detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

: . Philippine Studies (Summer Edition)

Articles on Filipinos and the Philippines published within the past few months in English-language academic journals. Those interested in reading the articles on the list but are unable to gain access to them may email me for assistance:

Philippine Wars and the Politics of Memory
by Reynaldo C. Ileto
positions: east asia cultures critique 13.1 (Spring 2005): 215-234
It takes a bit of persistent research in the archives to rescue fragments of [the Filipino-American War]. Through research in American military records, I discovered, for example, that my wife’s grandfather Pedro Carandang became involved in the Filipino-American War when he was appointed mayor of Tanauan, Batangas, after that town was occupied by the Americans in 1900. But Mayor Carandang only served the American commanding officer during office hours. The rest of the time, when his boss was not looking, he provided the guerrilla units of General Miguel Malvar with food, money, information, and secret access to the town. When the Americans discovered this, they arrested Mayor Carandang and imprisoned him until the end of the war.

My own grandfather, Francisco Ileto, participated in the war by providing information about the Americans to his friend General Isidore Torres, the guerrilla commander of Bulacan Province. The Americans intercepted a letter that my grandfather sent to Torres in 1900 and thus identified him as an enemy spy. This I discovered from the Philippine Insurgent Records. But I do not know whether the Americans arrested him or not.

The reason I do not know what eventually happened to my grandfather is because, remarkably, neither he nor my wife's grandfather passed on their memories of the war to their children and grandchildren. They chose to keep such memories private and to let their children carry on in life as if the war against the United States had never happened.

However, they did pass on to their children their memories of the war against Spain. They spoke freely to their children about Rizal, Bonifacio, and the Aguinaldo who declared independence from Spain. But they kept silent about Malvar, Vicente Lukban, and the other Aguinaldo, who had called for a guerrilla war against the Americans in 1900.

...After the Americans had pronounced victory on July 4, 1902, they proceeded to reshape the collective memory of those long years of war from 1896 all the way to 1902. The aim of the politics of memory was to encourage the remembering of the war against Spain and the forgetting of the war against the United States. This was conducted through the censored press, civic rituals, and, above all, the colonial school system.

...[T]he American regime recognized the aspirations of Aguinaldo and the Filipino educated class to form a republican state. However, it insisted that Filipinos in 1898 were not prepared for democracy and self-rule. As “proof” of this lack of readiness, American writings portrayed Aguinaldo as a despotic president and the masses of the people as blind followers of their local bosses. The patron-client, caciquism, and bossism paradigms of local politics originated, in fact, from the war itself and were further developed by American officials and writers during the “pacification” period from 1902 up to at least 1912. The colonial administration and its local protégés wanted the new generation of Filipinos studying in the public schools to remember the coming of the Americans in 1898 as an act of “benevolent assimilation,” wherein the Americans would stay for as long as was needed to help prepare the Filipinos for democracy and responsible self-government. Philippine politics and its academic study followed the contours of, and mutually reinforced, this colonial project.
These Brothers of Ours: Poblete's Obreros and the Road to Baguio, 1903-1905
by Greg Bankoff
Journal of Social History 38.4 (Summer 2005): 1047-1072
On July 21, 1903, some two hundred labourers recently recruited to construct the Benguet Road linking the Americans' erstwhile summer capital of the Philippines at Baguio with the railhead to Manila refused to report for work and peremptorily marched out of camp. While the incident is barely if at all remembered, it became something of a cause célèbre at the time. The affair was made much of by a nationalist press owned by Manila-based literati deeply involved in non-military confrontation with the new colonial administration. The Americans were equally as anxious to prove they were different to other colonial regimes and that nothing was amiss. The workers, of course, the obreros simply disappear once again into the historical twilight but not before leaving behind them a glimpse at the changes that were taking place in the local labour market. While it may be premature to talk about the dawning of a distinctive worker consciousness as yet, there were significant socio-economic developments in Filipino society at this time that were just as significant as the much more contestable political ones. It is against these wider considerations that the events surrounding the recruitment of labour on the road are played out. Named after the chief recruitment agent, Pascual Poblete, the affair is one of those rare occasions when long term historical developments at work in the less visible strata of late colonial society come to the surface.
Practices of Place-Making: Globalisation and Locality in the Philippines
by Deirdre McKay and Carol Brady
Asia Pacific Viewpoint 46.2 (August 2005): 89-103
Global flows of people and information in the Asia-Pacific region are creating new forms of place that stretch across national boundaries and rural-urban distinctions. These new mobile forms of place link long-inhabited rural areas to cities, national centres, and to rural frontiers within the nation. Here, we describe new forms of place that are being produced by contemporary migration and economic change, using data from the Philippines and applying Appadurai's theorisation of translocality. Our analysis links these flows of overseas migrants to concomitant processes of economic change, migration and new rural livelihoods. We outline changing practices of place within the Philippines, exploring ways that transnational migration can articulate with apparently 'local' development and the flow-on effects from migration on the spatial patterns of rural livelihoods.
On Becoming Socially Articulate: Transnational Bulosan
by Martin Joseph Ponce
Journal of Asian American Studies 8.1 (February 2005): 49-80
Carlos Bulosan's claim that he is the most socially articulate Filipino in America raises the question of what "socially articulate" might mean. Here, Ponce discusses Bulosan's contentious engagements with Anglophone Filipino literature at a specific historical conjuncture. Although US-centered frameworks have allowed one to see Bulosan's relations to such writers as Younghill Kang and Richard Wright, a transnational context of comparative Filipino literary history illuminates and specifies Bulosan's relations to other Filipino writers as well.
Searching to Death for "Home": A Filipina Immigrant Bride's Subaltern Rewriting
by Young Hee Kwon
NWSA Journal 17.2 (Summer 2005): 69-85
Counseling Case 4--A Filipina Immigrant Who Suffered from Depression after Childbirth

A 35-year-old Filipina who came to Korea on February 4, 2000, in order to marry a Korean man through a religious matchmaking agency, lived with her husband and mother-in-law in Cheon-ahn. She was on good terms with the family in spite of her loneliness and the problems of communication. She got pregnant, and delivered her baby on March 28, 2001. But against her wish, she had a caesarian section, and due to the shock, suffered from post-delivery depression. (In the Philippines, women usually give a natural birth.) According to the family, the woman ran away three days after she had left the hospital. She stayed in the Shelter for Filipino Workers in Seoul, but after a while left the place, and finally was led to this welfare center when she was found homeless in Ahn-yang. She was terrified of facing people and refused to have meals even though she was severely malnourished. Three days later, she began to eat and take a shower with the nurse's help, and looked to be feeling better. However, after a while she was found as a corpse. It turned out to be a death from hunger.

How can we feminist intellectuals enter into the lives of the subaltern? This essay is written to explain the sudden pang of pain and the strong sense of relatedness that I experienced when I happened to read a brief nongovernmental organization (NGO) report about a Filipina immigrant bride's death in South Korea. Instead of retrieving additional facts of her life, I interrogate my privileged position in connection with her. My initial vague sense of relatedness to the Filipina turns out double-edged. I have to admit that despite our common experience of patriarchal oppression, I am a beneficiary of the Filipina's plight in the globalized neocolonial system.

However, I argue that there exists the possibility of another mode of "belonging" between the woman and me. Seeking to reinscribe the woman's subaltern rewriting of the hegemonic discourse on the third-world woman, I suggest that the woman and I share the same historical agency of searching for alternative forms of home and nonhegemonic relations across the boundaries of race, class, sexuality, and nationality. The resistive mode of belonging has further crucial significances beyond the pale of this essay since it urges transformation of our ego-bound subjectivities and re-definition of our mode of being.
The Globalisation of Care: Filipina Domestic Workers and Care for the Elderly in Cyprus
by Prodromos Panayiotopoulos
Capital & Class 86 (Summer 2005): 99-135
Demographic trends in Europe towards an ageing population and a declining youth cohort point to a scissors effect of high demand for elderly care, but limited supplies of available labour to meet current and projected need. One market-based response by private households is the employment of immigrant women as carers. This article draws from an ethnographic study of a group of Filipina domestic workers employed as carers for elderly people in southern Cyprus, and offers insights into market care and contemporary globalisation. It points to foreign domestic workers as part of a process involving the commoditisation and transfer of important areas of reproductive labour.
A Uniform Story
by Richard B. Meixsel
The Journal of Military History 69.3 (July 2005): 791-799
Few biographers of General Douglas MacArthur have failed to mention the pompous field marshal's uniform he designed for himself as Philippine military adviser in the 1930s. This "uniform story" has become symbolic of the wide gulf that separated MacArthur's grand rhetoric from the paucity of his achievement. But the story is fake, the creation of a poorly informed journalist in 1937 who mistook a recently introduced U.S. Army white dress uniform for a distinctive field marshal's attire.

...Photographs of MacArthur at both the field marshal's baton-awarding ceremony in August 1936 and the November 1937 parade have been published, and they clearly show him wearing U.S. Army dress uniforms... MacArthur may well have had his uniform locally tailored of finer-than-army-issue material, but that would not have been uncommon. Many American soldiers wore locally made uniforms. What is, in fact, most striking about the photographs of MacArthur as Philippine Army field marshal is precisely that they are United States Army uniforms. There is not one thing on any uniform to indicate MacArthur's association with the Philippine Army he was in the process of creating.

Placing Work, Home, and Empire in Filipino America: A Review Essay of Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History; Home Bound: Filipino American Lives Across Cultures, Communities, and Countries; and American Workers, Colonial Power: Philippine Seattle and the Transpacific West, 1919-1941
by Eric Estuar Reyes
Journal of Asian American Studies 8.4 (February 2005): 93-102
Choy, Espiritu, and Fujita-Rony's texts demonstrate the ways that Filipino American studies' ostensible central focus -- "Filipino America" and Filipino American subjectivity -- relates to ... the politics of globalization. The simplicity of this claim belies the diversity of perspectives in Filipino American studies and the complexity underlying the development of Filipino American communities and Filipino American experiences. Indeed, intellectual, community and cultural workers have debated on an ongoing basis and in explicit and indirect forms, what it means to be Filipino in the United States precisely because of the inadequacy of any single study or approach to address that complexity. The texts anchoring this review essay engage this debate by presenting us with historically grounded studies that foreground U.S. imperialism, document the struggles and successes of Filipinos in the United States with Americanization, and highlight the ways that transnational capitalism both enables and limits the possibilities of Filipino American subjectivity. In other words, these texts individually and collectively provide us with focused studies on Filipino American agency in the face of systemic power.

The work... by Choy, Espiritu and Fujita-Rony make valuable additions to the fields of ethnic studies, and in particular to Filipino American, Asian American and American studies. The days of compiling massive readers for a central text in Filipino American courses out of necessity rather than choice are thankfully over. There is no longer a vast absence of scholarship taking as its subject Filipino America and Filipino Americanness, and while far from luxuriously plentiful these recent publications suggest an increasing number and range of publications and scholars working in that vein. Choy's, Espiritu's, and Fujita-Rony's books substantively contribute to this critical mass. That is, Empire of Care, Home Bound, and American Workers, Colonial Power respectively advance current debates in Filipino American studies and Asian American and American studies, more broadly, over the politics of globalization. Debates over the location of Filipino American places and defining Filipino American identity remain, and will continue to be an important part of Filipino American studies. Helpfully, these studies extend those discussions to complicate essentialist presumptions, challenge idealized assimilationist ideologies, counter overly patriarchal historical analyses, demonstrate the scope transnational capitalism exemplified by circuits of labor, and qualify nostalgic yearnings for certain forms of social collectives such as family, community, or labor unions. While, as with any critical work, these texts have shortcomings, each limitation is better seen as an enabling opportunity to direct future research and discussion. I hope that students of Filipino American studies, community members, and other scholars will read these studies in this spirit and acknowledge the shared desire and claim that underlie the three texts: the history and present experience of Filipinos in the United States is not about defining the idea and ideal of Filipino Americanness as much as it is to explore the dynamic practice of making Filipino America and "Filipino Americanness" whatever and wherever that may be, or more importantly, become.
Review of Catherine Ceniza Choy, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History
by Warwick Anderson
Bulletin of the History of Medicine 79.2 (Summer 2005): 339-340
Although we know that medicine and nursing are transnational enterprises, few historians of twentieth-century health care have looked beyond the boundaries of one nation-state or another. Diseases do not respect political demarcations, physicians and nurses have been migratory—yet our historical studies rarely recognize the dynamic, cosmopolitan aspects of modern medicine. Catherine Choy, however, shows us what nursing and medical historians can learn from immigration history and "postnationalist" American studies. In Empire of Care she charts the development of an international Filipino nurse labor force, drawing together studies of U.S. imperialism, immigration policy, hospital management, and nursing. She also provides us with a model of how to combine, with sensitivity and insight, archival sources and contemporary interviews.

Choy might have told us more about the fashioning of the gender identity of male Filipino nurses; and she might have compared the experiences of Filipino nurses with those of other foreign and minority nurses in the United States. I was sorry that she missed the echo in the VA investigation of the 1916 poisoning allegations against nurses in the Philippines General Hospital—a precedent that would have strengthened her argument. But these are minor faults. Historians of medicine and nursing will learn much from Choy's innovative transnational study. It will surely inspire many of us to reframe our analysis of twentieth-century health care.
Review of Bob Couttie, Hang the Dogs: The True History of the Balangiga Massacre
by John Morgan Gates
The Journal of Military History 69.3 (July 2005): 50-851
In Couttie's view, there are many more heroes than villains on both sides, and one of his goals is to give credit to all involved for their commitment, dedication, and bravery. That approach sets Hang the Dogs apart from most writing about Balangiga. The book is also a vehicle for the author's long-standing desire to see the return of the church bells taken from the town by American soldiers. Although that goal is laudable, the story of the bells and attempts to get them back are really a postscript to the story of the Balangiga attack.

Despite its many problems, Hang the Dogs does contain some vivid descriptions that both engage the reader and bring events to life. Bob Couttie clearly has the requisite skill and knowledge to write a first-rate historical novel should he choose to attempt it. The result would be a gripping tale of intrigue, suspense, and violence.
Review of Sharon Delmendo, The Star-Entangled Banner: One Hundred Years of America in the Philippines
by Rodney J. Ross
The Journal of American History 92.1 (June 2005): 248
Despite a polemical tone, Delmendo's work is well written, insightful, and engaging. Regrettably, factual slips and erroneous conclusions weaken it as a contribution to its genre. Dates are misstated: Theodore Roosevelt's Philippines comments were expressed in 1899, not 1889 (p. 42); the United States Constitution was approved in 1788, not 1787 (p. 117); the Philippine Commonwealth existed from 1935 to 1946, not 1933 to 1946 (p. 134); President George Washington's remarks could not have been said in 1873 (p. 199); likewise, President William McKinley, assassinated in 1901, made no statement in 1903 (p. 199). Events are misinterpreted. Gen. Douglas MacArthur did not desert the Philippines in 1942 "to assume command of the Allied Pacific Fleet" (p. 92) but was ordered out by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was appointed supreme commander of the United States Army's Southwest Pacific Area. Manuel Quezon, the president, was not "abandoned" on Corregidor by MacArthur (p. 92) but was evacuated the month before the general's March 1942 departure. Last, issue should be taken with the author's claim that "Back to Bataan is no mere piece of war propaganda" (p. 114). Even a cursory reading of the movie's script and film reviews from the Office of War Information's archives would persuade one otherwise.

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you are amazing! one of these days, i'll be letting people know about the good work you're doing.
To echo the comment above, this really is amazing. Thank you so much for posting this!
and one more for good measure: your research is fantastic! are any of these resources available online?
yes, they're all available online via subscribing institutions. if you're interested in any of the articles i've listed, let me know and and i'll try to help you out.
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