Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Syllabnus in Anthropology 279: Special Problems in Mindanao

Copyright @ 2013 by Chester B Cabalza. All Rights Reserved. 

Anthropology 279
Special Problems in Mindanao
Saturday 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
First Semester, 2013-2014
Prof Chester B Cabalza

I. Course Description

This course aims to provide graduate students with basic knowledge and appreciation of the Philippines' second largest island - Mindanao. It will provide a better understanding of Mindanao's culture and society through the use of anthropological perspectives and using other disciplines of history, archaeology, Islamic studies, politics and economics, peace and development studies, and national security.

The course will give a general survey of the major cultural, social,. historical, political, and economic processes in the country through an examination of the continuous changes in Mindanao.

II. Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, a student is expected to have:

- obtained a comprehension of the various frameworks and levels of analysis on special problems in Mindanao;

- acquired an appreciation and understanding of the cultural factors influencing the internal and external environment of the region from armed conflicts, Moro problems, external territories, rido and political clans, peace process, potential in tourism and mining; and

- gained an insight into the social role of culture in selected indigenous ethnic communities in Mindanao.

III. Course Requirements

Long examination            30%
Reports                           30%
Class Project                   20%
Seminar Paper                 20%
Total                                100%

IV. Course Outline

Week 1

1. Introduction: Scope, Coverage, and Expectations of the course
2. Assignment:
    - Read the article of "History of the Mindanao Problem" by Samuel Tan
    - Write a reflection paper on "Wisdom from a Rainforest: A Spiritual Journey of an Anthropologist" by Stuart Schlegel
    - Suggested reading: "Out of the Shadows: Violent Conflict and the Real Economy of Mindanao" edited by Francisco Lara and Steven Schoofs
3. Classroom Policies:
    - Students are only allowed up to a maximum of three (30 unexcused absences. Beyond this number, students will be given a grade of DRP if his or her class standing is passing or 5.0 if failing.
    - Those who want to be excused from class must secure a certificate from the UP Health Service or a letter from his/her Dean explaining the reason for the absence.
    - Students who arrive more than 20 minutes late will be marked absent for the day.
    - Turn off your mobile phones during class hours.

Week 2

1. Lecture on the Development of Anthropology in the Philippines
2. Lecture on Theories in Anthropology and Anthropological Approaches in Mindanao problems
3. Discussion on the History of the Mindanao problem

Week 3

Reports on Islam in the Philippines
    - "Vessels to the Afterlife" by Eusebio Dizon
    - "Islam in the Philippines" by Fidel Villaroel, O.P.
    - "Domes and Minarets" by Noralyn Mustafa
    - "Muslims in the Philippines or Filipino Muslims?" by Santanina Rasul
    - "The Moro Woman: Herstory and Role" by Amina Rasul
    - "Political Islam in 21st Century Philippines: Can it Survive?" by Michael Mastura
    - "Bearer of the Sword: Misconceptions on Islam and Islamism" by Chester Cabalza
    - "Is there a Direct Link between Islamic Fundamentalism and Terrorism?" by Rostum Bautista, Christine June Carino, and Lyndon Badilla

Week 4

Reports on Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao
    - "Distribution of Filipino Indigenous Ethnic Community" by F. Landa Jocano
    - "Indigenous Peoples and National Security" by Rudy Rodil
    - "Ethnography of Muslim Filipino" by Realidad Rolda
    - "Indigenous Peoples' Position on the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro: Option for Autonomy within Autonomy" by Alim Bandara

***Submission of Abstract Papers

Week 5

Reports on Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao
    - Agusanon Manobo
    - Badjao
    - Bukidnon
    - Jama Mapun
    - Livunganen-Arumanen Manobo
    - Maguindanao
    - Mandaya
    - Manobo

Week 6

Reports on Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao
    - Mansaka
    - Maranao
    - Samal
    - Subanon
    - Tagbanua
    - Tausug
    - Tiboli
    - Tiruray
    - Yakan

Week 7

Reports on the Moro Uprising and Peace Process
    - "The Moro Uprising" by Edilberto Alegre
    - "Poverty and Armed Conflict" by Amina Rasul
    - "Bringing Closure to the 1996 Final Peace Agreement: MNLF Perspective" by Randolph Parcaiso
    - "Children in the Clutches of War in Central Mindanao" by Eddie Quitoriano and Theofeliz Francisco
    - "The Jihad as a Factor in the MILF's Struggle for Independence: Its Implication for National Security" by Don Ferdinand Daquial
    - "Impact of Religion on the Negotiation by and between the Government and the MILF" by Saaduddin Alauya
    - "Luwaran.com: Mouthpiece of the Bangsamoro in Mindanao" by Chester Cabalza
    - "No DRR, No Lasting Peace and Development in the South?" by Cesar Pobre
    - "Is the ICJ Opinion a Boon or Bane to the MILF?" by Zoilo Velasco

Week 8

Reports on the Moro Uprising and Peace Process
    - "Bangsamoro Juridical Entiry: A Policy Question in National Development and Security" by Nestor Nisperos
    - "GRP-MILF Peace Process: Review and Prospects" by Dickson Hermoso
    - "Winning the Peace: Holistic Approaches of Peace Process in Southern Philippines" by Chester Cabalza
    - "Unification of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)" by Datuali Sangki
    - "Imagining a Constitutional Amendment for a Moro 'Sub-State'" by Soliman Santos Jr
    - "The Critical Role of Economic Development in Peace Implementation: Lessons Learned for the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro" by Segfrey Gonzales
    - "Civil Society Organizations: Role and Participation in Local Governance" by Raffy Nabre

Week 9

Reports on Rido, Political Clans, and Violence
     - "Political Clans and Violence in Southern Philippines" by Peter Kreuzer
    - "Rido and its Influence on the Academe, NGOs, and the Military" by Svenja Schmelcher

Week 10

Reports on the Sulu Sultanate and the Sabah Issue
    - "Southeast Asia Regional Security and Mindanao Conflict" by Julkipli Wadi
    - "The Sabah Connection: Imagined Community of Diverse Culture" by Chester Cabalza
    - "The Sabah Conundrum: Defining the Agenda for Defense Diplomacy" by Manmar Francisco and Ananda Devi Almase
    - "Managing the Sabah Crisis: Focus on the Evacuation of Filipinos from the Embattled Zones" by Clarence Anthony Degenia and Ananda Devi Almase

Week 11

Regional Reports
    - Group One: Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX)
    - Group Two: Northern Mindanao (Region X)
    - Group Three: Davao Region (Region XI)

Week 12

Regional Reports
    - Group Four: SOCCSKSARGEN (Region XII)
    - Group Five: CARAGA Region (Region XIII)
    - Group Six: ARMM

Week 13

Reporters of Draft Seminar Paper (First Batch)

Week 14

Reporters of Draft Seminar Paper (Second Batch)

Week 15
     - Presentation of Class Project
     - Integration

Week 16

Review break

Week 17

Written examination

Week 18

Submission of Seminar Papers

New Delhi, India

Photographs by CBCabalza. Copyright © 2013 by Chester B. Cabalza. All Rights Reserved.





























Photographs by CBCabalza. Copyright © 2013 by Chester B. Cabalza. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Virtual Ethnography 101: A Salute to My Father on Labor Day

I would always ask my college and graduate students in Anthropology, aside from learning anthropological concepts and theories inside the classroom, to explore places, experience cultural or social happenings, and write ethnographic accounts using the participation-observation method.
I am posting in my blog with the writer's consent selected ethnography penned creatively by my students to contribute to the emerging sub-discipline of anthropology called 'Virtual Ethnography'.

Basically, virtual ethnography is also referred to as Webnography. We cannot deny the fact that with increasing use of technology and the Internet, there is now a demand for online spaces on various ethnographic accounts.


By Ma Jezia P Talavera

My father worked as a chemical technician for 35 years at the La Mesa Dam Water Systems, and whenever he came home with his cut-off salary, he and mom would talk in the dining area to “slice the pie” and struggle to fit the money with our financial needs—grocery, food, bills and tuition. I would see them groan and make disgusted faces and I would hear mom complain that while the commodity and gas prices continue to soar high in the market my dad’s wages never seem to catch up. Now that he’s retired and his pension has not yet arrived, our race to financial survival just took a turn for the worse.

This is a timeless dilemma shared by laborers, by those who work 12 hours a day to bring home a measly three-course meal to their malnourished children and to give them enough allowance to go to school. This is the dilemma shared by the people gathered in Mendiola and Liwasang Bonifacio last May 1; the dilemma which demands a petition to raise wages, to relieve high taxes, and to improve working conditions. This is not just a common problem of the Pinoy worker, but also that of other laborers across the globe—in Greece, Indonesia, Spain, Istanbul, Germany and France among others.

The usual scenario can be observed: people would march, give a speech, wave their placards, while the police would guard the gates, follow orders and care less. If things would go out of hand, tear gas and water hose would do the trick to wipe the noisy crowd. Unfortunately, the results would also be usually inevitable: government officials played deaf, the protesters went home with hardly any food for dinner, and the street sweepers are left with the extra work to clean the mess from the rally.

Either a lethal punch to the face or the assassination of those corrupt government officials may be the only solution for the work force to finally achieve equal rights to employment, but this may not still solve the problem, for this reflects a timeless aspect of our culture: social inequality. True enough, it has played a critical role in the emergence of chiefdoms and modern civilizations. This highlights the sociopolitical hierarchy necessary to establish stable economies and political systems. It is important to have a leader, subordinates and workers. However such hierarchy should not entail that the lowest level of labor be deprived of equal human rights. I have learned that these workers have proved to be the foundation and pillar of support of various old and modern civilizations. If not for these workers, there would be no Ziggurat, no Pyramid of Giza or Taj Mahal or Great Wall of China that became the trademarks of powerful civilizations.

It is no different in our era today: local laborers and OFWs alike keep our economic status stable and the government should not overlook their needs for a better working environment and fair wages.

Virtual Ethnography 101: Election Memes and My Indelible Ink

I would always ask my college and graduate students in Anthropology, aside from learning anthropological concepts and theories inside the classroom, to explore places, experience cultural or social happenings, and write ethnographic accounts using the participation-observation method.
I am posting in my blog with the writer's consent selected ethnography penned creatively by my students to contribute to the emerging sub-discipline of anthropology called 'Virtual Ethnography'.

Basically, virtual ethnography is also referred to as Webnography. We cannot deny the fact that with increasing use of technology and the Internet, there is now a demand for online spaces on various ethnographic accounts.


By Cristina D Cruz


My mother and I woke up early to vote. She is registered in Makati and I, in Antipolo. Well, its 8am and the volume of people is already building up. It’s a usual election for me. Upon voting and inserting the sheet into the pcos machine and having that indelible ink mark in me, we immediately part our ways—she, headed to vote in Makati.

Well, as I’ve observed personally, in Antipolo, election is quiet and organized. Well, according to the news, NAMFREL stated that it is generally peaceful and organized. Yes it might be the case, but of course there are still some things that should be improved for next time. For instance, in Nueva Ecija, According to GMA news, this province is one of the places where there are most number of voters and yet in one of the schools there, election has already started and people have already lined up but the staff and the machine isn’t ready yet because the people who are supposed to be heading the election there don’t know how to operate the machine. This shows lack of professionalism. They could have studied it the night before—they should have done their assignment to prevent delay. Well, that is one of the things that caught my attention that morning in the news.

At night, since I didn’t get to watch the news, I just checked the unofficial results over the net and browsed facebook as I am expecting posts from different people about their election. People in social media are fond of taking their pictures and posting it in facebook or twitter and this election the most trending are pictures of fingers with indelible ink, pictures and statements about Nancy Binay, Dick Gordon and Miriam Santiago.

First, Nancy Binay. She is quite popular in social media because most people in my facebook newsfeed believes that she is not deserving to win, or even be a candidate for senator since she does not have the so-called “credentials”. In contrary to what they believe, Binay got the 5th position in the unofficial results of election and so, people posted stuffs targeting mostly her skin color. This is quite offensive but I’d like to think that this is just their way of expressing that they aren’t happy, so far, with the partial results. Well, some people’s way is to use Miriam Defensor Santiago to balance the equation.



And again, I’d like to think that this is just their way of showing that they are frustrated about the partial results and that at least, they have this one person to trust in the senate. And as of Gordon, it seems like he’s trending not just because people are making fun of his name but because people in facebook actually wants him to win.


Now, what’s actually the point why I am writing about all these social media observations? Well according to statistics, Philippines is one of the top ten most engaged countries for social networking and most of its users are ages 18-24 years old—young adults like me. My point is that, social media is actually helping young people to be more aware of the present issues—especially political issues. Opinions are expressed and exchanged and this alone is a good thing for the society. It is worth noting that we, young adults actually express our own opinions and stands regarding present issues.