Center for Philippine Studies marks 40th anniversary with multiple events

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Federico Magdalena, (808) 956-6086
Faculty Specialist, Center for Philippine Studies
Posted: Mar 17, 2015

Center for Philippine Studies logo
Center for Philippine Studies logo

This Spring, the Center for Philippine Studies (CPS) at UH Mānoa is celebrating its 40th anniversary. In 1975, an Act of the Hawai’i State Legislature established the CPS, the first institution dedicated to Philippine Studies in the U.S. Since then, the CPS has become the center for intellectual and academic exchange on Philippine and Filipino studies in the region, hosting numerous scholars, sponsoring scholarly exchange, and promoting research and graduate education.

To celebrate its legacy and future, the CPS will be holding a series of academic and cultural events in April and May, including an international symposium, a community banquet and a series of dance performances.

The celebrations will commence at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, at the Architecture Auditorium with a Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Alfred W. McCoy, J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. McCoy will deliver a talk, "Covert Netherworld: An Invisible Arena for Contesting Global Power in the 21st Century." The lecture offers a novel theoretical model of imperial power that operates at three levels with three illustrative case studies: the local (Mindanao and Central Luzon in the Philippines), the national (U.S.), and the transnational (Afghanistan and Francophone Africa).

On Thursday and Friday, April 9 and 10, the CPS will hold an International Symposium at the Imin Center on the UH Mānoa campus. Titled "Philippine and Filipino Studies: Forty Years Hence," the event aims to bring the fields of Philippine Studies and Filipino diasporic studies into a genuine intellectual exchange and dialogue. The conference will feature prominent scholars in Philippine and Filipino Studies, many of whom have shaped the direction of their fields, as well as upcoming scholars and graduate students who are now reshaping these fields through their novel, cutting-edge research. With many other scholars coming from Spain, England, Canada, Japan, China, the U.S. mainland and different regions in the Philippines, this promises to be an exciting conference.

The April events will culminate in a fiesta celebration at the Filipino Community Center on Saturday, April 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since its funding, the CPS has been actively engaged with community matters and issues. In the last few years alone, it has hosted symposia on relevant and contemporary issues in the Philippines, such as the violence in Mindanao and geopolitical conflicts around the Spratly Islands; provided speakers and resource people to commemorative events such as the Fall of Bataan and Rizal Day; and spearheaded community efforts to raise money after Philippine disasters. The fiesta event will provide a truly unique occasion to bring academic and Filipino communities together in a celebration of a strong and meaningful relationship over the years.

The CPS is proud to welcome a special guest speaker to our celebration: Mr. Tony Meloto, founder and pioneering leader of Gawad Kalinga, Philippines.

Finally, as the culminating event of these anniversary celebrations, the CPS will be hosting, for the second time, the House of Dance, Philippines, in a series of performances titled PULSO (Pulse, Rhythm of the Heart). Through classical and modern interpretations of Philippine dance, Pulso captures aspects of the Filipino’s rich cultural heritage in rural and urban settings from the northern to the southern Philippines. It brings to life some of the more familiar dimensions of Filipino culture as well as those that are often more hidden in the hope of creating greater awareness and understanding about the origins of such customs.

Pulso will be performed on Thursday and Friday, May 21 and 22, at 7:30 p.m. at UH Mānoa's Kennedy Theatre. In addition, the company’s dancers and choreographers will hold a series of dance demonstrations and workshops for students at UH Mānoa, Chaminade University, and at schools with a substantial Filipino student population including Farrington and Waipahu high schools.

Said CPS Director Vina A. Lanzona, "These events, planned as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration, are an expression of the core mission of the center -- to reach out beyond the boundaries of UH Mānoa and to redefine the role of an academic studies center in a public university. They provide a unique opportunity to bring together the academic, artistic, cultural and Filipino communities in Hawaiʻi, and will make our 40th anniversary celebrations truly memorable, setting the stage for the next 40 years of the Center for Philippine Studies."

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