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Death, Event, and a Deconstruction of Gihapon in "Flores ni Maria Santisima"

Cyril Belvis



This paper proposes a deconstructive reading of Flores ni Maria Santisima, a Hiligaynon novena written by Padre Raymundo Lozano and printed in 1867. Set against the economic bustle of nineteenth-century Iloilo after it opened port to foreign trade,the novena demonstrates a homological relationship between capitalism and the practice of spiritual accumulation in the Flores. Nevertheless,teasing out the liminality of this text undermines its self-assurance as a monologic triumph of signification.A recurrent word in the novena, gihapon (always) plays an important transactional role in the promise of a happy death.  As an incalculable event which subverts anticipation, death is a call towards faith without the consolation of certainty. The alterity of death beckons us to respond with Derrida’s perhaps, a trace of gihaponrevealed in the three stories from pananglit(hagiographical narrative): the deathbed experience of St John of God, the Emmaus-like encounter of two priests, and the acquittal of a convicted robber.


Novena, event, trace, deconstruction

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2013.02002