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Friday, September 21, 2012

On Chanting an Ethnoepic (Zialcita)

To chant an epic is to recount the key ideas and images that make life meaningful for one's self and one's community. In addition, to chant an epic is to enter into a ritual that merges the I into a We.

- Fernando N. Zialcita, "Epics and Ethnic Boundaries," in Nicole Revel, ed., Literature of Voice: Epics in the Philippines (Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2005), 147.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baguio Cinematheque 1st Anniv Shows

Screening Schedule

WALKING THE WAKING JOURNEY (19 September 2012, 5.30 PM)

PERFUMED NIGHTMARE (26 September 2012, 5.30 PM)

ANG MUNDO SA PANAHON NG BATO (03 October 2012, 5.30 PM)

KANANA KANU (by invitation only)- 10 October 2012, 5.30 PM

[FCDP-Cinematheque, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. 09053309829]

Monday, September 10, 2012

4th Intl Conf on Multicultural Discourses

Our colleagues in lovely Hangzhou headed by the brilliant and amiable Professor Shi-Xu,Director of the Institute of Discourse and Cultural Studies and editor of the Journal of Multicultural Discourses (Routledge), have just informed us that the "4th International Conference on Multicultural Discourses" will be held on October 23-26, 2013.

It's still going to be in Hangzhou, of course -- one of the best places to go for an academic conference. I was part of the 2010 conference where I delivered my paper, "A Brown Man's Burden: Critiquing an American Restorationist Discourse." It was a terrific experience (despite my goof-ups on my way to and out of the city) what with so gracious a bunch of hosts, fine food and entertainment, well-organized conference flow, enlightening papers from budding and seasoned scholars from Australia to Belgium, and a breath-taking view of the Xīhú (West Lake) from the Huabei Hotel and of the verdant hills and urban jungle from the top floor of the Chenghuang (City of God) Pavillion. An early morning or a late evening stroll around the lake and through its maze of wooded environs is one of the most refreshing things one can ever do.

The conference seeks

1)To bring together scholars, researchers, and practitioners from around the globe to contribute to a stimulating and rewarding exchange of ideas and techniques regarding discourse studies;

2)To enhance cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and research innovation in discourse studies;

3)To facilitate the formation of collaborative research networks among conference participants.

The conference will run along the following themes, among others: Discourse and human rights, Discourse and international commerce/management, Discourse and ethnic literature, Discourse and gender.

Deadline for abstracts: 31st December 2012. Those whose papers will be accepted for presentation will be informed by early March of next year.

More details HERE.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On Religious Conservatism

Religious conservatives don't want to move on. Religious conservatives have consistently resisted progress, preferring to maintain tradition for the sake of tradition alone, even if the tradition is bad. Some of us have a different priority. We prefer truth to tradition, progress to precedent, learning to loyalty.
- Dan Barker, Godless:How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2008), 112.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lobdell on Catholics and Reproductive Health issues

Weeks ago when Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas thundered "Contraception is Corruption!" I happened to have just finished reading William Lobdell's fine work, Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America -- and Found Unexpected Peace (HarperCollins Publishers, 2009). Talk about corruption! I burped as I learned how the Catholic Church authorities worked mafia-like to cover up or rationalize the countless sexual crimes committed by their priests. Among the shocking facts and riveting stories he divulged was about the case of Michael "Father Hollywood" Harris whose sexual offenses
would cause upheaval and historic reforms within the Roman Catholic dioceses of Orange and Los Angeles, generate the first of more than $1 billion in payouts to hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by priests and foreshadow by almost two years the church's national sex scandal.(62)
Chapter 15 of Lobdell's book also tells of a horrible case in St. Michael Island, Alaska "where a single Catholic missionary raped an entire generation of Alaska Native boys." (215) I don't know about Lobdell's other readers, but all these revelations about corruption in the Catholic Church made me sick with disgust. I was thinking, maybe had the Church not imposed this crazy doctrine of priesthood celibacy their holy men would have productively channeled their sexual urges within the context of marital and family life. And I keep wondering, how could these bishops and popes truly empathize with or understand experiences such as raising a family and sexual needs of couples? That our priests are out of touch with the lives of or alienated from their parishioners can be shown by the June 2011 SWS survey which showed that "82 percent of Filipino adults nationwide agree that 'The choice of family planning method is a personal decision of the couple, and no one should interfere with it.' The same trend is also true of American Catholics. Lobdell says,
A recent poll co-sponsored by the National Catholic Reporter found that the majority American Catholics believed they did not have to obey church doctrine on abortion, birth control, divorce, remarriage or weekly attendance at Mass to be “good Catholics.” Catholic women have about the same rate of abortion as the rest of society, according to a 2002 study by Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. And 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used a modern method of contraception, according to a 2002 national survey bythe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(206)

That's good. The more people reject the idea that popes, priests, pastors, ministers, and imams have a wifi access to heaven and therefore should be blindly followed, the better for the world.


Thanks to Senator Tito Sotto, there's now a new synonym for plagiarizing -- "Sottoing." And the word even has verb conjugations -- "Sinotto," "Sinosotto," and "Sosottohin."

Sotto has no one to blame but himself. What is appalling is his arrogance in thinking that he is exempted from universally acknowledged and followed research ethics. Plagiarism is a grave "sin" in the academe. Why should it not be deemed so in the oh-so-august Philippine Senate where laws passed presumably go through rigorous research processes or stages? Or has this recent brouhaha illustrated that some of our lawmakers and their staff need to undergo rigorous training in research methodology and ethics?

This Senator who gets paid by our taxes complains that, according to a news report, "he was the first senator to ever be a victim of cyber-bullying." As if that was a badge of honor. Ay apo met!

The more Sotto defends himself, the deeper he sinks into the quagmire he himself created. And his case will likely give credence to "Kangkongkernits'" joke that "It's More Fun to Plagiarize in the Philippines."

I went over to Janice Formichella's post on the issue and couldn't help agreeing with some of the commenters:

Angelo Cruz says:
September 6, 2012 at 7:46 am
Indeed, it seems Sotto’s latest speech is yet another act of intellectual theft; this time from the late Robert F. Kennedy. The speech was in Tagalog, but a careful review of the words and they are a very good match to RFK’s 1966 speech on the Day of Affirmation in South Africa.

Gem says:
September 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm
This is disgusting. I’m Filipino and I cringe while I read articles like this. In the age of Google and smart phones one should be very careful what they lift from blogs, websites, books or magazines. He’s an actor/TV show host who does not have the intellectual capacity run for office or to make speeches. This is a clear reflection of what is wrong with the Philippines. People vote for the ones who are famous and not the ones who have skills. It’s a sad reality.
Surprisingly, despite Sotto’s blatant acts of plagiarism, he still garners considerable support from those against the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill.

Related Links:

Sarah Pope's article on Gandhi,

Janice Formichella's article on the pill,

Sotto's "Turno en Contra" speech

"Oust Tito Sotto" online signature campaign