Kundiman and Catastrophe: The Torrential Aesthetics of the Folk Kundiman

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Abstract

The kundiman has been hailed as the Tagalog region’s typical love song, and holds a special and enduring place in the Philippine popular imagination. While it is often interpreted for its national and political overtones, less noticed perhaps are the kundiman’s articulations of weather-knowledge, of which there are many references of interest to ecocritical scholars. This article analyses the catastrophic intersections between historical, political, and literary storms through re-readings of the folk kundimans in Wenceslao Retana’s El Indio Batangueño, Manuel Walls y Merino’s La Musica Popular de Filipinas, and Jose Rizal’s poetry and prose, and argues that there is a torrential aesthetic of slippage that still very much informs contemporary discourses regarding the intertwined nature of climatic, social, and political catastrophe
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalThe Cordillera Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jul 2021

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