Sunday, December 20, 2020

Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT)


The Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao Inc. (UGAT), organized in early 1977 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1979, is the national organization of anthropologists in the Philippines. It is also known as the Anthropological Association of the Philippines. UGAT’s main objectives are:

  • To promote, develop and disseminate anthropological knowledge;

  • To promote, deepen the knowledge, understanding and participation of and among different ethno-linguistic groups in working towards an integrated national consciousness and development;

  • To promote and forge linkages among anthropologists and others doing related work within the country and other parts of the world;

  • To uphold professional ethics.
Since its founding, UGAT has been conducting annual national conferences not only to discuss professional concerns but also to make anthropology more involved in national issues affecting Philippine society and culture.

UGAT is a regular member of the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) and is affiliated with the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES).

Journal Information

AGHAMTAO is the official publication of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT), the Anthropological Association of the Philippines.  Beginning with its maiden issue in 1978 devoted to a stocktaking of Anthropology in the Philippines, it continues to provide a forum for the “scholarship and the practice of anthropology,” covering such diverse areas as development and sustainability, disaster, ethnicity and national unity, education, and mass movements. The journal features selected papers read in annual conferences as well as reports from special events organized by UGAT.

AGHAMTAO comes out as a regular issue in October. All articles are screened by the Editorial Board, and undergo a double-blind review process. ​Issues of the journal are available at the PSSC Central Subscription Service.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

UGAT 41st Annual Conference: Keynote Address

Mythologies, Rebellions, and Hopes: The Indigenous Lumad's Struggle for Self-determination

Prof. Sarah Raymundo 
University of the Philippines, Diliman

The struggle for self-determination of Indigenous Peoples (IP) in the Philippines persists in the face of continued attacks on their rights. In the age of agribusiness, farm-to-market roads, malls, and increased environmental risks, the views of children who are bound to inherit the struggle of their ancestors for ancestral domain are worth documenting and analyzing. In particular, how school children describe how development looks like may not only be indicative of the current conduct of IP struggle. Its very documentation and discussion are persistent in an anthropological project which has made the discipline more inclined than others in the Social Sciences to unpack the "myths' which have been suppressed by colonialism and neoliberalism. Asked how a good life looks like, a group of Lumad school children agreed on a concrete vision: "When our parents no longer need to go to the city and buy our food from the grocery, we know life is good." This is in stark contrast to how most people perceive a good life shaped by a cash economy. Through qualitative research methods, this study aims to put forward the suppressed myths about the IP's construction of the good life. This study mainly argues that recognizing these "myths" as presence in our lives, research projects, and institutions is constitutive of a necessary critique of our monopolized market system and a compelling invitation to conspire with these myths long suppressed to make food sovereignty and respect for ancestral domain sound nothing more than just "myths."


Sarah Raymundo teaches at and directs the University of the Philippines-Diliman Center for International Studies. She is engaged in activist work in BAYAN (The New Patriotic Alliance), the International League of Peoples' Struggles. She leads the Committee for International Affairs of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers. She is the Chairperson of the Philippines-Bolivarian Venezuela Friendship Association. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal for Labor and Society (LANDS) and Interface: Journal of/and for Social Movements.

Anthropological Association of the Philippines and
Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

41st Annual Conference
FOOD (IN)SECURITY: An International Conference on Anthropology of Food and Eating
07-09 November 2019
Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

Sunday, July 21, 2019

UGAT 41st Annual Conference: Keynote Address

Of Forests and Gods: the biopolitics of (un)making life and livelihood in the Philippine uplands

Dr. Wolfram Dressler
University of Melbourne

Acts of governing upland peoples and landscapes increasingly reflect biopolitical endeavours in the frontiers of Southeast Asia - endeavours that aim to enhance and optimise the possibility of life. Beyond state schemes, actors in civil society fixate on the uplands to govern and discipline indigenous peoples' bodies, beliefs and behaviours in the service of outsider aims. Today, indigenous uplanders negotiate an increasing number of non-state governance practices that aim to reform life and livelihood through sustained discursive and material disciplining. Bridging Foucauldian biopolitics and material studies, in this talk I describe how the intersection of NGO and missionary practices strive to optimise upland life in contrasting yet reinforcing ways by reordering the livelihood practices and food choices of Pala'wan uplanders towards 'modern' ideals and existence. In doing so, I explore how NGOs reify Pala'wan custom and tradition to optimise livelihoods and food preferences for forest conservation, and how Seventh Day Adventists prohibit certain myths, rituals, and associated (customary) foods for locally situated proselytization. I describe how these actors' efforts to condition and discipline Pala'wan bodies, behaviours and diets powerfully intersect, reforming how uplanders reproduce themselves over time and space. I conclude by asserting that indigenous sovereignty over life and livelihood matters now more than ever as biopolitical interventions intensify and manifest in the uplands.


Dr. Wolfram Dressler is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. He works at the intersectionof anthropology, political ecology and agrarian change in Southeast Asia and the Philippines in particular.

Anthropological Association of the Philippines and
Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

41st Annual Conference
FOOD (IN)SECURITY: An International Conference on Anthropology of Food and Eating
07-09 November 2019
Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

Monday, April 15, 2019

UGAT 41st Annual Conference Call for Papers


Anthropological Association of the Philippines
Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

41st Annual Conference
An International Conference on Anthropology of Food and Eating
07-09 November 2019
Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

Food is an essential means of sustaining human life. Yet despite massive efforts on technological and scientific innovations in intensifying and improving food production and distribution on a global scale, food-related issues such as hunger and famine still beset ‘local’ communities. This precarity is further exacerbated by interlocking issues such as environmental degradation (e.g., massive biodiversity loss), disasters caused by climate change (e.g., prolonged droughts and strong typhoons), weak political institutions (e.g., food aid failures), unsound economic policies (e.g., food prices impact on family hunger), and social inequality, among others. As a consequence, the emergence of counterculture mass movements due to food (in)security, such as slow food movement, locavorism, vegetarianism and veganism, among others, is becoming popular and powerful, irrespective of national boundaries and identities. 

There is thus a need to reexamine and rethink how food is produced, circulated, and consumed. Food and eating has to be interrogated and unpacked in the context of local understandings vis-à-vis global processes in various human conditions and temporalities. While global processes shape and inform foodways and eating habits, anthropology pays attention to myriad and contested ways on how specific contexts understand, interpret and articulate the meanings of food and the practices of eating.

This year’s UGAT Annual Conference organizers are accepting papers, panels, and short film/video proposals that consider ‘security’, or lack thereof, as the key frame in understanding themes and issues concerning food and eating. The UGAT conference aims to provide an arena for reflexive and critical discussions on food-related issues, and to foster meaningful and engaged discussions among practitioners of anthropology – whether in academe, development and cultural work, media, art, advocacy, policy and governance, community work, or other forms of social action.

Proposals are welcome to address any of the following topics:
  • Global Issues -- authenticity (food identities, heritage, heirloom veggies, agricultural tourism, tourism and gastronomy; security and hunger (insecurity and internal displacement, food sovereignty, impact of climate on food and nutrition, sustainability)
  • Ethnographies -- Production (bayanihan farming, innabuyog, fishing, hunting, farming, subsistence vs surplus, seasonality, material culture in preparation, distribution and consumption); Processing (boiling, gata, sugab, kilaw, seasoning (Japanese dashi), kakanin); Distribution (tabu, tiangge, palengke, supermarket, hypermarket, food sharing, gift-giving); Consumption (sociality, manners, food etiquette, structure of the meal, feasting, fasting and famine)
  • Economy and Environment -- food trade, trade wars, multinational corporations, plantation economy and agribusiness, food and agriculture, farming systems, livestock, food and the sea; environmental decline, biodiversity loss; more-than-human anthropology (human-animal, human-plant relationships), producing non-food cash crops, over-harvesting, genetically-engineered food and transgenics
  • Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems and Practices -- ethnobiology, ethnoscience, endemic food; recipe studies (historical, contemporary, cross-cultural, regional, importance of place)
  • Health, Medicine, Nutrition, Food Safety -- diets and fads, child overweight and adult obesity, food as medicine, hidden hunger and malnutrition; hygiene, food science, food education, fake food
  • Eating Ideologies and Practices -- organics, vegetarianism, veganism, locavorism, culinary triangle (raw, cooked, rotten), fast food vs slow food, food fallacies, food rituals, food taboos; food and gender: body image, gender roles, gender stratification through food and eating
  • Archaeology of Food - ancient diet, reconstructing diet from human remains, material culture, hunger and famine in archaeological contexts, food cultures in prehistoric societies
  • Aesthetics and Sensibilities -- food as art, culinary art; food tourism and gastronomy; prestige food and pride of place, food memories
  • Food Rights -- geopolitics, governance and regulation, development goals, land grabbing, displacement, land conversion, dispossession, access to food, household intake and urban poor, food policies
  • Communication, Media, Folklore, History -- the language of food; food metaphors; navigating the internet: food porn, emojis, and social media; literature on food, food documentaries and histories
  • Non-food Food -- food for the soul, forgetting hunger, pantawid gutom, metaphorical food 
Proposals that do not fall under any of the identified topics above will be given consideration.


Cynthia N. Zayas (University of the Philippines, Diliman)
Jessie G. Varquez, Jr. (De La Salle University - Manila)
Guiraldo C. Fernandez, Jr. (Visayas State University)

  • Submissions must use the prescribed Submission Form ( which includes an abstract (250 words) written in a style that is accessible to non-academic audiences.
  • Proposals for panels must include a panel abstract as well as paper abstracts (see second page of the Submission Form).
  • Proposals written in Waray, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Filipino are accepted. 
  • Kindly email the completely filled-out Submission Form (in pdf) to
Deadline:  01 July 2019
Notice of acceptance of proposals will be issued by email by August 2019.

For further information, please contact the head of the conference secretariat Ms Annabelle Bonje (+63 915 547 7877) or at

To learn more about our conference venue, you can check the webpage of Visayas State University at

Please like our UGAT page on FB for updates:

Monday, March 4, 2019

Aghamtao 28 - Call for Submissions

AGHAMTAO, the official peer-reviewed journal of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao (UGAT/Anthropological Association of the Philippines), is now accepting submissions for Volume 28. The special issue will have the theme: “Our Interconnectedness: Doing anthropology in a time of ecological crisis.” The Issue Editors are particularly interested in papers that investigate the social conditions permeating today’s ecological crises, which threaten entire species and ways of life. The editors also invite full versions of papers presented at the 2018 UGAT conference with the same theme, or essays that engage with ideas that were tackled at the conference.

Please email Author Submission Form (in .pdf format) and article submission/s as separate file (in MS Word .doc format), to with cc to and following the submission guidelines listed below. To allow for the peer review process, the closing date for the themed issue is: June 30, 2019. Articles that are received beyond this date are still welcome but may be considered for succeeding issues of the journal.


• Accomplish the Author Submission Form.
• Article submissions must be in MS Word .doc format
    - Minimum length: 3,000 words.
    - Must have an abstract of not more than 250 words.
    - Text format: Times New Roman, font size 12pts, double-spaced.
    - For referencing style, kindly consult recent issues of AGHAMTAO.
    - Please remove author name/s, and identifying information about the author/s. These details should only be in the Author Submission Form.
• Figures (numbered and with captions) should be in a separate file.

Download forms here:

Aghamtao 28 - Call for Submissions
Aghamtao Author Submission Form

Sunday, December 16, 2018

UGAT Christmas Reunion 2018 - In Photos

16 December 2018

University of the Philippines - Diliman
Diliman, Quezon City


  UGAT Generations - founders, pioneers, movers, and the current Board of Directors

   Raul Pertierra / Pons Bennagen

   Carol Sobritchea / Lerma de Lima-Yambot

   Eugenia Bennagen / Jaja Paulate /  Che Dominguez 

   Len Regpala / Mercy Fabros

   Che Dominguez / Jaja Paulate 

   Etoy Castro / Fras Abaya / Maria Mangahas 

   Maria Mangahas / Ike Oracion 

   Etoy Castro / Maria Mangahas 

   Len Regpala 

   Mercy Fabros 

   Jaja Paulate

   Etoy Castro

   Suyen Roldan / Pons Bennagen

  Suyen Roldan / Carol Sobritchea

  Suyen Roldan / Raul Pertierra 

  Leah Vidal

UGAT Board of Directors 2018-2019

All photographs by Anthony John R. Balisi

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Palawan’s (un)sustainable development

SECOND OPINION: Palawan’s (un)sustainable development
Philippine Daily Inquirer
22 November 2018

Gideon Lasco 

PUERTO PRINCESA — Having lived in Palawan for over a year and having come and gone over the past decade, I can attest to its natural beauty: from the spellbinding forests of Cleopatra’s Needle and Mount Mantalingahan to the stunning beaches of El Nido and Coron. Even while walking along Puerto Princesa’s acacia-lined streets, one cannot help but be charmed by the island’s relatively pristine state.

This beauty, however, is facing numerous threats, a fact raised by President Duterte — who visited recently. Calling the island’s attractions a “crown jewel,” he told Palawan officials: “Itong (lugar) ninyo, linisin ninyo. Huwag ninyong overload. Bantay kayo d’yan. (Clean up your place, don’t overload it. Guard it.)” He also called on the officials not to allow hotels to be built near beaches, and warned that “nobody can claim ownership” of the island’s coastlines.

While the President was being feted by local politicians, scholars were likewise discussing the environmental state of Palawan, in the annual conference of the Ugnayang Agham-Tao (Ugat) — the association of Philippine anthropologists. Held at the Palawan State University (PSU), its theme could not have been more apt: “Doing Anthropology in Times of Environmental Crisis.” Among the issues raised were the impact of environmental changes (and laws) on indigenous peoples and the accommodation of mining projects by moving Environmentally Critical Areas Network  zones.

Doubtless, many Palaweños have benefited from economic growth: PSU graduates are choosing to stay in Puerto Princesa, where the growing tourism and service sectors have opened up more career opportunities; or elsewhere on the island, with mining and other industries. The city’s amenities, meanwhile, have made it a more attractive place for professionals to settle in or retire.

But there are also questions about the price of this so-called “development.” With its population tripling over the past 25 years, Puerto Princesa is showing signs of urban congestion, from burgeoning informal settlements and worsening traffic to recurring power outages and rising cost of living. “The city is losing its character,” one of my friends laments, referencing the trees, now gone, that used to be part of the landscape. “Soon we will look like any other Philippine city.”

As the elections draw near, I would like to challenge Palawan’s local officials to put environmental conversation and long-term planning at the heart of their policies and programs. Alas, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development has lacked the political support to implement its mandate, and local officials have been slow to act on environmental concerns.

For his part, President Duterte speaks of the need to protect Palawan, but he must realize that significant threats to the province include the island-building in Kalayaan and the illegal poaching by Chinese fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. Thus, in light of his subservience to China, he must also direct his challenge to himself. Moreover, given the potentially grave environmental consequences of dividing Palawan into three provinces, I urge him not to sign this move — which reeks of gerrymandering — into law.

As for my friends in Palawan and all Palaweños, I know it is too much to ask them to follow the footsteps of the late Dr. Gerry Ortega, whose murder in broad daylight is a continuing reminder of the risks involved in activism. But supporting environmental organizations, patronizing sustainable tourism initiatives, and voting for officials who genuinely have the island’s interest in mind can all make a big difference. So can academic work that affirms, to borrow from the Ugat conference theme, “our interconnectedness” with nature and documents the threats to our shared fate.

It is time to arrest Palawan’s unsustainable development before it’s too late to undo the damage wrought by human greed and irresponsibility—not to mention political complicity and neglect. Indeed, whether we are leaders, citizens, scholars or friends of Palawan, the legacy we should strive for is not that that we “developed” the island—but that we left it as beautiful as it once was.

Follow @gideonlasco on Twitter. Send feedback to


Monday, November 12, 2018

UGAT Annual Conferences (1978 to 2018)

40 years of commitment to the promotion of anthropological knowledge and participation to integrated national consciousness development and nation building.

1st (1978, Laguna) "Philippine Anthropology Today”
2nd (1979, Baguio City) “The Power of Anthropology: A Dialogue Among Developers”
3rd (1980, Cebu City) “The Filipino and His Changing Environment”
4th (1981, Dumaguete City) “The Anthropology of Power”
5th (1982, Iligan City) “Anthropology and Technology: Third World Perspectives
6th (1983, North Cotabato) “Anthropology of Mass Movements: Peoples Organizations in Social Transformation”
7th (1984, Bukidnon) “The Anthropology of the Future: Emerging Structures and Processes”
8th (1985, Legaspi City) “Anthropology of Education: Contribution to Nationhood”
9th (1987, Cagayan de Oro City) “Culture Change and National Development”
10th (1988, Marawi City) “Ethnicity and National Unity”

11th (1989, Tacloban City) “Anthropology and Resistance”
12th (1990, Manila) “Philippine Ethnography: Issues in Cultural Pluralism and Nationhood”
13th (1991, Manila) “Anthropology of Philippine Anthropology: Issues and Concerns for the Nineties”
14th (1992, Laguna) “Anthropology of Development: Issues and Concerns of the Nineties”
15th (1993, Cebu City) “Sustainability of Development: The Anthropological Perspective”
16th (1994, General Santos City) “The Anthropology of Transformation”
17th (1995, Nueva Ecija) “Anthropology of Disaster”
18th (1996, Benguet) “The Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines: Knowledge, Power and Struggles”
19th (1997, Palawan) “Territoriality, Histories and Identities”
20th (1998, Quezon City) “Philippine Anthropology in the 21st Century”

21st (1999, Albay) “The Use and Abuse of Anthropology in the Philippines”
22nd (2000, Misamis Oriental) “Theory and Practice of Philippines Anthropology: Reviewing the Past to View the Future”
23rd (2001, UP Diliman) “Bridging the Generations in Philippine Anthropology”
24th (2002, Davao City) “Rootwork and Network: Weaving Mindanao Anthropology”
25th (2003, Cebu City) “Writing Philippine Ethnography”
26th (2004, Cagayan de Oro City) “The Ends of Educating”
27th (2005, Miagao) “The Anthropology of Crisis”
28th (2006, Dumaguete) “The Philippines Unbound: Anthropological Critiques of Globalization”
29th (2007, Zamboanga City) “The Practice of Governance”
30th (2008, Pampanga) “Performing Heritage”

31st (2009, Cagayan de Oro) “The (Re)Making of Cities and its Consequences”
32nd (2010, Manila) “Kalkhasan in Flux: Indigenous Peoples’ Creativity in a Changing Natural Environment”
33rd (2011, Bukidnon) “Aghamtaong Kaagapay: Anthropology Cares for Its Publics”
34th (2012, Cebu City) “Culture” and “Well-being”: Conceptualizations, Appropriations, Implications
35th (2013, Davao City) “Rethinking & Remaking Forms of Knowledge”
36th (2014, Baguio City) “Trajectories of the Anthropological in the Philippines”
37th (2015, Dumaguete) “Dagat Ug Kinabuhi: Maritime Cultures, Spaces & Networks”
38th (2016, Quezon City) “Circulating Anthropological Knowledge in the Public Sphere: Building Communities of Practice”
39th (2017, Cagayan de Oro) “The Struggle for Rights: Anthropological Reflection on What Is and What Ought To Be”
40th (2018, Palawan) “Our Interconnectedness: Doing Anthropology in a Time of Ecological Crisis”

UGAT 40th Annual Conference, An International Gathering. Our Interconnectedness: Doing Anthropology in a Time of Ecological Crisis. Book of Abstracts. 2018. Quezon City: Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT). pp 117-118.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Aghamtao 28 - Call for Submissions

We are now accepting article submissions for Vol. 28 of AGHAMTAO, the official and peer-reviewed journal of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT), Inc. This issue will carry the theme, “Our Interconnectedness: Doing Anthropology in a Time of Ecological Crisis.” The editors are especially interested in full versions of the papers or presentations read during that conference; articles or essays that engage with such papers or presentations; or which otherwise address the state, complexity and dynamics of confronting the ecological crises that threaten entire species and ways of life.  Submissions that do not meet these criteria, but have clear substantive, theoretical or methodological merit, shall be given due consideration for inclusion in the issue.

Please email submissions to as soon as possible in order to be considered for the issue, which is scheduled for launch during the UGAT Annual National Conference in 2019. To allow for the review process, the closing date for submissions for this particular issue is 30 April 2019. Submissions received beyond this date however may be considered for succeeding issues of the journal.

Article submissions must be emailed in MS Word .doc format, accompanied by an abstract of not more than 250 words.  All figures (numbered and with captions) must be in a separate file. The minimum length for an article submission is 3,000 words. For referencing style, kindly consult recent issues of AghamTao.

Very truly yours,

Padmapani L. Perez, Issue Editor
and the Editorial Board of AGHAMTAO Vol. 28

UGAT 40th Annual Conference, An International Gathering. Our Interconnectedness: Doing Anthropology in a Time of Ecological Crisis. Book of Abstracts. 2018. Quezon City: Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT). pp 116. 

UGAT 40th Annual Conference - In Photos

Anthropological Association of the Philippines
Palawan State University (PSU)

40th Annual Conference
An International Gathering
8-10 November 2018
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan


 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

Photo by Fred Precillas

Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Hannah May Rosario

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fatima Gay Molina

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

 Photo by Fred Precillas

Photo by Thea Tandog

Friday, November 9, 2018

Stuart A. Schlegel, University of California, Santa Cruz

Professor Emeritus 
University of California, Santa Cruz

25 October 1932 - 09 November 2018 

Stu Schlegel spent nearly two years in the mid-1960s in a Philippine rainforest with the Teduray people (known until recently as "Tiruray") -- and wishes he could have never left!

Photo from Stu Schlegel's facebook,

Friday, November 2, 2018

UGAT 40th Annual Conference - Book of Abstracts

Anthropological Association of the Philippines
Palawan State University (PSU)

40th Annual Conference
An International Gathering
8-10 November 2018
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan


Cover and book design by Anthony John R. Balisi

UGAT 40th Annual Conference BOA - download here

UGAT 40th Annual Conference BOA Addenda - download here