Of the Same House: Mariano Ponce and the Pan-Asianist Alliance

Without a doubt, the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945 is one of the darkest times in Philippine history. But just a few decades prior to the invasion, the Japanese ardently supported Philippine independence from Spanish and American colonialism. They coordinated with ilustrado Mariano Ponce, “the First Philippine Republic’s representative to Japan,” for the transport … Continue reading Of the Same House: Mariano Ponce and the Pan-Asianist Alliance

On Filipino Time: Temporality and Materiality in Philippine History

Many Filipino thinkers have deplored Filipino time, a “bad national habit” characterized by tardiness. Their writings track the origins of this phenomenon and offer suggestions for curbing it. For Christian Jil R. Benitez, an instructor in the Department of Filipino at the Ateneo de Manila University, the expression came from the American occupation. American officials, … Continue reading On Filipino Time: Temporality and Materiality in Philippine History

Surviving the War of the Saints: San Vidal, the Obscure Patron Saint of Cebu

Image of San Vidal in Cebu Cathedral during 2011. Photo by Clodoveo Nacorda. Cebu City’s devotion to the Santo Niño is best captured by the vibrant Sinulog festival. Over a million visitors flock to the city every third Sunday of January to venerate the Holy Child, joining processions during the day and enjoying street parties … Continue reading Surviving the War of the Saints: San Vidal, the Obscure Patron Saint of Cebu

Decolonizing Knowledge: The Struggle for Autonomy After Independence

After the Second World War, the Philippines fought a culture war for total independence from the United States. Intent on winning the ideological race against the Soviet Union, the US interfered with Filipino efforts to decolonize and build the fledgling Philippine nation. Not only did they sway Filipino lawmakers and direct trade, but they also … Continue reading Decolonizing Knowledge: The Struggle for Autonomy After Independence

A Taxing Journey to Colonial Nationalism

The 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain began with Andrés Bonifacio and the Katipuneros tearing their cedulas personales (tax certificates)and cheering for independence. What is interesting about the cedula is that, while it signified the obligation to pay taxes to Spain, the cedula tax system itself was a stepping stone that enabled Philippine nationalism to bud … Continue reading A Taxing Journey to Colonial Nationalism