Perfumed Nightmare

Religion and the Philippine Postcolonial Struggle in Third Cinema
  • Antonio D. Sison
Part of the Religion/Culture/Critique book series (RCCR)


“Se esta ultimando la instalacion del cinematografico para der sessiones dentro de pocos dias.” With this announcement of the inauguration of the first Lumiere cinematographe in a salon in Escolta, Manila (the installation of the cinema is almost finished, and sessions will start in a few days), the Philippines had its first acquaintance with the silver screen, in January 1897, just two years following the invention of the motion picture in Europe.1 Curiously, it was also the final year of three centuries of Spanish colonization before the fraudulent cession of the islands to the United States for U.S. $20 million in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. The colonial conspiracy would have disastrous consequences in the shaping of Filipino culture:

Filipino identity and consciousness now faced a concerted threat from the new colonizer. The colonial traits inculcated by the Spaniards—the legacy of ignorance, superstition, hierarchical values—all these still existing beneath the surface of the dynamic new revolutionary consciousness provided the new conquerors with a convenient basis for imposing their own norms. The counter-consciousness that animated the struggle for independence had hardly developed into a new consciousness before the consciousness was again being modified to suit the needs of a new colonial system.2


Civil Religion Utopian Vision Magic Realism Moon Landing American Popular Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Clodualdo del Mundo, “Philippines,” in The Films of ASEAN Jose F. Lacaba, ed. (Manila: ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information, 2000), 89.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Renato Constantino, Neocolonial Identity and Counter-Consciousness: Essays on Cultural Decolonization Istvan Meszaros, ed. (London: Merlin Press, 1978), 65.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jose F. Lacaba, introduction to The Films of ASEAN Jose F. Lacaba, ed. (Manila: ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information, 2000), xiii.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Roy Armes, Third World Film Making and the West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 151–152.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stephen Crofts, “Concepts of National Cinema,” in The Oxford Guide to Film Studies John Hill and Pamela Gibbons, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 390.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth Constance Farrington, trans. (New York: Grove Press, 1963).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, “Towards a Third Cinema,” in Third World Cinema Simon Field and Peter Sainsbury, eds. (London: Afterimage Publishing, 1971), 29.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Teshome Gabriel, “Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Films” in Questions of Third Cinema Jim Pines and Paul Willemen, eds. (London: British Film Institute, 1994), 30–51.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Benito M. Vergara, Jr., Displaying Filipinos: Photography and Colonialism in Early 20th Century Philippines (Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 1995), 25.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Benigno P. Beltran, The Christology of the Inarticulate: An Inquiry into the Filipino Understanding of Jesus the Christ (Manila: Divine Word Publications, 1987), 5. Additionally, Anscar Chupungco rightly points out that “popular” does not refer to the “popularity” of a given religious practice. In the context of its use, the appellation is meant to distinguish folk religious practices from official, church-sanctioned liturgy. Anscar Chupungco, Liturgical Inculturation: Sacramentals, Religiosity, and the Catechesis (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992), 101.Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    D. R. SarDesai, Southeast Asia: Past and Present (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994), 144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 20.
    Robert N. Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” in Religion in America William G. McLoughlin and Robert N. Bellah, eds. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968), 3–23.Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    Charles W. Kegley Jr. and Eugene R. Wittkopff, American Foreign Policy 5th. ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), 35–36.Google Scholar
  14. 24.
    Gabriel Kolko, Main Currents in Modern American History (New York: Pantheon Books, 1976), 286–287.Google Scholar
  15. 28.
    William G. McLoughlin and Robert Bellah, introduction to Religion in America McLoughlin and Bellah, eds. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968), xvi.Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An Experiment in Christology Hubert Hoskins, trans. (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1995), 479.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© S. Brent Plate 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio D. Sison

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations