The Balangiga Bells and the right to self-determination

No Comments

via Philippine Inquirer, 22 Dec 2018: An editorial by a friend Kate Tantuico on the recent return of the Balangiga Bells. Tantuico is also co-convening a session on Heritage Management Law and Policy in this year’s SPAFACON.

During deliberations for the Cultural Heritage Law of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10066), legislators observed that many of our cultural materials remain on display in museums abroad. The late senator Edgardo Angara said he himself saw many Philippine artifacts obtained from underwater sites in Southern Palawan on display in the Newberry Museum in Chicago. Sen. Richard Gordon also mentioned that cannons from Grande Island were taken by American forces and brought to the Smithsonian Institute, despite calls for their return by the people of Olongapo.

On a global scale, the return of colonial cultural materials to their now-sovereign countries of origin is ongoing. In 2015, the Nusantara Museum in Delft, the Netherlands, offered to return 14,000 colonial artifacts to our neighbor Indonesia, which they had ruled as the Dutch East Indies. In March 2018, President Emmanuel Macron of France met with Patrice Talon, his counterpart in the former French possession of Benin. Macron said France will be returning all artifacts taken from Africa, following persistent calls from various ethnic groups in Nigeria. And just last month, The British Museum and France’s Quai Branly Museum declared they will be returning the Benin Bronzes — a collection of sculptures — to Benin and Nigeria after decades of pressure from the latter.

Source: The Balangiga Bells and the right to self-determination | Inquirer Opinion

2019 Philippine Studies Conference at SOAS

No Comments

The Annual Philippine Studies Conference SOAS focuses its 2019 edition on the southern island of Mindanao. It seeks to gather academics, policymakers, cultural workers, artists and scientists to map the contours of Mindanao’s struggle for peace after centuries of violent strife. This struggle is complex and, as an object of study, extremely dense. Its dimensions are simultaneously global, national, and local —and these layers are often collapsed into each other.

The Conference takes up the challenge of addressing this complexity and density with a new emphasis on cultural analysis. In the course of the last few decades, it has become abundantly clear that the integration of multi-disciplinary approaches requires a cultural perspective.

In taking up mapping as a metaphor for approaching Mindanao, the Conference draws attention to the porous and overlapping ethnolinguistic homelands; conceptual and physical sites of conflict, resolution, and/or cycles of seemingly perpetual repeats.

The island — volatile home to Muslim, settler, and autochtonous societies variously staking out claims for resources, territory, and opportunity— can in fact only be mapped with great nuance and a strong sense of dynamic cultural transformation.

Source: 2019 Philippine Studies Conference at SOAS

Balangiga Bells back in Philippines after 117 years

No Comments

via ABS-CBN News and other sources: The Balangiga Bells were taken by American forces over a hundred years ago.

Three church bells taken by American soldiers as war booty from Balangiga town, Eastern Samar in 1901, arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday.

The Balangiga Bells, seen by historians as a symbol of Filipino resistance to foreign invaders, were airlifted to the Philippine Air Force headquarters in Villamor Airbase.

They will be returned to Balangiga town later this week.

Source: Balangiga Bells back in Philippines after 117 years | ABS-CBN News

See also:

Ringside at the auction: how the contested Bonifacio documents were sold

No Comments
Source: ABS-CBN 20181203

via ABS-CBN, 03 December 2018 and other sources: A series of historically-significant Philippine documents were sold at auction over the weekend, despite government attempts to halt the sale.

Source: ABS-CBN 20181203

Source: ABS-CBN 20181203

It must be recalled that in the days leading up to the auction, these historical documents have become cause célèbre, the fodder of social media debates and heated online posts, with the National Historical Commission (NHC) attempting to block the sale, but to little avail.

“A lot of history here,” Brian says as he begins his introductory, warm-up spiel. “You know about them; I’m sure you’ve read about it; you probably learned about it in school.”

Eventually, Lot 117 would hammer at 160,000 from a starting bid of 50K; Lot 118 would hammer at 450,000 from a starting bid of 50K; Lot 119 at 3.8 million from a starting bid of 1 million; Lot 120 at 4.2 million from a starting bid of 1 million; Lot 121 at 900,000 from a starting bid of 50K; and finally, Lot 122 at 3.2 million from a starting bid of 500K.

Source: Ringside at the auction: how the contested Bonifacio documents were sold | ABS-CBN News

See also

National Museum declares Manila’s post office building ‘important cultural property’

No Comments

via Manila Bulletin, 24 November 2018: The National Museum declares the Manila Post Office building, built in 1926, as an ‘important cultural property’.

Manila Post Office. Source: Manila Bulletin, 20181124

Manila Post Office. Source: Manila Bulletin, 20181124

The National Museum has declared the Post Office Building in Manila as an “important cultural property” (ICP) during the 251st founding anniversary of the Philippine Postal Service on Saturday, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) said on Saturday.

Establishments declared as ICPs are “cultural assets that possess exceptional cultural, artistic and/or historical significance,” to the Philippines, PHLPost said in a statement.

The postal system in the Philippines started in 1767 in the first Manila Post Office in Escolta.

Source: National Museum declares Manila’s post office building ‘important cultural property’ » Manila Bulletin News

China-funded bridge risks Unesco World Heritage status of San Agustin church, 3 others

No Comments
via Inquirer, 2018119

via Philippine Inquirer, 19 November 2018:

via Inquirer, 2018119

via Inquirer, 2018119

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has warned that San Agustin Church and three other Baroque churches around the Philippines may be delisted from the prestigious World Heritage List as a result of the construction of the controversial Binondo-Intramuros Bridge across the Pasig River in Manila.

The bridge would encroach on the “buffer zone” required by the Unesco for San Augustin Church as a World Heritage Site, according to Unesco National Commission (Unacom).

Source: China-funded bridge risks Unesco World Heritage status of San Agustin church, 3 others | Inquirer Lifestyle

House panel OKs bill seeking to rename, strengthen the National Museum

No Comments

via Manila Bulletin, 03 November 2018:

Source: Manila Bulletin 20181103

The House committee on ways and means, chaired by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, has approved the tax provision of a bill seeking to rename the National Museum as the “National Museum of the Philippines (NMP)”.

Under the amended tax provision of the bill, the NMP shall be exempt from the payment of taxes, fees and charges imposed by the national government and its political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities.

Source: House panel OKs bill seeking to rename, strengthen the National Museum » Manila Bulletin News

11th KAPI Conference

No Comments

Greetings from Katipunan Arkeologists ng Pilipinas, Inc. (Society of Philippine Archaeologists), Bahay Saliksikan, Bulacan State University and the City of Malolos!

On 8 December 2018, we will be holding the 11th KAPI Conference at Bahay Na Tisa, Malolos Bulacan. We are inviting archaeologists, related researchers, and cultural workers to disseminate and update the community in their research findings, build networks and linkages, and discuss issues on the country’s archaeological heritage.

With the theme: “Peoples, Things, and Cultures: Papers on Integration in Philippine Archaeology”, papers and posters that contribute to the conference abstract are welcome. You can submit your abstract by emailing containing the title and abstract of no more than 300 words. Papers may be presented in either Filipino or English. Deadline for abstract will be on November 5, 2018 (Monday).

You may already pre-register at this online form: and check out our website for more details about the conference.

UCLA Philippine Archaeology page

No Comments

Just highlighting this Philippine Archaeology project page from UCLA, run by Dr Stephen Acabado. Also linked on the resources page.

The Archaeology Program at the Department of Anthropology, University of California-Los Angeles, has established a long-term project in the Philippines that involves research, training, and community engagement. Together with UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Dr. Stephen Acabado has successfully run the Ifugao Archaeological Project, and more recently, the Bicol Archaeological Project. In 2019, UCLA will launch the Archaeology of Spanish Colonialism in the Philippines, with the Partido State University, Ifugao State University, Archaeological Studies Program-University of the Philippines, and the Archdiocese of Caceres as collaborators.

The research program aims to contribute to archaeological studies in the Philippines as well as train the next generation of archaeologists, particularly those interested in the archaeology of the Philippines. More importantly, the training component of the research program provides opportunities for heritage students to conduct research in the Philippines. Indeed, more than 20 students of Filipino heritage have participated in the IAP since its inception.

Source: Frontpage – Philippine Archaeology

Categories: Philippines Websites