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Religions on the Ground: Practices and Discourses toward Social Adaptation and Transformation in the Philippine Context

Panel Chair: Arvin Eballo | Friday, August 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Embedded within complex cultures, characterized by social change and intercultural exchange, Filipinos constantly adapt to their changing environments, discourses, and institutions in dealing with their faith-expressions known as religious practices. These religious practices are indeed subject to social and cultural influences. They can also shape political and economic environments. They are invented and re-invented, imperceptibly transformed, reformed or emphatically defended by religious communities How, then, do religious communities in the Philippines (through their religious practices) adapt to cultural change? How do they react to the threats of new media and globalization? How do religious practices of the Filipinos affect social transformation and public relations? How do they lead Filipinos to metanoia? To what extent do goverment and public laws affect religiosity?

Mia Borromeo

Devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia and its Contributions to Social Transformation of the Bikolanos

The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia is one of the famous Marian feasts in the Philippines. It is held every September and pilgrims flock Naga City in Camarines Sur to pay their homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title, Our Lady of Penafrancia. The celebration began with the transfer of the image in a procession from the Basilica Minore to the Cathedral and is given honor in novena masses until the fluvial procession through the Bicol River which is the return of the image to her home shrine at the Basilica. Miracles were recorded and were shared by many which have prompted many people to turn to Her for help. This paper will present how this devotion moved the Bikolanos towards solidarity and social transformation paticularly the public servants. This paper utilized textual analysis and interview to validate the results of the exploration.

Antonio Ingles

Life with Ease (Nakakaluwag): A Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Study Towards A Pedagogy for Sustainable Living

This study aims, first, to investigate the following through hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry on how Filipino value nakakaluwag: (a) provides conditions conducive to live sustainably in view of holistic relationality and (b) furnishes common pedagogical ground where top-down and bottom-up approaches to sustainable living reach synthesis; second, to introduce the Filipino value nakakaluwag in view of holistic relationality as a pedagogically-oriented frame for a sustainable living; and, third, propose sustainability initiatives towards justice, peace and integrity of creation in view of the above frame. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach will be utilized for this qualitative study that sought to understand the Filipino value nakakaluwag that are embedded in the shared beliefs and embodied in the shared-practices. In the final analysis and reflection: “anumang nakapag-uugnay sa Diyos, sa kapwa, sa sarili at sa kalikasan ay nakakapagpaluwag” sa buhay. (relationships with God, others, oneself and nature make for a life of ease.)

Delilah Labajo

In the Image of Senor Santo Nino: A Cultural History of Post-War Cebu

One of the most celebrated fiestas or festivals in the Philippines is the Señor Santo Niño of Cebu. Two main frameworks are applicable to the study: phenomenology and hermeneutics. Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel believes that there are two types of forces which affect events in the phenomenal world. One is personal desire and ambitions of individuals while the other one is the Spirit that seeks to realize itself in the world through persons who have influence to a large number of people. While hermeneutics, initially is applied to the interpretation, or exegesis of scripture. Descriptive and analytical history will then be employed as well as textual analysis in examining songs, novena/prayers, and movies dedicated to Señor Santo Niño. Interviews and testimonies will be derived from pertinent persons. It is therefore hoped that this study will contribute to produce a clearer cultural history as experienced by the ordinary folks in Cebu.

Joel Sagut

Fidelity to a Religious Tradition and the Question of Moral Agency

The paper will discuss the issue of moral agency vis-a-vis one’s fidelity to a religious tradition. This will respond to James Rachels’ problematization of the concepts of moral agency and worship when he argued that worship is “a submission to the ‘worshipped being’ that totally dominates the worshipper’s life,” while moral agency means the capacity to make autonomous choices - a tension that is echoed in modern liberal understanding of freedom. The response to Rachels’ question will recourse to Alasdair MacIntyre’s understanding of the virtuous life which theorizes on the possibility of maintaining both the virtue of fidelity and autonomous choice. The paper will examine the legislation of the Philippine Reproductive Health Law as basket-case for this tension. It will then argue that any believer remains reasonably free even if he exercises fidelity to a tradition. In fact, it is this fidelity to one’s tradition that makes our decisions truly rational.


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Thematic Outline

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