Crafting Anthropological Traditions in the Philippines

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P. , Porio, Emma E.

First draft of paper completed in October 2014 and a final draft was submitted on 21 September 2015 as a chapter of the book tentatively titled as Anthropological Traditions in Southeast Asia. The book manuscript, edited by Professor Eric Thompson of the National University of Singapore, was submitted for publication at the NUS Press and now being circulated for peer review.



Green public spaces in the cities of South and Southeast Asia. Protecting needs towards sustainable well-being

By Alfiler, Cherie Audrey, D.

Sahakian, M., Anantharaman, M., Di Giulio, A., Saloma, C. Zhang, D., Khanna, R., Narasimalu, S., Favis, A. M., Alfiler, C. A., Narayanan, S., Gao, X., Li, C

The significance of green public spaces is well documented in relation to social inclusiveness, human health, and biodiversity, yet how green public spaces achieve what Gough (2017) has termed ‘sustainable wellbeing’ is less understood. This contribution presents preliminary results from a study of green public spaces in four mega-cities of South and Southeast Asia: Chennai (Republic of India), Metro Manila (Republic of the Philippines), Singapore, and Shanghai (People’s Republic of China), cities that have climates ranging from tropical, to subtropical and temperate. The conceptual framework brings together social practice theories with human development theories, methodological implications for the study of park usage, and Protected Needs. This study sets out to understand how parks satisfy human needs by uncovering practices in relation to activities and material arrangements. Central to the research design and sampling strategy is a desire to understand park-related practices in all of their diversity, and accounting for how different activities are carried out by diverse groups of people. The paper presents exemplary results showing that parks provide a space in which a multitude of needs are satisfied, and that parks cannot be substituted by other settings such as commercialized spaces. The paper will conclude by discussing tensions between types of park usage, and in relation to commercial encroachments on public space.

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Localizing Shakespeare and Folk Performance: Romeo and Juliet, Sintang Dalisay and the Igal of the Sama Bajau in Southern Philippines

By Abad, Ricardo G.

Ricardo G Abad, M. C. M Santamaria


Based on Romeo and Juliet and a 1901 awit adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, the theater production Sintang Dalisay deploys, as its movement motif, the igal, a dance tradition of the Sama Bajau of the southern Philippines. The use of the motif influences other elements in the production, specifically, the music, the decision to set the play in a Muslim community, the set and costume designs, and the change of the characters’ names into more local appellations. The localized production adopts a collaborative intercultural approach to theater-making, with Muslim and Christian artists working together to teach the dance to performers, help reconfigure the dance for the contemporary stage, and align that reconfiguration with community practice. This paper reviews the production, assesses its reception on etic and emic levels, and contextualizes the project in terms of Muslim–Christian relations in the Philippines. It finds that the task of localizing Shakespeare as folk performance must contend, onstage, with issues of cultural and political representation and, most importantly, offstage, with ethical issues that underlie collaborative intercultural theater. The offstage component makes the production a vehicle to advance a vision of mutual solidarity between Muslims and Christians.

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Bilibid Weeks: An Account of a Prison Theater in the Philippines

By Abad, Ricardo G.

Ricardo G Abad, Nicolo Ricardo Magno

For three years, the training company RolePlayers, Inc., worked with young male inmates at the Special Classes for Children in Conflict with the Law (SC-CCIL), a unit of the New Bilibid Prison, in two theater productions that were shown to the prison community and the external public. The first production, staged in 2016, was a devised piece called Tumbang Preso (Knock down the Prisoner); the second production, mounted in 2018, was the Pyramus–Tisbe scene from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in Filipino translation. The productions’ immediate impact, however, lies beyond the plays. For the young inmates, prison theater served as an opportunity to learn new skills, gain new perspectives, receive emotional support, and increase their chances of getting released. This paper documents the prison–theater project, the challenges the organizers faced, the lessons they have learned, and the paths that can be taken to sustain prison theater.

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Stories from the Frontlines: Decolonising Social Contracts for Disasters

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P.

AuthorsSiddiqi, Ayesha and Canuday, Jose Jowel


Disasters are framed as political moments when states are unable to provide security to their citizens, causing disruption and a possible 'break' in the state-citizen social contract. Evidence from the frontlines of insurgency and secessionist movements in southern Philippines suggests that social contracts do not 'break' in this manner, despite widespread suffering during a complex event. This paper presents new perspectives on social contracts after disasters, in conflict-affected regions. Using ethnographic data from two case studies in the Philippines, it argues that disasters in conflict-affected areas do not manifest a 'break' in social contracts in ways that result in 'state failure' and 'insurgent capture'. Instead, it shows that the state-citizen contract is a dynamic contestation of state responsibilities, while also being malleably resilient. The inequalities and anxieties prevalent in social contracts are reproduced in the highly differentiated experiences of 'disaster citizenship' for people living amidst conflict.


Isles of Garrisons: remote sensing Ijangs in northern Philippines (sixteenth-century)

By Canilao, Michael Armand P.

2018   Isles of Garrisons: remote sensing Ijangs in northern Philippines (sixteenth-century) in Geojournal– Spatially Integrated Social Sciences and Humanities

Charting the Abra gold trade network of Northwestern Luzon using ethnohistorical archaeology and WorldView-3 satellite imagery

By Canilao, Michael Armand P.


The paper will look at the Abra Network from the Early Historical to Historical Period (10th to Early 20th c) which encompasses areas of Ilocos Sur as well as the whole province of Abra. It is argued that this particular network features the migration by coastal peoples to the interior in order to fully control strategic “choke” points in the gold trade with the Lepanto and Angaqui networks as well as to control jump-off points to the leeward side of the Cordillera Mountains – the Cagayan valley. Analysis was done using data from GIS predictive modelling and WorldView3 satellite remote sensing, in conjunction with archaeological data from 2011 and 2012 field seasons as well as published primary and secondary ethnohistorical data. Several Spanish period maps provided important data on early settlements and trails, after georeferencing through GIS software.