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Volume I, Issue I - February 2002

"Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?  Kung hindi tayo, sino ba?" (If not now, when?  If not us, who?)
"Ang hindi lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan, Hindi makararating sa paroroonan."  The Philippine Study Group (PSG) is a network of students, scholars, faculty, staff and community members whose purpose is to provide venues and opportunities of intellectual interchange related to the Philippines.  This newsletter is created to highlight "initiatives" taken towards the re-invigoration and re-establishment of Philippine Studies in Michigan.

Continue to scroll down this page to view all stories from the Feb. 02 issue of Philippine Studies Initiatives.


  The University of Michigan is offering a credited lecture series touching on culture, economics, Christianity and Dance as related to the Philippines, Filipinos, and Filipino-Americans.  While University of Michigan students were able to enroll for the course through the university registration system, community members are able to attend any and all lectures free of charge.  The course is listed as Asian Studies 492 (a.k.a. AS 492) and will be offered in room 2609 of the University of Michigan's International Institute (7-10pm on Tuesdays) until April 22, 2002.
   Professors Emeritus Gayl Ness and Pete Gossling will oversee the Philippines Seminar.  University of Michigan lecturers will touch on the geography of Southeast (SE) Asia, SE Asian colonial-independence processes, Filipino language and linguistics, and Philippine Colonialism and post Colonialism.  Guest lecturers include Aram Yengoyan (University of California), Fennella Cannell (London School of Economics), as well as Roger and Mary Bresnahan (Michigan State University).  The last guest lecturer is Basilio Esteban Villaruz (Dance Theatre of the Philippines) whose lecture is titled "Dance as Discourse."  Villaruz will also help coordinate a performance at the University of Michigan, which will bring the course to a close.  The performance will will use local dancers and synthesize Philippine/Asian and Western styles of dance.  
   AS 492 was made possible through the University of Michigan's department of Asian Languages and Cultures, in partnership with community organizations and other key departments within the university (Philippine Study Group, University of Philippines Alumni Association of Michigan, UofM Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and UofM International Institute).  Donations from each group were used to cover the travel/living expenses of the guest lecturers and other necessary expenses.  
   AS 492 course readings and syllabus are available on the web, courtesy of UofM Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  For the internet address and password information, please e-mail philippinestudygroup1@hotmail.com.  

Asian Studies 492;  Tue 7-10 pm  
2609 Int'l Institute (School of Social Work Bldg)

Week 6.  Feb 14* Bresnahan, Roger and Mary:
"Philippine Responses to the American Regime, and
Cross-cultural analyses"

Week 7.  Feb 19 Allen Hicken:
"The Rise, Fall and Rise of Philippines Democracy"

Week 8.  Feb 25-Mar 1 SPRING BREAK

Week 9.  Mar 5 Fanella Canell:
"Christianity and the Philippines"

Week 12.  Mar 26 Gavin Shatkin
"Devolution in the Philippines: Local Politics and Civil Society in Metro Manila"

Week 13.  Apr 2 Vincent Rafael:
"Colonialism and post colonialism"

Week 14.  Apr 9 Basilio Esteban Villaruz:
"Dance as Discourse"

Week 16.  Apr 26* Villaruz Performance

*Meetings for the 6th and 16 weeks will be held on Thursday rather than Tuesday.  
Outside visitors, students and non-students, are welcome to attend the lectures.

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Frank Murphy Museum, Harbor Beach, MI

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Frank Murphy, Governor General of the Philippines, seated at the head of the table.

Who is Frank Murphy one might ask?  Few native Michigan residents, even in his hometown of Harbor Beach, MI, know the history of this distinguished University of Michigan alumnus.
Frank Murphy, in his long career of public service served as a criminal court judge, Mayor of Detroit, Governor General of the Philippines, Governor of Michigan, and Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  While these accomplishments add to the intrigue of Gov. Murphy’s life, the issues he dealt with during his public career (1930-1950) are of significance to the Filipino community.
As Mayor of Detroit,  Gov. Murphy oversaw a major city that was struck hard by the Great Depression and, during that time, he administered one of the more successful pre-runners of what were later called New Deal programs.  Gov. Murphy was a political star who rose quickly within the Democratic party.  By the 1930’s he had caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who nominated him to serve as the governor-general of the Philippine Islands in 1933.  In this position Gov. Murphy negotiated the complicated terrain of American colonial politics.  He continued his service in the Philippines and oversaw the transformation from an American colonial property (1898-1934) into a commonwealth, though full independence would not come to the Philippines until July 4, 1946.  As a devout Catholic, Gov.  Murphy appealed to the mostly Catholic Philippine legislature.  His seemingly tender-hearted manner concealed his fierce resolve, ambition, and astute political instinct, which served him well in his long career in liberal politics.
As Governor of Michigan, in the late 1930’s Murphy mediated the infamous General Motors sit-down strike and played a crucial role in helping organized labor gain respect in the American political system thus solidifying the entry of the Big Three in American politics.  Yet, with all these accomplishments, Frank Murphy still remains a relatively forgotten historical figure on the national level.  
Most recently, there have been initiatives towards establishing a better understanding of Frank Murphy and his role in U.S. History, as well as in Philippine-American history.  Govenor Murphy’s former home in Harbor Beach, MI, was purchased by the City of Harbor Beach and converted into a small museum; the museum houses many artifacts and writings from Frank Murphy’s life of public service.  Filipino-American community members have tried for the last several years to obtain grants, which could be used to assist the Friends of Frank Murphy Museum for a better understanding of the colonial American influence in the Philippines.  These previous attempts have failed.  However, Annalissa Herbert, a graduate student from the University of Michigan, made a proposal to the Ginsberg Center for Community Service, which accounted for the use of grant money to head a volunteer project that would assist in creating a catalog of Murphy artifacts.  Herbert’s proposal was approved, and she is currently recruiting volunteers to assist with identification, research, catalog, and creation of teaching guides for the museum.
Volunteers who are interested in researching the life of Frank Murphy, his impact on Philippine and American history,  or gaining experience in museum studies are highly encouraged to contact Herbert.


The Second Annual Bailey Forum will be held in Webster Township on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2002.  The Forum will focus on ethnic diversity, understanding and appreciation with the title of the Forum being The American Stew:  Who Are U.S.?  The Forum will attempt to broaden the "Melting Pot" analogy from years past "to recognize that each culture, race, ethnicity and religion brings a distinct ingredient into the American cultural pot creating a stew that is...enriched by the many flavors, colors and spices of each group."  The Forum is open to children and adults of all ages, with workshops that will target specific age groups.  Lesly Burgamy (PSG Student Association) will be holding a workshop on Filipino culture, using a variety of Filipino costumes to illustrate the many flavors Filipinos contribute to the American Stew.  Contributors to Lesly's workshop include Ninfa and Robert Springer, Adelwisa Agas Weller, Annalissa Herbert, Romy and Neci Aquino, and other members of the Philippine Study Group Student Association.  For more information on the Forum and workshops, e-mail philippinestudygroup1@hotmail.com

The FACES-Ann Arbor chapter is planning for Crizel Commemoration Week scheduled for February 18-22.  The Filipino/American Coalition on Environmental Solutions (FACES) is a nationwide organization that campaigns for the rights of toxic waste victims  in and around the former U.S. military bases in the Philippines.  Through speaking to various interest groups, writing letters to congressional members, and honoring those whose lives are affected, FACES raises awareness nationwide through the networks of six local chapters: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, D.C., St. Paul, and most recently, Ann Arbor.
  The month of February is Crizel Commemoration month; February will honor the life of Crizel Jane Valencia, a young girl who died from leukemia on Feb. 25, 2000 after Crizel's mother was exposed to contaminated air, water, and soil on a former U.S. Air Force base during pregnancy.
  FACES-Ann Arbor is planning on holding a
letter writing session on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 3-6pm.  A candle light vigil is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Feb. 18 at 7 pm, where the lives of the victims will be remembered through readings and music.  Location TBA.  During the week of 2/18-2/22, FACES members will be distributing green ribbons throughout the Ann Arbor campus.
  For any further questions, contact Galatea King at galateak@umich.edu, Cynthia Marasig at cmarasig@umich.edu, or Annalissa Herbert at babaylan@umich.edu.

Volume I, Issue II - March 2002
MSU Hosts a Successful Conference for the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans

Second Annual Bailey Forum Fosters Ethnic Diversity, and Understanding

Briefly Speaking

Community Calendar

UofM Guest Lecturer Will Focus on Media and Censorship in the Philippines
Survey to Assess and Illustrate Demand for Philippine Studies at UofM

    In an effort to assess and portray the need for Philippine Studies Initiatives on the Ann Arbor campus, the Philippine Study Group Student Association (PSGSA) is administering a qualitative survey to faculty, students, and community members.  The survey will be modeled after the University of Hawaii Philippine Studies Survey, conducted in the 1970's, which led to the establishment of a Philippine Studies Program and Center at the University of Hawaii.  Adelwisa Agas Weller brought the University of Hawaii survey to PSGSA and explained that the Philippine Studies program was implemented in Hawaii because of their ability to assess the needs and demands for such a program.  PSGSA has, therefore, adapted the survey to target the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus.  
    The objective of the survey is not only to assess the need for a Philippine Studies program, but also to understand how the University of Michigan would benefit from a more structured program.  While the University has long been home to rich resources on Philippine colonial times, the number of scholars and students working with this material has decreased over the years.   PSGSA believes that the survey will show reasons why the materials are not being used, and how a structured program will enrich and expand the resources available on campus.  
     The survey will also give administrators and legislators ideas on how a Philippine Studies program can be designed to fulfill the academic interests of program supporters.  The survey includes questions on possible areas of study, manner in which the courses should be offered, and aspects of Philippine history, culture, and language of most interest.  The goal is to have a better understanding of how best the Philippine Studies program can be instituted in the University of Michigan system.
     PSGSA is still in the experimental stages with the survey and will be testing their first version during the months of February and March.  The first target participants will be from the Philippine Seminar (Asian Studies 492).  PSGSA will distribute the survey to students and community members, as well as the UofM faculty and visiting lecturers who are participating in the program.  To participate in the survey, inquirers may e-mail to philippinestudygroup1@hotmail.com for an electronic version of the survey.  Or, write to PSGSA at 44124 Richmond, Canton, MI, 48187.


Feb. 2 - Second Annual Bailey Forum at Webster Church.  9am-4pm, 5484 Webster Church Rd., Dexter, MI.

Feb. 2 - Holy Mass (Mass will be said in Filipino) at St. Sylvester Church, 11200 Twelve Mile Rd., Warren, MI, 810.751.3636

Feb. 3 - Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan (PACCM) Board Meeting, 4pm.  17356 Northland Park Ct Southfield, MI 48075

Feb. 17 - FACES-Ann Arbor Chapter will be holding a letter-writing session from 3-6pm, in order to gain support for the rights of toxic waste victims in and around the former U.S. Military bases in the Philippines.  

Feb. 18 - FACES-Ann Arbor Chapter will hold a candle-light vigil for toxic waste victims in and around the former U.S. Military bases in the Philippines.  The vigil will commemorate the lives of victims through readings and music.  Location TBA.

Feb. 18-22 - FACES-Ann Arbor Chapter members will be distributing green ribbons throughout the UofM Ann Arbor campus to raise awareness on toxic waste problems in the Philippines.  
Feb. 22- MAFA 2002 conference at Michigan State University.  Register online at
Cost is $25, Deadline for reg. is Feb. 15, 2002