Cebuano Poetics: Deciphering the Advice of Maria Kabigon’s Column in Bisaya


Author: Cindy Arranguez Velasquez, University of San Carlos, Philippines
Published: December 15, 2021

Citation: Velasquez, C. A. (2021). Cebuano Poetics: Deciphering the Advice of Maria Kabigon’s Column in Bisaya. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 10(2).


Maria Alcordo Kabigon’s column “Ang Panid ni Manding Karya” in Bisaya from the late 1940s to the 1950s is considered as one of the momentous contributions of the Philippines’ oldest Cebuano language magazine. Kabigon used the pen name Manding Karya to advise letter senders, and the letter and advice were published after the war in Bisaya. On average, she received 20 letters per day for her column, with most letter senders being men. This article aims to expand the scope of Kabigon’s creative abilities by demonstrating her metaphorical language in her advice column, providing a variety of approaches to experience her poetic genius, and allowing her to connect more with her readers, particularly those from Visayas and Mindanao. By examining Kabigon’s writing style, it can answer how she epitomizes the popularity of her column as she is recognized as a professional adviser as well as a writer in Cebuano literature. The article investigates Kabigon’s pasumbingay or Cebuano poetics. Also, the advice of Kabigon was examined to convey its integration into Edith Tiempo’s restoration context: preserving the individual’s integrity, confirming ultimate values, defining significant purpose, and developing a reasonable worldview. This article used a qualitative research method that included descriptive research that conveyed a content analysis. The main source of the study, Kabigon’s “Panid ni Manding Karya,” can be found at the University of San Carlos, specifically at the Cebuano Studies Center. Kabigon makes use of nature to improve the poetic quality of her advice. When responding to a letter, she employs metaphors and symbolism to provide a brief but profound response. However, due to the limited space in her advice column, her responses are short. Despite the magazine’s limited space, her use of figurative language and symbolism suggests her solution to continue providing effective advice. As a result, her writing style promotes critical thinking as well as imagination.


Cebuano literature, Maria Alcordo Kabigon, Ang Panid ni Manding Karya, Edith Tiempo