Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Review of E. San Juan's book AMBIL by Roger N. Rigor

AMBIL: Mga Pagsubok, pahiwatig & interbensiyon tungo sa pagbabagong-buhay
ni E. San Juan, Jr.

---A book review by ROGER N. RIGOR

To effectively disturb and awaken a nation up from the stupor of sheer commercialism and senseless urban growth…to elicit a sense of injustice…to draw from its people who have been drowned under the excesses of global capitalism the sense to take heed, even for a moment, that oppression is upon them…to illustrate the stark and the crude; the sophisticated and the sleek…all converging upon this picture of reality and consciousness of the present…
This is the cauldron of emotions, ideas, poetry, excerpts, frameworks, contexts that burn through the pages of E. San Juan Jr.’s AMBIL. 
The hyper-outgrowth of commercialism and Western imperialism in Manila, for instance, could be the microcosm of the current global economic and cultural structure. The seemingly endless and rapacious business-as-usual alteration of the planet’s ecosystem is evidenced by the now too common weather-driven calamities that devour every bit of survival the impoverished Filipino could hardly clutch on to. 
San Juan seems to take aim at those who are conveniently barred from the debilitating realities of the oppressed simply because one lives within the alienating lifestyle of the privileged. AMBIL arrests its readers’ sensibilities and challenges one to act upon the current status-quo. The voices derived from the realms of San Juan’s deeper thoughts are powerful, but soothing at the same time; recklessly sublime in exacting active intellectual engagement and progressive thoughts. I have a sense that from this beautifully chaotic wave of ideas, with an urgency to provoke, is the drive to sharpen the silhouette of hope that our people, in a nation now gone totally insane, could actually be empowered to rise up from. 
The content of AMBIL is sweeping and wide. For a small bit of sampling, San Juan puts forth issues in technology, in the shadows of whistleblower Edward Snowden; or,  from Yoko Ono’s take on anarchism; or, from playful concoctions of “therefore, I am” in Descartes’ cogito-ergo-sum fashion…expressive valedictions that are just so “Diliman” in De Gustibus Non Disputandum…or, a dive in what I perceive as a diagraming of the dialectic of celestial time, motion and the vector of chance; as if the page was alive, with what looks like an attempted linear illustration of quantum physics…even prancing upon the iconic song of Procol Harum…to scenes of torture brought alive from victims’ voices from the Martial Law days… 
To reference this book closer to my being an educator, what I find most devastating to a society that is already too protracted between the haves and have-nots, is the continuing onslaught of the neoliberal agenda slicing deep into public education, unimpeded and explicit in its focus to control. Slowly, social justice narrative in the context of a meaningful democratic academia is getting farther out of the picture. I find this true for most learning institutions here in the US. High-stakes standardized curricula have become widespread; even finding its way to the Philippine education system. I am fixated in reading AMBIL, in San Juan’s attempt to inspire educators like myself, students and intellectuals alike, not only to dialogue about what is disturbingly wrong with this system; but, to shake us out of our comfort zones of being mere spectators. His voice becomes the hands that feed hungry souls needing to be re-awakened of its revolutionary mindset; capable of shifting this paradigm of oppression and imperial motivations towards a more equitable social framework. 
But, to see these AMBIL excerpts molded in its entirety is to experience a literary project about radicalism…confronting the very nakedness of oppression that the world is now amidst. What is most moving personally, is how these expressions are done lyrically in the vernacular; deep, melodic, crass but colorful in intensity and desire.  It has been years since I experienced the love for the Pilipino language.
From this book, I am rejuvenated and again feel that unmistakable pride of what it is to be a Filipino…having been drenched with words full of energy…full of conviction and passion…
 And so, finally, upon San Juan’s challenge, how worthy indeed would these all be, if not to be acted upon?
Inihagis…itinulak…nadurog sa pagitan ng alikabok at abo…
Nasubukang…nagtatalik…ilipat kahit papano…sa ilalim sa ibabaw…sa likod…sa harap…
Kayo ang testigo…kayo ang nakasaksi…
Ano ang gagawin ninyo? 

Teacher/UW Ida B. Wells School of social justice/ [

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

FROM THE 'BELLY OF THE BEAST': Interview with Bill Fletcher on the Current Situation, April 2016, Washington DC

E. San Juan, Jr. interviews Bill Fletcher Jr., African-American public intellectual

As the 2016 electoral game here ratchets up to nasty polemics, the US media has mainly focused on the carnival atmosphere of the Republican Party candidates. The Democratic Party in-fighting is just beginning to boil over. Meanwhile, the Obama regime continues its drone warfare in Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. The refugee crisis in Europe reverberates only as some horrible Muslim terrorist threat, made more imminent  by the carnage in Paris and Brussels.  Except for Cuba which Obama visited recently, and the ongoing Syrian turmoil, other peripheries of the Empire have been overshadowed or forgotten. 
The Philippines may be one of those, despite media snippets of election shenanigans. The only former Asian colony of the US, the Philippines is synonymous only with Paquiao the Boxer, Miss Universe, or some terrifying volcano or typhoon such as Yolanda/Haiyan. And despite nearly three million Pinays and Pinoys in the US, potential votes for the coming May elections—now the largest Asian-American migrant group from one Asian country (the Chinese come from all over the world, not just China), Filipinos tend to trail other Asian in their civic interventions, unless wealthy Filipino doctors or businessmen trumpet their tithe to local candidates. We are really neglible, though many persist in claiming to be 200% American.

During the years of the brutal Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986), Filipinos were mobilized to join political rallies. Younger Filipino Americans were radicalized by the last upheavals of the anti-Vietnam War and Central America Solildarity movements. But with the neoconservative resurgence in the eighties up to the 9/11 disasters. Filipinos returned to the deeply ingrained colonial mentality acquired in over a half-century “miseducation,” called by genteel academics as “American tutelage.” The result: endemic underdevelopment, flagrant inequality between 75% of over 100 million Filipino peasants and workers, chronic corruption, and the ruling oligarchy’s inveterate subservience to Washington dating back to the Cold War. 

The Philippines is by consensus an operational U.S. neocolony. While US military bases were  removed by strong nationalist protest in 1992, several hundred US Special Forces remain in the islands owing to mendacious executive agreements. The local military and police remains dependent on US aid and supervision, as well as foreign policy toward US enemies (China, North Korea, Russia). Peace talks between the government and the communist-led insurgency have been stalemated (the US classified the communist New People’s Army as “terrorists”) while the various Muslim guerilla forces (often stigmatized as “Abu Sayyaf” bandits by the foreign press) are paralyzed by reformist schemes offered by the US-supported elite. 

About 4-5 thousand Filipinos leave the country every day.  Subsisting on less than $2 a day, the majority are victimized by rapacious para-military groups and warlord gangs protecting multinational companies which plunder the land for minerals, lumber, and other resources. Local compradors and semifeudal landlords act as accomplices. The March 30 bloody dispersal of thousands of peaceful demonstrators in the starved rural corner of Kidapawan, southern Philippines by governemt troops follow a familiar pattern of violent repression dating back to the US campaign against the Huk peasant rebellion in the fifties up to the Mendiola massacre of unarmed farmers by the Corazon Aquino regime in 1987 and by Benigno Aquino’s kin in the Hacienda Luisita murders in 2014. 

Perennially judged criminal by Amnesty International and international agencies, the US-backed oligarchy in the Philippines enjoys impunity. They live luxuriously amid ongoing incidents of torture, detention and killing of citizens demanding employment, food relief in times of disaster, lack of decent housing, medical care, etc. Hundreds of political prisoners languish in jail. Politicians habitually raid the public treasury, earning the rubric of “bureaucrat-capitalists. The courts are inutile, chiefly serving the rich families of landlords and compradors. No single officlal of the Marcos dictatorship has been tried and punished for ruthless human-rights violations; impunity applies to his equally vicious successors. This culture of impunity has been exacerbated by the absolute dependence on human-labor export that earns billions of dollars to keep the economy afloat. Currency remittances from abroad intensify mindless consumerism and a proud slavishness to foreign lifestyles and mentalities. No wonder over 11 million Filipinos have desperately fled to find work abroad, escape the murderous status quo, and disavow the accursed land of their birth.

Here in Washington DC, where political lobbies and embassies dominate, most Filipinos we meet in public spaces work as caregivers, domestic help, and professionals in the service industries (nurses, clerks, etc.). We met Pinays enjoying special visas to take care of diplomatic families. Local issues such as tenants’ rights, unemployment, voter registration imbroglios, drugs and police abuse function as symptoms of the historically rooted racial conflict hiding permanent class warfare. The legacy of the sixies survive in the militancy of BlackLivesMatter. Note that DC is less than an hour away from the still smoking Baltimore battleground. The prison-industrial complex and mass incarceration policy still regulate state mechanisms geared to control organized rebellion. 

Discontent seethes everywhere, visible in urban riots and demonstrations against police abuse. Inequality and blasted dreams of success drive most ordinary people to the arms of neofascist calls for white-supremacist authoritarianism, hence the populist appeal of Trump and Cruz. Bernie Sanders has offered American voters an alternative to the Wall Street darling Hillary Clinton. But the Establishment machinery of both parties amid social decadence maintains hegemonic control—unless the phenomenal voter approval for Sanders’ program betokens a glimmer of hope for radical systemic change. No one listens to Noam Chomsky or Edward Snowden; film clips of OccupyWallStreet only exude nostalgic aura.

What do we make of this conjuncture of events? Perhaps a comment from an experienced observer of the US political scene can clarify some of the hidden sociopolitical trends behind the largely pro-corporate bias of the mass media. Having moved to DC recently, we were fortunate in encountering our old friend from Boston, Bill Fletcher Jr. In the seventies we were involved in diverse civil rights and anti-imperialist struggles. We collaborated in educational campaigns around the resistance to the Marcos dictatorship, in support of the free labor union movement in the Phiippines. He recently conducted an interview of Jose Maria Sison regarding the peace-talks of the National Democratic Front and the Arroyo administration (see Alternet Website for 22 January 2012;

Fletcher has been a well-honed activist since his youth. Upon graduating from college, he worked as a welder in a shipyard and thus became involed in the labor movement.  Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns.  He was senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO, after which he became the president of TransAfrican Forum. He is also an editorial board member of He is co-author (with Peter Agard) of The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941; and (with Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice. His recent book is They’re Bankrupting Us—and Twenty other myths  about unions. This interview took place in DC on April 3-5, 2016.

 ESJ:  As one of the few progressive public intellectuals who have commented on US foreign policies in your blogs and lectures, what do you think is the prospect of  any change in Washington’s policy toward the Philippines? 

BF:   I do not anticipate any changes in the near future in the absence of a movement on the ground in the USA that pushes the US on foreign policy generally and the US/Philippines relationship in particular.  Frankly, the relationship is very comfortable for the USA and the ruling circles see no reason to change this.  The guerrilla war, led by the New People's Army, seems to be stalemated and the government of the Philippines seems to be able to get away with tolerating (and promoting) human rights abuses against the popular movements.  The USA media gives precious little attention to the democratic struggle in the Philippines.  Therefore, in order for a change to take place, there needs to be a broad movement built in the USA that is analogous to those built against US policy towards Central America and the US relationship towards apartheid South Africa.

ESJ:.  If it is a continuation of the old neocolonizing treatment, is there a prospect of change if Hillary Clinton succeeds Obama? 

BF:   There is very little incentive for Clinton to change policies.  If the Republicans get in, we should expect a further militarization of the conflict.  What may be especially dangerous, whether it is Clinton--should she receive the nomination--or any Republican,  is the possibility that they might provoke a military confrontation with China, using as a pretext, the territorial disputes between China and the Philippines.

ESJ.  What is your sense of the US public’s understanding of foreign policy with regard to  the Philippines in confrontation with China and other powers in the Asian region? 

BF:  The US public has very little sense of the Philippines or, for that matter, foreign policy.  Most foreign policy discussions in the USA focus on matters of Islamic terrorism or, periodically, the antics of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea].  The US public neither understands the struggle for democracy in the Philippines nor the dispute with China.

ESJ:   Do you foresee any change in the US public’s consciousness of the US imperial war on terror in the near future? 

BF:   Fear is a driving force in the USA and the fear of terrorism obscures so much of what is really at stake in matters of foreign policy.  In the recent nuclear conference held in the USA, for instance, much attention was focused on the possibility of terrorist groups getting nuclear materials and/or nuclear weapons.  The bulk of the US public does not see the "war against terror" as an imperial adventure, irrespective of whether they support or oppose the war against terror.  After 11 September 2001, the entire debate around US foreign policy shifted.

ESJ:  Given the debate on tightening the borders, what is your opinion on the possible changes in immigration policy toward Filipinos and other Asians?  

BF:  Part of the answer depends on who wins the election and the balance in Congress.  But, in general, Filipino migrants are not perceived as a threat in the same way that Latinos have been demonized as a threat.  Part of this is the result of the nature of the occupations that Filipino migrants tend to occupy.  Yet, there is job competition, so no group of immigrants is exempt from ultimate demonization.  Ask Arabs.  Before 11 September 2001, many of them felt quite secure whether they were born in the USA or migrated here.

ESJ:  Do you see any effect of Bernie Sanders’ challenge to the Democratic Party Establishment?  and of Trump’s disregard for the old Republican elite?  

BF:   We are in the midst of a complicated systemic crisis, at least at the political level.  There has been growing anger with the dysfunctionality of the system.  The challenges led by Sanders are exciting and progressive, though there is a tendency for Sanders to limit his narrative to matters of economics.  Increasingly he is speaking out on matters of foreign policy but he needs to be pushed.  The support for Trump and Cruz, however, comes from a combination of factors that include frustration, but also the declining living standard for many white Americans and their refusal to accept that the cause of this decline is not the result of Jews, immigrants, Blacks, women, etc., but that the problem resides with capitalism and the manner in which it is working.  To put it another way, white America looks at the crisis of US capitalism through the prism of racial lenses.  To paraphrase a slogan from the 1992 Presidential campaign, white America does not quite get that 'it is the system...stupid...'  rather than any of the myriad scapegoats.

ESJ:.  Finally, what is your diagnosis of the crisis of the US empire in the next decades? Would Black Lives Matter movement coalesce into a larger mass movement that can challenge the corporate hegemony in the next five to ten years?  

BF:   To borrow from the late Dr. Manning Marable, we need a movement for a '3rd Reconstruction.' The first was 1965-1977.  The second, metaphorically, was during the 1960s.  We need a 3rd which really moves to expand democracy, take on racial and gender privilege, address the environmental crisis, and alter US foreign policy.  I do not think that this means that socialism is on the immediate agenda, though it is clear that socialism has risen in the polls recently.  The '3rd Reconstruction' is a metaphoric way of referencing a popular-democratic movement that actually fights for power and introduces major structural reforms.  Movements such as the movement for Black Lives, the immigrant rights movement, Occupy, etc., can all play a major role in the configuration of such a movement.  Yet, to build such a popular-democratic bloc, there will need to be a "political instrument,” to quote Marta Harnecker, that is an organizational formation on the Left that helps to bring such a bloc into existence.  It will not happen on its own and it will not happen as simply a spontaneous reaction to increasing authoritarianism and right-wing populism.  It must be consciously advanced.  And, by the way, we are running out of time.#

E. San Juan was recently a fellow of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University; emeritus professor of English, Comparative Literature and Ethnic Studies at Washington State University and Bowling Green State University; and professorial lecturer at Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Among his recent books are US Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (Palgrave), In the Wake of Terror (Lexington) and Between Empire and Insurgency (University of the Philippines Press.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DULA:  Ganoon kami noon, paano kayo ngayon? Ganyan kami bukas….

[Puwedeng isang Akto, marahil 3 Tagpo, walang kontrabida o wakas]

Ano ba ang dinaramdam mo?


Ano ang iniisip mo?


Ano ang inaasahan mo?


Paano tayo magtataglay ng malaya't nagsasariling pagkatao?

Nilooban ng taga-labas, kaya kailangang magpasiya

kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?

Thursday, February 11, 2016


ni E. SAN JUAN, Jr.

Damdam ko'y banayad at walang pangamba habang tumatawid
sa lansangang patungo sa hulugan ng koreo
sa tabi ng palengke sa Krus-na-Ligaw, Quezon City.

Payapa, maalwan.  Matimpi't
matimbang ang tikas, maingat. Dahan-dahan ang pagtunton.
Nasulyapan ang mga paskil ng pelikula, mga kandidato sa darating na halalan at grapiti sa maruming pader....

Hinagod ang kapaligiran, Internet Cafe, tindahan, nag-aalok ng kakanin,
tuhog-tuhog, talyer ng eksperto sa tatoo, hain din ang hilot, himas,
nakatatakam na tukso.  Nakalalaway ang amoy ng inihaw,
barbeque raw ng baboy, manok, aso? Singaw ng piniritong bawang, sibuyas, kamatis, konting bagoong....

Napansin kong may mukhang nakangiti sa salamin sa barberyang naraanan, nakangiti sa larawan ng Birhen.  Walang pagsisisi sa pag-iisang ito. Walang pagtitimpi o pagtitika?
Ulila ma'y walang atubili, alinlangan, tiwala sa bawat hakbang.
Sinong maiingit o manghihinayang?

Ulila ma'y nakasandig pa rin
sa matatag na talampakan. Tumawid sa nagsangang landas, lusot sa balag at barb-wire na bakod. Napansin ang palumpon ng bulaklak--rosas, kalachuchi sampagita, nilingon pa ang nawasak na matinik na tarangkahan....

Nakatuwad na ang araw nang lumiko sa matuwid na daan
at sumapit sa palikuran. Hindi na mapigil.  Ay naku!

Isang pilay at duling na babae ang sumilip mula sa taksing humagibis. Lunes ba ngayon o Linggo pa?
Tanda ko pa, napuwing ako, nakapandong na itim
ang babaeng iyon. Isang karaniwang pangyayari. Tanda ko
kahit walang bakas sa gunita, bakas ng paang lumisan
mula sa butas ng sepulkro kung kailan pa iyon.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


The Philippine Tangle
by William James 
Boston Evening Transcript
(March 1, 1899) 
An observer who should judge solely by the sort of evidence which the newspapers present might easily suppose
that the American people felt little concern about the perfor
mances of our Government in the Philippine Islands, and
were practically indifferent to their moral aspects. The cann
on of our gunboats at Manila and the ratification of the
treaty have sent even the most vehement anti-imperialist journals temporarily to cover, and the bugbear of
copperheadism has reduced the freest tongues for a while to
silence. The excitement of battle, this time as always,
has produced its cowing and disorganizing effect upon the opposition.
But since then, Executive and
all, we have been swept away by the
overmastering flood. And now what it has
swept us into is an adventure that in sober seriousness
and definite English speech must be described as literally
piratical. Our treatment of the Aguinaldo movement at Manila and at Iloilo is piracy positive and absolute, and the
American people appear as pirates pure and simple, as da
y by day the real facts of the situation are coming to the
What was only vaguely apprehended is now clear with
a definiteness that is startling indeed. Here was a
people towards whom we felt no ill-will, against whom we had not even a slanderous rumor to bring; a people for
whose tenacious struggle against their Spanish oppressors we have for years past spoken (so far as we spoke of them
at all) with nothing but admiration and sympathy. Here wa
s a leader who, as the Spanish lies about him, on which
we were fed so long, drop off, and as the truth gets
more and more known, appears as an exceptionally fine
specimen of the patriot and national hero; not only daring, but honest; not only a fighter, but a governor and
organizer of extraordinary power. Here were the precious beginnings of an indigenous national life, with which, if
we had any responsibilities to these islands at all, it was our first duty to have squared ourselves. Aguinaldo's
movement was, and evidently deserved to be, an ideal p
opular movement, which as far as it had had time to exist
was showing itself "fit" to survive and
likely to become a health
y piece of national self-development. It was all we
had to build on, at any rate, so far -- if we had any de
sire not to succeed to the Span
iards' inheritance of native
And what did our Administration do? So far as the facts have leaked out, it issued instructions to the
commanders on the ground simply to freeze Aguinaldo out, as a dangerous rival with whom all compromising
entanglement was sedulously to be avoided by the great
Yankee business concern. We were not to "recognize" him,
we were to deny him all account of our intentions; and in ge
neral to refuse any account of our intentions to anybody,
except to declare in abstract terms their "benevolence," until
the inhabitants, without a pledge of any sort from US,
should turn over their country into our hands. Our Pres
ident's bouffe-proclamation was the only thing vouchsafed:
"We are here for your own good; therefore unconditionally surrender to our tender mercies, or we'll blow you into
kingdom come."
It is horrible, simply horrible. Surely there cannot be
many born and bred American
s who, when they look at
the bare fact of what we are doing, the fact taken all by
itself, do not feel this, and do not blush with burning shame
at the unspeakable meanness and ignominy of the trick?
Why, then, do we go on? First, the war fever; and then the pride which always refuses to back down when
under fire. But these are passions that interfere with the r
easonable settlement of any affair; and in this affair we
have to deal with a factor altogether peculiar with our be
lief, namely, in a national destiny which must be "big" at
any cost, and which for some inscrutable reason it has become infamous for us to disbelieve in or refuse. We are to
be missionaries of civilization, and to bear the white man'
s burden, painful as it often is. We must sow our ideals,
plant our order, impose our God. The individual lives are nothing. Our duty and our destiny call, and civilization
must go on.
Could there be a more damning indictment of that whole bloated idol termed "modern civilization" than this
amounts to? Civilization is, then, the big,
hollow, resounding, corrupting, sophis
ticating, confusing
torrent of mere
brutal momentum and irrationality that brings forth fruits li
ke this! It is safe to say that one Christian missionary,
whether primitive, Protestant or Catholic, of the original missionary type, one Buddhist or Mohammedan of a
genuine saintly sort, one ethical reformer or philanthropist,
or one disciple of Tolstoi would do more real good in
these islands than our whole army and navy can possibly ef
fect with our whole civiliza
tion at their back. He could
build up realities, in however small a degree; we can only
destroy the inner realities; and indeed destroy in a year
more of them than a generation can make good.
It is by their moral fruits exclusively that these benigh
ted brown people, "half-devil an
d half-child" as they are,
are condemned to judge a civilization.
Ours is already execrated by th
em forever for its hideous fruits.
Shall it not in so far forth be execrated by ourselves
? Shall the unsophisticated verdict upon its hideousness
which the plain moral sense pronounces avail nothing to stem
the torrent of mere empty "bigness" in our destiny,
before which it is said we must all knock under, swallo
wing our higher sentiments with a gulp? The issue is
perfectly plain at last. We are cold-bloodedly, wantonly and abominably destroying the soul of a people who never
did us an atom of harm in their lives. It is bald, brutal piracy, impossible to dish up any longer in the cold pot-grease
of President McKinley's cant at the r
ecent Boston banquet -- surely as sham
efully evasive a speech, considering the
right of the public to know definite facts, as can ofte
n have fallen even from a professional politician's lips. The
worst of our imperialists is that they do not themselves know where sincerity ends and insincerity begins. Their state
of consciousness is so new, so mixed of primitively human passions and, in political circles, of calculations that are
anything but primitively human; so at variance, moreover, with their former mental habits -- and so empty of
definite data and contents; that they face various ways at
once, and their portraits should be taken with a squint. One
reads the President's speech with a st
range feeling -- as if the very words were squinting on the page.
The impotence of the private individual, with imperialism under full headway as it is, is deplorable indeed.
But every American has a voice or a pen, and may use it. So, impelled by my own sense of duty, I write these
present words. One by one we shall creep from cover, an
d the opposition will organize itself. If the Filipinos hold
out long enough, there is a good chance (the canting game
being already pretty well
played out, and the piracy
having to show itself henceforward naked) of the older American beliefs and sentiments coming to their rights
again, and of the Administration being terrified into
a conciliatory policy towards the native government.
The programme for the opposition should, it seems to me, be radical. The infamy and iniquity of a war of
conquest must stop. A "protectorate," of course, if they
will have it, though after this they would probably rather
welcome any European Power; and as regards the inner stat
e of the island, freedom, "fit" or "unfit;" that is, home
rule without humbugging phrases, and what
ever anarchy may go with it until the
Filipinos learn from each other, not
from us, how to govern themselves. Mr. Adams's progra
mme -- which anyone may have by writing to Mr. Erving
Winslow, Anti-Imperialist League, Washington, D.C. -- seems to contain the only hopeful key to the situation. Until
the opposition newspapers seriously begin, and the mass mee
tings are held, let every American who still wishes his
country to possess its ancient soul -- soul a thousand tim
es more dear than ever, now that it seems in danger of
perdition -- do what little he can in the way of ope
n speech and writing, and above all let him give his
representatives and senators in Wash
ington a positive piece of his mind.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Foreword to Peter McLaren's PEDAGOGY OF INSURRECTION


by E. San Juan, Jr.

    For citizens of the informed public sphere everywhere, Peter Mclaren needs no introduction. He is one of the world's most distinguished educators, the key architect of "revolutionary critical pedagogy," to quote his colleague Paula Allman. His substantial academic record of over 45 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, beginning from his pathbreaking Life in Schools to his epoch-making Che Guevarra, Paulo Freire and the Pedagogy of Revolution, is widely known. It unfolds a chronicle of passionate engagement with radical social movements and popular-democratic forces of change spanning over 30 years. It serves as a testimony to an examined life in the service of humanity, in particular "les damnes de la terre."

    "Wretched of the earth," Frantz Fanon's rubric for the colonized peoples of the global South, signals what is crucial in McLaren's new endeavor.  It is a point of departure for finessing of the weapons of critical pedagogy in the age of the wars of terror, planetary surveillance, legal torture, genocidal drone assassinations, in this mystifying regime of disaster capitalism. As a leading public intellectual, McLaren seeks a rearming of the collective spirit to explore possibilities for resistance and transformation of social life.

    Here we witness a novel turn in McLaren's career. But it is a dialectical move, negating but also preserving elements of the old in a new configuration. Mclaren began as a school teacher in Canada. After involvement in youth activism and the international protest against the anti-Indochina wars, McLaren earned his doctorate from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. His early rich  experience in frontline teaching (1974-79) is intimately documented in Life in Schools. It was followed by his scholarly dissertation on Schooling as a Ritual Performance: Towards a Political Ecoonomy of Educational Symbolos and Gestures (1986).

    In his early teaching and research, McLaren's expertise in critical literacy, ethnography, and curriculum studies reflected his Weberian interest in the politics of consumption and lifestyle identity nuanced with Frankfurt Critical Theory. With the outbreak of of global capitalism's crisis after the end of the Vietnam War, and the attempt of the neoconservative bloc (Reagan and Thatcher's reactionary attacks on unions and the social-welfare consensus) to roll back revolutions in Central and South America, as well as in Africa and Asia (support of dictatorships in Chile, the Philippines, apartheid rule in South Africa, etc) until the explosion in 2008, McLaren's thinking underwent delicate recalibration, if not a subtle retooling of the critical-pedagogy paradigm.

    In the trajectory of McLaren's development, 1994 is marked as the pivotal year of change. His encounter with the ideas and example of Paulo Freire, the great Brazilian thinker, functioned as a heuristic and catalyzing influence. Freire negated the neoliberal hubris of possessive individualism and replaced it with the secular ideal of a community of learners-teachers. Freire's vision of education as freedom for action was simultaneously realistic, utopian, and self-critical. 
    This encounter harbored germinal insights for McLaren's future work. The re-discovery of Jesus of the Gospels as a foundational communist, the origin of the narrative of Christian communism, has given his Marxist humanism a new line of approach in the "war of position" against predatory capitalism. McLaren now wrestles with questions prompted by his synthesis of critical pedagogy as a praxis of class-struggle and a neoGramscian approach to constructing the counter-hegemony of the "wretched of the earth." He asks:  "How can we reclaim Jesus as a fellow communist?... After all, it was not Marx who established the final criterion for judging the authenticity of one’s life as a concern for all peoples in need. It was comrade Jesus. How do we move beyond a new left narrative of redistribution and defence of public services? How do we get up and run an antagonistic social and political paradigm to neoliberalism? How can forms of popular power from below be transferred into a new historical bloc?"  These are urgent questions not to be postponed for a future agenda of organic intellectuals.

    The application of historical-materialist methodology leads us to "Comrade Jesus." As Enrique Dussel (in The Ethics of Liberation) has pointed out, we find the ethical criteria of those subjugated by the Empire in the primacy of "corporeal carnality," the community" and its carnal needs, summed up in Matthew 25: 35-36: "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me" (for a feminist angle, see Elisabeth Fiorenza, Bread Not Stone, 1995).  In this context, McLaren affirms that Jesus' "intransigent condemnation of the rich" and the vision/prophecy of a classless society that emerges from the abolition of private property and alienated labor, is a message "grounded in the establishment of justice and life now, at this very moment."

    This detour to the Gospels actually brings us back to the real world of contradictions, to the historicity of lived experience. We rediscover the world of sensuous practice which resolves the classic duality of immanence and transcendence, idealism and materialism, and the historic disjunction of manual and mental labor. Social agency reveals itself in the metabolism of human needs and nature, of congnition and material conditions. We grasp anew the "community of life" where bodies with their potential and actual powers interact with the natural life-world--Marx's fundamental insights expressed in the 1844 Manuscripts and Grundrisse. A similar experience occurred in the Philippines during the nightmarish U.S.-Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986) when partisans of the movement against U.S. imperialism invented a theology of struggle and organized the Christians for National Liberation. Both lay persons and church workers joined hands with national-democratic movement guerillas in the fight for social justice and genuine sovereignty.  "People's war" waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines since the 1960s articulated a program of structural transformation partly inspired by the Latin American theology of liberation initiated by Gustavo Gutierrez, Leonardo Boff, and others.

    In the essay on "Comrade Jesus," McLaren revitalizes the principles of materialist dialectics with his account of his visit to San Juan Chamula where the indigenous farmers of Mayan lineage now struggle with the Zapatistas. He also celebrates the people's mobillizations in Detroit and in Cochabamba, Bolivia, for basic rights to water and other vital resources, against corporate greed and cynical bourgeois reforms. They serve as examples of self-management and decolonizing collective praxis. These enduring struggles for food, health care, housing, education, and other basic human rights on an international scale (including the phenomenal Occupy Wall Street insurrection) have now expanded and enriched the revolutionary critical pedagogy that McLaren initiated in the last decades of the last century.

    Operating on the terrain of ideological struggle, Mclaren's militant cultural politics evolves in resonance with the times. It continues to confront state apparatuses of reification, media commodity-fetishism, and networks of power that construct identity/performative subjects. It strives to expose the limits of nihilistic deconstruction, anarchist pragmatism, and the biopolitics of the multitude. His interventions into the embattled sites of popular culture, of common-sensical habitus in the urban life-world colonized by racist-sexist politics of white supremacy, seek to analyze institutional relations of power and their reproduction. McLaren's vocation has always been  to discover opportunities in classroom and community life susceptible to mediation, resistance and transformation. His commitment to advance the project of producing subjects or agencies of liberation empowered with sensuous rationality and reflexive structures of feeling, is vibrantly demonstrated in this new work.

    As Paulo Freire noted in his preface to McLaren's Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture, we are fortunate to become "intellectual cousins" of Mclaren by sharing (through his discourse and his example) the knowledge and skills needed for conscientized participation in changing our world by sharing with, and cooperating in, the struggle of the "wretched of the earth" for our all-encompassing liberation from the barbarism of global capitalism and for the survival of the planet.

---E. SAN JUAN, Jr.
Professorial Lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Manila, Philippines


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Poems of Engagement: E. San Juan, Jr. and the
Various Philippine Political Dispensations

  • by Tomasito  T.  Talledo
  • Division of Social Sciences
  • University of the Philippines Visayas
  • Miag-ao, Iloilo
  • <>

        This essay aims to capture the continuing engagements of the poems written by E. San Juan, Jr. with the selected four Philippine po-litical dispensations, namely, administrations under Corazon Aquino, Fi-del Ramos, Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. These were post-Marcos administrations that claimed to be popularly elected yet distressed by disquieting vox populi. Supposedly they were dispen-sations that restored formal democratic institutions after the ouster of Marcos’ autocratic rule but failed to escape the odious label as regimes dependent upon the support of the world’s chief unilateralist -- the po-litically imperial United States of America. In other words, they are ex-emplary dispensations fitting as objects of critical examination, they are dispensations that E. San Juan, Jr. elected to continuously discourse on in his poems even after Marcos. Earlier collected poems by E. San Juan, Jr. already recorded those struggles against Marcos martial rule but they deserve our separate attention elsewhere and in some other time.

        When one does not subscribe to the thesis that the Marcos’ autocratic rule phenomenon was something unique and singular in our recent history, that it was in fact a kind of “solution-as-conclusion” ar-rived at when class contradictions in the Philippines were at its peak during that historical juncture, what followed then was the thesis of continuing problem, the deep down spiralling of social crises that are cognizable registers in San Juan’s later poems. Indeed, the erstwhile “US-Marcos dictatorship” was ousted by popular uprising in 1986, but the poet is only too familiar with the farce that Marx referred to in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte thence he pursues his committed writings. The gyrating forces of neo-colonial relations and underdevel-opment had further impelled San Juan to remain awake, to vigil still, when many amongst us already went to sleep lulled as we were by the sweet bourgeois songs of Ibong Adarna.

        Very like “kalamansi sa sugat” were the spicy, stinging, disquiet-ing poems written by E. San Juan, Jr. that were addressed to the re-gimes of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; those severe reminders which could have kept us awake and should have prevented us from turning into unfeeling stones. San Juan’s poetry is not “magical as a seagull,” its dictions feel like a stinging whip that draws no blood.

Early Readings of E. San Juan’s Texts

        The Pilipino literary criticisms of E. San Juan in 1960s made used of Formalism, though he was not a fervent subscriber to its tenets, ac-cording to scholar Soledad Reyes (1977). In fact, he later disavowed the Formalist approach, but his English poems published in 1964 to 1965 were not able to escape formalist reading by critics. Literary critic L. M. Grow found in San Juan’s English poems, the “lyric voice” and “the comic voice” as the poet’s “saving grace”. This appears to me a formal-ist modus operandi of judgement as it was characterized by a double-faced task of putting-down and lifting-up what the critic considers as in-trinsic worth and inadequacies of a poetic work. The critic writes, “... lyric interludes are rare in San Juan. He easily drifts into dullness by simply writing uninspired prose in the form of verse” (Grow 1992: p.525).

Yet much later the critic reluctantly concluded, “many readers will find San Juan’s poetry repulsive because crude – even gross – it is his humor, if anything, which is its saving grace” (p. 529).” Ambivalence as virtue appears to be a fixation of formalist judgement. The same critic later acknowledges that San Juan’s Filipino poems in 1964 and 1965 – “Kundiman XL,” “Eklipse ng Buwan at Araw sa nayon ng Montal-ban,” and “Isang Pangkaraniwang Dalaw” rightly deserved honors in Talaang Ginto contest. It can be asked: is it in the court of ambivalence or of inconsistency where the formalist judgement is pronounced when the poet’s case is in the language that the critic does not share? A cur-sory view here suggests that San Juan’s poetic frame went through a process of metamorphosis.

Literary scholar Soledad Reyes produced an assessment of San Juan’s writings, mostly literary criticisms in Pilipino, where she grouped those criticisms into two periods: the first, from 1964 to later part of 1968 and the second, from early 1969 to 1973/5 (Reyes 1977). In the first period, Reyes noted that San Juan as a literary critic was freely in-fluenced but did not completely subscribed to the school of the New Critics or English and American Formalism. Reyes’ definition of this ap-proach reads: “The New Critics or Formalists are English and American critics noted for their critical theories and practise, stressing the need for a careful scrutiny of the text and a conscious exploration of the world of the poem as something abstracted from other external data pertaining to the author’s life, to history, and other backgrounds” (see footnote 2 in Reyes 1977: p.302). Never conceiving himself as a severe Formalist, in the first period San Juan maintained the “belief that the development of Philippine literature can be evaluated in terms of the artist’s response to the human condition that he articulates through a conscious use of language” (Reyes 1977: p. 303). But San Juan escaped such prison house of language through healthy self-assessment and dismissal of the idea that one can dream of becoming the Wittgenstein of the Pilipino language.

In the second period, according to Reyes, San Juan has shifted from reluctant formalism to a historico-sociological perspective, his point of arrival at a realization that no creative work can be viewed as something closed and self-contained. Allow me to repeat San Juan’s self-admission as quoted by Reyes: “... I soon learned that without a his-toricist and materialist grounding, the partially valid insights of existen-tialism, Freudian rationalism, archetypal speculations, phenomenology, and other idealist styles of thought, would never lead to an objective revolutionary understanding of life – of the reality of one’s specific time and place judged in concrete perspective” (Reyes 1977: p. 316). With these words, San Juan finally plunged into the waters of his future po-litical writings. When he made this self-admission in fact, it was 1971, the ominous year described as “may balana ng unos sa bundok,” in a poetic line that appeared in the underground publication Ulos (Ordonez 1986: p. 12).

Poems of Engagement from Cory Aquino to Gloria Arroyo

The poems by San Juan selected as subject of our commentary here were understood to be written during his critical engagement with various presidential administrations after Marcos. The appellation “re-gime” is the loaded and widely-used word that critics deploy to charac-terize the periods when the dispensations of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo were in power. From standard sources, the word regime does not only refer to a particular govern-ment in power but generally the ruling system as well. And in the poems of San Juan we sense that he tries to portray the persisting system of inequality that fetters social classes even as various presidential dispen-sations succeeded one after another. The poet avers that while on the political exterior names and faces of rulers change, the flawed funda-mentals in Philippine society remained.

In this paper the poems of engagement are those written by San Juan to openly expose and oppose the various regimes after Marcos. The valor in these poems is straightforward, their message unabashed, they are the poet’s head-on confrontation with phony optimism of op-pressors, business-as-usual timidity of the middle class and quietist poli-tics of the day. Where there is a preference for don’t-rock-the-boat dis-course among consumers of media products; and where self-control is hallowed by producers of the imaginary when they portray the powers that be -- San Juan was no longer patient with Formalist ambiguity un-less perhaps such ambiguity is Leninist clandestinity. His poems bravely capture and pitilessly critique the social conditions that characterized the succeeding post-Marcos regimes.

The poems/tula selected for exemplifications were part of the E. San Juan, Jr.’s already published collections such as “Alay sa Paglikha ng Bukang Liwayway,” 2000 by the Ateneo de Manila Press, “Sapagkat Iniibig Kita at iba pang bagong tula,” 2004 by the University of the Philippines Press, “Salud Algabre, Babaeng Mandirigma at iba pang tula,” 2007 by the University of San Agustin Publishing House, and “Bu-kas, Maynilad!” 2009 by Philippine Cultural Studies Center in Storrs, Connecticut. The selected poems also came from Eduard C. Dionio’s un-dergraduate terminal essay requirement of his senior Literature course that I suggested and later on supervised (Dionio 2010). The selection of poems focuses more on the details of social reality that are captured in the poems than on the poet’s style and form of writing. Being aware that San Juan has consciously unloaded the previous baggage of For-malism, the selection here is therefore deliberate: the preference is content over form.

The selected poems or mga tula are: “Masaker sa Mendiola: En-ero 22, 1987” and “Litanya para sa Kapayapaan sa Gitna ng Karahasan” for Cory Aquino’s term; “Lagalag sa Makati” and “Megamall sa Metro Manila for Fidel Ramos’ term; “Uyayi sa Panahon ng Terorismo” and “Dalumat ni Felix Razon sa Boston Harbor” for Joseph Estrada’s term; and “Bago Ideklara ang Emergency Rule ng Diktaduryang Arroyo” and “Makabagong Dasal: Madapa ka, Presidente Gloria” for Gloria Macapa-gal Arroyo’s term. Represented by two poems for each presidential dis-pensation after Marcos, there are a total of eight poems for exemplifi-cation.

“Masaker sa Mediola...” and “Litanya para sa Kapayapaan...”
 The Mediola Massacre or what was later termed Black Thursday by journalists happened in January 22, 1987 under Cory Aquino’s dis-pensation. A street march was held then followed by a huge gathering in the city spot near the Presidential palace called Mendiola for the peasants to publicly broadcast their demands revolving around the na-tional issue of land distribution pointing in particular the Cojuanco fam-ily-owned Hacienda Luisita. The paranoiac security forces assigned therein went berserk and the routine dispersal operation turned vio-lent. The gruesome count includes thirteen (13) unarmed peasants that died on the spot, thirty-nine (39) with serious gunshot wounds, and thirty-two (32) suffered various types of injuries. This incident was in-ternationally reported and seriously tarnished the immaculate image of the Cory regime. The anger is a little subdued, yet the poet rages and echoes those howls after the many massacre incidents in our national history
     Abot tanaw na
    Tumatagos sa karimlan ng hirit-ganti
    Sa ilalim ng bandila ng pulang mandirigma
    Abot-tanaw na natin
    Ang liwanag ng sumabog na utak at dugong dumanak
    Sa larangan ng digmaan
    Sa Mendiola

The contented middle-class that felt settled, the devoted constituency of the Cory “yellow” administration was not spared by the poet’s sting-ing scorn.

           Dito sa aming bayan ng Gitnang-Uri
           Mapayapa ang lahat –
           Payapa ang kasama sa bukid na nagpapawis araw-araw, walang kibo
                 Payapa ang mga trabahador na nagbabanat ng buto, walang ingay
           Payapa ang mga babaeng nasa kusina   
          PatuloĆ½ ang luto at laba, walang imik
          Kung may naligaw na pulubi’t palaboy rito
          Mapayapa ring manlilimos o nagugutom, walang ungol

The erstwhile peace enjoyed by the middle-class brought no advance-ments to the lives of those in the lower classes. The progress hoped for after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship by the landless peasants, urban workers and women trapped in their domestic role was not delivered by the middle-class Cory dispensation. If the prevailing temper then was not disappointment, more probably it was betrayal of expectations for the majority populace.

“Lagalag sa Makati” and “Megamall sa Metro Manila”

    San Juan’s poems seek to disrupt the smart propaganda of pros-perity spewed by the media machine of the Ramos regime. While the regime painted a modernist vision of a leaping “tiger economy” for the Philippines, the poet makes sure that reality still bites, “Alumpihit sa umatikbong trapiko, wala ka pang trabaho at ilang/ Buwan ng pasabit-sabit lamang./ Nagbibilang ng poste’t bituin, inaabot ng siyam-siyam.”  The reality includes high rate of unemployment while the local labor market is not capable to absorb the new and young workers. With a contracted local labor market, the burden of average-size household gets heavy. And to shoulder the basic needs of its members, the house-hold affords to sacrifice even its optimism.

    Pumalaot ka sa Ayala Avenue, pikit-matang nilulunok ang bayag
    sa lalamunan
      Humahagibis ang bilis ng tren ni Dr. Zhivago pero hanggang Tutuban
    lang tayo.
    Sa bartolina ng panaginip sumisingit at lumalagos ang amoy
    ng pulbura.
    Walang itulak-kabigin ang pagtitiis, kumapit sa patalim.
To fund its pompous vision, the Ramos regime launched its ambitious programs of deregulation, decentralization and privatization – the full speed globalization of Philippine economy riding the winds of the dreaded neo-liberalism. Aggressive invitations to foreign investments and massive export of warm bodies for their expected remittances were integral to the strategies of the rentier state under Ramos. Such vision was not informed by the dark experiences of South American peoples under neo-liberalism. But when the planned Constitutional change to extend his term of office was derailed, Ramos exited in a whinge for failing to industrialize the country and was disgraced by the Amari deal corruption issue.

“Uyayi sa Panahon ng Terorismo” and “Dalumat ni Felix Razon...”

        The presidential term of Joseph Estrada was the shortest so far since post-World War II history of the country. This short term was nonetheless troubled by terroristic activities such as hostage taking of locals and foreign-ers for ransom, the logistics and casualties of war it launched against Moro rebels but what abruptly truncated his stay in the Chief Executive’s Office was his shameless amassing of monies from gambling operations and the scandals of his personal life. The president whose occupancy of the highest office was propelled by cinematic roles became the casualty of the tele-broadcast of his own impeachment. Here, the poet rudely awakens the gullible movie fan in us by his satirical uyayi or lullaby.

            Gising na, bunsong madungis, humabi ng bagong uyayi
            Manupol ng pulbura’t isabog sa marangyang alta
            Gusi’t bumbong ay bawiin kamusmusay isuka

    By the Boston City harbor, the poet anxiously ruminates what transpires in the Philippines under Estrada. His uneasiness continuously lingers, “Laluna kung nababalitaan ang inhustisya sa ati’y kalabisang lumalatay/ na parusa sa bawat mamamayan – extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, ma-saker ng mga pesante’t manggagawa...” Piercingly the poet’s private inner voice becomes publicly audible.

“Bago Ideklara ang Emergency Rule...” and “Makabagong Dasal ...”

    The international Human Rights Watch and other bodies that monitor the violations of human rights in the Philippines were simply appalled by the grisly record of the Gloria Arroyo regime. At some point of its rule, its tally of victims exceeded the number of the lengthy Marcos dictatorship. Though Ar-royo ascended into the Presidency as successor of the ousted Estrada, it em-ployed numerous manoeuvres to stay longer in power like the manipulation of election results, open repression of political oppositions, declaration of emer-gency rule, among others. The poet asks the apparent yet disconcerting ques-tion: “Sa pambubusabos at pagmamalupit baka walang hihigit sa ‘tin --/ Di ba nasaksihan ito sa pagmamalabis ng diktaduryang Marcos? At ngayon pa-sistang sundalo ni Col. Palparan, pulis at vigilanteng berdugo ng may po-der?”  This history redux is a cruel farce in our collective impasse and I sense only a few are laughing but numerous are indeed grieving.

    Sharing the sense of frustration by the countless that are fed-up with the excesses of Arroyo regime, San Juan writes the mantra prayer: “Hoy GMA madapa ka madapa ka sapilitan ka ring mawawala.” Now we realize such are poetic and prophetic words of the poet. Former President Gloria Macapa-gal-Arroyo is now isolated while under trial for the crime of plunder.

Concluding Words

    In more than twenty years, the writing of these poems of engagements has registered the poet’s creative combat with the imposing suasions of the succeeding political dispensations after Marcos. Such political commitment must have required from the poet steady patience, unflagging energies and single mindedness – sometimes perhaps, with “pessimism of the mind and op-timism of the will”. Yet almost without rest, the poet continues to dig deep into the bowels of our collective experiences as a nation. He brings to surface what were expediently secreted in the national psyche. He acts like the reli-able “old mole” tunnelling into the communist horizon.

    He piercingly rages against killings of innocents and the business-as-usual nonchalance of the middle class during Cory Aquino’s dispensation; he actively unmasks the smart propaganda of neoliberal globalization during the presidency of Fidel Ramos while poses the reminder that grim reality still bites; during the Estrada administration, he shakes the gullible and passive fan mentality of citizens yet still meditates the fate of our country while located elsewhere outside its territory; he asks disconcerting questions and like an augur prophesizes the downfall of Arroyo.

    San Juan’s poems of engagement are no “sweetness and light” for he “sees his role as part of an organization within a nationwide movement seek-ing thoroughgoing social change” (Ordonez 1986: p. 15).


    Abalajon, Eric P. “New Poems of an Established Poet: Review of Bukas Luwalhating kay Ganda (2013) by E. San Juan, Jr.” BUSAY [Students’ Literary Folio, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Visayas]. Year 38 2013-2013. Pp. 35-38.

    Casper, Leonard. The Opposing Thumb: Decoding Literature of the Marcos Regime. Quezon City. Giraffe Books. 1995.

    Dionio, Edward C.  Social Conditions and Transformations in the Selected Filipino Poems of E. San Juan, Jr. An Undergraduate Thesis Presented to the Division of Humanities, University of the Philippines Visayas. March 2010.

    Grow, L.M. “Epifanio San Juan, Jr. as a Poet.” Philippine Stud-ies. Volume/Fourth Quarter 1992. Pp. 522-30.

    Ordonez, Elmer. “Emergent Writing in the Underground Press.” Diliman Review. Vol. 34, No.4. 1986. Pp. 1, 12-15.

Reyes, Soledad S. “Main Trends in the Criticism of Epifanio San Juan, Jr.” Philippine Studies. Volume. 25/ Third Quarter 1977. Pp. 302-333.

First presented at a symposium on "The Places of E. San Juan, Jr." at Ateneo de Manila University, 7 March 2015.