When tourists go to the Philippines, they usually seek the manicured lawns of golf courses and the powder white sands of beach resorts. Here’s the other side of the story.

like a rolling stone

I write this not for my activist friends who are already partisan, but for my other friends and possible readers who may not be sympathetic to the plight of the Silverio Compound residents that faced off with the police in today’s violent demolition.

I just came from the Silverio compound with Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rep. Paeng Mariano and a contingent of lawyers, doctors, human rights advocates, students and church people to investigate the violent incident which led to the death of at least one person and caused injury to scores. When we arrived there, we learned that 33 had been arrested and detained during the police operations. Eight of those arrested were minors, 2 were women.

I am not well-versed with the legal issues and history of the dispute between the residents and the city government but surely the residents were convinced that they had to stand their ground and…

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Information Sharing on Primates

We started a Facebook sharing page, Resource Center for Philippine Primates, to gather information on primate conservation, ecology, and biology. The links posted will strive to share more about the primate species in the Philippines, long-tailed macaques and Philippine tarsiers, but will also include any interesting trivia that we can gather from the internet and academic journals. If you wish to know more about primates, please click below and like the page:

Resource Center for Philippine Primates

Thanks a lot for joining!

30-minute limit proposed for whale shark watching

News update regarding whale shark watching in Oslob from Cebu Daily News:

Cebu Daily News

A 1 p.m. curfew and a 30-minute time limit on whale shark watching in Oslob town, Cebu, are among several guidelines proposed by a technical working group (TWG) led by the Provincial Capitol.

The time limit will prevent stressing the marine animals, who have been getting intense public attention from tourists and local visitors since August last year.

The group headed by Provincial Board (PB) member Peter John Calderon said they will meet before month’s end to finalize the draft guidelines.

The TWG is composed of Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren, PB member Wilfredo Caminero, the Whale Shark Watchers Organization, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Rose Marie Vincoy and Provincial Legal Officer lawyer Marino Martinquilla.

Under an Oslob municipal ordinance, only an accredited group will be allowed to ferry tourists to the site where the whale sharks gather.

A designated whale shark watching area was also in place with buoys within the municipal…

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Sharing Notes

Here is a bulletpoint note on two articles about Islam from my class on Anthropology of Religion. My professor, the deceased Dr. Harold Olofson, assigned me to discuss these two classic anthropology articles on the subject back in my undergraduate days. While many papers have been written on the subject since, I think it is always nice to visit important articles so that we can have a long-view, a historical perspective, of the current discussion on Islam, anthropology, and religion. I also hope this helps student researchers get a quick read for their assignments or use it as a note for class discussion.

1982. “The Study of Islam in Local Contexts,” Contributions to Asian Studies 17: 1-16

1976. “The Generation of an Incipient Ethnic Split: A Hausa Case,” Anthropos vol. 71, #5-6, pp. 857-867.

To access the notes, please click here.

after the lull, i’m back

I’ll be writing back here in Time Travelling after a rather long blogging hiatus. What has become of the other blogging site, Anthropology Corner? Well, I wrote one post there and never get to writing anything. I think Anthropology Corner will stay there in its non-space in the internet, like an hermit’s cave, a place of contemplation, of silence, of not writing nor thinking of anything–frozen in cyberspace yet forever pregnant with potentialities. Of course, I’ll still maintain Anthropology Corner as a monument of sorts. A token of what it is like not to blog at all and just fling myself into the rough-and-tumble world of behavioral data collection–constantly stalking monkeys in sweltering heat, recording every bit of scratch, bite, mount, sleep, eat, gurney, etcetera while being preyed on by annoying majes (insects no bigger than a ballpoint dot yet relentless in their bloodsucking ways).

After almost two years doing this, I am still fascinated by monkeys and caught in the day-to-day ordinariness of their world. It’s almost like a meditation in its ordinariness–me, staring at the monkeys with a minicomputer on hand (Psion), them, immersing themselves in their monkeyness. In the world of mass information, the respite that I get in following the monkeys in silence is golden, somewhat similar to a monk’s religious epiphany when flower petals slowly unfold before him. In the best of days, behavioral data collection is like dreaming wide awake–all senses tuned in to what the monkeys are doing yet you hear yourself think, really think, and admire, really admire. This silence must be the same silence that poet-philosophers like Lao Tzu pursue when they go to the mountains, live in caves, and sleep under the trees; and when they feel like they’re settled already, then they move again, just wandering aimlessly, savoring the breeze and scenery for its visual, tactile, and auditory pleasures, like going to another fiesta where nature is the host.

Of course, it’s not all ordinary. I perk up whenever the monkeys perk up. Their excitement becomes my excitement too. Just a few days ago, huddled together with the monkeys (okay, not huddled but pretty close to them, like 4 meters from the next monkey) , I had the chance to see a primiparous mom in labor. I saw her heaving, reclined on a rock jutting out of the bushes. Whenever the labor contractions came, she would squat and then stand, raising her hands to balance herself while trying to force out the infant inside. The contractions came in intervals and she rested in between, visibly exhausted, the hairless patch of skin red due to hormones. Her brother, a two-year old juvenile, would come and hug her. When the hugging stopped, the brother  groomed her (grooming is what primatologists call that behavior where a monkey combs–and sometimes pound like a drum!–through the hair of another monkey, as if searching for parasites or dirt, but is actually more than that). Or take for example an old male monkey which I was very fond of (thus some of the staff named him after me), slowed by age, walking gingerly with its back arched like a turtle shell. Once a middle to high ranking monkey weeks before, he was now left at the edge of the troop and at the receiving end of attacks from other monkeys whenever he ventured close. Then one cold and dewy morning, I found him frozen in rigor, partially hidden by the grasses he once ate.

Here’s a poem for him:

kamatayon sa unggoy’ng tiguwang/death of an old monkey

pagkaupos sa imong katiguwangon /when your senescence is at its end
inanay kang mitikuko sa kasagbutan– / slowly, you bent like the grasses where you now lay–
tuhod sa siko, palad sa ulo–/knees on elbow, palm on your head–
puya nga kinulipad/a child spat out
sa tagoangkan. /from the womb.

hilom ang pag-abot sa katapusan:/the coming of the end is silent:
hoyohoy’ng gisabak sa dughan./a breeze nursed in your chest.
sa yanong pagpanghupaw,/in a simple sigh,
nakalingkawas,/freeing itself,
nahimugso ang imong pagtaliwan./birthing your death.

So, what more can I say. Time Travelling is back.

Time Travelling has moved to a new home…

Hello readers,

After a month long deliberation, I decided to move time travelling to a new home, anthropology corner. The decision to move was spurred by a friend who helped defray the costs for building my own blog site. While the move is cumbersome, considering I have invested more than a year of effort for time travelling, I see this change as an opportunity to learn new skills–especially in website management. Of course, I do not know anything as of yet–errrr…. what’s a plug-in?–but I know I’ll get there once I get settled in my new home.

anthropology corner will still be discussing about anthropology, travel, primates, and personal stories about Puerto Rico and the Philippines. I wish you’ll follow me there too. For starters, here is the first post of anthropology corner about the Arecibo petroglyphs.

 

 

Click here to visit anthropology corner