Thursday, January 03, 2019

PINAGLAHUAN--Metakomentaryo sa Nobela ni Faustino Aguilar



OLIGARKIYA NG KUMPRADOR-PATRIYARKONG PIYUDALISMO  AT SIMBOLIKONG TRANSPORMASYON NG DIWA SA ILALIM NG  IMPERYALISMONG AMERIKANO

Mapagpalayang Sipat sa Nobelang PINAGLAHUAN ni Faustino Aguilar

ni E. SAN JUAN, Jr.



Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.  The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.
—Karl Marx, “The Eighteenth Bumaire,” Selected Works (94)

May mga [nbelang] natapos sa pagiging balutan sa tindahan ng Intsik, …sa mga tindahan ng magluluma, pagkat doon, kasama ng mga luma at kalawanging putol-putol na bakal, kahalo ng mga tornilyo at pako, ay may ilang salin ng mga nobelang ipinagbili na ng mga limbagan nang patapon pang huwag makasikip sa kanilang kinalalagyan… Pinakamataan nang kapalaran…ang maging bantay sa mga pinto ng simbahan kung may pagdiriwang na pintakasi, nangakalagay sa isang bilao na kung minsa’y kasama ng mga kalmen, at kuwintas, o ng kandila kaya, tainga, mata o katawang buo naman ng tao na yari sa pagkit… Ipinagtatapat kong kasama akona matagal-tagal ding naging bantay sa mga pinto ng simbahan, lalo pa sa Antipolo kung idinaraos doon ang sunod-sunod na pagsisiyam.
—-Faustino Aguilar, “Ang Nobelang Tagalog” (237)

      Bagama’t itinuturing na isang matipunong haligi ng panitikang 
Tagalog ang nobelistang Faustino Aguilar (1882-1955), pambihirang makatagpo ng anumang pagsusuring makabuluhan tungkol sa akda at sa manunulat. Bukod sa puna ni Soledad Reyes sa kanyang Nobelang Tagalog 1905-1975, at ilang sanaysay, wala pang malalim at masinop na interpretasyon at pagkilatis sa nobela sa perspektibo ng kasalukuyang problema ng lipunan at sa isang historiko-materyalismong pananaw.  Sisikapin dito ang maglahad ng isang banghay ng diyalektikang lapit sa estruktura at estilo ng likhang-sining na, bukod sa Banaag at Sikat (1906) ni Lope K. Santos at Madaling-Araw (1909) ni Inigo Ed. Regalado, ay maitatanging pinakamasining na paglalarawan ng sambayanan sa mapagpasiyang panahon ng transisyon mula sa kolonyaismong Espanyol tungo sa kolonyalismong Amerikano (Panganiban & Panganiban 204). 

Bagamat ipinalimbag muli ng Ateneo U Press ang nobela noong 1986, mahigit 32 taon na ang nakalipas, mahirap makitaan ito sa mga teksbuk ngayon. Sa dalawang antolohiyang gamit sa paaralan, tig-iisang kabanata ng nobela ang sinipi: Kabanata XX sa Tatlong Panahon ng Panitikan na inedit ni B.S. Medina Jr., at Kabanata VI sa Philipine Literature: A History and Anthology na pinamatnagutan nina Bienvenido Lumbera & Cynthia Lumbera. Sa pakiwari ko, bukod sa mga eksena ng pagtatatalik nina Luis at Danding, ang kagipitan ni Luis sa pagawaan, at ang pagkahulog niya sa pakana ni Rojalde, ang pinakasasabikang tagpo ay nakasudlong sa karanasan ni Luis sa bilangguan at panggipuspos ni Rojalde sa anak at asawa.  Nais kong itampok rito ang mga bahaging humihimay sa saloobin ni Rojalde kung nakikihalo siya sa mga kaibigan, at laluna sa problematikong pagkikipagsabwatan niya kay Pedro, isang katulong, na siyang naging tagapamagitan (mediation) sa diyalektika ng labas at loob, ng batas at krimen, sa balangkas ng talambuhay ng komprador at rebelde.

Ang ilang paksang tatalakayin dito ang mga sumusunod: 1) Ang yugto ng kasaysayang plataporma ng mga usapin ng mga tauhan sa nobela; 2) 
Ang politiko-ekonomikong kaayusan ng bansa sa unang dekada ng pananakop ng U.S. sa Pilipinas; 3) ang suliranin kung bakit si Rojalde ang pinakatampok na tauhan sa nobelang pumapanig sa mga anak-dalita; 4) ang tanong kung bakit sinakripisyo si Luis na dapat dakilain sa kanyang pagtatanggol sa humanistikong prinsipyo ng Kaliwanagan na inspirasyon ng rebolusyong 1989; 5) ang problema kung ano ang pahiwatig ng pagkamatay ni Luis, paghihingalo ni Danding, at malagim na klima ng dalumat sa wakas ng nobela? Isusuma sa wakas ang ilang hinuhang sagot sa mga paksang ito.

Pasakalye

Sa palagay ko, ang Pinaglahuan ang susi sa pagkabatid kung paano malulutas ang krisis ng neokolonyang orden. Sa pagkagapi nito sa bisa ng ideolohiyang kapitalistang ibinunsod ng lakas sandatahan ng imperyalismong U.S., hindi napawi ang ugali’t kaisipang piyudal at reaksyonaryo. Bagkus nasuhayan at napasigla iyon sa tulong ng mistipikasyon ng salapi, sa petisismong umiinog sa pamilihan. Nailipat ang hibong pagtutol sa ambigwidad ng kumprador, si Rojalde, na sagisag ng pangkat nina Osmena-Quezon-Roxas, na mamumuno sa makabayang kilusan tungo sa Komonwelt at Republika ng 1946. Samakatwid, ang nobelang ito’y salamin ng konsepto ng hindi-pantay at magkalangkap na pagsulong (uneven & combined development). Naitugma ang kaayusang piyudal na minana sa kolonyalismong Espanyol at sistemang komersiyal-industriyal ng monopolyo-kapitalismong Estadong sumakop sa isla. Napagtambal ang kasikismo’t awtoritaryanismong hango sa mahigit tatlong siglong paghahari ng Simbahan at monarkya, at ang burgesyang pagtingin sa bawa’t tao bilang may-ari ng lakas-paggawang mabibili.  Awtoritaryanismong patriyarkal laban sa inbidwalistikong may-ari ng tubo/kasangkapan sa produksyon—ito ang pangunahing kontradiksyong hinarap ni Aguilar sa kanyang nobela.

Kaugnay nito, maisasambit dito ang ilang importanteng temang pahapyaw na iimbestigahin: ang komodipikasyon ng ordinaryong pakikipagkapwa sa lipunan, ang sitwasyon ng pamilyang tradisyonal, ang kalagayan ng petiburgesyang mamamayan (tulad ni Luis Gat-Buhay), ang papel ng komprador o usurero (Rojalde), ang katungkulan ng Estado’t hukom kaakibat ng institusyon ng bilangguan, ang lungsod bilang arena o espasyo ng tunggalian ng uri versus nayon/kalikasan. Bukod dito, sisiyasatin ang ilang metapora o talinghagang nagpapahiwatig ng pagkilos at paggalaw ng iba’t ibang puwersang nagtatagisan, mga elementong magkakasalungat ngunit bumubuo ng isang sistemang maibabansagang kongkretong unibersal—ang likhang-sining mismo na nagbubuklod sa magkakaiba’t naghihiwalay na salik ng lipunan at yugto ng kasaysayan. Susubukan kung maghuhuli natin ang determinadong negasyon (determinate negation) na siyang magbubukas ng masalimuot ng kontradiksyon ng sosyedad sibil—ang Pilipinas sa epoka ng mabangis na paghahari ng Estados Unidos at monopolyo-kapitalismo sa bawat buhay ng Filipino.

Anggulo ng Interpretasyon

Ang metodong tradisyonal na kinagawian sa pagtuturo ay didaktikong pagkilates. Ayon kay Medina, si Aguilar ay “tagatampok na kabaitan.” Matatas at matahas sa pananagalog at matalas sa pagpuna sa kalakaran, si Aguilar ay “matibay na luminang sa tradisyong radikal, na tumututol sa di-pagkaunlad ng isip at kabuhayan ng bayan….Si Aguilar ay hindi nangiming maging tagalahad ng katotohanan at tagamungkahi ng kalutasan—sa mga aral na rin nga—sa mga sulilraning kinakaharap ng tao…nalangkapan ng damdaming binuhay ng paksang pagdurusa ng kaluluwa, na totoong nasinag sa nobelang Pinaglahuan” (269). Sa pagdukal sa problemang sosyo-politikal, nalinang niya ang tradisyong mapanuligsa’t mapagtutol sa mga kabulaanan, korapsyon at kasamaang umiiral. Ito ang aral na mapupulot sa pagbasa sa teksto ng nobela.

May katwiran ang pedagohikal na oryentasyong ito sa mismong opinyon ni Aguilar. Sabi niya sa lekturang binigkas noong Enero 1949 na ang nobela “ay dapat na maging sagisag ng kabaitan.  Sinasagot ng kumakatha ng nobela ang pagkatanim sa isip ng mambabasa ng mga aral na kaniyang ipinunla” (236)  Gagad ito sa antigong turo nina Horace at mga Romanong kritiko, pati ebanghelyong misyonaryong nagsalin ng pasyon sa Tagalog. Hindi lang luma na ang pagdulog na ito, kundi mapurol at hindi mabisa sa pagbunyag sa lason ng ideolohiyang mapaniil. Mahina itong igpawan ang mistipikasyon ng ugnayang panlipunang kinalapulan ng gayuma ng komoditi at salapi. Paano maibubunyag ang katotohanang nakakubli sa pagkukunwari at kasinungalingan? 

Paglimiin din ang kontra-didaktikong susog ni Aguilar sa lekturang nabanggit na pwedeng gabay sa analisis ng kanyang akda. Mungkahi niyang kailangan ng manunulat hindi lamang “ang malinis na kalooban at mabuting hangad kundi may talino pang maningning na hindi nasisilaw ng takot at maling pagpapakundangan sa mga kagalang-galang at talusaling,” bukod sa mahinahong tapang “sa paglalahad ng katotohanan upang mapalitaw ang katarungan.” Aking sasalungguhitan ang sumusunod na pangungusap niya: “Ang paglalahad ng mga kamalian ay dapat na maliwanag at tumpak sa katotohanan. Kailanma’y hindi dapat mangaral ang kumakatha ng nobela, hindi niya tungkulin ang lumagay sa pulpito, sukat na ang ilahad ang sama upang gisingin sa mga isip at kalooban ang pagnanais na gumawa ng magaling. Hindi kailangan ang gasgas nang pamamaraan na pagpalain ang mabait at parusahan ang masama: sukat ang pagandahin ang kabaitan upang siyang naising tularan, na anupa’t ang isang nobela ay dapat mag-ukilkil sa makababasa ng pagkakabuti” (237). Sa ibang salita, ilarawan o isadula, hindi pagbuburda ng diskursong argumento. 

Realistikong Alegorya

Sa gayon, malinaw na ang artista ay hindi guro o nagsesermong pari.  Hindi sa tuwirang pangagaral, pagdaliri sa ilang moralisadong payo, kundi sa dramatikong paglalahad ang mabisang paraan ng edukasyon. Tingnan, halimbawa, ang mga pangyayari sa Kabanata Vi. 

Ang punto-de-bista ni Luis, kaakibat ng bisyon ng nagsasalaysay, ang siyang kumokontrol sa daloy ng naratibo. Napakinggang di-sinasadya ni Luis ang usapan ng pulutong ng mga dukhang nanlilimahid, “mga kulang-palad na nagbibili ng lakas sa balang may ipabuhat, sa sino mang may utos kahit ano: sila ang mga kantanod sa saganang piging ng kapisanan, na sa tinayu-tayong iyo’y naghihintay na mahagisan, huwag na ng buto pagka’t ito’y may lasa kundi ng simi man lamang” (57).  Isa sa kanila’y nagwikang magsasanla siya ng bagay na walang kasinghalaga, ang “aking lakas na sarili, ng mgagawa ng aking mga bisig” na sinagot ng isang kasama: “…sa panahong ito, ang lakas ay walang halaga kung hindi rin lamang kailangan, nariyan ang mga makinang likha ng karunungan, isa pa ring umaapi sa paris nating mga dukha, na siyang kahalili ng lakas ng tao” (59) Kapalit ng lakas-paggawa ng tao ang makina, na mistipikasyon: patay na lakas-paggawa iyon, ngunit hindi batid ng mismong pinagmulan nito. 

          Buhat sa budhi’t  ulirat ni Luis, na isang kawaning may-edukasyon sa tanggapan ng Amerikanong Mr. Kilsberg, ang kaliwanagan ay nakasalig pa rin sa alyenasyon ng diwa, na nailakip sa relihiyon at maling paniniwala. Nagbakasakali si Luis: “At may Diyos, may pananampalataya, at may kapisanang dapat kumandili” (59). Kasabay ng hakang-hakang iyon ang paghabol ng pulis at pagparusa sa isang pulubing tumakbo mula sa isang lugar kung saan hindi siya nagbayad ng kinain sapagkat walang bumili ng kanyang inaalok na lakas. Tugon ng tekas sa babaing humandulong sa kanya: “Hindi ninyo ako pakakainin kung nagsabi ng tapat. Paanong di gayo’y kalakas kung tao? Marahil pa’y itinaboy ninyo nang taboy-hayop, gaya ng pagkataboy sa akin sa mga pintong tinawagan ko upang humingi ng gagawin” (60).

    Mahayap na refutasyon sa sentimyento ni Luis ang nangyaring pagdakip sa tekas, sawing-palad na obrerong makakatagpo niya mulli sa Bilibid sa Kabanata XIX. Nagsalikop ang kanilang kapalaran nang hindi sinasadya, patunay na ang aksidente sa huling pagtutuos ay integral na sangkap sa pagsasakatuparan ng tadhana.

Balangkas ng Digmaan ng mga Uri

Sapantaha ng marami na ang nobela ay umiinog sa pagmamahalan nina Danding at Luis. Tila melodramatikong kasaysayan ng sawimpalad na magkasintahan, isang romansang palasak sa mga sumunod na nobela tulad ng Sampagitang Walang Bango ni Regalado. Totoong nakapupukaw ang pag-iibigan nina Luis at Danding sa Kabanata III, tigib ng umaalimpuyong damdamdamin at pagnanais at simbuyong umaalimbukay. Walang katumbas ang matimyas at matining na kumpisalan at laguyo ng dalawa. Ngunit hindi ito ang nakasentrong aksyon kundi ang mga pakana’t plano ni Rojalde upang makamit ang pag-ibig ni Danding. Magkahalong tagumpay at pagkatalo ang karanasan ni Rojalde.

    Sa adhikaing iyon, lumilitaw na sa simula pa lamang ay paltos na ang balak at di na niya makakamit ang pinakamimithi. Dahil sa patriyarkong awtoridad ni Don Nicanor, at kasakiman ni Nora Titay sa salapi’t alahas, napilitang umayon si Danding. Siya ang komoditi o bagay na ipananakip sa pagkakautang na P10,000 ng ama. Si Rojalde ang bangkero/usurero.  Walang duda, batid ni Rojalde na dinahas lamang ang pagkakasal nila sa tulong ng ina’t amang mapag-imbot. 

       Dalawang pagsubok ang ginawa upang maigupo si Luis, kapwa tuso’t mapaglinlang na hakbang. Sinulsulan si Mr. Kilsberg, ang amo ni Luis, pinatalsik si Luis sa mga kabulaanang ibinigay ni Rojalde—na ang empleyado’y nag-aamuki sa mga kawaning umaklas laban sa maling pamamalakad, na hindi naman buong kasinungalingan. Bahagi imbento, bahagi realidad—ito ang pormularyo ng kumprador-kapitalista. Iyan ang praktika nina Quezon, Osmena, Roxas, Sumulong at iba pang burokrata-kapitalista’t kumprador na humihiling ng biyaya sa U.S. habang ginogoyo at nilalamuyot ang dalumat ng madla.

Dahil mariwasa at maraming taga-hanga, na siyang kultural o simbolikong puhunan niya, mapagkakatiwalaan si Rojalde.  Walang magulang o anumang paliwanag kung saan nanggaling ang kayamanan niya, hindi tulad ni Simoun (sa El Filibusterismo) na may hiwagang bukal ng kapangyarihan. Paano natin maimumungkahi na si Rojalde ang arketipo o alegorikong imahen ng kumprador bilang usurero, na kahawig ng mga nagpapautang sa mga pesante o inkilinong nauubusan ng pambayad kung may sakuna o kamalasan sa pagsasaka?

Parametro ng Kasaysayan

    Saglit balik-tanawin natin ang magulong sosyo-politikong milyu ng mga taong 1899-1907, bago mailathala ang nobela. Sanhi sa superyor na armas at teknolohiya ng Amerika, nagsugpo nito ang armadong oposisyon ng Republika. Bagamat tinanggap na ni  Hen. Emilio Aguinaldo ang soberanya ng Amerika noong Abril 1901, patuloy ang pakikibaka ng rebolusyonaryong hukbo sa Balangiga, Samar, hanggang sumuko si Hen. Vicente Lukban at Hen Miguel Malvar noong 1902. Ipinagpatuloy ito ni Hen. Macario Sakay hanggang mahuli siya’t bitayin noong Setyembre 1907. Mahigpit ang panunupil sa nasyonalistikong kilos ng bayan sa pamamagitan ng Brigandage Act (1902) at Reconcentration Act (1903), kaakibat ng Sedition Law (1902)—ang huli’y nagbawal ng malayang pagpapahayag o anumang isinulat o binigkas na sakdal laban sa gobyerno ng Estados Unidos. 

Gayunpaman, sa gitna ng karahasang ipinataw ng imperyo, nagpatuloy ang matapang na mandudulang sina Juan Abad, Aurelio Tolentino, at Juan Matapang Cruz sa pagbatikos at pagtutol sa paghahari ng kolonyalistang poder (Agoncillo 292-94).  Hindi natakot ang mga peryodista ng El Nuevo Dia, El Renacimiento, Muling Pagsilang—sina Rafael Palma, Jaime de Veyra, Martin Ocampo, Teodoro Kalaw—na ihayag ang korapsyon at kasinungalingan ng burokrasya, laluna ang pang-aabuso ng mga mapagsamantalang cacique at mapaniil na upisyal sa gobyerno, na humantong sa iskandalo ni Dean Worcester sa kasong “Aves de Rapina” ng El Renaciemiento noong 1908. Hindi rin natakot si Aguilar na puntiryahin ang gobyerno (pulis, hukom, Bilibid) at kapitalismong umuugit dito (sa persona ni Mr. Kilsberg, Malakanyang, at sistemang umiiral).

Nang makumpleto’t nailathala ang Pinaglahuan, natalo ng Partido Nacionalista ang mga maka-Amerikanong Federalista sa halalan ng Unang Kapulungang Pilipino o Asamblea noong 1907. Katibayan ito na ang prinsipyong ipinaglaban ni Aguilar nang siya’y kasapi ng Katipunan, at ng Republika, ay masigla’t mapusok sa pagdemanda ng kalayaan at kasarinlan.  Naimpluwensiyahan siya ng mga panitik nina Rizal, Bonifacio, Del Pilar, Mabini, tulad ng mga kabataang politikong lumahok sa mga partidong pinayagan ng administrasyong kolonyal. Nang matapos ang digmaan, nagtrabaho si Aguilar bilang kawani sa adwana at kahero sa Bazar La Union ng Maynila. Naging masugid na peryodista siya sa pahayagang La Patria at Muling Pagsilang noong 1902 (Santos x). Beinte anos na si Aguilar, kahalubilo ng mga pediburgesyang intelektwal mula sa gitnang saray—henerasyong nakapag-aral sa Ateneo at San Juan de Letran at iba pang kolehiyo, tulad nina Pascual Poblete, Cecilio Apostol, Domnador Gomez, at iba pang ilustradong nagtayo ng Partido Nacionalista. Bago rito, lumago rin ang petiburgesyang sumapi sa mga grupong itinaguyod ng Philippine Commission. Pagkapasa ng Philippine Bill of 1902, naglipana ang mga kandidato para sa Asambleang ipinasinaya noong ika-16 Oktubre 1907.

          Bukod sa mga panginoong maylupa, asendero o mayamang kasike, umunlad ang saray na pinagmulan ng uring burokrata-kapitalista at kumprador. Sila ang mga umani ng pribilehiyong nahamig nina Quexon, Osmena, Benito Legarda, at iba pang upisyal na naipunla ng patakarang “Filipinization” ni William Howard Taft.  Ang mga pamilyang karamay ng mga namunong sina Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Pedro Paterno, Felipe Buencamino, Felipe Calderon, Teodoro Yangco, Gregorio Araneta, Victorino Mapa, at iba pang kasapi sa Federalista, ang naging pugad ng uring kumprador-burokrata, na siyang ugat ng lahi ni Victorino Rojalde at mga kaibigang Balani at Barrientos. Ayon kay Renato Constantino, sa 80 na nahalal na miyembro ng Asamblea, mayroon 48 abugado, 4 mediko, 2 peryodista, 6 propesor, 6 agrikulturista, 2 parmasyotiko, maraming mangangalakal, at malaking bahagda ang mga panginoong maylupa (316).

  Sumulpot na ang henerasyong magbubunga kina Roxas, Quirino, Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, Macapagal at Aquino. 
Sina Quezon at Osmena ang padrino ng mga parasitikong petiburgesyang rentier na nakasandig sa minanang yaman o mga ari-ariang pinagtutubuan.  Ang napapanahong pangingibaw nito ay akmang-akma sa “Filipinization” na magsisilbing maskara sa kolonyalismong poder, na inihudyat nga sa unang pangyayaring nagbukas sa nobela: ang pag-urong ng may-ari ng dulaang (Teatro Zorilla) ipagamit ang lugar sa makabayang pulutong ay sagisag ng desisyong ipagpaliban ang pakikibaka tungo sa kasarinlan upang harapin ang hamon ng personal na paghahanap-buhay, na sadyang walang tatag, laging tumaas-bumaba, pagulong-gulong, tulad ng mga presyo’t tubo ng produktong inilalako ng mga naglalabang negosyante ng mga korporasyon. Sa patakarang laissez-faire, na ngayo’y neoliberalismong internasyonal, anarkiya ang namamayani—matira ang matibay, ayon sa doktrinang malaganap ng Social-Darwinism.


Anatomya ng Pagkatao ng Kumprador

       Naidiin na ang balangkas ng lipunang nakapaloob sa nobela ay magkahalo o hybrid. Malusog pa ang piyudal na gawi’t ugali sa mga utusan, sota at alila nina Don Nicanor at Rojalde, na tiyak nabahiran ng mga praktikang maharot ng mga pesante’t magbubukid na naggala sa Maynila. Ngunit mabuway na ang relihiyosong pananaw sa mga pamilyang nakikinabang sa salaping kuha sa pag-upa ng bahay, maliit na negosyo, sugal, atbp. Lumalakas ang maka-negosyanteng doktrina ng indibidwalismo, laluna sa mga kasangkot sa komersiyong pangluwas at pag-angkat ng sari-saring produkto. Si Rojalde (bukod kina Barrientos at Balani) ang kumakatawan sa uring komprador, habang si Mr. Kilsberg ang representatibo ng kapitalistang namamahala sa manupaktura.

Hindi maliwanag ang tiyak na pinagtutubuan ni Rojalde liban sa sugal at sa mga paglalakbay sa pinakamasiglang sentro ng komersiyo sa daigdig. Nag-honeymoon sila ni Danding sa Hapon kung saan marahil mayroong kontak na negosyante. Sa pinagawang magareng tsalet sa Santana, pinuno ito ni Rojalde ng mamahaling kasangkapan at kagamitan na magpapatunay na ungos ang kayamanan niya kaysa kay Don Nicanor, na ang bahay ay mistulang monasterio, “alangang simbahan.” Ang mga santo’t santa sa tahanan ng tusong patriyarko ay nagkakaroon ng mala-satirikong kaluluwa, nagkukutya, tumatawa, nakasimangot, kumikindat. Ang idolong luma ng Kristiyanidad ay tinutumbasan o nakikipagpaligsahan sa mga muwebles at palamuti sa makabagong ari-arian ni Rojalde, at sa mga hiyas na regalo niya. Halimbawa ito ng komoditi-petisismong siniyasat ni Marx sa unang kabanata ng obra-maestrang libro, Kapital.

Aywan kung kailangan pang isiwalat muli ang kapangyarihan ng komoditi o produktong itinitinda sa etika’t politika ng kolonyang Pilipinas. Sa paghahari ng burgesya, ang relasyong pantao ay sinalisihan ng relasyon ng mga produktong ipinagbibili, kaya kinukubli nito ang tunay na sitwasyon: ang trabahador na walang pag-aari kundi ang lakas-paggawa, at ang kapitalista/proprietor na may-ari ng kasangkapan na siyang bumibili ng taong walang taglay kundi kanyang lakas-paggawa. Samakatwid, ang puwersang ekonomiko ang nagtatago sa tunay na relasyon ng pagsasamantala, eksplotasyon: hindi kapital (salapi) ang pinagmumulan ng tubo kundi lakas-paggawa. Doon nakaangkla ang reipikasyon at alyenasyong laganap. Ikinukubli ng nakawiwiling tanawin o kapaligirang nakikita’t namamasid sa araw-araw na buhay ang sekreto’t tunay na kabuktutan, inhustisya, malupit na pagsikil at pagkaduhagi ng nakararaming mamayan sa mala-burgesyang lipunan.

Dahil sa hilig sa sugal, na isang paghamon o pakikipaglaro sa Diyosa Fortuna, sa tadhana, nagkautang si Don Nicanor. Walang ibang pag-aaring maipapalit sa utang kundi ang bugtong na anak, na siyang komoditi o pinagbiling produkto ng pamilyang napailalim sa poder ng kumprador.
SI Danding ay naging bagay (sekswal; inang magluluwal ng taga-pagmana ng yaman) na binigyan ng halagang-pampalit (exchange-value), ngunit may halagang-panggamit (use-value) na hindi maangkin ni Rojalde: ang kanyang pag-ibig. Ito’y hindi bagay na maisisilid sa isang kahong-bakal sapagkat ito’y ugnayang panlipunan, relasyong sosyal ng damdamin at kamalayan. Sapagkat hindi mabibili, walang ibang tugon sa suliraning ito kundi panibugho, pagseselos, galit, pagngingitngit, poot,
 pagdaramdam.  Lubhang pinasidhi ang panibugho sa kuwento ni Vagues tungkol sa ugnayan nina Clementina ni Esctillon at Perez na pinakinggan ni Rojalde habang nangyayri ang nakawan sa bahay niya. Isang parabulang mapaghiwatig ng daya at biruang sumisira sa mabuting pagkikipagkapwa-tao. 

Sa pangkalahatan, ang karakter ni Rojalde ay nabalot ng inggit, sama ng loob, hinanakit. Isa lamang ang hantungan nito: higanti laban sa taong kakompitensya, si Luis, pulubing inalis sa trabaho, na umangkin ng puso ng asawang si Danding. Ipakulong man ang pobreng Luis sa sugal ng pag-ibig, dahil sa nakatali pa rin si Rojalde sa piyudal na kostumbreng dapat siguraduhin ang kadalisayan ng dugo ng magmamanang anak, walang kalutasan ang suliranin ng pagiging patriyarkong hindi kontrolado ang buong sitwasyon.Sa diskursong “The Power of Money in Bourgeois Society,” (Manuscripts 165-69), isiniwalat ni Marx ang erotiko’t marahuyong lakas ng salapi na,tulad ng komoditi o produktong tinitinda, ay kumakaway at nanunukso sa mga nais bumili, na tanda ng masahol na salot ng konsumerismo sa burgesyang lipunan. Sa gayon, iisa ang henealohiya ng salapi at katawan ni Danding: kapwa erotikong bagay, ang ibinaon o nawalang bagay na matris ng galak, kasarapan, ligaya, kasukdulang tamis, kaluwalhatian.  


Diyalektika ng Partikular at Unibersal

Nabanggit na ang tagumpay ng unang paghihiganti ni Rojalde nang makapiling niya si Mr. Kilsberg sa isang piging sa Malakanyang, simbolo ng U.S. imperyallismo at ng kakutsabang katutubong alipores. Sa pag-amin pa rin ni Danding na hindi mabibili ni Rojalde ang kanyang pag-ibig, binalak ni Rojalde na suhulan ang dating sota, si Pedro, upang isangkot si Luis sa isang pagnanakaw—lapat na aksyong nagsisiwalat ng pagnakaw ni Rojalde sa kayamanang likha ng di-mabilang na obrero sa mundo. Nasilo sa pagkukunwari ni Pedro at sa makapagkalingang saloobin, nadakip si Luis at nabilanggo sa salang pagnanakaw, na hindi niya maipaglabang kabulaanan.

Ano ang sitwasyon ng uring kumprador sa lipunan?  Masisinag ito sa eksenang nagmumuni-muni si Rojalde habang hinihintay si Pedro sa Kabanata XVI, isang harding nagmistulang libingan (ang Bilibid sa huling bahagi ng nobela ay isang libingan din ng mga biktima ng makapangyarihang pulutong). Nagunita niya ang mga pamahiin tungkol sa duwende, nuno at tikbalang noong kamusmusan niya. Tigib ng pag-aalinlangan na hindi masawata ng salapi, taglay pa ng komersiyante ang imahinasyong makipagdebate sa sarili, sa isang interior monologue:

               “Kung may tikbalang kaya ngayong biglang lumitaw rito,” ang usisa sa sarili ni Rojalde.”Marahil nama’y di mangangahas sa akin; nalalaman na niyang ang musmos na nagpipikit ng mata kahapon, masabi lamang ang tikbalang, ngayo’y isa nang binatang may matitipunong bisig at pangangatawang timbang na timbang na di na niya mabibigla nang gano-ganoon. At kakausapin ko pa siya’t ipagpaparangalan ang sari-saring bunga ng isipan ng tao; ipatatalastas kong ngayo’y nauutusan pati ng lintik, nahahalughog pati kayamanang natatago sa ilalim ng lupa…[P]ati pagsasalitaan ngayo’y nagagawa sa pamamagitan ng kawad,…ang paglalakbay na kasalukuya’y mabilis na mabilis hindi gaya ng dating masagwil at puno pa ng kapanganiban…[Kung may tikbalang na ayaw siyang paraanin]…sapilitang mahihikayat ko…Isa-isa kong paliiwanag sa kanila ang mga kalwagan ng pamumuhay ngayon, ang mga kagalingan at ginhawa sa panahong ito salamat sa walang higlaw na pagsisikap ng puhunan. ‘Ngunit hintay ka muna, Rojalde,’ ang naibulong, ‘ang mga bata’t matatandang gusgusi’y malurit makipag-usap, mausisang totoo at palatanong ng kung anu-anong bagay: kung usisain nila sa iyo kung gaano naman ang ikinasulong ng tao sa pamamahala at pagpapsumunod sa bayan ng mga pamahalaang natatayo at ano ang iyong isasagot? (193-95)

Tiyak na si Rojalde ang tagapamansag ng modernismong dala ng U.S imperyalismo, ng makabagong teknolohiya’t siyentipikong pangangasiwa sa gobyerno’t komersiyo. Ngunit saklot din siya ng duda at walang pagtitiwala sa takbo ng buhay, sa malihim na operasyon ng monopolyo kapitalismo, ng mga nagbubungguang interes ng iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan. Masalimuot at magulo ang kalakarang nakabatay sa sirkulasyon ng salapi at produktong inilalako. Hinala rin iyan ni Rojalde, napisil niya ang isasagot ng tikbalang: “pawang paimbabaw lamang ang mga kinang na iyang nagpapaganda sa lahat ng bagay, at mga palamuting ginagamit ng tao upang matakban nang kaunti ang kalagayan niyang busabos pa rin hangga nayon.” Pinag-ukulan ito ng pansin ni Benilda Santos, ang editor ng muling pagkalimbag ng nobela: “Kaagapay ng ganitong pagsusuri ng mapagkunwaring ispirituwalidad, sinuri rin ni Aguilar ang pagdating ng ipinangalandakang pag-unlad na tatak Amerikano…May balatkayo at natatagong pandaraya ang ‘kaunlaran.’ Sa likod ng manipis na modernisasyon ng lungsod, madaling natutukoy ni Aguilar ang mga kupas na pangarap at bigong pag-asa ng mga Pilipino” xviii-xix).
Nakakaakit ang romansa sa nobela—walang masamang babae ritong “may ginintuang puso”— ngunit panglansi o patibong lang iyon. Nakasentro ang naratibo sa suliranin ng kumprador na sa simula’y tila giya o patnubay sa takbo ng mga pangyayari. Hindi pala, malikmata lamang iyon. Sa pusod ni Rojalde nagliliyab ang mga maigting na kontradiksiyong tumatalab sa bawat kilos, salita, damdamin at pangarap ng tauhan sa nobela. Siya ang intersekyon ng digmaan ng mga uri, isang larangan ng pakikihamok ng kolonisadong bayan at imperyalismo, ng piyudalismo at kapitalismo.

Isang aspekto ng diyalektikang pamamaraan ni Aguilar ay matatarok sa usapan nina Rojalde at Pedro. Nabatid ni Rojalde na sa pakikisalamuha ng utusan kay Luis, nagkaroon ng kabatiran at malasakit si Pedro, at ang pagkatuklas na ito ang determinadong negasyon ng pakana ni Rojalde na bilhin ang buong pagkatao ni Pedro. Naging kaibigan siya ni Luis: “Pinakapuri ito, sinabing may magandang puso at saka totoong kaibigan ng mga dukha, walang una-unang kasalanang kinikilala sa mahihirap kundi ang kanilang karalitaang bunga ng masasamang palakad ngayon” (198). Sa bintang na tatalikod siya sa pangako, tumugon si Pedro na hindi na may pasubali: “Ngunit ako’y nangilabot tuwing magugunita ang aking gagawin sa isang mabuting tao na paris ni Luis” (198). Samakatwid, hindi pa lubos naging mabangis na hayup ang utusan. Tumupad si Pedro, nahuli’t napiit sila ni Luis, at sa kalauna’y napatay si Pedro nang magtangkang tumakas sa bilangguan.

Sa paglalagom, ang pagkatao ng kumprador na kumakatawan sa malaking bahagi ng oligarkiyang nasa poder ang pinakamakahulugang ambag ng nobela. Bagamat mababansagang peti-burgesya, hindi ito kahawig ng intelihensiya sa Europa na matipid, may panlasang pilistino’t bulgar o malisyoso (Ossowska 154-82). Wala rin itong hilig na gumagad sa ugali ng nobilidad na magpakatanyag sa isang marangal na pagpupunyagi. Nais ni Rojaldeng maparangalan sa kanyang paghahandog ng piging at pista, sa kanyang pangangaibigan at pag-unlak sa mga kasiyahan, sa pag-angkin sa magandang dalagang si Danding. Sa kabilang dako, walang kapanatagan ang kaniyang buhay, hatak at tulak ng mga along pulitikal at pang-ekonomya. Ito nga ang predikamento ng oligarkiya na naging alipin ng Amerikano, at pagkatapos naging alila ng mga Hapon, at kapagkwa’y bumallik sa pagsunod sa dating amo—estilong kumprador na laging nalalamangan, laging dehado.

Paghahanap sa Bayaning Naglaho

Dumako tayo sa hiwaga kung ano, sino, saan ang pinaglahuan. Panimulang hinuha ko: ang naglaho’y panahon at pagkakataon ng kabayanihan. Maaring ang sambayanan o ilang pamilya’t indibidwal ang pinaglahuan ng lakas, sentido, dangal, atbp., at hindi na nakuhang ipaglaban ang dignidad at sariling puri. Kung matatanggap na pangunang pakay ni Aguilar ang daliriin ang predikamento ng kumprador-burgesiya, na sumasagisag sa personal na kalayaan ninuman na magsumikap maging malusog at maligaya, kundi man mariwasa, ano ang papel na ginanap ni Luis Gat-buhay bukod sa biktima at sawimpalad na kasintahan ni Danding? 

Pinarangalan ni Efren Abueg si Aguilar bilang tagapunla ng semilya ng ideolohiyang sosyalista sa panitikan. Nagpahiwatig ang Pinaglahuan ng pangangailangan ng pagkakaisa ng mga api upang marating ang utopya ng pagkakapantay-pantay. Deklara ni Abueg: “Ngunit ang kanyang kolektibismo ay hindi hatid ng mahinahong pag-iisip, kundi ng sigabo ng naaaping damdamin. [Sinipi ang bulalas ni Luis] “Sapagkat sa ikatatagumpay ng alin mang layon, sa ikabibihis ng katauhang dinudusta, at sa ikapagwawagi ng katwiran laban sa Lakas ay kailangan ang dugo, kailangan ang buhay…luha…at apoy na panunog.  Maggiba muna saka magbuo pagkatapos: nariyan ang tungo ng aking pangarap” (96). Gayunman, hatol ni Abueg na walang malayong pananaw si Aguilar tulad ni Lope K. Santos sa Banaag at Sikat.  Kung tutuusin, mas malayo ang pananaw ni Aguilar dahil sa analisis ng diyalektika ng luma’t bagong kaayusan, ang krisis ng kumprador-burokrata na naipit sa pagitan ng proletaryong naghihimagsik at dekadenteng oligarkong ahente ng U.S> imperyalismo.


Nabanggit na sa unahan ang pasibong tayo ni Luis sa harap ng mga dinuhaging maralita sa lunsod. Bukod sa pag harang sa karwahe ni Don Nicanor sa unang kabanata, at pagbulalas ng simpatiya sa mga pulubi, walang makahulugang aktibidad sa unyonismo ang ipinakita sa nobela. Ipinakita ang masugid na paghahanap ng bagong trabaho pagkatalsik sa kaniya ni Mr. Kilsberg, at pagkaraan, ang pakikihalubilo niya sa mga kasama sa Bilibid. Hindi nahihiwalay si Luis sa mga edukadong ka-henerasyon na dinulutan ng kaunting kaalaman upang magsilbi sa mababang palapag ng burokrasya at pagawaan. Isaisip din natin na ang mga unang liderato ng unyonismo sa Maynila ay sina Isabelo de los Reyes, na nagtatag ng Union de Litografos e Impresores de Filipinas noong Enero 1902, at si Dominador Gomez, abugadong kulaboraytor na tumulong sa pagkasuko ni Macario Sakay. Maski ang maka-kaliwang Crisanto Evangelista, Domingo Ponce, at Cirilo Bognot na nagbuo ng Partido Obrero de Filipinas ay mga alagad ng Partido Nacionalista ni Quezon. Kaugnay sila ng kilusang nasyonalistang hango sa hanay ng progresibong paksyon ng uring kumprador at burokrata-kapitalista.

Kabilang sa tinaguriang intelihensiya, ang mga makabayang aktibistang ito ay kalahi ni Luis na nagkapalad mabilang sa empleyado ng gobyerno. Si Aguilar ay naging kawani sa Tanggapan ng Kalihim Pandigma, at sa Tanggapan ng Kalihim Panloob ng Republika sa Malolos. Pagkatapos ng giyera, naglingkod siya sa mga pahayagan, naging editor ng Taliba (1910-13) at kapagkwa’y nahirang empleyado sa pamahalaan nina Quezon at Osmena. Ang tungkulin ni Luis sa akdang ito ay maging behikulo ng awtor, at personipikasyon ng mga biktima ng sistema. Nagdulot siya ng pagkakataong makasilip tayo sa looban ng Bilibid, ang institusyong simbolo ng paghahati ng lipunan sa api at panginoon, sa mga may pag-aari at sa madlang inalipin at dinusta.  Narito ang lagom ng kanyang karanasan sa bilangguan sa loob ng pitong buwan:

Maraming mga kabuhayang sawi ang kanyang napagdirinig sa loob ng kulungan at ang mga hubad na katotohanang iyon ng kasalanan at pagkabulok ng mga palakad na sinusunod pa ng katauhan ay lalong nagpapalungkot sa kanyang isip, lalong nagpapalamlam sa kulan ng ano mang bagay na kanyang tingnan at suriin.  Isa-isang napaukit sa kanyang puso, tulad sa sadyang inukit sa buhay na bato, ang masasaklap na katotohanang napagdarama sa loob ng Bilibid, at bagaman nakapagtitiis, ay maminsan-minsan ding tumututol sa ngalan ng mga api na walang ibang sala at nagawang kamalian kundi ang kanila lamang pagkamahina (253).

Lubhang litaw ang pasipistang atitudo, ang tiyaga sa pagtitiis, ang minsan-minsang hinaing, at pagpapasasa—himatong nating pagkatuwa sa dalamhati’t pighati ng isang masokistang tao—sa lugaming kalagayan. Isang kandidato sa pagka-Kristo ba si Luis? Hindi maikakailang ang kanyang pagkamakaawa, ang kahandaang dumamay sa kasawian ng iba (tulad ng kaniyang maling pagdamay sa kasawian ni Pedro), ay nakatataba sa puso. Subalit ito’y pagkukulang din, pagkatamad magtanong, bumulatlat, sumiyasat, sumuri sa katiwalian at ipokrisya ng marami. Tumining at tumibay ang paniniwala niya, pagkasaksi sa isang bilanggong nakabitin at pinahihirapan, na “sa bilanggua’ydi naparusahan ang isang pagkakasala o kaya’y napagsisihan ang katampalasang nagawa.”  Ang pagkatao ni Luis ay haraya ng pagpapakasakit, sagisag ng kakayahan ng taong magbata’t magtiis, hindi kakayahang umaklas at maghimagsik.

Pahatid mula sa Sepulkro

Sa wakas ng nobela, pinagtambal ang eksena ng sunog at ang kalunos-lunos na kalagayan ni Danding at kalituhan ni Rojalde. Taglay ang paglinang sa isang propetikong hibong hango sa Bibliya at sa banta ni Simoun sa El Filibusterismo na pasabugin ang sistema upang malinis ang kabulukan, ikinawing ni Aguilar ang pagpuri ni Luis sa sunog na tumutupok sa makasalanang lungsod, at ang panghihinayang at pagkabigo ni Rojalde. Mapanghulang bisyon ang saad ni Luis hinggil sa tumutupok na apoy sa sanlibutan: “Ganyan ang buhawing aking pinapangarap, ang araw ng singilang aking ninanais na ipagkakapantay-pantay ng madla at iguguho ng masasamang palakad sa mga baya’t kapisanan. Mistulang larawan ang sunog na iyan ng pagtutuos ng darating bukas, iyang bagong araw na minimithing masilayan ng mga api’t nagtitiis, ng mga dinuduhagi’t inaalipin” (299). 

Sa halip bumigkas ng pagdamay sa maralitang napinsala rin, kaagapay ng mayamang pag-aari ni Rojalde, isang pangkahalatang sumpa ang nasambit ni Luis. Walang analisis kung saan nagbuhat ang sunog, na kalimitan ay penomenong pumipinsala sa mga pawid na tahanan ng mahihirap na obrero sa mga pagawaan ng tabako, sapatos, at iba pang pangkaraniwang produkto. 

          Sa kabilang dako, umaapaw ang ngitngit ni Rojalde. Taglay na makisig at mariwasang kumprador “ang panibughong di ikatahimik at nagtatanong kung bakit iginalang pa ng apoy ang babayi at sanggol na kapwa naglalarawan ng kanyang kasawiang-palad. Sa harap ng mga abo at uling na nagbabaga ay minumuni-muni ang kanyang higanti…” (301). Ito ang antipode ng maselang kontradiksiyong humantong sa kongkretong unibersal na naisakatuparan sa limang huling pahina ng nobela. Kaipala’y nakabitin ang kapalaran ni Danding, “kawalan ng pag-asa, o kaya’y isang hatol na di na matututulan.”  Malikhain ang guniguni ng nobelista, ayaw niyang magwakas sa isang doblekarang imahen o parikalang may dalawang kahulugan, kaya itinala ang pagsalikop ng prusisyon ng mga bilanggo at kulay ng tanawing nagbabadya ng maluwalhating kinabuksan:

Nang mga sandaling iyo’y isang mahabang hanay ng mga bilanggo na galing sa paggawa ang ipinapasok sa maluwang na pinto ng Bilibid. Sa mga mukha nila’y makakita ng kinalarawanan ng pagkasawi, Nga mga naghihiwatig ng kapoota’t pagngingitngit na kumakamandag sa kanilang puso….
Nagwawagi naman ang araw sa kalunsuran. Isang sinag niya ang nakapunit samakapal na panginoring nag-anyong tao muna bago nagkadalawang bisig pagkatapos, saka nagtila isang malaking Kristong nakadipa tulad sa bagong Kristo ng Katauhang araw-araw ay ipinapako ng Katauhan din (302).

Isang ilusyon tila ang iniluhog ni Aguilar sa madlang mambabasa: itinanghal ang abstraktong “Katauhan” at hindi ang partikular na grupo o pangkat na sinisikil at ipinapako sa krus. Kinukuro kong dahilan ito kung bakit nalihis ang komentaryo ni Soledad Reyes nang iulat niya: “Nagwakas ang nobela sa pag-aagaw ng dilim at liwanag, sa larawan ng sugatang Luis habang minamasdan ng nanlalabong mga mata nito ang malaking sunog na tumutupol sa isang bahagi ng Maynila” (45). Wala pang sugat si Luis nang masdan niya ang sunog; at kung si Luis nga ang bagong Kristo, walang habas na eksaherasyon ito. Ikinumpara ni Reyes ang estilo ng panunuya at panunuligsa ni Aguilar sa mga nobela ni Rizal at mga rebolusyonaryong tula nina Bonifacio at del Pilar. Dagdag pa niya na ang realismong sosyal ni Aguilar ay “masusi, masinop at masaklaw” sa paglalarawan ng pag-uugnayan ng mga puwersang mapaniil at mga biktima nila. Patunay ito sa diyalektikang paghubog ng naratibo, kung saan ang isang panig o sektor, ang porma at laman nito, ay hindi maihihiwalay sa kabuuan o totalidad ng relasyong sosyal. Salungat ito sa maka-indibidwalistikong sensibilidad ni Luis, na limitado kumpara sa replexibong kamalayan ni Rojalde batay sa komersiyanteng mentalidad nito na sinuri ni Georg Simmel sa kanyang “Pilosopiya ng Salapi” (216-232). Bagamat dalumat nito ang kumplikadong katayuan niya, hindi masakyan ni Rojalde ang limitasyon ng kanyang kayamanan, na kung tutuusin ay nakasalalay sa ilusyon, hiwaga, gayuma o mistipikasyon.

 Sa pagsusuma, ang Pinaglahuan ay pagdalumat sa potensiyal at posibilidad ng pagbabago sa Pilipinas noong unang dekada ng siglo 1900. Asimetrikal at maligoy ang pagsulong ng lipunan, may tendensiyang bumabalik at tendensiyang sumusugod. Tumatalab ang mga kontradiksiyong naiulat na sa una. Nakatali ang mga tendensiyang iyon sa uri ng patriyarkong pamilya ni Don Nicanor ( ang orihinal na kahulugan ng pamilya sa Latin ay kawan ng mga esklabo) na nakaugat sa piyudal na rehimen. Samantala, si Rojalde ang sugo ng uring kumprador na bihag ng kontradiksiyon ayon sa umiikot na siklo ng salapi/halagang-pallitan sa palengke o pamilihang pandaigdig. Si Danding at Luis ang palasintahang sindroma ng mga pantasya’t pangarap, panimdim at sindak, na malalasap sa karanasan ng mga taong sumisigaw ng saklolo sa ngalan ng damdamin, kalikasan at espiritu. 

Sa maikling pagsusuma, nais kong dukalin ang inungkat na mga tanong sa pambungad hinggil sa kapalaran nina Luis, Danding, at Rojalde. Pinagtuunan ng pansin ng tagapag-salaysay si Rojalde bilang representatibo ng panggitnang-uri, namamagitan sa mayoryang anak-pawis at minoryang mariwasa (walang malaking asendero dito dahil rentier-kapitalismo, paupahang pag-aari ang inasikasong ilarawan). Siya ang kumakatawan sa nalalabing pwersa ng nasyonalismong ibinandila nina Sakay at Malvar sa huling yugto ng giyera laban sa U.S. Sakmal ng balisa’t pag-aalanganin, si Rojalde ang sintomas ng kawalan ng matipunong liderato ng nasyonalistikong bloke (liban na kina Quezon, Osmena, atbp.) Si Luis, na dapat sanang naging masugid na puno ng proletaryo sa pabrika ni Mr. Kilsberg, ay mabilis na nailigpit—tulad ng grupo nina Lope K. Santos, Isabelo de los Reyes, Dominador Gomez, atbp. Dagling naihiwalay sa dalagang anak ng matandaing oligarko, si Luis ay naging sakripisyong scapegoat na singaw ng milenaryong sektang tumitingala pa rin sa propetikong mensahe ng Bibliya (na ginawang sekular o pandaigdig ni Aguilar). Si Danding ay wangis birheng nabuntis ng Banal na Espiritung pumanaw—ang naglalahong memorya ng Katipunan, ng insureksiyon laban sa Espanya at laban sa Estados Unidos—at di matanto ng mga kapanahon ni Rojalde kung ano ang gagawin sa bagong silang, sanhi sa malabong ugat o pinanggalingan at mamanahin. 

Maimumungkahi na ang tahasang kalatas o pahatid ng nobela ay isang mapanghamong tanong sa mambabasa: Sino ang tatangkilik o bubuhay sa naglahong tradisyon ng rebolusyon, ang anak ni Danding at Luis, na nakataya’t naglalambitin sa desisyon ng mga taong tulad ni Rojalde? Paano madudulutan ng karampatang pagpapahalaga ang kahapon (nina Luis at Danding) ng mga kasalukuyang Pilipino upang makabuo ng masagana, malaya’t makataong pamumuhay sa hinaharap? Ang malaman at mabigat na tanong na ito ang sagot din sa mga katanungang nasambit sa panimula.

Sa paghabi ng kumplikasyon ng mga ugnayan ng mga tauhan sa naitalang tema, mapapanood ang diyalektikong pagsasalisi ng partikular na pagnanais at ng unibersal na hugos ng metabolikong pagtatalik ng tao at kalikasan. Ito ang diyalektika ng nesesidad at kalayaan sa pagpili.  Ang Pilipinas ay lugar na pinaglahuan ng sindromang romantiko, ngunit doon din matutuklasan ang sibol ng makabagong pagkatao, na masasalamin sa mukha nina Rojalde, Pedro, Luis at Danding. Ang anak nila ay simbolo ng pinaglahuang maaaring makasasagip at makatutubos sa sambayanang patuloy na nakikibaka tungo sa kalayaan at kasarinlan.  Naisakatuparan sa realistikong alegorya ng nobela ni Aguilar ang aral ni Marx sa “Theses hinggil kay Feuerbach” (28-29) hinggil sa pag-unawa sa konsepto ng indibidwal at sosyedad: na ang esensya ng indibidwal ay nakabuod sa relasyong panlipunang umiiral; at ang pagsasabayan ng pagbago ng kongkretong kalagayan ng lipunan at ng aktibidad ng tao ay mainam na maipapakahulugan sa konsepto ng praktikang rebolusyonaryo. Ang praktika ng pagbasa’t pagsuri sa nobela ay siya ring pagsasapraktika ng mga tema’t ideyang nakapaloob sa likhang-sining. Wala nang napakahalagang responsibilidad kundi ang masinop na pagtupad nito ng makabayang alagad ng sining (San Juan 2017).


_____

SANGGUNIAN

Abueg, Efren.  “Ang Sosyalismo sa Nobelang Tagalog.” Sampaksaan ng      mga Nobelistang Tagalog.  Ang Aklatan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas,        1974, pp. 95-100.  Print.

Agoncillo, Teodoro & Milagros Guerrero.  History of the Filipino        People.  R. P. Garcia Publishing Co., 1970.  Print.

Aguilar, Faustino.  Pinaglahuan.  Ateneo UP, 1986.   Print.

——.  “Ang Nobelang Tagalog—Kahapon, Ngayon, at Bukas.” Mga    
Lektura sa Kasaysayan ng Panitikan, inedit ni Galileo Zafra.  Aklat ng Bayan, 2013, pp.229-40.  Print.

Constantino, Renato.  The Philippines: A Past Revisited. Tala        Publishing Co., 1975.  Print.

Lumbera. Bienvenido & Cynthia Lumbera, ed.  Philippine Literature: A History & Anthology.  National Book Store, 1982.  Print.

Marx, Karl.  The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.      International Publishers, 1964. Print.

——- and Frederick Engels.  Selected Works. International   Publishers, 1968.  Print.

Medina, B.S.Jr., ed.  Tatlong Panahon ng Panitikan.  National Book Store, 1972.  Print.

Ossowska, Maria.  Social Determinants of Moral Ideas.  U of Pennsylvania P, 1970.  Print.

Panganiban, J. Villa & Consuelo Torres Panganiban.  Panitikan ng   Pilipinas. Bede’s Publishing House, 1954.   Print.

Reyes, Soledad.  Nobelang Tagalog 1905-1975. Ateneo UP, 1982. Print.

San Juan, E.  Lupang Hinirang, Lupang Tinubuan. De La Salle   
University Publishing House, 2017.  Print.

Santos, Benilda.  “Introduksiyon,” Pinaglahuan ni Faustino Aguilar.  Ateneo U P, 1986.  Print.


Simmel, Georg.  Essays on Sociology, Philosophy and Aesthetics.  Harper Torchbooks, 1959.  Print.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

NICK JOAQUIN'S APOCALYPSE: Women and the Tragi-Comedy of the "Unhappy Consciousness"



Nick Joaquin’s Apocalypse: Women and the Tragi-comedy of the“Unhappy Consciousness”

E. San Juan, Jr.


Beginning with the notion of experience exchanged via story-telling, this paper focuses on the evolving drama of consciousness variously rendered in Joaquin's narratives. This drama has been rehearsed conceptually in Hegel's critique of the "Unhappy Consciousness" in Phenomenology of Spirit. Torn between the patriarchal regime of the family and the necessity of survival in a bourgeois-capitalist milieu, Joaquin's bifurcated subject (represented by characters in crisis) dissolves into the mirage of unifying myths or becomes reconciled to the alienating system by artistic fiat. Joaquin's motive of attempting to reconcile polarized memories and fantasies, a project of extracting universality from particularized dilemmas, symbolizes the predicament of the ilustrado class. Joaquin articulates the conscience of this embattled group whose legitimacy has been challenged by the sheer force of repressed natural drives. These energies were hitherto sublimated in subaltern negativity embodied in collective labor and resistance. Truthful to theilustrado syndrome, Joaquin's art is thus unable to resolve the dialectic of the "Unhappy Consciousness" within a materialist historical frame, thus functioning as the testimony of mere utopian longing or the allegory of a compulsively repeated tragicomedy rescued from an embalmed past.

Keywords: bifurcated subject, ilustrado syndrome, Nick Joaquin, phenomenology, "Unhappy Consciousness"
1




SanJuan/Joaquin
When we say of things that they are finite, we mean thereby . . . that Not-being constitutes their nature and their Being . . . Finite things . . . are related to themselves as something negative, and in this self-relation send themselves on beyond themselves and their Being . . . . The finite does not only change . . . it perishes; and its perishing is not merely contingent . . . . It is rather the very being of finite things that they contain the seeds of perishing as their own Being-in-self, and the hour of their birth is the hour of their death.
---G.W.F. Hegel, Science of Logic (1929), 142


The elevation of Nick Joaquin’s reputation to a Penguin Classic in 2017 signaled not only an apotheosis of sorts but also an exoticizing marginalization. Under the rubric of the“postcolonial,” the endorsers relegated the Filipino author to a fraught academic trend in rapid obsolescence. But his acclamation as our Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the exemplar of postcolonial“doubleness,” albeit overlain by “a tribal civilization,” ascribed an “aura” fit for our feckless addiction to commodity fetishism. No, we are not alluding to Duterte’s total war against suspected drug-lords and terrorists. I am referring to that inescapable “aura” that Walter Benjamin anatomized in “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” It is the aura of Joaquin's A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino as the quintessential Filipino theater. It is the aura of a sanctified writer whose mastery of English has allowed him to define, for the whole nation (whose existence is still contentious since the popular/the masa remains outside the neocolonized polity), its historical genealogy, political predicament, and destiny.
2
SanJuan/Joaquin
Benjamin is also the source of Vicente Rafael’s view of Joaquin’s craft as a sign of a reprieve from U.S. colonial subjugation. Together with his contemporary Anglophone writers, Joaquin “epitomized the modernizing promise of colonial rule” (xx). Using English as the “veryidiom of modernity itself,” Joaquin allegedly succeeded in “regaining the capacity of remembering itself in order to constitute the remembering self” (xxi). This is premised on the“attenuation of experience” which led to the “demise of the craft of storytelling” (xv). This, I submit, is a flawed construal of Benjamin’s demystification of romanticized story-telling. Actually, Benjamin linked narrative art to the web of determinate social relations, specifically the mode of production and conflicted classes (peasantry, guild artisan, merchant trader, capitalist industrialist), which produced the substance and circumscribed the narratability of diverse experiences. Story-telling is tied to the rhythms of work and the oral context of a long- vanished communal audience. With the onset of capitalism, that context dissolved; the “short- lived reminiscences of the storyteller” gave way to the “perpetuating remembrance of thenovelist” in a commodified milieu.
Memory, a conjured homeland, the narration of collective experience, shared fatethis is what is at stake in estimating Joaquin’s relevance today. It is the novel as “the form of transcendental homelessness” (a concept borrowed from Georg Lukacs) to which Benjamin attributes the function of revitalizing epic memory. And so it is the novel, such as Joaquin’s The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Cave and Shadows, that evokes the genuinely epic experience of time: hope and memory....” (Lukacs 99). Whether such a mode of experience salvaged from the “ruins of modernity” can be conveyed by the tales and legends that comprise the bulk of the Penguin collection, is what needs to be clarified. We cannot echo what Gorky
3
SanJuan/Joaquin
once said of Gogol’s “The Overcoat,” that Filipino writing all disingenuously came out ofJoaquin’s two navels.Rebirth of the Author?
Poststructuralist critics have long pronounced the death of the author in its conventional sense as a sacred demiurge, a sovereign genius. Earlier Marx, Darwin, Saussure, Freud, and Nietzsche all concurred in the demise of that individual-centered cosmos. But Barthes and Foucault have resuscitated the author as a function, a site of discursive contestation, rather than an originating presence with the mystical halo given by the Penguin Classic editors and blurbs. One American reviewer ventured peremptorily to dismantle that halo by ascribing to Joaquin a melancholy anger, relentlessly composing “a fierce elegy for a past that never was.” She summed upJoaquin’s central preoccupation thus: “the older generation is bitterly impotent against the sea changes of the present, and the younger generations desperate to understand the world, but adrift between potential and petrification” (Valentine).
The thematic problem that Joaquin engages with concerns the question of the Subject of a singular Filipino national experience. It is a complex hypothesis, a speculative proposition, that we have explored before (San Juan, Subversions). This involves accounting for the subject- positions offered by the texts. It is not the mismatch or incompatibility between generational attitudes, but rather how this Subject, confined to the petty bourgeois urban sector, asserts itself, its negativity, in the process of evolving to a dynamic self-conscious historically concrete position. Essentially, this Subject is an evolving identity-in-difference (Marcuse). Situated in the transition from the feudal/colonial mode of production to a bureaucratic-comprador mode, this Subject undergoes diremption. Defined by Otherness, it proceeds to recognize its difference/alienation and struggles to sublate the antagonisms converging in its life-world in
4
SanJuan/Joaquin
order to construct its new subject-position, a relatively autonomous, free, rational self- consciousness in command of its lived experience. In brief, it is the ordeal of a particular community discovering its concrete universality in the process of attempting to reconcile historically determinate contradictions, yielding tragi-comic spectacles and language-games.
The Subject as an identity-in-difference, for Joaquin the hispanicized Filipino creole (Rizal, Luna, among others) bifurcated by Spanish and Anglo-Saxon subjugation, refuses to accept the domination of alienated labor (capitalist exploitation) and struggles to maintain the honor-centered norm of theocratic Manila. Proof of this is Joaquin’s 1943 essay, “La Naval deManila,” a celebration of the Spanish victory over the Dutch in 1646, which won him a scholarship to St. Albert Monastery in Hong Kong in 1947 (De Vera). From the Commonwealth period up to the installation of the “puppet republic” of Roxas, Quirino, and Magsaysay,Joaquin’s endeavor to construct this Subjectthe metamorphosis of the ilustrado sensibility into a civic-minded citizen of the Republicfounders. Only the sisters of AntigoneCandida and Paula of A Portrait--remain as testimony to this heroic attempt to shape a national allegory of bourgeois compromise. This would be nothing else but a self-determining reflexive story of private lives and individual destinies encapsulating the “embattled situation” of the third-world public culture/society (Jameson 320).Marginalizing the Metropolis
Whether Joaquin succeeds or not in re-inventing the national allegory of the Filipino Subject, the rational self-conscious intelligence of the Filipino middle-stratum beyond sensuous certainty, selfish interests, and animal passions is the topic adumbrated in this essay. Counter- intuitvely, Joaquin’s allegory is an imaginary resolution of the lived contradictions (see Balibar and Macherey) between traditional beliefs and instrumental reason represented by fictional
5
SanJuan/Joaquin
characters. It seems to me simplistic to reduce the complex theme to the conflict between the priests and satyrs, between the pagan, totem-and-taboo tribalismthe brute world of the “bitch-goddess” worship in the Tadtarin cultand the sadistic chastity of Christian ascetics. Or, in A Portrait, the opposition between materialistic, individualistic, consumer society and the numinous realm of family affections. Even though Joaquin may be fascinated with the primitive ideal of cyclic regeneration, this is easily incorporated into a Christian paradigm of death-and- resurrection personified by the “Unhappy Consciousness” (discussed below), this syncretism being a false dialectic of subsumption and rechristeningthe well-tried colonial ideology of cooptation and assimilation.
At the outset, I would argue that Joaquin’s focus on the agon, the ordeal, of the urbanizedIndios of Metro Manila fails to resolve their predicament. On the contrary, it refracts the syndrome. It reproduces the contradictions of the past by negating the challenges and opportunities of the present. The chief symptom of this inability to dialectically transcend the past is its exclusion of the peasantry and the whole proletarian world of serfs, women, tribal or indigenous communities (Muslim, Igorot) marginalized by Spanish and U.S. colonial domination. However, the mediations offered in “The Order of Melkizedek,” The Woman Who Had Two Navels, and A Portraitresigning to the contingency and accidents of life, asserting impetuous will, or welcoming the priestly intervention of the alienated citizens of a competitive egocentric societyare flawed, temporary stop-gaps, compromise mediations. Nonetheless, they may constitute Joaquin's most instructive contribution to the current dialogue on national- democratic reconstruction.
At the end of the day, the "Unhappy Consciousness" (as described by Hegel inPhenomenology of Spirit) of Joaquin’s Subject yields up the fruits of labor and enjoyment for the
6
SanJuan/Joaquin
absolving act of the intermediary consciousness (such as the father’s in “Three Generations” or the epiphany of Candido and Sid Estiva, Bitoy Camacho, and Pepe Monson). But they occlude the fate of Others: of the sisters Paula and Candida, of the children such as Guia and the Monson brothers, and neighbors of the decaying house in Intramuros. In Tales, such as in “The SummerSolstice” and “Candido’s Apocalypse,” moral decision and understanding are sacrificed for a stance of stoic fatalism, or abject sinfulness. This is not useless if one grasps this stage of the experience as one aware of its particularity, the limits of mechanistic self-satisfaction, abstract solipsism, and alienated privacy. One can convert the experience of the "Unhappy Consciousness" as a prelude to attaining the stage of the universal, the rational self-conscious stance of the Subject, the self-determining agent of historical praxis. But that is a hypothetical possibility for Joaquin.
Figure 1 Subversions of Desire: Prolegomena to Nick Joaquin is the only book-length study on Nick Joaquin. Published by Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1988.
7
page7image34895472
SanJuan/Joaquin
Crucible of Experience
The key concept of experience is central to our inquiry. Benjamin asserted that the old sense of communal experience embodied in Leskov’s stories has been destroyed, replaced by information. Information consists of incidents, positive facts or factoids, mixed with explanation. In industrial capitalist society, the business media communicates information, with instant verifiability, eradicating the amplitude of traditional storytelling based on the interactive collaboration of the audience. The modern audience consists of atomized psyches devoid of memory, victimized by the reifying impact of universal commodification. Memory, death, and time disappears; experience degenerates to information in an anomic society (epitomized by the rhetorical shifts in “A Pilgrim Yankee’s Progress” and “The Mass of St. Sylvestre”).
What Benjamin has condensed in the term “information” is the reduction of life as the passive undergoing of the phenomenal world. Empiricism and sensationalism informed the scientific exploration of the world by merchants and industrialists. Immanuel Kant rejected this by positing the active thinking of the empirical subject, leaving the thing-in-itself untouched. It was Marx who revised contemplative materialism by affirming practical action to change the material world. Marx qualifies Hegel’s philosophy of experience by accentuating the role of the collective subject (social classes). By investigating the necessary properties and the laws of motion of the phenomenal world, and the rational methods of activity to transform it, humans have given the concept of experience a new meaning. Experience thus denotes the dialectical interaction of the social subject with the external world, merging with the “sum total of society’spractical activity” (Rosenthal and Yudin 154; see also Adorno 83-86).
Experience is thus a complex notion of imbrication of various layers of phenomena, both subjective and objective. It was Hegel who defined experience as a transactive interface of
8
9
SanJuan/Joaquinsubject and object working its way in a dialectical process in his Phenomenology of Spirit. From a phenomenological frame, Hegel conceived of experience as that which later views of reality have of the earlier ones; that is, what a more mature and self-conscious grasp of reality reveals is the “experience” of what was inscribed in earlier, naïve notions. In effect, it is the experience of the passage of consciousness, “the dialogue between natural consciousness and absoluteknowledge,” toward the concrete Universal (Heidegger 146; see also Findlay 87).
Now, exactly what is that still unmediated complex of experience bedeviling Joaquin’sconscience? Everyone knows that the passage of our country into modernity was interrupted twice: first, by the defeat of Aguinaldo’s revolutionary forces by the U.S. invasion and bloody pacification from 1899 to 1913; and, second, by the U.S. failure to prevent the Japanese occupation and destruction of Manila, followed by more than two decades of neocolonial subservience to U.S. diktat. The harmony of Spanish monastic supremacy subtending the feudal/patriarchal order was broken not by the 1896 Katipunan uprising but by U.S. imperial conquest. While accepting the compromise of the Commonwealth, where the ilustrado fathers (Recto/Don Perico in A Portrait) found token recognition, Joaquin could not accept the collaboration (and U.S. resignation to the oligarchy’s acquiescence) with the Japanese. This was due to the horrendous devastation of Intramuros, the prime symbol of a form-giving Catholic ethos and ancien regime manners. It is the event of a WW2 disaster, the “orgy of atrocities”matched only by the 1937 Nanking massacre (Karnow 321), that traumatized Joaquin's psyche crawling out of the rubble of Intramuros. The Filipino ilustrado soul entered the phase of“transcendental homelessness,” the theme of the classic European novel and of Joaquin's fictional attempts to assuage and cure the trauma.
SanJuan/Joaquin
Except for the tales and folkloric adaptations--“The Legend of the Dying Wanton,” Doña Jeronima,” “The Mass of St Sylvester”--the major stories in the Penguin anthology strove to confront the two crises by resolving, in an imaginary sphere we call “ideology,” the contradiction between the project of reconstructing the tradition by sublationnegating the archaic residues, preserving elements of Christian humanism (free will; reason governed by grace), and lifting them to a richer, multifaceted universalityand accepting the fate of imperial domination. Whether the experience of his protagonists demonstrates a genuine immanent critique and resolution of the schisms in their world remains to be analyzed.
Mapping the Oral Space of Time
Let us examine how this adventure of the "Unhappy Consciousness" unfolds toward a sublimation of its immanent contradictions. Joaquin’s two novels originate from the matrix of tale-telling. The core problem we need to engage with is the nature and consequentiality of those experiences rendered by Joaquin’s moralizing plots. We need to understand what shapes of memory and hope may be glimpsed and delineated so as to give counsel, warning, or ultimatum to its modern audience. Who this audience is and where, remain also as problematic as the specific contingencies underlying both Joaquin’s life and the still taken-for-granted sociohistorical situation that is the condition of possibility of his art.
To approach the intricacies of this question, let us take as specimen the widely- anthologized “The Summer Solstice.” The time-period (1850) is still colonial, materialized in the suburb of Paco (also replicated in Obando, Bulacan) outside of the Walled City, still pervaded with pagan practices. The Tadtarin, a three-day fertility festival overlaid/legitimized by the Christian feast of St. John the Baptist, enacts the death, flourishing, and birth of the sun/life- force. The Tadtarin is represented by an old woman who ritually dies, carrying a wand-fetish and
10
SanJuan/Joaquin
a sheaf of seedlings; she is resurrected, the crowd of women-worshippers dancing around her, with St. John the Baptist figuring as the somewhat tabooed, engulfed phallic icon. The orgy is supposed to synchronize human biological time and the rhythm of the universe, here intimated by the triple-time dance steps evoking the sound of a circumcision ceremony (Roces). It is less a Dionysian debauchery than a celebration of desire, passion, lust, attuned to the organic cycle of animal/natural life. Patriarchy temporarily submits to the maternal, generative principle.
But history, not myth, preoccupies Joaquin in celebrating June. In the zodiac-designedAlmanac for Manilenos, Joaquin assigns the solstice month to Juno, the patroness of marriage and fertility, following prehistoric Roman tradition. But more significant is June 12, 1898,Aguinaldo’s proclamation of the independent Malolos Republic. June 24 is the feast of St John the Baptist canonized by Christ himself; “all the rest of humanity were born in sin,” adds Joaquin, except for St. John, Christ, and the Virgin Mary (Almanac 170). But what for Joaquin is more significant is the founding of Manila by Legaspi on June 24, 1571, because with city records and chronology of deeds, Spanish conquest gave history to the country and began to eradicate pagan myths and animist/obscurantist practices like astrology and occult fortune- telling. This palimpsest translates Joaquin’s formula (La Naval 30) of reconciling the form, temper, and physiognomy that Spain bequeathed to us and the national destiny we are trying to create.
Communal time, however, is cyclical and cannot be reduced to the spatial linearity of the merchant's calendar. What Joaquin does is to use this social/cultural arena to dramatize the phase of consciousness which Hegel described as the conflict of slave and lord, the bondsman and master. In it the slave wins recognition (self-consciousness) via his labor and creation, whereas the lord remains in-himself, sunk in empirical solitude, treating the slave as a thing/object. In the
11
SanJuan/Joaquin
relation between Doña Lupeng and the husband Rafael Moreta, the archetypal gender-war centers on the woman’s introflection of the collective, universal for-itself of the community. She is no longer just wife or mother, for she now embodies the in-itself/for-itself Subject that mediates between the patriarchal law of property-owning society (wives and children are the slaves in the Roman familia). The melodramatic episode of the husband crawling to kiss thewife’s foot has externalized the "Unhappy Consciousness" into a fight between two humans reduced to animal/physical sensations, with mastery as the object/goal, in the realm of the empirical/natural life. No genuine mutual recognition of the each other’s identities transpires. We are remote from any hope of reaching the self-conscious Universal that sublimates the organic/natural impulse into the ordered ethical sphere of the family and ultimately in the self- reflecting Spirit of civilization.
Joaquin’s resort to the strategy of Christian evangelism/evangelicalism assimilating/adapting pagan rituals can also be observed in the other tales: Doña Jeronima,” “May Day Eve,” “Guardia de Honor,” and “The Order of Melkizedek.” In the latter, the sacrifice of Guia betokens the return of the Manichean casuistry personified by the guilt-ridden Fr. Lao. But at the same time, with Fr. Melchor standing for a recurrent urge to repeat the inaugural sacrament of the Feast of Circumcision, and the founding of a new millenary movement to renew society, Joaquin revives the roots of the "Unhappy Consciousness" by focalization on a utopian biblical image: his toothbrush and the "burning bush” of a plane-ticket illuminating the void of the niche in Salem House. The once displaced native has vowed to stay in the homeland and solve the mystery of the unfulfilled promise of national redemption.
The would-be dialectical mediators of opposing forces, the tutored Candido and the moralizing Sid Estiva, seem unable to grasp the negativity of the empirical surface. They remain
12
SanJuan/Joaquin
trapped in sensuous certainty, the antinomy of desire and sinfulness, unable to leap to a further stage to capture the Other’s inwardness, remaining torn by heterogenous immediacy. In this busy detective story, the “Sign of the Milky Seed” –a pun on seminal fluidhistoricized as the Order of Melkizedek, opens the occasion for introducing the character of Father Melchor, accompanied by the avenger Fr. Lao. The latter, a double or the obverse face of the former, seems to parody the vocation of those “justified and sanctified by God’s grace” and who offer their lives "in sacrifice to God’s incomprehensible dominion (Rahner and Vorgrimler 376). Sid Estiva is just a catalyst in the return of the priestly order so that the political millenarism of the youth (Guia and her circle) is sublimated into the erotic affairs of the adult guardians (for a diagnosis of this shift in Western philosophy, see Taylor).
A millenary impulse of prefiguring the return of the Messiah underlies this project of Joaquin to resolve the sordid dilemma of the "Unhappy Consciousness." It evokes the delusionary phantasies of victims of overwhelming catastrophes in the Middle Ages, replete with a demon scapegoats, messianic leaders, millennial mirages, together with the army of Saints (for example, the Albigensians alluded to by Joaquin as the “terror of the troubadors” (La Naval 33) suppressed by St. Dominic and the Papacy) ready to purify earth so as to establish “the new Jerusalem, the shining Kingdom of the Saints" (Cohn 73). The Pauline image of the crucified Christ, performed by Father Melchor, invokes the millenary tradition of revivalist sects inspired by St. John’s apocalypse (Smith 172-79), a repetition-compulsion lacking catharsis.
What needs underscoring is St. Augustine’s insistence that the millennial kingdom wished-for by millenarian movements actually began with the birth of Christ. One historian notes that in the anti-Papacy movements (for example, the Anabaptists) from the thirteenth to the sixteenth, “the earlier millenarianism bloomed again in full vigor. It became part of the baggage
13
SanJuan/Joaquin
of the Reformation and has continued to the present day, a seemingly necessary consequence of verbal inspiration of the Scriptures” (Mead 492). Joaquin’s revival of this chiliastic, millenarian tendency testifies to a proto-revolutionary impulse in his work that connects with the genealogy of our rich tradition from Tamblot to the Colorums and Mt. Banahaw sects, the Rizalistas, up to the revolt of the Lapiang Malaya of Valentin de los Santos on May 21, 1967 (Agoncillo and Guerrero 508). This may also explain his praise of the Crusades and slaughter of the infidel Turks at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), defeat of the Calvinist Dutch fleet (1646), and the Moros of Luzon annihilated by Legaspi, Martin de Goiti, and Juan de Salcedo (1570-76; Zaide 149-57).Triangulating Counter-Modernism
Counter-modernist reformation evokes not a return to a utopian past but a futuristic projection of an authentic fulfillment. This is a transitional subject-position occupied by the "Unhappy Consciousness" whose itinerary we are tracing here. It might be worthwhile to note first, as a heuristic guide, the time-span spanning Joaquin’s production of his stories and novels, between 1946 and 1966, except for “Three Generations,” published in 1940. We are plunged into the postwar milieu of General MacArthur’s “Liberation,” the onset of the Cold War, the founding of Communist China, the Korean War, the upsurge and crushing of the Huk rebellion, and the Vietnam War. For Joaquin, as his polemics against U.S. neocolonialism in the articles for example on WW2, Bataan, and Corregidor, indicate (Joaquin, Discourses), the single traumatic event is the destruction of Intramuros in 1945. That holocaust also spelled the confusion, anomie, and decadence of a feudal/comprador formation, evinced in “The Order of Melkizedek,” “Candido’s Apocalypse,” and A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, and the two novels.
14
SanJuan/Joaquin
15
page15image34937136
Figure 2 US troops fighting in the Walled City for the liberation of Manila.
Figure 3 The aftermath of the Liberation of Manila in 1945 part of the Pacific Theater of WWII. Next to Warsaw, Manila is the most devastated city.
page15image34895680
SanJuan/Joaquin
So anchored is Joaquin to this sequence of episodes that one might categorize Joaquin’sart under the rubric of trauma-psychodrama. It allegorizes the vicissitudes of the "Unhappy Consciousness" described by Hegel. But if one seeks a pedagogical or ethico-political motivation behind this obsession, it might be heuristic to sketch here a metacommentary on the singular way that Joaquin selects events, personages, and locales, in order to resolve recurrent aporias and conflicts that block normal everyday life. What we need is a symptomatic deciphering of this fixation, the repetition-compulsion if you will, in order to ascertain Joaquin’s position in the unfinished struggle for our country's genuine independence and popular sovereignty.
Figure 4 A portrait of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel painted by Jakob Schlesinger (1831).
It is easy to demonstrate how Joaquin exorcises the haunting specter of WW2 catastrophe by imposing a break, an ineluctable cut between past and present. This is clear in “The Mass of St. Sylvestre.” The GI soldier’s colloquial flat idiom to convey his witnessing is both truthful and
16
page16image34895264
SanJuan/Joaquin
parodic. Anglo-Saxon technology/photography cannot capture the aura of a ritual, the sacramentalizing cathexis of joining past and future through collective repetition. What supersedes the soldier’s momentary vision is the recording of the sight of ruins, immense blocks of ruinsthe heritage left by MacArthur’s “Liberation.” The present sensibility can never fully capture the substance of Manila’s history, the implied narrator hints, so therefore let us just resign ourselves to that stark separation, that gap or rupture in time which seems impossible to cover up.
In stories like “Three Generations,” “May Day Eve,” and “Guardia de Honor” where the problem of continuity is also center-staged, the moment of epiphany connecting generations isJoaquin’s easy fix. The father in “Three Generations” compulsively repeats the past which the son refuses to accept. In “May Day Eve,” the weeping Badoy struggles to discover coherence in the discordances of the past afforded by the urban rituals of Intramuros. Meanwhile, in “Guardiade Honor,” the contingency of everyday life furnishes the space for humans to exercise free-will by following sensuous inclination and intuition (chiefly Natalia Ferrero’s) which bridge the gulf between parental authority and the children’s right to decide their destinies. In all three stories, we find a formula to reconfigure the repetition-compulsion as a wound healed by the same passage of time that allows the subject--here designating the spiritually tormented protagonists of three decades of US occupation--to accept historical necessity without the benefit of Christian transcendence. Surrender to providential fatality resolves the antinomies of life. In A Portrait, the role of Bitoy Camacho, the narrator-participant, easily fulfills the role of mediator, tying past and present, suturing the wounds of self-denials, hypocrisies, compromises, and fatalism distributed among family members, relatives, and strangers.
17
SanJuan/Joaquin
Confounded Temporality
Modernity via imperial mediation ushered in fierce individualist competition among clans, family dynasties, and ethnic assemblages. I think it is imperative to remind ourselves that our colonization aborted our entrance to modernity defined by the instrumental rationality of bourgeois society. U.S. rule strategically preserved the feudal landlord system supervised by a comprador-bureaucratic apparatus managed by American administrators. Except for a semblance of urbanization (railroad, highways), selective meritocracy and a paternalistic electoral system, the old order of exploitation of workers and peasantry, together with the repression of the indigenous/ethnic folk (Moros, Igorots, Lumads), prevailed. Proofs of this are the numerous peasant revolts, uprising of millenary sects, and the Sakdal/Huk rebellion of the thirties, forties, and fifties. The center failed to hold, everything seemed to have fallen apart. The surrender of Bataan and Corregidor was a prelude to the rapacious epoch of the next thirty years afterMacArthur’s bombing of Manila which coincided with Joaquin's most productive period as fictionist, poet, playwright, and journalist.
In brief, we failed to make the transition, suspended in the dying world of Don Lorenzo Marasigan and a new world (ambiguously represented by Candido and the Monson brothers) struggling to be born. In between these poles, we witness morbid, bizarre symptoms of the passage of lives. We see how the reality of uneven/combined development preserved an ethos of authoritarian conduct, patriarchal despotism, and superstitious beliefs anchored to a backward economy that clashed with imperial financial interventions which undermined its drive for efficient industrialization. How to reconcile the polar opposites of communal solidarity and individualist-familial selfishness is one way of formulating the problem.
18
SanJuan/Joaquin
Whatever our stance on the Hispanic heritageno one denies such a legacy, especially given the globalized transnationalist network of historicist scholarship today—Joaquin’sframework of Spanish “physiognomy” is unnecessarily constricting. Its insistence only fosters authoritarian violence and irrationality. There is no returning back to a golden age of theocratic diplomacy and honor-centered decorum. Joaquin’s praise of “custom and ceremony” and its twin children, beauty and innocence, seems an ironic resignation to the implacable onslaught of social Darwinism in the twenties and thirties, a period of repression dominated by the predatory business compromises of family dynasties during the postwar regimes of Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, Aquino, up to the present conjuncture.Counterfeiting the Tale-teller
In the rural/pastoral world of the three centuries before the outbreak of the Katipunan rebellion, the oral narrative provided not only entertainment but knowledge. From Chaucer’sCanterbury Tales to Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, the tale served to distill folk-wisdom in the guise of fantastic occurrences (as in folklore dealing with supernatural characters), or the prowess of heroic pioneers (Paul Bunyan). In the Philippines, aside from thepasyon and saints’ lives, the medieval romances of chivalric protagonists elaborated in Ibong Adarna or Bernardo Carpio postponed death by the Scheherezadesque trick of endless multiplication of episodes. Medieval vision literature as well as the exempla in the Gesta Romanorum, or the prodigious inventions in Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel, or inVoltaire’s Candide, offers models for adaptation. The duration of storytelling afforded a home for raconteur and listeners, as well as practical advice that can be extrapolated from the ending of the adventures.
19
SanJuan/Joaquin
This is the tradition of the short-story form followed by Joaquin. It is basically the orally- disseminated tale that goes against his own prejudice against it in favor of the visually-oriented narrative (Joaquin Discourses 67-72). Ironically, Joaquin’s gothic retelling of legends invokes the power of the aural or auditory imagination so carefully documented by Walter Ong. But, as T.S. Eliot once said, tradition cannot be inherited. Joaquin labored hard to contrive versions of the tall tale, or traveler’s yarn, in “The Legend of the Dying Wanton” and Doña Jeronima.”They are aesthetic stories fabricated out of stylistic devices and motifs taken from gothic romances which utilized the “gradual heightening of psychological tension of the sensation story and the concealment of meaning associated with the detective story, along with ‘fine writing,’ to make an overt bid for high prestige” (Ferguson 189).
The crisis confronted in them inheres in the sharp division between the sacred and profane, the worldly and the spiritual. Incorporating vice and piety, Currito Lopez’s soul is saved by the intervention of the Virgin. However, this event cannot be made intelligible to a secular crowd without the mediation of Doña Ana de Vera. The contradictions between the debased world of sixteenth-century Spain/Manila and its exaltation of saintly virtues are resolved by the domestic routine of a devout Doña Ana. There is no hint of suspicion that the miraculous and the ordinary can co-exist in the person of Doña Ana, the exemplary mother of an official in the early years of Spanish pacification of the islands.
Unless amnesia has overtaken the colonial state in 1613, the memory of the 1574 Lakandola-Soliman revolt as well as the 1587 Magat Salamat and Agustin de Legaspi conspiracy in the Manila area has probably not been wiped out. In 1589 and 1695, several uprisings in Ilocos and Cagayan against reduccion and tributes might have disturbed conscientious administrators of the provinces. And before the decade passed, the Bankaw uprising (1621) was
20
SanJuan/Joaquin
followed by the Tamblot rebellion (1622) which exploded in Bohol with thousands of natives rallying to the native shaman, attacking churches and defying the fifty Spaniards and one thousand native troops recruited from Pampanga and Cebu (Constantino 85; Veneracion 57; Zafra 72). No doubt Currito and Doña Ana seemed oblivious of rebellions happening around them, turning the rest of 17th-century Philippines into a cauldron of indigenous fury against Church and State.
With the flourishing of the galleon trade and its eventual demise, the schism between the worldly and the spiritual intensified. The reliance on tribute, polo y servicios, ravaging of the natural resources (gold and silver), and exploitation of native labor can no longer be maintained in the face of British naval superiority in the 17th century. The capture of Manila by the British in 1752 kindled numerous uprisings against Spanish tyranny throughout the islands. One can no longer expect the Catholic Church and its hegemony to continue without serious erosion and eventual collapse. Joaquin wrestled with this threat in Doña Jeronima: she becomes the symbolic return of the repressed, only to be tamed, recuperated, ultimately subdued. But the dialectical process of subsumption of the wild or dangerous appears spurious or fraudulent: a myth-making compromise yokes the penitent Archbishop/lover with the wasted Jeronima. She becomes the local deity of the place, the new diwata celebrated by varying generations. But both lovers transcend their original historical matrix and exert mystifying reverberations, thus forfeiting the possibility of realizing the identity-in-difference born of self-consciousness and the labor of negative determination.Shadowing the Advent of Redemption
It is relevant to ask at this juncture: Is the narrative scheme of unifying opposites a mystification? Native Catholicism is a syncretic product of the blending of medieval doctrines
21
SanJuan/Joaquin
and folk mythology. This approximates the lesson of Doña Jeronima.” However, the process of reconciliation elides a final closure because the Archbishop’s ring cannot be recovered from the river, emblem of the flux of nature and worldly exigencies. The Jesuit scholar Quentin Lauer describes the route of this "Unhappy Consciousness" as the practice of late-medieval pietism: while enjoying the image of the “immutable” as a gift from the “almighty power,” this persona persists in its division and evolves into the postures of devotion and thankfulness (122-24). Despite the sacrifices, the universal and singular cannot be reconciled by the mediator, Doña Jeronima.
We confront Joaquin’s typical narrative paradigm. We are suspended in the sphere of what Hegel calls “the Unhappy Consciousness,” the transitional passage of Spirit (Geist, Hegel's term, translates into the Aristotelian enargia or cosmic life-force) from Stoicism, a thoroughgoing negation of the world sunk in fear and servitude, to Scepticism which dissolves all rules, perceptions, certainties. But this freedom of the Skeptic “reinstates the dogmatism that it both requires and negates” (Findlay Hegel: A Re-Examination 100) In short, it embodies a truly paradoxical situation suffused with inner contradictions which were one-sidedly resolved by the proud self-righteous Stoic and by the ironic dialectic of the slave’s mastery over the lord in an earlier stage of the process.
Hegel’s notion of the “Unhappy Consciousness” (which follows the route of the Stoic and Skeptic) alludes to the dual experience of medieval Christendom, a tension between the Changeable and Unchangeable (the immutable). It epitomizes the negativity of human existence. Hegel explains that this contradictory, inwardly disrupted consciousness typical of Judaism and medieval Christianity “is the gazing of one self-consciousness into another, and itself is both, and the unity of both is also its essential nature. But it is not yet explicitly aware that this is its
22
SanJuan/Joaquin
essential nature, or that it is the unity of both” (126). We follow the pious man’s struggle “tosynthesize his double consciousness, in which each of the opposed terms finds itself again and again in the other, but in a merely implicit union with its other, which again and again dissolves and sharpens the agony of severance” (Mure 79). As Findlay paraphrases it, “Each approach to the Godhead must, therefore, be succeeded by the painful reaffirmation of its own nothingness, each positive achievement or enjoyment by an act of humble thanksgiving for Divine Grace”(98).
Hegel’s description of the “Unhappy Consciousness” as a stage in the “perpetual negation of every particular modality of being” (Hyppolite 24) can be applied to the experience of the Archbishop in "Doña Jeronima." It can illuminate aspects of the Dying Wanton’s life and the predicament of the major protagonists in “Candido’s Apocalypse,” “The Order of Melkizedek,”and The Woman Who Had Two Navels. Note the syncopated turns of consciousness and reciprocal effects of each on the other:
In thought I raise myself to the absolute, transcending all that is finite. I am therefore an infinite consciousness, and at the same time I am a finite consciousness of myself in my whole empirical make-up. The two terms approach each other and fly from each other. I am the feeling, the intuition, the imagining of this unity, of this conflict; and I am the connection of the conflicting terms. I am this combat. I am not one of the combatants engaged but both of them and the combat itself. I am the fire and the water which make contact. I am the contact and the unity of the utterly self-repelling.” (qtd.in Mure 49-50). The circumscribed mercantilist milieu of the galleon trade traverses the entire
seventeenth-century punctuated by the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and St. John’s “darknight of the soul.” Mexican silver was then exchanged for Chinese goods via the port of Manila
23
SanJuan/Joaquin
on the way to Acapulco and eventually to Spain. The tragicomedy of the Archbishop’s rescue from shipwreck, and withdrawal from the city to inhabit the riverside hermitage to confront his past, renders by analogy one way by which the colony survived in the face of rapid socioeconomic changesfor one, the subordination of Spain to British commerce (Constantino 110). One can perceive the shiftings, permutations, and reiterations of Subjective Spirit registering those historical transformations in this passage where Joaquin animates the trajectory of the “Unhappy Consciousness” caught between the encapsulated city and the navigable river, the aporia of the changeless and the mutable, where the meaning of the quest is at stake:
Riding forth from the city at twilight, the Archbishop shivered with senseless excitement and wondered if revelation was at hand. On the desert isle and the retreat on the riverbank, he had pressed with might and main for an answer . . . . Children accepted the earth with frank pleasure; and lost innocence only in the grief of knowing themselves exiles from elsewhere. Was the quest, then, a relearning of this frank pleasureand of reverence for the despised flesh, astonishment for the scorned world? Was it this quest which, extending beyond this life, made flesh and its fevers, even if they be forever and ever, not hell but at worse a purgatory, a school for lovers? (163)
While there is combat between the priestly lover and the pagan woman, there is no internalization of the Other, no mutual recognition. What reconciles them is their shared belief, transforming both into legendary patron-spirits of the place. The negative totality of each does not evolve into self-conscious “negation of the negation.” Instead, a fetishized halo shrouds both, elevating them into a timeless, supernatural realm. Similar but different from “The SummerSolstice,” where the Dionysian revelry of a phalanx of women mediates Doña Lupeng’s
24
SanJuan/Joaquin
sensuous self into a demand for recognition which does not succeed, here the vision of the eternal riverthe cycle of natural existence, the mirage of immediacyabruptly terminates the singular protagonist’s quest.Engendering Labor of the Negative
We have tried to sketch here a cognitive mapping of the terrain encompassed by Joaquin’s effort to thwart the onslaught of alienated labor. Its symptoms in a still ascendant but eroded patriarchal institution and its ideological legitimacy survives in the family as a domain that “contradicts the universal principle of exchange” (Adorno 145). The traditional family sustains the servitude of women, wives and mothers, all confined to domestic work and the care of children. Masculine domination of the public sphere is guaranteed by the relegation of women to the sexual/animal domain (as in “The Summer Solstice”), or treated as sacrificial offerings (Guia, Concha). It would need the intervention of Connie Escobar and the two sisters, Paul and Candida, to untangle the misery and greed of the petty bourgeois family, the tyranny of the fathers and their surrogates, in order to actualize the concept of the Subject construed as an identity-in-difference.
In the archive of critical commentary on this story (extended into a novel), the themes of doubleness, hybridity, and ambivalent identity predominate. For example, Bienvenido Lumbera is impressed by Joaquin’s “dramatic rendering of an obsessive problem of the Westernized Filipino intellectual caught between the pressures of his people’s history and of two colonial culturesthat of national identity” (Lumbera and Lumbera 244). More recurrent is the theme of the “divided Filipino psyche” insisted on by the Singaporean critic Shirley Lim. She locates the problem of Filipino identity not in its dualism but in “the denial of that fracture” (73). Most commentaries subscribe to the consensus that the two-navelled woman emblematizes the
25
SanJuan/Joaquin
syndrome of the disrupted or differentiated psyche of Filipinos. The split “Unhappy Consciousness” serves as the subsuming archetype. This is surely a reductive formulation that collapses the complex manifold antagonisms into a formulaic proposition (for a deviant take, see San Juan, Toward a People’s Literature; Subversions).
Opposed to this individualistic, empiricist reading, I propose focusing our analytic skills on the institution of the family and its embeddedness in a society of exchange and its reifying ramifications. This includes the mediation of labor (specifically, reproductive) and the metabolism between society and nature (Lukacs 109-2). The trope of duality is only an offshoot of the logic of determination construed as negation, then as negation of the negation, a contour registered in the vacillations of the “Unhappy Consciousness.” But what is crucial is to ascertain the historically variable content of this trope and other ambiguous figures which define the meaning of substantive ethical transactions enacted in the intertextual fabric of fiction.
In Joaquin’s ilustrado family, we discern not the unifying force of love, but “thebarbarism of private property against family life” (Marx Critique 99). The labor of the negative in history escapes the narrative armature of these tales. They subsist in the sphere of natural needs, egocentric appetites, with brute force imposed on workers and peasants. Would The Woman Who Had Two Navels and A Portrait be able to clearly demonstrate a contrary process of resolving the contradictions of a disintegrated society and its ethos of inward spirituality and hypocritical sociability? We have noticed that in spite of forced denouements, all the knots are not tied by the convergence of events and the compromise negotiated by the characters. The texts reveal their fissured, twisted fabric, “disparate and diffuse from being the outcome of the conflicting contradictory effect of superimposing real processes which cannot be abolished in it except in an imaginary way” (Balibar and Macherey 284).
26
SanJuan/Joaquin
One indication of this ideological subterfuge may be observed in the situation of Paco Texeira. Haunted by the totemic mother (represented here by Concha Vidal), the story's viewpoint maneuvers from the pole of narcissism to object-eroticism by shifting the libidinal object to Connie Escobar. His journey and sojourn in Manila is an attempt to heal the wounds/disruption of his own family and thus achieve self-integration. But even after the combat with Connie, Paco emerges victorious, only to be hounded by the Furies in the shape of the Philippine landscape that his father told him about. He thought he had escaped Connie/Concha:
But looking up and seeing the mountains, his heart stopped, his eyes started out of his head, his throat screamed soundlessly. He had not escaped, he had not fled at allfor there she still was, stretched out under the sky, the sly look in her eyes and the bloody smile on her lips, and her breasts and shoulders naked. (Joaquin The Woman 103)
On this function of equating mother/homeland, Geza Roheim remarks:
Neurosis separates the individual from his fellows and connects him with his own infantile images. Culture (sublimation) leads the libido into ego-syntonic channels by the creation of substitute objects. The most important of these substitutes is a human being, the wife who replaces the mother. (qtd. in La Barre 167)
Fathers and mothers (the past as present) need to find reconciliation in their offspring (the

future as present). And so it is Paco Texeira, the hybrid child, outsider/insider to the Hong Kong exiles, who fulfills what the Monson family failed to do: return to the father’s homeland, affirming his patriarchal origin. Paco’s memory reinstates the position of his vagrant father, bringing him to life, acknowledging him as a source of vital wholeness:
He had clutched at the railing as he gazed at the mountains in astonished delight, thinking of himself as a boy, seated on the bed, staring at his father’s photograph, and trying to stir
27
SanJuan/Joaquin
up some feeling over his father’s death . . . . The astonishment had renewed itself all the time he was in Manila, every time he looked up and suddenly saw the sleeping woman outlined against the skyand it changed the indifference with which he had come into his father’s country into a stirring of clan-emotion--a glow, almost, of homecoming. (Joaquin The Woman 89)
But the homeland offered only the camaraderie of the band of musicians, semantically charged with the Oedipal threat of incest and the killing of the totemic father.From Family to Polis: The Antigone Effect
From Hegel’s perspective, the family serves as the natural basis of political life, making humans ethical beings. It is the “obscure right of the natural element within spiritualrelationship.” It stands for individual versus communal right. Hegel perceives that in Greek society, “the old Gods are assigned the right of family situations in so far as these rest on nature and therefore are opposed to the public law and right of the community” (qtd. in Rose 133).
In Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, the conflict is between family right, the right to bury the dead, and communal right, the law of society. Both ethical powers clash. Antigone is compelled not by her character, but by pathos, "an inherently justified power over the heart, an essential content of rationality and freedom of the will” (Rosen 133). Collision of two equally necessary and substantial rights results in tragedythose of Connie/Concha and of Candida/Paulamodulated into comic resolution with the reinstatement of the extended neofeudal family. The reason for this outcome is that in modern capitalism, only freedom in thought (Kant’sCategorical Imperative), not actual freedom, exists; while in truth, the power of commodity- fetishism, reification, imposes the fatal necessity that constitutes the normal routine of everyday life.
28
SanJuan/Joaquin
29
page29image34954144
Figure 5 Antigone and the body of Polynices. Image taken from the Project Gutenberg.
Meanwhile, Joaquin shifts the stage of the conflict from mother/daughter to father/sons. It is the cultural milieu of the Monson family that becomes the mode of sublimating anxieties, a network of defense mechanisms consisting of Pepe Monson, Father Tony, Rita Lopez, and the domestic hearth of Mary Texeira, the wife. It is the wife who substitutes for the mother, stabilizing the gap between narcissistic fixation and object-eroticism. The wife functions as the matrix of the family which in turn serves multiple functions (economic provision, exchange of sexual services, socialization). But more important than all the tasks performed by the family, Eric Wolf reminds us, “it remains also, even where ties of kinship are highly diffuse, the bearer of virtue, and of its public reflection, reputation. Because the family involves the ‘whole’ man, public evaluations of a man are ultimately led back to considerations of his family” (8). For Joaquin, national identity/destiny depends on the healing of dissensions in the family as in the“Unhappy Consciousness.”The Matrix Paradigm
Women protagonists therefore uphold the familial niche containing the emblem of virtue in Joaquin's fantasized polis. But this presumes the recognition of the unity-in-difference of
SanJuan/Joaquin
women in the family. In Connie Escobar’s situation, Joaquin allegorized the fantasy of division and the spirit’s diremption. This is possible because she is not afflicted with the schizoid temperament of the "Unhappy Consciousness." It is Paco Texeira, the musician, half-Filipino half-Portuguese, who undergoes the shifts, displacements, and confrontations of the Negative Totality that is Manila/Philippines after Liberation. Fleeing the clutches of the mother Concha Vidal, he pursues the daughter Connie. After offering a sacrificial doll to a Chinese god inManila’s Chinatownthe flagrant Others demonized by the Spaniards by consigning them to the Parian ghetto outside IntramurosConnie wrestles with Paco, a struggle that emblematizes theagon of master-slave relations long superseded by the ordeal of the "Unhappy Consciousness." Illusion and the pleasure-principle confront the reality-principle immanent in Paco’sidentification as member of the band. In any case, his temporary return to his family reaffirms the husband-wife relation as, in Hegel’s terms, the one “in which one consciousness immediately recognizes itself in another, and in which there is knowledge of this mutual recognition” (Hegel,Phenomenology 273). Unfortunately, this illusory denouement only serves to obfuscate the continuing neocolonial subjugation of the majority.
The two-navelled woman may be said to represent in part a return of mother-right in the guise of Persephone replacing Demeter, or the Virgin’s immaculate privilege overshadowing the son/father link. Joaquin’s fable, in its diegetic aspect, returns to the predicament of the patriarch Monson disenchanted by the reign of anarchic individualism evinced by the aggressive Escobar and his mirror-image Paco. The older Monson is oblivious of positive changes in neocolonial society, still believing that he cannot utter Nunc dimmitis servum tuum, Domine” (according to his children) because he still believes he is needed by his compatriots. This bubble of fixation is threatened and eventually destroyed by the intrusion of Concha Vidal and the daughter Connie. It
30
SanJuan/Joaquin
is as if the Divine Law controlling natural existence represented the reality of neocolonial Philippines and its violent repression of peasants and workers in the Huk rebellion and the Cold War fascist curtailment of civil rights and other democratic liberties. The intrusion of the wicked characters seems required for the status-quo Identity-in-itself to be exposed as concealing or repressing its negativity.
We can surmise that the two-navelled Connie and the flamboyant Concha Vidal are the twin faces of a society from which the Hong Kong exiles have kept a precarious distance. Their refuge is menaced by a world of “dust and crabs . . . .” Innocence has devolved into bitter disenchantment, not wisdom. This quasi-Gothic romance turned mystery thriller also unfolds the education of the Monson children and friends, as well as their initiation into the sphere of antagonisms and incongruities, violating traditional conventions and negating pious decorum:
The mirror’s cracked world was safe no longer; was perilous with broken glass, teeming with ghosts; was now the world where Paco waited for the strangle-hold and dear good Mary told lies and the cautious Rita was dazzled by dragons and Tony hid in a monastery and fathers took drugs and mothers had lost their dictionaries and young women had two navels . . . . (Joaquin, The Woman 111)
This concludes the short story, which was expanded later into a novel at the end of which Connie and Paco together set out on a new journey, presumably suggesting the dynamics of “free will”and a future unchained from contingency and undecidability. Are the old (past) and new (future) sensibilities/mentalities fusing together in a prophesied synthesis? We await the messianic event, the sublime impulse refusing conceptualization: for Joaquin, the return of the globalizing missionaries, the armed evangelists. It is the birth of another mirage: the Kantian noumenal
31
SanJuan/Joaquin
world of abstract universality without content, a floating signifier vulnerable to forces that can limit and eviscerate it. The enigma in Doña Jeronima returns like the proverbial vampire hunting for fresh victims.Assaying Commodity Fetishism
In Joaquin’s expanded novel, the tension between private and public worlds is dissolved with the compromises of both Connie and the patriarch Monson. Both The Woman and A Portrait are Joaquin’s attempts to heal the rupture between the Spanish decrepit heritage and the barbarism of Anglo-Saxon utilitarian norms. This rupture, however, was constituted by heterogenous elements: the betrayal of the revolution by the ilustrado intelligentsia, the suppression of peasant and workers’ insurrections by the U.S.-patronized oligarchy, and the destruction of Manila and the whole country for the sake of maintaining U.S. imperial hegemony. In The Woman, the thematized problem is how to rescue the patriarchal regime from disruption by the natural powers (embodied by the mother-daughter’s wild pursuit of Paco, the wandering half-breed occupying both worlds) unleashed by the savagery of survivors and returning masters. In A Portrait, the crisis is shifted to the eve of World War II, just as Manila is preparing to become “the Open City” to the Japanese invaders, an eventuality muted by the La Naval procession that punctuates the concluding scene. And this time, the burden of discharging the blockage of sentiment, hopes, and aspirationsa profound trauma unrelieved by mourning and melancholia--is placed on two sisters, Candida and Paula.
Let us return to the perilous zone of communal ethics. Having deployed the Hegelian notion of the “Unhappy Consciousness” to characterize the situation of typical protagonists such as the Archbishop in Doña Jeronima,” the father in “Three Generations,” Sid Estiva in “The Order,” and the adolescent in “Candido’s Apocalypse,” it might be useful again to invoke Hegel
32
SanJuan/Joaquin
on the role of the beleaguered family, in particular the sisters, in diagnosing the ethical problem. Here, of course, it is the artist Don Lorenzo, afflicted with a spiritual lethargy similar to the elder Monson, whose painting, read as a metaphor of his social/moral predicament, has become an albatross on the lives of the sisters. But why assign the therapeutic agency to the sisters?
The traditional family is in crisis here. But the free individualities of the children prevailsthey have no desire for one another. Hegel contends that “the feminine in the form of the sister has the highest intuitive awareness of what is ethical. She does not attain to consciousness of it or to the objective existence of it because “the law of the Family is an implicit inner essence, which is not exposed to the daylight of consciousness, but remains an inner feeling and the divine element that is exempt from an existence in the real world.” The ethical life of the sister is distinctive because, Hegel asserts, “in her vocation as an individual and in her pleasure, her interest is centered on the universal and remains alien to the particularity ofdesire.” In the sisters Paul and Candida, we behold the affirmation of the individual’s right to recognize and be recognized, not ruined by desire. They fulfill the governance of the household and “the guardian of the divine law” from which the community derives its power andauthentication” (Phenomenology 276).
It is not impertinent to ask here: are Candida and Paula finally liberated from the spell of their father’s painting (signifier of the old dispensation) and the obligations accrued by his gift? This insight into the vocation of the woman as mediating the natural/divine sphere and empirical legality occurs within the framework of the family. Within the communalist perspective sketched by Hegel, the family holds a universality based on intuition, separate from the all-embracing concept of the deontological law of obligation. Each family member sees herself in the others and acknowledges the difference; the particular-in-itself becomes the universal for-itself. But
33
SanJuan/Joaquin
being a form of natural cohesionnotice how need and material desires command the behavior of the elder siblings and Tony Javierit cannot serve as the model of a coherent sociopolitical system. That is why the play dramatizes the disintegration of that old order anchored to needs, appetites, and various libidinal investments constituting the vicissitudes of the "Unhappy Consciousness."
Reminiscence as Tragicomic Coda
We come finally to the apocalypse of the hispanicized Filipino intellectual. Assuming that A Portrait is an attempt to depict the Filipino as an artist endowed with a sensibility attuned to the sensuous, libidinally-charged environment, why is Don Lorenzo’s masterpiece such a burden to the sisters and a point of bitter conflict in the family? And does the drama really convey the emancipation of the sisters and Don Lorenzo from bondage to a nostalgically-invoked utopia?
As part of this metacommentary, let us consider the opinion of Leonard Casper, reputed to be a knowledgeable expert on Filipino writing. Casper extols the proselytizing message that we need to ponder on:
For the public, the play is an elegy for lost virtueschildhood innocence; it is a reminder of the First Fall; its appeal therefore is to every man . . . . Victory for the spirit here (one cannot quite say the soul) is so nearly complete that, finally, there is no sense of loss. The past is carried into the future on the shoulders of the present, as in Marasigan’s painting of Aeneas bearing from Troy on his shoulders an Anchises whose face is his own. (141)
The pyrrhic victory lauded here rejects the orthodox notion of the “fortunate fall.” If the past is simply transported to the present without any change, given the incestuous doubling of theartist’s face in both father and child, then we are confronted with the triumph of necessity, contingency, and the force of a fatalism antithetical to the “innocence and beauty” born from
34
SanJuan/Joaquin
custom and ceremony. Instead of a tragic collision of two morally valid positions, as inSophocles’ Antigone (Wimsatt and Brooks), we have a comic ending devoid of catharsis. In the final reckoning, the sisters demonstrate their fidelity/kinship with the father’s sense of honor indivisible with Catholic dogma (signified by his heading the La Naval procession), absorbing the father's artifice and testimony into the vortex of their endangered lives.
We can ask whether the concept of Geist, Hegel’s term for “social totality” (Adorno,Negative 314), can help us comprehend national identity as a historical process. We can positJoaquin’s totality here as the ilustrado esprit de corps, Spain’s legacy of temper, form, physiognomy (La Naval)The question is whether or not the force of private property has proved victorious in Joaquin’s allegory of the Filipino creative spirit. If spirit is equivalent to the autonomous person, the free-thinking individual of modern industrialized society, Gillian Rose reminds us that persons were first defined in Roman law as “bearers of legal propertyrights...The possessor [of property] is recognized in law as a person, not an autonomous self- conscious individual. ‘Personality’ is an abstraction of the law, and the claim to possess is the basis of the right to be recognized by law” (66-67). From this proceeds the institutions of exchange and contract based on the division of labor and the control of surplus. “Exchange and contract depend on the recognition of formal equalities which presuppose lack of identity orinequality” (Rose 67). In the Philippines during U.S. colonial rule, the institutions of exchange and contract prevailed over the old traditional social customs premised on honor, gift-giving, noblesse oblige, and near incestuous arrangements. Meanwhile, we continue to muddle through this legacy of alienation and pervasive reification of everyday life (Jameson, Hegel).Better to Give Than to Receive
35
SanJuan/Joaquin
The question faced by the sisters revolves around the disposition of the father’s painting. Do they have the right? Since it was the father’s gift to them, does that act entail obligations that prevent its sale or transfer to another? At one point, Senator Perico and his contemporaries suggested that the painting should be Doña ted to the government since, somehow, it is a national treasure that belongs to all the citizens. However, the need of the sisters to survive physically forces them to consider its sale, which they hesitate to do, since they still operate in the realm of intuition, sentiments, and blood-ties. They struggle between the realm of intuition/feeling and the realm of conceptual thought and legality, between their respect for tradition and the commonsensical advice of their siblings and friends. Paula’s resistance to Tony Javier, the failed attempts of Candida to secure a paying job, and the refusal of Manolo and Pepang to subsidize the household, all conspire to shape the final decision to destroy the painting as an act of the sisters to free themselves from necessity, from the anarchistic war of persons competing for profit, possessions, domination over others defined as non-persons. Instead of the gift (the art- work, the father’s honor, the “conscience” of the clan) becoming a commodity, it becomes a sacrifice, a sacramental offering to propitiate the gods of the household and the clan. At the end, Paula and Candida affirm that they “stand” with their father, upholding all the values the Marasigan house incarnate. And their beatific vision of the father heading the Virgin’sprocession seems to confirm their disjunction from the debasing power of a contract, with the devaluing exchange of property thwarted by the demands of sheer physical survival.
What seems hidden by the aura of Don Lorenzo’s painting is the reality of what’s going on around that decaying zone. The atmosphere of defeat and desperate panic to escape from a devastated city keeps us distracted from the fierce antagonisms of individuals surrounding the family. In the colonial order administered by bourgeois bureaucrats, every individual has the
36
SanJuan/Joaquin
right to own property. But this presupposes people without property, considered as “things,” and therefore subordinated or enslaved. It is the family governed by intuition or feeling that restores genuine totality of multiple connections, an identity of needs, sexual difference, and relations of parents to children outside of formal contractual relations of ownership. Ownership of the art- work becomes a crux for dispute, hence the sisters refuse ownership and destroy the problematic art-work, even to the point of disavowing its status as the father’s gift.
One thing seems established: despite the varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the painting, the drama's focus has always been on the artist/creator, not the circumstances or context of its genesis. Thus, even with its disappearance, we never grasp the principle of unity (e.g., property relations) binding the characters squabbling over the sacralized object. The universal spirit of the community cannot spring from particularistic appetites and animal needs (Hegel, Phenomenology 267-787). We may infer their distinctive motives and interests, but we never see the process of recognition in which each person internalizes the other as a possible element or stage of her development. A glimmer of self-consciousness only arrives with Bitoy Camacho’s retrospective summation, a choric voice that substitutes for the missing universality of a rational civic spirit (here fulfilled by the ritual of La Naval Procession) that synthesizes the old and new, lifting them onto a higher level of historical evolution. Consciousness of the protagonists do not return to themselves to become self-reflexive. Except for the self-distanced, encompassing view of Bitoy Camacho, the identity-in-difference sought never materializes even in the superimposed procession of the Virgin and the exaltation of the charismatic pater familia, Don Lorenzo.
We behold finally Bitoy Camacho’s rhetorical praise of the two sisters and his claim that though the father, the sisters, and the house were destroyed by the global war, “they were never
37
SanJuan/Joaquin
conquered. They were still fightingright to the very endfighting against the jungle.” Joaquin concludes with a tragic-comic flourish in Bitoy’s vow to remember and preserve the memory of the Marasigan household and the “city of our affections,” amid the encroachment of the jungle and the falling of bombs. But his promise to continue and preserve what, is not clearly enunciated. What exactly will he celebrate when he sings about the fall of the house of the Marasigans? What standard or norms immanent in his vocation can legitimize his appeal to be listened to and be taken seriously by present and future generations?
38
page38image34960384
Figure 6 The annual procession, every October, of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila. This photo is reprinted with permission of Nathan de Guzman.
Interrogation and Inquest
And so, in the ultimate reckoning, the civilizing Spirit (Geist) that Joaquin celebrates (personified by the ilustrado families of Intramuros) remains the feudal order. It is one leavened with Anglo-Saxon elaborations and represented by the journalists, the musicians, and unruly
SanJuan/Joaquin
petty bourgeois intruders. Gifts instead of commodities confer prestige, status, honor. In this context, I endorse Lucien Goldmann’s view that the novel formhere applicable to Joaquin’sentire body of worktransposes into literary form the everyday life of people in market society. Consequently, the author represents the collective consciousness of a segment of the society he addresses, with which he identifies, and whose destiny he is trying to articulate (1-17). In effect,Joaquin’s idea of the Filipino nation acquires determinate shape as a particularist enclave, a fragment of a historical totality.
In identifying this collective agency, I began this essay with the notion of experience exchanged via story-telling and then charted the evolving drama of consciousness variously rendered in Joaquin's narratives. The dramatic crisis of the "Unhappy Consciousness" rehearses the problem of articulating a bifurcated Filipino subject. Torn between the feudal regime of the clan and the necessity of survival in a bourgeois-capitalist milieu, Joaquin's split subject dissolves into the mirage of unifying myths. Or else, it becomes reconciled to the alienating order by artistic fiat. The chief contradiction between the agonized psyche of the victims of colonial violence and the artist's transcendent vision is displaced into the plight of women protagonists--doubling tropes of sisters, mother-daughter parody of incest--personified by characters such as Guia or Doña Jeronima who are compelled to resolve the social crisis by imaginary compromises.
The public consensus seems widespread that Joaquin is the artist of that illustrious group of hispanicized Filipino intellectuals, the intelligentsia of the 1896 revolution surviving into the first half of the 20th century. It is comprised of Rizal, Juan Luna, Marcelo del Pilar, Cecilio Apostol, Claro Recto, Joaquin's father Col. Leocadio Joaquin, Jose Garcia Villa’s father Dr. Simeon Villa, the Guerrero clan, and many more whose world swiftly disintegrated with the
39
SanJuan/Joaquin
success of U.S. colonial subjugation. Col. Joaquin was “a prominent lawyer in the American era; and the businessman who turned Herran street (now Pedro Gil) into the commercial hub of Paco”(Yuson and Arcellana; Lanot). Of more significance for the artist was the death of his father when he was 13 years old; the family status declined when they transferred from Paco to another district farther from the ancestral home. The trauma of uprooting and decline of status are registered as spiritual dislocation and deracination in fiction and drama.
It was Joaquins mission to not just elegize the urbane world of his father, but to resurrect it and universalize it. His vocation was reconstructive: faced with the chaos of post-Liberation Philippines, he sought to make intelligible the fragments of a decaying public sphere. For the heirs of the revolutionary 1896 period, he sought to organize a coherent, viable understanding of their predicament that can salvage if not reconstitute in a future stage the valued mores and sacred institutions of the past amid the profane, secular imperatives of predatory business society. In short, Joaquin's motive of attempting to reconcile polarized memories and fantasies, a project of extracting universality from particularized ordeals, is a symptom of the crisis of conscience of the ilustrado fraction of the middle stratum. Joaquin articulates the Zeitgeist, and the ethos of this embattled group whose authority has been challenged by the sheer force of repressed ambitions and natural drives, libidinal energies that were hitherto sublimated in subaltern negativity or in collective resistance.Toward a Provisional Verdict
In retrospect, one can argue that Joaquin strove to recuperate the apocalyptic syndrome of the defeated, the martyrs, and conquered survivors, envisaging the end of times. For Joaquin,“Apocalyptic—a madness of hope born of despairwas the true, the original, climate of Christianity, and in this climate, too, evidently, revolutions are bred” (Culture 263). Whether this
40
SanJuan/Joaquin
endeavor succeeded or not, as Joaquin speculates in his self-interpretation, “Apologia Pro TribuSua,” is the question posed at the outset, and answered here in the course of analyzing the ordeal of the symbolic figure of Hegel’s "Unhappy Consciousness."
A virtuoso in performing imaginary reconciliations, Joaquin's art is, however, unable to resolve the dialectic of the "Unhappy Consciousness" within a materialist historical frame, thus functioning as the allegory of an exorbitant utopian longing, with a compulsively repeated tragicomic ending. However, it is no mean feat to have toiled attempting an awesome and formidable task, a demonstration of how far we have journeyed in this odyssey of decolonization and national emancipation (for my assessment of the contemporary crisis, see San Juan, Between Empire).
Meanwhile, around and underlying the world of the ilustrado fraction (the Marasigan clan; the Monsons), the governing property-relation of inequality unfolds its logical aftermath in World War II. In the worsening crisis of neocolonial society today in the regime of Duterte’sgangster terrorism amid deteriorating U.S. hegemony worldwide, what is needed is not remembrance as such (as Bitoy Camacho implores us to do) but prophecy to appreciate the apocalyptic dynamism of Joaquin’s works. Suspicion hermeneuts abound everywhere. But what is needed is what the feminist scholar Elisabeth Fiorenza calls “a hermeneutics of actualization”in which the potencies of Spiritof self-conscious, critical mindscan interact with objective reality and release the repressed energies of the popular imagination.
Actuality, for Hegel, is the realizing of essential potencies in existing entities catalyzed by historic conditions or worldly circumstances (Marcuse 149-54). Such a transition from potential to actual needs also the dialectical method of analysis pursued here in which the tragicomedy of the "Unhappy Consciousness" is properly judged as a stage in the revolutionary
41
SanJuan/Joaquin
transformation of our everyday life. Of course, the labor of the negative operates mysteriously, even if we have not read Hegel, inscribing its own effects in the multilayered “narrative time” of history (Ricoeur). We are all caught in this narrative of our place, whether we reject metanarratives or not, as participants, observers, and readers all manifesting symptoms of this melancholy enigmatic phase of the Absolute Spirit. Authors and readers are equally collaborators/accomplices in making sense of our embattled situation. We can speculate that Joaquin, were he following this appraisal today, might address to us the urgent lesson of our critical inquiry: De te fabula narratur.
42
SanJuan/Joaquin
Works Cited
Adorno, Theodor W. 
An Introduction to Dialectics. Polity Press, 2017.
---. Negative Dialectics. Continuum, 1973.
Agoncillo, Teodoro, and Milagros Guerrero. 
History of the Filipino People. R.P. Garcia, 1970. Balibar, Etienne, and Pierre Macherey. “On Literature as an Ideological Form.” Marxist
Literary Theory. Edited by Terry Eagleton and Drew Milne, Blackwell, 1996. Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. Edited by Hannah Arendt, Schocken Books, 1969. Casper, Leonard. New Writing from the Philippines. Syracuse UP, 1966.
Cohn, Norman. 
The Pursuit of the Millennium. Harper Torchbooks, 1961.
Constantino, Renato. 
The Philippines: A Past Revisited. Tala Publishing Services, 1975. De Vera, Ruel S. “The Nick Joaquin he knew.” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20 Aug. 2011,
lifestyle.inquirer.net/10429/the-nick-joaquin-he-knew/.
Ferguson, Suzanne. 
“The Rise of the Short Story in the Hierarchy of Genres.” Short Story
Theory at a Crossroads. Edited by Suzanne Lohafer and Jo Ellyn Clarey, Louisiana State
UP, 1989.
Findlay, J. N. 
Hegel: A Re-Examination. Routledge, 2013.
---------------. 
The Philosophy of Hegel. Collier Books, 1966.
Fiorenza, Elisabeth Schussler. 
Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical
Interpretation. Beacon Press, 1984.
Goldmann, Lucien. 
Towards a Sociology of the Novel. Tavistock Publications, 1975. Guthke, Karl S. Modern Tragicomedy. Random House, 1966.
Heidegger, Martin. 
Hegel’s Concept of Experience. Harper and Row, 1989.
43
44
SanJuan/JoaquinHegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller, Oxford UP, 1977. Hyppolite, Jean. Studies on Marx and Hegel. Basic Books, 1969.
Jameson, Fredric. 
The Jameson Reader. Blackwell, 2000.
---. 
The Hegel Variations. Verso, 2017.
Joaquin, Nick. 
Almanac for Manilenos. Mr and Ms Publications, 1979.
---. 
Cave and Shadows.
---. 
Culture and History. Anvil, 2003.
---. 
Discourses of the Devil’s Advocate and Other Controversies. Cacho Hermanos, 1983.
---. La Naval de Manila. Alberto Florentino, 1964.
---. Prose and Poems. Alberto Florentino, 1963.
---. 
The Woman Who Had Two Navels.---. The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic. Penguin, 2017. Karnow, Stanley. In Our Image. Random House, Inc., 1989.
La Barre, Weston. 
“Family and Symbol.” Psychoanalysis and Culture. Edited by George Wilbur
and Warner Muensterberger, John Wiley and Sons, 1951.
Lanot, Marra. 
The Trouble with Nick and Other Profiles. U of the Philippines P, 1999. Lauer, Quentin. A Reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Fordham UP, 1982.
Lim, Shirley Geok-lin. 
Nationalism and Literature: English Writing from the Philippines and
Singapore. New Day Publishers, 1993.
Lukacs, George. 
Hegel’s False and His Genuine Ontology. Merlin Press, 1978.
Lumbera, Bienvenido, & Cynthia Nograles Lumbera. 
Philippine Literature: A History and
Anthology. National Bookstore, 1982.
Marcuse, Herbert. 
Reason and Revolution. Beacon Press, 1950.
SanJuan/JoaquinMarx, Karl. Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Cambridge UP, 1967.
Mead, Sidney. 
“Millenarianism.” An Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by Vergilius Ferm,
Littlefield Adams & Co., 1964.
Mure, G.R.G. 
The Philosophy of Hegel. Oxford UP, 1965.
Ong, Walter. 
Orality and Literacy. Methuen, 1982.
Rafael, Vicente. Introduction. 
The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical
Gothic, by Nick Joaquin, Penguin, 2017, pp. xv-xxxviii.
Rahner, Karl, and Herbert Vorgrimler. 
Theological Dictionary. The Sebury Press, 1973. Ricoeur, Paul. “Narrative Time.” On Narrative. Edited by W.J.T. Mitchell, U of Chicago P,
1981.
Roces, Alejandro R. 
“Roses and Thorns.” Philstar.com, 29 Jan. 2002,
www.philstar.com/opinion/148730/nickjoaquin-tadtarin.
Rose, Gillian. 
Hegel Contra Sociology. Athlone, 1981.
Rosenthal, M., and P. Yudin, editors. 
A Dictionary of Philosophy. Progress Publishers, 1967.
---. Subversions of Desire: Prolegomena to Nick Joaquin. Ateneo UP, 1988.
---. 
Between Empire and Insurgency: The Philippines in the New Millennium. U of the
Philippines P, 2015.
Smith, Homer. 
Man and His Gods. Grosset & Dunlap, 1952.
Taylor, Charles. 
Sources of the Self. Harvard UP, 1989.
Valentine, Genevieve. 
“A Potent, Uneasy Blend Of Passion And Fatalism In The Woman Who
had Two Navels.” National Public Radio, Inc. [US], 20 Apr. 2017,
45
San Juan, E. Toward a People’s LiteratureEssays in the Dialectics of Praxis
and Contradiction in Philippine Writing. Quezon City: U of the Philippines P, 1984.
SanJuan/Joaquin
www.npr.org/2017/04/19/523586256/a-potent-uneasy-blend-of-passion-and-fatalism-in-
the-woman-who-had-two-navels.
Veneracion, Jaime. 
Agos ng Dugong Kayumanggi. Education Forum, 1987.
Wimsatt, William, and Cleanth Brooks. 
Literary Criticism: A Short History. Vintage Books,
1967.
Wolf, Eric R. 
“Kinship, Friendship, and Patron-Client Relations in Complex Societies.” The
Social Anthropology of Complex Societies. Edited by Michael Banton, Tavistock
Publications, 1966.
Yuson, Alfred, and Juaniyo Arcellana. 
“Nick Joaquin, 86: Passing of an era.” Philippine Star,
30 April 2004, www.philstar.com/headlines/2004/04/30/248175/nick-joaquin-86-passing-
era.
Zafra, Nicolas. 
Philippine History Through Selected Sources. Alemar Phoenix Publishing
House, 1967.
Zaide, Gregorio F. 
Philippine Political and Cultural History. Vol. 1, Philippine Education
Company, 1957.
46
SanJuan/Joaquin
47