This paper analyzes Tondo as setting, motif, and metaphor in selected films by Filipino actor Fernando Poe, Jr (FPJ). Using discourses on space and film iconicity, this study performs a close analysis of how place conversely constructs an iconic hero. This study aims to (a) use treatise discourses of space and film iconicity, especially how Tondo functions as a semiotic sign in the making of the FPJ myth, (b) pinpoint the influence of the heroic roles and image of the hero in shaping the FPJ myth, and (c) utilize selected FPJ “Tondo” films to identify symbiotic nexus between icon and place. Using content analysis, the representations of “hero” and “place” are interrogated in order to unravel a new site for Filipino cinematic imaginary. Hence, this paper argues that the visual representations of Tondo, as place located in the “real”, construct FPJ, as the iconic image of “Tondo hero,” and vice versa.
Janice Roman, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines