The actress Judy Ann Santos boasts of an illustrious and sterling career in Philippine show business, and is widely considered the “queen” of the teleserye, the Filipino soap opera. In the manner of Barthes, this paper explores this queenship, so-called, by way of traversing through Santos’ acting history, which may be read as having founded the language, the grammar of the said televisual dramatic genre. The paper will focus, primarily, on her oeuvre of soap operas, and would consequently delve into her other interventions in film, illustrating not only how her career was shaped by the dramatic genre, pre- and post-EDSA Revolution, but also how she actually interrogated and negotiated with what may be deemed demarcations of her own formulation of the genre. In the end, the paper seeks to carry out the task of generically explicating the teleserye by way of Santos’s oeuvre, establishing a sort of authorship through intermedium perpetration, as well as responding on her own so-called “anxiety of influence” with the esteemed actress Nora Aunor.


aura, iconology, ordinariness, rules of assemblage, teleseries

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

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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)