In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Editor's Introduction
  • Michael D. Pante

Distinguishing between foreign and Filipino has always been a complicated act in Philippine studies, yet one often taken for granted. The line separating natives from non-natives, historically and historiographically, has existed more like erratic fissures than a stable boundary. Such fissures do not make for neat categories; instead, they point to underlying sociohistorical fault lines. The stories of three figures who tower over this journal issue—Horacio de la Costa, Daniel Burnham, and Juan Tamad—reveal these complexities.

Horacio de la Costa's career as a Jesuit leader demonstrates the immense pressure that decolonization exerted upon society to delineate between native and non-native. As Filomeno V. Aguilar Jr and Nicholas Sy show, even the Jesuits' fraternal lives could not insulate them from external forces then stirring postcolonial Philippine society. The Jesuit organization in the country attained its status as a full-fledged province of the Society of Jesus in 1957, a time when calls for Filipinization of various facets of Philippine society—from economic nationalism to nationalist education—were raging. The politics of Filipinization affected the Jesuits as to cause a rift between the American and Filipino clergy. De la Costa found himself at the center of the storm when he became the first Filipino superior of the Philippine province of the Society of Jesus (1964–1970). Initially, his notion of Filipinization revolved around the need to train more Filipino priests, thereby allowing the Catholic Church to "take root" and become a native institution. Eventually, De la Costa's preference for Filipino Jesuits clashed with the lingering but dominant presence of American Jesuits, especially those who continued to teach in Jesuit schools. Under his leadership, the number of Filipino Jesuits in leadership positions considerably increased, pushing this group to gain a relative majority over foreign missionaries by 1976. De la Costa tried to strike a balance between the two camps, but ultimately supported the pro-Filipino forces within the order while giving American Jesuits a secondary role, a decision that must be understood in the context of widespread radicalism that had permeated even the Ateneo de Manila. [End Page 265]

De la Costa's struggle mirrored that of Pedro Peláez and José Burgos, two priests who championed the cause of Philippine-born, secular priests against Spanish friars in the nineteenth century. The question of the natives' capacity for religious leadership was integral in both situations, despite the hundred-year gap in between. De la Costa, an eminent historian, could not have missed this uncanny parallelism. De la Costa was also editor of this journal, and Aguilar and Sy's article is our belated contribution to the celebration of his birth centenary in 2016.

Landscapes usually conjure ideas of home, of unchanging permanence. In this light, the landscapes within a nation's territory can be understood as inherent parts of that nation's ancestral domain, as it were. Daniel Burnham's place in Philippine history, however, shows otherwise. Scott Kirsch's analysis of Burnham's urban plans for American-era Manila and Baguio treats the physical environment and geographical features of the two cities as dynamic and contingent. Kirsch tackles the shift from Hispanic to American in the aesthetic regime in Philippine city landscapes, a transition signaled by Burnham's 1904–1905 visit to the country. Clearly imperial in outlook, the plans turned both cities into spaces for the reproduction of US colonialism. The aesthetics embedded in them were meant to be consumed by American administrators and businessmen, not by Filipinos. Manila and Baguio became derivatives of Washington, DC, and British Simla, respectively. Thus, rather than signify indigeneity, the landscapes of Burnham's Manila and Baguio evoke the foreign.

Lastly, multiple layers of cultural appropriation make it difficult to identify whether certain ideological products are foreign or native. Laurence Marvin Castillo illustrates this point through the heteroglossia of fictional character Juan Tamad. The numskull trickster Juan traces his literary lineage to the precolonial pusong genre, but this character enters Philippine literature through the awit, a colonial form of metrical romance popular during the Spanish period. As a signifier of the natives' supposed indolence, his ideological utility for colonialism was apparent. Nonetheless, in...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 265-266
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.