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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The mission of Alon is to provide an on-line forum for publishing original and refereed essays, artwork, reviews, and moderated reflections that productively and critically engage with Filipinx American and Filipinx Diasporic Studies. Through Alon, we aim to generate and showcase works that positively engage with and critically analyze key questions in the production of knowledges regarding Filipinx Americans and Filipinx diasporic subjects: how are Filipinx bodies represented across multiple forms of media and in what ways do Filipinx people cultivate and create identities and subjectivities to counter these representations? What are the experiences of Filipinx migrants and what about these experiences shed light on the nature of global racial capitalism? How do they imagine and organize toward non-extractive, sustainable futures? How do Filipinx people construct an alternative global archipelago of being and belonging? How are these fields’ particular theoretical and methodological approaches rooted in scholarly production and activism? How are these projects linked with attempts to trace interracial solidarites, as fraught as they may be, to disrupt racial capitalism’s impulse to both homogenize and propagate “multicultural” difference? These and other related questions drive the work behind and in front of Alon.

Alon seeks submissions from those who are engaged in fields that include, but not limited to: Filipinx Studies, Philippine Studies, Filipinx American Studies, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Diaspora/Transnationalism Studies, Gender Studies, Sexuality Studies, Cultural Studies, Literature, and the Visual and Performing Arts.

Volume I | Number 2 | July 2021

Issue cover


In Defense of the X: Centering Queer, Trans, and Non-Binary Pilipina/x/os, Queer Vernacular, and the Politics of Naming

This essay is an engagement of the dialectics of naming and violence, discussed from the perspectives of the trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming Pilipina/o/xs whom we interviewed in the Summer of 2020.  Applying a transnational queer diasporic methodology, we center their material realities, which we feel remain missing in both scholarly and popular debates about the term “Filipinx.”  Indeed, it was LGBTQI+ Pilipinxs in North America who were the first to use the term “Filipinx” and “Pilipinx” in online spaces. Instead of positioning the X as our main focus, we use it as an entry point to discuss the violence that LGBTQI+ people of Philippine-descent have historically faced for simply identifying themselves on their own terms. It is toward such violence that the queer, non-binary, and trans people who began using the X and other linguistic innovations were and are asserting themselves. Revealed are perspectives and practices of dignity, self-determination, resistance against cultural homogenization and gender gatekeeping, and self-naming as radical imagination initiated by those facing intensified carcerality and other forms of violence that stretch within and beyond nation-state boundaries.

Scrapping Into A Knot: Pinoy Boxers, Transpacific Fans, And The Troubling of Interwar California's Racial Regimes

This article explores how Filipino boxers and fans in California in the 1920s and 1930s mobilized radical imaginations to creatively express a politics of dissent and liberation from oppressive racial regimes. U.S. imperialism in the Philippines reoriented the shape and direction of Filipino (anti)conquest and resistance following Spanish colonization. As the sport of boxing developed into an influential transpacific cultural industry, Filipino migrant fans inspired pugilists’ performative politics. As they worked and performed in interconnected urban and rural spaces across California, Filipino boxers and their fans destabilized racial scripts while negotiating claims to power, space, and dignity during this period.

What Emerges From a “Ruined World”: The Dueling Philippine Humanisms of Nick Joaquin

For canonical Philippine writer Nick Joaquin, the American occupation has rendered insurrectionary action unfeasible. Thus, Joaquin is often read as lionizing the Spanish period in comparison. However, I challenge such readings to argue that Joaquin’s engagement with the Spanish past reflects a search for the conditions of possibility for revolution. This search, however, remains a fraught enterprise. Though Joaquin is lauded for depicting nonnormative, counter-hegemonic ideas of who qualifies to be a Philippine historical and revolutionary subject, I argue—by examining three of Joaquin’s works—that the tenability of his representations remains delimited by his positionality as a cosmopolitan mestizo.

Leese Street Studio