UST Research Center for Culture, Arts and Humanities Director Prof. Joyce Arriola, Ph.D., Faculty of Arts and Letters mentors Prof. Robert Montaña, Ph.D., Asst. Prof. Rhochie Avelino Matienzo, Ph.D., and Prof. Leovino Garcia, Ph.D., who teach at the Department of Philosophy presented their papers at the National Philosophy Conference organized by the Philippine National Philosophical Research Society (PNPRS) and Saint Louis University. The conference, held at the Fr. Francis Gevers Hall of Saint Louis University, Baguio
City from February 7 to 9, 2019, had for its theme “Society, Heritage and Indigenous Art.”
Arriola, a plenary speaker, shared her expertise on the topic “Philippine Indigenous Literatures as Memory Texts, ” while Montaña presented his study “Should We Treat Culturally-Laden Provisions in Philippine Law as Trojan Horses?” Matienzo discussed “Ang Krisis-Eksistential sa Jeepney: Isang Pamimenolohiya sa Hari ng Kalsada” and Garcia talked about “Some Reflections on Arts, Culture, Heritage and Being Human.”
In her paper, Arriola exemplified the convergence of Philippine indigenous literature with memory studies. The re-transmission of the Philippine indigenous literatures from oral to the written stage eventually become part of a collective memory. Her paper stems from Jonas Greithlein’s study titled “From ‘Imperishable Glory’ to History: The Iliad and the Trojan War,” which claims that the epic can be seen as a historical account and a source of history. Also, a founding concept that contributed to the claim of the paper is the concept of
“Uberrest” wherein collected literary works of the past may be treated as an archaeologic relic, and therefore, can be considered as a heritage text. Therefore, the migration of Philippine indigenous literatures from performance to print is a form of memory text.
“As memory texts, they will see no death, they will continue to be recirculated because of the primal attraction of our consciousness to the provisionality, spontaneity and performativity of oral literatures. They may be ephemeral but they will continue circulating in our consciousness as texts of our brain, and more importantly, the text of our collective soul,” Arriola concluded.
With the recent trend towards the development of Filipino Philosophy, this conference, representing the fusion of horizons between theoretical thinking and the unique elements of our culture, has garnered significant interest with more than 60 parallel presentations, highlighted by plenary speakers well-respected in their fields. Among the notable ones were Eric de Guia, more popularly known as Kidlat Tahimik, who presented his paper titled “Getting out of our Colonial Echo Chamber: Bringing out our pre-Colonial Indigenous Voice.”