The Politics of Heritage in the Philippines

A conversation with heritage scholars and advocates in the country

Heritage conservation practice and thinking in the Philippines have taken on complicated paths, as it is shaped and at the same time implicated by critical political and governance issues in the country. Social Transformations editor Jose Jowel Canuday conversed with leading Philippine actors working on a range of areas in heritage studies, advocacies, and issues, in particular anthropologist Fernando Zialcita, lawyer and environmental planner Mark Evidente, urban planner Leon Mayo, and architectural scholar/researcher Erik Akpedonu. Their conversation of the intricacies of heritage engagements in the country sheds light on the continuing contestations underlying colonial and revolutionary history, the complexity of postwar reconstruction, power relations behind postcolonial statecraft, and the tensions between the idea of a national and local constituency. These engagements underscore the significance of heritage as discursive sites of social and political action, a fertile ground for unpacking the modes of thinking about identity, the state, and the future of imagination.

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