Awit: Alaala at aklasan: The protest songs of the student movement as history and counterhegemony

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Language and Literature Major in Literature


College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of

Thesis Adviser

Jazmin B. Llana

Defense Panel Chair

Genevieve L. Asenjo

Defense Panel Member

David Michael M. San Juan
Michael Charleston B. Chua
Julio C. Teehankee


Currently, the use of archival materials such as books, videos, and artifacts, dominate historiography. Such materials reinforce the perspectives and interests of a dominant social group, and exclude the perspectives of other classes. Meanwhile, the historical material found in cultural performances of subaltern groups are relegated to the margins the repertoire is not as esteemed as the archive in its contribution to writing a nations history. Examples of performed historical material are protest songs, produced by dissenting groups in response to the pressing events of the time.

The purpose of the study is to explore the viability of protest songs of student activists as alternative historical sources, complementing mainstream sources and giving a more complete picture of Philippine history. A selection of compositions from the organization Alay Sining was compared to mainstream sources (newspapers, textbooks, and media blogs) to examine how each presented issues such as neoliberal policies, the Visiting Forces Agreement, and so on. The study determined that both songs and mainstream sources cite the same facts on the issues, but differ in the analysis of the causes, effects, and calls to action.

The study also determined that beyond the lyrics containing information about historical events, meaning can also be found in the materiality of the songs. Ideas are embedded in various channels, carrying subtle nuances that may not necessarily be captured in traditional documentation. Finally, the study explains how performances become counterhegemonic, when invading the State's spaces, appropriating places meant for the propagation of the State's own ideas and activities.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

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

Physical Description

1 computer disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Protest songs--Philippines; Students--Political activity--Philippines; Student movements--Philippines; Student protesters--Philippines

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