Akda: The Asian Journal of Literature, Culture, Performance


ecocriticism, Waray ecopoetry, Waray literature, Eastern Visayas ecology, memory, nostalgia, love, loss, hope


This paper explores how the concepts of memory, nostalgia, love, and loss are depicted in the poems 1) “Ha Akon Paglinakaton,” (In My Travels[1]), 2) “May Ada Panahon” (There Comes a Time), 3) “Parada Han mga Sinya” (The Parade of Zinnias), 4) “An Pagdumdum” (On Recalling), 5) “Kawarayan” (Emptiness), 6) “Agurang Mundo” (Old Mundo), 7) “Taburos Han Dagat” (Sea Spray), 8) “La Madonna Alegro,” and 9) “Cadena de Amor” from Victor N. Sugbo’s Taburos Han Dagat (2014) using an ecocritical lens. Published in a post-Haiyan context, the poems may be classified as belonging to the ecopoetry genre with their use of nonhuman natural elements in portraying nostalgia or the longing for home, inevitable loss and eventual acceptance of it, and the resilience of love. While the poems do not directly champion environmental awareness and conservation, they prove how humans—our memory, consciousness, and fate—are intertwined with nature and dependent on its elements.

The paper presents a perspective on reading Waray poetry that reveals the Waray people’s affinity with the Eastern Visayas flora and fauna and sea- and landscapes as evidenced by the selected poems in Sugbo’s Taburos. It contends that perhaps, through the reading of poems like the ones found in Taburos, which greatly rely on sentiment and thus exhibit a certain kind of romanticism, a renewed consciousness of and high regard for the environment may be instilled in readers. The paper thus opens the discourse on how the people of Eastern Visayas relate to their ecology, and how this relationship may be revisited and renewed through Waray poetry.

[1] The translations are provided in Taburos.