Report to THE 2003 legislature on

 HCR 48

Establishment of Sister-STATE EDUCATIONAL,









The Center for Philippine Studies (originally Philippine Studies Program) was established in 1975 in recognition of the faculty strength and other academic resources on the Philippines at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and of the contributions of Filipinos to the development of Hawai‘i.  One of the nine area studies centers at the UHM School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies, it is the only academic institution in the United States offering Philippine studies degree programs complemented by research and outreach activities.   The Center’s resources are  strengthened by the strong links that exist with the Ilocos region in academic areas including research, student exchange, exchange of publications, international conferences, faculty enrichment, and library acquisition trips, through the Center for Philippine Studies and several departmental faculty whose academic interests and expertise lie in this area. 


 In the 1980’s faculty teaching Ilokano language and Austronesian languages took students on a field study trip to Ilocos.  Later in the 1990s, the Center for Philippine Studies director, the Asia Collection Philippine librarian, and the Ethnic Studies department faculty affiliated with Philippine Studies went to Ilocos Sur and to the University of the Northern Philippines to purchase Ilokano research publications and promote exchange of academic resources between the University of Hawai‘i and the University of the Northern Philippines.  Subsequent book acquisition and academic trips have been made by UH faculty and staff to the Ilocos and Cordillera regions. 


Even without  formal institutional relationships, UHM has  maintained strong academic ties with universities in various parts of the northern Philippines.  These ties have been developed  and nurtured because of individual faculty who are in contact with colleagues at major institutions in the region and are working on projects involving Ilokano culture, language and related areas.  


In July 2002, an adjunct UHM faculty member/EWC researcher visited in the Ilocos region and was asked to explore interest on the part of universities in the region in collaborating with UH.   The following information was shared:


·        The University of the Philippines (UP) at Baguio (already a partner institution) was very interested in arranging collaborative courses with students at UH and UP doing common readings possibly in the fields of anthropology, Philippine studies, and others to be explored.


·        A visit to Don Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte found faculty very interested in joint collaboration. 


·        Unable to visit the University of the Northern Philippines but contact names were obtained so that UH can easily pursue interest there as well. 


Future Plans


Further exploration between the University of the Northern Philippines and the University of Hawai‘i could serve to identify areas for collaboration given respective fields of compatibility and excellence. 


Action:  The Office of International Affairs will commit funds to send a UH faculty delegation  on a fact-finding trip to Ilocos Sur in calendar year 2003 in order to explore means of  collaboration where feasible. 


Areas for possible collaboration could include:

·        Area and language studies, especially Ilokano and regional languages

·        Distance or on-line courses jointly taught by faculty in both countries

·        Culture and heritage studies for students of Filipino ancestry

  • Historic and cultural preservation (Vigan has been designated a World Heritage Site by  UNESCO)

·        Studies on northern Luzon and its role in major historical events like the 1896 Philippine revolution

·        Tropical Agriculture

·        Tourism and travel industry


The UHM Center for Philippine Studies, which was created by the Hawai‘i State Legislature, can be enhanced even more internationally by forging linkages with Filipino academic institutions in the Ilocos region where at least 85% of the Hawai‘i Filipinos came from originally.    Such links would lead to a broad framework in which viable cultural, educational, and economic exchanges could be undertaken.    These exchanges could take the form of traditional study abroad, faculty exchange, as well as utilizing present-day distance education technology thereby creating a truly global classroom for students and faculty in both locales.