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Jose Maria Dominique G.


(Haunting of the Filipino Writer by Resil Mojares)

 Mojares draws his discussion from an appraisal of NVM Gonzales’ essays, which bears

sentiments of detachment and displacement, a feature Mojares construes to be in search

of the Alma Filipina (Filipino Soul).

 The parallelism he draws of the soul and our “national literature” is also the same as the

search of the Filipino Soul. He further discusses the national literature as a soul in need of

heeling, as if a soul in need of the shaman’s healing prowess. He identified three things

that would have contributed to this “soul loss”: shock, seduction, and sin.

 Mojares identifies shock as stemming from a trauma in our national consciousness, which

is colonialism. The experiences of colonialism had been so remarkable, especially

considering how vulnerable our national consciousness, or any semblance to it, has been

to the assailing imperialists.

 He identifies seduction on the part of the colonizers as our unconscious pandering on our

colonizers’ forms and aesthetic as our goals, thereby subjugating our own sensibilities

behind. Hence, failing to encompass our own “fullness and variety” as a nation leads to

the third condition of our “soul loss”, which is our sin.

 It is within this loss that Mojares challenges the Filipino writer to tread and exist. The

conditions of our “soul loss” is the sweet spot where we can reclaim our “national”

sensibilities. Of course, the notion of the “national” bears a lot of implications as once

Jose Maria Dominique G. Coronel

(Time, Memory and Birth of the Nation by Resil Mojares)

 Mojares explains the historiography of the Philippine revolution through biographies and

memories. These forms present a wider range of perspectives to which history is framed

by its subjects, drawing a line from the “erotic”, to the “hermeneutic”, then to the

“mechanics” of nation building.

 Reynaldo Ileto’s accounts of the pasyon shows how meaning is constructed not by

reconstructing countenances of memory but through a “meaningful” interpretation of

what is imagined by the community.

 Apolinario Mabini’s accounts of the revolution provided significant insights of the

revolution, which led to the conclusion of a failed revolution. Early American occupation

accounts by Alejandrino and Alvarez also commits to the same conclusion, lamenting the

elite leadership under the American occupation as against the fervent Katipunan


 The accounts of Palma and Kalaw were immersive views from the sidelines, which gave

more nuance to the Revolution stories of Mabini, Aguinaldo, and other Katipunero

generals. These accounts share a passion that was ignited in their secondary roles in the

revolution, until they had a chance to took over. Accounts by Felipe Calderon also shared

the same sentiments.

 Later accounts by Carlos Romulo and Camilo Osias shared a very distant participation to

the Revolution, which only forged their political stance in nation-building.