Patriotic Masculinity: Nationalism and Masculinity in Select Philippine Historical Films
Kerby C. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Alvarez, Kerby C. 2021. “Patriotic Masculinity: Nationalism and Masculinity in Select Philippine Historical Films.” Southeast Asian Media Studies Journal 3(2): 77-106.


In the past years, a surge of historical movies focusing on the history of patriotism and the sacrifice of leading Filipino revolutionary figures has flooded mainstream Philippine cinema. These include El Presidente (2012), Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo (2014), Heneral Luna (2015), and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018), which tackle the life and heroism of Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio, Antonio Luna, and Gregorio del Pilar, respectively. These films bring to the surface the long-standing debate on the concept of heroism in relation to the Philippine Revolution. The portrayals of heroes in these films highlight the complex nature of masculinity, particularly, on how it is fashioned and refashioned to look heroic and patriotic. On the receiving end, the public, as consumers of films, patronize and embrace the portrayals as acceptable representations of nationalism. Through a historical, filmic, and cultural critique, this study provides analyses and interpretations of the complexities of heroism, masculinity, patriotism, and nationalism.

Keywords: historical films, masculinity, nationalism, patriotic masculinity, Philippine Revolution