Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 49, no. 2 (2018), 250-276.
Pamitinan and Tapusi
Using the Carpio Legend to reconstruct lower-class consciousness in the late Spanish Philippines
Reynaldo Ileto, in his classic Pasyon and Revolution, sought the categories of perception of the Filipino “masses” that guided their participation in the Philippine Revolution.
Among the sources he examined was the Carpio legend, but he unfortunately subsumed it to the separate, elite Carpio awit.
Through a detailed examination of the historical and geographical context of the legend, with its invocation of Pamitinan and Tapusi, I arrive at a different understanding of lower class consciousness than Ileto. Rather than a counter-rational expression of peasant millenarianism, the legend was the “hidden transcript” celebrating the history of social banditry in the region.