The Art of governing the self and others in the Christian Philippines

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Through an ethnographic depiction of cultural creolization, this paper will detail the ways in which traditional Filipino values have been successfully mixing with and eventually lodging into the intersubjective landscape of Cagayan Valley, where the Chinese, Ibanag, Ilocano, and Itawes ethnic groups dwell. This cultural creolization process informs the ways in which the imagined social reciprocity between the self and others has been governed by a historically constituted power/knowledge system: the padrino system. This system is mainly composed of the symbiotic codes and social practices of (1) Catholicized ritual kinship and (2) the Tagalog ethics of “debt of gratitude” (utang na loób). In light of Foucault’s (1988) governmentality, the uncertain contact zone between the art of governing the self and the selves of others, I will detail the creative ways in which the padrino (power/knowledge) system is used in the Philippine frontier life-world to build local communities, resolve conflicts, and restrain self-aggrandizement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-146
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of International and Global Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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