Alaalang Pampanitikan: Si Epifanio San Juan, Jr. Sa Panitikang Filipino
In an essay that he calls literary memory, the acclaimed writer in Filipino Efren Abueg provides a critical biography of E. San Juan, Jr. It begins with San Juan’s coming of age at Jose Abad Santos where he became the editor-in-chief of the school paper, and explores the print culture of the period along the way. Then it transitions into the college years of San Juan in the age of decolonization at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, during which he came under the tutelage of Elmer Ordoñez, Francisco Arcellana, and NVM Gonzales, among others. Abueg, in particular, pays attention to San Juan’s collaboration with Tagalog writers, emphasizing the tension between English and the vernacular and the ways in which San Juan tried to address this divide. Abueg also emphasizes the formative encounter between San Juan and Amado V. Hernandez, which hastened the radicalization of the younger writer. The essay concludes with San Juan’s contribution to the development and promotion of Filipino writing, one that constitutes, according to Abueg, a critique of the continuing dominance of Filipino writing in English.