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Buhol-Buhol / Entanglement

Contemporary Theatre in Metropolitan Manila

by Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco (Author)
©2017 Monographs XIV, 234 Pages

Summary

This book proposes entanglement as a useful idiom for understanding the contemporary Manila theatre. Drawing on its Tagalog counterpart, buhol-buhol, entanglement is conceived not only as a juxtaposition among elements, but also as a process of muddling and snaring. Taken together, these affirm the entangled character of contemporary Manila theatre in overlapping representations, histories, relationships and genres, while at the same time marking some problematic limitations in the treatment of chosen subjects by Manilan artists. The reason for this is that while these entanglements render Manila theatre far more complex than the accusations of mimicry and inauthenticity frequently leveled at Filipino culture, artists are often caught up in a more intractable buhol-buhol than they are willing or able to recognize. Four figures of buhol-buhol are identified in this book: pista (fiesta), kapuluan (archipelago), patibong (trap), and nangingibang-bayan (overseas-worker). In conceptualizing these figures of entanglement, the discussions start by illustrating their materiality and performativity before proceeding to reflections about how these are directed towards the complexity of Manila theatre.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • About the Author
  • Acknowledgment
  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter One: Introduction: Conceiving Entanglement in the Vernacular
  • Historical Persistency of Inauthenticity and Mimicry in Philippine Theater
  • Manila Theater as Inauthentic and Product of Mimicry – Pastiche?
  • Conceiving Entanglement
  • The Search for the Vernacular: Buhol-Buhol
  • Buhol-Buhol as Affirmation and Critique
  • Chapter Two: Pista
  • The Catholic and the Pista
  • Pista and the Affirmation of Buhol-Buhol
  • Performing Buhol-Buhol in Rizal X
  • Denying the Buhol-Buhol in Rizal X
  • Postscript: Carlos Celdran as Jose Rizal in Damaso
  • Chapter Three: Kapuluan
  • Entangling Islands in an Archipelago
  • Performing the Kapuluan in the Capital
  • Komedya: On Being National Theater
  • Entanglement in the Making of National Theater
  • The Love Motif and Nationalism
  • Orosman at Zafira and Performing the Kapuluan
  • Chapter Four: Patibong
  • Patibong, Lambat and Bihag: Entrapment of Time and Space
  • From Time and Space to Identity in Patibong
  • Performing the Hunter and the Prey
  • But the Patibong is Empty
  • Enchantment, Fascination and Captivation as Patibong
  • Chapter Five: Nangingibang-bayan
  • Entangling the Sending/Home Country and the Receiving/Host Country
  • The Nangingibang-Bayan Onstage and the Creation of Entangled Spaces
  • Restrictions and Blockages
  • Silenced body of the singing maid
  • Affective labor and tolerance
  • Musical Theater in Manila and Nangingibang-bayan
  • Chapter Six: Conclusion
  • Works Cited

Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco

Buhol-Buhol /
Entanglement

Contemporary Theatre in
Metropolitan Manila

About the author

Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco earned his PhD in Theatre Studies from the National University of Singapore. He was a visiting scholar at the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures in the University of Manchester in August 2012 until February 2013. Tiatco is also associate professor at the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

About the book

This book proposes entanglement as a useful idiom for understanding the contemporary Manila theatre. Drawing on its Tagalog counterpart, buhol-buhol, entanglement is conceived not only as a juxtaposition among elements, but also as a process of muddling and snaring. Taken together, these affirm the entangled character of contemporary Manila theatre in overlapping representations, histories, relationships and genres, while at the same time marking some problematic limitations in the treatment of chosen subjects by Manilan artists. The reason for this is that while these entanglements render Manila theatre far more complex than the accusations of mimicry and inauthenticity frequently leveled at Filipino culture, artists are often caught up in a more intractable buhol-buhol than they are willing or able to recognize. Four figures of buhol-buhol are identified in this book: pista (fiesta), kapuluan (archipelago), patibong (trap), and nangingibang-bayan (overseas-worker). In conceptualizing these figures of entanglement, the discussions start by illustrating their materiality and performativity before proceeding to reflections about how these are directed towards the complexity of Manila theatre.

This eBook can be cited

Esta edición en formato eBook puede ser citada. En el texto se indican el inicio y el final de la página correspondiente a la edición impresa. En caso de que una palabra quede separada debido al salto de página, la marca de separación aparecerá en el punto donde la palabra se separe.

About the Author

Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco earned his PhD in Theater Studies from the National University of Singapore. He was a visiting scholar at the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures in the University of Manchester. His essays appeared in Asian Theater Journal, TDR: The Drama Review, JATI: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Kritika Kultura, Social Science Diliman, Philippine Humanities Review, Modern Drama, Humanities Diliman and Journal of Homosexuality. He is the author of Entablado: Theaters and Performances in the Philippines [The University of the Philippines (UP) Press, 2015] and Performing Catholicism: Faith and Theater in a Philippine Province (UP Press, 2016). Tiatco is also the author of the Carlos Palanca prize-winning full length play Miss Dulce Extranjera o ang Paghahanap kay Miss B (UP Press, 2011) and the full-length play adaptation of Jose Rizal’s Makamisa retitled Cuaresma (UST Publishing House, 2013). Tiatco is associate professor of theater arts at the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts in the University of the Philippines Diliman.←V | VI→ ←VI | VII→

Acknowledgment

This book would not be possible without the help and support of so many people. Some may not even be mentioned here. My sincerest apologies if your name is not in this list. Rest assured that you have my gratitude.

I must commence by expressing my heartfelt thankyou to the theater artists in Manila, Philippines who occupy most of the pages of this book. Their theater works have given me so much to think about buhol-buhol (entanglement) and contemporary Manila theater.

My profound gratitude is given to Paul Alexander Rae (University of Melbourne), my supervisor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) while finishing my doctoral degree in theatre studies. His valuable insights from the first day, his overwhelming guidance and undying patience paved the way for me to be a humble “servant of the academia.” Paul has given me the best opportunity to develop my own critical ideas not only about Manila theater but also about theater in general.

I am also thankful to Jacqueline Stacey and Felicia Chan of the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC) at the University of Manchester. Jackie and Felicia have challenged me to “sing my own music.” Their guidance and support during my stay in the United Kingdom helped me restructure the direction of my research agenda.

I also extend my deepest gratitude to Robin Loon (NUS) and Philip Holden (NUS) for reading the very first draft of this research project. Robin’s and Philip’s very insightful comments were instrumental to finish this project.

Thank you to William Peterson (University of Flinders) and Julius Bautista (Kyoto University)I am grateful that two renowned intellectuals (whose research interests intersect performance, Philippine culture and society) engaged my study in a more nuanced and in a more critical direction.

My journey was also made meaningful because of the different opportunities provided by various institutions. I am thankful to NUS for the Research Scholarship (2010–2014) and the research grant to finish my PhD research project (November 2011 – July 2012), and to the University of Manchester for the fellowship to conduct research and study dramaturgy at the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (August 2012 – February 2013).←VII | VIII→

I am also indebted to the International Federation for Theater Research (IFTR) for the Bursary Awards (Osaka in 2011, Santiago de Chile in 2012, Barcelona in 2013 and Stockholm in 2016). Although my travel to Santiago de Chile was cancelled due to an unavoidable circumstance, participating in your new scholar’s forum twice (in Osaka and in Barcelona) and a general panel (in Stockholm) enabled me to present my research works before an audience composed of theater studies intellectuals. Their comments and suggestions were significant in strengthening my arguments.

I am also thankful to Kathy Foley, editor of Asian Theater Journal, Alan Ackerman, editor of Modern Drama, Jose Buenconsejo, editor of Humanities Diliman (until 2014), Reuben Ramas Cañete, editor of Humanities Diliman (beginning 2015) and John Elia, editor of Journal of Homosexuality. Thank you for the opportunity of publishing excerpts of my research project in your journals. A version of chapter two was published in Humanities Diliman (Volume 12, Number 2). A version of chapter three was published in Modern Drama (Volume 57, Number 1). A version of chapter four was published in the Humanities Diliman (2014, Volume 11, Number 1). A small section of chapter five was earlier published in the Asian Theater Journal (Volume 30, Number 2). Another section of chapter five was published in Journal of Homosexuality (Volume 62). The comments and suggestions of the referees who read my papers helped me rethink my own writing – critically, methodologically and stylistically.

My sincerest gratitude is also extended to the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) Office of the Chancellor, through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development for funding the completion and transformation of this thesis work into a book format via its PhD Incentive Award. My thankyou is also expressed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration for the additional funding provided for the last phase of the project. In relation, I am also grateful to the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts in UPD for allowing me to temporarily leave my post as a faculty member in UPD to finish PhD in Singapore.

Biographical notes

Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco (Author)

Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco earned his PhD in Theatre Studies from the National University of Singapore. He was a visiting scholar at the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures in the University of Manchester in August 2012 until February 2013. Tiatco is also associate professor at the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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