In recent years, the aswang—a supernatural creature of Philippine folklore that is often associated with female monstrosity and patriarchal misogyny—is being flamboyantly queered across a range of media. The aswang is a centuries-old transmedial, transgeneric figure whose monstrosity has been interpellated by gender-essentialist agendas while nonetheless epitomizing disruptive gender instabilities. In the handful of texts that comprise queer aswang transmedia—a 2011 Filipino novel (Ricky Lee’s Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata [Amapola in 65 Chapters]), mainstream film (Mga Bata ng Lagim [Children of Terror], dir. Mar S. Torres, 1964), and amateur digital video (Amabilis 2, 2011)—the aswang, an iconic female monster, is being destabilized and re-imagined. Gay men (or more accurately, bakla subjects) are occupying the place formerly reserved for monstrous women. This queering of aswang transmedia is a forceful, funny, yet undeniably risky reapproriation lodged in language (“swardspeak”) and a kind of pinoy [Filipino] camp style. This essay attempts to theorize a distinctly Filipino camp sensibility in relation to queer time. It wrestles with queer aswang transmedia’s implications for both temporality (since anachronism underpins the cultural figures of both bakla and aswang) and visibility (queer scholars argue that the bakla, stigmatized as effeminate and lower class, is increasingly the object of forcible bourgeois erasure in the face of the urban gay scene’s aspirations toward an imagined gay globality).


bakla manananggal (viscera sucker), pinoy camp temporality, anachronism and coevalness, queering Philippine folklore, baylan and asog (indigeneous Animist shamans)

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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.

International Board of Editors

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)