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.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mercedes Lactao Fabros, Anthropologist


09 March 1953 - 16 May 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mahirap Maging Mahirap: How are the poor coping with COVID-19?

Mahirap Maging Mahirap: How are the poor coping with COVID-19?

Kwentong Kalusugan sa Komunidad ukol sa COVID-19 (KKK-COVID19)
Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), Ateneo de Manila University
Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT) 

UGAT thanks everyone who joined its first-ever webinar, where four anthropologists talked about the impacts of Covid-19 and the resulting quarantine on the urban poor.

Here is an infographic prepared by Ateneo de Manila University student Kay Atienza, who joined the webinar and got inspired to design this visual aid free of charge.

The speakers of the webinar facilitated by Dr. Mary Racelis of the Institute of Philippine Culture discussed topics related to the experiences of Filipinos during the enhanced community quarantine, with a focus on the plight of the urban poor.

Dr. Maria Carinnes Alejandria of the University of Santo Tomas discussed the struggles of the residents in BASECO compound in Manila, particularly those involved in the garlic industry.

Dr. Josh San Pedro of the Coalition for People's Health shed light on the struggles of disseminating COVID-related information to the public as reflected in his work as a physician-anthropologist in Quezon City.

Dr. Gideon Lasco of University of the Philippines Diliman highlighted the most vulnerable sectors of the society during COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the point that the pandemic can be viewed as "syndemic". The issues arising during ECQ should not be divorced from the apparent disparities brought by different social, economic, and political contexts.

Watch the video here

Maria Paz Palis, Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo de Manila University

25 January 1965 - 22 April 2020

Maria Paz Palis made her transition around 1:30PM today, April 22, 2020 in Iloilo City. She died of complications to breast cancer. Paz was 55. Please continue to pray for her eternal repose.

Patsy was a valiant spirit, a prayer warrior, unwavering in her love and support to family and friends, and always positive and upbeat in spite of pain and challenging situations. Join our family as we celebrate a life well lived! — from Joseph Palis, 22 April 2020

Friday, April 17, 2020

Mahirap Maging Mahirap (UGAT and IPC Webinar on COVID 19)

Mahirap Maging Mahirap (UGAT and IPC Webinar on COVID 19)

Kwentong Kalusugan sa Komunidad ukol sa COVID-19 (KKK-COVID19)
Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), Ateneo de Manila University
Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT) 

Join us as we co-host (with Ateneo's Institute of Philippine Culture) an online conversation on COVID-19 with anthropologists who are working closely with marginalized communities.

Anthropologists Mary Racelis, Maria Carinnes Alejandria, Josh San Pedro and Gideon Lasco will share their observations about COVID-19 and the urban poor experiences during the nationwide quarantine, public health and medical interventions, and local and global responses. They will share their observations about on-the-ground realities and point to ways to improve our response to the pandemic.

This webinar is co-sponsored by Ugnayang Pang-AghamTao (UGAT), Ateneo de Manila University's Institute of Philippine Culture, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Philippine Center for Health and Research Development.

Maria Carinnes Alejandria, PhD
- Assistant Professor, University of Santo Tomas

Joshua San Pedro, MD
- Co-convenor, Coalition for People's Right to Health
- Community Physician, Council for Health and Development

Gideon Lasco, MD, PhD
- Senior Lecturer, University of the Philippines Diliman
- Research Fellow, Ateneo de Manila University

Mary Racelis, PhD (honoris causa)
- Research Scientist, Institute of Philippine Culture
- Senior Lecturer, Ateneo de Manila University
- Senior Lecturer, University of the Philippines Diliman


This webinar is FREE and open to the public. Register Now at

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

TALAARAWAN: a collection of autoethnographic diaries in the time of COVID-19

We are inviting everyone, not just anthropologists but also students, professionals, kids, academics, government, non-government, the religious sector, corporate employees, our frontliners, and volunteers, to send to us your everyday anecdotes of your experiences, reactions, feelings, and observations during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Since 15 March, NCR has been placed into a lockdown as a government measure to contain the spread of the COVID-19 acute respiratory disease. The following day, an enhanced community quarantine was announced extending the lockdown to the entirety of Luzon, while several local governments in Visayas and Mindanao posed restrictions of their own. The lockdown has caused a massive and abrupt societal change closing businesses, suspending classes, shutting down public transportation, and momentarily halting work, urging more than 50 million people to stay at home—an abnormality in our normative way of life. Suspending what essentially constitutes our daily lives has exposed the overwhelming social inequality in our country, the frailty of our economy highly dependent on import and export, the politics of the opportunists, and the kind of morality we hide underneath our language and behavior. Living on lockdown and staying at home are not the same for every Filipino. For some of us, the pandemic has occupied so much of our thinking and created a confused, incomprehensible emotional and psychological state, while for many people living in underprivileged circumstances physical distancing, handwashing, and wearing masks are only secondary to their day-to-day struggle to get food for their families.

As the only association of anthropologists in the Philippines, the Ugnayang Pang-Agham Tao sees the importance of listening to the personal and connecting it to the collective memory and cultural experiences of Filipinos in this extraordinary time. We encourage you to send us your own observations, reactions, and experiences based on the different senses—sight, smell, touch, hearing, feeling. Your submissions can be in the form of any of the following: short journal entries, long essays, photographs, photo essays, audio recordings, video, description of what you are feeling or the smells or the sounds you associate with or peculiar to you while you are under quarantine, screenshots and links to news you follow, drawings and illustrations of your environment, a list of words to describe the situation, etc. Your diary entries are in itself diary entries in the strict definition of the term. We are interested in submissions that you are writing for yourself and not only for the public or for clout such as the kind for a blog, Facebook, or Twitter. The submissions we seek include the reactions you experience intimately but are otherwise concealed.

We are particularly interested in your reflections on the following: What worries you during this time? What do you think about the government response? How do you feel about the volunteer efforts among the private sector and the civil society? What does ‘physical distancing’ and ‘quarantine’ look like to you? How do you cope or interact with others while on quarantine? While on lockdown, what do you feel before you go to sleep and after waking up? Have you also lost track of time? What are you thinking about when you need to go outside? How do you feel about the security checkpoints? What is your mood? What is the mood in your environment? Has there been a change in the way you understand yourself, family, personal and professional relationships, neighborhood, community, the medical workers, frontliners, the government, your schoolwork, society in general? How do you visualize the Philippines after the pandemic? What should we learn from this experience?

The COVID-19 diaries project is a collaborative work and the main goal of the project is for all of us to remember this time and learn from our own experiences and experiences of others. This project is a work-in-progress, but with your permission we intend to use your entries to curate an online (and later on physical) exhibit of TALAARAWAN. We can also bring together some entries for a special issue of the AGHAMTAO journal or a feature of your entry on the UGAT Blog (

All of your entries will only be used for the purpose we aim in this TALAARAWAN project. Submitting your diaries to UGAT means you are giving us consent to publish your entries. All entries will remain confidential and your identity anonymous if you choose to. Please be ensured that we will respect your data privacy rights (

Your diary entry can be in any Philippine language or in English. Please include your name (optional), date of diary entry, affiliation/ taga-saan, your occupation (e.g. student), and age. There are two ways to submit your diaries:

1) You can send your submissions to, if you particularly want to remain anonymous. Please use an email address where you want us to contact you.
2) You can publicly post your entry on social media (FB, IG, Twitter) and use #talaarawanCOVID19 or tag us @ugat1978. Using the hashtag or tagging us means you are allowing UGAT to use your post and your name.

If you have questions, you can message our FB Page @ugat1978 ( or send them to


Thursday, March 5, 2020

UGAT 42nd Annual Conference Call for Abstracts


Anthropological Association of the Philippines
University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

42nd Annual Conference
1521 and Beyond: Anthropology of Encounters
05-07 November 2020
University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

Christianity may be considered the most significant cultural consequence of Spanish colonization in the country.  But this religion was utilized to subjugate the local population and coerce them to convert to a belief system imposed by the colonizers.  Despite the victory of the locals led by Lapulapu over Magellan and his men in 1521, this group of islands now named the Philippines came under the rule not only of the Spaniards for centuries but also the Americans thereafter.  Encounters with the colonizers were experienced by local peoples in different places across different time periods, sometimes violently. Such historical events illustrate how cultures encounter each other through various forms, resulting in a number of challenges, consequences, and changes, on both sides.

As we approach the 500th anniversary of Lapulapu’s victory, as well as Magellan’s success in circumnavigating the Earth, and the introduction of Christianity in this country, the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao (UGAT) would like to scrutinize various types of encounters before, during and beyond 1521 up until the present.

Encounter as a phenomenon has different typologies and layers of interactions with temporal and spatial dimensions corresponding to when and where two or more people meet and the circumstances that unfold before, during, and after every encounter. The traditional type of encounters is direct and face-to-face between individuals or groups involving actual physical movements together with certain products or objects, plants, and animals, ideas and technologies as commodities—like the experiences with Muslim traders and Spanish colonizers—which may have been used in the transaction in order to gain access to a particular place or to negotiate for other scarce commodities for mutual benefit or for the pursuit of some hidden agenda.

The other type of encounters, in contemporary times, does not only involve physical movements of people across places but include those engagements mediated by information technology, social media, transportation and communication systems, and other social networks that allow the parties involved to satisfy or achieve their respective purposes. But because encounters may involve individuals, groups, communities or organizations with varied and often conflicting interests due to social class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age group, political position, and so on, as well as of commodities with differentiated values; the results of such encounters may be favorable or unfavorable.  Due to the power imbalance between the involved parties inherent in the hierarchy of encounters, no mutually beneficial results are assured, but can be worked out by both parties in the process.

Therefore, this conference invites anthropologists, practitioners, and supporters of anthropology to submit and present studies that examine the cultural contexts, meanings, dynamics and consequences of encounters beyond its common notion as physical meetings of different peoples.

Individual and panel abstract submissions may cover the following topics:

  • Precolonial contacts
  • Exploration and colonization
  • Evangelization and religious contacts
  • Travel and tourism
  • Religious movements
  • Social movements
  • Indigenous Peoples in transition
  • Community engagements
  • Virtual communities
  • Digital encounters
  • Classroom encounters
  • Supply chain and product branding
  • Expatriates and overseas workers
  • Encounters with globalization
  • Zone of encounters
  • Encounters between economic systems & practices
  • Political encounters
  • Violent encounters
  • Cosmological or ideological encounters
  • Art objects and appreciations
  • Gender and sexuality encounters
  • Self and others
  • Law and enforcement
  • Human and non-human encounters
  • Inter-generational encounters
  • Discourse on time, space and place 
  • Researchers and the researched
  • Science and local knowledge intersections 
  • Decolonizing anthropology
  • Intercultural marriages
  • Intercultural communication 

Proposals that do not fall under any of the identified topics above may be given consideration.

Conference Convenors

Jose Eleazar R. Bersales – University of San Carlos
Enrique G. Oracion - Silliman University
Zona Hildegarde S. Amper - University of San Carlos



  • Submissions must use the prescribed Submission Form ( which includes an abstract  (250 words) written in a style that is accessible to non-academic audiences. 
  • The submission must be original and has not been presented in other conferences or published in journals or books.
  • Proposals may be written in English or in any Philippine language. 
  • Proposals for panels must include a panel abstract as well as paper abstracts.
  • Kindly email the completely filled-out Submission Form (in pdf) to

Deadline: 01 June 2020

Notice of acceptance of proposals will be issued by email by July 2020


For further information, please contact the head of the conference secretariat, Ms Marjury Dino (+63 956 538 2816) or at

To learn more about our conference venue, you can check the web page of University of San Carlos at

Please like our UGAT page on FB for updates:

Reclaiming our root crops

SECOND OPINION: Reclaiming our root crops
Philippine Daily Inquirer
05 March 2020

Gideon Lasco

Most Filipinos today consider rice as by far our most important, if not our one and only, staple food, a sine qua non of our daily meals. Whether one’s viand is bistek Tagalog, lechon Cebu, fried chicken, or sautéed fish, it is cooked with rice in mind.

In some parts of the country, the primacy of rice has been around for centuries;

Pigafetta noted as much. But the same cannot be said of other areas where it was root crops that people ate regularly. Even where rice was a staple, root crops shared its place among the commonly consumed foods, as in sinigang which was meant to be a complete meal, with gabi serving as carbohydrate source. Our ancestors would have been none the poorer. Unlike rice, which is relatively labor- and land-intensive, root crops grow even in unfavorable conditions. They also have nutritional profiles superior to white rice. Gabi (taro), for instance, is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and the leaves are edible, too (laing!). Beyond gabi, ube (purple yam), and the New World-sourced kamote (sweet potato), and kamoteng kahoy (cassava) -- each of which has different varieties -- we have dozens of root crop species with their unique flavors and profiles.

What can explain the shift to rice?

People might respond by saying “well, rice tastes much better.” But even taste, a subjective quality, is shaped by culture; our fondness for rice draws from our having been eating it since childhood and our meals having been designed to complement rice. There must be a stronger explanation for the relative decline of root crops in our consciousness.

One answer involves changing attitudes toward both rice and root crops. As the physical anthropologist Francisco Datar said in the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao (UGAT) conference last November in Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, rice was — and still is — perceived as a “prestige food” in various parts of the archipelago, leading to its desirability and eventual ubiquity. Conversely, root crops were seen as an inferior food, leading to their being shunned by people. We still see this low regard for root crops today in expressions like “kinakamote” and the very telling “Go home and plant kamote!”

Agricultural technologies that have made rice widely available are another contributory (and corollary) factor, with rice varieties today far more productive in yield than those in the past. Even with rice shortages, the ease of importing all but guarantees rice’s ubiquity, even as the economics of it raises questions of equity for our rice farmers.

Conversely, despite the efforts of scientists (there are Root Crops Research and Training Centers in Baybay, Leyte, and La Trinidad, Benguet, not to mention the work of DOST and UPLB), there has been relatively little investment in root crops, whether in terms of agricultural research, food technology, or marketing.

This marginality of root crops is unfortunate for a number of reasons. As mentioned earlier, root crops are actually very nutritious, and hold the potential to enrich our culinary heritage. Although ube is beloved by Filipinos as a dessert and is increasingly being recognized abroad, we miss out by ignoring other varieties and species. In the UGAT conference, for instance, UST’s Hermel Pama gave a colorful account of namu in Bicol, and when I shared this topic with my medical colleague Johanna Banzon, she spoke of kayos in Iloilo.

Moreover, root crops can reduce our (over)dependence on rice, increasing our food sovereignty and diversity, benefiting overall nutrition, and helping indigenous and marginalized communities who are most vulnerable to inflation and fluctuations in rice prices.

Finally, a revival of root crops can contribute to building resilient communities, particularly in our age of climate crises. As Development Academy of the Philippines’ Julieta Roa pointed out, also in UGAT, root crops have always served as “survival foods” -- but knowledge about them, including how to remove toxicity, is fast fading away.

Of course, I am not saying we should abandon rice completely. My modest appeal, echoing what others have said, is that we include root crops as part of our diet and give them the attention, research, and investment they deserve. Reclaiming our root crops will make us more rooted in our rich biocultural heritage, healthy in our diets, empowered in our food choices, and resilient as a nation.

Follow @gideonlasco on Twitter. Send feedback to


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Jonathan C. Malicsi, University of the Philippines, Diliman

Professor Emeritus
Department of Linguistics
University of the Philippines, Diliman

29 April 1947 - 01 December 2019

It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Jonathan Malicsi. He was supposed to give the final installment for the 2019 Philippine Indigenous Languages Lecture Series (PILLS), drawing from what he had learned from his major work among the Halitaq Baytan community.

Having served the University and the Department for more than half a century, Prof. Emeritus Malicsi had been the Department's Chair twice, Head of the President's Committee for Culture and the Arts (now OICA) for 17 years, first Convener of the Philippine Linguistics Congress, and a member of the first batch of the UP Madrigal Singers.

A sought-after expert in Philippine linguistics and Philippine culture studies, he had mentored and trained countless students and educators from agencies and institutions both in the Philippines and abroad. Not his ailment nor his blindness could have prevented him from delivering the lecture to impart his knowledge and his love for languages, as well as continuing to teach his regular graduate classes.

The Department of Linguistics is one with Prof. Emeritus Malicsi's colleagues, students, friends, and loved ones in paying tribute to one of the great Filipino linguists, who spent his whole life studying Philippine languages and teaching many more to carry on his work. Paalam at maraming salamat po, Doc M.

Prof. Emeritus Malicsi was  one of the founding members of UGAT in 1977.

Prof. Emeritus Malicsi's ashes will be at the Church of the Risen Lord, UP Diliman tomorrow (02 December 2019, Monday). Public viewing will start at 10:00PM.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Infringement issue or just plain lack of due diligence

A photo I took of Dr. Erlinda Burton on November 2017 at the 39th UGAT held at Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro was published at NCCA’s Agung Magazine (Volume XXI, Number 3, July-September 2018, page 70).

Apparently, the photo did not bear any credit.  Not a name of the photographer can be seen nor even a citation of the blogspot where this was first published.

I first posted this photo as part of "UGAT 39th Annual Conference - In Photos" on this blogspot on 08 November 2017. The post bear the name of the photographer.

The same photo also appeared in Aghamtao (Journal of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. / UGAT, Volume 26, 2018, page 187, obituary section).  The photo in that journal bears the photographer's name.

I had already informed NCCA regarding this through a text message but will also be sending a formal email to NCCA Chair Virgilio Almario.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

UGAT 41st Annual Conference - Book of Abstracts

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


UGAT 40th Annual Conference BOA - download here

Friday, October 4, 2019

UGAT 41st Annual Conference Call for Participation


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
Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

UGAT cordially invites you to its 41st Annual Conference at the Visayas State University in Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines on 07-09 November 2019. The conference theme is “food (in)security” where food and eating will 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.

In addressing the theme, the conference offers two keynote addresses, five distinguished lectures, 120 paper presentations, film screening, and other activities. 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.

Conference Convenors

Dr. Cynthia Neri-Zayas
Jessie G. Varquez, Jr.
Dr. Guiraldo C. Fernandez, Jr.

Conference Registration Fees

UGAT member (Php3,500) | non-UGAT member (Php4,500)

Undergraduate student (Php2,500) |Foreign participant (USD100)

To pay the Conference Registration Fee (CRF), please deposit the amount to “Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc.”, CA 393359300015 (Philippine National Bank-UP Campus) at any PNB Branch. If you wish to pay the CRF through PayPal, please contact Dr. Melvin Jabar (UGAT Treasurer) at Kindly email the bank deposit slip to the UGAT Treasurer, as well as present the actual deposit slip during conference registration. Membership in the UGAT is not included in the Registration Fee. The annual membership fee is Php1,000 inclusive of a copy of the AghamTao journal. You may sign up for UGAT membership during the conference.

Conference Documents: Please access all conference-related documents (e.g., Travel and Accommodation, Conference Program, CHED Memo, etc.) here:

Conference Preregistration: To avoid the hassle of onsite registration, you are strongly encouraged to preregister online at This form can only be accomplished if the CRF payment has already been made.

Important Advisory: The 41st UGAT Annual Conference is aiming to be plastic-free. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own water bottles and/or coffee tumblers.

For further information, please contact the head of the conference secretariat Ms. Annabelle Bonje at mobile number +63 915 547 7877 or email at Please like and follow UGAT Facebook page for updates:

Kindly forward this Call for Participation to your contacts and networks. See you in Baybay!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Deadline of Payment for Reduced Conference Registration Fee

EXTENDED! The deadline of payment for reduced Conference Registration Fee is extended until 30 September 2019!

Join us at Visayas State Univeristy in Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines on November 07-09, 2019. Pre-register now to avail a reduced conference fee (until September 30) and avoid the hassle of on-site registration!

Details of the Conference Registration Fee are found here:
To pre-register, please follow this link:

Pre-Registration Form is open until 31 October 2019.

See you in Baybay!


Monday, August 26, 2019

E. Arsenio Manuel Best Student Paper Award


41st Annual Conference
Anthropological Association of the Philippines
07-09 November 2019
Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines


Accepted paper submissions from students (enrolled undergraduate or graduate students at the time of the conference) are eligible to participate in the E. Arsenio Manuel Best Student Paper Award. The author(s) must indicate in the Abstract Submission Form that they intend to participate in the competition. The competing papers must also be orally presented during the conference.


Document: A4 paper size, 1-inch margin on all sides, TNR 12, 1.5 space
Content: Title, Abstract, Keywords, Body, References (Aghamtao citation style)
Length: minimum of 3,000 words, maximum of 5,000 words
Author identification: on a cover page, indicate the full name(s) of the author(s), contact details (email and mobile), institutional affiliation, and degree program; do not indicate author(s)’s name in the paper


File: name the doc file as "(last name of author)_StudentPaper_UGAT2019" - e.g., Cruz_StudentPaper_UGAT2019 (if multiple authors, indicate first author only)
Email: send the paper as doc file (not pdf) to using the file name of the doc file as the subject
Due: 31 October 2019


Submissions will be duly notified. A board of judges will evaluate all submissions. The award will be given during the Closing Ceremony of the 41st UGAT Annual Conference. Aside from a certificate, the winning paper will also be automatically accepted (subject to the editorial process) for the next issue of Aghamtao, the official journal publication of UGAT.

E. Arsenio Manuel sketch by Angeli Marie G. Narvaez for Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino 

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