Sarili sa harap ng mito at unos: Ang mundo ni Andong agimat as a Barthesian myth and intertextual discourse on the Filipino identity

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Literature


College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of


Awarded as best thesis, 2008

Thesis Adviser

Anne Frances N. Sangil

Defense Panel Member

Shirley O. Lua
Maria Teresa H. Wright


This thesis engages Arnold Arre's latest work, Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat in the discourse on the Filipino identity. The study aims to show how Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat uses intertextuality to portray cultural Stuart Hall's concept of the discursive identity. Furthermore, the study seek to expose the Barthesian myth the graphic novel propagates, which is the positioning of the discursive identity as a problem that needs a solution via a return to a singular national identity that draws from tradition.

The study achieves this through interpretation of the narrative and visuals of the graphic novels as signs and icons respectively. It explores the protagonist's narrative, as well as two subplots: One concerning Mariang Makiling and her loss of memory and the other concerning Zolgo, the antagonist. The discourses touched on by the discursive identity is tackled via explorations of several characters in the story, which deal with struggles in class, gender, Western and Eastern paradigms, national and personal identity as well as visual representations of concepts tackled in the narrative. The study also examines the world of Andong Agimat--how the 'world' is an external manifestation of the struggle within the characters. Finally, the study exposes the naturalized Barthesian myth interest in the text: that a unified national identity is inexorably linked with national progress, and the road towards such a unified national identity is a return to the pure Filipino tradition. The study shows how this concept is a construct, a myth. Not necessarily detrimental as a concept, it is nevertheless proposes the importance of being aware of the constructed nature of this myth.

All the while, this thesis shows how the medium has been advanced by Arnold Arre's work Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat, both in terms of visual style and thematic content. The study also cites problems that plague the Filipino comic book industry and proposes solutions to establish a perspective regarding the medium that encourages the improvement, propagation and progression as a medium.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

[2], 130 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.


Mythology--Philippines; Intertextuality; Graphic novels--Philippines; Comic books; strips; etc--Philippines

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