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Buhol-Buhol / Entanglement

Contemporary Theatre in Metropolitan Manila

Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco

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.

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Chapter Four: Patibong

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Chapter Four

Patibong

In 2012, the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization launched an e-book titled A World Connected: Globalization in the 21st Century (2012) edited by Nayan Chanda and Susan Froetschel. This compilation of essays connects the concept of the global with various topical issues such as economy, trade, diplomacy, security, society, culture, health, environment, population and migration. In an online review, Tracey Keys states, “globalization changed our world into an interconnected one” (Keys 2013). In addition, she writes,

With the notions of interconnectedness and interdependence as its lenses, the book not only explores these topics, but also the many ways in which globalization touches all of our lives and interweaves communities, countries and continents – including how cultures and societies develop, how we seek security, how ideas moving around the world are impacting creativity, how rising inequalities are changing societies, how China’s rise is impacting the world, and how we as people interact around the world (Keys 2013).

Keys suggests that the book covers an array of meanings associated with globalization as discussed by thinkers from various disciplines. Nonetheless, the contributors agree in underlining one thing about globalization: it is a social and political phenomenon, which connects and influences the world for good and bad.

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