C/Kalibutan: The promise of Nation in Angel Magahum's Benjamin

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Language and Literature Major in Literature


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Genevieve Asenjo

Defense Panel Chair

John Iremil E. Teodoro

Defense Panel Member

Ma. Teresa Wright
Isidoro M. Cruz


This project focuses on Angel M. Magahums first novel Benjamin, written in November 1894 and published in May 1907 by La Panayana in Molo, Iloilo City. Through a close reading of Benjamin, I was able to (1) locate and lay the foundation of Angel Magahum in 20th Century Hiligaynon narrative tradition, (2) affirm that his C/Kalibutan is a mislabeled excess due to political dynamics at work in Philippine society, (3) affirm that his C/Kalibutan promise a nation without borders and that every region is a nation in itself, and (4) affirm that Magahum indigenized the universalizing tendency of globalization as a representation of the Filipino nation and culture. In pursuit of the growing body of writings on the life and works of a writer based outside Manila, often referred to as regional writer, the study contributes to Philippine Literature by advancing and introducing the concept of C/Kalibutan as a label to Angel Magahums sensibility as a writer during his time in the Iloilo society. Calibutan (as spelled in Spanish) is a word used by Magahum in his Sa Bumalasa (To the Reader) to refer to the earth or world to which his native land belongs: hinigugma co nga banua cag natubuan. Calibutan in its Spanish spelling of C from the time the novel was written in 1894 to the Filipino K today in the Visayan languages (i.e. Cebuano, Kinaray-a, Waray, Hiligaynon, Akeanon) will have either meaning world or mundo or daigdig and consciousness or malay or kaisipan). In this study, the Spanish spelling of C and the Filipino K of C/Kalibutan serve as an agent in describing and forming Angel Magahums consciousness and world. It also becomes a bridge to the traditional and to the modern Hiligaynon narrative tradition by highlighting ones journey in finding the right path to life, blurring the boundaries between regions, developing new form by combining the conventional and the realist approach, constructing the nation by recognizing iii differences/unity, dominant/subordinate, inside/immediate, outside/distant, and the affirmation of self through pagpanglakaton. The study, inspired by Ma. Cecilia Locsin-Navas History & Society in the Novels of Ramon Muzones, benefits from Caroline Haus excesses and Isidoro M. Cruzs region is nation theories to show Angel Magahums sensibility as a writer in what Bienvenido Lumbera calls as pag-aakda ng bansa/writing the nation. This study hopes and recommends that current and future literary students and scholars continue the scholarship, studying, and teaching of regional writers, in particular, Hiligaynon writers the likes of Serapion Torre, Lorenzo Dilag, Valente Cristobal, Jimeno Damaso, Jose Ma. Ingalla, and Eriberto Gumban. The works of these writers are yet to be discovered and will surely help in understanding their individual worldviews and their specific contributions to the development and preservation of the Hiligaynon literary tradition.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

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

Physical Description

leaves ; 4 3/4 in.

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