The UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS), faculty members of the Department of Literature of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, and the UST Publishing House represented the University of Santo Tomas at the 10th International Conference on Philippine Studies (ICOPHIL), held at the Silliman University in Dumaguete City from July 6 to 8, 2016. The conference theme was “Re-Imagining Community, Scholarship, Citizenship” and the event was a gathering of scholars from here and abroad who shared their expertise on Philippine Studies.

CCWLS Director Prof. Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, PhD, UST Department of Literature Chairperson Prof. Joyce L. Arriola, PhD, Publishing House Deputy Director Ma. Ailil B. Alvarez, CCWLS Resident Fellow Dawn Nicole Marfil, and Ms. Ma. Ailil Alvarez–all Resident Fellows of the Center–constituted one panel: “The Filipino Woman in Philippine Travel Writing, Poetry, Romance Novels and Film.” UST Publishing House Director Assoc. Prof. John Jack G. Wigley, Ph.D., was part of the panel on “Aswangs, and Beauty Queens: Explorations in Popular Culture.”

Hidalgo discussed “Travel and Transgression: Identity and Community in the Travel Writing of Filipino Women;” Alvarez’s paper dealt with “Cadence of the Soul: Exploring the Lyrical Articulation of the Sacred by Three Female Poets;” Marfil’s paper tackled “Fleshing Out Desire: Female Desire in Philippine Popular Literature;” and Arriola spoke on “The Woman’s Film and the Prevalent Type of Filipino Cinematic Adaptation in the 1950s.”

Wigley’s paper, “Beauty as Discourse: Analyzing the Filipino Psyche in Beauty Pageants,” also elicited a lively discussion, due partly to its timeliness, given the recent success of Filipina Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach who won the Miss Universe title in 2015.

The Philippines Studies Association. Inc., (PSA) was formed in 1984. Prior to it, there was a Philippine Coordinating Committee (PCC) set up in 1981. The PCC became the PSA in 1985, and held the First National Philippine Studies Conference in the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City.

Since then there had been 10 international Philippine Studies Conferences, held in different countries, and gathering scholars of Philippine languages, literatures, and other aspects of Philippine culture and society from all over the world. This year’s conference in Dumaguete had over 300 participants.