Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lay people and the expert

Three articles below that are culturally interesting. The common thread is power and the exoticism of the “other”…

I have a question. How can the archaeological community incorporate, make use of, expand, encourage, etc. The archaeological interests of lay people? While I am aware of the fieldwork and other educational activities for the general public that KAPI/UP-ASP/NM initiate ( very good initiatives!), how does the archaeological community "relate" to the writings/publications or "cultural production" of lay people vis-a-vis archaeology?

This is not question that concerns archaeology but other fields as well such as environmental, medical, economic, technology, etc. research. In fact, there is a burgeoning field called risk (perception) and analysis, which talks about the tensions between expert "authority" and the general public. The operational and policy implications are intriguing... wrote:

Date: 14 Apr 2007 09:14:17 -0000



Subject: [BALITA-USA] Digest Number 719: BALITA-USA for Global Filipinos

Messages In This Digest (3 Messages)

1. GLIMPSES: The Filipino Sense of Generosity - by Jose Ma. Montelibano From:

2. Landscape: "Mondo Cane" - by Gemma Cruz Araneta From:

3. PerryScope - Who Discovered the Philippines? From:


1. GLIMPSES: The Filipino Sense of Generosity - by Jose Ma. Montelibano

Posted by: "" perrydiaz2001

Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:34 am (PST)

The Filipino Sense Of Generosity

Jose Ma. Montelibano

Writing about corruption is not easy for me. It is not that I have a difficult time gathering enough information about corruption because it is pervasive and carries a foul smell. My difficulty lies from my distaste of the subject matter and what I feel as my responsibility to
jolt a collective consciousness that is often lulled into tolerating corruption. I also carry the fear that an over-focus on corruption can make it more familiar to the subliminal when the intent is to increase social revulsion towards it.

Even though I again read some corruption updates from US reports, I really have no desire to write about it now. The reason is that something infinitely more pleasant, more inspiring, is happening before my eyes while I am traveling and working in this beautiful
island of Marinduque.

Last December 1, 2006, Typhoon Reming hit Marinduque. It was not only a bad hit, but a most destructive one at that. Just over a month before that, Typhoon Milenyo sideswiped Marinduque, and while Typhoon Senyang dumped its rains on the island a week after Typhoon Reming. These typhoons destroyed thousands of homes, wiped out Marinduque's banana trees and killed a great number of the island's coconut trees. Subsistence living had been the state of the majority poor of the island's population from the time that a mining disaster stopped all mining operations in the province, and the typhoons made hunger a daily threat.

The unfortunate situation that befell Marinduque had a bright side to it, though. An outpouring of sympathy was generated, and relief flowed to Marinduque and three provinces in Bicol. Relief goods and food missions went to the people of Marinduque from different parts of the Philippines and the world. Some of these were coursed through Gawad Kalinga which had begun to build its first village located in the municipality of Gasan. Beyond food and clothes, however, Gawad Kalinga decided to do its share in providing houses on land with security of tenure or ownership to typhoon victims who were landless even before the storms.

Providentially, the decision to build houses established a wonderful channel through which generosity can be continually expressed. It is true that corruption is pervasive, and that tolerance to it is even more prevalent. But it is equally true that a people living so long under an environment of scarcity brought about by massive poverty isnow discovering, or re-discovering, that it is capable of great generosity as well. With a backdrop of an odorous darkness that symbolizes what corruption is to society and the human soul, it is almost miraculous to witness a surge of Filipino generosity here and abroad. Much has been said of the ill traits of the Filipino including a tendency to bash ourselves. There are valid and ample bases for self-flagellation, just as there seemed little or no reason to be inspired by our collective behavior.

In fact, if I am not watching generosity overflowing in front of me, I would persist in skepticism. To sustain its efforts to provide homes for the typhoon victims of Milenyo and Reming, the leadership of Gawad Kalinga thought of institutionalizing the Bayani Challenge where 15-person teams build houses in Gawad Kalinga villages where typhoon survivors are relocated. The Bayani Challenge started last year in Southern Leyte when more than 20 teams with 15 members each went to St. Bernard to build houses in five days. This year, more than two hundred teams volunteered to do the same in eight Gawad Kalinga villages in four provinces in Marinduque and three provinces in Bicol. They arrived early Monday morning and the contest began immediatelyafter lunch. Hundreds of volunteers from as far as Bacolod in the Visayas turned to become house builders even though most of them were employees of various corporations.

Napocor, led by a very seniorofficer, brought four teams and will have finished four houses as this article comes out in John Concepcion of Selecta-Unilever obliged employees who pleaded to go without pay despite the fact that the firm's ice cream factory is experiencing its peak production at this time. The Selecta team included its plant manager and union members in an outstanding display of corporate harmony. A charismatic group, Bukas Loob sa Dios, led by Ric Pascua o Bonifacio Land/The Fort fame, came with his wife, Rizza, who celebrated her birthday while building a house for a poor family. Another BLD member, Kiko Josef, president of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association took pick and shovel, laying aside pen and paper for the meantime. He was supported by teachers from Marinduque led by district superintendent Humberto Rey. Gawad Kalinga residents from several villages in Metro Manila gave up opportunities to earn their daily income, found sponsors to shoulder travel expenses, and pounded away to construct for others what had once been constructed for them. People are paying back, and many more are paying forward.

People helping people. Humanitarian. Bayanihan. Patriotism. Virtue after virtue, generosity abounding.

Corruption is the more popular term for what it really is exploitation. People who have more in power or position use their advantage to exploit those who have less. Generosity is the fail-safe antidote of corruption. To go beyond one's needs and desires and offer instead one's time, talent and resources to the poor and marginalized is the heroism of ordinary people. Thousands of participants in the Bayani Challenge are heroes whose greatest offering to Philippine society and nation is their generosity.

Filipinos abroad are not lagging behind either. In America, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Western Europe are working anddonating, courting support from others as they give land and funds for houses. Their aggressive support for Gawad Kalinga is dismantling the image of Filipino mendicancy, showing that Filipinos are first to help their fellow Filipinos before accepting support from foreigners. t is generosity that Filipinos can take as a priority value, as a way of life. It is Christian, it is Muslim, it is universal. Generosity breeds heroism, and heroism attains honor. At last, the seed of honor is planted and propagated by the Filipino sense of generosity.

I am simply brimming with excitement and anticipation.

*************** ********* ********* ********

2. Landscape: "Mondo Cane" - by Gemma Cruz Araneta

Posted by: "" perrydiaz2001

Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:36 am (PST)

Mondo canea

Manila Bulletin, Thursday, 12 April 2007


Gemma Cruz Araneta

Reacting to CNN’s lopsided coverage of our Lenten rites, Fernando N. Zialcita, social anthropology professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, told me that some years ago, people from Discovery Channel asked if he could be interviewed about the flagellations and crucifixions in Pampanga. Although he had all the information they wanted, Prof. Zialcita felt it was about time they highlighted the more mainstream celebrations in Pampanga, such as the magnificent processions that are held yearly as part of the Lenten rituals. To his dismay, the Discovery Channel people were interested only in the blood and gore. I call that the “Mondo canea” syndrome.

Prof. Zialcita believes that Filipinos in general, not only the Kapampangas, should protest against this odious stereotype in. the international media. He said that Pampanga is a culture of contrasts where patrician elegance collides with folk traditions and the embodiment of that clash can be witnessed in San Fernando city on Good Friday when both cultures come alive in their own ritualistic and colorful display. But, unfortunately, “We are good for news only if it’s about disaster, violence, poverty” or gory things like crucifixions” laments Prof. Zialcita, “I suspect that in the list of Asian cultures, we are the least respected. They would sooner do a film on Bhutan or Laos than on the fine achievements of Pampamgo, Tagalog or Visayan culture. We must protest against this!”

Could that be why this republic is hardly featured in programs on Asian culture? Years ago, when Prof Zialcita was taking notes on the crucifixions at Cutud (for his book CUARESMA) he met an American Protestant missionary who, mistaking him for Chinese, blurted out – “You know these people whipping themselves bloody are not so far removed from headhunting.” That seemed to explain the obsession of American media for bloody rituals; to them, it’s the bloody rituals, and not the ornate baroque processions common all over the islands, that represent what they consider “authentic” Filipino. Take note that Prof Zialcita has nothing against Protestants, specially those of the liberal variety; what he totally rejects are their idiotic prejudices that warp our image.

In her fascinating essay, “Spirited Politics” British anthropologist Feenella Cannell wrote about the attitudes of Americans towards Catholic Filipinos from 1900 to the 1940s. Apparently, Americans looked down on “lowland Christian Filipinos“ that is, our Tagalog, Pampango, Ilocano and Visayan ancestors” for having adopted many Spanish customs and practices and for adhering to the Church of Rome. Many of these Americans, according to Cannell, boasted that they felt more “at home among the aboriginals of the Cordillera even the headhunters” than among the Europeanized Tagalogs. Cannell also pointed out that studies on Filipino culture made during that period were based largely on the highland communities, thereby giving a one-sided image of this country.

Cannella’s essay is a must read, says Prof. Zialcita. “I would hear the same refrain among my American classmates in anthropology at the Universityof Hawaii” he said, “that the true Filipino can only be the aborigine.” An early sixties movie, “Mondo canea” (A dog’s world) was a collection of tripe and gore filmed the world over, appealing to those with a thrist for the anthropologically perverse and sensationally peculiar. (


3. PerryScope - Who Discovered the Philippines?

Posted by: "" perrydiaz2001

Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:38 am (PST)

April 13, 2007

Who Discovered the Philippines?

Philippine history books have been saying that the Philippines was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan. But was he really the one who discovered the Philippines?

Long before Magellan landed in the Philippine archipelago, visitors and colonizers from other lands had come to our shores. The earliest evidence of the existence of modern man - homo sapiens sapiens -- in the archipelago was discovered in 1962 when a National Museum team led by Dr. Robert Fox uncovered the remains of a 22,000-year old man in the Tabon Caves of Palawan. The team determined that the Tabon Caves were about 500,000 years old and had been inhabited for about 50,000 years. I

In the late 1990s, Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography at UCLA and winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, and Peter Bellwood, Professor of Archaeology at the Australian National University, postulated that the Austronesians had their roots in Southern China. Diamond said that they migrated to Taiwan around 3,500 B.C. However, Bellwood believed that the Austronesian expansion started as early as 6,000 B.C. Around 3,000 B.C., the Malayo-Polynesians -- a subfamily of the Austronesians -- began their migration out of Taiwan. The first stop was northern Luzon. Over a span of 2,000 years, the Malayo-Polynesian expansion spread southward to the rest of the Philippine archipelago and crossed the ocean to Celebes, Borneo, Timor, Java, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, and Vietnam; westward in the Indian Ocean to Madagascar; and eastward in the Pacific Ocean to New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Marquesas, Cook, Pitcairn, Easter, and Hawaii. Today, the Malayo-Polynesian speaking people have populated a vast area that covers a distance of about 11,000 miles from Madagascar to Hawaii, almost half the circumference of the world.

In 2002, Bellwood and Dr. Eusebio Dizon of the Archaeology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines led a team that conducted an archaeological excavation in the Batanes Islands which lie between Taiwan and Northern Luzon. The three-year archaeological project, financed by National Geographic, was done to prove -- or disprove -- the “Out of Taiwan” hypothesis for the Austronesian dispersal. The archaeological evidence that they gathered proved that the migration from Taiwan to Batanes and Luzon started about 4,000 years ago. For the next 500 years after the arrival of the Malayo-Polynesians in Batanes and Northern Luzon, native settlements flourished throughout the archipelago. The Philippine islands’ proximity to the Malay archipelago which includes the coveted Mollucas islands -- known as the “Spice Islands -- had attracted Arab traders who had virtual monopoly of the Spice Trade until 1511. By the 9th century, Muslim traders from Malacca, Borneo, and Sumatra started coming to Sulu and Mindanao. In 1210 AD, Islam was introduced in Sulu. An Arab known as Tuan Mashaika founded the first Muslim community in Sulu. In 1450 AD, Shari'ful Hashem Syed Abu Bakr, a Jahore-born Arab, arrived in Sulu from Malacca. He married the daughter of the local chieftain and established the Sultanate of Sulu.

In the early 16th century, Sharif Muhammad Kabungsuan, a Muslim preacher from Malacca arrived in Malabang in what is now Lanao del Sur and introduced Islam to the natives. In 1515 he married a local princess and founded the Sultanate of Maguindanao with Cotabato as its capital. By the end of the 18th century, more than 30 sultanates were established and flourished in Mindanao. The Sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu were the most powerful in the region. Neither of them capitulated to Spanish dominion.

Chinese traders -- who were also involved in the Spice Trade -- started coming to the Philippine archipelago in the 11th century. They went as far as Butuan and Sulu. However, most of their trade activities were in Luzon. In 1405, during the reign of the Ming Dynasty in China, Emperor Yung Lo claimed the island of Luzon and placed it under his empire. The Chinese called the island “Lusong” from the Chinese characters Lui Sung. The biggest settlement of Chinese was in Lingayen in Pangasinan. Lingayen also became the seat of the Chinese colonial government in Luzon. When Yung Lo died in 1424, the new Emperor Hongxi, Yung Lo’s son, lost interest in the colony and the colonial government was dissolved. However, the Chinese settlers in Lingayen -- known as “sangleys” -- remained and prospered. Our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal descended from the sangleys.

The lucrative Spice Trade attracted the European powers. In 1511 a Portuguese armada led by Alfonso d'Albuquerque attacked Malacca and deposed the sultanate. Malacca’s strategic location made it the hub of the Spice Trade; and whoever controlled Mallacca controlled the Spice Trade. At that time, Malacca had a population of 50,000 and 84 languages were spoken. It is interesting to note that in 1515, Tome Pires -- the apothecary of Portuguese Prince Alfonso and author of Suma Oriental (Eastern Account) -- during his travel to Malacca, wrote: “The Luzones are almost one people, and in Malacca, there is no division between them...They were already building many houses and shops. They are a useful people; they are hardworking. .. In Minjam, near Malacca, there must be five hundred Luzoes, some of them important men.” It would seem to me that those 500 Luzoes were the first recorded Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

One of the officers under d’Albuquerque was Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan stayed in Malacca for a few years and spent some time reconnoitering the surrounding areas. He had an idea. He returned to Portugal to convince the Portuguese king to subsidize an expedition to find a westward route to the Spice Islands. The Portuguese king rejected his proposal and he went to Spain to get support from the Spanish king. He succeeded in convincing the Spanish king. In 1519, Magellan sailed westward from Seville in search of the Spice Islands. On March 16, 1521 -- on the Feast of St. Lazarus -- he landed in the Philippine archipelago . He named the archipelago “Islas de San Lazaro” and claimed it for the King of Spain. What Magellan found in the Philippines was a peaceful people with all the trappings of a civilized society.

When he arrived in Cebu, the Cebuanos welcomed him and his party, and lavished them with hospitality. The Cebuanos were easily converted to Christianity and they pledged allegiance -- without bloodshed -- to the king of Spain. However, Lapu-Lapu, the chief of the neighboring Mactan island refused to pledge allegiance to the Spanish king. On April 27, 1521, irked by Lapu-Lapu’s rejection, Magellan attacked Mactan. Lapu-Lapu and his warriors met them on the shores of Mactan. Magellan was killed in battle; thus, ending his dream of reaching the Spice Islands by way of a westward route. History has been kind by crediting him for the “discovery of the Philippines” or rather it should it be the re-discovery of the Philippines. (mailto:PerryDiaz@aol. com)

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