and After Postcolonialism (2000). Much like these earlier works, E. San Juan’s methodology is a method of dissent that captures the complex social relations and constant motion of the Philippine Diaspora. With such a method, tension is present throughout his analysis engaging more commonly accepted theoretical frames promoted by postcolonial, postmodern, and post-Marxist scholars.

For those familiar with E. San Juan’s important earlier works, there is recognizable overlap in the astute critiques that he makes, however, for a reader not exposed to the conditions and history of the Philippines or to Marxist social theory, E. San Juan’s reiterations are valuable as they help clarify arguments that are complicated and theoretically rigorous.

The chapters “Imperial Terror in the Homeland” and “In the Belly of the Beast” are invaluable historical supplements for youth involved in organizing the very popular Philippine Culture Nights (PCN); scholars of Ethnic and Asian American Studies; as well as community organizers interested in furthering political projects that counter the injustices of racism, patriarchy, and other social injustices.

Throughout these chapters E. San Juan shows how seemingly disconnected events are in fact connected through a systemic logic of exploitation and an international division of labor necessitated by the current global economic order. Such writings serve as a constant reminder that ecological disasters, racist anti-immigrant sentiments, and the escalating violence against women (delegated “the servants of globalization”) are intimately linked to the motions of capitalist development.

San Juan’s essay titled “Subaltern Silence” is especially invigorating for university students as they witness the privatization of their public education, the exorbitant increases in tuition fees, and the reduction of courses offered in the humanities and languages. Even though Filipinos have become one the largest groups in the Asian American ethnic category the languages of Filipinos in the academy is sparse.

E. San Juan argues that the struggle over language in our schools is a struggle over Filipino identity – an identity that must be rooted in the ideas of liberation, democracy, and justice for Filipinos throughout the world. He states, “literacy must be based on the reality of the subaltern life if it is to be effective in any strategy of real empowerment, in the decolonization of schooling for a start” (50).

However, the struggle for Filipino languages cannot be confined solely within institutions of higher learning. E. San Juan argues, the struggle for Filipino languages “cannot be achieved except as part of the collective democratic struggles of other people of color and the vast majority of working citizens oppressed by a class-divided, racialized, and gendered order” (51).

It is this social order that Carlos Bulosan confronted in his books of literature and work as a labor organizer at the beginning of the 20th century. The influential writings of Carlos Bulosan are widely available due in large part to the research of E. San Juan. More significantly, the author builds upon Bulosan’s analysis in an assessment of the irrational conditions that continue to plague Filipinos in America. In the chapter titled, “Revisiting Carlos Bulosan” E. San Juan requests that the reader not examine Bulosan’s writing as a sacred or finished text.

Rather, he invites us to resume the unfinished project of Bulosan and the countless “others” who have worked to understand the challenges that confront racialized and subjugated peoples of America in order to prepare for a more humane and just tomorrow. The examination of Bulosan’s life and legacy is a dialectical endeavor. The author highlights Bulosan’s life experiences that undoubtedly has influenced many, however the author reminds us that individuals do not impose such an influence alone but by generations building on the labor of those who come before.

The last chapter, “Tracking the Exile’s Flight: Mapping a Rendezvous” E. San Juan reproduces a speech he delivered to alumni of the Philippine Studies Program, a program that enabled university students from around the United States to gain college credit for their summer studies in the Philippines. E. San Juan maintains that through critical travel experiences or “exposure trips” one can gain a critical standpoint of neoliberal globalization not provided by corporate media and mainstream academic textbooks.

The author argues that these personal experience can provide critical points of analysis especially when widened beyond the personal to problematize conditions that entire groups of people (Filipinos) are situated. Throughout this chapter, E. San Juan’s use of historical materialism provides the reader with an important lens to examine the social contradictions of the Philippine Diaspora in connection with the underlying social forces of class struggle and racist as well as gendered oppression.

Toward Filipino Self-Determination maintains that Filipinos throughout the diapsora have passed on a rich legacy dedicated to the projects of democracy, justice, and self-determination. A new generation of culture workers, scholars, activists, and radical feminists is emerging with their own adapted strategies to bring forth a new society from the vestiges of the old.

Throughout this book E. San Juan reminds us that, “we are faced with a new arena of battle, one between humanity and barbarism, between oppressed third world peoples fighting for survival and the rule of a dehumanized global capital” (166). He is astute in his analysis that in this new arena of battle new ideas, imaginations, and strategies are needed that enables us to transform the world we live. Such transformation takes place with proper understanding and such understanding is furnished with theory.


INTERVIEW: E. SAN JUAN, Jr. on the advent of the Duterte presidency

DSC_0405 [Desktop Resolution]Scholar: ‘Feudal-authoritarian’ mindset led to Duterte win

By: Marvin Bionat
@inquirerdotnet U.S. Bureau
12:34 AM May 17th, 2016
PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire –E. San Juan, Jr., a prolific Filipino intellectual, has written close to 60 books on various topics, including race, social class, post-colonialism and the Filipino diaspora. In this interview with he shares his analysis of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s victory and what awaits the Philippines.

In 1999, San Juan was given the Centennial Award for Achievement in Literature from the Cultural Center of the Philippines for his contributions to Filipino and Filipino-American studies. His more recent books include U.S. Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (Palgrave), Racism and Cultural Studies (Duke University Press), and Between Empire and Insurgency (UP Press).

A lifetime academic, San Juan was formerly a fellow of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University and an emeritus professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Ethnic Studies at Washington State University. He is currently a professorial lecturer at Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Marvin Bionat (MB): What do you think were the key factors that made Duterte win?

San Juan, Jr. (ESJ): Key factors include the citizenry’s deep and widespread disappointment at “daang matuwid’s” neoliberal policies, corrupt raiding of people’s money, waste of resources (including degradation of habitats due to predatory mining), utter neglect of victims of natural disasters, inept management of crises (kidnapping, Mamapasano, Kidapawan, etc.), brutal culture of impunity (extrajudicial killings, torture), Hacienda Luisita massacres, deterioration of public services (health, transportation, public education), worsening plight of overseas Filipino workers—in short, immiseration of workers, peasants, and middle strata all around, despite erratic growth of foreign investments, GNP, etc.

MB: Why did people vote for him despite his extrajudicial approach to curbing crime and his open contempt for due process in Davao City?
ESJ: The feudal authoritarian mindset of most people prefers peace and security imposed from above, if they don’t threaten their private interests. If Davao suddenly became crime-free, well and good, since the victims are from the poor, lumpen classes who are not organized, or are manipulated by politicians and big-moneyed syndicates. But those are petty crimes, not the scandalous theft instanced by the Napoles disclosures, the Arroyo scams, etc.

Elements of the middle sectors admired the early result of Marcos’ martial law, so long as the victims were hidden. And commodities are accessible to most wage earners. The mass media, as well as religious institutions, sanction law and order as long as it’s good for business, market operations, consumerism, preservation of the status quo. Meanwhile, the big criminals in government and civil society are enjoying their holiday. And Davao is not exactly a microcosm of the whole neocolonial network of complex institutions and habitual practices. To be sure, Davao is not Metro Manila or even like Binay’s Makati.

MB: What does his emergence as the country’s leader tell us about our society?

ESJ: Well, it’s a manipulated neocolony where information, public discussion, open criticism, and formation of dissenting parties are tightly regulated and administered, so public consciousness or sensibility—bored by the usual bribery-cum-palabas—welcomes spectacles like Pacquiao, as they welcomed Estrada, etc.

Du30 was a new face on the electoral scene, dominated by trapos and has-beens, so the audience/public was attracted and excited, especially by someone with a foul mouth, mimicking the contrived TV/movie image of a daredevil gangbuster who somehow miraculously climbed up from the unwashed class and succeeded in acquiring the aura of a populist messiah of sorts. This is not a judgment on the person, but a comment on the ideological atmosphere of the last few months.

The Du30 phenomenon, like Erap’s popularity, will prove circumstantial, context-bound, and will go the way of previous presidencies, given the cast of genteel advisers, run-of-the-mill cabinet appointees, etc. Magsaysay was quite popular, but who in this generation of post-martial-law babies remember him now?

So it’s not the whole 100-plus million Filipinos who are responsible for Du30. It’s a socio-historical phenomenon brought about by diverse trends in society, symptomatic of legacies of colonialism, tributary habits, patriarchal sexist dispositions, image-saturated fantasies, etc. Du30 is like a basketball star or TV spectacle, cheered today, gone tomorrow.

MB: Some have pointed to a global trend that favors strong, nationalistic, fascistic leaders. Is Duterte’s victory part of that phenomenon?

ESJ: Whether Du30 is fascistic or nationalistic as president remains to be seen. It’s not a trend worldwide. Iceland, for example, threw out the corrupt elite. Then there’s Bolivia’s Evo Morales or Myanmar’s Lady Heroine. But the trend is more common in dependent or neocolonial formations (as in Latin America or Africa) where socio-economic pressures heighten class, ethnic, and religious divisions, so that the military or Bonapartist solution becomes an alternative.

Overall, global capitalism favors the theater of democratic procedures (parliaments, elections) and predictable laws, because they hide the violence of the truly unequal distribution of power and resources. Where the class war cannot be negotiated via dialogue in the public sphere and constitutional processes, force becomes a temporary way out, as in the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Haiti, etc. It can last long, but not forever. The people, not dictators, make history, as the saying goes.

MB: What scenarios (both positive and negative) do you see happening under a Duterte presidency?

ESJ: Possible scenarios: if a more nationalist posture is adopted (limiting U.S. access to bases, allowing NDF/NPA to have input into local or national affairs), banning corporate mining, etc., the U.S.-supervised AFP and PNP will surely intervene.
If Du30 adopts the Davao style of prohibiting mass agitation (allowing torture, detention, and killing of opponents) and the economy worsens, mass anger and petty bourgeois desperation will drive many to the hills.

If Du30 steers a “middle course” (quite improbable in the midst of the global financial crisis, and tensions between China and the U.S.), more open in-fighting among the oligarchs will erupt into the open. Remember, Bongbong Marcos is deeply chagrined, and his camp will not sit quietly in the sidelines. He surely has a following in Ilocandia, both at home and abroad (among OFWs), so as long as the majority have not understood the cruelty of the Marcos dictatorship, and the oligarchic class-identity of the Marcos dynasty (majority have no memory or democratic-nationalist consciousness), Bongbong and his class will continue to exert influence, same as with the Cojuangco-Aquino and the landlord/comprador elite.

Factor in this brew the resurgence of Moro violence (the Abu Sayyaf may metamorphose into a populist Islamic/ISIS-type formation, as well as local dissidence in various provinces) and this will stir up the whole country into a situation favorable for revolutionary transformation, provided the progressive forces (and their intelligent collective spirits) are able to gain hegemony (moral and intellectual leadership) and win the support of the broad masses against the oligarchs, the military, police, and their main sponsor, the Washington-Pentagon bloc. This means that the national-democratic forces need to mobilize international support from more than 10 million Filipinos abroad, as well as kindred nationalities, in the diaspora.

Events—reality, in general—exceed the grasp of anyone’s intellect, so we need the whole community to reflect on the crucial questions that you raised and connect them to the feelings, needs, hopes, and demands of the masses as they organize, discuss, agitate, and solve daily problems, in light of the historical past and future of the whole Philippines. This long durable chronicle of resistance, not elections every six years, is what will decide the fate of the Du30 regime, as well as those to come.
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