cockfighting and also plays a significant role in Abad’s narrative and vision of nationalism. Most of the literature notes that cockfighting is an all-male

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 155 Chapter 5 Cultural N ationalism in Antonio Abad™s El Campeón (1940) Apenas tocaron el suelo los dos gladiadores, Tabás se lanzó sobre Banogón con la velocidad del rayo. Se oyó un chasquido, y los dos cuerpos cayeron sobre la arena (–) c omo si una fuerza los lanzase simultáneamente, ambos se encontraron de pronto a tres pie s sobre el suelo, batiendo el aire con alas y chocándose violentamente. Cayó una nube de plumas, pero al llegar al suelo ninguno demostró haber quedado herido. La multitud rugió de entusiasmo. (Abad 1940: 142) [As soon as both gladiators touched the groun d, Tabás launched himself over Banogón with the speed of thunder. A snap was heard and both bodies fell on the arena. [–] As if a foreign force threw them simultaneously in the air, they found themselves facing each other three feet above the ground, beati ng the air with their wings and crashing violently. A cloud of feathers fell, but on the ground, none of them showed a sign of having been injured. The crowd roared with enthusiasm. ] Introduction The two gladiators engaged in combat in this passage are Tabás and Banogón, two of the game cocks that feature in Antonio Abad™s (1894 -1970) novel El Campeón (1940) [The Champion]. El Campeón is written in the form of an animal fable that tells the story of a cockfighting champion named Banogón who returns to a c hicken barn in the village where he was born after a successful career in the arenas. Upon his return, he struggles to fit into the community, having to find a new role in it. The various social roles of the other chicken characters and their struggles wit h the transformations that are taken place in their society allegorically illuminate Abad™s vision of Filipino society – as one affected by a political, cultural and identity crisis – and his concerns with reconfiguring Filipino national identity. The nove l addresses questions of class, gender and ethnicity in the Philippines, and argues for the impossibility of smoothly translating the prevailing European ideologies of the nation -state, based on cultural homogeneity and racial supremacy, to the coloni sed c ontext of the Philippines. Through its ending, it articulates the necessity to give voice to an alternative type of nation imagining. Abad ™s portrayal of the culture of cockfighting through the eyes of the human characters of the novel offers a view on the ‚sport™ as a traditional Filipino practice that survived the various colonial policies that attempted to eradicate it. In this way, the novel presents cockfighting as an anti -colonial metaphor that not only captures a certain ethos of Filipino culture (at least among the exclusively male audiences that it attracts) but also occupies an important social and even educational role in rural Philippines.

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 156 Paz Mendoza™s Notas de viaje (1929) and Jesús Balmori™s Los Pajaros de fuego (1945), discussed in Chapters 3 and 4, sought to develop Philippine nationalism primarily by comparing their country to other European nations (including Spain) , Japan and the US. Abad™s novel, in contrast, locates a basis for nationalism in Filipino rural culture. Mendoza™s travelogue calls for a form of cultural emulation (aspiring at modernising the Philippines™ institutions and educate its people according to western/universal models) by formulating hypotheses about what the Philippines could be like if its industries, education sys tem or national identity were more like those observed in Germany, Italy or Japan. Balmori™s novel , in contrast, focuses attention on the impasse that emulating these foreign nations, including the Spanish and American coloni sers, had produced in the Phili ppines, and on the way the imagined alternative of taking Japan as a model ended up shattered by WWII. Abad, a contemporary of Balmori™s, shows a similar disappointment with the Filipino intelligentsia and its insistence on perpetuating the unfruitful task of ideali sing, translating and emulating other nations. The key difference, however, is that in El Campeón Abad uses the long -standing Filipino tradition of cockfighting – which is at the same time presented as a transcultural practice – to propose an alt ernative view on Filipino national identity. My argument that El Campeón can be considered an example of Filipino cultural nationalism is substantiated by Abad™s position as an intellectual aiming to excavate the ‚essence™ of what would constitute the fut ure Filipino nation. He locates this essence in the tradition of cockfighting in the rural Philippines. On the one hand, cockfighting is depicted as a traditional practice that resists Catholic dogmas while reinventing its rituals of blood and martyrdom an d contesting the moderni sing policies of the US, which considered the sport barbaric. On the other hand, the arrogance of the gamecocks is used to critici se western nationalism and the Filipino technocrats who obscure the alternative voices of Filipino people, represented by the village chicken barn. In my reading of the novel, I argue that, at its end, the figure of an ideal national hero is revealed, based on an alternative vision of Filipino masculinity. I substantiate these claims in the five section s of this chapter. First, I shall explain the main aspects of cultural nationalism , including in the context of the Philippines, and the role of literature as its tool. Second, I will give a brief overview of Abad™s work in order to contextuali se El Campeó n and to identify Abad™s most important political and social concerns. Third, I will elaborate on the anti -colonial aspects of cockfighting in order to justify its appeal to nationalist writers, in the wake of influential figures such as José Rizal, who dedicates a chapter of his seminal novel Noli Me Tangere (1886) to the cockpit, emphasi sing

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 157 its potential for fermenting political dissidence. In the fourth section, I look at the relationship between masculinity and cockfighting, which is addressed by numer ous studies on cockfighting and also plays a significant role in Abad™s narrative and vision of nationalism. Most of the literature notes that cockfighting is an all -male practice that reinforces heteronormative ideas of masculinity as based on strength, p ower, honor and domination, but also skill and intelligence. In what is undoubtedly the most -read and -discussed article about cockfighting, fiDeep Play: Notes on Balinese Cockfightingfl (1972) , anthropologist Clifford Geertz highlights the symbolic identifi cation of men with their gamecocks. He claims that cockfighting can be seen as a meta -narrative of Balinese society, reproducing its social hierarchy and acting out a range of values with which the Balinese identify. Without going further into Geertz™s the ory here, it is important to see the relationship between the cockfight and masculinity as a form of identification between men and the symbolic narratives the cockfight, as a sport and as an aesthetic practice, produces. It is this identification that accounts for its popularity. Looking at El Campeón shows that, in the context of the Philippines, the relationship between masculinity and cockfighting can be extended to include a consideration of nationalism and colonialism. In the fifth and final section, I focus on the last three chapters of the novel, which see Banogón returning to the barnyard, to demonstrate how Abad proposes a new form of Filipino national identity by presenting Banogón as a hero in the mo uld of Filipino myths of martyrdom, but one no longer exclusively tied to a heteronormative masculinity. In contrast to the nationalist models from Europe, the US and Japan, founded on fascist and imperialist ideologies that base the nation -state in ethnic, linguistic and cultural homogeneity, the Fili pino hero, through individual sacrifice, fosters a sense of community in a spirit of tolerance and acceptance of the community™s transcultural heterogeneity. To sum up, in this chapter I will explore the cultural nationalism El Campeón mobili ses through i ts appeal to the historical and cultural functions of cockfighting. The novel™s use of and reflection on the association of cockfighting with masculinity allows me to read Banogón™s return to his rural home as a crisis of masculinity. This crisis symbolica lly invokes the struggle with the conflicting attachments produced by colonialism that characteri ses the emergence of a Philippine national imagination. Even though the novel to some extent remains attached to the dominant ideal of a patriarchal nation, it s narrative also challenges foreign ideologies of nationalism and their relationship with a virile form of masculinity, instead suggesting a new, local Filipino national ethos that does not imagine itself as pure but as fundamentally mixed.

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 158 The Cultivation of the N ation According to Catalan scholar Monserrat Guimbernau (2013) nationalism is fithe sentiment of belonging to a community whose members identify with a set of symbols, beliefs and way of life, and have the will to decide upon their common political destinyfl (74). Literature can be a tool employed to the fostering of such sentiment of belonging to a national community and , together with other cultural practices , can constitute cultural nationalism. As an abstract form of community awareness, cultural nationalism can be said to stand in opposition to political or military nationalism , although the lines that separate these forms of nationalism are thin. Eric T. Woods (2015) highlights the difference between these forms of nation building by c ontrasting political nationalism™s focus on the achievement of political autonomy with cultural nationalism™s focus on fithe cultivation of a nationfl (1). Cultural nationalism does not imagine the nation as a political organi sation, but as a cultural commun ity grounded on the specific recasting of the nation™s identity, history and destiny. Cultural nationalism is generally perceived as a stage preceding political nationalism, one in which the conscience of a national identity is formed on the premises of re trieved local cultural elements. Hroch (2007) associates it with gestation in his three -stage description of the temporality of national movements: (a) gestation, where intellectuals excavate cultural remains and reconstruct them for their own sake, with n o national claims in mind; (b) patriotic agitation, where cultural claims such as language recognition are tied to political demands by nationalist organizations, led by a middle -class intelligentsia and attempts are made to awaken the masses; and (c) mass mobilization, where nationalism mobilizes urban and rural masses, often with separatist political demands. (qtd. in Hutchinson 2013: 89-90) This sequence seems logic al, but the reality is that most nationalist movements combine elements of the three stag es and that a ppeals to cultural aspects such as language or historical memory also occur in long -established nation -states , especially at times of national crisis. Cultural nationalists aim at rethinking the community™s political status with regards to the nation -state when the nation feels threatened or new political agendas appear. In the case of coloni sed societies , cultural nationalism mobili ses an awareness of the self in opposition of the oppressor, underpinning the shared community among the oppressed that serves as a tool for self -definition and ultimately becomes a political tool, usually in the call for independence. Regardless of how questionable Hro ch™s linear description of national movements is, the three aspects he underscores are use ful to identify the role literature can play in them.

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 159 Rather than promoting fipatriotic agitationfl or fimass mobilization ,fl as fictional literature, the Filipino writers in Spanish I discuss in this study aim to contribute to the period of gestation of Filip ino national identity by offering alternatives to the dominant history constructed by the coloni sers. As I showed in Chapter 4, Vicente L. Rafael (1988) uses translation as a strategy of nationalism among Spanish -speaking Filipinos. However, the type of na tionalism constructed by Filipino writers in Spanish remains problematic , as I argued in the previous chapter, because it is limited to the elite group that can read and write Spanish. It can therefore not be considered truly ‚democratic™ literature. Hisp ano -Filipino literature as a tool of cultural nationalism does feature an aspect central to both Hutchinson™s and Hroch™s description s of the workings of cultural nationalism, namely the attempt to retrieve the fiessencefl of the nation, the original conditi on from which to configure the nation -state paradigm. This retrieval is carried out by intellectuals and artists, an fielitefl of cultural firevivalists ,fl and philanthropists armed with innovative research methods , all seeking to fiexcavate cultural remainsfl i n search of a possible ground that will help to reconfigure or regenerate the idea of the nation based on cultural heritage and past history (Hutchinson 2013: 86). Moreover, Hutchinson argues that the archetype of the cultural nationalist is that of an ‚ou tsider™ whose ficonnection to the nation was being challengedfl (87). The cultural nationalist belongs to an educated elite but his or her outsider status derives from being fiof mixed ethnic descent and conscious of thisfl (Hutchinson 2013: 87) or from living in exile or in diaspora. I w ant to suggest that th is makes the cultural nationalist not just an outsider but an insider/outsider . This is how I see the position of the Hispano -Filipino authors I discuss. Th eir double perspective arises not only from their mixed ethnicity (racial , but importantly also cultural) but most crucially by their privileged cosmopolitan, multilingual upbringing and their attachment to the Spanish language . As Balmori™s novel demonstrates, t his makes them insiders/outsiders both in relation to the Filipino elite and other groups within the Philippines. I will argue that El Campeón can be read as a form of cultural nationalism because its subject matter, the cockfight, and its practice in the Filipino countryside, are examples of a transcultural tradition that finds a narrative in history capable of providing a sense of continuity through fia connection with previous generations, at the levels of both the individual and the community that he or she identified withfl (Hroch 2006: 6). Sign ificantly, however, the novel does not conceptuali se the search for a connection to the past that links up with the present in terms of a romantic retrieval of an original, purely indigenous Filipino culture, but rather in terms of the recognition of Filip ino national identity as a hybrid of

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 161 país que buscaba por todos l os medios posibles encontrar su propia voz ante las incursiones tanto estadounidenses como japonesas, que trataban de adherir el Archipiélago a sus territorios. [–] No sólo se trataba de luchar por impedir la muerte de un idioma, sino de fomentar además la lengua que haría a los filipinos reconocerse como tales, hallar su esencia, hermanarse con otros semejantes, con aquellos que sueñan y viven y aman en español . (Young and García 2013: xxix) [As a Catholic writer, [Abad] understood the holy word and liter ature as the means of expression of God in a chaotic world, devoid of ideals and stagnant in the misery that he perceived around him. The Gospel had arrived in the Philippines in Spanish. To Abad, religion, most tangibly expressed as language, constituted the necessary identity element in a country that was, by any means, looking to find its own voice among the incursions of the American and the Japanese, who were trying to add the Archipelago to their territories. [–] It was not only a question of fighting against the death of a language, but of promoting the language that would make Filipinos recogni se themselves as such, find their essence, unite with their fellow men, with those who dream, live and love in Spanish .] This quote highlights Abad™s belief i n the intimacy between language and nation, or, more precisely, in a sense of national belonging produced by the use of a common language. For Abad, this meant privileging Spanish (which he felt was intimately linked to his Catholic faith), but also Tagalo g and Cebuano (the local language spoken on the island of Cebu and by Abad himself) over English. He felt that Spanish and the Filipino languages already established in the country before the arrival of the new American coloniser constituted the foundation of Filipino identity. He even wrote scientific articles about the phonological similarities between Spanish and some of the native languages of the Philippines to support his defence of Spanish over English (Young and García 2013). La Oveja de Nathan (192 2) [Nathan™s Sheep] is Abad™s best -known novel and the one for which he was awarded the Zóbel Prize. Its latest edition, dating from 2010, is currently sold at major bookstores in Manila in a bilingual English -Spanish edition. Its story is more explicitly political than that of El Campeón . La Oveja de Nathan , in a similar way to Balmori™s work, critici ses the general lack of agency and desire for autonomy on the part of intellectual Filipinos, who, despite witnessing a new invasion by the US, have remained passive. The main character of the novel, a young lithographer who fights for the Allies during WWI as part of the US army, returns to the Philippines and finds a job working for an American company. Eventually, he resigns as a gesture of rebellion against the Americans, giving priority to his nationalist political ideals, despite the difficulty of getting another job. In portraying this individual heroic gesture, Abad calls for small but decisive steps towards social and political transformation, criticisi ng the lethargy and hesitation of those who are

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 162 unable to imagine other possible forms of life than the one provided for them by colonial discourses. This is the same attitude he critici ses in an essay from 1940 called fiDe la Hora Transeúntefl [Of the Transitory Hour] 105 : ¿Se han fijado los lectores que en que hace tiempo que en Filipinas nadie discute? ¿Y se ha ocupado alguien de saber por qué? Porque se atiende ante todo a la dogmatización. El dogma es lo único que no admite la discusión. Se es y basta. Y entre nosotros s e dogmatiza porque hemos llegado a un punto en las ideas han quedado estandarizadas. Fuera de la idea de dogma no existe la verdad. (Abad, fiDe la Hora Transeúntefl, 1940 , qtd. in Young and García, xxviii) [Have you noticed, dear readers, that for some time now nobody has been discussing anything in the Philippines? Has anyone tried to find out why? It is because there is an overall tendency towards dogmatism. Dogma is the only thing that is not open to discussion. It is and that is it. Among us, dogmatism o ccurs because we have reached a point at which our ideas have become standardi sed. Outside the standard idea, there is no truth.] In this essay, Abad calls for individuals to awaken and act against the undisputed, standardi sed dogmas that have come to gov ern people™s lives. The essay™s title, fiOf the Transitory Hour ,fl speaks to Abad™s perception of time as fleeting. Time should not be allowed to pass by without things being discussed. Instead, action should be taken to challenge dogma before it is too late . However, the temporality of the action required is ambiguous. On the one hand, Abad seems to call for a future -oriented revolution against standardi sed rules based on dialogue rather than on dogma. On the other hand, however, he expresses nostalgia for t he Hispanic past and seems to want to anchor the revolution in this past, which never actually existed, as Spanish was never the common language of the Philippines. Such ambiguity is perhaps better understood from the perspective of cultural nationalism. A s a nationalist enterprise, it looks at the future but its cultural revival has to be anchored and follow a past narrative, even if the nation™s history fioffers material for this task on multiple and competing pastsfl (Hutchinson 2013: 91). In 1960, Abad wr ote another novel, La vida secreta de Daniel Espeña [The Secret Life of Daniel Espeña], likely one of the last novels written in Spanish in the Philippines and sadly one that has so far not been found in library archives or private collections. Abad died 105 fiTranseúntefl is a difficult word to translate. As a noun , it refers to a passer -by and in some contexts it is thus translated as pedestrian . It can also refer to a temporary resident, such as a student on a visa. As an adjective, it means temporary or non-permanent , which is slighting redundant in combination with the word hour. Translating fiDe la Hora Tanseúntefl as fiOf the Temporary Hourfl seems too rhetorical, so I have chosen fiOf the Transitory Hour .fl

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 163 in 1970, having witnessed the arrival of the US, the two World Wars and the independence of the Philippines in 1946, and outliving most of the Hispano -Filipino authors of his generation. In the context of Abad™s life and work, El Campeón represents a momen t of inner exploration facilitated by the author™s return to rural Cebu, where he grew up. The novel tells a similar story of homecoming, following Banogón the rooster from the moment he is discovered on the small -town, church -owned farm where he was born until his return to another farm in the same town years later. The story begins when the church keeper, Gervasio Balongoy, who happens to be a cockfighting specialist, witnesses a quarrel between young Banogón and another male, and notices the skills and p hysical disposition to fight that Banogón displays. Gervasio asks Father Nicolás, the newly arrived priest, for permission to train Banogón as a gamecock. Father Nicolás agrees after much hesitation, for the Catholic Church opposes cockfighting. After mont hs of training, Banogón starts a career as a fighter in arenas in neighbouring villages on Cebu and in Manila. In Manila, he wins his last fight, permanently injuring one of his legs. Having killed his opponent, he maintains his status as a champion but ha s to be retired. Banogón returns to Cebu, his life spared so that he can produce future champions. He struggles to adapt to his new life in the small -town chicken community and is unable to fulfil his breeding task, but eventually he gains the respect and affection of his peers. In the final chapters of the book, he re -encounters Bakiki, his first sweetheart, with whom he shares his life story; she also tells him hers and recounts what has happened in the town in his absence. The novel ends with the two old friends celebrating life and motherhood on Christmas Eve. In what follows I will carry out a detailed analysis of the novel as an allegory of cultural nationalism. First, I will look at the way the novel represents the social and political role of cockfi ghting in the Philippines, through the eyes of the human characters. Second, I will analyse the relationship between masculinity and cockfighting in the novel, using Clifford Geertz™s article on Balinese cockfighting and Jerry García™s article on cockfight ing in Chicano communities in the US. Last, I will focus on the final part of the novel, which tells the story of Banogón and Bakiki™s reunion on the farm, in order to elucidate the alternative, transcultural vision of nationalism, connected to established notions of heroic martyrdom but less reliant on traditional masculinity, proposed in El Campeón .

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Writing the Nation Cultural Nationalism 164 The Victory of the Underdog Los hay quienes convierten la gallera en centro de su vida. En vez de ser un medio lo consideran un fin. Esos son los vicioso s de todas partes, los que, los días sin gallera, se reúnen en cualquier parte para jugar. La gran mayoría la compone el pueblo que va a estos centros a distraerse como los ricos se distraen en el teatro, en el cine, en las carreras o en sus clubs. Allí el pobre se encuentra con otros pobres, con quienes cambia impresiones, les cuenta sus problemas, les comunica sus deseos y esperanzas, les expone sus opiniones acerca de cosas y personas; allí se entera de los sucesos del día y los comenta y adoba a su modo , allí se consuela de sus fracasos y dolores, y allí se piden y dan consejos, discutiéndolos libremente en un ambiente libre de suspicacias. Se ha dicho más de una vez que la gallera es el deporte del pobre, y es verdad. Pero los que lo afirman, no han v isto más que lo más exterior, lo más visible del deporte, que es la parte que mira a la diversión. La parte más sana de é les que el hombre del pueblo, que no ha recibido ninguna instrucción, aprende allí lo que de virtuoso debe cultivarse y fomentarse en todo deporte . (48) [I confess that there are some who make the cockfight the centre of their lives. Instead of seeing it as a means, they see it as an end. Such vicious people are everywhere; they are those who, on the days that there is no cockfight, gat her anywhere in order to gamble. But these people are not the majority. The large majority is constituted by the people [ el pueblo ], who go to these centres to find some distraction, just like the rich enjoy themselves in the theatre, in the cinema, at the races or in the clubs. There, the poor man meets other poor men, with whom he exchanges opinions, talks about his problems, expresses his desires and hopes, expresses his opinions about things and people; there, he finds out about the daily events and dis cusses them, seasoning [adoba] them in his own way; there, he finds consolation for his frustrations and pains, and advice is given and taken, discussed openly in an atmosphere free of suspicion. It has been said more than once that the cockfight is the sp ort of the poor and that is true. But those who say this have only seen the most external aspect of it, what is most visible of the sport, the entertaining part of it. The healthiest aspect of it is that the common man, who has not received any education, learns there what is virtuous and what should be encouraged in any sport, [–] the virtue of tolerance.] This is one of the speeches Gervasio, Banogón™s first trainer, gives in defence of the cockfight. In this passage, he discusses his views on the cockf ight with Father Nicolás in an attempt to inform the latter of fiqué mal se propone combater antes de ir a lanzarse al cambatefl [what sort of evil he is about to fight before getting into combat] (52). Gervasio describes the cockpit as a social and educatio nal space for rural Filipinos who have no access to other forms of leisure. For him, the social aspect of cockfighting is based on the exchange of personal and public affairs (individual pains, desires and frustrations but also daily events, gossip), fidisc utiendolos en un ambiente libre se suspicaciasfl [discussed in an atmosphere free of suspicion]. The latter comment is reminiscent of Abad™s critique of the political and social apathy in fiOf the Transitory Hour ,fl where he observes that nobody discusses any thing

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