detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Sunday, October 12, 2008


: . New Philippine Studies Articles



(Jean Baptiste Mallat de Bassilan, "Indiens Yfugaos" 1846)

New articles on the Philippines and Filipinos from British and American academic journals. The articles address a range of topics including woman's suffrage, war memorials, beauty pageants, tomboys, transnational fathering, migrant photography, and deadly typhoons. Like articles from previous years, this recent batch is more preoccupied with Filipinos who left the Philippines rather than those who stayed and with the American rather than the Spanish colonial period, with ex-, post-, and trans- still high on the list of favored prefixes.

Yea, Sallie. "Married to the Military: Filipinas Negotiating Transnational Families." International Migration, 46.4 (October 2008): 111-144.

Women migrating transnationally as “entertainers” within Asia are particularly exposed to the possibility of forming relationships in these transnational sites. This is because the nature of their work, which entails chatting and dancing with customers and various forms of sexual labour, including fondling, kissing and sometimes sex, often leads to romantic liaisons with customers in the clubs where they are deployed. This possibility is even more pronounced for women who are trafficked (that is, deceptively recruited and employed) as entertainers, as they often counter the severe vulnerabilities associated with their positions by relying on customers-cum-boyfriends for support and assistance. Marriage is one common result of these liaisons. This paper considers the multiple impacts of such marriages for foreign female entertainers on family. I focus particularly on the ways such marriages can both constrain existing family responsibilities and facilitate new ones. The paper draws on the case of Filipinas married to American soldiers in Korea as a case study for discussion. I suggest that migrant women who become involved in such marriages are often pulled between the potentially conflicting demands of old (within their home countries) and new (with their American soldier husbands) family ties and responsibilities. I also suggest that these women’s new families, whilst outwardly displaying elements of traditional gendered household roles and structures, are often characterised by long absences of the husband (to other countries or within the country of residence) and long-term patterns of transnational migration that can have a highly disruptive impact on family arrangements.


Lauser, Andrea. "Philippine Women on the Move: Marriage across Borders." International Migration, 46.4 (October 2008): 85-110.

This paper discusses how Philippine transnational marriage migration is intertwined in complex and paradoxical ways with global, local and personal matters. My argument will blur the artificial and still dominant analytical division between marriage migrants (wives or “mail order” brides) and labour migrants (workers - mainly domestic workers). Focusing on the life histories of different Filipina women, the paper illustrates the intersections and multiplicity of their roles as wives, mistresses, workers, mothers, daughters and citizens in a transnational migratory space. Furthermore, I go along with those scholars who argue that women do not only marry in order to migrate, but that they also migrate in order to marry, as marriage is seen as an important aspect of social fulfilment. By carefully investigating these emerging transnational or even global marriage-scapes, I analyze the different motives, logics and desires that come into play. While women from the Philippines may look for “modern husbands” and “modern marriages” because of local constraints on their marriage opportunities, many western men turn to Asia and the Philippines for “traditional” wives whom they imagine to be more “conservative” and “less demanding.” Both often discover that their gender stereotypes are more imagined than real. The stories illustrate how Filipina migrants use different socio-cultural and socio-economic situations across transnational space - and at times against local gender constructions - in order to renegotiate and reclaim a respectable and desired marital status. On the one hand, these women are subject to manifold localised, legal and religious-moral definitions as women and wives. On the other hand, they creatively and actively utilise structural differences and new opportunities across transnational space to redefine themselves. The stories thus show both the women's agency and the importance of structural factors.


Hawkins, Michael. "Imperial Historicism and American Military Rule in the Philippines' Muslim South." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 39.3 (October 2008): 411-429.

When American imperialists seized the Philippines at the dawning of the twentieth century, their guiding philosophy was predicated upon broadly conceived notions of cultural and political historicism. The unwavering self-assurance required to rule over millions of unfamiliar imperial subjects derived its potency from an unquestioned panoptic view of history. This epistemological tool of imperialism found an especially unique and fascinating expression in the United States' politico-military rule over Filipino Muslims. This article explores the creation and processes of imperial taxonomy among Moro populations while accounting for a number of disturbing disruptions and anomalies in the Americans' historical narrative (such as slavery and Islamic civilisation) that threatened to unravel the tightly circumscribed concept of a uniform and interpretable progressive transitional past. It also examines the ways in which American imperialists accounted for these anomalies, and manipulated their own interpretations of the past and the present to maintain the integrity of their philosophical imperial foundations.


Reyes, Portia. "Fighting Over A Nation: Theorizing a Filipino Historiography." Postcolonial Studies: Culture, Politics, Economy, 11.3 (September 2008): 241-258.

The 1980s witnessed two important developments in Asian historiography. One was the rise of Subaltern Studies. Although in theory concerned with Indian historiography, its attack on nationalist and Marxist histories and its accessibility obtained it great prominence in European and American academies. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, an indigenization of historiography movement also grew apace, but its influence was confined to the national sphere by its choice to prioritize writing in the Filipino language. Called Pantayong Pananaw (PP/ for-us-from-us perspective), this intellectual project, whose roots date to the 1970s, proposes the reevaluation of written histories and Filipinization of historical discourse. This essay interrogates PP and its implications in the decolonization and production of historical knowledge. It analyses the idea of PP to illustrate its propositions in rethinking history and history-writing. Similar to Subaltern Studies, PP began as a critique on both colonial and left-leaning nationalist historiographies. Influential proponents of PP are identified, as its development into a school of thought in history is charted; a history of the struggles and internal contradictions of a historian's quest to provide, however problematic, a uniquely Filipino voice in the face of a growing homogenization of knowledge production in the 'global' academy. Controversies and debates color this ongoing process. PP thrives on these tensions, however. Ultimately, PP embodies an historiographical project, a political fault line and a signifant cleavage in nationalist discourse that continues to arouse heightened sentiments among Filipino scholars.


Goh, Daniel. "Postcolonial Disorientations: Colonial Ethnography and the Vectors of the Philippine Nation in the Imperial Frontier." Postcolonial Studies: Culture, Politics, Economy, 11.3 (September 2008): 259-276.

This essay argues that American colonial governmentality in the early twentieth century was constituted by an ethnographic discourse that was inflected by an imperial frontier orientation. The frontier governmentality interdicts and disciplines Filipino society and culture for colonial formation, thus planting American frontier dreams in the state's education and land policies. But it was driven by the contradictions between two types of interdiction I call the “home” and “base” vectors, which have directed the disorientation of Philippine postcoloniality, trapping it between American dreams Filipinized to the hegemony of elite nationalism. As the mestizo elites came to embody Philippine nationalism in the later years of colonialism under the framework of imperial democracy, the Filipinization of the frontier ethnographic discourse entailed an elite autoethnography of racial blending, which produced a nation with an orientation seeping into the American Southeast Asian frontier. The Philippines is thus not simply an American client state, a cacique democracy or a deferred postcolony, but the vehicle of American imperial frontierism in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. The implication is that we are seeing the accentuation of the home/base contradictions in the frontier discourse in the fragmentation of the Philippine nation today, with Filipinos running through the enlarged frontiers of America's neoliberal empire as itinerant laborers.


Salazar Parrenas, Rhacel. "Transnational Fathering: Gendered Conflicts, Distant Disciplining and Emotional Gaps." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34.7 (September 2008): 1057-1072.

Women's migration spurs the reconfiguration of the gender division of labour in transnational families, while the migration of men maintains it. Father-away migrant families usually mirror modern nuclear households. The only difference is the temporal and spatial rearrangement brought by the father's work: instead of the father routinely getting back home to his family during suppertime, he comes back home from work every ten months. My paper looks at the transnational families of migrant men as unexpected sites of gender conflicts in the maintenance of intimacy. Using interviews with adult children left behind in the Philippines and their guardians, I show that intimacy is more of a challenge for migrant men to achieve with family in the Philippines than it is for migrant women. Their families suffer from emotional distance, because: generations operate in 'time pockets' that are 'outside the real time of the outside world'; migrant men do not accordingly adjust their performance of fathering to accommodate the needs created by distance; and fathers insist on maintaining gender-normative views of parenting.


Santa Ana, Jeffrey. "Feeling Ancestral: The Emotions of Mixed Race and Memory in Asian American Cultural Productions." positions: east asia cultures critique, 16.2 (Fall 2008): 457-482.

In the last ten years, there has been an explosion of cultural productions about mixed-race people, and particularly of multiracial Asian Americans. Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats and Halving the Bones, Kip Fulbeck’s Paper Bullets and Part Asian, 100 Percent Hapa, Paisley Rekdal’s The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, Kien Nguyen’s The Unwanted, Deann Borshay Liem’s First Person Plural, Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son, and Don Lee’s Country of Origin are just some of many contemporary novels and films that feature the experiences of multiracial Asian Americans. Such productions are especially compelling in the ways they ascribe a consciousness about mixed race to their characters that articulates the harshness of human life in our modern global era. The very concept of multiraciality — in representations of interracial relations and characterizations of mixed-race people — expresses anxieties about life in the aftermath of war, colonialism, and empire. These anxieties express, in turn, a particular structure of feeling that utterly contradicts the capitalist paradise of globalization, as seen in the many images of diversity in multinational commerce. The negative affects that express the multiracial consciousness of Asian Americans, I argue, deny the global subjectivity that is reified in the stylized images of racial mixture in contemporary commercial culture.


McKay, Deirdre. "Ghosts of Futures Present: Photographs in the Filipino Migrant Archive." Visual Anthropology, 21.4 (July-September 2008): 381-392.

This article explores the role of photographs in shaping the social selves of Filipino temporary labor migrants. Examining the production of photographic self-images by Filipino migrants in Hong Kong and their reception in the Philippines, I show how people deploy photography as a technology to bring into being their desired future selves. By making present ghosts of the future, photographs of the self shape distinctive translocal subjectivities.


Linantud, John. "War Memorials and Memories: Comparing the Philippines and South Korea." International Journal of Heritage Studies, 14.4 (July 2008): 347-361.

This paper draws from international relations, comparative politics, and Asian Studies in an effort to compare war memorials and memories in the Philippines and South Korea. The analysis begins with a description of how memorials in both countries pursue a conventional narrative of glorious victories, heroic defeats, and sacred ground. The focus then shifts to counter-narratives that have challenged the USA and American General Douglas MacArthur. The comparisons reveal a desire for sovereignty in both the Philippines and South Korea, but also differences in heritage and geopolitical circumstances that shape relations with the USA. South Korea possesses an older and more warlike birthright than the Philippines and has developed a national identity increasingly separate from North Korea. Filipino memories, conversely, are steeped in Catholic spirituality.


Ribera, Pedro; García-Herrera, Ricardo; and Gimeno, Luis. "Historical Deadly Typhoons in the Philippines." Weather, 63.7 (July 2008): 194-199.

This paper analyses the typhoon chronology of the Philippines elaborated in 1935 by the Spanish Jesuit Miguel Selga (1935). The next section provides a brief account of Selga and the Jesuits meteorological activities in the Philippines. Then, the chronology is described; the sources are discussed in section 4, the paper ends with the discussion.


Nagy, Sharon. "The Search for Miss Philippines Bahrain: Possibilities for Representation in Expatriate Communities." City & Society, 20.1 (June 2008): 79-104.

Based on participant observation within the organizing committee of a beauty pageant produced by the Filipino Club in Bahrain, this paper explores group interactions within Bahrain's multinational population. More specifically, the paper asks whether semi-public events staged by expatriate community organizations serve as nodes of interaction across boundaries of nationality. The first half of the paper describes the transnational context and expatriate community organizations in Bahrain and the type of activities they host. An important distinction is made between activities hosted on the club premises and/or for club members and performance events that are potentially open to non-members. The second half of the paper uses a beauty pageant organized by the Filipino Club to examine how semi-public performance events provide a venue for both the construction of community identity and its potential presentation to other nationalities resident in Bahrain. By describing the range of activities organized by the Filipino Club—from professional networking to aromatherapy classes from Christmas parties to beauty pageants—this research expands our ideas of the nature of expatriate lives in the Gulf. The ethnographic analysis of the beauty pageant demonstrates that semi-public events may not fulfill their potential for reciprocal inter-group communication.


San Juan Jr, E. "Internationalizing the US Ethnic Canon: Revisiting Carlos Bulosan." Comparative American Studies, 6.2 (June 2008): 123-143.

The quasi-autobiographical writing of Carlos Bulosan, a migrant farmworker from the US colony of the Philippines from the 1930s to the 1950s, was discovered by ethnic activists during the US Civil Rights struggles. Once adopted as canonical texts in the US academy from the 1980s on, Bulosan's radical edge was blunted in critical readings of his work, his subversive tendencies sanitized to promote a conformist multiculturalism. We need to recover a submerged decolonizing strand in the history of Filipino deracination, sedimented in Bulosan's testimonies. This essay seeks to excavate those oppositional impulses in Bulosan's works by re-contextualizing them in the anti-colonial revolutionary movement of Filipinos dating back to the revolution of 1896; to the Filipino-American War together with the peasant insurgencies during the first three decades of US occupation (1899-1935); and in the popular-front mobilization during the US Great Depression up to the onset of the Cold War. Re-situated in their historical-biographical milieu and geopolitical provenance, Bulosan's oeuvre acquires immediacy and resonance.


Espiritu, Augusto. "Transnationalism and Filipino American Historiography." Journal of Asian American Studies, 11.2 (June 2008): 171-184.

In the last few years, Filipino American historical studies seems to have emerged, propelled by the growing influence of post-colonial, Empire, and transnational studies upon this subfield. Indeed, there has been a great deal of talk about such influences. My own personal predilections are exactly in that direction, although I am careful that the field does not lose sight of the racial, multicultural, and social conditions from which "Asian American" history emerged. Indeed, this paper shows that it is perhaps premature to ascertain the direction the field has taken and that the labels "transnational" and "post-colonial" might have been applied a little too hastily to Filipino American historical works. Indeed, it is clear from the foregoing examination that though most historians of Filipino Americans are mindful of such developments, not everyone has adopted these paradigms. Many are continuing to draw from more traditional approaches to race, gender, and class in the American context. I argue that this is not necessarily a disadvantage so long as there is an evolving dialogue, exchange, and understanding between "old" and "new" methodologies that fosters intellectual growth.


Fajardo, Kale Bantigue. "Transportation: Translating Filipino and Filipino American Tomboy Masculinities through Global Migration and Seafaring." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 14.2-3 (2008): 403-424.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork with Filipino seamen in metro Manila (Philippines), the San Francisco Bay Area (California), and the Pacific Ocean, this essay examines how heterogeneous Filipino masculinities (heterosexual and transgender tomboy) are cocreated and coexperienced in local and global sites. Through a queer, immigrant, transgender, and transnational Filipino (American) cultural logics and critique this essay foregrounds encounters with and translations of differently situated Filipino masculinities in ports and at sea, suggesting how specific embodied practices of mobility and movement—sea-based transportation, migration, and travel—are constitutive of racialized and classed Filipino masculinities.


Benedicto, Bobby. "The Haunting of Gay Manila: Global Space-Time and the Specter of Kabaklaan." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 14.2-3 (2008): 317-338.

This article aims to contribute to conceptual discussions about how postcolonial queer subjects negotiate the borders between putatively "local" queer subject formations and increasingly global sexual categories. It reexamines the tension-ridden nexus between "gay" and the Filipino bakla, arguing that the complex encounters between such formations are conditioned by emplaced class and gender hierarchies that stem from both colonial history and a neoliberal cultural context. I argue that in contrast to Filipino gay men in the diaspora who recuperate the practices of the bakla to negotiate displacement, middle- and upper-class gay men in the homeland (specifically Manila) offer an inverted picture of global-local relations, since the absence of a shared diasporic experience of displacement, (racialized) exclusion, and downward mobility also operates as the absence of any impetus to recover kabaklaan (bakla-ness) from its subordinated position within local exclusionary systems. Drawing from popular themes that thread through the virtual, physical, and print spaces that have emerged as part of Manila's post-2000 gay scene, the article foregrounds notions of complicity, particularly in terms of how the "newness" of the gay scene is made visible through the violent rewriting of kabaklaan as a temporal anomaly. Affective understandings of global space-time, underpinned by dreams of mobility and imaginative planetary geographies, are here depicted as unstable introjected trajectories haunted by the spectral presence of kabaklaan in the "now" of gay Manila and by the need to continuously exorcise such apparitions.


San Juan, E. "Carlos Bulosan, Filipino Writer-Activist: Between a Time of Terror and the Time of Revolution." CR: The New Centennial Review, 8.1 (Spring 2008): 103-134.

On and after September 11, 2001, Carlos Bulosan, like thousands of Filipinos, felt the impact of that disaster. Not because he was caught in the Twin Towers or in the mountains of Afghanistan and the cities of Iraq. Nor was he in Basilan or Zamboanga when thousands of U.S. Special Forces landed in 2002 allegedly in pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf, welcomed by the sycophantic Arroyo regime. Bulosan died on September 11, 1956, 48 years ago; he was beyond the reach of imperial terror (San Juan 1994). But even the dead are not safe from the enemy—witness how Jose Rizal, the national hero, was co-opted by the American colonizers to suppress the underground resistance after Aguinaldo’s surrender (Constantino 1978). Witness how the figure of Andres Bonifacio has been attacked by American scholars eager to debunk the prestige of the hero and prove how leading Filipino historians have failed, like the comprador and bureaucratic elite, to measure up to Western neo-liberal standards (San Juan 2000a). In an analogous manner, Bulosan has also been co-opted and taken for granted. Since the 1960s, when Filipinos struggling for civil rights and against the Vietnam War discovered Bulosan, the author of America Is in the Heart (1946) has become institutionalized as a harmless ethnic icon (Guillermo 2002). Notwithstanding this, I have met Filipino college students today who have no idea who Bulosan is, and don’t care. Obviously times have changed; indeed, circumstances, not ideas, largely determine attitudes, choices, and inclinations. The current war on what Washington and the Pentagon regard as the foes of democracy and freedom, just like the fight against Japanese militarism in World War II that compelled Filipino migrant workers to join the U.S. military, is already repeating that call for unity with the neo-colonial masters to suspend antagonism, rendering Bulosan’s cry for equality and justice superfluous. How do we avoid siding with, and serving, our oppressors?


Antoinette, Michelle. "Intimate Pasts Resurrected and Released: Sex, Death, and Faith in the Art of José Legaspi." Biography, 31.1 (Winter 2008): 133-160.

José Legaspi is one of the few openly gay visual artists in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic society that generally still has much difficulty accepting the idea and practice of homosexuality. Often autobiographical in nature, Legaspi's contemporary art installations, sculptures, and drawings bring together image, text, and materiality to bear witness to dark personal life-narratives relating to his homosexuality and Catholicism in the Philippines. His "auto-graphic" reflections record explicit depictions of his own sexuality, sardonic critiques of religious repression, and anguished and often violent reflections on the life and death of those most dear and hateful to his heart.


Sneider, Allison L. "Suffragists in an Imperial Age." Getting Suffrage in an Age of Empire (February 2008): 117-135.

During the 1910s suffragists followed closely the congressional debates over political independence for men in the Philippines and Puerto Rico and were intent on juxtaposing national legislation that expanded political autonomy for men in these U.S. island possessions against Congress's failure to pass a woman suffrage amendment to the U.S. constitution. By 1916 it seemed, ironically, that the U.S. colonial possessions might be the next site for womansuffrage victories. The revival of the push for the federal woman suffrage amendment, the Nineteenth Amendment (1920), took place in the context of U.S. efforts to resolve the political status of Puerto Rico and the Philippines.


Hutchison, Jane. "The 'Disallowed' Political Participation of Manila's Urban Poor." Democratization, 14.5 (December 2007): 853-872.

In the Philippines, re-democratization has seen the emergence of new modes of political participation for extra-parliamentary oppositions that are variously aligned with the poor. These involve collective representation within the state and multilateral organizations, or societal incorporation. Among extra-parliamentary oppositions, the urban poor, as a political movement of squatters, has experienced societal incorporation through new laws and programmes that enable access to formal land tenure through market inclusion. In this way, their political participation is limited to proximate representation by non-governmental organisations in the implementation of programmes and projects. But the urban poor are also known for their 'disallowed' participation as voters in electoral contests. The disappointing outcomes from societal incorporation have forced the urban poor to persist with this civil society expression of their activism. This article explains the class logic to the urban poor's 'disallowed' political participation under prevailing neo-liberal conditions.


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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


: . Insurrectos without Overcoats

One of the most moving passages quoted in Benedict Anderson's Under Three Flags depicts a moment of sartorial solidarity among the restive subjects of the dying Spanish Empire. The passage was taken from the memoirs of a Catalan anarchist going by the nom de guerre Federico Urales (after the Siberian Ural Mountains). Along with Jose Rizal, Isabelo de los Reyes, and other Filipinos in the making, Urales was incarcerated in Montjuich for his real and suspected revolutionary activities. The event Urales captures seems made for the cinema: the shivering newly-arrived tropical deportees in their sheer "nipis" baro and trousers, the hilltop fortress overlooking the city of Barcelona, and then, from above, the unwashed woolen garments of Montjuich's detainees befouling the air, to the dismay and gratitude of the under-dressed Filipinos:
On his arrival in the Philippines Polavieja immediately began executions and deportations to Spain. One ship laden with insurrectionaries having arrived at
Barcelona, the prisoners were incarcerated in the same prison as ourselves. This happened in winter, and those poor Filipino deportees were (still) clothed in their native attire, which simply consisted of drawer-like pants and a cobweb thin shirt. It was both shaming and melancholy to see the poor Filipinos in the courtyard of the Barcelona prison, pacing about in a circle, kicking at the ground to warm their feet and shivering with cold. It was a noble, beautiful sight to see the prison inmates throwing down into the courtyard shoes, rope-sandals, trousers, vests, jackets, caps, and socks to warm the poor Filipino deportees, in whose country the cold is unknown. (pages 199-200)


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Sunday, October 05, 2008


: . The Fainting Spice Birds of Manila, 1680

From the archives of the journal Philippine Studies comes this description of the birds of Manila, circa 1680. It was written by the secretary of the Persian envoy to Siam, ibn Muhammad Ibrahim. Ibrahim had never set foot in Manila but had heard enough about it from others to piece together an account of the city as an island of marvels, an account that seems to have been cribbed from the pages of a Latin American magical realist novel:
The island of Manila also produces nutmeg and cloves. The wild birds spend their time in those spice trees, particularly when the trees are in bloom and the blossoms are wide open. At that time the birds over-indulge and eat so much that they faint. Then the hunters easily catch them and sell them. But these birds are very delicate and have such little strength, few of them remain alive in captivity. In all the surrounding islands as well there are birds that are very strange looking and have beautiful colors.
Read the full account here or alternatively in John O'Kane , trans. and ed., The Ship of Sulaiman (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Persian Heritage Series, No. 11 , 1972), pp. 186-88.


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


: . News



The collected works of Jose Garcia Villa have been deemed worthy of being published as a Penguin Classic. Engage in nationalist consumerism and buy yourself a copy now! It'll probably disintegrate in a few years, what with the cheap paper it's printed on (my copy of the Penguin Noli has already fallen apart), but hopefully you'll have read through the entire book by then. (via Ian Casocot)

At long last, a copy of Resil Mojares' Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes and the Production of Modern Knowledge has found its way across the Pacific and on my desk deep in the heart of Texas. Intellectual history with empirical grit. A must read. Worth all the wait -- and the expense. Put it on top of your Filipiniana pile.

The Ateneo de Manila's journal Philippine Studies has gone digital. The full text versions of every single volume from 1986 onwards -- with older ones being added almost every day -- have been made available for download, even to non-subscribers. Except for the two most recent volumes, that is. Which is fair enough since most institutional and individual subsribers in the US don't receive copies of the journal until a year or two after they're published in the Philippines. More on this later. (via Von Totanes)

The Museo Oriental de Valladolid now has a website. View the Philippine artifacts collected by the Agustinian Fathers from their arrival in the Philippines to WW2. More on this later.

Raquel A. G. Reyes' Love, Passion and Patriotism: Sexuality and the Philippine Propaganda Movement, 1882-1892 has finally been released. Don't judge the book by its cover: the designers at the University of Washington Press should be ashamed of themselves.


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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


: . Talababa or the Footnote in Philippine History

Ang may tandang letra alin mang talata
dimo mauatasa,t, malalim na uicà
ang mata,i, itingin sa dacong ibabâ
boong cahuluga,i, mapag uunauà.

--Florante at Laura


In 1889, Jose Rizal inaugurated the writing of Philippine history as a history from below: as a series of footnotes on Antonio de Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas. Addressing and at the same time summoning forth an audience of "Filipinos", Rizal's history wrote out and then wrote over a colonial text in order to annotate national memories: "to awaken in you a consciousness of our past, and to blot from your memory or to rectify what has been falsified or is calumny." Footnotes have long occupied the "underside" of many Philippine texts but not as antagonistically as Rizal's first Filipino ones. Francisco Baltazar's 1838 "talababa" to his Pinagdaanang Buhay Nina Florante at Laura sa Kahariang Albanya, for example, served a humbler purpose than teasing out latent (or slumbering) meanings and disputing (or blotting out) erroneous ones. Meant for the general (Tagalog) reader (Sa babasa nito) rather than for an emergent Filipino community, Baltazar's footnotes are more poetic than political, their very positioning in the text acting as literal extensions of Tagalog metaphors for knowledge and understanding: look below (sa dacong ibaba), Baltazar writes, as I shine a light into the very depths of language (malalim na uica), so that the text's full meaning will fall (cahulugan) into place. A descent into enlightenment, Baltazar's footnotes don't quite fit the narrative of The Fall that Reynaldo Ileto claims haunted nationalist writings: an Edenic excess of understanding overcome by the darkness of religious obscurantism then illumined, or brought to light once more by rational inquiry. Rather than estranging readers from the colonial world, Baltazar's footnotes instead render more familiar an otherworldly realm shaded with cypress tress and inhabited by Harpies and Oreads, Furies and Naiads. (In Progress)


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Sunday, June 29, 2008


: . New Philippine Studies Articles

Published fairly recently in British and American academic journals, the articles listed below cover a range of topics from American colonial historiography, to the Spanish colonial public sphere, to Japanese-Filipino marriages, to Armenians(!) in 18th century Manila, to the Filipino-American literary reception of Andrew Cunanan. The list is far from exhaustive: reflecting my peculiar interests, attention span, and level of access to academic journal collections and databases, the list is heavy on literature, history, and anthropology and overlooks articles from the hard sciences and the hardcore social sciences (sociology, political science). It's a lengthy list nonetheless, even though hardly anyone studies the Philippines in Anglo-American academia. In academia as in life, the Philippines and Filipinos often require plenty of special pleading to be taken seriously or at the very least to be deemed worthy of notice. The (select?) few who do study the Philippines, as this and previous lists show, never cease to surprise me, year after year. Without fail, they breath new life into what many presume to be a moribund field.

Tolentino, Cynthia. "In the 'Training Center of the Skillful Servants of Mankind': Carlos Bulosan’s Professional Filipinos in an Age of Benevolent Supremacy." American Literature 80.2 (June 2008): 381-406.

Though substantially absent from the discourse on Filipino migration before World War II, professional Filipinos figured centrally in texts by Filipino writers in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s. Why did professionals become the key fact of Filipino visibility for Filipino American writers at this historical moment? By looking closely at Carlos Bulosan’s well-known autobiography America Is in the Heart (1946), I will consider the conditions of possibility under which Filipino professionals in the United States became an acceptable, even compelling, way to imagine Filipino migration and agency in the postwar period.


San Juan Jr, E. "Internationalizing the US Ethnic Canon: Revisiting Carlos Bulosan." Comparative American Studies 6.2 (June 2008): 123-143.

The quasi-autobiographical writing of Carlos Bulosan, a migrant farmworker from the US colony of the Philippines from the 1930s to the 1950s, was discovered by ethnic activists during the US Civil Rights struggles. Once adopted as canonical texts in the US academy from the 1980s on, Bulosan's radical edge was blunted in critical readings of his work, his subversive tendencies sanitized to promote a conformist multiculturalism. We need to recover a submerged decolonizing strand in the history of Filipino deracination, sedimented in Bulosan's testimonies. This essay seeks to excavate those oppositional impulses in Bulosan's works by re-contextualizing them in the anti-colonial revolutionary movement of Filipinos dating back to the revolution of 1896; to the Filipino-American War together with the peasant insurgencies during the first three decades of US occupation (1899-1935); and in the popular-front mobilization during the US Great Depression up to the onset of the Cold War. Re-situated in their historical-biographical milieu and geopolitical provenance, Bulosan's oeuvre acquires immediacy and resonance.


Ward, James Mace. "Legitimate Collaboration: The Administration of Santo Tomás Internment Camp and Its Histories, 1942–2003." Pacific Historical Review 77.2 (May 2008): 159–201.

During World War II the Japanese Imperial Army concentrated several thousand Allied civilians at the Santo Tomás Internment Camp in Manila, the Philippines.
Internee and Japanese administrators subsequently collaborated extensively to run the camp. Since its liberation in 1945, however, the camp’s English-language historians have tended to tell the camp experience as a resistance story. This article explores both the history of the camp and its historiography through archival and published sources. It argues that the tendency to recast collaboration into resistance stems from an understanding of collaboration as inherently illegitimate. By conceiving of collaboration as a behavioral category within which lies a spectrum of moral and political legitimacy, the historian can work against this inclination to misunderstand the past.


Bhattacharya, Bhaswati. "Making money at the blessed place of Manila: Armenians in the Madras–Manila Trade in the Eighteenth Century." Journal of Global History 3.1 (March 2008): 1–20.

The question of ‘nodes’ in the Armenian commercial network, it is argued here, cannot be separated from a larger process, which helped places such as Madras to rise as alternatives to New Julfa, from as early as the beginning of the eighteenth century. The network of Armenian commerce did not have a single strong centre with many peripheries, but a chain of multiple nodes functioning as crucial linking points. This paper focuses on one particular trade route, from Madras to Manila, in the eighteenth century. The Philippines attracted Spanish American silver, which was then pumped into various regional economies of Asia -- China and India in particular –- in the shape of investment. A Spanish ban on European shipping at Manila made Armenians (and Indians) indispensable partners for European trade to Manila. This gave Armenian trade to Manila a strong European flavour. Armenians helped to camouflage this trade, and enriched themselves from it at the same time, operating often independently of New Julfa.


Tiatco, Sir Anril Pineda and Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete. "Cutud's Ritual of Nailing on the Cross: Performance of Pain and Suffering." Asian Theatre Journal 25.1 (Spring 2008): 58-76.

This research investigates the ritual nailing on the cross every Good Friday in Cutud, Pampanga, in the Philippines as a local religiocultural performance. It highlights the ritual's evolution and historicity of suffering in the context of panata (religious pledge/vow), as a characteristic central to the Filipino people since precolonial times. The roots of the ritual can be traced from pamagdarame (flagellation) and the sinakulo (passion play) written by Ricardo Navarro in 1955. Devotees (participants) of pamagdarame and the sinakulo are participating with intentions of panata. The ritual, manifested through a performance of pain and suffering, allows the devotee's inner core (kalooban) via his sacrifice to be one with the Supreme Being. The ritual, which has developed into a multifaceted tradition, is not only a religious occasion (an experience of a personal sacrifice or panata for the individual) but also a social drama (an expression of pain and suffering through the performance of Via Crucis o Pasion Y Muerte [Way of the Cross or Passion and Death] and the nailing on the cross performed for the good of others).


Ara, Satoshi. "Food supply problem in Leyte, Philippines, during the Japanese Occupation (1942–44)." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39.1 (February 2008):59-82

This article analyses the problem of food supply in Leyte, Philippines, during the Japanese occupation, which has not been studied in depth so far. It focuses on the interaction that took place among the Japanese occupying forces, anti-Japanese guerrilla groups, the Filipino collaborators, and the local residents over the procurement of foodstuffs. It also aims at clarifying the factors contributing to the disruption of the policy formulated by the Japanese and the Filipinos on the island. It is apparent in this study that the political and social characteristics in the province as well as the agricultural depression inherited from the American colonisation period brought about an outcome, which was different from the policy implemented in Manila.


Cano, Glòria. "Evidence for the deliberate distortion of the Spanish Philippine colonial historical record in The Philippine Islands 1493–1898." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39.01 (February 2008): 1-30.

The Philippine Islands 1493–1898 was a compilation of documents translated from the Spanish and edited by Emma H. Blair and James A. Robertson. The former was the brains behind the project. The editors received assistance from a reviewer, one James A. LeRoy, who introduced himself as an expert in Philippine matters. The personal correspondence amongst the three persons showed how The Philippine Islands 1493–1898 was constructed. Blair fully trusted LeRoy's knowledge and consulted him with doubts about translation. In turn, LeRoy advised Robertson to select documents for publication and warned him about unreliable Spanish, Filipino and English scholars. The correspondence helps to explain how The Philippine Islands 1493–1898 developed into a political tool in the service of the United States in order to explain the problems the Americans confronted in their new colony -- a Spanish inheritance and the difficulties of training uneducated Filipinos for self-government.


Balance, Christine Bacareza. "Notorious Kin: Filipino America Re-imagines Andrew Cunanan." Journal of Asian American Studies 11.1 (February 2008): 87-106

Living in an American culture that thrives on visibility, in both the political and cultural arenas, what does it mean for we Filipinos and Filipino Americans that this spree killer, mestizo homosexual playboy, and son of Southern California's aspiring middle-class be one of our most emblematic figures? What types of cultural productions and conversations within Filipino America do themes emerging from mediated versions of Cunanan's life prompt? I begin with descriptions of three different cultural productions by Filipino and Filipino American writers that work through the figure and story of Andrew Cunanan: Most Wanted, a music theatre piece by playwright Jessica Hagedorn and composer Mark Bennett; "Cunanan's Wake," a short story by Gina Apostol; and "Scherzo for Cunanan," an erotic short story by Jason Luz. Compelled by the events and details of Cunanan's story, each of these writers create challenging artistic and critical works to address the knotted relationship between violence, intimacy, and belonging—the complicated notion of intimate violent acts, the desire to belong that causes these acts of violence, and the multiple ways in which the general public may identify with these figures and their overwhelming desires. These works, therefore, create a counterpublic or "alternative discursive arena" to address the violent consequences of U.S. politics of visibility and to develop more nuanced frameworks for considering Asian America's most infamous associates.


Tofighian, Nadi. "José Nepomuceno and the Creation of a Filipino National Consciousness." Film History: An International Journal 20.1 (January 2008): 77-94.

The essay examines the contribution made by José Nepomuceno to the Philippine quest for independence and the raising of national consciousness. By portraying Filipino views, lives and traditions, Nepomuceno was instrumental in creating an imagined community in a colonial society. He created a national consciousness by writing the history of the national with his camera; films that were viewed by people from all social strata across the Islands. The films of Nepomuceno spread Tagalog language and culture, and gradually made Filipino national culture converge with Tagalog culture.


Hutchcroft, Paul D. "The Arroyo Imbroglio in the Philippines." Journal of Democracy 19.1 (January 2008): 141-155.

In her seven years as Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has found political legitimacy elusive. She has survived numerous travails by very effectively wielding the substantial powers of her office, but exhibits no qualms about further undermining the country's already weak political institutions. Post-Marcos Philippine democracy can boast many strengths, including a vibrant civil society, but it has been battered in recent years by a major electoral scandal, extrajudicial killings, attacks on the press, a recurrence of military adventurism, and on-going patterns of corruption and violence. The Arroyo imbroglio strains the country's longstanding but patronage-infested democratic structures, thus highlighting the necessity of well-considered political reform. A central goal should be the fostering of stronger and more programmatic political parties.


Trimillos, Ricardo D.. "Histories, Resistances, and Reconciliations in a Decolonizable Space: The Philippine Delegation to the 1998 Smithsonian Folklife Festival." Journal of American Folklore 120.479 (Winter 2008): 60-79.

This article examines issues related to cross-cultural encounters through the presentation of Filipino folk culture at the 1998 Smithsonian Folklife Festival (SFF). Embedded in the project were issues of power—historical and current, actual and virtual—related to the differing U.S. relationships with the Philippines. I suggest ways in which Philippine values and modes of thinking determined or at least influenced the inception and reception of events, constructed communication, and informed Filipino intent in this particular presentation across cultures. I consider modes of complicity and responsibility that referenced Filipino and American experiences throughout the project.


Thomas, Megan C. "K is for De-Kolonization: Anti-Colonial Nationalism and Orthographic Reform." Comparative Studies in Society and History 49.4 (October 2007): 938-967.

In the 1890s, the initials “KKK,” and sometimes just the letter “K,” were emblems of the revolutionary brotherhood that challenged the Spanish colonial state in the Philippines. The letters stood for the longer formal name of the “Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” [Highest and Most Respectable Society of the Sons of the Country], but the group was generally referred to simply as the “Katipunan” [Society]. “K” appeared as a kind of logo on flags, seals, pledge forms, and other documents and markers of the revolutionary organization.1 Though the language of the revolutionaries, Tagalog, had been written with Roman letters for centuries, it had never used the letter “k” until a few years before the revolution was waged under the banner of that very letter—instead, the hard “k” sound was usually represented with either a “c” or “qu,” according to Spanish spelling conventions. Why, then, was this radical organization's name not the “Cataastaasan Cagalang-galang na Catipunan”? Why “KKK” rather than “CCC”?
My argument begins with an investigation into some of the early uses of the letter “k” in written Tagalog. Though “k” is now in standard use, when it was adopted for the first time in printed Tagalog published in Manila, in a bilingual paper in 1889, a controversy erupted that was expressed in terms of several different competing historical, cultural, and especially political meanings. The new spelling system was alternatively lauded and vilified; praised as rational and derided as senseless, promoted as a tool for the progress of the nation and attacked as an agent of foreign forces. These heated disagreements were primarily between young men who self-identified as “natives” of the Philippines, each of whom claimed authority to judge the worth of the proposed changes, though not all of them were native Tagalog speakers.2 This story is one of complex political alliances and differences in which arguments over purity, utility, and rationalization were mobilized both for and against the new orthography.
Once we understand the terms in which the argument over the letter “k” was waged, we will turn our attention to explaining why the “k” has been a particular subject of attention of orthographic reform in other times and places: in other words, why “k” stands for decolonization. The argument will touch on both formal qualities of orthographies and the spoken languages that they represent, and the historical-political context in which those languages are spoken and spelled.


Gonzalez, Vernadette V. "Military Bases, 'Royalty Trips,' and Imperial Modernities Gendered and Racialized Labor in the Postcolonial Philippines." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 28.3 (September 2007): 28-59

Through an ethnography of the Clark Special Economic Zone, I highlight the continuing and crucial links between the structures and discourses of a "historical" empire and the structures and discourses of globalization. This ethnography explores the spatial, discursive, and cultural practices at work in what Raymond Williams might call the "structures of feeling" of globalization: those aspects of the social that rationalize the neoliberal economic policies endemic in these spaces.3 As Wendy Brown argues, such neoliberal political rationality emerges as "governmentality—a mode of governance encompassing but not limited to the state, and one which produces subjects, forms of citizenship and behavior, and a new organization of the social." Williams and Brown's insistence on the multivalent institutional and social aspects of domination is significant for this ethnography. Neoliberalism as I use it here refers not only to the economic policies epitomized by the market fundamentalism of the Washington Consensus but also to the cultural technologies that extend market values to other aspects of social life. At Clark, the culture fostered by the primacy of neoliberal economic rule is a crucial part of the mode of governance that structures the lived reality in this space. In my ethnography, I examine the centrality of gendered and racialized labor in the colonial narratives of uplift and the neoliberal discourses that accompany projects of development, modernization, and "progress" in Clark. By foregrounding the work of cultural institutions in this economically overdetermined space, I also extend the existing scholarship on export processing zones through cultural analysis.6Following Catherine Lutz's call for more ethnographies of empire to track the "topography of U.S. power," my analysis of present-day Clark is a moment where metanarratives of modernity can be broken down and concretely connected to an ongoing American imperial project.


Bankoff, Greg. "Dangers to Going it Alone: Social Capital and the Origins of Community Resilience in the Philippines." Continuity and Change 22.02 (August 2007): 327-355.

Robert Putnam's influential article ‘Bowling alone: America's declining social capital’ puts forward a number of possible factors to explain the decline of civil society in the USA. Many of these same forces are also at work in America's erstwhile colony in Asia, the Philippines, where almost the opposite outcome is true if one can measure such things as social capital by the activity of formal and informal associations and networks devoted to mutual assistance. Unlike Americans, however, Filipinos are exposed to a much higher degree of everyday risk. This article traces the evolution of mutual benefit associations and networks and suggests that it is in precisely those geographical regions most exposed to personal misfortune and community danger that they proliferate most readily.


Reyes, Eric Estuar. "American Developmentalism and Hierarchies of Difference in R. Zamora Linmark's Rolling the R's." Journal of Asian American Studies 10.2 (June 2007): 117-140.

This article examines the ways that R. Zamora Linmark's Rolling the R's (1995) explores the production of gendered, sexual, and spatial hierarchies of difference. Filipino American writing is often examined in relation to assimilation narratives. Reyes argues that reading Filipino American writing in the historical and theoretical framework of American developmentalism reveals the ways that Filipino American subject formation navigates the local and global forces of Americanization, U.S. imperialism, and transnational capitalism. Through a close reading of Linmark, Reyes shows how the tensions between these forces manifest as hierarchies of difference, which inevitably are lived through as hierarchies of power.


Paulet, Anne. "To Change the World: The Use of American Indian Education in the Philippines." History of Education Quarterly 47.2 (May 2007): 173-202.

The article analyzes the history of American education policy and programs in the Philippines. The author advances the hypothesis that the educational policy and practice in the Philippines were modeled after those for American Indians in the United States. She observes that the United States wanted to create an educated populace that could support the governmental and economic system it planned for the Philippines. She concludes that the objective of education in both the instances was to effect a social transformation of the people into conformance with the American culture, so that the US could maintain control without the use of force and could achieve economic success without the appearance of exploitation.


Lahiri, Smita. "Rhetorical Indios: Propagandists and Their Publics in the Spanish Philippines." Comparative Studies in Society and History 49.2 (April 2007): 243–275.

While the history of books and printing in the Philippines has long been of interest to scholars and bibliophiles, there has been relatively little investigation of the colonial public sphere as a nexus of discursive and institutional practice...To reconstruct something so dispersed and notional as a bygone public sphere, one needs not only an aerial view of its web-like architecture but also as many situated glimpses as possible of its constituent nodes. This essay is a venture of the latter kind, and it undertakes two tasks. First, it seeks to resituate the writings of the Filipino nationalists within a matrix of intertextual and dialogical relations with the regular clergy, who occupied roles as text regulators as well as authors in their own right. To do so, I set a few fragments of Propagandist prose beside two works of propaganda composed by Spanish friars. These latter writings, ostensibly directed to indios, or natives, were meant to warn against the dangers of modernity, understood in terms of the influence of liberal ideas, the questioning of ecclesiastical authority, the learning of Castilian, and with it, the destabilization of the social and linguistic hierarchies of the colony.
My second objective is to explore friar apprehensions regarding the consolidation of subaltern “publics” amongst the colonized...[S]uch fears emerged from the circulation of rumors about revolts and revolution as well as from friar defensiveness and pessimism regarding the colonial project itself. Serving simultaneously as ideologically laden representations of indio or native publics and as efforts to domesticate and contain the threats posed by them, friar propaganda works can hardly be taken as reliable or substantive portrayals of the colonial public sphere. Rather, I argue, their power to illuminate comes from their usefulness as diagnostic tools for probing a shifting field of colonial power relations that the national “imagined community” has largely overshadowed.


Suzuki, Nobue. "Marrying a Marilyn of the Tropics: Manhood and Nationhood in Filipina-Japanese Marriages." Anthropological Quarterly 80.2 (Spring 2007): 427-454.

Carla Freeman (2001) has recently argued that both globalization theory and the very processes defining globalization are ascribed a masculine gender and as a result, masculine globalization theory has implicitly produced a powerful dichotomous model which is separated from empirical studies of local gendered experiences of globalization. Expanding on this argument, I discuss Japanese men's desires for masculine, national, and modern identities in relation to their Filipina wives in urban Japan. I contend that inquiring into men's experiences as situated in intermediate locations between individual subject formation and local and global structures of power opens up a space for new theoretical imaginations to emerge, contributing to our efforts to destabilize the masculine domination commonly found in theories and depictions of intermarried "First World" men and "Third World" women. In addition to humanizing descriptions of the partners of intermarried women, I situate in broader global historical contexts the polarized pair, First World/Third World, within which Filipina-Japanese liaisons are normally located. My ethnography suggests that such relations not only create personal relationships but also haunt the meanings and power relations of the binary terms, thereby altering the theoretical frameworks. By juxtaposing previously unimaginable actors and attributes, the paper shows the surprisingly transnational dynamics and gendering human relations born of the increasing numbers of cross-national, cross-ethnic marriages at the multiply crisscrossed intersections of the global and the local.


Alcedo, Patrick. "Sacred Camp: Transgendering Faith in a Philippine Festival." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 38.1 (February 2007): 107-132.

By embodying the paradoxes found in three webs of signification –- panaad (devotional promise), sacred camp and carnivalesque during the Ati-atihan festival –- Augusto Diangson, an individual of the ‘third sex’, was able to claim membership in the Roman Catholic community of Kalibo, Aklan in the Central Philippines while also negotiating the Church's institution of heterosexuality. The narratives of mischief and the gender ambiguity of the Santo Niño or the Holy Child Jesus, the centre of Ati-atihan's religious veneration, further enabled Diangson to interact with Kalibo's Roman Catholicism. Through an analysis of Diangson and his participation in the festival, this article exposes how ordinary individuals in extraordinary events localise their faith through cross-dressing and dance performance. Seen throughout the Philippines, these processes of mimicry and gender transformation transport individuals into zones of ambivalence and contradictions in which they are able to navigate through the homogenising discourse of their culture and the Church's homogenising myth of Roman Catholicism.


Go, Julian. "The Provinciality of American Empire: ‘Liberal Exceptionalism’ and U.S. Colonial Rule, 1898–1912." Comparative Studies in Society and History 49.1 (January 2007): 74-108.

The exceptionalism thesis is well known. It purports that the United States—because of its anti–colonial tradition, democratic values, and liberal institutions—is not and has never been an empire. Scholarship critical of exceptionalist thought has demonstrated how this self-fashioning works. In denying empire, the United States exhibits an “imperial amnesia” about its past while “displacing” its imperial present. But recent events have served to complicate both traditional exceptionalism and the claims of its critics.


Goh, Daniel P. S. "States of Ethnography: Colonialism Resistance and Cultural Transcription in Malaya and the Philippines 1890s–1930s." Comparative Studies in Society and History 49.1 (January 2007): 109-142.

The metaphoric reading of native life as an unopened book by two ranking colonial administrators and authoritative ethnographers in Malaya and the Philippines cannot be a simple coincidence. Clifford and Barrows represent two empires, one conservative and peaking, the other liberal and ascendant, meeting in “the Malay Archipelago.” Clifford was a product of the rugged and cultured education demanded of British aristocratic scions, while Barrows exemplified the rising American professional classes, holding graduate degrees in education and anthropology. Both men served well the metropolitan ideologies that guided the imperial hand: British Providence to provide good government to the Malay states; American manifest destiny to replace Spain as the agent of civilization in the Philippines. Using their ethnographic readings, Clifford helped perfect the art of British “indirect rule” Malaya, while Barrows established the Philippine mass education system, the main thrust of the United States' “benevolent assimilation.” Both men retired as decorated officers and established literati, Barrows as the President of the University of California and Clifford a literary figure after Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling.


Evinger, James S. "'...nothing bad happened...': A 19th Century Letter from the Archbishop of Manila to the Cardinal of Toledo, Concerning the Sexual Abuse of an Indian Student." Journal of Religion & Abuse 8.2 (November 2006): 23-36.

A facsmile of a previously unpublished 19th century archival letter from the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, to an unnamed Cardinal is presented, making it available for research. The letter reports the sexual abuse of an Indian student by a priest in two church-related contexts. The document is reproduced, translated, and its provenance described. Its significance for the study of the problem of sexual abuse by the clergy is identified.


Bautista, Julius. "The Rebellion and the Icon: Holy Revolutions in the Philippines." Asian Journal of Social Science 34.2 (2006): 291-310.

The subject of this paper is the politics of "use" and "misuse" of religious iconography during popular uprisings in the Philippines. It will discuss the ways in which religious icons, specifically the Santo Nino and Our Lady of EDSA, are co-opted for specific political and social agendas. "Rebellion" is broadly defined here as the combined action of a large group of people against what they see as the oppressive and hegemonic force that prevents the full enactment of their common interest. The concern here is to describe how mass action incorporates the imagery of divine personages so that revolutione are, simultaneously, acts of worship and rebellion. This paper asks the folowing questions: What are the the processes by which religious iconographies contextualise rebellion in the Philippines? What are the circumstances that led to a repetition of such events throughout the history of the country? And finally, under whose authority are rebellions and protests in the Philipines labelled and packaged as "holy" or "divine"? This paper will argue that the "holiness" of religiously inspired mass uprisings is contingent upon specific acts of legitimisation, "packaging" and semantic contestation.


Kramer, Paul A. "Race-Making and Colonial Violence in the U.S. Empire: The Philippine-American War as Race War." Diplomatic History 30.2 (April 2006): 169-210.

[T]his essay explores the Philippine-American War as race war: a war rationalized in racial terms before U.S. publics, one in which U.S. soldiers came to understand Filipino combatants and non-combatants in racial terms, and one in which race played a key role in bounding and unbounding American violence against Filipinos. My concern with race is far from new in and of itself. Most of the war’s historians -- whether writing the more traditional, campaign-driven U.S. literature or more recent and more nuanced local and social histories of the war -- make passing reference to the racism of U.S. soldiers without thorough exploration. Stuart Creighton Miller, in his critical account of the war, places racism at the center of U.S. troop conduct. This essay begins from Miller’s starting assumption -- that race was essential to the politics and conduct of the war -- but also emphasizes the contingency and indeterminacy of the process by which these racial ideologies took shape, against the assumption that these ideologies were reflexive "projections" or "exports" from the United States to the Philippines. Rather, as I will show, while race helped organize and justify U.S. colonial violence, imperial processes also remade U.S. racial formations.


De Jesus, Melinda L. "'The sound of bamboo planted deep inside them': Reclaiming Filipino American History and Identity in Lakas and the Manilatown Fish." The Lion and the Unicorn 30.2 (April 2006): 202-17.

This essay analyzes the significance of Children's Book Press' Lakas and the Manilatown Fish/Si Lakas at ang Isdang Manilatown, the first English-Tagalog picture book. This zany story about a "Pilipino" boy and a magic fish who race through the urban landscape of what was once San Francisco's Manilatown counters the continuing erasure of Filipino America through its invocation of an important but forgotten community. The two narratives are intertwined seamlessly, melding the whimsical and the sociohistorical. The author maintains that Lakas and the Manilatown Fish should be regarded as an act of decolonization and resistance that uncovers, reclaims, and celebrates Filipino American history and identity.


Reyes, Portia L. "A 'Treasonous' History of Filipino Historiography: The Life and Times of Pedro Paterno, 1858–1911." South East Asia Research 14.1 (March 2006): 87-122.

Pedro Paterno (1858–1911) is widely regarded as a 'traitor' to the Philippine nation. That reputation has its origins in his role in the negotiation of the 1897 Pact of Biac-na-Bato between the Philippine revolutionaries and the Spanish, under which the former agreed to abandon their struggle and collaborate with the colonial administration. Then when the USA in 1898 declared war on Spain, Paterno urged the revolutionaries to defend Spanish rule against the Americans, and he continued to urge resistance to the USA during the Philippine–American war. When captured, he swore allegiance to the USA, and was subsequently appointed President of the Consultative Assembly. He has long been an easy target for nationalist historians. This paper is not intended to re-examine his political trajectory. Rather, it focuses on Pedro Paterno as a scholar, as the author of a considerable number of works of history, and it seeks to place him in his intellectual context, an ilustrado who compromised with both colonialism and nationalism, with loyalties split between Spain and the Philippines.

Reyes, Portia. "Pantayong Pananaw and Bagong Kasaysayan in the New Filipino Historiography: A History of Filipino Historiography as an History of Ideas." Ph.D. diss., Universität Bremen, 1982. (15 June 2008).


Weekley, Kathleen. "The National or the Social? Problems of Nation-Building in Post-World War II Philippines." Third World Quarterly: Journal of Emerging Areas 27.1 (February 2006): 85-100.


This article argues that the most important failure of US nation-building efforts in the Philippines was the failure to address the social question in the colonial and postcolonial era. While it focuses on the decades following World War II, it explains that the roots of contemporary problems lie in the colonial years. Colonial and postcolonial administrations were interested above all in establishing and maintaining social order and, from the Cold War onwards, in protecting US military bases. Incorporating indigenous elites into an expanded, but decentralised, political system was always more important than addressing the political and economic demands of other Filipinos; and opportunities to introduce real land reform, to reform the economy, and to broaden the political system to include voices ‘from below' were always eschewed in favour of keeping elites happy. As a result, although a formal nation-state was built, the majority of Filipino citizens feel no connection to the state that in theory is the expression of their will.


Cruz-Lucero, Rosario. "Judas and his Phallus: The Carnivalesque Narratives of Holy Week in the Catholic Philippines." History and Anthropology 17.1 (March 2006): 39-56.


On the eve of Easter Sunday, or what is called Black Saturday in Catholic Philippines, a secluded barrio in the Visayan province of Antique comes alive with a ritual effigy of Judas and his phallus. As one of the country's main sources of Overseas Contract Workers. Antique is a specific illustration of the truism that third world countries like the Philippines consist concurrently of premodern, modern, and postmodern societies. This paper examines the Judas ritual as a carnivalesque trope, in which folk and modern literature, colonial apparatuses, popular culture, and the agency of the subaltern intersect. I read the plaza, in which the Judas ritual is enacted, as the locus of struggles of power between the dominant and the oppressed. Finally, I read the narratology of Judas' phallus in adjunction with other texts across historical periods and insular boundaries so as to unmask the codes of ideological regulation.


Newson, Linda A. "Conquest, Pestilence and Demographic Collapse in the Early Spanish Philippines." Journal of Historical Geography 32.1 (January 2006): 3-20.


Documentary evidence for the demographic impact of Spanish conquest and colonial rule in the Philippines suggests that the pre-Spanish population was about 1.5 million. This is higher than previous estimates and implies that the decline in the early colonial period was greater than often supposed. However, the decline was lower than that associated with Spanish conquest in the Americas. The more moderate impact of Old World diseases in the Philippines cannot be attributed to immunity that Filipinos had acquired through contacts with Asia in pre-Spanish times, but to the low population density and difficult communications between and within the islands that impeded their spread. Despite new colonial policies aimed at the more peaceful acquisition of new territories, conquest in the Philippines was accompanied by considerable bloodshed. However, in the longer term the impact of colonial rule was moderated by the limited Spanish presence that resulted from the remoteness of the islands from Spain and the limited opportunities there for wealth creation, notably in the form of precious minerals.


McKay, Steven C. "The Squeaky Wheel's Dilemma: New Forms of Labor Organizing in the Philippines." Labor Studies Journal 30. 4 (Winter 2006): 41-63.

The paper details innovative strategies of local labor organizers to unionize workers under the hostile conditions surrounding export processing zones. The case study from the Philippines outlines a comprehensive, scalar strategy with an analysis of four key elements: first, the local political context; second, community-based organizing attentive to gender and justice issues; third, the adoption of multiple organizational forms; and fourth, the strategic extension of network ties to multiple geographic scales. Through a comparison with campaigns in other export processing zones, the study suggests that the most effective strategy for protecting labor rights combines social movement unionism with strategic international solidarity that supports core local efforts to organize.


Anderson, Warwick. "States of Hygiene: Race 'Improvement' and Biomedical Citizenship in Australia and Colonial Philippines." In Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History, ed. Ann Laura Stoler, 94-115. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006.


Ann Stoler has recommended that we examine the ways in which "intimate matters, and narratives about them, figured in defining the racial coordinates and social discriminations of empire." Here I would like to consider colonial and protonational population policies -- in particular, the institutional management of probationary national subjects in the American empire and on the Australian frontier -- as examples of "the distribution of appropriate affect." This requires an expansion of the historical understanding of the making of "intimacy" to encompass the expert and habituated benevolence of the state. It is often forgotten that in the name of public health the state is licensed to palpate, handle, bruise, test, and mobilize individuals, especially those deemed dangerous, marginal, or needy. Moreover, in the twentieth century an emphasis on personal and domestic hygiene allowed an exceptionally intense surveillance and discipline of subject populations, which involved a refashioning of interactions and intimacies within these populations. Much of the prevailing attention to the quantity and quality of population -- of which eugenics was just a small part -- can be viewed as an effort to reshape identities and relationships, to reforge affective ties. Accordingly, I want to consider leper treatment and "half-caste" removal in terms of the making of intimacy with the colonizing state and the making of intimacy for the colonizing state.


Kramer, Paul A. "The Darkness That Enters the Home: The Politics of Prostitution during the Filipino American War." In Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History, ed. Ann Laura Stoler, 366-404. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006.

This study has two historiographic objectives. The first is to situate the history of U.S. empire within a larger, transnational field from which it has too long been isolated and exceptionalized. This broader effort will involve the careful reconstruction of highly specific, historically grounded connections between societies, states, and empires, connections that involve not the study of "transplants" and "exports" but of interpretations, recontextualizations, and debates on the character and meaning of connection itself. When historians establish "connections" based on perceived structural similarities, they risk obstructing the actual ways that historical actors compared, contrasted, and connected their own and other societies, substituting for these criteria ones that are artifacts of the contemporary sociology of knowledge. This chapter is not a comparative history but, in part, a history of comparisons: it demonstrates that both advocates and opponents of regulation made frequent reference to British imperial precedents, for example, but shows both conflicting interpretations and readings tailored to historically specific conflicts. The second of my objectives is to explore the politics of gender in the making of U.S. empire. This is a project well under way, with new literatures emerging that treat both the role that empire played in elaborations of U.S. gender politics and the gendered understandings that informed twentieth-century U.S. global power. This chapter draws on this literature in interpreting the politics of prostitution during the Philippine-American War, situating debates over prostitution in the colonies within a particular moment in the history of U.S. gender politics. Rather than a generic analysis of the "intimate" -- an ahistorical category that often conflates gender, the domestic, the familial, the emotional, and the sexual -- as the irreducible ground of empire, it is a history of debates over articulations of gender and empire that were contingent and shifting.


Rafael, Vicente L. "Spectral Communities: Religiosity and Nationhood in the Contemporary Philippines." In Religion and Religiosity in the Philippines and Indonesia: Essays on State, Society, and Public Creeds, ed. Theodore Friend, 53-62. Washington D.C.: Southeast Asia Studies Program, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 2006.


On the one hand, "religion" refers to the experience of gathering in order to worship the sacred, which by definition is the unknowable and the infinite. On the other hand, it refers to taking on a debt, an obligation, and thus being held liable to the laws of calculation, exchange, and reciprocity prescribed by social conventions, and subject to ongoing negotiations. We can gloss this further to emphasize that religion posits a paradox. It is productive of social life, that is, a realm of secular and profane concerns -- of publicity, rationality, and calculation -- which realm is at the same time founded on something beyond and before sociality: on mystery, infinity, and the incalculable.
This sense of a before and a beyond that animate social life is what we might think of as religiosity. That sense exists prior to and in excess of institutionalized religion. I want to suggest that such religiosity is also an essential feature of national belonging, before and after the people are colonized by the state. Religiosity, like nationness, relates to the promise of going beyond one's present conditions, of becoming other than oneself, and of being taken up and transformed by something far greater than that self. To receive that promise is to suffer -- in all senses of that term -- the processes which bring it about.
We can give to these processes the name mediation (which of course is another term for conversion). Neither wholly transcendent nor wholly immanent, mediation is the state of in-between-ness which allows both for the emergence and overcoming of religious institutions that engage communities of believers (as well as non-believers). Religiosity as the experience of mediation thus entails dwelling in between dogmatism and ritual. It is a moment of secrecy at the limits of knowledge and at the threshold of faith. The religiosity inherent in national belonging does not come merely from submitting to the laws of the state, or the conventions of society, however unavoidable and necessary these may be. It also comes chiefly from the sense of momentary escape and freedom from their institutional and juridical constraints.


Cannell, Fenella. "Reading as Gift and Writing as Theft." In The Anthropology of Christianity, ed. Fenella Cannell, 134-162. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.

In this essay, I will argue that in the case of Bicol, both the picture (Vicente L.) Rafael paints of the centrality of translation to conversion and the generally accepted notion of the universality of the salvationist mode of thought in Christianity need to be taken further and approached from other angles. I will make this argument by looking in more detail at the ways in which popular sacred texts such as the Bicol Pasion were appropriated, and by looking not only at the content of such texts, but also at the ways in which the activities of "reading" and "writing," as they figured specifically in the lowland Philippines, might have altered textual meaning.
In order to make this arguments, it crucial to recognize that the issues surrounding translation in the conversion of the Philippines were even more complex than Rafael shows us, for the languages attempting to speak to each other were not only two (Spanish and Tagalog) but many more than two.


Ng, Stephanie. "Performing the 'Filipino' at the Crossroads: Filipino Bands in Five-Star Hotels Throughout Asia." Modern Drama: World Drama from 1850 to the Present 48. 2 (Summer 2005): 272-96.

This paper, therefore, explores what "Filipino" means to the hotels, the audiences, and the musicians of the bands in order to understand the reasons behind the demand for Filipino bands in hotels throughout Asia. It examines the extent to which this meaning is shared and indeed performatively made by all of them. And finally, it identifies the ways in which these musicians maintain "Filipino-ness," giving rise to a specific configuration of and implications for the diaspora in performance. This paper suggests that "Filipino" entertainers are a form of global labor, diasporic performers who give multinational performances in order to earn a living across Asia. Performing the role of the "Filipino" entertainer involves intensive effort as they strive to invoke feelings of "home" among their transnational audience while foregoing their own "homes." To perform transnationally, they have also had to subjugate their cultural identities and personal musical desires. However, performing in a global setting provides them with material and financial compensation and gives them the opportunity to travel, often in "luxury," despite their limited economic resources and unstable, if not at times ambiguous, social status.


Jurilla, Patricia May B. "Florante at Laura and the History of the Filipino Book." Book History 8 (2005): 131-97.

This study surveys the publishing history of Florante at Laura from its first appearance in the nineteenth century to recent editions in the twentyfirst century. It pays special attention to the twentieth-century editions and examines how the poem itself was made to remain constant in its nationalist significance while the books changed according to the times and generations of readers. The focus is on two particularly revealing paratextual elements: the cover illustration and the title of the poem. The examination is limited to the twentieth century due to the rarity of nineteenth-century editions. No copy of the first edition survived into the twentieth century, and nearly all of the few preserved copies of editions published in Balagtas’s lifetime and in the latter half of the nineteenth century were destroyed during World War II. The limitation in period is nevertheless significant considering that three hundred years of Spanish rule in the Philippines ended in 1898 and, despite the succeeding American occupation that lasted until 1946, the official date of independence of the Philippine nation is 12 June 1898. Furthermore, it was during the twentieth century that the secular canonization of Balagtas and Florante at Laura took place.


Lahiri, Smita. "The Priestess and the Politician: Enunciating Filipino Cultural Nationalism Through Mt. Banahaw." In Spirited Politics: Religion and Public Life in Contemporary Southeast Asia, ed. Andrew C. Willford and Kenneth M. George, 23-43. Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program Publications, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 2005.

This essay is about the power of discursive effects associated with "national culture" to reshape a particular social landscape, and about the material consequences of these transformations for the people who live there. Decades of traffic between metropolitan Manila and the locality of Dolores have undoubtedly deepened the trails crisscrossing Mt. Banahaw's pwesto zone and carved out new ones. As I relate below, this traffic has also worn tracks into the space of national public culture, where Mt. Banahaw has acquired a prominent image since the 1980s as an iconic site for folk-Catholic devotion. This prominence, I argue, is closely associated with the rise of cultural nationalism as a newly authoritative "discursive formation." The work of Michel Foucault has attuned scholars to the ways in which all configurations of knowledge authorize distinctive enunciative modalities. To speak from or through discourse is to lend one's statements an authority whose ultimate source lies not in oneself, but rather in the field of institutionally mediated power relations within which they are embedded. This, I argue, aptly describes the situation of at least one popular-religious leader at Mt. Banahaw, who has been extensively figured as an embodiment of primordial national culture in academic scholarship and journalistic writings within the Philippines' papers of record. In situating the construction of Mt. Banahaw's image in relation to local micropolitics and forms of mediation, I hope to demonstrate how unpredictable discursive effects can be, particularly when they ripple forth out of the discursive space of metropolitan public culture and into lived places. Moreover, I will suggest that cultural nationalism's embrace of popular religiosity simultaneously subverts and reinscribes longstanding relations between social power and cultural hybridity in the Filipino context.


Cannell, Fenella. "Immaterial Culture: 'Idolatry' in the Lowland Philippines." In Spirited Politics: Religion and Public Life in Contemporary Southeast Asia, ed. Andrew C. Willford and Kenneth M. George, 159-84. Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program Publications, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 2005.

In this paper, I want to make two interlinked suggestions. Firstly, I shall argue for a reinterpretation of the material on the early American period in the Philippines, placing religious ideas at the heart of an understanding of colonial policy. Secondly, and particularly because both idolatry and the image of a sort of imperfectly realized commodity fetish are central to this analysis, I shall consider the relationship between my argument and William Pietz's intelligent and influential account of the difference between these concepts.
One context for these suggestions is a wider project, on which I have written and am in the process of writing elsewhere, that Christianity functions in several ways as the 'repressed' of anthropology, and of social science generally. That is, that while anthropology founded its professional identity on a claim to secularism, Judeo-Christian theological ideas in fact continue to shape its theoretical preconceptions. It is the reluctance to confront this possibility which partly explains anthropology's general tardiness in producing ethnographies of the various Christian parts of the world which do full justice to their particularities, or which make the fact of their Christianity analytically central.
...In looking at public policy and colonial discourse in the American Philippines, I shall be seeking to demonstrate how pervasive was the influence of what one might call a "naturalized Protestantism" in the creation of categories through which Americans -- even Americans of diverse political and religious backgrounds -- viewed the Filipino people. Yet even the very best recent accounts of Philippine public life of this period either fail to focus on this religious language in colonialism, or treat it as a matter relevant only to missionary history narrowly defined.


Hau, Caroline S. "Rethinking History and 'Nation Building' in the Philippines." In Nation-Building: Five Southeast Asian Histories, ed. Wang Gungwu, 39-68. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005.

The failure of nation-building projects in many of the former colonies in Asia and Africa has since necessitated a rethinking of basic assumptions about nation-building (Fanon 1963)...This chapter analyses one such effort at nation-building in Southeast Asia -- the Philippine case -- through a close reading of preeminent Filipino scholar Reynaldo Ileto's account of contemporary Philippine history (2002). What is striking about the history of nation-building in the Philippines is its exemplariness. As the first country in Southeast Asia to wage an anti-colonial war of national liberation against Spain, it has had a longer experience of nation-building than any of its immediate neighbours. Its peculiar "tutelage" under United States imperialism made it one of the earliest laboratories for nation-building in the region. The American legacy of state-building -- particularly the introduction of suffrage, mass primary education, and infrastructure building -- in colonial Philippines during the early twentieth century established the conceptual and actual parameters of politics, of what would come to be understood as "the political" in post-independence Philippines (Hayden 1942). Moreover, as Peter W. Stanley has argued, "In a very real sense, Americans in the Philippine government during the first decade of this [i.e., 20th] century conceived of themselves as engaged in building the foundations of a modern nation" (1974, p. 82
).


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Sunday, June 22, 2008


: . Summer Reading



(Library of the Santo Tomás university in Manila. Álbum de vistas de la Universidad y Colegios.1887. BN.)


Reviews of new Philippine titles have always been hard to come by. Philippine newspapers seldom review local publications and, as far as I know, rarely employ in-house book reviewers. Philippine academic journals, like their overseas counterparts, publish their reviews months if not years after a book's release date. Philippine trade and academic publishers, with few exceptions, infrequently update their websites. And, for those of us outside the Philippines, overseas Philippine booksellers, those with brick and mortar shops and those that market their wares exclusively online, irregularly add items to their inventories. Those in the Philippines could always browse local bookshops, but they must often brave traffic to find bookshops either large enough to devote more than a few feet of shelf space to Philippine titles or that specialize in Filipiniana. Those directly connected to either Philippine academia or Philippine publishing could always rely on word of mouth or mailing lists to learn about the latest titles. But those of us who aren't have to conduct time-consuming searches online to learn about new books "back home." Gone are the days of Morton Netzorg's Cellar Bookshop or Linda Nietes' Philippine Expressions when all one had to do was place a phone call and be guaranteed to hear a knowledgeable bookseller on the other line eager to talk about the latest in Filipiniana. Nowadays, we are left to our own devices.
Acquiring Filipiniana from overseas is another matter. After the long wait for new titles to be finally available for sale, they are either overpriced or, if you're buying from a Philippine-based seller, involve obscene shipping and handling costs. Paying for the books poses another problem. Most online booksellers accept credit cards but the Ateneo University and the University of the Philippines Presses as well as Libros Filipinos do not. You'll either have to mail them a money order or, in the case of Libros Filipinos, wire transfer the payment to their Bank of the Philippine Islands account. More time and more money. For example, I recently ordered a copy of Resil Mojares' "Brains of the Nation" from Gallery of Prints, a Makati shop that sells books and artwork online through AbeBooks.com. The book was priced at $25.00 (the Philippine price at Libros Filipinos is Php 695.00 or US $17.82), surface mail costs an additional US 17.00 for those willing to wait 4 to 6 weeks, while airmail for the impatient costs US $42.00, two and a half times the book's Philippine price. Thankfully, Gallery of Prints accepts credit cards. The book is also available at the University of Hawaii Press, distributor of select titles from the Ateneo and University of the Philippines Presses, for US $87.00, five times its Philippine price or at other sellers on Abebooks for a low of US $78.30 to a high of US $136.32. And that's exclusive of shipping costs. The best Filipiniana source online, the Coimbatore, India-based Mary Martin Booksellers, which has formed a partnership with the Manila-based Solidaridad Bookshop, also sells the book, this time for US $29.50 plus US $14.00 for shipping, but that would involve a 30 to 45 day wait for the book to arrive, often looking battered from its long voyage at sea. In a year or two, other booksellers like the Philippine American Literary House or Arkipelago Books, both in California, may have the books available for sale. But by then, I suspect that the book will be considered out-of-print. Better to fly to the Philippines and shop there instead.
These are the books that I will be reading in the next few months or as soon as I get my hands on them. They range in subject matter from US colonial governance to nationalist masculinity to Franco Moretti-inspired analysis of canonical nationalist texts. If you know of other new Filipiniana titles, please let me know.

Tagalog Bestsellers of the Twentieth Century: A History of the Book in the Philippines
by Patricia May B. Jurilla

"This pioneering work is a study on the history of the book in the Philippines, with a focus on literary publishing and Tagalog literary bestsellers of the twentieth century. It spans more than four centuries of publishing , from 1593 when the first book was printed in the country to 2003 when the first nationwide survey on reading attitudes and preference was conducted. Through its case studies of twentieth-century Philippine literary forms and texts that may be referred to as the bestselling books in their time, the work both highlights and puts in wider context the publishing, manufacturing, distribution, reception, and survival of these bestsellers, and their impact on and relation to the conditions and circumstances in the culture, society, politics, and economics of the time.

This study is, in a sense, an expedition. It is an initial, painstaking effort at exploring the immense terrain of the history of the book in the Philippines, with the hope that it will leave deep enough tracks for other explorers to follow."


Why Counting Counts: A Study of Forms of Consciousness andProblems of Language in Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo
by Benedict R. O'G. Anderson

"This book examines Jose Rizal’s great novels, Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, through a hitherto untried quantitative analysis of the scope ands evolution of their political and social vocabulary, as well as their use of Tagalog and the lengua de Parian. Special attention is given to which characters (including the Narrator) use these terms and languages, and with what frequency. The study aims to throw new light on Rizal’s changing political consciousness and use of his native language. The most important questions raised are: the shifting nature of Rizal’s intended readership; the geographical location of the birth of a Filipino identity in the modern sense; the odd concealment of the Chinese mestizos combined with a growing hostility to the Chinese as an alien race; the level and ambit of the author’s political sophistication; and the complicated relationship between the colonial-international aspects of Spanish, the ethnic-nationalist claims if Tagalog and the emergence of a democratic cross-class lingua franca, especially in Manila."


Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes and the Production of Modern Knowledge
by Resil B. Mojares

"Grounded in a detailed analysis of the lives and works of Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, and Isabelo de los Reyes, the book is a richly textured portrait of a generation that created the self-consciousness of the Filipino nation. It explores the historical conditions that shaped the emergence of a modern Philippine intelligentsia and the unfinished, strange and wondrous itineraries diverse intellectuals took in engaging Western knowledge and dealing with the local realities of the country from, of, and for which they tried or pretended to speak. Brains of the Nation is a groundbreaking work in Philippine intellectual history."


The Knowing is in the Writing: Notes on the Practice of Fiction
by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.

"Part manual, part testament, part autobiography, TheKnowing Is in the Writing was written by the author to engage new and young writers of fiction in matters of not only craft but also life and livelihood."






Mindanao, Nation and Region: The Joys of Dislocation
by Patricio N. Abinales

"The peripatetic nature of the essays in this collection -- representing over a decade of commentary on the affairs in the three zones of Mindanao, the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region -- comes from being written by someone who has never settled down in any of these zones but who has always gone in and out of each of them. They reflect a peculiar position that doesn't exactly fit critics' black-and-white world of insiders and outsiders."


Soledad's Sister
by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.

"Jose Dalisay Jr’s Soledad's Sister is full of narrative surprise, artfully put together and richly observed. It offers an unillusioned, compassionate portrayal of contemporary society from a Philippines perspective, and is utterly compelling. The characters engage us in the epic, yet very local nature of their quest for dignity and justice. A work of warmth, humanity and confidence."


American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico During U.S. Colonialism
by Julian Go

"When the United States took control of the Philippines and Puerto Rico in the wake of the Spanish-American War, it declared that it would transform its new colonies through lessons in self-government and the ways of American-style democracy. In both territories, U.S. colonial officials built extensive public school systems, and they set up American-style elections and governmental institutions. The officials aimed their lessons in democratic governmentat the political elite: the relatively small class of the wealthy, educated, and politically powerful within each colony. While they retained ultimate control for themselves, the Americans let the elite vote, hold local office, and formulate legislation in national assemblies."

American Empire and the Politics of Meaning is an examination of how these efforts to provide the elite of Puerto Rico and the Philippines a practical education in self-government played out on the groundin the early years of American colonial rule, from 1898 until 1912. It is the first systematic comparative analysis of these early exercises in American imperial power. The sociologist Julian Go unravels how American authorities used "culture" as both a tool and a target of rule, and how the Puerto Rican and Philippine elite received, creatively engaged, and sometimes silently subverted the Americans' ostensibly benign intentions. Rather than finding that the attempt to transplant American-style democracy led to incommensurable "culture clashes," Go assesses complex processes of cultural accommodation and transformation. By combining rich historical detail with broader theories of meaning, culture, and colonialism, he provides an innovative study of the hidden intersections of political power and cultural meaning-making in America's earliest overseas empire."


Love, Passion and Patriotism: Sexuality and the Philippine Propaganda Movement, 1882-1892
by Raquel A. G. Reyes

"Love, Passion and Patriotism is an intimate account of the lives and experiences of a renowned group of young Filipino patriots, the men whose propaganda campaign was a catalyst for the country's revolt against Spain.

José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, and the brothers Juan and Antonio Luna were talented writers, artists, and scientists who resided in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. As expatriates they were free from the social constraints of their own society and eager to explore all that Europe had to offer. Their studies exposed them to scientific discourse on the body and new categorizations of pathology and disease, knowledge which they used to challenge the religious obscurantism and folk superstition they saw in their country.

Their experience of modern life in Europe also radically reshaped their ideas of sex and the sexual nature of Filipino women. Raquel A. G. Reyes uses the paintings, photographs, political writings, novels, and letters of the propagandistas to show the moral contradictions inherent in their passionate patriotism and their struggle to come to terms with the relative sexual freedom of European women, which they found both alluring and sordid. Provoked by racism and allegations of effeminacy and childishness, they displayed their manliness and urbanity through fashionable European dress, careful grooming and deportment, and demonstrated their courage and virility through fencing, pistol-shooting, and dueling."


The Force of Domesticity: Filipina Migrants and Globalization
by Rhacel Salazar Parrenas

"Taking as her subjects migrant Filipina domestic workers in Rome and Los Angeles, transnational migrant families in the Philippines, and Filipina migrant entertainers in Tokyo, Parreñas documents the social, cultural, and political pressures that maintain womens domesticity in migration, as well as the ways migrant women and their children negotiate these adversities.

Parreñas examines the underlying constructions of gender in neoliberal state regimes, export-oriented economies such as that of the Philippines, protective migration laws, and the actions and decisions of migrant Filipino women in maintaining families and communities, raising questions about gender relations, the status of women in globalization, and the meanings of greater consumptive power that migration garners for women. The Force of Domesticity starkly illustrates how the operation of globalization enforces notions of womens domesticity and creates contradictory messages about womens place in society, simultaneously pushing women inside and outside the home."


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