In an essay that he calls literary memory, the acclaimed writer in Filipino Efren Abueg provides a critical biography of E. San Juan, Jr. It begins with San Juan’s coming of age at Jose Abad Santos where he became the editor-in-chief of the school paper, and explores the print culture of the period along the way. Then it transitions into the college years of San Juan in the age of decolonization at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, during which he came under the tutelage of Elmer Ordoñez, Francisco Arcellana, and NVM Gonzales, among others. Abueg, in particular, pays attention to San Juan’s collaboration with Tagalog writers, emphasizing the tension between English and the vernacular and the ways in which San Juan tried to address this divide. Abueg also emphasizes the formative encounter between San Juan and Amado V. Hernandez, which hastened the radicalization of the younger writer. The essay concludes with San Juan’s contribution to the development and promotion of Filipino writing, one that constitutes, according to Abueg, a critique of the continuing dominance of Filipino writing in English.


E. San Juan, Jr., literary memory, Philippine literature, Tagalog writers, Filipino

Please login first to access subscription form of article

Read Full text in PDF

Browse By

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)