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Monday, December 17, 2018

A Cebuano scholar for the whole nation

(Clockwise from top left) Ashley Manugas, Ashley Manugas, Karlo Mongaya, Radel Paredes

TODAY, we continue to pay tribute to Dr. Resil Mojares and his works by listening to his readers.

“I was able to read ‘The Foundation Called Ramon Aboitiz,’ because I was part of the team that produced it. The book was produced for the 50th anniversary of the foundation and it is about the beginning of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. The book also talks about the family history and lineage of Ramon Aboitiz; from his humble beginning to the name he was able to create for Cebu. Dr. Resil Mojares wrote it as if he was able to witness their history; it was really as if he was there having witnessed it by hand. The book was definitely meticulously written.” - Ashley Manugas, aspiring filmmaker

“When I joined Today’s Carolinian, USC’s student publication, Resil Mojares was its adviser. However, we never really met with him to seek his advice. He was editor of the same paper when he was an undergrad so we felt that we had some kinship with him. We read his short stories and articles in the paper just before Martial Law was declared. Like us, he was an activist deeply interested in literature and social theory. In the 1990s, Resil had a column in SunStar Weekend and it was a delight to read; it was like our Sunday gospel because we made sure we didn’t miss an issue. His words are simple and totally void of, pretense yet one will be amazed at the depth of his insights even when he writes about the most mundane things. Now that I write my own column, I have to admit Resil’s writing remains the kind I aspire to achieve.” - Radel Paredes, fine arts professor, newspaper columnist

“Dr. Mojares’ writings encompassed diverse fields from literary criticism, anthropology, history and sociology among others. As a scholar of Philippine Studies, what makes his writings interesting is that he defied formalism, which was the dominant framework during the early part of his career. Instead, he used the concept of histoire des mentalities wherein aside from the standard historical documents, he also utilized the works of art and literature in describing and analyzing a particular event or aspect in society. Through his archival works and analysis, Mojares meticulously revealed the essence and discourse especially in regional history and culture. His interdisciplinary approach in analyzing Philippine society is very beneficial in deciphering our identity as Filipinos.” - Elgin Glenn Regencia Salomon, Master of Arts student

“It is now largely forgotten that Resil B. Mojares used to be a journalist enamored by the rise of counterculture, youth activism, radical nationalism, and Maoism in Cebu and the rest of the country in those heady days of the 1960s and early 1970s before the imposition of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a turning point which put him in jail along with many other critical voices. In my reckoning, the kind of critical thinking and sense of history developed during this period remains implicit in his work as a scholar and writer, which not only exhibits the combining of intellectual rigor and literary élan but also a journalistic eye for helping the public at large make sense of things. We can see this in Mojares’ seminal study on ‘The Origin of the Filipino Novel’ (1983), his account of the linambay in a Carcar village in ‘Theater in Society, Society in Theater’ (1985), his intellectual history of early Filipino nationalists in ‘Brains of the Nation’ (2006), and recuperation of different facets of Filipino cultural memory in ‘Isabelo’s Archive’ (2013), among many other works that are all addressed to both experts and the general public alike.” - Karlo Mongaya, Filipino instructor, Master in Philippine Studies student


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