Archipeligiality, a concept continuously being developed by the scholar, is one that attempts to articulate the Filipino sense of place as discoursed in/through its literatures. As a country composed of 7,107 islands, the very fragmentation and division of the country, as well as its multiculturality and multilinguality, have become the very means by which Filipino writers have "imagined" so to speak—that is, also, constructed, into a singular, united frame—the "nation." This, the author supposes, is an important aspect to explore when it comes to discoursing the larger Southeast Asian imagination, or poetic, as similar situations (i.e.
Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore), may soon compel for a comparative critico-literary perspective. This paper continues this exploratory "geoliterary" discourse by looking at a Filipino canonical work in English by Cirilo F. Bautista, the epic The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus, the title of which already signals a geographic allusion to the first map-name granted by the Spanish colonizer to the Philippines in the region, and consequently the first signification of the country’s subjected existence in the colonial imagination. The work, published between 1970 and 1998, is composed of three parts: The Archipelago, Telex Moon, and Sunlight on Broken Stones, which won the 1998 Philippine Independence Centennial Literary Prize. In these epics, notions of Philippine history and situation were discoursed, and Filipino historical figures were engaged in dialogue by the poet/the poet’s voice, with the end of locating the place [where history and time had brought it; or its direction or trajectory as a nation, being true to the Filipino maxim of ang di lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makararating sa paroroonan (the one who does not look back to his origins would not reach his destination)]. of the Philippines not only in the national imagination, but in this paper, in the wider regional consciousness. The paper proposes that the archipelagic concept is an important and unique characteristic of the Southeast Asian situation, and thus, may be a means to explicate the clearly connected landscapes of the region’s imagination through literature.
This paper focuses on Sunlight on Broken Stones.