Time Travelling Pitstop #2

Here’s our next edition of the Time Travelling Pitstop. Enjoy!


Herd instinct

With elections around the corner, you might want to think, too, of how politicians try to use the herd mentality to get our vote, from rounding up large crowds for their campaign-cum-carnival shows, to creating instant public opinion surveys showing them leading. We have a choice in the way we choose: do we vote as a herd, or do we vote as thinking individuals?

Examining the Arroyo Legacy in the Philippines

The Arroyo legacy could be characterized by some improvements on the policy front, though they are inadequate and leave many governance challenges and social inequities largely unaddressed.

Environmental Groups List Arroyo’s Crimes Against the Environment and the People

“These crimes are conscious, odious offenses that are part of systematic practice and policy that result in massive environmental destruction, attack on human rights and dignities of a community or group of persons, and pose a threat to the current and future and generations.”

POOLED EDITORIAL: Let Justice Be Done!

Five months after the massacre, no one has been punished for the crime; no one has been punished for  helping build the Ampatuans’ armory of government-issued weapons and ammunition; the Commission on Audit has yet to release to the public a report on the special audit it did on Maguindanao’s public funds,  including the alleged misuse  of  its P84.4 million monthly internal revenue allotment; and the Office of the Ombudsman has yet to report its lifestyle investigation findings to the public.

‘Playground of the Gods’

There could even come a time when the Ibaloi may be hard to find anywhere near their sacred mountain, with the museum in Kabayan town and the centuries-old mummies at the Opdas Mass Burial Cave the only evidence that they were there at all.

Inland-Coastal Philippine Hybridity: HETEROGLOSSIA IN AGUSAN MANOBO

In the contemporary world that Manobos share with Visayans, the incorporation of the Visayan spirit in the Manobo ritual is a means for writing the modern or new social order. Like the mountain spirit, the Visayan comes from the distant sphere in the Manobo cosmos, but the Visayan spirit is made intimate and
familiar by hailing it as an amigo (friend).

Retrospect and Prospect of Magindanawn Leadership in Central Mindanao: Four Vantage Points

The Magindanawn people have lived especially in the region of Central Mindanao for countless centuries. Their attachment to, and love for, the land – their ancestral domain – embeds deeply into the Magindanawn psyche and worldview. Despite colonial incursions and imperialist advances against them and their land, by Europeans (especially the Spanish) and the Americans, their manoeuvres ‘within’ American and Manila-imposed political structures by accommodation-politics, and ‘without’ through rebel social movements, have always been done with the goal in mind to keep the Magindanao homeland for the benefit of the Magindanawn people alone.

Anthropology Across the Web

Digital Authenticity—Does Anyone Care?

Transparency is paramount. Whatever is posted under your name contributes to your digital footprint, and as the real world and virtual worlds increasingly overlap it’s no longer possible to easily separate one from the other. The messages need to be consistent, and there are ramifications if they aren’t.

Yakuza, Violence and Shamanic Powers

In any case, what impressed me was that the cell phone is now used to communicate with the another world and the prevailing information technology is now a part of the magic world. Who knows, maybe in the next generation, there will be robots who can contact celestial beings.

Media kit: Climate change and tribal peoples

This kit contains movie files, images, quotes and relevant links to be freely used for press purposes.

Handheld field computers record Inuit knowledge

A project that promises to revolutionize the way traditional knowledge is gathered and used across Nunavut’s vast expanse has run into a problem all too familiar to software entrepreneurs everywhere — it’s running out of cash.

Religious Beliefs Seen as Basis of Origins of Palaeolithic Art

“Initially scientists saw this art as the way that the people of the Palaeolithic spent their free time, sculpting figurines or decorating their tools,” Palacio points out. His investigation, published in the last edition of Oxford Journal of Archaeology, reveals the reasons for the move from this recreational-decorative interpretation of Palaeolithic art to different one of a religious and symbolic nature.


Time Travelling Pit Stop #1

I will be posting a bi-monthly collection of interesting posts on the web. The first edition of Time Travelling Pit Stop covers a whole range of topics, from anthropology to biology to world politics. The sites featured below are worth your time, so click away:


Early “Asianism” in the Philippines by Resil Mojares

Asianism has become a historically suspect concept because of its association with Japanese Pan-Asianism at the turn of the twentieth century and in the years that followed. I think there is a need to revisit the concept by looking at the varieties of Asianism elsewhere in the region, at how ideas of regional solidarity and the practice of such ideas were constructed in places like the Philippines.

DEMISTYFIED IN DJOGDJA: The multi-religious Sama Dilaut by Mucha Q. Arquiza

For the Sama Dilaut then, what we call ‘agama’ or ‘religion’ is like a fishing trip where individual boats follow a munda (i.e. common lead) with the rest affiliated as the tundan (i.e. those who are towed), as followers. In traditional religion, the munda used to be the omboh or the revered ancestral spirits.

The Cebuano Plantation Workers of Hawaii in the Early 20th Century, and the Politics of Representation by Erlinda Kintanar Alburo

Just as the writers of the Manual probably overdid the bright picture of plantation life awaiting the workers, the cartoons also misrepresent the Filipinos. At the very least, very few of them could speak English or Spanish, and this appeared in a Cebuano newspaper!

Giant, fruit-eating monitor lizard discovered in the Philippines by Ed Yong

It’s also brightly and beautifully coloured with intricate golden spots running down its otherwise black back. As is often the case, the lizard may be new to science but the local tribespeople – the Agta and Ilongot – have known about it for centuries. It’s actually one of their main sources of protein. Their name for the monitor, bitatawa, is now part of its official species name – Varanus bitatawa.

Cultural Anthropology

Edward B. Tylor in Cuba, in 1856 by EthnoCuba

Tylor describes the lush tropical jungle that walled the train tracks between Havana and Batabanó (something hard to imagine today), as well as the hamlets along the way, where “cigar making seemed to be the universal occupation.”


New Hominid Shares Traits With Homo Species: Fossil Find Sheds Light on the Transition to Homo Genus from Earlier Hominids by ScienceDaily

“Before this discovery, you could pretty much fit the entire record of fossils that are candidates for the origin of the genus Homo from this time period onto a small table. But, with the discovery of Australopithecus sediba and the wealth of fossils we’ve recovered — and are recovering — that has changed dramatically,” Berger said.

Close to Homo? – The announcement of Australopithecus sediba by Brian Switek

The upshot of all this is that Australopithecus sediba may not be as close to the ancestry of Homo as the authors propose. Figuring that out, though, will depend upon how we define the earliest members of our genus and extensive comparison between the new fossils and previously-discovered specimens. Even so, I am hoping that the discovery of Australopithecus sediba will help paleoanthropologists crack some of the mysteries surrounding other bones found in the caves of South Africa.

World Politics

Collateral Murder by Maximilian Forte

Wikileaks releases this shocking video of a U.S. massacre in Iraq from July 2007. Listen to the pleasure which the killers take in doing their “job”, the rash decisions, the lack of “precision” of which the criminals boast so often, the headlong rush and expressed urge to start killing as quickly as possible (rather than taking time to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties). The result? Dead journalists and wounded girls.

Psychologists Explain Iraq Airstrike Video by Benedict Carey

The video’s emotional impact on viewers is also partly rooted in the combination of intimacy and distance it gives them, some experts said. The viewer sees a wider tragedy unfolding, in hindsight, from the safety of a desk; the soldiers are reacting in real time, on high alert, exposed.

For 2 Grieving Families, Video Reveals Grim Truth by Tim Arango and Elizabeth Bumiller

“My question is, those highly skilled American pilots with all their high-tech information, could not distinguish between a camera and a missile?” said Nabel Noor-Eldeen, the photographer’s brother who is an archaeology professor at Mosul University.