The task of Philippine sociology appears twofold. The first is to reveal aspects and structures of local society such as cleavages and integrating mechanisms so that these may be brought to the attention of the relevant policy makers, resulting hopefully in a more equitable and stable social order. The second is to assist in the very process of policy formation through the investigation of what are publicly perceived as national problems.
-Raul Pertierra, Explorations in Social Theory and
Supernatural beings play a role in our society. They may or may not exist, but the belief of them makes the difference. In the small town of Dueñas, about 46 kilometers north of Iloilo City proper, residents have been harassed by this belief. The author of this study would like to attest to this because he hailed from the same town. Economic growth is slow because only a few merchants dare put up a business venture there. Restaurants would have to close down in a matter of months because people believed that if you consume food from the cursed town, you too would be an aswang. Even in the comic book, Pugad Baboy 4: Ang Hiwaga ng Dueñas by Pol Medina Jr., Dueñas was portrayed as a town lacking electricity and newspapers. It is regarded as a town far from civilization. It was shown there that werewolves and vampires are existent in this small town. Pol Medina Jr. gave us a humorous account of the image of Dueñas. Another factor why the belief that there are actually aswangs in Dueñas is the popularity of Tenyente Gimo. He is a figure who embodies what an aswang is. Almost everyone in Dueñas can tell you a thing or two about this individual.
In the Halloween season of 2003, a TV special was shown about Tenyente Gimo. This TV program was “Kontrobersiyal” as related in an online forum by a certain “Mr. Anonymous”. Like many other people, the author also was able to view this episode. Many other programs have focused on Dueñas or the supernatural like Magandang Gabi… Bayan. These episodes are usually shown on Halloween specials.
In the whole province of Iloilo, when you mention that you are from Dueñas, the tendency is that people would say that you are an aswang. Especially for the author’s clan, this is very tantamount. This is because most residents in Dueñas are related to each other. Families with surnames of Aujero, Catalan, Labaro, Lamasan are closely intertwined with each other. For a town dominated by the same clan, it is quite easy for some to say the entire clan is a family of aswangs.
The author wishes to look into this pre-modern thought and look into how anthropology plays a role in this dilemma. Society today still believes in certain ideas and sometimes, these beliefs cause problems to the people concerned. With that, social stigma is the result.
This belief may somehow be the result of popular beliefs and may have been passed on from generation to generation. These beliefs are further carried on by folklores and mythology. Aswangs are classified as creatures
belonging to Philippine lower mythology. Whether they exist or not is of no importance in this study, what matters is what the belief of them causes the residents of Dueñas.
This paper will answer the main problem:
In light of Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense, what lies behind the stories of aswangs in Dueñas, Iloilo?
The main problem may be further expressed into two sub-problems which are:
1) What is Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense?
2) What are the social stigmas experienced by the residents of Dueñas, Iloilo in the context of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense?
The author placed in a diagram in the following page to show how the flow of this thesis should go. The first sub-problem shall be dealt with by the second chapter. Respectively, the second sub-problem shall be dealt with by the third chapter. The fourth chapter shall have the conclusion and the synthesis of the two previous chapters. The conclusion shall explain and give light on the issues raised by the third chapter using the second chapter of this paper.
Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense
The social stigmas experienced by the residents of Dueñas, Iloilo in relation to Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense
In the light of Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense, what lies behind the stories of supernatural beings in Dueñas, Iloilo?
What is Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense?
What are the social stigmas experienced by the residents of Dueñas, Iloilo in the context of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense?
The social stigma in Dueñas, Iloilo can be seen and explained through Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense.
The Rhetorical Strategy for the First Sub-Problem
Since the first sub-problem of this study, What is Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense?, deals with the description and definition of the anthropologist’s theory and philosophy, the author deemed it necessary to do some in-depth research on the matter.
The author used one book by Clifford Geertz himself for the interpretive frame. The book is entitled Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. It has three parts divided into eight chapters. The book shares with us cultural systems and what they are. It is in here that the author could connect the social stigma with the belief of supernatural beings, particularly the fourth chapter, Common Sense as a Cultural System. The author wishes to capitalize more on this book in pursuing the research for the thesis.
The Rhetorical Strategy for the Second Sub-Problem
For the second sub-problem, What are the social stigmas experienced by the residents of Dueñas, Iloilo in the context of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense?, the data gathering technique to be applied by the author is with the use of interviews. The author plans to actually talk to Dueñasanons and extract their thoughts and ideas. The author wishes to pursue both structured and unstructured interviews. Questions in the interview would include whether they believe in aswangs or not and if possible, any sensory experiences regarding the supernatural. Moreover, the questions would also include whether they have experienced discrimination, degradation, humiliation, or shame because they come from Dueñas. The questions would be the following:
1) In your own viewpoint, what are aswangs?
The first question is basically a query on how the person interviewed perceives the supernatural. It is a question on how the certain individual would describe such a belief.
2) Do you believe in their existence?
This second question may show if the person interviewed admits or denies his or her belief of the existence of aswangs.
3) Being from Dueñas, have you encountered problems because of this belief?
This question is related to the third chapter of this paper. This question would help in relating to readers if the person interviewed faced problems with his or her origin.
4) Have people outside Dueñas taunted or labeled you as an aswang? If yes, in what way?
This question would like to show how an individual from Dueñas could have been taunted or labeled an aswang. This question is a follow-up question to the previous one.
5) Is it true that there is a belief that when you eat food from Dueñas, you will be an aswang too?
This question looks into a belief of food consumption in Dueñas. It looks into this belief if it actually exists in Dueñas.
6) Lastly, have you encountered an aswang? How?
This question is to find out whether the interviewee has had any sensory perceptions regarding the supernatural.
In dealing with the social stigma, let us keep in mind that social influence takes place. Easily put, it is in conformity that people strive to belong. In the book by Gaerlan et al, it is stated that:
The mere presence of others, as audience or co-worker, without any verbal exchange affects individual performance, a phenomenon known as social facilitation. The effect of others is more dramatic when pressure is placed on the individual to conform. People tend to feel uncomfortable, even unhappy when they are alone in their actions or out of step with others. When an individual behaves in full accord with the values of the social group, there is conformity.
Conformity is a natural process reflecting a recognition of the validity of other viewpoints. Perception of a given situation is the same as that of the social group. There can be conformity despite a difference in interpretation.
It is in here that people tend to conform to what popular beliefs are. Here we see that see that when a certain ideology takes over a society, people would usually follow it.
In the case of Dueñas, people in the province of Iloilo and anywhere else in the country would follow a certain belief resulting to conformity. This belief is that Dueñas is a town composed of aswangs. The ideology of the people shall be discussed by the author in this chapter.
As for the interpretive frame, the author shall refer to Clifford Geertz, an anthropologist. In his work Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretative Anthropology, he shares with us as to how common sense plays a role in how people perceive things. The author shall also connect how the stories of aswangs fit into the five quasi-qualities of common sense, namely; natural, practical, thin, immethodical, and accessible. These five quasi-qualities are further discussed in the second chapter and linked to Dueñas in the third chapter.
Scope and Limitation
The scope of this thesis concentrates on the common sense theory of Clifford Geertz as applied to the social stigma in the local setting of Dueñas, Iloilo. This thesis is also applicable to other settings; but to narrow things down, the author limited this thesis to Dueñas, Iloilo. This paper is limited to answering the problems presented in the next part of this thesis.
Relevance of the Study
The significance of this study is to give light to the pertinent problems that consistently arise with the belief of supernatural beings. As stated in the preliminary remarks, Dueñas is labeled as a town of aswangs. This pre-modernist view is to be discussed by the author and how such a dilemma can find a solution. We should put into consideration the ill effects of this belief. This belief has caused economical, social, and emotional difficulties among the residents.
We can say that the town suffers economically because as what was stated earlier, businesses (especially the food industry) would usually close down in a matter of months because of the lack of customers. Economic growth is at a snail’s pace. Dueñas remains an agricultural town whereas neighboring towns like Dingle, Pototan and Passi have developed into better municipalities, the last, a city. Dueñas, up to the present, is a fourth-income class town.
Social problems arise because of the belief of supernatural beings.
Many residents, as what have been shown in the previous year’s Halloween
special of Kontrobersiyal, have suffered being labeled as aswangs. It’s hard to imagine how these people, said to be descendants of Tenyente Gimo, have been the target of fear and gossips among the people.
Likewise in the social problems, emotions of people have been hurt and damaged as they cope with the difficulties of their everyday lives. Some people would rather stay inside their homes in order to escape the gossips about them. Others don’t have the courage to face people in fear of being mocked.
These are only some of the problems that can be seen. More and more problems arise as the pre-modernist view of supernatural beings dwell in consciousness of the people. We can say that this belief is actually killing the people in many other ways.
Review of Related Literature
In the review of related literature, the author used episodes of a popular television documentary, periodicals, comics, and books. Listed below are short descriptions of each literary piece that the author found useful in discussing his thesis.
Essays by Clifford Geertz
In discussing Clifford Geertz, the thesis adviser recommended an article in the book by Daniel Pals, Seven Theories of Religion. The chapter of interest is the seventh chapter entitled Religion as a Cultural System: Clifford Geertz. This essay by Geertz is originally from his own book entitled Interpretation of Cultures which came out in 1973. The essay gave an overview on the aspect of religion as a cultural system. Although the book is about religion, it has been used by the author to further look into the works of Clifford Geertz.
Another essay be reviewed by the author is taken from a book of various works and essays. It is entitled Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science. The book is edited by Michael Martin and Lee C. McIntyre with one chapter – chapter 14 – featuring the work of Clifford Geertz. In this chapter, Geertz shares with the readers the concept or definition of Thick Description. The featured article by Geertz is entitled Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture. The author of this thesis finds this work by Geertz useful because it relates how certain things or aspects of culture have deeper meanings within them. Another factor why the author deemed it necessary to review this work is because thick description is an opposite of one of the five quasi-qualities of common sense – “thinness”. Like the previous essay, this reading also came out in Interpretation of Cultures.
Essays on Clifford Geertz
The author was able to acquire a book on Clifford Geertz. The book that was used for reference was The Fate of “Culture”: Geertz and Beyond, edited by Sherry B. Ortner. The book is a compilation of various essays and commentaries on Clifford Geertz and his works. The book discusses many aspects of anthropology. The authors who wrote in the book presented their works and related them to Clifford Geertz. It is also in this book that the numerous authors shared their high regard for Clifford Geertz as a major contributor in the study of cultures as systems. The author was also able to find out through this book that Geertz made a retheorization of the concept of “culture”. “This retheorization had two very interlocked dimensions – an ontological one (what culture is) and an epistemological one (how can we know it).
The author was able to acquire episodes of the weekly TV documentary Magandang Gabi… Bayan of the ABS-CBN television network. The Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) contain only the episode number; the dates that they were shown were not available for they were already stored in the archives of the ABS-CBN network.
The first episode viewed by the author is episode number 680. This episode has 4 segments with different titles. The first segment is entitled Nang Manggulo ang Mga Diyablo wherein it featured the Sta. Cruz family in Bicol. The segment showed the viewers the fate of the family with demons or poltergeists. The first event happened in 1987 when the daughter, Sophia, consulted the albularyo because of an ailment. The family narrated that the healer had malicious intents towards Sophia and gave her a bottle of oil believed to heal her from her illness. Sophia’s condition worsened and that she claimed to have seen demons. Only after a certain Mang Armando who treated her were they able to banish the demons from their house. What he did was to make a concoction composed of owl’s bones, sea grass, a mantra, and some twigs of the balitab tree. He put these in a bottle and instructed the family to put it near the demons. They were able to locate the demons by determining where they are making trouble inside the house. When the refrigerator in the kitchen moved alone, they put the bottle near it
and when everything fell silent, sealed it with a blessed candle. There were seven demons believed to harm the family and one was left on he roof. Eventually, the last demon left. Mang Armando was certain that the first healer was the suspect in harming the family. The oil he gave was actually an attraction for the demons. The first healer did this because he wanted Sophia to return. What struck the author was when the family became the talk of the town. Their stigma was that people thought that the father sold his soul to the devil in order to have a better life, in exchange, Sophia was the payment. People believed that in the coffin, the father was already rotten and that he had horns.
The second segment entitled Kwentong Sementeryo of the same episode featured a cemetery in Hermosa, Bataan believed to be haunted by spirits and elemental beings. The caretaker of the cemetery Aling Juanita Salengga said that the cemetery was founded in 1941, her husband then was the caretaker. Her sister claimed to have seen a kapre atop the acacia tree, as well as a vendor who claimed to have seen a headless figure in a priest’s habit enter the cemetery gates. Aling Juanita resides at the front of the cemetery and claimed that she oftentimes hears moans of pain at night, saying “aray…ang sakit naman” repeatedly. Other sensory perceptions of the supernatural include the white lady and black lady. When viewing this, the author noticed that what the people claim are archetypes of the supernatural; headless priest, white lady, black lady, monk, and come what may.
The third segment Multo ni Inay is about motherly love experienced by the children in Misamis Oriental. Josephine Anggon died when she jumped from an improvised mode of transportation by adding beams of wood as perpendicular seats to a motorcycle, a habal-habal. She jumped because the driver of the said vehicle claimed that they have lost their brakes. Her apparition started when her children were on their way to pick their father up from a drinking session. She appeared in front of her children and hugged them. She told them to just go home and she walked alongside her children. She would often appear to her children, especially to Catherine, the eldest. There was even an instance wherein she was able to cradle her baby and breastfeed her. The ghost claimed that she has returned to her children in order to take care of them and to seek justice for her death. She claims that the driver only joked about the brakes but she took it seriously and jumped, thus, causing her death.
The last segment of episode 680 is about certain individuals from Siquijor, a place known for its supernatural beings and witchcraft. The segment entitled Litawin, the segment title tells about how certain people would easily see supernatural beings. The segment featured the experiences of Magdalena Erica who now lives in Quezon City as a faith healer. She narrated that when she was 13 years old; she met a mysterious being with wings named Inday in the woods and took her to a tree which they were able to enter. What she saw was a very beautiful and big house wherein a woman dressed as a queen offered her a green apple on a golden plate but she refused to eat it. After that experience, there were no more such occurrences of the like. She also told the viewers how a manananggal once threatened her and how a floating coffin with candles blocked her way. When she moved to Quezon City, she claimed that Inday followed her and threatened her to follow or else someone will die. She was twenty-two then, and pregnant with her fourth child. Magdalena claimed that because of the event, she can now heal people with the help of Inday. She is a healer and a mangkukulam as well. The segment also showed a man named Ka Indoy, a healer who combats the works of kulam and barang and how he had an experience with a wakwak trying to harm his patient. Ka Indoy presented the archetype of a maligno, their facial features could not be easily distinguished, and they wear white clothes for the top and black pants.  These again are archetypes of the supernatural beings.
Another episode viewed by the author is episode number 782 which has 5 segments entitled Sanib, Multo sa Bahay na Antigo, Kababalaghan sa Gasan, Kandila ng Kamatayan, and Misteryo sa Barangay Paraiso. The first segment is about how students from the Sampaloc National High School in Tanay, Rizal were possessed by demons and other elementals. The students who were victimized were claiming that they see spirits of children or a white lady and pass out. They don’t remember what happened next. The segment featured actual footages of the students being possessed. Other students claimed that the spirits also followed them home. The production crew then brought the Spirit Questors and members of the Paranormal Society of the University of the Philippines to look into the incidents in this school. Through a medium, they were able to communicate with the elemental living at the back of the campus, the location of their outhouse toilet and dumping area for garbage. The medium said that “wag niyo akong tapunan ng basura”, and told them to leave. After some rituals and orations, they were able to appease the hostile being. The Questors were also able to talk to a white lady and some other spirits and requested them to just co-exist in the place. One even narrated that the white lady and the other spirits were actually protecting the people from the elementals.
The second segment of the said episode featured an ancestral house in the province of Marinduque. The segment is aptly entitled Multo sa Bahay na Antigo. According to Mang Jaime and Aling Dulce, the caretakers, there were numerous apparitions of spirits in the house. The spirits were wearing Spanish garbs and looked like were having a party in the spacious living room, there was even an individual playing the piano. Oftentimes, the piano would also play by itself, as though someone is pressing the keys. The children said that the spirit of the original owner of the housed showed themselves to them. The stories narrated by the family revolved around the house and how parties and gatherings are held there by the spirits.
The third segment is about a boy who was abducted by an elemental in the same province of Marinduque. The segment is entitled Kababalaghan sa Gasan. According to Aling Tinay, the mother, she was awakened one night to find her son not sleeping by her side. She went out of the house and looked for him everywhere. She said that she could hear her son calling with a voice that seemed to be coming from he ground. In a fit of desperation, she started praying and in no time, her son Mark appeared in front of her. Mark narrated his experience and said that he was awakened in the middle of the night by his father and told him to go out with him. When they stepped outside their house, the creature transformed into a big, dark, and hairy monster. It was not his father after all, but a monster disguised as his father. He told the viewers that the creature forcibly took him away to a place he never knew existed. When he went back, he was surprised to see his mother in front of him. The host, now vice president of the country Noli de Castro, expressed that it was a battle of good and evil.
The fourth segment entitled Kandila ng Kamatayan shares a bit of history in a town called Sampirohan in Calamba, Laguna. In a vacant lot stands a monument of a cement candle in remembrance of the seventy people killed and burned by the Japanese on February 2, 1946. The only living witness of the tragic event, Maria Almazan, described the event as something so brutal. She said that the Japanese forces stormed into their town and started killing people and burned them. Because of this, there are so many spirits in the area, especially in the vacant lot where the monument stands. Many residents claimed that they were able to witness apparitions of white ladies and other spirits. The residents of the area believe that because of the brutal killings, the spirits are still around to seek justice.
The last segment with the title Misteryo sa Barangay Paraiso of the episode goes to Barangay Paraiso in Tarlac. In here, the correspondents were able to share with the viewers the story of a kapre that lives in the same place owned by a Col. Vicencio Villanueva. According to the son, Army Capt. Edgar Villanueva, his father befriended the kapre and even named him “Roldan”. His father never saw him until one night, while burning the fallen leaves, Roldan showed himself to Col. Vicencio. After that incident, residents also started seeing Roldan. Aside from Roldan, there was also a small boy who appeared to a witness, as if following her, then disappeared. One witness also claimed that while walking in front of the Villanueva residence, she was so terrified to see a coffin that floated in the air and following her. It scared her even more when a white lady rose up from the coffin. The segment ended with a certain Apo Berting, an albularyo who said that he is happy of Roldan’s presence. This is because Roldan is a kind kapre and that Roldan is so strong that black spirits fear him.
The last episode viewed by the author is episode 834 wherein the author was only able to utilize one segment entitled Multo sa Video. It only showed how a dark mysterious being suddenly crossed the video. The video was taken in Laguna and people claimed that the place used to be a ricefield wherein a subdivision now stands in its place. People say that supernatural beings used to inhabit the place but the rise of population and the use of land disturbed the spirits. Video experts from the network are skeptical about the video because there seems to be a manipulation with the video using available software by removing the shadow of the dark figure.
Aside from DVDs of the TV documentary, the author was also able to review periodicals; one is a column of the newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer while the other one is from For Him Magazine (FHM) Philippines. In the column Looking Back by historian Ambeth R. Ocampo with the subhead Using ‘aswang’ to fight Huks. In this column, Ocampo shares with the readers how the supernatural was used as a tool or propaganda of psywar against the Huks. It was in the 1950’s under the Magsaysay administration when US Maj. Gen. Geary Landsdale shared in his book In the Midst of Wars: An American’s Mission to Southeast Asia the practical joke aspect of psywar as a counterinsurgency. The Philippine army was successful in making the Huk squadron leave their territory on a hill in Pampanga. Magsaysay then wanted to remove troops out of their defensive garrisons and form a more mobile and aggressive battalion combat teams. The local politicians were not in favor of the plan because they didn’t want the troops to be removed. For them, once the troops are removed, the Huks would surely swoop down on them. What the army did was to bring in a combat psywar squad and spread stories to the Huk sympathizers of aswangs living on the hill. Two nights later, after giving time for the rumors to spread, the squad then positioned themselves and hid along the patrol lines of the Huks. When the patrol came, they snatched the last man and pierced his neck with two holes, vampire fashion. The move wasn’t seen by the rest of the Huks because of the dark of the night. After hanging the body upside down to drain the blood, they returned the body on the trail. When the Huks came back to look for their comrade, all they saw was the lifeless and drained body. This move scared the insurgents and convinced them that the aswang had got him and one of them would be next if they stayed on that hill. When daylight came, the entire squadron was out of the hill.
Another source of information regarding the supernatural beings can be found in the Halloween issue of the monthly men’s magazine, FHM. The feature article with the title They Live Among Us tells the readers about supernatural beings. The feature article grouped the supernatural beings by categories as demons, dwarves, ghouls, vampires, viscera suckers, and lastly, though not really supernatural beings, witches. Just like in the book by Maximo Ramos that the author reviewed as a related literature, the supernatural beings also have descriptions. The difference here from the book is that feature article tells the readers of how the beings attack and the best line of defense by the people. In addition to the feature article, there are also added readings about how to quest for spirits wherein the Spirit Questors founder, Tony Perez, shares with the readers how to exercise one’s psychic abilities. The other added reading or article is an interview with Popo Amban, a long-time practitioner of the craft of being an albularyo and as an espiritista. In here, he shares how he was able to acquire his powers. He also shares how one can develop his psychic abilities, and warns about the danger of it if one cannot handle the enormous powers it gives.
As an additional related literature, the author of this study also utilized the comic book by Pol Medina Jr. entitled Pugad Baboy 4: Ang Hiwaga ng Dueñas. Aside from having Dueñas as a setting, the comic book shows a lighter side of the topic in supernatural beings and nevertheless showed some aspects of how Dueñas is perceived by many. It is quite surprising to know but according to Hilarion M. Henares, Jr.:
PM Junior may not realize it, but he is writing a profound philosophical treatise on our times, our values and our institutions -- something worth preserving in a time capsule for future scholars to study.
In a personal email to the author by Pol Medina Jr., he shared that he doesn’t really know anything about Dueñas. He only heard about Dueñas when his mother’s friend talked about Dueñas, her hometown. It was a good timing because he was making a horror story for his characters and that he needed a setting. He has never been to Dueñas and knows nothing about this town. He shared with the author that he did not have the time and tools to do an in-depth research so he just made everything up. He also said that it was his sorry contribution of promoting the author’s town. The author then asked him of his knowledge about Tenyente Gimo in another email and he only responded that his mother’s friend only said that Tenyente Gimo is a closet aswang. By that term, the author is not sure on what Medina was referring to.
The author used the book by Maximo Ramos as a guide in distinguishing differences of the supernatural beings. The book is entitled Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology. The book contains all the necessary information in determining the kinds of supernatural beings. As stated earlier in this study, the supernatural beings that can be read about in the book are demons, dragons, dwarfs, elves, ghouls, giants, merfolk, ogres, vampires, viscera-suckers, werewolves, and witches.
The book also presented how certain creatures differ from one region to the other and how they come into being in that certain region. The chapters also include stories or narrations with the sensory experiences of these creatures. Some are passed orally from generation to generation while others are merely hearsay. Other supernatural beings discussed are actually of European influence that the Spaniards have brought to our shores when they invaded us.
The descriptions presented by Maximo Ramos are so vivid that one could actually imagine them clearly in their minds. Some descriptions would
put the line in differentiating the creatures from the other. The aswang falls into many categories and descriptions giving us the notion that aswangs are mainly flesh-eaters, blood drinkers, and viscera suckers. One description would also describe it as a witch having an aswang’s aspects.
Maximo Ramos not only described the creatures but also shared in various chapters how they affect the lives of the Filipinos. In the eleventh chapter, Ramos discussed the implications of this belief in social studies. In this chapter, one can find how the supernatural is used as a means of child rearing. It is discussed in this chapter that parents would often threaten children to be obedient or they might be harmed by the supernatural. He cited the work of George M. Guthrie regarding the life of a Filipino child being reared by the parents. It is also in this chapter wherein Ramos discussed humans, despite their human handicaps, “cannot but help develop fortitude and heroism among children, setting up ideals of behavior that they can hold before them when they met similar hostile forces.” An example of this that the local people have adopted is the Western children’s literature, Jack and the Beanstalk wherein the protagonist, being only human, was able to defeat the giant.
Another book was also reviewed by the author and could be used later on in this study. The book is Visayan Folklore By Milagros Gonzales-Tabujara. Most of the narratives can be found in other literature from other regions. This shows that many versions emerge from the different regions in the country even if we live in an archipelago. Even the superstitious beliefs, which are quite popular even here in Manila, can also be found in the Visayas region. Different versions emerge as the narratives move on from
different regions. It is quite difficult to say where they originated though it seems that every region has its own version. The book concentrates obviously on the Visayas region and shows the Visayan version of the different forms of literature. These stories are passed through both oral and written traditions. These stories are difficult to pass on for the fact that the Visayas region is divided by straits, vast seas and various mountains.
The chapter on superstitious beliefs is what the author of this study truly concentrated on. Being a topic of the thesis, this chapter truly helped the author as it showed different beliefs of the Visayans. Some are quite foolish or incredible but nevertheless believed upon by the Visayans. With these beliefs, the Visayan way of life of being superstitious is further enhanced.
The author also viewed the book by Raul Pertierra entitled Explorations in Social Theory and Philippine Ethnography. Pertierra, in his book, mainly concentrated on the Ilocano culture (particularly in Zamora) and interjects various anthropological findings in the local setting. In some parts of the book, Pertierra cites some works of Geertz – especially his works in Bali – and relates them with his personal work. Pertierra looked into the local aspects of religion, customs, time, trust, and moral expression in Zamora. Pertierra discussed many aspects in Philippine society that can later on substantiate this study.
In understanding Philippine folklore, the author also reviewed a book by Herminia Meñez entitled Explorations in Philippine Folklore. The author utilized two chapters of this book that has a connection with his thesis. The first chapter used was the sixth chapter entitled Mythology and the “Ingkanto” Syndrome wherein Meñez discussed the possession and abduction by the supernatural beings, the encantos. The “ingkanto syndrome” referred is the process wherein the people who claimed to have encountered such say that they have met a beautiful stranger. This stranger then invites them to their place which is usually so big and beautiful, usually adorned with gold and expensive furniture. The person is then offered food by the encanto but the former rejects it for some apparent reason. The food is believed to contain some substance of magical power that would transform the person into an encanto. Upon going back to the real world, the person remembers the details that have transpired throughout the journey. The person that was abducted is usually found in the forest or in some isolated place. Meñez concludes that such an occurrence or belief system “is acquired during early socialization but persists well into adult life and forms the basis for the model of the manifestation and recognition of the “ingkanto syndrome”. This is related to what Maximo Ramos discussed – that folklore and mythology is learned by children which can also be brought when they grow up.
The next chapter used is the eighth chapter entitled The Viscera-Sucker and the Politics of Gender. In this chapter, Meñez discusses how the witches and manananggal are usually females. Meñez shares that this started when the missionaries started converting the primitives. In the most virulent type of evil witch, Meñez shares that:
A comparative study of the asuang as a human viscera-sucker in various Philippine societies reveals its remarkable popularity in lowland Christian communities, especially in the Visayan and Bicol region – which were the first to be intensively missionized during the Spanish colonial regime from the early sixteenth to the late nineteenth century. However, it is rarely known among non-Hispanized animists of upland Northern Luzon and Mindanao. More importantly for my argument, among these animists and their counterparts in the rest of island Southeast Asia, the viscera-sucker is not gendered and usually appears as a bird or doglike creature. The popularity of the female viscera-sucker among lowland Christians and its virtual absence among animist highlanders prompted me to suspect that the feminization of the self-segmenting asuang was due to Spanish influence.
It is also noted that the females play a major role in society as a nurturer and oftentimes a baylan in the primitive culture. When the missionaries came, they should devise a way to convert the people from this pagan belief and lead them away from the most powerful native women. What the missionaries did was to start with a movement of destroying them by labeling them as devils or evil. They have transformed from baylans to aswangs. In time, these women who also acted as midwives were labeled aswangs. The irony that can be seen here is that the baylan delivers babies but then she is regarded an aswang, a manananggal who preys on the unborn. It is a reversal of the role of the most powerful women during that time.
The book entitled Common Sense by Lynd Forguson tackles common sense and its role in the person’s beliefs and psychological being. In it, the author discussed what common sense is. More than that, the author shared the connection of common sense with metarepresentation, better known as mental representation. In some chapters, Forguson looked deeply and discussed that the development of common sense within people start at the age of around four to five years old. Forguson, in a way, connects with Geertz in discussing their respective theories of common sense.
These related literatures have been reviewed by the author in order to gather knowledge and see some connections with his thesis. Some related literatures are to be used or cited in this thesis work which the author found useful. Others not cited throughout the thesis helped in understanding the supernatural and how different people viewed them.
The second chapter shall discuss Clifford Geertz theory of Common Sense while the third chapter connects it with the experiences of the people of Dueñas. As the thesis work progresses, the reader should be able to see the stigma in Dueñas, Iloilo and understand its implications to the people in the light of Clifford Geertz’s theory of Common Sense.
Definition of Terms
Before proceeding to the actual research, the author wishes to define terms so as to easily understand them later on in the study. This is to assist the readers and avoid confusion as they encounter them.
Baylan/Babaylan – male or female shaman
Dueñasanon/s – originating from or resident/s of Dueñas, Iloilo
Ethnography – the study and systematic recording of human cultures
Formal – based on established forms, methods, rules
Ideology – systems of thoughts and beliefs
Inherent – Naturally and inseparably associated with a person or thing
Mythology – a popular belief or assumption that has grown up around someone or something.
Quasi-qualities – resembling a quality
Social – pertaining to the aspects of society
Social Psychology – study of people’s behavior in relation to their families, groups, and communities
Stigma – identifying mark or characteristic, especially of pain
Supernatural - relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature; attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)
Albularyo – faith healer or witch doctor
Aswang – local term for supernatural beings bearing powers of the underworld. We should take note that in local language, almost all the supernatural beings are more commonly called aswangs.
Demons – huge creatures that terrify humans (e.g. kapre)
Dwarfs – small beings believed to live underground or in termite hills (e.g. nuno sa punso)
Elves – beautiful spirits resembling the human figure; forest dwellers (e.g encantos and encantadas)
Vampires – Bloodsuckers, transform to humans during the day
Viscera Suckers – feed on the entrails, sputum, and fetus of human victims through their long tubular tongue which they send through the roof and appropriate bodily openings (e.g. manananggal)
Werewolves – feeds on human flesh; takes shape of an animal.
Witches – Witch doctors capable of casting spells against a human victim. (e.g. mangkukulams and mambabarang)
CLIFFORD GEERTZ’S THEORY OF COMMON SENSE
Cultural analysis is not “an experimental science in search of a law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.”
-Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures
This thesis wishes to connect Clifford Geertz’s theory of Common Sense as a cultural system and how it can be applied in the local setting of the municipality of Dueñas in the province of Iloilo. In the course of tackling his ideas, the author wishes too look into Geertz’s background.
Clifford Geertz was born on the 23rd of August in 1926. After service in the U.S. Navy in World War II for two years, Geertz studied at Antioch College in Ohio and majored in English (B.A., 1950). After which he went to Harvard University for his Ph.D. He taught and held fellowships at a number of schools before joining the anthropology staff of the University of Chicago from 1969 to 1970. He then became professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University (from 1970 - 2000, now emeritus) working on the general question of ethnic diversity and its implications in the modern world. In addition, according to the online article:
Clifford J. Geertz can be regarded as one of the most important social scientists of our time. He has conducted extensive ethnographical research in Southeast Asia and North Africa. He has also contributed to social and cultural theory and is still very influential in turning anthropology toward a concern with the frames of meaning within which various peoples live out their lives. He has worked on religion, most particularly Islam, on bazaar trade, on economic development, on traditional political structures, and on village and family life. He is presently professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton University.
Clifford Geertz is a prolific writer who did his work straight out from his mind. He does not use any drafts in making his compositions and makes only field notes while out in the field doing his studies. Clifford Geertz writes from the beginning to the end, when his writing is finished, then it done. He is a slow writer – considering that he wrote so many books – and does not leave a sentence and a paragraph until he is satisfied with. Until now, the age of computers, he still writes by hand, he only uses the computer to input text so that he can print it out and read it. When people ask for a draft of his work, he could not produce one because his draft is his final work.
Clifford Geertz’s major works are Religion in Java which was published in 1960. His second work is about Islam which was entitledIslam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia and published in 1968. His third major work came five years later in 1973, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. After another five years, he came up with Kinship in Bali. His fifth book was still about Bali and entitled Negara: The Theater State in Nineteenth-Century Bali which was published in 1980. The interpretive frame of this thesis is based on Clifford Geertz’s sixth major work, Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology which was first published in 1983 and had a 2000 edition which this author now uses. Another major work is Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author which came out in 1988. After seven years, Geertz published After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist. The last published major work by Clifford Geertz is Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics which came out in 2001.
Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense
In discussing the common sense philosophy of Geertz, in the second part of the fourth chapter entitled Common Sense as a Cultural System in his book Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology, Geertz tells of Evans-Pritchard’s discussion of the Azande witchcraft. Common sense thought can be seen in this narrative. An example given showing Zande common sense thought. Take for example a Zande boy who has accidentally stubbed his foot and developed an infection. Instead of taking the blame for being careless, the Zande common-sense thought would let him conclude that witchcraft has brought him his unfortunate fate. This is because if he would not have been witched, he would have seen the stump. And if he would not have been witched, his wound would not fester because wounds of that nature would close quickly eventhough it takes days to heal. Geertz further continued saying that “men plug the dikes of their most needed beliefs with whatever mud they can find”. Their knowledge is empirical and incomplete and that it is not transmitted by any systematic or formal teaching but is handed over from generation to generation slowly and casually during childhood and early adolescence.
Clifford Geertz’s philosophy revolves around anthropology and tackles common sense as a social phenomenon. This phenomenon is an assumed one rather than analyzed. Geertz defines common sense as “a relatively organized body of considered thought.” With this in mind, an organized thought is what is perceived to be popular in the local setting. Common sense, Geertz says, is “historically constructed and subjected to historically defined standards of judgment. Common sense can be questioned, disputed, affirmed, developed, formalized, contemplated, even taught, and it can vary dramatically from one people to the next. It is therefore a cultural system, but not usually a very tightly integrated one. It rests on the same basis that any other such system rests; the conviction by those whose possession it is of its value and validity.”
Common sense may also vary from place to place and Geertz showed this with the intersexual (Hermaphrodite) people. For the Greeks, it is just a mere kink of nature that may have had the intervention of the gods. It does not make a big deal, and besides, Hermaphroditus the son of Hermes and Aphrodite is a Greek god himself. He became united in one body with a nymph and it precedes the notion of ill effects. For the Americans, on the other hand, refer to the intersexuals as a horror. It is a mistake that leads them to a very big dilemma. The child is abnormal and unclassifiable with its gender. One question even raised was how to raise the child, whether as a boy or as a girl. A different view is supplied by the Navaho Indians regarding the intersexed. For them, the intersexed are valued and given much importance. They see them as a blessing from the gods, some even to
the extent as making them heads of the family. The intersexed can perform both male and female duties and know everything. The last view, an East African tribe, the Pokot, see the intersexed as a curse from the gods. The intersexed or “unclassifiable monsters” are sometimes killed. For them, the intersexed are nature’s mistakes. The intersexed cannot reproduce, thus cannot extend the patriline or lineage of the people. The intersexed cannot indulge “in the most pleasant thing of all”, sex.
5 Quasi-Qualities of Common Sense
Clifford Geertz further discussed common sense by giving five attributes of unstandard properties or quasi-qualities. These five quasi-qualities of common sense are: natural, practical, thin, immethodical, and accessible. In Clifford Geertz’s own terms, he added the suffix “-ness” to each in order to substantivise these quasi-qualities. These are now known as: “naturalness”, “practicalness”, “thinness”, “immethodicalness”, and “accessibleness”. Descriptions and definitions of each are discussed further in the following paragraphs.
According to Clifford Geertz, the most fundamental aspect of common sense is that it is natural. It has a quasi-quality of “naturalness”. This means that common sense represents matters, matters of which are in the simple nature of the case. Common sense is depicted as inherent in the situation, intrinsic aspect of reality, the way things go. In the “naturalness” of common sense, we may see it as something being natural in our own selves. These may be dependent on other sorts of quite unordinary stories about the way things are. In the Azande example of Clifford Geertz, witchcraft among them is but natural and that the course of nature could be affected by witchcraft; in turn, witchcraft becomes so natural to them. This is because it is dependent on all sorts of quite unordinary stories. If we look the other way, witchcraft is unordinary for us but seems ordinary to them, thus possessing the attribute of “naturalness”. According to Geertz, there is “an air of “of-courseness,” a sense of “it figures” is cast over things”. So when a Zande boy stumbles, “of course” witchcraft is to blame, and “it figures” because he could have seen where he was going. Later in the next chapter, the author shall show how a certain stigma is caused by the “naturalness” of common sense.
Another quasi-quality of common sense is its “practicalness”. Common sense is practical by means that it is not practical in the pragmatic sense. Geertz stated that “it is not “practicalness” in the narrowly pragmatical sense of the useful but in the broader, folk-philosophical sense of sagacity that it is involved”. In common sense, it not really satisfies the material needs of man but of intellectual requirements. In the example of the Zande boy as cited by Clifford Geertz, what is practical is to just blame witchcraft than admit being so careless. This may seem to be a simple example, in the author’s chapter 3, the “practicalness” of common sense can be much seen. Like the previous quasi-quality, the “practicalnes” of common sense is a quality it bestows upon things, not one that objects or events bestow upon it.
The third of the five quasi-qualities of common sense is its “thinness”. This means that common sense is simple or literal as it is. It says that everything is what it is and not another thing. We should not regard common sense as something that which it is not. Geertz says that anthropologists often make a mistake in analyzing things. He says that “anthropologists often spin notional complexities they then report as cultural facts through a failure to realize that that much of what their informants are saying is, however strange it may sound to educated ears, meant literally.” We should take note that some of the most crucial facts or properties of the world is not hidden by some mask of deceptive appearances. We should also look into events or things as what they are literally. An example given by Geertz is about a Javanese boy who fell from a tree. Their explanation is that the spirit of a deceased grandfather pushed him out for overlooking some ritual duty that should have been done. For them, that reason is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the matter. It is what they think what has occurred and no other event might have caused him from falling from the tree. Their common sense shares us the literal, simplicity, or “thinness” of common sense. This quasi-quality of common sense is the opposite as to what Clifford Geertz presented in his other work, Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture. Thick description shares with us how interpretation or looking deeply into matters could help in understanding things. The “thinness” of things in common sense says otherwise.
The fourth quasi-quality discussed by Clifford Geertz is the “immethodicalness” of common sense. Common sense is inconsistent and that it has no particular method that it follows. Once assumed, common sense is absorbed and there is no particular order, fashion, or method that it should be. There is no certain way that it deems necessary to follow. Common sense is wisdom that is concerned with a particular end or purpose. In the Javanese boy who fell from the tree example, there was no method as to which the wisdom the grandfather pushed him was acquired.
The last of the five quasi-qualities of common sense is that it is accessible. In terms of Clifford Geertz’s philosophy, it has a trait of “accessibleness”. By this, Geertz says that common sense, being common, is open to all. It is the general property of all people. The “accessibleness” of common sense is perhaps the easiest to grasp among all the other quasi-qualities. From any place comes a common sense, what is common in that geographic area may somehow be not common to others, but these others shall also assume their own common sense. Thus, everyone has a common sense of the world as it is.
The five quasi-qualities presented above represent what common sense is. Geertz simplified them in order for us to understand what common sense actually is. As this research goes on, these five qualities are to be used by the author in order to show Clifford Geertz’s connection with the thesis.
Lynd Forguson’s Common Sense in Connection With Clifford Geertz
In discussing Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense, we may also look into Lynd Forguson’s work. For Forguson, common sense realism has an epistemological aspect. He states that people have differential informational relationships regarding their view of the world. This means that people have different amounts, different sources, and different kinds of information about the world. Opinions may vary from person to person depending on the amount of or kind of information they have. These opinions may be right for some and may also be wrong for others, depending their on whether or not they think of what is really real, or what they think it is. Common sense in a given society may then be different from a common sense in a far-flung
community. An example of which is that the use of spoon is a vessel that we use in order to deliver food from the plate to the mouth. This may be quite simple for us and other countries, but in some societies like China or Japan, the common items to use are the chopsticks. In other uncivilized places wherein some Filipino or African tribes live, their common sense in eating food is with the use of hands.
Common sense is different from a certain society to other societies. This is because geographical locations also play a factor in making other societies unique. But it is now arguable to have common sense similarities because of the availability of mass media and information can be accessed easily. Because of this, we can now access common sense from different places and gather knowledge from them.
With regards to Common Sense as a theory, Forguson shares his own definitions of it. For him, common sense is not an entire theory in itself. This is because common sense view is limited in its scope. Theories are usually developed, modified and later on abandoned for better theories; this is because of scientific progress. In addition, Forguson further states that “Unlike philosophical and psychological theories of the mind, even those which are sympathetic to a mental ontology of beliefs, desires, and other ‘attitudes’, the common-sense view does not attempt to explain how beliefs and desires can have the causal powers we attribute to them”.
Lynd Forguson may be a secondary source in this thesis work but his work is also cited by the author for it shows how common sense is applicable in society. Common sense is everywhere and that what is common in one place may also be different from what is common in another place.
SOCIAL STIGMA AND COMMON SENSE IN DUEÑAS
There is no such thing as a witch of course. But if there were witches, the worst would be one named Superstition.
-Editorial, Manila Times, 2 September 1963, p.4
cited by Maximo Ramos,
Creatures in Philippine Lower Mythology
In this chapter, the author wishes to relate the theory of Clifford Geertz in the local setting of the municipality of Dueñas in Iloilo and the people who came from this town. The author did some random interviews and consulted the elderly people. By the end of this chapter, the author shall connect the belief of supernatural beings and Clifford Geertz’s notion of common sense and its five quasi-qualities.
Dueñas is a town 46 kilometers north of the Iloilo City proper. The said town is a fourth income class town with sources of livelihood mainly of rice and sugar. Others would rely on family and relatives living and working abroad as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The Christianization of Dueñas was in the year 1590 by the Augustinian friars. The Church in this town is the Saint Jerome Church which was finished in 1884. The dominant or majority of the families are Catalan, Lamasan, Pama, Aujero, Arenga, Espino, Labaro, Lagdamen, Cocjin, and Lapastora. We should take into consideration that these families or clans are related to each other. According to the author’s father, this is brought about by intermarriages because they had no contact outside the town long before road networks were able to reach this town.
As a personal account, the author of this thesis has his own share of experiences. While shopping in Greenhills sometime in 2004, he noticed the dialect of the saleslady, the author then had a conversation with her about Iloilo, when he said that he is from Dueñas, the saleslady then taunted him to be an aswang. In school, some classmates would also joke about him being an aswang; all the jokes were taken in a light mood though. In addition to the author’s personal experience, the author’s brother just recently shared a story that happened to him at the University of The Philippines-Philippine General Hospital Medical School where he now serves his internship program. He relates to the author that one female patient exchanged stories about their lives with him. Some information was shared like the patient’s province which is Roxas, Capiz. When the author’s brother said that he is from Dueñas, the patient screamed at him and said that he is an aswang. The patient even questioned him why is that people say that they are aswangs because they are from Capiz when indeed the ones from Dueñas, Iloilo are the real aswangs.
Narratives and Interviews
During the National Elections in 2004, the author went to Dueñas to help in the campaign of his father as the city mayor. By this time, the author interviewed their household helpers, a mother and two daughters. In a simple interview, the 50-year-old mother, Leticia Serdeña shared with the author that aswangs are flying creatures who snatch people and devour them. In her words, she stated that aswangs can also change their appearance to be animals and other creatures. When asked if she believes in such creatures, she was certain of her beliefs that they indeed exist. She also shared that she has encountered some problems because of this belief. She said that in Iloilo City, people have labeled her an aswang because there are indeed many aswangs in Dueñas. She also said that there is a belief that if one eats food from Dueñas, one will turn into an aswang. When asked if she had any sensory perceptions of the aswang, she admitted that she has indeed experienced seeing one, and ran away. Her eldest daughter, Eleanor was next to be interviewed. She also believes in aswangs but has never experienced seeing one. Like her mother, the 17-year-old girl also experienced being taunted as an aswang because she hailed from Dueñas. Unlike her mother, she is not aware of the belief of the aswang transformation if one eats food from Dueñas. Eleanor’s sister, Elizabeth, stated that the supernatural are frightening. The 12-year-old did not actually classify the supernatural into categories like what Maximo Ramos did in his book but mentioned everything we know as aswangs are indeed aswangs. When asked about the belief of consuming food from the town, Elizabeth only shared that one shall only turn into an aswang when he or she consumes the human liver. Unlike the members of her family, Elizabeth shared with the author that she has not experienced being labeled an aswang. Elizabeth, like her older sister, has not experienced any sensory perception of the supernatural.
After interviewing the mother and daughters, the author also interviewed another household help, Mercy Lagdamen, 36 years old and from Barangay Capay-Capay, also in Dueñas. This time, the author only asked what are aswangs and their activities. According to her, the aswang would put saliva in the victim’s drinking water, after which, the victim’s belly would become swollen. By this time, the victim should seek the help of the albularyo. In order to live, the individual should become an aswang and eventually give birth to a bird. The bird – called tiktik – serves as a guide to
the person and would lead him or her to the victim. The bird also eats the human flesh. The cycle would continue if the aswang would choose to contaminate other people with his or her saliva.
During the semestral break in his senior year, the author went home to Dueñas in order to be with his parents and to work on this thesis. The author tried to interview an elderly woman tending a vegetable stand in the marketplace. When the author said that his interview was about aswangs, the old lady refused to talk about them or the belief of them. The old lady said that the aswangs would know that she is talking about them. This would cause her family harm. The author was quite surprised that she believed that the aswangs are all-knowing and so powerful. She then asked the author to leave, by that time, quite a number of people were already around them.
During the same vacation, the author spent some time and had some sharing with his father, Hypte Ramos Aujero, aged 65 at that time. According to Hypte Aujero, the popular aswang, Tenyente Gimo is a migrant that noone knows where he came from. They don’t even know his last name. Tenyente Gimo is the root of all aswang stories in this town. People likened him to an aswang because he was so mean. He has the title of tenyente del barrio. A cousin on the other hand, Arlene Joy Aujero Teruel, said that Tenyente Gimo was a rebel that went against the Spanish people, especially the Church. He was labeled to be an aswang so that people would not follow him or be influenced by him. Being a guerilla soldier gave him the title “Tenyente” or Lieutenant.
As a personal account on his experience of the belief of aswangs,
Hypte Aujero shared with the author that in 1958, he went to Negros Occidental for a vacation in Santa Fe Resort. He stayed there for 3 days and two nights and people kept on asking him about aswangs. There was news that a girl was run over by a train back home and that people feasted on her brains. Hypte then refuted this by saying that aswangs consume the liver, rather than the brains. In the 1960’s, the lack of knowledge especially in the field of medicine resulted to the belief of aswang. All unknown causes of illnesses were pointed to aswangs – just like the Zande example of Evans-Pritchard. If a person suffered from ulcer, or even stillbirth, they blame the supernatural.
During his college days, Hypte Aujero related that his friends would not go to Dueñas during town fiestas or to do schoolwork. Even his neighbors thought that the plight of their town is brought about by aswangs. When he went to Manila, jokes were always made about him being an aswang. For the uneducated, aswangs are all over Dueñas and that you can be a victim and suffer the fate of yanggao – to turn to aswang. In the end, Hypte related to his son that the lack of education brought about the belief of aswangs.
In an interview with Edna Aujero, age 75 of Poblacion B, Aujero Street, Dueñas, Iloilo, aswangs are just ideas because she does not believe in their existence. She however admitted that when she was young she used to believe in them. She denied that being from Dueñas caused her problems but her teacher at the Provincial High School in the city proper joked about it. Her teacher remarked that even aswangs have charms. She is not aware of the belief that one will turn into an aswang when one consumes food from Dueñas. This is because there are many people who go to Dueñas when there are town fiestas. She noted that there are no popular restaurants or eating establishments in the area maybe because the people couldn’t afford to eat there or maybe the establishments are of no use. When asked of any sensory perceptions of aswangs, she remembers one incident but doesn’t really know if it was a dream or in reality. She narrates that a roommate in college from another municipality, Janiuay, was rumored to be an aswang. She had a fever and woke up in the middle of the night but couldn’t move. When she looked up, she saw a big dog near her head.
The next interview was with Noreen Labos, age 44 and resides in Poblacion B like the previous interviewee. According to Labos, aswangs are also ideas, borne of the creative minds of humans. She does not believe in them especially now that she has already grown old. She also added that consuming food from Dueñas would turn one into an aswang is of no truth. She has not encountered any problems being from Dueñas but she reiterated that she has become the butt of jokes when she was in college. She shared that her classmates at the Central Philippine University would joke that she is an aswang herself because she hailed from Dueñas. She said that the people’s reaction would be automatic to label one an aswang when they find out that this individual is from Dueñas.
Labos said that people would often believe in aswangs because they already exist in their minds. An example of this is the usual belief of dogs, especially the big black ones, are really aswangs. For the people, seeing a dog that has an unusual size is seeing an aswang in its animal or beastlike form. The ideas instilled in their minds that started when they are still young are the causes of this belief. What Labos presented, unintentionally, are the archetypes of aswangs – like what the stories show in the DVD episodes in the possession of this author.
Aside from the interview questions, Labos added that she knows one person whom is labeled an aswang. She shared with the author that a playmate in mahjong, name withheld, is labeled an aswang. During their games, she noticed that this player’s plate for snacks and glass is always different from other players. This is because there is a belief that the saliva of an aswang causes harm to others. She narrated how some people would warn others of her presence. Some parents would also often tell their children not to be near her.
Another interview was conducted by this author with 66-year-old Ramon Lagos Jr., the pastor of the Assemblies of God in Dueñas. According to him, his father is the author of a book about the history of Dueñas but said that he has lost the copy. The said book is not officially published and no other copies could be produced. Many people pointed the author to him for an interview because they say he is often interviewed by radio and TV programs when the topic of aswang in Dueñas arises.
In their church, they don’t really believe in aswangs. For him, the term is only coined by the people but it is just actually one of the forms of the devil. He does not believe in aswangs but only in the devil. He has not encountered any aswangs in the past but admitted that he has already treated a woman with the last name of Aujero for being possessed by the devil. He narrated that the woman was like a snake squirming on the floor. According to Lagos, the remedy for this is only through God. Only through prayers will the devil be eradicated from the body of the victim. He said that people
could not possibly let the devil leave one’s body but only with the help of God. If we ask God for help, then He will deliver us from evil, He is our Savior. The interview sounded more of like a church service with the way Lagos would share his knowledge.
Lagos stated that when he was still in college at the University of the Philippines in Visayas, Iloilo City, his classmates would also joke about him being an aswang. It was really not a problem for him though; he just faced it with humor. He said that this is because people believe that there are indeed numerous aswangs in Dueñas.
Ramon Lagos Jr. also has his share of stories regarding Tenyente Gimo. According to him, Tenyente Gimo was a wealthy person with a corn plantation. It was so difficult to ask financial assistance from him, so in return, people started spreading word that he is an aswang. He speculates that people were envious of him, thus started the stories about him. He said that he based his knowledge of Tenyente Gimo through stories and thinks that he might have stumbled upon a story about him in his father’s book.
The pastor claims to be a wide traveler because of his church. Through his travels around the country as a preacher, he stands firm regarding the belief of aswangs especially when it is about aswang in Dueñas. He stressed out that he knows there is no aswang in Dueñas. He even said that for him, the best and the good people come from Dueñas.
When the author was about to go back to Manila, he was able to talk with Jose Heber Catalan Jr. about Tenyente Gimo. Catalan is a local resident of Dueñas. He studied at the Ateneo Grade School and La Salle Greenhills
for high school. For his tertiary education, he went back to Iloilo in preparation for a political career in Dueñas. He ran two times for public office and lost both times. He is now an entrepreneur with stalls at the market.
Catalan shared with the author that Tenyente Gimo was around during the Japanese occupation. The story goes that during that time, Tenyente Gimo and his family had a visitor, his daughter’s female friend. She was already aware that her friend’s father is rumored to be an aswang, thus, she had to be careful and watchful at all times. This friend had a ring and felt that she is in danger. When they were already in bed, she put the ring on the finger Tenyente Gimo’s daughter in order to confuse him in the dead of the night. When morning came, the friend was alive and they saw that Tenyente Gimo ate his own daughter. The story was spread around, thus, he started to be infamous among the townspeople.
Another variation of the story is the same as what was shared by Hypte Aujero. He was a tenyente del barrio and was so popular, and people were envious of his success. When asked about families or people related to Tenyente Gimo, Catalan shared his own knowledge with the author. He said that there is a woman named Alma Langreo Lee, a direct descendant of Tenyente Gimo, a granddaughter. Alma Lee is personally known By Catalan and that they play mahjong together. According to Catalan, people would not dare go near her. At present, Alma is already in her late sixties and suffers a terminal illness from a fourth stage lung cancer.
Catalan even told this author that people would believe that Alma Lee’s mother –Tenyente Gimo’s daughter – is an aswang because of the way she is. She is not ugly and does not look like an aswang, but she is so quiet and stares in a different manner, like she is going to eat you. In truth, Catalan defends Alma Lee and her family because he knows them personally. When asked about how Alma handles the situation, Catalan said that Alma Lee would face it with humor. Besides, no person is courageous enough to make a mockery in front of Alma Lee. Catalan said that Lee used to be powerful because she was the municipal treasurer for some time, serving numerous mayors.
When asked about the stigma of aswangs, Catalan said that it is very rampant in Dueñas. He gave an example that if conflicts or issues arise between families, they start labeling the other as aswangs and let the word spread. It is common that a family in the barrios is being labeled a family of aswangs and people would often talk about them. In present times, being labeled as aswangs still results in ill effects. Persons or families labeled as such still face the stigma of being the talk of the town or being feared by most people.
The Connection of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense with the Local Setting
In relation to Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense, the author shall connect the five quasi-qualities of common sense with the stories of aswangs in Dueñas. By the end of this chapter, the reader should be able to see the connection of the social stigmas with the way Clifford Geertz explained his theory.
The first quasi-quality of common sense is its “naturalness” as seen in
the previous chapter. For the social stigma in Dueñas, this can be seen with things that are unexplained. As shared by Hypte Aujero, things that are unexplained like stillbirth and ulcers are blamed to the supernatural. If we look in the example of Geertz, as he puts it, the air of “of-courseness” and “it figures” can be found here in the example of Hypte Aujero. Aswangs and other sorts of the supernatural are inherent in the situation. The supernatural has become natural in this town and that it is already common for the people. If the people could not explain such things, they blame the supernatural right away, maybe the works of a mangkukulam. So if a person is believed to be suffering from some supernatural illness, “of course” that person should be brought to the albularyo; for the locals, that is the natural thing to do. “Of course” the albularyo would always diagnose something and would have a ready remedy. Because of the diagnosis, “it figures” why the person suffers from such an illness and “it figures” why the remedy works; if it really works.
The “naturalness” of common sense in the local setting of Dueñas can also be seen with what was said by Noreen Labos in her interview. She shared earlier that it is already in the minds of the people when it comes to aswangs. It is but natural to think that huge dogs are the beast or animal forms of the aswang. This is because it is already in their minds that this is so. Aswangs have become natural to them and that the course of their lives could be interfered by the supernatural. A diagram is presented below on how people’s ideas mix the supernatural and natural.
The above diagram shows how supernatural and the natural intersect and form the people’s ideas in the local setting of Dueñas, Iloilo. The natural aspect of the world is separate and distinct from the supernatural. When these two intersect, the common sense formed is the people’s idea of the world around them.
The next of the quasi-qualities of common sense is its “practicalness”. As discussed in the previous chapter, “practicalness” meets the intellectual requirements of humans rather satisfying the material needs. Many ways of how common sense has this quasi-quality can be seen in Dueñas.
The “practicalness” of common sense in the supernatural beliefs of Dueñas is that it is more practical to believe in them rather than think of other more rational explanations. In Dueñas, it is quite easier to blame witchcraft or the mangkukulam for some unexplainable illnesses. In the case of Tenyente Gimo, it is “practicalness” of common sense that brought about his fate in this town. The propaganda against him was effective throughout the town that he has gone infamous. People thought he was selfish and related to others that he is an aswang. If he is indeed a guerilla soldier, then the Church has made into good use the “practicalness” of common sense. Rather than to ponder upon hard to explain events, it is easier to result to the belief of supernatural beings and be practical. Another factor of “practicalness” as exhibited in Dueñas is that it meets the intellectual requirements of the people by just having reasons of explaining things as they happen instead of satisfying material needs.
The “thinness” of the supernatural belief in Dueñas is the third quasi-quality of common sense that we apply to the aswangs stories in Dueñas. According to Geertz, the “thinness” of common sense means that it is literal or simple. When people believe that there are aswangs in Dueñas, then it means that – for them – there are indeed aswangs in Dueñas. The belief does not necessarily include deeper understanding of such phenomenon. In a story related by Ramon Lagos Jr. in his interview that there are indeed devils or the evil exists. This means that anthropologists should not look into it as a rising phenomenon or something that symbolizes a deeper dilemma for Dueñas. For Lagos, there are devils and that it is so, no anthropological translation could make conclusions about this belief. Common sense of the belief is simple and literal. No thick description is further needed in describing or analyzing this occurrence in Dueñas.
The next quasi-quality of common sense that can be seen in Dueñas is the “immethodicalness” of common sense. With the “immethodicalness” of common sense in Dueñas, there is an inconsistency as far as this quasi-quality of common sense is concerned. Being an ad hoc wisdom, it is concerned with a particular end or purpose. In the Tenyente Gimo story, the “immethodicalness” showed is how people would regard his story as something to ruin his reputation. The stories of Tenyente Gimo vary from different people. There is no particular method as to how the propaganda against Tenyente Gimo would happen. The particular end is to attack him as a person. Another feature of this quasi-quality in Dueñas that the common sense is inconsistent is how certain people believe that food consumption from Dueñas can result to one’s transformation into an aswang. In relation to the outside view of Dueñas, certain beliefs are inconsistent like how Dueñas is perceived as a town of aswangs. The assumption of aswang knowledge to a common sense does not rely on certain methods or procedures. The knowledge does not even have to rely on empirical facts. The knowledge gained about the supernatural came into being as passed from generation to generation in no particular fashion.
The last of the quasi-qualities of common sense exhibited in Dueñas is “accessibleness”. This quasi-quality of common sense is very much evident in Dueñas as everyone is capable of acquiring the knowledge of their town. The elderly people are quite often regarded as the ones who possess and exhibit wisdom for they have experienced more in life. But when it comes to common sense, this is not so. Common sense is accessible to all. In the setting of Dueñas, what is common – the belief of aswangs – is evident especially to the local residents. There is a common belief of the existence of aswangs. There is a common belief of Tenyente Gimo as an aswang. All these common beliefs constitute the “accessibleness” of common sense. The common sense having the attribute of “naturalness” combined with “practicalness” is easily accessed as they are faced upon in almost the everyday lives of the people.
The five quasi-qualities of common sense according to Clifford Geertz are present in Dueñas. The social problem may or not be easy to see but it is also quite evident according to the stories narrated by the persons interviewed. The connection of Clifford Geertz’s philosophy is presented with the quasi-qualities of common sense.
Common sense is a cultural system in Dueñas as it shows the five quasi-qualities and that even according to Clifford Geertz, it is historically constructed as what as shown with the case of Tenyente Gimo. It is also subjected to historically defined standards of judgment as time goes by and the beliefs of people change. Also, common sense belief of aswangs in Dueñas can be questioned, disputed, affirmed, developed, formalized, contemplated, even taught, and can vary from one people to the next. These are traits of common sense which Geertz shares with the readers.
The belief of aswangs in Dueñas can be questioned as what was shown when the author did his interviews. Even if aswangs are the popular and common belief, people could still question the truth and validity of such common belief in Dueñas. This belief can also be disputed as what was shared by the author’s father, Hypte Aujero, that the lack of education brought about this idea. Another person who disputed the idea was Noreen Labos who said that aswangs are just borne of the creative thoughts of humans.
Likewise, the belief of aswangs can also be affirmed. The affirmation of the belief is through how it was passed from generation to generation. In the case of the Serdeña family, the mother and daughters believe in the idea and affirmed their belief through the interviews. In the development of the common sense, it is quite common for the belief to be passed on through generations. Even the stigma that Tenyente Gimo left stayed on with his descendants. Aswang belief as a common sense is formalized in a way that it is based on established forms. The established forms of which are the consistent beliefs of the supernatural. These forms constitute the belief of aswangs in the local setting of Dueñas.
In being contemplated upon, the common sense belief of the supernatural in Dueñas has long been contemplated by the author and many other people. For the common sense social stigma to suffice, people would contemplate or reflect on such an idea. The case of Tenyente Gimo is proof as to how people could have contemplated upon it. The church of the Assemblies of God – or at least the pastor – contemplates on the idea of aswangs and states that it is a form of the devil. Lastly, the belief of the supernatural as a cultural system can be taught. This is undergone by the process when parents would warn their children against certain people in belief that they are aswangs. This case was presented by Labos when she narrated in her interview how some parents would warn their children against certain individuals. This instance is further expressed by Maximo Ramos in his book. He said that instilling discipline in child rearing often uses the supernatural. The child is presented with a belief that an unfortunate event – brought about by the supernatural – should happen to him if he does not follow his parents’ will or orders. In addition, being labeled an aswang is being taught to others that one is an aswang.
Lastly, the belief of the aswang can vary from one people to the next. This can be shown with the work of Milagros Gonzales-Tabujara and in the magazine FHM which the author was able to review wherein various beliefs of the supernatural vary from one place to the other. This could also mean that certain beliefs about the aswang in Dueñas are different from that in other places.
The Creation of Prejudice and Tenyente Gimo as an Aswang
In the course of the interviews, some data gathered showed the way to the notion that the prejudice of this belief was caused by the popular common sense belief in the local setting. This prejudice against Tenyente Gimo was brought about by two causes; by the church and by the people.
The first story that came out during the interviews regarding Tenyente Gimo is that the church raised propaganda against him. According to Teruel in her interview, Tenyente Gimo was a guerilla soldier who went against the Spanish people, especially the Church. The Church, on the other hand retaliated by letting out stories of the superstitious against Tenyente Gimo so that people wouldn’t follow him. The Church faced a challenge in making people follow the clergy, not a guerilla who attacked them.
Somehow, a parallelism could be seen with the work of Meñez in her book. According to her, the baylan or female shamans were the most powerful and authoritative females in the indigenous setting. The missionaries likened them to be aswangs in order to discredit them and make the indigenous people convert to Christians. At this point, Meñez pointed out the disenfranchisement of the most powerful women in order to discredit them. As pointed out in the Review of Related Literature, there is a reversal in the role of the females as nurturer to predator.
The Church does things in order to get the support of the people. This could be seen in the Tenyente Gimo incident and Herminia Meñez’s work.
Another variation of the story of Tenyente Gimo is that he is a wealthy person, a tenyente del barrio, who refused to let people borrow money from him. Three people – Hypte Aujero, Catalan, and Lagos – shared
their knowledge with the author regarding this story of Tenyente Gimo. The root of this belief is that people were envious of his success and position in the municipality. They were bitter against him because they were unable to borrow money from him. This refusal by Tenyente Gimo to extend financial help to his neighbors caused his ill fate of being labeled an aswang.
Catalan even shared that the stigma of being labeled an aswang is very rampant in Dueñas – especially in the barrios – that when two people or families have a misunderstanding, an effective way of damaging his person or attacking his character or family is labeling him or them as aswang. This way of attacking was done to Tenyente Gimo.
The Promulgation of Aswangs
The stories of the aswang have reached everyone in this town and started when one is still young. Labos shared that parents would often threaten their children about being near certain individuals as they are aswangs. Children believed in such stories and carry the belief until they grow old as what Maximo Ramos shared in his book that the supernatural plays a role in child rearing. This may be a negative way of bringing up a child but fear of the aswang instills more discipline among the rural children.
This indicates, then, that if, in spite of the negative effects of character training through fear, it is decided to use fear of mythological creatures to keep children in line, teachers and parents have a powerful tool in their hands.
We may also consider the work of Forguson in treating this way of child rearing. Forguson shares with the readers that the common sense formation usually develops at around the age of four to five. If this is applied in Dueñas, children who encounter the supernatural beliefs carry on these stories until they grow up; or if ever, until they lose interest in such beliefs.
In another incident that the author experienced while attempting to interview an elderly woman in the marketplace, the woman refused of talking about the aswang for fear of being heard by the aswang and being cause her unfortunate events in her life.
This incident with the woman also shows an equivalent belief in the book by Ramos wherein he cited Leoncia Timbancaya, a laundress from Cuyo, Palawan:
Tradition-bound folk in her town did not mention a witch’s or vampire’s name on a Friday or blurt out unwholesome remarks about her, for fear of courting her revenge. This accords with the Filipino’s custom of never uttering the name of people held in awe, particularly the elders.
The belief of the supernatural has become a common sense belief in many rural places in the country. This example shows a stigma on how people would not dare talk about the superstitious.
Common sense seems to us what is left over when all these more articulated sorts of symbol systems have exhausted their tasks, what remains of reason when its more sophisticated achievements are all set aside.
Clifford Geertz, Local Knowledge
In Chapter 1, the author of this thesis presented an introduction about the town of Dueñas in Iloilo, its geographical location, its economical status, and its pertinent problems regarding the supernatural. The chapter also contains an overview of what shall be discussed throughout the thesis work.
In the Problematique, the author presented the main problem with two sub-problems. The main problem shall be answered lastly in this final chapter while the two sub-problems were discussed in chapters 2 and 3. The main problem is about what is behind the belief in connection with the anthropologist’s theory. This part also presented rhetorical strategies for both the sub-problems. The first sub-problem relies on the work of Clifford Geertz found in his book entitled Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. The second sub-problem, on the other hand, calls for the need of actually going to the place and immersing in their culture. Some interviews were also done using the supplied questions.
The first chapter also showed the relevance of the study. This part is important for it shows the essence of this thesis work. The relevance of the study gave the motivation for the author to pursue his research and thesis work. The relevance of the study wishes to show how this study is important in dealing with the pre-modernist view as that of an aswang.
In the review of related literature also found in the first chapter, the author was able to view episodes of the popular television documentary Magandang Gabi…Bayan of the ABS-CBN broadcast network. The videos viewed were able to show how the supernatural frighten the humans. Aside from that, one segment was able to share a stigma experienced by the family. Supernatural archetypes were also presented in the DVDs. Aside from the videos; the author also took time to look into the work of Pol Medina Jr., a cartoonist. The author was also able to exchange correspondence with the cartoonist through electronic mail. The author also looked into periodicals as what was shown in the first chapter. The author was also able to view books related to his thesis work and essays by Clifford Geertz. The author ended the first chapter with a section for the definition of terms.
The second chapter shared with the reader the life and works of Clifford Geertz. Geertz is considered the premier anthropologist in America and is still alive up to this day. He has various works that concentrated on the study of culture and anthropology.
The second chapter also discussed Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense as to what it is. Geertz says that common sense traits are that common sense is “historically constructed and subjected to historically defined standards of judgment. Common sense can be questioned, disputed, affirmed, developed, formalized, contemplated, even taught, and it can vary dramatically from one people to the next. It is therefore a cultural system, but not usually a very tightly integrated one. It rests on the same basis that any other such system rests; the conviction by those whose possession it is of its value and validity”
In addition to these traits, Geertz gave us five quasi-qualities of common sense. These five quasi-qualities are: natural, practical, thin, immethodical, and accessible. Geertz added the suffix “ness” to each of the quasi-qualities in order to substantivise them. The definitions of each quasi-quality are presented in the chapter and some examples were utilized by this author.
The third chapter connected the stories behind the belief of the supernatural and Clifford Geertz’s theory of common sense. The chapter shared the personal experience of the author in Manila and in doing interviews. The author started his random interviews and observation as early as 2004. The author was able to extract vital information from various people through the structured interview and adding some questions while in the process of the interviews.
The third chapter showed how the stories in Dueñas possess the traits and quasi-qualities of common sense. The author went through each trait and quasi-quality and discussed each and gave examples from Dueñas to show the connection of Clifford Geertz to them. In the end, the third chapter was able to connect Clifford Geertz’s theory of common sense with the belief of the supernatural.
In addition, the third chapter also showed how stories of Tenyente Gimo came about. It was also presented that child rearing plays a role in spreading the common sense belief of aswangs.
The first sub-problem presented in chapter 1 is What is Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense?. The author of this thesis was able to answer this in chapter 2. The second chapter was able to answer this sub-problem by giving the traits and quasi-qualities of common sense. These traits and quasi-qualities were extracted from the work of Clifford Geertz entitled Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. To answer this sub-problem, the author relied on archival research regarding Geertz’s philosophy. The author was able to define each quasi-quality with the help of Geertz’s work. The chapter shared with the readers that common sense is natural, practical, thin, immethodical, and accessible. Chapter 2 also showcased a connection of Clifford Geertz with Lynd Forguson, a secondary source.
The second sub-problem is What are the social stigmas experienced by the residents of Dueñas, Iloilo in the context of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense?. The author was able to answer this in chapter 3 by relating the people’s stories with the theory of Clifford Geertz. The author related the stories of each person he was able to interview. Each of the quasi-qualities was discussed in parallelism with the stories of the residents. Many social stigmas were showed through the interviews and the author connected them with Clifford Geertz’s theory of common sense. The author was able to show that in Dueñas, the supernatural common sense possesses the five quasi-qualities of common sense.
The supernatural belief is natural as what was shown in chapter 3 by the author. The author also presented a diagram to show how the supernatural and natural intersect with each other to form the common sense of the people. Common sense is also practical for it meets the intellectual requirements of the people in Dueñas rather than satisfying their material needs. Common sense in Dueñas is also thin; no thick description is needed by the people to analyze this belief. The belief is simple and it is what it is as what people shared with the author. It is simple and literal and does not need a deeper understanding of the matter by the people. Next, the common sense supernatural belief in Dueñas is immethodical. This means that the belief of the supernatural in Dueñas does not rely on methods or procedures. The knowledge is concerned with a particular end or purpose. Lastly, the belief of aswangs in Dueñas is accessible. The knowledge or belief of aswangs is accessible to all and that any individual can grasp this knowledge.
Chapters 2 and 3 were able to answer their respective sub-problems concerning Clifford Geertz. The main problem In light of Clifford Geertz’s Theory of Common Sense, what lies behind the stories of aswangs in Dueñas, Iloilo? shall be answered here.
In connection to Clifford Geertz, what lies behind the stories of the supernatural in this town is that their common sense has formed their belief. It is common to believe in this phenomenon when you are surrounded by this common sense belief.
What lies behind is that people form the common sense and then it is passed on. This common sense is formed in order to explain things, instill fear, and damage people’s reputations.
What lies behind the aswang stories is that these stories were used against a certain individual, Tenyente Gimo, the most popular in aswang stories in Dueñas, Iloilo. It was presented in the previous chapter that the Church and the people labeled him an aswang. In the end, his family and other people suffer from this stigma of being labeled aswangs. What was started as propaganda eventually grew and held on as time goes by.
Moreover, child rearing also has a hand in bringing this stigma to greater heights. The use of fear to discipline a child is indeed effective, but in the end, this fear still lives with the child until he grows up.
This common sense belief is a social stigma as what was related by some stories in chapter 3. Unless changed, people would still suffer from this dilemma and hinder them from moving on.
The author would like to recommend the following research-based topics for future research.
· Clifford Geertz on Lynd Forguson’s Common Sense
· The Belief of Aswangs in Capiz in the Light of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense
· The Belief of the Supernatural in the Province of Siquijor in the Light of Clifford Geertz’s Common Sense
· The Connection of Lynd Forguson’s Common Sense with the Supernatural Belief in Dueñas, Iloilo
· Common Sense-formed Stigmas in Philippine Society Today
· The Supernatural Belief in Dueñas, Iloilo Through Clifford Geertz’s Thick Description
· The Supernatural Belief in Capiz Through Clifford Geertz’s Thick Description
· The Supernatural Belief in the Province of Siquijor Through Clifford Geertz’s Thick Description
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Pertierra, Raul. Explorations in Social Theory and Philippine Ethnography. Quezon City: UP Press, 1997
Ramos, Maximo. Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology. Quezon City: UP Press, 1971
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Aujero, Edna. author’s aunt, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 31 October 2005
Aujero, Hypte. author’s father, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 28 October 2005
Catalan, Jose Heber Jr. Dueñas resident and political ally, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 3 November 2005
Labos, Noreen. author’s aunt, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 31 October 2005
Lagdamen, Mercy. household helper, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview 06 May 2004
Lagos, Ramon Jr. pastor of the Assemblies of God, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 31 October 2005
Serdeña, Eleanor. household helper and student, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 06 May 2004
Serdeña, Elizabeth. household helper and student, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 06 May 2004
Serdeña, Leticia. household helper, Dueñas, Iloilo. Interview, 06 May 2004
Teruel, Arlene Joy. author’s cousin, Iloilo City. Interview 01 November 2005
ABS-CBN Channel. “Kontrobersiyal”. 1 November 2003
ABS-CBN Channel. “Magandang Gabi… Bayan. Episode 680
ABS-CBN Channel. “Magandang Gabi… Bayan. Episode 782
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 ABS-CBN channel, “Magandang Gabi… Bayan”. Episode 680
 ABS-CBN channel, “Magandang Gabi… Bayan”. Episode 680
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 ABS-CBN channel, “Magandang Gabi… Bayan”. Episode 782
 ABS-CBN channel, “Magandang Gabi… Bayan”. Episode 782
 ABS-CBN channel, “Magandang Gabi… Bayan”. Episode 782
 ABS-CBN channel, “Magandang Gabi… Bayan”. Episode 782
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Ambeth R. Ocampo. “Using ‘aswang’ to fight Huks”, Manila, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 October 2005, opinion section, p. A15
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 Ramos, p.272
 In here, Meñez uses the term “ingkanto” rather than “encanto” as often used.
 Heminia Meñez. Explorations in Philippine Folklore. (Quezon Ciy: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1996), p. 74
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 Interview with Leticia Serdeña, household helper, Dueñas, Iloilo, 06 May 2004
 Interview with Eleanor Serdeña, household helper and student, Dueñas, Iloilo, 06 May 2004
 Interview with Elizabeth Serdeña, household helper and student, Dueñas, Iloilo, 06 May 2004
 Interview with Mercy Lagdamen, household helper, Dueñas, Iloilo, 06 May 2004
 Interview with Hypte Aujero, author’s father, Dueñas, Iloilo, 28 October 2005
 Interview with Arlene Joy Teruel, author’s cousin, Iloilo City, 01 November 2005
 Hypte Aujero, same interview
 Interview with Edna Aujero, author’s aunt, Dueñas, Iloilo, 31 October 2005
 Interview with Noreen Labos, author’s aunt, Dueñas, Iloilo, 31 October 2005
 Interview with Ramon Lagos Jr., pastor of the Assemblies of God, Dueñas, Iloilo, 31 October 2005
 Ramon Lagos Jr., same interview
 Interview with Jose Heber Catalan Jr., Dueñas resident and political ally, Dueñas, Iloilo, 3 November 2005
 Jose Heber Catalan Jr., same interview
 Ramos, p.269
 Meñez, p. 91-93
 Catalan, same interview
 Ramos, p. 270
 Forguson, pp. 60-61
 Ramos, p. 268
 Geertz, p. 76
* ABS-CBN did not provide airing dates, only episode numbers of Magandang Gabi… Bayan. The author has the DVD copies.