ICOPHIL Overview & Brief History

Overview. The First International Philippine Studies Conference was held in 1980 in Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since then, eight more conferences have been held in various cities including LeidenManila, and most recently, East Lansing. An International Council of Philippine Studies Conferences leads this effort. At present, the committee counts its members from the Philippines, United States, Spain, Japan, France, Thailand and Mexico; they meet every four years to facilitate the continuation of this international collaboration, maintain global ties and support the work of peer conferences and associations, and make decisions regarding future venues. In 2012, past chair Belinda Aquino, Professor Emerita of University of Hawaii at Manoa handed off to current chair Bernardita Churchill, Professor of History (Ret.) of the University of the Philippines at Diliman.

A Brief History (1980-2013) by Bernardita Churchill, December 4, 2013

  • Philippine Studies Association, Inc.
  • International Council for Philippine Studies (ICOPHIL)

1984 – The Philippine Studies Association, Inc., (PSA) was formed in 1984 with the following as charter members: Ofelia R. Angangco, Wilfredo Arce, Fe Arcinas, Isagani R. Cruz, Doreen G. Fernandez, Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, Milagros C. Guerrero, Carolina G. Hernandez, Florentino H. Hornedo, Elsa Perez-Jurado, Vivencio Jose, Antonio Ledesma, S.J., Patricia B. Licuanan, Aurora Roxas-Lim, Bienvenido Lumbera, Resil Mojares, Nicanor Tiongson, and Wilfrido V. Villacorta. In its first organizational meeting, the following were elected officers of the Board: Ofelia R. Angangco, President; Doreen G. Fernandez, Vice President; and Elsa P.  Jurado, Secretary-Treasurer.

The impetus for the founding of the Philippine Studies Association of the Philippines (PSA) in 1984 was the need to coordinate with the Philippine Studies Group (PSG) the holding of International Philippine Studies Conferences (ICOPHIL), the first one having been held in 1980 at Western Michigan Universrsity in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Philippine Studies Group (PSG) is one of six country committees in the Southeast Asia Council (SEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS/US). The Second ICOPHIL Conference was held in the 1981 in Honolulu, hosted by the Center for Philippine Studies, University of Hawaii at Mano’a. Prior to the founding of PSA in 1984, a Philippine Coordinating Committee (PCC) was set up in 1981, after the Kalamazoo Conference, composed of the following: Prof. (Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, UP Diliman) Ofelia R. Angangco, Elsa P. Jurado, Bienvenido Lumbera, Marcelino A. Foronda, and Doreen G. Fernandez, with the objective to coordinate with PSG the convening of International Philippine Studies Conferences.

The main purpose of PSA is “to promote study, criticism, and research in Philippine languages, literature, culture and society, and to further the common interests of teachers and scholars in these fields. (By-Laws, Article 1, Section 2). The PSA duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC Reg. No. 124621) on January 17, 1985.

1985 – To implement this goal, the association’s first activity was the First National Philippine Studies Conference held at the Philippine Social Science Center in Quezon City from February 11-13, 1985. The conference brought together in fruitful interaction scholars engaged in the different fields of Philippine Studies. In an exchange of research methods, findings, and perspectives, there was interdisciplinary dialogue on Philippine matters and materials. Scholars outside Metro Manila, scholars new in the field or as yet unpublished, participated in this conference. As the 1st National Philippine Studies Conference on Philippine soil, it was an exploration of the extent, development, and needs of Philippine studies and an update on the breadth and depth of the field. It also affirmed Philippine Studies as a field of intellectual inquiry, inter-disciplinarity as a mode of dialogue, and the examination of Philippine reality both micro- and macro- as an ongoing concern.

1986 – In 1986, the PSA convened a Regional Conference on “Manila: History, People, and Culture,” at Barrio San Luis Complex, Intramuros, Manila, sponsored by De La Salle University. The papers from this conference were published by De La Salle University Press (1989), edited by Wilfrido V. Villacorta, Isagani R. Cruz, and Maria Lourdes Bautista..

1996 – On January 20, 1996, the PSA sponsored the 2nd National Philippine Studies Conference at the Philippine Social Science Center. The PSA also sponsored a Philippine Studies Conference at the Philippine Social Science Center on November 7, 1998.

The Philippine Social Science Council, almost from the beginning, has coordinated closely with the Philippine Studies Association when it convenes its conferences, its major activity.  The PSSC Executive Director (Virginia A. Miralao) sits in the PSA Board in an ex-officio capacity and the PSSC serves as Conference Secretariat.

1987 – In 1987, the PSA Board elected the following: Milagros C. Guerrero (President), Wilfrido V. Villacorta (Vice-President), Patricia B. Licuanan (Secretary), Fe R. Arcinas (Treasurer), Ofelia R. Angangco, Wilfrido Arce, Isagani R. Cruz, Doreen G. Fernandez, Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, Carolina G. Hernandez, Florentino H. Hornedo, Elsa Perez-Jurado, Vivencio R. Jose, Antonio Ledesma, S.J., Aurora Roxas Lim, Bienvenido Lumbera, Resil B. Morales, and Nicanor Tiongson.

1994 – In 1994, the PSA Board elected the following: Isagani R. Cruz (President), Ma. Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista (Vice-President), Jose M. Cruz, S.J. (Secretary-Treasurer), Jessica Cariño, Emmanuel de Dios, Doreen G. Fernandez, Florentino H. Hornedo, Milagros C. Guerrero, Corazon B. Lamug, Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, Bienvenido Lumbera, Virginia A. Miralao, Elena Pernia, Wilfrido V. Villacorta, and Fernando N. Zialcita.

2003 – The PSA Board (December 2003-December 2005), elected at the close of the PSA 2003 Conference, is composed of the following: Bernardita R. Churchill (President), Eufracio A. Abaya (Vice President), Francis A. Gealogo (Secretary-Treasurer), Corazon B. Lamug, Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, Bienvenido Lumbera, Virginia A. Miralao, Jose M. Cruz, S.J., Nicanor Tiongson,  Tomasito Talledo, Rowena Reyes-Boquiren, Erlinda K. Alburo, Elizabeth L. Enriquez, Alice Pingol, and Rudy Rodil. The PSA has re-activated its SEC and BIR Registrations, which had lapsed due to the failure to submit the necessary SEC and BIR Reports. It is now once again legally and fully registered with SEC and BIR, with an updated and revised Articles of Incorporation and By-laws

2004 – In preparation for the 7th International Philippine Studies Conference which was held in Leiden, the Netherlands, on June 16-19, 2004, the Philippine Studies Association convened the Third National Philippine Studies Conference on December 5-6, 2003 at the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City.  The PSSC Executive Director (Virginia A. Miralao) sits in the PSA Board and the PSA works closely with the PSSC as secretariat. Altogether there were about 160 participants and all regions of the country were represented, with some foreign participants coming from Japan, Australia, and the United States. There were altogether 85 speakers, including 4 panelists for the session on “Rethinking Philippine Studies.” Practically all the disciplines were represented, with literature leading in numbers. What made this conference unique is the fact that the majority of the speakers were young scholars doing primary research, some challenging or revising currently accepted theories, methodologies, data and conclusions. A good number of panels and speakers subsequently presented their revised papers at ICOPHIL in Leiden in June 2004.

On September 16-18, 2004, the PSA convened the Fourth National Philippine Studies Conference in Baguio City, hosted by the University of the Philippines Baguio. The conference theme was “Ethnic Identities in the Philippines.” The conference was attended by 120 participants, including 55 speakers. The local convener was Dr. Rowena Reyes-Boquiren of UP Baguio.

2005 – On September 9-10, 2005, the PSA convened the Regional Seminar-Workshop on Philippine Studies in the Visayas in Cebu City, hosted by the Cebuano Studies Center and the Department of History, San Carlos University. The local convener was Dr. Erlinda K.  Alburo, Director of the University’s Cebuano Studies Center. The purpose of the seminar-workshop was to look at the research agenda and outputs of Cebuano Studies Center and individual academics working on Philippine studies in the Visayas. It is expected that future regional seminar-workshops will also be convened in Mindanao and Luzon to look at the state of Philippine Studies in those regions.

On December 5, 2005, the first of what was envisioned to be a Public Lecture Series was held at the Philippine Social Science Center Auditorium, with the following as speakers: Bienvenido L. Lumbera, PSA Board Member, and Federico Macaranas (Economist, Asian Institute of Management in Makati).

The current PSA Board (2008-2012) is composed of the following officers: Bernardita R. Churchill (President); Eufracio Abaya (Vice President); Rowena Reyes-Boquiren (Secretary-Treasurer). The other Board Members are the following: Filomeno V. Aguilar, Jr., Erlinda Kintanar Alburo, Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon Bautista, Jose Wendell Capili, Isagani Cruz, Jose Dalisay, Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, Bienvenido L. Lumbera, and Virginia A. Miralao.

LINKAGES

The Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC), has served as the PSA and ICOPHIL Secretariat since 1985, especially when ICOPHIL is held in the Philippines, traditionally every four years alternating with a foreign venue in Europe or the United States.

The Philippine Studies Association has continued its linkage with the Philippine Studies Group (PSG) of the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (USA), since the First International Philippine Studies Conference in 1980.

ICOPHIL – The International Council for Philippine Studies Conferences (ICOPHIL) was organized in 1996 in Hawai‘i, and subsequently became the International Board (presently Council)  for Philippine Studies Conferences (ICOPHIL), chaired by Belinda A. Aquino, Director, Center for Philippine Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mãnoa). Bernardita R. Churchill is currently Chair of the ICOPHIL Council. A European Philippine Studies Organizing Committee (EUROPHIL), has informally organized and has convened conferences in Amsterdam (1991), London (1994), Aix-en-Provence (1997), Alcala (2001), and Leiden (2004).

As a consequence of these linkages, the PSA sponsored the following international conferences: the 3rd International Philippine Studies Conference on 1989 at the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City; the 4th International Philippine Studies Conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia in 1992; and the 6th International Philippine Studies Conference at the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City, in 2000. The 5th International Philippine Studies Conference was convened by Belinda A. Aquino in Honolulu in 1996.

On June 16-19, 2004, the PSA acted as country coordinator for the 7th International Philippine Studies Conference held in Leiden.

The PSA convened the 8th International Philippine Studies Conference (ICOPHIL 2008) on at the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City, and Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

On October 28-30, 2012, the PSA acted as Philippine Convener for the 9th International Philippine Studies Conference at Western Michigan State University held on October 28-31. The 10th International Philippine Studies Conference is scheduled to be held in the Philippines in 2016.

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