Philippine and Filipino Studies: 40 Years Hence

In the Spring of 2015, the Center for Philippine Studies (CPS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH-Manoa) will be 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 United States. 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 our legacy and our future, the CPS will be holding a series of academic and cultural events including an international symposium, a community banquet, and a series of dance performances.

Our celebrations will commence on April 8, 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 entitled Covert Netherworld: An Invisible Arena for Contesting Global Power in the 21st Century, which offers a novel theoretical model of imperial power that operates at three levels with three illustrative case studies–the local (Mindanao & Central Luzon in the Philippines), the national (USA), and the transnational (Afghanistan, Francophone Africa).

On April 9 and 10, we will be holding an International Symposium at the Imin Center, UH-Manoa entitled Philippine and Filipino Studies: Forty Years Hence, which 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 from different regions in the Philippines, this promises to be an exciting conference.

Our April events will culminate in a fiesta celebration at the Filipino Community Center on April 11, 2015. 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 the 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 UH efforts to raise money after Philippine disasters. The fiesta event will provide a truly unique occasion to bring our academic and Filipino communities together in a celebration of our strong and meaningful relationship over the years. We are very proud to welcome  as guest speaker to our celebration Mr. Tony Meloto,  Founder and Pioneering leader of Gawad Kalinga, Philippines.

And finally, as the culminating event of our anniversary celebrations, we will be hosting for the second time, the House of Dance, Philippines, in Honolulu in a series of performances entitled PULSO (Pulse, Rhythm of the Heart). Through classical and modern interpretations of Philippine dance, Pulso captures aspects of the Filipino’s richcultural 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 twice at the Kennedy Theater. In addition, the company’s dancers and choreographers will hold a series of dance demonstrations and workshops for students at UH-Manoa, Chaminade University, and at schools with a substantial Filipino student population like Farrington and Waipahu High Schools.

These events, planned as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations, are an expression of the core mission of the CPS: to reach out beyond the boundaries of UH-Manoa 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, and Filipino communities in Hawaii, and will make our 40th anniversary celebrations truly memorable, setting the stage for the next 40 years of the Center for Philippine Studies.

We hope that you will be able join us for all of our planned 40th Anniversary celebrations!!!

Professor Vina Lanzona
Director, Center for Philippine Studies