Jennifer Rebecca Ortuoste (PhD) teaches communication and creative writing at the University of Santo Tomas. She has written opinion, sports, and book review columns for Manila Standard since 2008. Her essays, short stories, and visual art have been published in Philippine magazines and anthologies. She is a Palanca Award-winning essayist and author of Fictionary (2007), a collection of prize-winning short stories. Currently, she is working on a book about Philippine horseracing culture and communication. While Manila is her birthplace and hometown, she grew up in a household rooted in the cultures and languages of Central Mindanao and Western Visayas. E-mail: jlortuoste@ust.edu.ph


Ecofeminist Discourses in Mindanao: Unraveling Critical Entanglements of Memory and Lived Experience

Abstract: This paper examines how selected essays authored by women from Mindanao, inspired by core memories that intertwine personal experience and knowledge, challenge, and reshape our understanding of environmental issues in the Philippine context. The state of the Philippine archipelago’s environment and ecology has been the subject of intense scholar and social concern. Mindanao, known for its rich biodiversity and complex socio-environmental dynamics, becomes a particularly illuminating context for this investigation. In Jeneen R. Garcia’s “Snapshots from Samal,” Lolita R. Lacuesta’s “Ata Rice,” Jeena Rani Marquez’s “Gahum,” and Ma. Elena Paulma’s “Where I Write From,” narrative extends beyond mere appreciation of nature’s beauty. These essays underscore how the interplay of memory and ecological consciousness contributes to the broader discourse of ecological communication. Using the post-structuralist concept of the rhizome (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980), this paper interrogates how these women’s voices, whether examining lived experiences or personal memories, critically position themselves in the ecological discourse, rejecting the tendency to essentialize nature as a passive entity and recognizing it as a dynamic partner in human existence. This leads to an unraveling of the ways in which conceptual networks are created that foster a deeper connection with the environment, inspiring a reevaluation of our relationships with nature and advocating for a more inclusive and equitable environmental discourse.
Keywords: ecofeminism, ecological communication, feminist ecocriticism, memory studies, Mindanao