Quote of the Day: On Philippine Literature of the Fantastic

from the Introduction to Philippine Speculative Fiction III, edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar:

The Philippines is no stranger to the fantastic. Modern fantasy has its roots in folklore, epics, myths and legends of the different cultural groups of the archipelago. Stories of the underworld and the creatures of the night form one of the bases of modern Philippine horror (the ghost story continues to exhibit its longevity). Even stories of of distant tomorrows and super science can be found in the pages of comic books (or komiks), where aliens and power stones intersect with mundane life. If one is to look at the combined corpus of stories (oral and written), songs, films, comics, and art, one could easily come to the conclusion that speculative fiction is older than we think (and that the Filipino appetite for wonder is insatiable).


  1. February 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    My appetite for wonder is insatiable. Give me a miracle story, a dwende story, a haunting, an appearance, and you’ve got my attention.

    In New England, I have to work hard to maintain my internal Pinoy environment of wonder.



  2. February 20, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Hi, Kathleen,

    When I’m in Bacolod, I like going to see hilots. Once, a hilot told me that I had a twin, and that she was trying to make herself known to me by the pains I was having in my stomach. So I tried to “feel” this twin, and there were times when I thought, maybe she was in the room. But the minute I boarded the airplane to go back to San Francisco, hilot, twin, shadows, everything, vanished, and I was in this bright, hard landscape where everything has that desert clarity. That is the difference between Bacolod and California, for me.

  3. Dean said,

    February 21, 2008 at 1:50 am

    It’s the same for me whenever I leave the country for an extended period of time. Years spent elsewhere generate a sad sense of erosion and it is only when I come home when wonder is replenished – especially when I visit Negros. But even busy polluted loud Manila has its secret places…

    Thanks again for your wonderful story!

  4. February 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Aaah, Dean, you found my blog!

    I long for busy polluted Manila, now more than ever.

    And Negros will always be that secret part of me . . .

  5. AB said,

    May 28, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    What about filippina contexts though magical realism. Are there creative voices playing the lute of Orpheus and the oars of Proteus?

  6. May 29, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Are you asking if there are Filipinas writing in the magical realist mode? Of course there are! OK, going down the table of contents for PHILIPPINE SPECULATIVE FICTION III: Mia Tijam, M. R. R. Arcega, Joanna Paula L. Cailas, Yvette Natalie U. Tan, Elyss G. Punsalan, Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon . . .

  7. TARA said,

    November 17, 2008 at 11:03 am

    helo im in cadiz city

  8. TARA said,

    November 17, 2008 at 11:06 am

    there are many folk stories in the philippines that are interrelated, like legend of mt. kanlaon, it is said that it is a legend, obviously the title itself… but in this web page, it is a fiction… i’m confuse

  9. November 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Hi, Tara,

    This is a blog about the people I know and the places I visit. I called it Kanlaon because that’s the name of the volcano on Negros where my father is from . . .

  10. khey chu said,

    June 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    wow trully wow…………

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