"There’s an Alligator!": An Approach to the Study of the Poem A la Laguna de Bay by Fernando Canon

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/

Abstract

http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2013.02008

Perseverance is the key to understanding Fernando Canon, a man who participated in the most important events of Philippine history at the turn of the 20th century. He was an Ilustrado who fought with the Katipunan revolution; helped Rizal distribute his novel Noli me tangere in the Philippines in 1887; acted as a member of the Malolos Congress; taught in 1908 at the School of Engineering and Architecture; served as Secretary of the University of the Philippines’ Conservatory of Music upon its foundation in 1916; and wrote and published essays and poetry. When he was almost 60 years old, he fulfilled his childhood promise to his friend, José Rizal, and published this narrative poem A la Laguna de Bay in 1921.This paper unveils Canon’s aim, which was to show how Philippine esoteric knowledge and spirituality can intertwine with technology, philosophical thinking, and modernity. It explains how the poem envisions the stages of a process towards a mutual understanding and cooperation between the modern and traditional knowledge that would nurture the spirit of the Filipino people. This union is conveyed in the poem through the adventures of the two main characters’ experiences together in their journey along La Laguna de Bay.


Keywords

Spanish-American modernism, Philippine modernism, Philippine epic poetry, Spanish-Philippine literature

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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
Professor
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)

Faruk
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)