Institute of Information and Computing Sciences Regent and Assistant Professor at the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy, Rev. Fr. Hermel O. Pama, O.P., presented a paper on the Cebuano’s tradition in a paper titled, “Fasting and Feasting: Examining Exhibiting Exemption from Taboo in Bantayan Island Cebu, Philippines,” held on July 9, 2017 at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, during the 7th International Conference of the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion (SSEASR). The conference theme was, “ASEAN Region’s Culture and Religion by the end of 21st Century: A Dialogue of Past with Present?”

The paper attempted to understand the justifications for the claim of the locals of the Bantayan Island, Cebu regarding their alleged exemption from the Catholic Lenten practices of fasting because of an extant document that is written in Spanish dated 1840. The paper does a close reading of the text and argues on how that reading could provide an opening for a better understanding of Philippine historiography.

A Bicolano with a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines, Fr. Pama has conducted an extensive study on the culture and history of Bicol’s coastal villages.