Gina Apostol's Insurrecto

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


Gina Apostol’s INSURRECTO, is a harrowing depiction of the nearly 125-year history of U.S. intervention, occupation, and domination in the Philippines. Through a compelling historical, cultural, post-modernist journey, the author recounts the U.S. hold on the Philippines, as told by Magsalin, a Filipina translator and screenwriter, and Chiara, an American filmmaker. The U.S.-made merry-go-round of dictators has circled
around Manila and the 7,000-plus islands of the Philippines since the 1901 massacre at Balangiga—the slaughter of more than 2,500 Filipinos in retaliation for 40 American soldiers killed in a raid by local national liberationists. When President Theodore Roosevelt issued a command to pacify the Philippines after the raid
was reported to him, the local U.S. general issued the following command: “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn, the better it will please me... The interior of Samar must be made a howling wilderness.” From that point on he was known as “Howling Wilderness” Smith. Insurrecto spans
the decades from the moment of the massacre to the current Duterte regime, with much between—a fractured story of torture and misrepresentation over many years of U.S. and western hegemony.
Please join Gina Apostol and Patricia McManus for an evening of discovery as they discuss the inspiration, writing, and more of this astonishing novel (published by Soho Press).
in conversation with
Period12 Mar 2022
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Insurrecto
  • Filippino Literature
  • postcolonial/anticolonial
  • Gina Apostol
  • the novel
  • readers