The Riddle of the Fowl and the Eagle

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Alvin Yapan’s “The Riddle of the Fowl and the Eagle” (Filipino: “Ang Bugtong ng Manok at Agila”) teases at the boundaries between the cultural, the natural, and the supernatural, in order to foreground a contemporary Philippine conundrum that elucidates an ethical concern. The story questions what it is to be human, and what it means to be so in times that are rather inhumane. In the context of this text, this is simultaneously a concern with the meaning and value of animality. Through its rhythm, the text demonstrates a contemporary tropical consciousness that simultaneously navigates the individual and the collective so as to confront ecocritical anxieties and creating a story of the ecogothic. The translation of this text therefore opens this local tropical story to current discourses involved in analyzing global ecocritical predicaments.