Vigan! or entanglement of the foreigns and the local in a Southeast Asian City

In 2021, the Philippines will commemorate 500 years of Hispanic colonial “legacy” in the archipelago. The most celebrated Hispanic legacy in the islands is Catholicism. Hence, in 2021, the Philippines will also commemorate 500 years of Catholicism in East Asia.   Up north in the Ilocos region, Spain’s legacy remained intact through the preservation of…

Paris, moi aussi, je t’aime, mon amour (Part 1 of 2).

When we think of Paris today, we often think of it as the most romantic city (read here as lovers posing before the Eiffel Tower and smooching as they pose before the camera) and one of the most picture-perfect colossal pieces of architecture (also read here as posing before the Eiffel Tower). Several people I…

Jaipur City, finally a UNESCO World Heritage Site

This week is the 43rd annual convention of UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Baku,  the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan is this year’s host city. For over 10 years, I have been following and documenting the proceedings – as if a participant or a delegate representing the Philippines in this important convention about cultural preservation…

The Photogenic City that is Bruges!

Fall 2017, I represented my University at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. The trip was official but I made sure to have time to explore the city plus Cologne, the closest heritage city to Frankfurt. Back then, the only city I wanted to see outside of Germany was Brussels for a very practical reason: lack…

The Month of May and the Season of the Queen in the Philippines

The excerpt below is from my essay “Panata, Pagtitipon, Pagdiriwang: A Preliminary Contexualization of Cultural Performances in the Philippines” published in Humanities Diliman: A Journal of Philippine Humanities, a Scopus-listed journal published by the University of the Philippines Diliman. The journal is open-access, please click here for the current issue. To access the full essay,…

Performing Heritage / The Intramuros Project (The Project Brief)

On 1 April 2019, the project “Performing Heritage/The Intramuros Project” commenced. Funded by the University of the Philippines Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, the project is both an ethnographic study and a performance of ethnographic data about cultural heritage development. The goal is to problematize the concept of heritage via…