Reconstructing the Wilderness: Finding Identity, Culture and Values in Filipino Children’s Literature

Apple Audrey L. Noda


In children’s literature, more specifically in the Philippine setting, the symbolism of wilderness and the elements therein constitutively influence the intrinsic wildness of children. The literary wilderness becomes an exploratory platform where the stages of development that children undergo are better understood – from exploring childhood freedom to encountering a sense of self and culture. Coming from this, the research particularly focuses on the effect of the ‘essential wildness’ on children as facilitated by the images of the wilderness and its elements in Philippine children’s literature. The notion of wilderness (or wildness) ultimately shifts the idea of losing one’s self in danger to a sense of self-discovery and individuation. To concretize and show the effects of one’s encounter with the natural world through environmental children’s literature, this study presents an ecocritical reading of the best short stories of Severino Reyes in his Lola Basyang collection in order to grasp a conception of wilderness within the context and culture of the Filipino identity. This analysis will also attempt to redirect the general understanding of the concept of inner wildness, reconstructing it from an articulation of danger and peril towards a creative exploration of one’s growth and sensibilities.

Full Text:


@Journal of Ecocriticism. ISSN 1916-1549