Advertisement

Exploring the Dolphy Bakla: Queerness in Philippine Cinema

  • Mikee N. Inton
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores Philippine cinema’s representations of the bakla, a local gendered identity that conflates ideas of male homosexuality and transgenderism. By examining the films of Dolphy, the chapter outlines tropes that have become associated with the bakla, including the conversion trope, wherein the bakla are forced to conform to traditional notions of masculinity. The chapter also identifies tensions between contemporary representations of the bakla as the masculine gay man and as the transgender woman in films—tensions that also exist within the wider Southeast Asian context. Looking at the bakla as the primary queer figure in Philippine cinema enables film audiences to examine more closely similar figures in other Asian cinemas: the kathoey of Thailand, the waria of Indonesia, and the mak-nyah of Malaysia.

Keywords

Bakla Philippine cinema Queer cinema Transgenderism Homosexuality Southeast Asia Philippines 

Bibliography

  1. Ancheta, Maria Rhodora G. 2006. The “King” of Philippine Comedy: Some Notes on Dolphy and the Functions of Philippine Comedy. Humanities Diliman 3 (2): 74–117.Google Scholar
  2. Benedicto, Bobby. 2008. The haunting of gay Manila. GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies 14 (2–3): 317–338.Google Scholar
  3. Elliot, Patricia. 2010. Debates in Transgender, Queer, and Feminist Theory: Contested Sites. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Garcia, J. Neil C. 2000. Performativity, the Bakla, and the Orientalizing Gaze. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 1 (2): 265–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Garcia, J. Neil C. 2008. Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Garcia, J. Neil C. 2013. Nativism or Universalism: Situating LGBT Discourse in the Philippines. Kritika Kultura 20: 48–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Garcia, J. Neil C. 2014. The Postcolonial Perverse: Critiques of Contemporary Philippine Culture, vol. 2. Diliman, Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press.Google Scholar
  8. Home for the Golden Gays. n.d. Home for the Golden Gays. https://homeforthegoldengays.wordpress.com/. Accessed 14 Aug 2017.
  9. Jackson, Peter A. 2011. Queer Bangkok: Twenty-First-Century Markets, Media, and Rights. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jackson, Peter A., and Gerard Sullivan (eds.). 1999. Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand. New York: Harrington Park Press.Google Scholar
  11. Manalansan, Martin F. 2003. Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Murtagh, Ben. 2013. Genders and Sexualities in Indonesian Cinema: Constructing Gay, Lesbi and Waria Identities on Screen. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Russo, Vito. 1987. The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  14. Sadashige, Jacqui. 2002. Markova: Comfort Gay. The American Historical Review 107 (4): 1336–1337.  https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/107.4.1336-a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. ten Brummelhuis, Han. 1999. Transformations of the Transgender: The Case of the Thai Kathoey. In Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand, ed. Peter A. Jackson and Gerard Sullivan, 121–140. New York: Hawthorne Press.Google Scholar
  16. Tolentino, Rolando B. 2000. Transvestites and Transgressions: Panggagaya in Philippine Gay Cinema. Journal of Homosexuality 39 (3–4): 325–337.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J082v39n03_17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Unaldi, Serhat. 2011. Back in the Spotlight: The Cinematic Regime of Kathoeys and Gay Men in Thailand. In Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights, ed. Peter A. Jackson, 59–80. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Yeatter, Bryan L. 2007. Cinema of the Philippines: A History and Filmography, 1897–2005. North Carolina: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  19. Yue, Audrey. 2014. Queer Asian Cinema and Media Studies: From Hybridity to Critical Regionality. Cinema Journal 53 (2): 145–151.  https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2014.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Filmography

  1. Ang Tatay kong Nanay (My Father who is my Mother). Directed by Lino Brocka. 1978.Google Scholar
  2. Arisan! (The Gathering). Directed by Nia Dinata. 2003.Google Scholar
  3. Bangkok Love Story (Phuean…Ku Rak Mueng Wa). Directed by Poj Arnon. 2007.Google Scholar
  4. Beautiful Boxer. Directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham. 2003.Google Scholar
  5. Betty Bencong Slebor. Directed by Benyamin Bahadori. 1978.Google Scholar
  6. Die Beautiful. Directed by Jun Lana. 2016.Google Scholar
  7. Dolpinger. Directed by Butch Bautista. 1965.Google Scholar
  8. Duda (Doubt). Directed by Crisaldo Pablo. 2003.Google Scholar
  9. Facifica Falayfay. Directed by Mars Torres. 1969.Google Scholar
  10. I am a Man. Directed by ML. Bandevanop Devakul. 1987.Google Scholar
  11. Jack & Jill. Directed by Mars Torres. 1954.Google Scholar
  12. Love of Siam (Rak Haeng Sayam). Directed by Chookiat Sakveerakul. 2007.Google Scholar
  13. Markova: Comfort Gay. Directed by Gil Portes. 2000.Google Scholar
  14. Mga anak ni Facifica Falayfay (The Children of Facifica Falayfay). Directed by Romy S. Villaflor. 1987.Google Scholar
  15. Miguel/Michelle. Directed by Gil Portes. 1998.Google Scholar
  16. Petrang Kabayo (Peter the Horse). Directed by Wenn Deramas. 2010.Google Scholar
  17. Quick Change. Directed by Eduardo Roy, Jr. 2013.Google Scholar
  18. The Adventure of Iron Pussy (Hua jai tor ra nong). Directed by Apitchatpong Weerasakul. 2003.Google Scholar
  19. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros). Directed by Auraeus Solito. 2005.Google Scholar
  20. The Celluloid Closet. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. 1996.Google Scholar
  21. The Iron Ladies. Directed by Youngyooth Thongkonthun. 2000.Google Scholar
  22. The Last Song. Directed by Phisan Akseranee. 1985.Google Scholar
  23. Tortured Love. Directed by Phisan Akseranee. 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikee N. Inton
    • 1
  1. 1.De La Salle UniversityManilaPhilippines

Personalised recommendations