Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Major in Applied Media Studies

Subject Categories

Critical and Cultural Studies | Film and Media Studies


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Jason Vincent A. Cabañes

Defense Panel Chair

Clodualdo A. Del Mundo, Jr.

Defense Panel Member

Mikee Inton-Campbell
Gerardo A. Mariano
Elvin Amerigo D. Valerio


This thesis explores how film representation in Philippine cinema constructs the image of Visayan cultural identity. It attends to the ways in which the selected films serve as "resources for judgment" (Silverstone168; Orgad 8). This thesis reconfigures Shani Orgad's framework on media representation and global imagination (Orgad 3) to investigate cinematic representations in relation to the internal cultural diversity of the Philipppines (Zialcita 6). And it utilizes Nancy Fox's mulitmodal critical discourse analysis method in examining the mainstream film, My Monster Mom (2008) and indie film, Confessional (2007).
This thesis shows how film representation can be a site of construction and contestation of both Visayan and Filipino cultural identities, which allows identification and attachment as well as symbolic distancing and estrangement to take place (Orgad 82). I argue that while films provide a space for different ethnicities (in this case Visayans) to be given a spotlight in the mainstream media, it also presents the tensions about how these ethnicities are imagined as belonging to the Filipino nation and at the same time, strangers to it and to themselves. Mainstream films like My Monster Mom (2008) tend to essentialize Visayan cultural identity. It also reinforces the negative stereotypes about Visayans. On the other hand, indie films like Confessional (2007) contests the essentialisms in mainstream media and at the same time shows the socio- political issues in the country one of which is the discrimination and misrepresentation of Visayans. In the process of doing this, the film depicts the dominance of Cebu among the other Visayan cultural identities. This study contributes to the literature about multiculturalism, and stereotyping and discrimination among different cultural identities in the Philippines (see Angeles, Cabañes, Hau, Kitane).

Abstract Format



Approval sheet title mismatched with the title page





Physical Description

101 leaves


Motion pictures--Philippines; Group identity--Visayan Islands; Independent films

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