CPS Filipino Centennial Lecture Series
Images of Cordillera through Visual Ethnography
Joel Arthur Tibaldo
About the Lecture
Preserved through the centuries, the culture of the Cordillera people, in northern
Luzon, Philippines, has remained enigmatic and vibrant until recently, when the powerful forces of
globalization threaten to dilute it. The Cordillera is also the site of the magnificent world wonder,
the thousand-year old rice terraces or “Stairway to Heaven,” recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage
Site (one of only three in the Philippines). Art Tibaldo will present video snippets and discussion of
some of Cordilleran rituals and arts, marvelous ancient practices in agriculture (e.g., irrigation,
contour farming, balanced ecosystem, etc.), indigenous notions of peace and war, and mummification,
among others. His art exhibits are now on display at the Art Gallery of the East-West Center. The
exhibit, “Custom and Creativity: The Arts of the Upland Philippines,” is partially funded by the
Filipino Centennial Celebration Commission.
[Joel Arthur Tibaldo is an award-winning visual ethnographer and currently a
Filmmaker-in-Residence at the East-West Center.]
Date & Venue:February 16, 2006, 12:00-1:30pm, Center for Korean Studies
NOTE: As one of its contributions to the Filipino Centennial in Hawaii, the Center for Philippine
Studies will devote its Colloquium Series this year to the Centennial theme: A Hundred Years and Beyond.
In December 1906, 15 sakadas (contract labor), recruited by the Hawaii Sugar Planters’ Association,
arrived in Honolulu on board the SS Doric to work on the Big Island sugar plantations. Today, the
Filipino and part-Filipino community in Hawaii is approximately 275,000, or 22.8 percent of the
total state population.
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