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

: . Philippine Studies (Very Late Summer Edition)

Old and new articles and book reviews from English-language academic journals, obscure and familiar. Topics range from American-era cigar makers to present day sea-farers; colonial medicine and post-independence cinematic representations; export crops during the war with the Japanese and legal proceedings during the war with the Americans; the mathematics of People Power and the political uses of anti-corruption rhetoric; private property and (what should be) national patrimony; and, finally, power and beauty at the Philippine Exposition in 1887 Madrid. Again, those interested in reading the articles and book reviews below but are unable to access them either in hardcopy or in electronic format may email me for assistance.


Chiba, Yoshihiro. "Cigar-Makers in American Colonial Manila: Survival during Structural Depression in the 1920s." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36.3 (October 2005): 373–397.
This article analyses the socioeconomic relations of Manila cigar-makers, who had strong bargaining power vis-à-vis management during the American colonial period. Focusing on a structural economic depression which took place in the mid-1920s, the study considers the evolution of these workers’ lives in terms of skills, autonomy, stratification and cohesiveness at their work sites.

Zhao, Minghua, and Amante, Maragtas S.V. "Chinese and Filipino Seafarers: A Race to the Top or the Bottom?" Modern Asian Studies 39.3 (July 2005): 535-557.
All countries with significant coastlines and groups of islands inevitably produce seafarers at some time or other in the course of their economic development, and the two countries which are the subject of this paper are no exceptions. Chinese ships and seafarers were famously exploring the Indian Ocean more than a century before the arrival of the Portuguese and once the Spanish Pacific empire was established in the sixteenth century, the ships linking Mexico to Manila were mainly crewed by Filipinos. And it need hardly be said that Chinese and Filipinos have both been employed by foreign ship-owners throughout the twentieth century. What is unquestionably new is the magnitude of Filipino seafarers’ employment in the world’s merchant ships and the extraordinary growth of China as a nation with a major stake in the shipping industry, both as ship-owner and as a source of seafarers.

Toohey, Aileen. "Badjao: Cinematic Representations of Difference in the Philippines." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36.2 (June 2005): 281-312.
This article examines the cinematic representation of identity through an analysis of the well-known Philippine film, Badjao. Produced in the late 1950s, Badjao successfully commercialized the idea and expression of conflict between the Tausug and Badjao ethnic groups. The study focuses on how the enactment and enunciation of identity through difference presented itself in cinema and how such representations, imbued with stereotypical cultural and religious codes, were re-formulations within nationalist discourses in the Philippines.

McElhinny, Bonnie. "'Kissing a Baby Is Not at All Good for Him': Infant Mortality, Medicine, and Colonial Modernity in the U.S.-Occupied Philippines." American Anthropologist 107.2 (June 2005): 183–194.
Feminist scholars have begun to consider the ways indigenous practices of child rearing were and are challenged in (post)colonial discourse and practice, and how these practices have become a terrain on which definitions of nation, state, and economy are contested. In this article, I adopt a historical anthropological approach to consider how Filipino child-rearing strategies were described and stigmatized in educational, public health, and public welfare discourses in the U.S.-occupied Philippines in the early 20th century. I demonstrate how public health practices and discourses that were generated as part of a "benevolent" campaign against high rates of infant mortality were strategically used as a weapon against Filipino arguments for independence. I also consider how discourses constructing Filipino caregivers as overly indulgent were linked to metropolitan concerns about production of the “new industrial man” and were used to develop a racialized critique of the cultural practices of Filipinos.

Danquah, Francis K. "Reports on Philippine Industrial Crops in World War II from Japan’s English Language Press." Agricultural History 79.1 (Winter 2005): 74–96.
Japan’s occupation of Southeast Asia placed enormous stocks of the region’s industrial crops under Japanese control. English language Japanese newspaper reports from the Philippines suggest that the invaders grossly underutilized this vast storehouse of agricultural wealth. Washington’s pre-war oil embargo severely crippled military and civilian transport services throughout the war, and Japan’s conversion of cane sugar into fuel alcohol and butane for aviation fuel failed to generate successful outcomes. Also, as the Pacific War eliminated cotton imports from the United States, India, and Egypt, placing numerous Japanese textile factories in jeopardy, Tokyo attempted to replace Philippine cane sugar plantings that previously served US markets with raising raw cotton for Japanese textile interests. In the Philippines, however, multifarious bottlenecks crippled all of Tokyo’s wartime farm projects. Though the Japanese occupation was short-lived, it demonstrated Tokyo’s intention to adjust the Philippine economy into a dependent relationship with Japanese industries.

May, Glenn Anthony. "The Making of a Myth: John Leddy Phelan and the 'Hispanization' of Land Tenure in the Philippines." Philippine Studies 52.3 (2004): 275-307. [With comments by Fernando N. Zialcita (308-10), Jaime B. Veneracion (311-13), and John N. Schumacher (315-19).
For close to fifty years, the accepted wisdom on land tenure in the colonial Philippines derives from a book written by John Leddy Phelan. Phelan claims that the Spanish regime radically transformed the nature of land tenure in the archipelago by substituting the "European" concept of private ownership for the pre-Hispanic arrangement, which emphasized communal ownership. He tells us further that one result of the change was the concentration of land in the hands of an indigenous elite. Phelan's thesis has been widely adopted by historians of the Philippines. This article argues that much of Phelan's formulation is a myth.

Bankoff, Greg. "'The Tree as the Enemy of Man': Changing attitudes to the Forests of the Philippines, 1565-1898." Philippine Studies 52.3 (2004): 320-44.
This article questions the accepted notions -- propagated as much in the present as in the past -- that the exploitation of Philippine tropical forests commenced only with the establishment of American colonialism in 1899, that Spanish forest policy was not commercially orientated, and that widespread deforestation began only under American auspices. Rather than a clear break with the past, the onset of American colonial rule represented a change in organization and technology. The fundamental transformation in attitudes about what sort of resource the archipelago's extensive forests represented took place during the second half of the nineteenth century. This change was reflected in altered practices at both the government and community levels. This article charts the nature and extent of these changes in attitude by examining the use and demand for wood between 1565 and 1898.

Mettraux, Guénaël. "US Courts-Martial and the Armed Conflict in the Philippines (1899–1902): Their Contribution to National Case Law on War Crimes." Journal of International Criminal Justice 1.1 (April 2003): 135-150.
In 1901 and 1902, United States courts-martial tried a number of US military personnel accused of various violations of the laws of war committed in the course of the American counter-insurgency campaign in the Philippines. Few in number, these courts-martial, as well as the comments made thereon by the Judge-Advocate General and the American President, sometimes contain ground-breaking discussions of the laws of war as they existed at the beginning of the last century, in matters such as the responsibility of commanding officers, the defence of superior orders, the legality of recourse to torture as a method to obtain information and confessions, and the rules on quarter. Besides their legal value, these pronouncements constitute a rare example of justice rendered at the national level by domestic courts against national military personnel accused of crimes against an enemy.

Gómez, Luis Ángel Sánchez. "Indigenous Art at the Philippine Exposition of 1887: Arguments for an Ideological and Racial Battle in a Colonial Context." Journal of the History of Collections 14.2 (November 2002): 283-294.
The Philippine Exposition was held in Madrid in 1887 with the aim of increasing commercial and economic relation between the archipelago and the metropolis, but also with the objective of showing its indigenous population to the Spaniards. In this sense, one of the Exposition sections was devoted to fine arts of the Philippines. Assessment of the artistic quality of works of art exhibited was the subject of very disparate interpretations. For conservative Spanish critics -- and even for some liberals -- the low quality of the woodcarvings was presented as a consequence of the inherent abilities of the Filipinos, and this circumstance was explained exclusively in ethnic terms. However, for some liberal Spanish critics and, above all, for members of the Filipino intellectual elite -- the ilustrados -- the responsibility for this artistic underdevelopment lay with the Spanish colonial system, and more specifically with the Spanish regular clergy, whose educational strategy was basically aimed at the repression of Filipino intellect.

Roces, Mina. "Kinship Politics in Post-War Philippines: The Lopez Family, 1945–1989." Modern Asian Studies 34.1 (January 2001): 181-221.
On being awarded the Legion of Honor by President Corazon Aquino, Joaquin 'Chino.' Roces, publisher of The Manila Times, pleaded with the president:
Please allow me to remind you, first. That our people brought a new government to power because our people felt an urgent need for change. That change was nothing more and nothing less than that of moving quickly into a new moral order. The people believed, and many of them still do, that when we said we would be the exact opposite of Marcos, we would be just that. Because of that promise which the people believed, our triumph over Marcos was anchored on a principle of morality... To our people, I dare propose that new moral order is best appreciated in terms of our response to graft and corruption in public service. We cannot afford a government of thieves unless we can tolerate a nation of highwaymen.
Roces' statement summarized a persistent theme in Philippine postwar political history: charges of graft and corruption are continuously levied against an administration, foreshadowing its demise at the next election contest, only to be replaced by a similarly-disposed regime. The 1986 'revolution' which brought Corazon Aquino to power found many supporters among those who believed that the corruption and excesses of the Marcos regime had gone too far. However, as the Roces speech poignantly illustrated, the Aquino regime which replaced it was itself guilty of similar crimes formerly attributed to the Marcos years preceding it. The irony of it all was that it was Roces who first sought the two million signatures that convinced Corazon Aquino to run for president in the first place.

Lee-Chua, Queena N. "Game Theory, People Power and Philippine Politics." Teaching Mathematics and its Applications 19.3 (September 2000): 114-18.
Though game theory has been utilized mostly in economics, it has wide applications in other fields as well. This paper delineates two illustrative game-theoretic applications to Philippine politics -- the People Power Revolution in the mid-1980s and the conflict over the Spratly Islands in the mid-1990s. Zero-sum games model these two events, and elementary matrix theory is used to determine pure strategies and locate equilibrium points. Recommendations for using game theory in other political situations are included, in an attempt to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world.


Barker, Randolph. Review of The Philippine Economy: Development, Policies, and Challenges, ed. by Arsenio M. Balicasan and Hal Hill. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36.2 (June 2005): 325-326>.

Labrador, Roderick N. Review of American Workers, Colonial Power: Philippine Seattle and the Transpacific West, 1919–1941, by Dorothy B. Fujita-Rony. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36.2 (June 2005): 326-328.

Jackson, Peter A. Review of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora, by Martin F. Manalansan. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36.2 (June 2005): 328-330.

Cano, Gloria. Review of Un Imperio en la Vitrina: El colonialismo Español en el Pacifico y la Exposición de Filipinas de 1887, by Luis Angel Sánchez. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36.2 (June 2005): 330-333.

Satoshi, Nakano. "In the Language of the Occupier: Recent Work on the Japanese Period in the Philippines." Review of Nippon Senryoka no Firipin (The Philippines under Japanese Occupation), ed. by Ikehata Setsuho. Social Science Japan Journal 2.2 (October 1999): 267-272.

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