Larawan ng Cama-cama Bilang Filipino: Ang Imahen ng Nacion ni Adelina Gurrea (Portrait of the Cama-cama as Filipino: Adelina Gurrea's Image of Nacion)

Arbeen Regalado Acuña


Adelina Gurrea’s “La Leyenda del Cama-cama,” a framed story in Cuentos de Juana tells how the relationship of the boy Ino-Dactu and the heron Mahamut eventually led to the existence of the cama-cama, a dwarf that is half-human and half-heron. By initially studying the main characters of the story subjected to analysis, this paper explores the idea of the nacion expressed in Gurrea’s cama-cama, interpreted as the conclusion of the implicit dungan contest between Ino-Dactu and Mahamut—with the former depicting the flitting Filipino [identity] that changes from time to time and the latter embodying the anxiety of foreign influence and perhaps the [passive] aggression of colonialism, fondly called benevolent assimilation. Like the spectre of comparisons, the human-heron hybrid, heirs of Ino-Dactu and Mahamut born during the Philippine pre-colonial period, continues to haunt and to shape the neocolonial present’s nation—as institutions of the country remain possessed by the modern cama-cama.

Keywords: Philippine Literature in Spanish, dungan, nationalism, colonialism, hybridity, legend

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ISSN: 2012-0788