Instructor Vincent Christopher A. Santiago‘s study, “Of Golden Ships and Divine Mediators: Folklore in Small Bisayan Island Communities,” which he presented last year at the 11th Literary Studies Conference, has been published in its proceedings.

Below is the abstract of the paper:


Of Golden Ships and Divine Mediators:
Folklore in Small Bisayan Island Communities

Small island communities across the Visayas region of the Philippines are sites of convergence, engagement, and tension among people and entities of different origins and backgrounds. I examine the content of folk narratives gathered through linguistic fieldwork in two such communities: (i) the Municipality of Romblon, on the island of Romblon, Province of Romblon (from 28 April-2 May, 2014) and (ii) the Municipality of Poro, on the island of Poro, in Camotes, Province of Cebu (from 8 March-30 April, 2022) and sketch out the ways in which high relative insularity (Baldacchino, 2006; Nash, et al., 2020) may have influenced these accounts. One account is a tale involving a golden ship which allegedly abducts children during Holy Week in Romblon, Romblon (Santiago, 2019). Another tale involves the intermediary named Panganoron who is said to have settled a dispute between the two tribes Tag-Anito and Tag- Maktang in Poro Island (Costas, 1997; Santiago, 2022). Further, I seek to demonstrate that the specific experiences associated with island life in the Central Philippines are encoded in these two selected folk narratives. The distinctiveness of Southeast Asian island experiences (Andaya, 2006) may also be gleaned from comparing the above case studies with narratives from other sites which have a similar character, such as the island of Jandayan, Bohol where entities called agta inhabit the mangrove forests (Guieb, 2017) and the island of Cuyo, in Palawan where a place called napuro in the local language is said to be inhabited by similar supernatural entities (Lee, 2021, 2022).

The paper can be read and downloaded here.

Published by UP Department of Linguistics