Nick Joaquin and Groovy Kids: A Critique of His Stories for Children
Nick Joaquin has been lauded as a journalist, historian, and novelist, but to a generation of Filipino readers he is, to recast his own words, a portrait of the children’s storyteller and mythmaker as Filipino. In Pop Stories for Groovy Kids (1979), Joaquin’s fairy tales connect Filipino children to global archetypes while rooting them in Philippine tradition and history. His retellings and adaptations simultaneously foreground and interrogate the role of myth in the construction of the nation and the Filipino child. Like Severino Reyes (“Lola Basyang”) before him, his adaptations subversively resist the political hegemony of the time. This presentation examines how Joaquin layers and blends Western and Philippine folk tales into modern myths that create “groovy” children.