Vol. 58 No. 1 (2017): Silliman Journal
Welcome to the first issue of Silliman Journal for 2017. The first fulllength article has to do with “Institutionalizing Local Narratives” with literature teacher Andre Soluta and her research team’s collection of folk stories from local residents of Dumaguete City, Philippines. Any one of the resulting themes—“origin of barangay name, community spirit (with themes of peace and harmony, respect and trust); rhythm of daily life in years past (with themes of prayerfulness and hard and simple but happy life); war experience (with themes of cruelty, survival, courage, and patriotism); and ghosts and supernatural creatures (with themes of woman ghost or enchantress and malevolent creatures)”—provide rich and riveting narratives, most of the tales you would be hearing (or reading about) for the first time. Andre recommends, and I am in total agreement, using these materials in classes in our elementary schools. Next, Carljoe Javier examines how the superhero genre has been used in post-9/11 culture, particularly in American superhero comics and Filipino superhero films. In American superhero comics, Carljoe shows how the superhero genre has been utilized to regain a sense of control and security after the traumatic events of 9/11 and then turns a critical eye to Filipino superhero films produced in the same time period. In this paper, Carljoe says that where “the Marvel comics attempt to engage current events and contemporary social and political concerns, the Filipino superhero films employ narratives that introduce their heroes.” Reading these as origin stories, the paper examines the discourse they create, exposing how the Filipino superhero removes power and control from viewers and marginalizes its already impoverished characters.” Thus, Carljoe shows important differences—revealing the issues and concerns of each culture, and “perhaps more importantly how the two cultures create very different discourse with the genre.” In the third article, Leni Garcia of DLSU-Manila, gives us a background of Samuel Bak, the Holocaust survivor-artist whose works are displayed in Europe and in the United States. Leni tries to show that “although Bak’s art is rooted in his experiences of the Holocaust, it extends them by pointing the spectator to a kind of reconciliation with the constant disintegration of the world that has been ‘wounded by the Holocaust’” and that “Bak joins the Zen masters in their practice of active engagement in the world while training the mind to see the world as it is.” Fourth, Maria Mercedes Arzadon of UP Diliman highlights hyper-vigilant parenting in public schools, otherwise known as hyperparenting, bulldoze parenting, and helicopter parenting, assuming that teachers as parents are supposed to be able to more skillfully negotiate “in the educational realm given their forms of capital and knowledge of the various forms of curriculum.” Prof. Arzadon suggests that critical pedagogy entails “deconstructing orthodoxy to reveal the real foes, to demand that the state reclaims its stewardship over its youth’s education, and to regulate the predatory market” making “schools more meritocratic, safer for children, and less prone to inequity.” In the next article, Zeny Sarabia Panol and Rose Baseleres collaborate on the project “Activism in the Philippines: Memorializing and Retelling Political Struggles Through Music”, stating at the outset that “the soundtrack of Philippine political and social activism tells of a centuries-old cultural heritage that has been and is still used collectively and individually to recall, memorialize, contemporize, mobilize, and remind the nation of its fighting spirit and its resolve never to forget the ultimate sacrifice of its heroes.” The authors then analyze protest songs in an attempt to highlight “the role of music in the political awakening of Filipinos through the years and explore the intersection of memory and music as a medium of political activism and mobilization.” Then, Mark Anthony Quintos of UP-Los Baños suggests a theoretical understanding of the sociology of suicide—pre-Durkheim, Durkheim and contemporaries, and the interpretivist paradigm—then proposes a new framework to explain suicide from the perspective of criminology. This issue then digresses to another topic, that of information communication technology (ICT), particularly a look at how some 50 rural women residing in Luna, Apayao, Northern Philippines applied what they learned from a digital literacy training offered at their community center. This was their first exposure to ICT and the experience was found advantageous not only to the women but to their families as well. Particular areas for application included community projects, education, health and nutrition, entrepreneurship and livelihood, and safety and security. In the final full-length article, Gina Fontejon Bonior takes us to the public school setting, discussing literacy as well, from the perspective of teachers because “the success in the implementation of any educational innovation is influenced by teachers’ social dispositions and ability to navigate through the complexities of enacting the program in their local contexts.” Gina’s study was thus an attempt at exploring how teachers change and are changed as they implement effective literacy instruction. Narratives of eight teachers at an island in Southern Philippines revealed that their dispositions are impacted by their personal histories and deeply ingrained social, cultural, and spiritual capital.