In his cultural criticism, Edel Garcellano protests that literature is a politically partisan act in a “terrain of class war.” Cadre writings from “liberated” or “red” zones, Garcellano writes, demonstrate a clear partisanship with the peasants, workers, and other participants of the liberation struggle waged by the National Democratic movement in the Philippines. His commentary on the ideologization of writers invites us to investigate works produced in the context of the protracted people’s war to better understand the so-called “liberated consciousness” of cadre writers. Mobilizing Garcellano’s interpretive model of partisan symmetry between author and text, this paper critiques poems written by martyred red fighter Roger Felix Salditos—also known by his noms-de-guerre/plume Mayamor and Maya Daniel— published recently in the collection 50: Mga Binalaybay ni Roger Felix Salditos (Mayamor/Maya Daniel) with translations by Kerima Lorena Tariman (2020). Specifically, I take interest in the tropification of the natural environment in his writings. It has been observed that the figuration of ecology in National Democratic literature rejects representations of nature that reify the domination of the human species-being over their environment. I argue that Salditos’ poetry dramatizes a cadre’s inhabitation of the ecological terrain of the guerilla zone, shaped by conflicts over land rights and resource ownership. His ecopoetics gives readers insight on how a liberated consciousness involves learning from praxis within and a dialectical understanding of the natural environment.


cadre writing, ecopoetics, Edel Garcellano, National Democratic literature, partisan poetry, Roger Felix Salditos

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

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Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)