This article critiques the komedya vis-à-vis its institutionalization as national theatre form and proposes a cosmopolitan alternative in the critique. It argues that the imposition of a nationalist perspective in the reading the form falls into the trap of territoriality and “othering” because of its Roman Catholic and Tagalog-centric orientations. The cosmopolitan critique is necessary because it embodies a middle-path alternative to the essentializing and territorializing character of popular nationalism and the anarchy of pluralism. The discussion of cosmopolitanism comes from the irony that komedya could have offered a cosmopolitan possibility when Filipino artists began its indigenization. The efficacy of this possibility was overpowered by methodological nationalism based on the hegemony of the center (The Greater Manila Area) and its central religion – Catholicism. Thus, the komedya was contextualized as a Catholic theatre form and strengthened a particular hostility against non-Catholics, especially the Muslims.


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pp. 94-121
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