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Chapter III


This chapter presents a brief description of the research design,

treatment of material and postcolonial analysis of selected contemporary

short stories that appropriate myths in their plots to suggest various


Research Design

The study at hand is qualitative in nature and discourse analysis by


Grant et al (2005) lays out two major steps in conducting discourse

analysis. The first phase is the establishment of associations between the

discourse (the written text) and the context (the larger society within which

the text exists). This is to be made more possible using Fairclough’s (1993)

framework for critical discourse analysis which is similar to Grant’s steps in

that it first explores the opaque relationships of causality and determination

between discursive practices, events, and texts, and the wider social and

cultural structures, relations, and processes. Then, it investigates how such

practices, events, and and texts arise out of and are ideologically shaped by

relations of power and struggles over power. Lastly, it explores how the

relationship between discourse and society secures power and hegemony.

So to speak, the goal of critical discourse analysis is to make transparent

the connections between discourse practices (texts), social structures, and

connections that may be opaque to lay persons (Sheyholislami, n.d.).

In the case of the study at hand, the discourse remains of course to

be the texts under scrutiny while the context is the larger social milieu of 21st

Century Philippines. This is where the theory of postcolonialism come in to

aid the analysis of the texts, since this generation is best explained and

characterized using the themes proposed by postcolonial discourse.

Moreover, the framework of critical discourse analysis runs parallel with the

goals of postcolonialism itself in that they both focus on hegemonic

structures, which in this case is the relationship between the colonizer and

the colonized, and the effects these relationship had long after the period of

colonization has ended.

Subject of the Study

This study shall analyze three short stories, namely “A Gate Opens:

The Beginning of the Fall of the Spancialo in Hinirang” by Dean Francis Alfar,

“The Alipin’s Tale” by Raymund Falgui, and “Ana’s Little Pawnshop on

Makiling St.” by Eliza Victoria. These short stories that belong to the genre

of speculative fiction all appear in an anthology entitled Alternative Alamat

(Chikiamco, P, ed. Flipside Digital Content Company, Inc., 2011), which

compiled contemporary fiction inspired by Philippine Mythology.

The study at hand rests on three bases in terms of methodology:

thematic discourse analysis, postcolonialism, and constructivism in


The stories at hand shall be analysed first for their formalist content.

This shall be done by describing the stories in terms of plot, characters,

setting, point-of-view, and theme. In extension, they will be analysed as

metaphors for history and/or social conditions by looking at their vehicle and

tenor. It is the hope of the researcher that so doing would lead to better

familiarization with the text both for himself and for the readers, thereby

making the themes and patterns within the text clearer.

The marriage between thematic discourse analysis and

postcolonialism is an appropriate approach for the next step since (1) both

are investigations of political, and therefore ideological systems, and that (2)

they are both invested in the “shaping of a desirable future, not an existing

reality” (Battiste, 2000, as quoted in Sawyer, 2012, 36). In particular,

analysis will focus on the themes of hybridity, appropriation, magic realism

and allegory as counter-discourse, these themes having been noted

previously by the researcher among the stories under scrutiny.

Lastly, teaching guides adhering to Gagnon and Collay’s Six

Elements of Constructivism will be developed. Constructivism was chosen

for this project because RA 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of

2013, explicitly endorses it for the delivery of the Basic Education

Curriculum. More importantly, it allows for such approaches that are

reflective, collaborative, and integrative—which are the hallmarks of 21st

Century education.