Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aghamtao 19

Aghamtao: Journal of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (UGAT) / Anthropological Association of the Phlippines

Volume 19 / 2010


Locating the Sacred in the City: Pilgrimage and Spirituality in Zamboanga City
Robert V. Panaguiton

(Re)Searching Identity in the Highlands of Central Panay
Mary Acell German

Invisible States, Peripheral Sites: Artistic Negotiations of the Urban
Tessa Maria Guazon

Makati as a ‘Livable City’ – Lines in Pleasant Places
Eliseo Co

BA Anthropology as a commodity choice
Maria Mangahas

Social Science in the Wider Social Field: UP Mindanao’s BASS and BAA Programs
Myfel Joseph Paluga

Book Review:

Paul W. Mathews. Asian Cam Models: Digital Virtual Virgin Prostitutes? Quezon City: Giraffe Books, 2010
Aileen Paguntalan-Mijares

Download Articles Here:


Monday, October 4, 2010

Bontoc Eulogy (1995)

Bontoc Eulogy (1995)

A very interesting re-"visiting" of the St. Louis World Fair of 1904. This makes a very good companion to Benito M. Vergara Jr's Displaying Filipinos: Photography & Colonialism in Early 20th Century Philippines. Please share the link to friends and to those who are interested (especially those who are into anthropology and ethnography).

Marlon E. Fuentes' BONTOC EULOGY is a haunting, personal exploration into the filmmaker's complex relationship with his Filipino heritage as explored through the almost unbelievable story of the 1100 Filipino tribal natives brought to the U.S. to be a "living exhibit" at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. For those who associate the famous fair with Judy Garland, clanging trolleys, and creampuff victoriana, BONTOC EULOGY offers a disturbing look at the cultural arrogance that went hand-in-hand with the Fair's glorification of progress. The Fair was the site of the world's largest ever "ethnological display rack," in which hundreds of so-called primitive and savage men and women from all over the globe were exhibited in contrast to the achievements of Western civilization.

The Manila-born Fuentes explores his complex relationship with his Filipino ancestry by researching the path of Markod, a Bontoc Igorot warrior brought to St. Louis in 1904, never to return home. Using historical data from the Library of Congress and the National Archives, 90-year-old archival footage, and seamless recreations, Fuentes weaves the story of the missing Markod with his own musings on the fate of his ancestral "grandfather" and the whereabouts of his final remains.

Fuentes, who serves as the film's on-screen narrator, quotes a well-known Philippine saying: "He who does not look back from whence he came from will never ever reach his destination." With BONTOC EULOGY, Fuentes has created an insightful and poignant examination of history, family, memory, and cultural loss ³ and a film that speaks to the entire immigrant experience as well as telling one truly unforgettable story.

Download Link:

Language: English
Country: Philippines
Color: Black and White
Runtime: 57 mins
IMDb Link:
Rating: 7.6/10

Director: Marlon Fuentes
Marlon Fuentes ... Narrator
Jordan Porter ... Boy with camera
Nicole Antonia ... Girl with camera
Michael Porter ... Boy in mosquito net
Eliseo Bacolod ... Markod (ship)
Enrico Obusan ... Markod (St. Louis)
Fermina Bagwan ... Markod (voice)
Aaron Levinson ... Male announcer

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Proposed Mindanao Panel - An Anthropology of a Marshland Community

PROPOSED PANEL– An Anthropology of a Marshland community
32nd UGAT Annual Conference

Panel Abstract

This panel features three studies conducted in an Agusan Manobo community in Brgy. Mambalili, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. Topics such as anthropology of sago, identity assertion and agricultural rituals are weaved together by focusing on the utilization of food resources in a specific ecological niche.


Heuristic schemas for an anthropology of sago (Metroxylon sagu) in Agusan Marsh (Agusan del Sur, Mindanao)
MJ Paluga, Department of Social Sciences, CHSS, UP Mindanao


The paper presents key preliminary results from an anthropological study (UP-Min Anthropology Field School 2010) of sago (Metroxylon sagu) forest and its structural relation to the wider socio-geographic space of Agusan Marsh (central area of study: Mambalili, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur) and some aspects of Agusan Manobo cultural practices. The spatial links of at least three ethno-ecological areas of the Agusan Manobo domain—danao/lake, yumbia/sago forest, pasak/agricultural field—is presented as a heuristic schema that appears to inform much of the enduring livelihood patterns and rhythms of marsh-dwelling Manobos. Highlighting sago as the focal object of this specific anthropological inquiry, the paper also presents a usable approach for an "object-oriented" anthropology.


Netibo lang ang nagakao’g unaw: producing and consuming identity among the Manobo in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.
Jessie G. Varquez, Jr.– UP Mindanao


The main thesis of this paper is that there is a discourse of identity formation and assertion in appropriating unaw (local name of sago starch) extracted from a lumbia (sago tree) as a survival food in a predominantly Agusan Manobo community in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. By looking at the production, distribution and consumption of unaw in this community, the paper examines layers of narratives among the Manobo on how they view themselves as the rightful owner of the lumbia forest as part of their ancestral domain thus the right to extract sago starch and the social stigma associated in consuming the extracted sago starch. Queries on consumption, inter-ethnic relations and ecological management of lumbia forest are probed in this study.


Taephag: A Reflection on a Manobo's Concept of Thanksgiving
Raymundo R. Pavo - University of the Philippines Mindanao


Taephag is a Manobo ritual exercised before planting and/or harvesting. Interpreted as a spiritual activity, Taephag as an expression of thanksgiving entails a depth of complexity. In this respect, this article seeks to own this query: What is a Manobo's notion of Thanksgiving in relation to Taephag? This is the question which the present article hopes to address. As an initial thesis, we propose that in the Taephag, the Manobo's sense of gratitude is regulated by fear. While a Manobo farmer acknowledges the help of the Nature-Spirits for their permission to use the land and for protecting their crops, the Manobo is also wary that the ritual will not proceed undisturbed and as planned. This worry is based on his fear that the Nature-Spirits will later on inflict sickness/diseases on their families or be the cause of an unsuccessful future harvest. Between gratitude and fear, the Manobo, while engaged in the Taephag, tries to bracket his fear so he can focus on how the ritual should be performed. As he tries to provide a place (the ritual) where the Nature-Spirits can gather, it his sense of fear which secures his courage to persevere. Thus, it may be construed that it is this unique notion of fear which permeates a Manobo's notion of Taephag as thanksgiving.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Re: UGAT 32nd Annual Conference


thanks for the quick response - indeed earlier topics reflect the broad interests of the discipline. my suggestion was simply to include an open panel for those participants interested in giving papers that do not fall within the particular conf. theme. i appreciate the significance of this year's theme and look forward to the section on communication strategies since certainly the new media has been a major player in bringing global attention to issues regarding indigeneity. perhaps in the future we can discuss the links between indigeneity and globality,


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Re: UGAT 32nd Annual Conference

Dear Dr. Pertierra,

Thank you for expressing your opinion on the forthcoming UGAT conference. It may interest to know that UGAT in recent years has addressed burning issues swirling around the anthropology of governance, the cities, heritage politics, and globalization. This year's conference is in solidarity with the celebration of the Indigenous Peoples' Month slated in October. Please note that one of the topics to be discussed in the conference deals with "crafting communication strategies for IP rights advocacy", which perhaps might generate interest from you.

Very truly yours,

Eufracio Abaya

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Re: UGAT 32nd Annual Conference

dear dr. abaya & colleagues;

thanks for sending me the program for this year's conference - the topic sounds very interesting but unfortunately i am not currently working in this area. i had inquired earlier if it was possible to suggest other (broader)topics but it seems this is not possible. i accept this limitation even if it means i am unable to participate in the conference. however, from the program, a reader may get the impression that anthropologists only (or mostly) study indigenous, tribal or ethnic cultures. in fact, most anthropologists study mainstream cultures, including urban groups and even technological practices such as mobile phones and the internet. it would indeed be unfortunate if we give the general public the impression that anthropology is mainly the study of exotic peoples. this interest may have been the historic origins of anthropology but the discipline has long since expanded its research orientation, both because exotic peoples are rapidly transforming and going global and because anthropology is ultimately the study of the self (in its many manifestations) as much as, if not more than, the other. fraternal/sororal greetings from an old colleagues -

raul pertierra

UGAT 32nd Annual Conference 2nd Call for Papers

Dear colleagues,

Please find attached the 2nd Call for Papers for the upcoming Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao/Anthropological Association of the Philippines' 32nd Annual Conference entitled "Kalikhasan in Flux: Indigenous Peoples' Creativity in a Changing Natural Environment." The deadline has been extended to August 15, 2010. Please also note the changes in date and venue. The conference will be held on October 20-23, 2010 at Manila Pavilion.

We hope you will be able to disseminate this call to your colleagues.

Thank you very much.


Eufracio Abaya
Conference Convener

Rosa Castillo
Program Chair

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UGAT 32nd Annual Conference Call for Papers

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the 32nd Annual UGAT Conference with the theme "Kalikhasan in Flux: Indigenous People's Creativity in a Changing Natural Environment." The conference will be held on October 21-23, 2010 at the National Museum.

Please see attached the Call for Papers.

We are looking forward to seeing you again on October 2010.


Eufracio Abaya
(Executive Director)

Rosa Cordillera Castillo
(Program Chair)

UGAT 32nd Annual Conference Call for Papers


Anthropological Association of the Philippines

32nd Annual Conference
Indigenous Peoples’ Creativity and the Changing Natural Environment

National Museum
October 2010

Kalikhasan is a coined word that blends likha (creation) with kalikasan (natural environment). It marks out the inseparability of creative practice in the natural environment as well as the natural environment in creative practice. It means that human creativity articulates culture as a dynamic process in which “new meanings, new practices, new significances and experiences are continually created” (Williams 1973), and that the entanglement of culture with the current environmental crisis (e.g., climate change, land conversions, extractive practices of mining, and logging) partly but profoundly sustains such process.

The Ugnayang Pang-Agham Tao (UGAT, Inc.), envisions a regional conference revolving around the theme, “Kalikhasan in Flux: indigenous peoples’ creativity in a changing natural environment.” In particular, the conference hopes to generate issues and debates revolving around the:

• effects of environmental crisis on indigenous ecological knowledge systems and practices.

• role played by indigenous peoples’ (IP) creative practices in understanding environmental crisis and its effects on social life.

• current programs and projects addressing the impact of environmental crisis on the systems of cultural production of IPs in Asia and the Pacific.

Indigenous peoples, contemporary artists, cultural workers, academics, and representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations are enjoined to submit paper/poster/ panel proposals tackling any of the following topical areas:

• ritual life and environmental crisis
• art practice and environmental crisis
- “tangible” (weaving, pottery, metal craft, wood carving, etc.)
- “intangible” (oral tradition, music, dance, etc.)
• politicization of culture and environmental crisis
- mobilization against extractive practices affecting the IP’s ancestral domain and its ramifications in IP’s cultural creativity
- indigenous and non-indigenous artists and environmental advocacy
• crafting communication strategies in environmental and IP rights advocacy
• the impact of changing land use patterns on indigenous culture (e.g. displacement due to land conversion and extractive industries)
• the relevance and efficacy of national, regional, and global instruments addressing environmental crisis, specifically those affecting IPs.


Please note that:

1. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words (this should be strictly observed).
2. Authors must indicate the topic area their paper/poster/panel may fall under.
3. Submissions should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation and contact information (mailing address, telephone no., mobile phone no., e-mail address). For students, please indicate your intent to join the Student Paper Competition.
4. Abstracts should be sent to by 15 JULY 2010.
5. Papers authored by students will be automatically entered in the student paper competition. The winning paper will be considered for publication in the Aghamtao, the official journal of the Anthropological Association of the Philippines.
6. For other inquiries, please contact UGAT at 0918-6989445 or at or go to

Eufracio Abaya
Conference Convenor

Rosa Cordillera Castillo
Program Chair