The Last Bakunawa: Self-translation with Notes

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“The Last Bakunawa” is a historic fantasy set in Himamaylan; a precolonial kingdom in Negros. It highlights the political economy of the said chiefdom and its surrounding territories where Datu Rabat; the protagonist of the narrative; aims to position himself as a big man in the Sino-Southeast Asian maritime trade. As a work of fiction heavily invested on this prehistoric worlding; it is both highly informed by and takes inspiration from Laura Lee Junker’s book Raiding; Trading; Feasting: The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms for it analyzes through ethno-archeological findings how the Philippine chiefly elite dominates the said maritime trade through porcelain jars procured and used as instruments of prestige and hegemony. This work of fiction is above all an invitation to revisit the rich history of our conflicted relationship with China; aggravated later by a series of colonial experience and by the treasonous brokering of our own duplicitous politicians. This present translation thus becomes an opportunity for a rereading of the work as it is recontextualized in our present fight for our sovereignty over our islands in the West Philippine Sea.