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Zines in Philippine Punk Culture:

A Textual Analysis of Creative Nonfiction

in Southern Tagalog Zines

Dianne Rae E. Siriban

A Thesis Submitted to
The Department of English and Comparative Literature
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of

Master of Arts
in Comparative Literature

College of Arts and Letters

University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

March 2010
Zines in Philippine Punk Culture:
A Textual Analysis of Creative Nonfiction in
Southern Tagalog Zines


The term “punk,” used to pertain to the local subculture, and as expressed in creative
nonfiction in Southern Tagalog zines, has recently changed from being an unequivocally emergent
concept (i.e., in relation to the dominant punk culture, and associated with a counterculture) to
being a residual element. Zines, therefore, exemplify a residual use of punk but retain aspects of
the emergent. Despite the prevailing impression of zines—the primary media of youth subcultures
such as punk—as subversive, anti-Establishment, and antagonistic of mainstream culture, zines are
nonetheless works imbued with values, thoughts, feelings of smaller groups, and may coincide with
or negotiate existing understandings of concepts, relations and conditions of social life. An analysis
of fifteen pieces of creative nonfiction in selected Southern Tagalog zines reveals “structures of
feelings” which reflect how writers respond to immediate experience and try to make sense of the
material conditions of their existence. As creative nonfiction reveals this transformation of zines
from emergent/counterculture to residual-emergent, the study substantiates Williams’ theory that
all social change is brought about by the unending and persistent interplay or simultaneity of
dominant, residual, and emergent elements in culture.

The study relies on three concepts that sums up the critical framework: the concept of
creative nonfiction that has steered the selection and analysis of the primary texts; the concept of
structure or structures of feelings, which is important in figuring how the zine writers use writing
strategies and literary techniques to effectively articulate intellectual and emotional responses
towards their settings and situations; and third, the concept of residual and emergent culture
(differentiated from dominant culture) of which creative nonfiction are articulations of. The study
concludes that creative nonfiction in zines are expressions or examples of writing produced by a
residual-emergent punk culture rather than by what is popularly believed to be an unequivocally
emergent culture or counterculture.
My sincerest thanks to the people who have contributed significantly to my study.
In their own ways.
Whether or not they know it.

Dr. Ruth Jordana Pison and Dr. Emil Francis Flores
Dr. Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Dr. Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, Dr. Jose Wendell Capili,
Dr. Elizabeth Enriquez, Prof. Edel Garcellano,
Ate Julie, Ate Jane and Ate Blandie
Amy Collanta, Dennis Aguinaldo, U Eliserio, Mykel Andrada, Lei Caraan,
Laarni Montemayor, “The Philo Group,” “The Tsugi Girrls”
Dr. Joy Hofilena, Prof. Cielo Santos & Tito Chino, Prof. Malu Velasco, Dr. Arnulfo
Azcarraga, Prof. Joel “Joelogs” Yuvienco

The local zine network

Maica Killstereotypes, Jade Fandino, Luigi Lacsamana, Agee Liñan, Maricar A., Ronald,
Gerry Alanguilan., Mark Redito, Corix Balucca, Gani, Froi Radikalzine, Reypeace Bravo
Virgielee Basug, Ranier Contreras, Ralph Lanuza, Niño,Howell Casacop, Sheryl
Gonzales, Joey Boy, KJ GranPeligro, Boi Piodos, Erick Fabian, Claire Villacorta and
Paolo Cruz of Dumpling Press, Edwin Carson, Wendi Castro, LBJ Cabaluna, Jayan
Geronca, Danice “hastyteenflick” Sison

Pinoypunk/Undergorund music scenes

Lagunahardcore and Strong South underground music scenes, Cavite underground
punk/hc and metal scenes, Likhaang Karimlan, Quezon Province punk/hc community,
Rizal punk/hc and ska scenes, Manila punk scene, Batangas/043 and Ala Eh! Mob,
Piledriver & Railroad Records

Patrick “teddy”Lynch, NickyNo, CamiloC., Dr. Weirdo-Curck, BigB

My best friends
Alona Ardales, Scheherezade Ruivivar, Ethel Fernando

My family
Dioning and Remy Siriban
Madel, Djune, Jaja, Elmar, Aica
para kina Mama at Papa
Foreword. Forewarned.

“My Ideal Family” by KJ

In GranPeligro Numero 4 (p. 9)
Zines in Philippine Punk Culture:
A Textual Analysis of Creative Nonfiction
in Southern Tagalog Zines

Dianne Rae E. Siriban

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Zines in Philippine Punk Culture: A Textual Analysis of Creative

Nonfiction in Southern Tagalog Zines
Introduction 1
Problematique 3
Conceptual Framework and Methodology 4
Scope and Limitation 10
Significance of the Study 12
Review of Related Literature 15
Organizational Framework 17

Chapter 2 Zine Origins

Some Definitions 19
Origins 20
Punk and Punk Zines 25
The Development of Punk Sensibilities 30
A Brief History of the Local Zine Scene 33

Chapter 3 Pinoy Zines: The Nature, Features and General Characteristics of 43

Local Zines
Classifications of Zines 44
Layout and Design 48
Content and Style 55
Production and Distribution 59
Some Insights on Local Zines 61

Chapter 4 Creative Nonfiction in Zines

A Definition of Creative Nonfiction 67
Zinesters and the Insuperable Problem of “Jobs” 70
Zinesters on Culture Clashes 77
Zinesters as Critics of the Scene : Love Your Own, Hate Your Own 88
Zinesters Deal with the Popular and the Personal 94
Zinesters on Punk and Gender Politics 101
Zinesters on Authority and Institutional Coercion 111
Summary and Insights on Creative Nonfiction in Zines 118

Chapter 5 Structures of Feelings in Zine Writings 120

Chapter 6 Zines, Punk and DIY: The Specificity of Southern Tagalog Zines 131

Chapter 1

Zines in Philippine Punk Culture:

A Textual Analysis of Creative Nonfiction
in Southern Tagalog Zines

Conceptual Framework and Methodology
Scope and Limitation
Significance of the Study
Review of Related Literature
Organizational Framework
Chapter One

Zines in Philippine Punk Culture:

A Textual Analysis of Creative Nonfiction
in Southern Tagalog Zines


Punk in the 1960s was an emergent culture that came from lower middle class /

working class in certain parts of North America and Europe. Although no clear connection can

be found between the society from which the term “punk” originated and the societies in Europe

or in the USA that have first used “punk” to refer to an aspect of modern popular culture—except

for etymologies and dispersed statements from various casual commentators on the

phenomenon—the term punk might have its roots in the antagonistic relations between minority

Native Americans and the dominant “white” ruling class. It is believed that the terms mohawk

and pogo, which are active terms used by attendees of the punk scene, are references to a

specific Indian tribe and a kind of ritual dance among American Indians. Furthermore, the

absence of stories and evidence of the concept’s evolution that could otherwise link the current

cultural activities and influences of Punk with an older culture that most probably had run

counter to what had been dominant practices then, could be the result of hegemonic culture's

processes of selection, inclusion and exclusion of particular cultural aspects and practices.

Similarly, although zines (pronounced “zeens” and rhymes with “beans”), popularly

known as the medium of the punk counterculture, and zinewriting have their roots in the

subversive music movement known as punk, I believe that most zines being produced today

have evolved from being a form indicative of a counterculture into a form characterized by

elements associated with both residual and emergent cultures. This is not to say though that

zines have ceased to be deliberately exclusive and antagonistic of mainstream media and other


Siriban / page 1
I hope to reach the conclusion that “punk” has changed from being an entirely subversive

counterculture to being more of a culture with practices bearing characteristics of both residual

and emergent cultures. In other words, the local underground punk subculture, in particular the

zines that this culture has produced, cannot categorically be considered residual. But neither can

it be considered completely emergent. This conclusion can be attained by analyzing how creative

nonfiction in Southern Tagalog zines articulate “structures of feelings” and thoughts which

reflect how zine writers react to immediate experience and try to make sense of the material

conditions of their existence. The study will emphasize the transformation of the concept of

punk from one being completely emergent to one being “emergent-residual” in the Philippines.

Such in-betweenness of the local underground punk subculture and its zines illustrates

William’s theory that all social change is brought about by the unending and persistent interplay

of dominant, residual, and emergent elements in culture (1977, 132).

Briefly, zines are independently produced publications that remotely resemble the

ordinary, glossy fashion or lifestyle magazines. Rather, zines traditionally sport a raw,

unprofessional, and messy look. In effect, zines are often described as non-commercial and

therefore non-profit publications produced by an individual or a small group of people purely

out of passion for an advocacy, or for the promotion and interests of a group or organization.

Furthermore, a study by Basug and Bongalbal (2006) assert that zines also document and help

maintain a subculture (76-77). This study of creative nonfiction in zines, however, is in line with

the larger aim to position zines as literary or at least viable sources of literary material. Few

people in academe have heard of zines. However, some have always been curious and eager to

know more about it, and I have always been eager to share what I know of zines. Of course,

questions of whether writings found in zines are worthy enough to be considered literature or if

a zine is a form that can be associated with literature are usually raised by critics. I hope to

show, through a substantial history and exploration of the form, how zines have always had a

Siriban / page 2
purpose different from other literary publications, but still contain or typically contain writings

that reveal significant aspects of contemporary culture.

Thus, this study focuses on exploring selected creative nonfiction in Southern Tagalog

zines and on understanding how the techniques, literary devices, and language of zine writings

express ideas, sentiments, and sensibilities that belong to a strain of culture that has evolved

into something characteristically different from the emergent or counterculture that gave birth

to punk zines.


In the local music subcultures and among attendees of the cultural underground, zines

and the practices of producing and subscribing to zines have always been treated as highly

subversive and part of what many still hold to be counterculture: the underground Punk music

scene. Some characteristics of zines and the activities involved in their production usually run

counter to the dominant capitalist-consumerist mode, but I perceive zines to be more

subcultural—an alternative that some people enjoy because of the cognitive respite such texts

offer, as a rule, to readers who are tired of the usual representations offered by profit-oriented


Zines have generally been valorized for their contributions to the punk movement and

other subcultural scenes. This will be discussed in the chapters pertaining to zine history. The

same positive comments about local zines are found in the few academic researches mentioned

in this study. However, this study will analyze the creative nonfiction in zines and show that

local zines are texts that do not completely and ultimately subvert the dominant ideology that

informs, for instance, capitalist-consumer relations. The main question that this study will

therefore try to answer is:

Siriban / page 3
Are zines, particularly those produced in the Southern Tagalog—more representative of

a culture that is residual, or emergent bordering on residual, rather than absolutely emergent

or countercultural as previously perceived?

In looking at zines as writings that are possible expressions of residual elements of

culture, the following questions will likewise be addressed:

1. What is the punk sensibility that informs writings in zines?

2. How do particular aspects of and processes in the local zine scene (e.g., writing,

language and discourse, layout and design, production, distribution, etc.)

articulate punk sensibilities?

3. What strategies and techniques do zine writers employ to reveal their thoughts,

emotions, and sentiments about their material reality and, as a result, create

structures of feelings?

4. How do these structures of feelings suggest or indicate the active social process

that may lead to broader cultural shifts that result in the simultaneous existence

of residual and emergent characteristics in one cultural practice such as zine


Conceptual Framework and Methodology:

The reading of creative nonfiction in selected zines from the Southern Tagalog for this

study is guided by Raymond William’s ideas regarding culture and literary production which are

explained in his books The Long Revolution (1961) and Marxism and Literature (1977).

Williams and scholars who have offered second readings of Williams, emphasize a “better” way

of studying culture based on more progressive and “less fixed”’, and therefore, more workable

definitions of culture.

Siriban / page 4
The essays “What is Cultural Studies?” by Richard Johnson, “Cultural Studies: An

Introduction” by John Storey, and “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms” by Stuart Hall, are crucial

in grounding the study on basic assumptions about culture and cultural practices. The most

important idea that I got out from these essays, though, is that (and similar explanations)

cultural studies should focus on more recent events, social phenomena, rather than on artifacts

(i.e., elements of the past) as their existence in the past has indubitably made them inaccessible

if one aspires to study how they “meant” in the context of the culture within which it originally

existed. The convincing arguments of these essays validate my own study’s focus on creative

nonfiction writings in zines produced in the Southern Tagalog music subculture.

This alternative definition that Williams, Stuart Hall, Richard Johnson put forth in their

critique of previous projects in studies of cultures disapproved of the preoccupation of scholars

with “epochal” analyses of historical records or events and with bourgeois, artistic productions.

In what I have called “epochal” analysis, a cultural process is seized as a cultural system,
with determinate dominant features: feudal culture or bourgeois culture or a transition
from one to the other. This emphasis on dominant and definitive lineaments and features
is important and often, in practice, effective. But it then often happens that its
methodology is preserved for the very different function of historical analysis, in which a
sense of movement within what is ordinarily abstracted as a system is crucially
necessary, especially if it is to connect with the future as well as with the past (Williams,

In the same sense, Hall (1996) advised that culture should be studied not as "simply the

descriptive sum of the mores and folkways of societies," but as culture in the “domain of ideas”

that in turn influence social practices (34). By moving away from such tendencies to become

epochal analyses or mere descriptive summaries, studies in culture become more relevant and

practical in the analysis of contemporary activities such as zine production and zine writing, in

subcultures comparable to the local underground music scenes. Activities that have more or less

existed under the radar of ideological institutions, particularly mainstream media and academe.

Siriban / page 5
Another advantage offered by William’s mode of cultural study is the acknowledgement

of cultural texts that are more personal than social or collective. The privileging of artworks that

have been accepted by the status quo as exemplary representations of the culture that has

produced these artworks has consequently marginalized works of art produced by less popular

artists, writers, musicians, and various cultural performers. These productions may be

considered minor works by some, but are nonetheless works imbued with values, thoughts,

feelings of smaller groups, and may coincide with or negotiate existing understandings of

concepts, relations and conditions of social life. Although zine producers consciously and

primarily publish for an intended readership (whether they admit to this or not), it is evident

that they are expressions of what they personally hold to be important, regardless of what

society generally think it is or not. These highly subjective and personal expressions are what the

form of zines allows for as alternative publication. For more than a decade, I have read and

collected zines and have been involved in a network of zine producers. As a result, I have

realized that in comparison with writings that are anti-establishment—for instance such as those

discussed in the collection of essays of Elmer Ordoñez’s Emergent Literature (2001)—zines and

zinewritings today do not unanimously aim for large-scale social change. At most, these texts

problematize personal issues, discuss or try to resolve conflicts within small special-interest or

subcultural groups the producers and readers identify with, and express individual reactions to

specific aspects that make up the conditions of their producers’ and readers’ lives.

Three major concepts form the critical framework of this study: the concept of creative

nonfiction that has steered the selection and analysis of the primary texts; the concept of

structure or structures of feelings, which is important as the study zeroes in on how the zine

writers use writing strategies and literary techniques to effectively articulate intellectual and

emotional responses towards their settings and situations; and third, the concept of residual

culture and emergent aspects of culture (differentiated from dominant), of which creative

nonfiction is an articulation. Creative nonfiction in zines are therefore expressions or examples

Siriban / page 6
of writing produced by a culture wherein countercultural impulses are restrained by another

consciousness of punk. Circumscribed within this consciousness is the residual usage of the

punk iconography and the term punk itself.

Below is a diagram of the Punk Culture that this study will focus on:

The diagram illustrates that this study is not taking the usual route of earlier studies of

punk culture. These studies, as explained in the Review of Related Literature, have always

considered punk culture as an emergent culture. In my study, therefore, the dominant culture is

the Western punk culture (A). This dominant punk culture brought about the formation of a

Philippine punk culture (B) which has primarily expressed the values of Western punk. It is

important to clarify, then, that the term “underground punk scene” or “subculture” (C) implies

Siriban / page 7
the breaking away of some punk music listeners from the trajectory to which popular radio

stations, clubs, performance venues seemed to have taken punk music in the 80s to the early

90s; i.e. towards its mainstreaming or popularization. As punk in the Philippines started

becoming popular and commodified, some listeners “went underground” (C) to practice, with a

high degree of xenophobia, a more exclusive punk subculture. This subcultural practice could be

considered the emergent element of the punk culture.

Now, however, within this underground punk subculture, another strain of punk

consciousness (D) has become apparent. This consciousness is articulated in creative nonfiction

in zines, the focus of this study, and leads to the conclusion that zines, therefore, manifests

elements of both emergent and residual cultures.

The analysis of creative nonfiction in Southern Tagalog zines relies heavily on Cristina P.

Hidalgo’s explanation of how creative nonfiction differs from other modes of writing and the

poetics of the subgenre. My study cites Hidalgo’s discussions on strategies and stylistic practices

that writers of well-written creative nonfiction usually employ. This is found in her book

Creative Nonfiction: A Manual for Filipino Writers (2005). Strategies and techniques include

the choices that writers make in terms of point-of-view, narrative and expository structures,

tone, voice, rhetorical techniques, character and scene-building, and the employment of more

specific techniques such as introductions that strive for impact and endings that cement the

writer’s arguments, in an attempt to convince the reader.

Related to this is William’s explanation of “structure of feelings,” in Marxism and

Literature (1977), as something that refers to and which I associate with patterns of ideas

loosely formed by the conscious decisions made by zine writers in the construction of their texts.

Concretely, these patterns concern the selection of topic/s, the writing styles deliberately used to

convey what they want to express and to produce the desired effect on the reader. An example is

the similarity of attitudes and reactions to situations put across by the writers (deliberately or

Siriban / page 8
not) through character or persona, language, tone and mood, etc. These elements are also

significant if they are read to constitute spaces where pre-existing meanings are considered,

negotiated or altered (132). These negotiations and alterations, whether largely harmonious or

disparate once compared across texts, greatly contribute to the structures of feelings (which are

also structures of thought) this certain generation and group of zine writers and publishers have.

One may see how people involved in the production and reading of zines are influenced by their

own subculture, and in turn, by their zine activity, also influence their immediate culture.

Therefore, in analyzing the structures of feelings contained in and informing zines, my study will

explain how zines writings manifest both residual and emergent elements in the punk culture.

Briefly, the emergent aspect of culture includes elements that subvert or completely oppose the

dominant culture (mainstream, established, institutionalized). This is different from a residual

element defined by Williams as that which

…has been effectively formed in the past, but [it] is still active in the cultural process, not
only and often not at all as an element of the past, but as an effective element of the
present (122).

In the present, residual concepts either remain active or have become active in language

again but with meanings remarkably distanced from the original, and they do not necessarily

pertain to ideas of the past more than to very different ideas of the present.

To restate, William's theory that larger socio-cultural changes result from the interplay

of elements between dominant, residual, and emergent cultures that are present and active in all

moments in history will be the framework of this study (122). It is his explanation of what

residual culture is what I will use in this study to show how zines may presently function in the

punk subculture and in the larger context of popular culture in the Philippines. Also, in looking

at the creative nonfiction found in zines, William’s theory on structures of feeling offers an

appropriate approach in bringing together and making sense of creative nonfiction texts in

Siriban / page 9
Southern Tagalog zines. The framework will allow the study to bring out similarities and,

possibly, disparities in writings among members of a subculture.

Scope and Limitation

The study will be limited to Southern Tagalog zines produced between 1995 to 2009—or

the period during which I have actively been building my zine collection. It should be noted

though that zine publishing today, or for several years now, has not been as active as it had been

seven to fifteen years earlier. From my observations, one of the major reasons for this decline is

primarily the advent of internet media. This shift from print zines to e-zines could best be

explored, however, in a separate study on e-zines.

From almost a hundred zines that I have perused, 33 separate issues are considered for

the study. These are:

A Dose of Reality
Ambokore #1
Antifanzine # 6
Blockhead #4
Blot #1
Chaotik’s Revenge
Coffeemug #3, 5, 6, 7
Ex Post Facto
Fucked by Condition
Gran Peligro #2, 4
Guttural Sickness #2, 3, 4
Make Your Own Zine #1, 2, 2.5
Mutual Aid #3
No Bullshit Zine #8
Outface #4
Paroxysm #1
Pepito’s World (1999)
Railroad Chronicle (Dec 2003)
Respire #2, #3

Siriban / page 10
Step Forward #3
Tango Bango #3
Thought Market (last quarter 1999)
Trident Nation #1

The term “Southern Tagalog zines” refers to the publisher’s or one of the zine publishers’

residence and mailing address being within the region. It could also be that one if a zine has

more than one publisher, then at least one identifies (as residence, hometown, etc.) with a

province, town or city in the Southern Tagalog and expresses this identification through articles

or atwork in the zine. Also included are zines whose contributors are associated with the

subcultural music scene and zine network of the region. Articles on events, issues, and matters

not necessarily relating to the subculture but to the general conditions of communities and

constituents of regions in the Southern Tagalog are also considered in this study.

The following is a list of the selected creative nonfiction texts for this study and the

respective zines where they can be found:

Coffeemug #5
“This Is Just Me” by Luigi Lacsamana
“Let’s Do The Math” by Jade Fandino

Coffemug #6
“New York, New York” by Jade Fandino
“Of Calloused Fingers and Hollow Arguments” by Agee Liñan
“All about Lexie” by Maricar Alquiza

Thought Market
“Postal Residue & Other Missives (to the editor)” by Ronald
“Gerry’s Big Book of Disgusting Deaths” [comicstrip with narrative] by Gerry A.

Tango Bango #3
“3 Words: Death Penalty Sucks” by Mark “Pro-Life” Redito
“Girls and Underground Scene: Time for Girl Power!” by Mark Redito

No Bullshit Zine #8
“In the Desert Hell (Part II)” by Corix
“How to Make a Homebrew Alcohol Called Sadique” by Corix

Make Your Own Zine # 1

“My Post-Graduate Opinion on Punk” by Gani Requizo

Siriban / page 11
Ambokore #1
“I Talked to a Pervert & All I Got Was A Porn Grind CD” by Froilan Abeja

Fucked by Condition
“Whoa! Parasites!” by Reypeace Bravo
“Retarded Suitors” by Killstereotypes

I consider these writings creative nonfiction or creative nonfiction because they are

personal essays, autobiographical narratives, journal entries, anecdotes, and commentaries

where writers explore facts and personal experiences while using creative writing strategies such

as those used by fictionists. An analysis of why these articles are creative nonfiction and the

aesthetics of the literary genre, i.e. creative nonfiction, will be discussed in a separate chapter.

Significance of the Study

While there have been relatively few studies on local zines compared to studies done on

foreign zines, the former are coherent and credible in their assertions of zines as alternative

media. These earlier studies explore local zines’ strengths and limitations as a tool for

communication, trace its development and impact, and the form’s current “standing” in certain

youth subcultures in the country. However, zines and zinewriting have not been studied under

literary programs before, and this absence needs to be reconsidered because feature articles and

opinion essays on various topics and autobiographical pieces have always appeared in zines.

Furthermore, commercial institutions such as mainstream radio stations, clothing

stores, advertising and events companies have tapped into the appeal of the form of zines and

have used it—much to the dismay of some zine producers in the music subcultures—to promote

their commercial products. One example of this co-optation is the radio station NU 107’s Fly,

and a zine called The Scenester. The latter had been the target of criticism by zine enthusiasts in

the mid-90s because of the ubiquity of sponsored ads in all of its published issues and the large

Siriban / page 12
number of print-runs its publishers manage to turn out. On top of all this, The Scenester is

distributed for free. There are unconfirmed cases of zine writers accepting assignments that

require them to produce zines that meet the marketing and promotional needs of particular

groups institutions, but for now further discussions about these instances of co-optation will be

deferred until the third chapter. Nevertheless, the motivation behind these instances is that the

language and form of zines appeal to the youth, and these institutions recognize how zines are

successful in capturing the young market or audience.

Such circumstances, plus the continuous rise in popularity of the internet, blogging, and

social networking may give one an overall impression zines will not be around for long, or at

least not in print format. This is further evinced by the migration of print zines to e-formats; the

list of local (and some foreign) zine titles that had been available only in print before but are

now found online is continually growing. It adds to the importance of studying zines and paying

attention to the kind of writings they contain while they are still being produced. I have been

trying to keep track of this migration from print format to electronic through a MySpace

account that I made especially for this study. Through this online site, I have been able to gain

information about zine related events (e.g., the latest Zine Convention as of this writing, held at

Cuerdas Bar in Manila), reestablish connections with old friends in the zine scene, and obtain

print copies of their latest zines. Apparently, there still is a zine scene; the network is still alive;

but the question is “how long can the enthusiasm for print zines be sustained? It is timely

therefore to do studies on zines that analyze the form as an ever-changing one—so highly

volatile that it can disappear at any moment, given its vulnerability to influences from certain

social sectors. It is also critical to look at how social influences (e.g., internet, print technology,

developments in computer software and mobile communication, etc.) contribute to changes in

zines and zine writing and how zine writing has effected or is still effecting changes in the local

youth subcultures.

Siriban / page 13
It is important to note that Williams and other cultural critics warn against studying

cultures and cultural elements that have become already inaccessible because they have died or

changed substantially over time. They assert that there will always be the problem of

interpreting what cultural products and concepts meant to people during that time. Since people

cannot escape subjectivity, it is quite impossible to know how cultural concepts in the past had

meant or had been perceived by people who actually lived while these concepts had been

current. This is the significance of studying structures of feelings in texts that are current.

This study is significant inasmuch as the kind of approach to cultural texts prescribed by

Williams, Hall and Johnson, and the awareness of structures of feelings encouraged by

William’s theory do offer an alternative reading of punk zines that reveals a shift in the “punk

consciousness” from countercultural to residual-emergent. Finding out structures of feelings is

knowing the zine writers’ immediate thoughts and reactions to the actual conditions of their

existence and to their material environment . What these writers express through literary

strategies and devices are indicators of how they try to make sense of inconsistencies the ideal

relations and images of the self subsumed in the idea of “punk” and the actual relations that

result from material experience. Another aim, therefore, is to show the extent of the disparities

in structures of feelings that might emerge in the study. By looking at these structures, this study

will show how writings in zines have moved out of the explicitly emergent culture or

counterculture where they originally came into existence, and are moving towards the residual,

or are rather in between the residual and emergent zones of culture, probably as a result of

hegemonic cooption or of changes in socio-economic conditions.

This study aims to reconcile or at least find similarities among these expressed feelings,

responses found in zine writings. If there are more differences than similarities, this study hopes

to articulate the extent of these disparities. By looking at these structures, the study will show

how zines have moved out of the emergent culture where they have come into existence, and are

Siriban / page 14
moving closer to or are already within the residual zone of culture as a result of hegemonic


Review of Related Literature

A number of academic papers, dissertations and zines have been instrumental in the

completion not only of this study but also of the earlier papers I wrote on the topic of zines

entitled “The Zine Phenomenon in the Philippines” (2000) and “Young and Biased: The Nature

and Features of Local Zines” (2002). The information and insight from these earlier studies I

have written are consolidated into this study. In rewriting them, I made the most of background

material on zines offered by studies such as Fred Wright’s “The History and Characteristics of

Zines” (1997). V. Vale’s Zines! (1996) includes definitions of zines and essays that the trace

roots of zines in earlier political and artistic movements that provided the environment for

alternative media and underground publishing. In addition, Nico Ordway’s “History of Zines”

and Stephen Perkins’ “The Counter Culture and the Underground Press, 1960-1975 (1992) are

included in The Zine and E-Zine Resource Guide (1992) along with other related articles on

zines, while Stephen Duncombe’s “Let’s All be Alienated Together” (1998) is published in a

compilation of essays on youth cultures in America. These publications offer a comprehensive

history of zines, information on what had spurred the spread of zines as a political subculture

activity and what maintained such activities (i.e. the Science Fiction fan culture of the early

1900s, the Dadaist and modern art movements in Europe, the earlier forms of independent

publishing and alternative media, particularly “little magazines” and publications by the

Ranters, etc.).

Additional information on the major historical upheavals that influenced and

characterized independent publishing in Europe and America are in the online articles

Siriban / page 15
“Protestant Formation”(2008) and Kevin A. Creed’s “The Pamphleteers Protestant Champion:

Viewing Oliver Cromwell Through the Media of his Day (Essays in History)” (1992).

Seth R. Friedman’s “A Brief History of Zines” published in The Factsheet Five Reader

(1997) is often cited for it’s very comprehensive definition of zines and the clarity by which it has

explained the changes in attitudes among the members of the Western punk zine scene from the

70s to the late 1990s. Jack Boulware’s “The DIY Spirit” (n.d.) and Jim Romenesko’s “Zoning in

on Zines” are short online articles that informally discuss the kinds and quality of writings found

in self-publications, most especially zines. Boulware concludes that the form of zines inevitably

makes writings in zines “less than quality”, while Romenesko questions whether zine writing can

be considered journalism. Mike Gunderloy’s How To Publish a Fanzine (1988) and Phil

Stoneman’s post-graduate dissertation Fanzines: Their Production, Culture and Future (2001)

contain reliable and comprehensive information on zine production and zine publishing

practices in the West. They are also cited for additional and reliable information on the nature of


As this study has narrowed down the focus of its discussion to Punk as the primary

motivator of the modern punk scene, it has found useful the article “Punk” by Adrian Heathcote

(1996) and the film documentary “Punk’s Not Dead” by Susan Dynner (2007). Both texts

include rationalizations of the punk style in the West, explanations for the punk “look”, and

punk iconography made popular by mainstream media.

Since this study focuses on the content of Southern Tagalog zines, there were three

undergraduate theses that were crucial in providing historical information on the local zine

scene. These studies are: Rainier Contreras’ The Pinoy Zine Scene! : A Qualitative Exploratory

Study on Zines and its Promotion of the Youth Culture (2002) where the term ‘Pinoy zines’ was

first used; Raphael Angelo G. Lanuza’s Analysis of Fanzines as Alternative Medium for

Development (2002), a quantitative study of the relations between zine producer and zine

Siriban / page 16
readers within the larger music subculture; and Virgilee Dee A. Basug’s and Jhoan T.

Bongalbal’s Digging the Underground: A Historical Study of Metro Manila Zines from 1987 to

2004 (2006), which offers a historical account and documentation of Metro Manila-based zines

since the initial publication of Herald X and a discussion on the nature of the Manila zine


Other minor publications related to the characteristics of zines and events that

contributed to the development of the local zine scene are: Zernando Villa’s untitled essay on

zines in his own zine Teenage Anger Fanzine (issue #2, 1996), Lilledeshan Bose’s paper

“Written Rebellion: Legitimizing Urban Subcultures of the Philippines through Zines” (2002),

and Jill Genio’s “The Paper Trail: A Thriving Global Network is a Boon to Local Zinesters”

(2008). The last article is an interview with local zinester’s Paolo Cruz and Claire Villacorta.

Organizational Framework:

The study is divided into six chapters. The second chapter entitled “Zine Origins” is a

brief history of zines that gathers and synthesizes helpful descriptions and definitions of what

zines are in general. Hopefully, by talking about its history, development, and its relationship to

the broader group of writings considered underground or independent publications, the study

will show what the term “zine activity” and “zine scene” encompass. The definitions and

descriptions given are from insiders’ perspectives on zine activity, and will be followed by

Chapter 3, “Pinoy Zines”, which contains concrete descriptions of the nature, physical features

and general characteristics of local zines (even the instances of its actual production) to support

the previous exposition of various epochal movements that have likely influenced zines. Special

emphasis is placed on Punk zines in honor of the fact that punk music and punk-related

activities brought zines to the local setting. However, there are occasional citing of zines whose

publishers or writers do not necessarily identify with, specifically, the punk music subculture. In

Siriban / page 17
the exposition of the history and development of zines, an overview of the punk music scene’s

development is necessary to clearly identify what punk sensibilities inform the general nature

and features of zines as exemplified by zines produced in the Southern Tagalog.

Chapter 4, entitled “Creative Nonfiction in Zines” will be close readings and analyses

of selected creative nonfiction found in zines mentioned earlier. The pieces are clustered

according to themes and are subtitled; each section is given a title that refers to specific

concepts, problems or activities that zinesters or zinewriters preoccupy themselves with.

In Chapter 5: “Structures of Feelings in Zine Writings” will discuss the structures

of feelings, (i.e. immediate responses of members the underground music subculture—mostly

punk—towards their physical environment and material conditions) in the creative nonfiction

writings in the selected Southern Tagalog zines. The analyses and illustrations of structures of

feelings will enable me to make connections between the characteristics of local zine writings

with the sentiments of those who identify with the underground music subculture and

superseding notions of Punk.

In concluding, Chapter 6, “Zines, Punk, DIY: The Specificity of Southern

Tagalog Zines” will concretize the ineffable changes (and therefore always seen as

contradictions and problems) currently happening to the underground scene and other similar

subcultures, as manifested in zines. These changes that may be indications of the subtle shift of

zines from the countercultural or emergent to more residual zones of culture, while they retain

aspects of the emergent culture.

Siriban / page 18