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Annual Report, Center for Philippine Studies 2011-2012

By Vina A. Lanzona, Director

Walden Bello & Lindy AquinoDr. Vina A. Lanzona, Associate Professor in History, assumed the directorship of the Center for Philippines Studies (CPS) in Fall 2011. Mindful of the legacy left behind by former directors Dr. Ric Trimillos and Dr. Belinda Aquino, Dr. Lanzona aims to fulfill the vision of making the Center for Philippine Studies at UH-Manoa a destination and center for Philippine and Filipino American Studies not just in the US, but in the world. The academic year 2011-2012 was busy and exciting, with CPS sponsoring a host of activities including lectures, colloquia, book and DVD launchings, community events, a mini-conference and dance performances. Our Fall Colloquium Series began with a lecture by the newest faculty member in Philippine and Asian Studies, Dr. Patricio "Jojo" Abinales, who joined UH-Manoa from Kyoto University. In addition, CPS hosted distinguished scholar Vicente Rafael from the University of Washington, writer and journalist Criselda Yabes, and Walden Bello (see above photo, with lei, along with CPS staff Fred Magdalena, Vina Lanzona, Emeritus Professor Belinda Aquino, and Jojo Abinales), a Congressman representing Akbayan (Citizen's Action Party) in the Philippine House of Representatives who was here during the much-publicized APEC meetings in Honolulu. CPS also supported the DVD launching of our very own Prof. Ruth Mabanglo. The semester ended with a reflection on Jose Rizal's 150th birth anniversary with scholars Dr. Jose David Lapuz, Prof. Lilia Santiago and Dr. Belinda Aquino.

Prof. MojaresThe Spring semester was even more hectic. CPS welcomed the UH Arthur Lynn Andrews Visiting Professor, Resil B. Mojares (see left photo), Professor Emeritus at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Philippines and author of several books including Waiting for Mariang Makiling, Essays in Philippine Cultural History (2002) and Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes, and the Production of Modern Knowledge (2006). Professor Mojares opened the Spring Colloquium Series with his lecture, "Isabelo's Archive: The Formation of Philippine Studies." CPS also co-sponsored local author Zack Linmark's launching of his latest book, "Leche," a community event and lecture by CPS grantee Cecilia Noble on Florentino Das, a lecture by Visiting National University of Singapore Professor Oona Thommes Paredes, and lectures by our very own Philippine scholar Dr. Jerry Finin and UH-Manoa graduate students and CPS awardees Miguel Llora, Charissa Fabia and Matthew Nelson.

The culmination of this academic year was marked by two major events:

"Turmoils, Dinners and Muslims: A mini-conference on the Philippine South," featuring three leading scholars of the Visayas and Mindanao. This conference was first conceived by Prof. Michael Aung-Thwin of Asian Studies, Prof. Jojo Abinales and Prof. Lanzona. They wanted to find a way to celebrate the work of Visiting Andrews Chair, Resil Mojares and to take advantage of his presence here - to de-center Philippine Studies away from Manila. Dr. Mojares, the leading Cebuano scholar, was joined by a leading scholar of Cebu, Dr. Michael Cullinane of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Willy Torres from the Asia Foundation, who discussed contemporary issues in Mindanao.

EthniSyncraciesThe second major event was a series of dance workshops and two major dance performances. CPS hosted the House of Dance, Philippines, a team of young dancers, dance educators and choreographers from the Philippines, known for their cutting-edge, innovative dance performances. They staged a major concert in Honolulu entitled ETHNISYNCRACIES. Through classical and modern interpretations of Philippine dance, EthniSyncracies tells the story of the evolution of Philippine culture, its indigenous roots, its foreign influences, and its intrinsically hybrid nature. The CPS, along with generous sponsorships from the Consuelo Foundation, Chaminade University, the School of Asian and Pacific Studies and the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH-Manoa, produced two performances of EthniSyncracies (matinee and gala) last April 21, 2012 at the Richard T. Mamiya Theater, St. Louis Center for the Arts. The events were highly successful, with almost 700 people from the Honolulu community in attendance. The CPS foresees collaborative projects like these in the future.

The House of Dance company also directed workshops and dance demonstrations to college art and dance students at Chaminade University and UH-Manoa, and at two public high schools with significant Filipino student populations, Farrington and Waipahu High Schools. The workshops (with a total of about100 students participating) were very successful and included lectures about dance and Philippine culture as well as dance demonstrations. Altogether, the workshops and performances provided a rare opportunity to bring together the university, artistic, and Filipino communities, and to connect the broader public to the activities and mission of the Center for Philippine Studies here at UH Manoa.

CPS also launched two major endowments this year. The Corky Trinidad endowment scholarship, made through donations by many individuals and institutions, was named in honor of Corky Trinidad, the famed political cartoonist who always exhibited in his cartoons his passion for politics, journalism and the Philippines. The first recipient of this scholarship is Marie Antonette Ramos (see photo, flanked by Dean Ned Shultz and Mrs. Hana Trinidad, widow of Corky), a local Filipino American, from the Kankanaey indigenous group from the North of the Philippines. An incoming senior in the Ethnic Studies program with a Philippine Culture and Languages minor, Marie Antonette is also a creative writer and artist, and she is very interested in retrieving the indigenous historical materials from these ethnic groups, often marginalized in Philippine history and society.

In May, the Belinda A. Aquino International Philippine Studies Endowment was launched formally at a reception featuring Outgoing UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, UH Foundation officials and Belinda Aquino herself (see above photo). Dr. Aquino is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at UH-Manoa and one of the founders and permanent director of the Center for Philippine Studies until her retirement in 2009. This fund will promote and enhance academic and professional studies at the UH-Manoa on the Philippines and Filipinos from an international, comparative, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. This generous endowment will ensure that Dr. Aquino's legacy and commitment to Philippine Studies will continue.

The success of our activities this year will hopefully promote future academic and cultural collaboration between Hawaii, other mainland institutions and the Philippines. And we at the CPS hope to continue to sponsor various activities to ensure that UH-Manoa and the CPS remains one of the premier academic and cultural centers for Philippine and Filipino American Studies in the United States and the world.


For inquiries, please email fm@hawaii.edu.

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