International Convention of Asia Scholars 6


August 6-9, 2009 at Daejeon Convention Center, Korea

Advance Program (Last Updated 21 February 2011)



[THF2] Southeast Asian Studies in the Ateneo: Assessing Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences

DATE August 6, 2009

TIME 13:00 to 15:00


CONVENER Francis Alvarez Gealogo (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

CHAIR Francis Alvarez Gealogo (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

Panel Abstract


The Ateneo Center for Asian Studies sponsors this panel that provides examples of the current state of academic studies on Southeast Asia in the Ateneo de Manila University. The papers included in the panel examine both the colonial and post colonial experiences of the region and the various nation states that constituted Southeast Asia. The topics cover a broad range of focus - from the evolution of colonial health policy, to social and demographic policies, regional integration, human rights, and political development. The diversity of the topics reflect the many approaches, the different perspectives, the many theoretical and methodological tools and the divergent issues that emerging scholars in Southeast Asian studies had to contend. In the end, the panel represents this diversity and corresponds to the growing interest of Southeast Asian studies in the Ateneo de Manila University.


[THF2-1] Francis Alvarez Gealogo (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Southeast Asia:


The influenza pandemic of 1918 was one of the most virulent and deadliest ever to hit human history. While studies on the medical, clinical and epidemiologic nature of the epidemic has been substantial, the social and demographic history of the disease as it affected various parts of the world has not been given equal attention by historians and demographers. Moreover, the majority of studies were basically focused on Western societies of Europe, North America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia that experienced extremely high levels of mortality and morbidity rates during the outbreak. There is an obvious dearth of attention being made to study the impact of the epidemic on Southeast Asian societies like the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Malay states that were equally affected by the contagion.

[THF2-2] Aaron Rom Olimba Moralina (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

Disease Etiology and Public Health Measures In


The paper is a preliminary attempt to comparatively assess broad stroke disease control measures implemented in the American Philippines and British Malaya. By identifying trends and elucidating divergences, the idea is to shed light in the character and logic of how public health medicine were instituted in these colonial polities. Official understanding of disease causation is significant in this regard, due to the gradual etiological shift created by the emergence of germ theory during the late nineteenth century. Still, adherence to bacteriology may have been revised by the need to comply to colonial impulses, thus it was not uncommon that health bureaucrats had read illness as having to do with ''superstition" "primitiveness", and "inherent filthiness" of the colonial subjects. Therefore, sustaining health and attaining non-illness had to do with compliance to colonial ideas of "hygienic reformation." Finally, the paper presents points which could be used for further studies on colonial public health and medicine in the Southeast Asian region.

[THF2-3] Meynardo Mendoza (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

Historical Closure and the Politics of Reparations in Southeast Asia


Just how does post-conflict societies come to terms with the past? Over the years, many post-authoritarian and even post-apartheid regimes have grappled with this phenomenon. Trials of former dictators and perpetrators of gross human rights violations, truth commissions, apologies, financial compensation and lustration are only some of the mechanisms by which these societies effect closure of dark pasts and hopefully achieve national reconciliation and face a more certain future. Yet, these processes are fraught with dilemmas - the issue of national sovereignty vis-a-vis demands of the international human rights regime, promoting justice but at the same time preserving internal stability etc. The paper looks at three examples of transitional justice mechanisms in the region. First is the genocide trial of former leaders of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia that was established by the United Nations and the reluctant Hun Sen regime. The second examines the truth commission established both by Indonesia and East Timor in searching for answers behind the gruesome rampage of East Timorese militia members in the aftermath of a popular referendum in 1999. And thirdly, the pending claim for compensation by the Marcos human rights victims after securing a landmark victory in 1994.

[THF2-4] Pilar Preciousa Pajayon Berse (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

The Decentralization Experiences of Post-Colonial Southeast Asia:


The paper attempts to assess the decentralization experiences of post-colonial Southeast Asia, particularly of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines vis-a-vis their colonized past. It looks for patterns of parallelism between the colonial experiences of these countries and the success of their respective attempts to empower local government units by using various strategies such as deconcentration, devolution, and privatization. Though the success or failure of the transfer of powers from the central government to the local government is more anchored on the issues of financial competence, geographic make-up, and the local community's social readiness, the foreign influences on these countries' bureaucratic structure may still have a bearing on how decentralization is being envisioned and practiced within their respective areas. The paper ends by closing in on (1) the issues that decentralization confronts at present in Southeast Asia and (2) the possibility of capitalizing on the region's colonial experience for better decentralization practices.

[SAV3] Korean on the Filipino Mind

DATE August 8, 2009

TIME 13:45 to 15:45


CONVENER Lydia N. Yu Jose (Ateneo Center for Asian Studies, The Philippines)

CHAIR Lydia N. Yu Jose (Ateneo Center for Asian Studies, The Philippines)

DISCUSSANT Ricardo Trota Jose (University of the Philippines, The Philippines)

Panel Abstract


The panel is set against the background of two wars, World War II and the Cold War and how they provided Filipinos opportunities to hear about Korea and its people. Unlike China and Japan, Korea's relationship with the Philippines was not quite close, if only in the sense that there was not a big Korean population in the Philippines, compared with the huge Chinese and Japanese communities in major cities. World War II and the Cold War brought Korea closer to the Filipino consciousness. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1941-45) very few Koreans were brought to the country and yet even to the present time, there are bits and pieces of rumors that the Korean soldiers during World War II were more cruel than the Japanese soldiers. The Cold War, on the other hand, brought to the Korean soil Filipino soldiers to fight on the side of South Korea.


[SAV3-1] Lydia N. Yu Jose (Ateneo Center for Asian Studies, The Philippines)

A Preliminary Examination of the Story that the Koreans were More Cruel than the Japanese Soldiers during the Japanese Occupation


Talk of World War II in the Philippines and of the behavior of soldiers, and sometimes, you would hear comments that it was the Korean soldier who did cruel acts, and not the Japanese. Ask those who you think might know, and you will get conflicting answers: some would confirm the story; other would say it was not true. Others would even say they never saw a single Korean during the war. In order to find out how widespread this story is, a survey questionnaire is now being conducted. The paper will report on the result of the survey, and give some preliminary explanations as to the nature of the story.

[SAV3-3] David O. Lozada III (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines)

Philippine Participation in The Korean War: A Re-Evaluation


The Prussian military theorist Carl Maria von Clausewitz once argued that while theoretically the true nature of warfare is to ultimately serve itself; in reality it is often observed that war is merely a continuation of state politics by other means.


It was widely believed that the participation of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) was prompted primary by two considerations. The first was due to a directive by the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly that called on its member countries "to furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to restore international peace and security in the area." The Philippines being a member of the United Nations and a principal signatory of its charter was obligated to comply. The second can be attributed to what Onofre D. Corpuz referred to as the close and special post war relationship that the Philippines had with the United States whose foreign policies were closely aligned.


This paper provides a third explanation - what Roger Dingman described as diplomacy of dependence. For then President Elpidio Quirino, the outbreak of the Korean conflict provided him with a timely means for political survival. Before 1950, the Philippine economy was in recession and internal unrest triggered by the Huk rebellion was spiraling out of control. His decision to commit Filipino troops to participate in military operations in Korea resulted in a chain reaction that improved (albeit temporarily) the economic and political outlook of the Philippines and ultimately helped turn the tide in the campaign against the Huk insurgency.