The Teleserye as Literature and Pangako Sa ‘Yo

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In this chapter, Louie Jon A. Sánchez explores the logic of “appealing to literature,” the use of literary lenses, in the study of the “teleserye” or Filipino TV soap opera, rooted in the concept and social functions of literature in the Philippines. Through a reading of the wildly popular teleseryes Pangako Sa ‘Yo, the author argues that using literature as a model is essential, not only because it has served to legitimize the study of popular culture texts, but also because its form and content engage the world and times of Filipino audiences. Studying the teleserye as literature in an academic context therefore emphasizes popular culture’s important role in the lives of Filipinos as a site of signification and struggle.