eMindanao is part of the Center’s new initiative to develop a Mindanao Studies Program at UH Mānoa. It is our modest contribution to the emerging focus on Islam in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, now established at the UHM School of Pacific and Asian Studies. Carried out on a larger plane, the Mindanao Studies initiative is an outreach project in the southern Philippines with three campuses of Mindanao State University (Marawi, Iligan and General Santos), and Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
CPS has developed a dedicated website and that features peacebuilding and a digital library, both focusing on the raging issue in Mindanao – the Bangsamoro (Muslim) struggle and the peace process that has preoccupied the nation since the early 1970s. This project is actually a sequel to an online curricular program in Asian Studies that connects undergraduate students from UH Mānoa with their counterparts from Ateneo de Zamboanga University and later, the Mindanao State University. Together, these students learn from each other about sovereignty movements in Mindanao (among Moros) and Hawai‘i (among Native Hawaiians) in a cyber classroom.
Mindful of the significance of the on-and-off peace process in Mindanao, peacebuilding initiatives and a digital library on the historical, social, and political dimensions are necessary to provide scholars, peace advocates and negotiators with information on why the conflict has persisted to this day.
In the summer of 2013 and 2014, CPS conducted four seminar-workshops in Iligan City for history teachers, with support from the US Institute of Peace. These workshops are are implemented in cooperation with Mindanao State University to enhance their pedagogical capacity and improve the local history curriculum in response to the call of the times.