Sa Kabila ng Pagkatalo: Ang Uring Tagagabay, Katwirang Pangkasaysayan, at ang Diskurso ng Kasarinlan at Kalayaan sa Ang Singsing ng Dalagang Marmol ni Isabelo de los Reyes

CHRISTOFFER MITCH C. Cerda

Abstract


sabelo de los Reyes’s Ang Singsing ng Dalagang Marmol has been left out in recent reevaluations of de los Reyes as an intellectual. It is only mentioned in passing in Resil B. Mojares’s Brains of the Nation. In Origins and Rise of the Filipino Novel, also by Mojares, the novel is discussed as an interesting example of the mixing of different tendencies in the writing the novel in the Philippines but ultimately fails as a novel. Other critics like Delfin Tolentino, Jr. and Soledad S. Reyes also have difficulty in evaluating the novel because, on the one hand, it shows a nationalistic stance against the American conquest, the novel’s lead character, Colonel Puso, swore an oath of allegiance under the American flag at the end of the novel. In this essay, de los Reyes’s novel will be reread in relation to his earlier writings, in particular the historical works about the Revolution, his Memoria: Ang Madamdaming Alaala ni Isabelo de los Reyes Hinggil sa Rebulusyong Filipino ng 1896-1897 and the second edition of The Religion of the Katipunan. De los Reyes’s thoughts and ideas about the Revolution can be found in these two works along with his ideas on how to confront the coming American colonialism. The novel must be read as a contribution to de los Reyes’s historical discourse and must be contextualized in the American victory against Aguinaldo’s army. How can freedom and independence be pursued in light of this defeat? How can one rationalize the freedom and independence of the Philippines using history as evidence? Reading the novel as a historical novel that uses history to layout the historical right of the Philippines for freedom and independence, one can find the many values that de los Reyes pursued—for example, the excellence and bravery of the Filipino patriots who fought for the Philippines—as foundations for a free Philippines

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