Philippine literature scholarship is currently interested in decentering the discourse of nation-building from the capital to the periphery, but least often is attention given to the very geography that makes these communities marginalized. Habitually, multiculturalism and multilingualism have been convenient explanations for why it is difficult for the Philippines to come up with a “national literature” and a paradigm for imagining a nation. This essay centers on this neglected aspect, casting a novel written by a marginalized author in a vernacular language – the Margosatubig (1946) by Ramon Muzones. Three prime objectives guided the navigation of this paper: (1) to posit Ramon Muzones in “national” literary and cultural research; (2) to appraise the maritime characteristic of the novel in evoking historical and ethnic affinities, mythic discoveries and heroic greatness, and individual and national psyche; and, (3) to present “archipelagic imagination” as a geopolitical shape for homeland-imaging.


archipelagic communities, Hiligaynon literature, maritime folklore, maritime historiography

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

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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
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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
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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)