Showing posts from August 27, 2006


FOR A CRITIQUE OF "AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM" AND THE DISCOURSE OF CIVIL SOCIETY By E. San Juan, Jr. If truth is to be found in the synchronization of reason and experience, rectitude lies in the synchronization of theory and practice.... Let us fight to our last breath in order to defend our sovereignty, our independence.... for the salvation of our country and our national honor; let us do our duty since Providence has faith in our ability to fight and protect our country.... --APOLINARIO MABINI We do not intend to free but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.... We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them, destroyed their fields, burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out of doors... The White Man's Burden


Ni E. SAN JUAN, Jr. Wala, walang hugis ang aking mukha At wala ring pangalan Ang aking pagnanasa: Sa silid ay maraming pinto’t durungawan At ang kawayang lumalagutok Sa daluyong ng hangin Huwag mong aminin Na sa iyong buntunghininga nagpuputok Ang kanyang pagkatao, subalit Sa paningin at pandinig Sa diwa’t pag-ibig ng isang nilalang Gumagalaw, kumikilos ang bawa’t nilikha Pagkat ako’y nag-iisa sa ulilang silid At naglalamay sa buong daigdig. Wala akong kaakuhan; ako’y iyan Kung anong buhay Sumisilay Sa damdamin ng lupa, hayop, halaman, bubong, tala— Sa kabilugan ng pangmalas nasasaklaw: Ibubunga ito Ng tahimik na pagninilay-nilay— Gigising ako Sa iglap ng kometang naupos sa karimlan: Isang tanglaw sa bangin ng kaisahan Ngunit tubos ng batis at sibol ng bawa’t bagay. ______________________________________ MASK OF THE POET None, no contour to my face And no name also To my desire: In this room you’ll find a multitude of doors and windows And the bamboos creaking To the gusts o


FILIPINOS WRITING IN ENGLISH/THROUGH ENGLISH: Reconaissance and Revaluation by E. San Juan, Jr. Given the rise of “englisches” in the shadow of Global/World English, is it possible to draw up a provisional account of Filipino writing in English from the orthodox formalistic and aestheticist point-of-view without self-incrimination? It surely is possible, but whether it is intelligible or useful for whatever reason, remains to be seen. Given the commodification of postmodernist and post-structuralist dogmas, we cannot engage in this task by invoking universalist paradigms and meta-narratives without provoking the high priests of sikolohiyang pantayo (“psychology for us,” an academic style of doing local psychology), the pasyon/sinakulo historicism of would-be populist academics, and the gatekeepers of assorted prizes, awards, and official honors that have made writing in English in the Philippines not only an elite luxury but ultimately a self-congratulating hedonistic org