Crafting Anthropological Traditions in the Philippines

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P. , Porio, Emma E.

First draft of paper completed in October 2014 and a final draft was submitted on 21 September 2015 as a chapter of the book tentatively titled as Anthropological Traditions in Southeast Asia. The book manuscript, edited by Professor Eric Thompson of the National University of Singapore, was submitted for publication at the NUS Press and now being circulated for peer review.


Re-visioning obscure spaces: Enduring cosmopolitanism in the Sulu archipelago and Zamboanga peninsula

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P.


In popular imagery, the littorals of Sulu and Zamboanga conjure visions of pirates, terrorists, and bandits marauding its rough seas, open shores, and rugged mountains. These bleak accounts render the region nothing but a violent and peripheral southern Philippine backdoor inconspicuous to the sophisticated constituencies of the world’s metropolitan centres. Obscured from these imageries are the lasting cosmopolitan traits of openness, flexibility, and reception of local folk to trans-local cultural streams that marked Sulu and Zamboanga as a globalised space across the ages and oceans. The distinctive features of these cosmopolitan sensibilities are strikingly discernible in inter-generationally shared narratives, artefacts, and performances that were continually renewed from the days when Sulu and Zamboanga served as a borderless trading and cultural enclave nestled at the crossroads of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. These enduring cosmopolitan sensibilities are embodied in the blending, among others, of the time-honoured dance of pangalay and the pop-musical dance genre celebrated on actual, analogue, and digitally-mediated spaces of the contemporary world. Furthermore, these embodied sensibilities are evident in song compositions that proclaim the humanistic themes of hope, peace, and prosperity to their place and the world in ways that exemplify the local people’s broader sense of connections beyond the narrow association of family, community, ethnicity, religion, and identity. This mixed bag of age-old and recent imaginaries and cultural traffic evoke a sociality that link the social spaces of the troubled but once and current globalised region to continuing acts of transcendence in history, memory, and visions of the future. In these marginalized places, we can see an unyielding tradition of cultural re-adaptation and creativity made up of myriad everyday acts that are down-to-earth, pragmatic, interstitial, and practical cosmopolitanism.



Book Review: Bulloch, Hannah C. M.: In Pursuit of Progress. Narratives of Development on a Philippine Island.

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P.

Canuday,  Jose Jowel (2018) Book Review: Bulloch, Hannah C. M.: In Pursuit of Progress. Narratives of Development on a Philippine Island. Anthropos, Seite 284 - 285
Anthropos, Jahrgang 113, Heft 1, ISSN print: 0257-9774, ISSN online: 0257-9774, DOI:  10.5771/0257-9774-2018-1-284

The Unifying and Divisive Effects of Social Identities: Religious and Ethnopolitical Identities Among Mindanao Muslims in the Philippines

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P.

AuthorsCristina Montiel, Elizabeth Macapagal, and Jose Jowel Canuday


The present study looks into the unifying and divisive effects of ethnopolitical and religious social identities, and an emerging superordinate Bangsamoro identity of Muslims in the southern region of the Philippines. We surveyed 394 Muslims with a mean age of 32.6 and standard deviation of 13.3 from the Tausug, Maranao, and Maguindanaoan ethnopolitical affiliations using various measures of social identities. Findings showed that the Muslims in our sample identify themselves more strongly with their religious identity over their ethnopolitical affiliations. Religious identity may thus be a unifying element in the conflict-ridden context of Mindanao, as a significant correlation was also found between their Muslim identity and attitudes toward the superordinate Bangsamoro identity. Qualitative data on the meaning of Bangsamoro were also analysed and revealed that Bangsamoro means a fusion of Mindanao, Islam, and peace/unity. However, data also reveal the divisive effects of ethnic identity. A moderately high overlap was found between their own ethnic identity and the Bangsamoro identity. The Tausugs, the low-power group in the peace talks, showed lesser overlap compared to Maguinanaons, suggesting that ethnopolitical, or what observers of Mindanao conflict have referred to as ‘tribal’ relations, implicates the respondent's perception of a superordinate Bangsamoro identity.

Stories from the Frontlines: Decolonising Social Contracts for Disasters

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P.

AuthorsSiddiqi, Ayesha and Canuday, Jose Jowel


Disasters are framed as political moments when states are unable to provide security to their citizens, causing disruption and a possible 'break' in the state-citizen social contract. Evidence from the frontlines of insurgency and secessionist movements in southern Philippines suggests that social contracts do not 'break' in this manner, despite widespread suffering during a complex event. This paper presents new perspectives on social contracts after disasters, in conflict-affected regions. Using ethnographic data from two case studies in the Philippines, it argues that disasters in conflict-affected areas do not manifest a 'break' in social contracts in ways that result in 'state failure' and 'insurgent capture'. Instead, it shows that the state-citizen contract is a dynamic contestation of state responsibilities, while also being malleably resilient. The inequalities and anxieties prevalent in social contracts are reproduced in the highly differentiated experiences of 'disaster citizenship' for people living amidst conflict.


Exploring the Role of Taste in Middle-Class Household Practices: Implications for Sustainable Food Consumption in Metro Manila and Bangalore

By Saloma-Akpedonu, Czarina

Authors: Marlyne Sahakian, Czarina Saloma and Sunayana Ganguly


Food consumption patterns and practices are undergoing changes in the mega-cities of South and Southeast Asia. Based on a qualitative, comparative case study, this article examines food consumption practices among middle-class households in Bangalore and Metro Manila. We demonstrate how taste preferences, shaped by and shaping food consumption practices, directly relate to increases in meat consumption, food packaging and household food waste—all areas of environmental significance. Taste preferences, which evolved over time, are explained through three inter-related dimensions: (a) the competencies involved in preparing food or eating out; (b) the material dimension of consumption, or products available in sites of food consumption; and (c) the different meanings attached to what makes for a tasty meal. The differences and similarities in food consumption practices between each research site provide insights into how food consumption practices might shift towards more sustainable pathways in Bangalore and Metro Manila, and in similar settings.

Affiliations: 1: University of Geneva ; 2: Ateneo de Manila University ; 3: Azim Premji University


When Exclusion Includes: Democratic and Cosmopolitan Engagements in Contending Self- determination Struggles

By Canuday, Jose Jowel P.

Canuday, Jose Jowel (2017) "When Exclusion Includes: Democratic and Cosmopolitan Engagements in Contending Self- determination Struggles", Philippine Sociological Review, 65 103-131.

Citizen Participation and Decentralization in the Philippines

By Porio, Emma E.

This chapter appears in Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia, edited by W. Berenschot, H.S. Nordholt, and L. Bakker (published by Brill Online)