Archived News

Obituary - David Wurfel

Dr. David Wurfel. Noted Philippine Studies expert, died on November 12, 2012 according to his wife Kathy.

For his contributions to Philippine Studies, visit this website. In 2002, he was Andrews Chair Visiting Professor in Asian Studies at UH Manoa. In spite of his death, the David Wurfel Award at York University continues to provide a $2,000 financial support to a student who intends to conduct thesis research on the topic of Filipino history, culture or society.

Resil Mojares - Arthur Lynn Andrews Chair

The Center for Philippine Studies and the School of Pacific and Asian Studies would like to welcome Professor Resil Mojares, an eminent scholar from the Philippines, as the Arthur Lynn Andrews Chair in Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for Spring 2012. Professor Mojares has a doctorate in literature from the University of the Philippines and is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Philippines.

His interests range across the field of Philippine social and cultural history, and he has authored books in Philippine literature, history and politics. His most recent works include 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). His work is widely acclaimed in the Philippines, and has been recognized by the National Book Awards of the Manila Critics Circle and the National Book Development of the Philippines. He has served as a visiting fellow at Kyoto University, the National University of Singapore, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of California-Los Angeles.

As the Andrews Chair, Professor Mojares will give two public lectures to the university community, and co-teach a graduate course in the Asian Studies Department on Philippine Social and Intellectual History (ASAN 620, see attached course description). He will be based at the Center for Philippine Studies in Moore Hall.

Prof. Vina Lanzona, new CPS director and Kenneth W. Baldridge prize awardee

Professor Vina A. Lanzona was recently named director of the Center for Philippines. She will start her four-year term in August 2011. She succeeds Prof. Ric Trimillos, who just retired this summer. In turn, Prof. Trimillos assumed the post from former CPS director Prof. Belinda Aquino, who retired in December 2009.

Professor Lanzona also received the Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize for her book, Amazons of the Huk Rebellion, as announced at the annual Phi Alpha Theta conference on March 12, 2011.

The Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize is sponsored by the Department of History at Brigham Young University-Hawai'i, and is awarded for the best history book written by a resident of Hawai'i.

Lanzona is currently Associate Professor at the UH Manoa Department of History. She finished her PhD in History at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Philippine Studies Specialist to Join Asian Studies Program

The Asian Studies Program in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa welcomes a new faculty member, Dr. Patricio Abinales. He will teach courses in Philippines Studies beginning in the Fall 2011 semester.

Abinales grew up in a frontier town in the Philippine island of Mindanao. He majored in history at the University of the Philippines, and later received his PhD in Government and Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University. After working for five years as an assistant professor at Ohio University, he moved to Kyoto University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and was affiliated with the Center for 10 years.

"Dr. Patricio Abinales is a valuable addition to the Asian Studies Program faculty at UH Manoa with his broad expertise in Philippine Studies and outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship on Philippine history, culture, politics and society," said Dr. Lindy Aquino, former Director of the Center for Philippines Studies. "In addition to his solid research record, he is also a dynamic teacher who engages colleagues and students with his provocative intellectual style."

His written works include Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine State (Ateneo: 2000); State and Society in the Philippines, co-authored with Donna J.Amoroso (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005); and Orthodoxy and History in the Muslim Mindanao Narrative (Ateneo, 2010).

"Professor Abinales strengthens and enhances the University's commitment to Philippine Studies through his expertise in the southern and central Philippines. Mindanao is increasingly important for understanding the Philippines as a modern global player and as part of contemporary Southeast Asia's cultural and religious dynamic," noted Ricardo Trimillos, professor of Asian Studies and former Director of the Center for Philippines Studies. "His experience in Japanese higher education brings yet another perspective to the diversity of the Asian Studies faculty at UH Manoa."

Contact: Prof. Michael Aung-Thwin, (808) 956-5962; Email:

Colmenares receives the 2011 Francis Davis Award for Excellent Teaching

Leticia Colmenares, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, recently won the 2011 Francis Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching, recognizing her dedication to teaching, demonstrating excellence as a teacher, and attention to undergraduate students. Colmenares is a faculty from the University of Hawaii's Windward Community Community College.

In 2003, Colmenares also garnered a similar award, the Regents' Medal for Excellence in Teaching, together with another professor of Filipino ancestry, Nelda Quensell, from Kapiolani Community College.

Leticia "Letty" Colmenares, Ph.D., is a master teacher who is extraordinarily committed to helping her students learn chemistry. She applies her skills and talents in teaching chemistry at many levels: to undergraduate non-majors, to students requiring chemistry prior to entering science professions, and to the community through chemistry forums. Her students appreciate the "care and empathy" she possesses to help them understand difficult material and connect chemistry in their everyday life. She is not only expert at using a variety of teaching tools, she moves with ease from one to the other, and engages students in problem-solving. Read more...