ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/20 Feb) – A new academic journal was launched here Tuesday, on the same day the Zamboanga City leg of the 1st Mindanao Book Festival opened.
Edited by Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ, the annual publication, Asia Mindanaw Dialogue on Peace and Development, has three parts — Research-based articles, Reflection section and Review of books.
In his Editor’s Note, Alejo said the idea behind the birth of the new academic journal was occasioned by ADZU’s centennial in 2012, when then ADZU President, Fr. Antonio Moreno, now Jesuit Provincial Superior in the Philippines, was looking for a “new direction in Mindanao academic discourse.”
Alejo said that after a series of brainstormings, they did not abandon the enduring concern for Mindanao peace and development but opted to “expand our horizon.”
“We wanted a journal that journeys with the Mindanao that is confronted with the challenges of Asian globalization, unprecedented climate change, and sophisticated international links of terrorism, drugs and arms deal, as well as human trafficking,” he wrote.
The first issue, consisting of 242 pages, has five articles each under Research and Reflection and nine under Review of Books.
The Research category features “The Balangays of Butuan: Lumad Mindanawons in China and the Sulu Zone” by Dr. Eric Casino, an anthropologist from the Hawaii Pacific University who discussed Mindanao history at the launch; “The Quest for the Mazaua Landall: Latest Navigational and Cartographic Updates” by Butuan historian Greg Hontiveros; “Expanding the Landscape of Peace Education: Promoting Development and Environment, Human Rights and Disarmament” by Ian Gibson; “East Asia Development: Historical Considerations and Contemporary Assessment” by Mark Williams; and “The True Believers in the Land of Promise: The New People’s Army in Mindanao” by William N. Holden.
Gibson is an associate professor at the Interfaculty Institute of International Studies at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan; Williams is a professor at Jianghan University in Wuhan, China; while Holden is an associate professor at the the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
Under Reflections are the following narratives: “Captive of Fear, Captive of Hope: A survivor of Kidnap for Ransom (KFR) Speaks” by Milet Mendoza; “The Making of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” by Miriam Ferrer; “Participatory and Hoslitic Planning in Action: The Making of Mindanao 2020” by Ella Antonio and Cielito Habito; “After the Successful Mt. Everest – Balangay Diaries” by Fred Jamili; and “Ichariba Choodee (‘When we meet, we are brothers/sisters’): A Sociologist’s Journey through Okinawa and Beyond” by Johanna O. Zulueta.
Mendoza is an independent humanitarian and peace and development worker in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi who was held by the Abu Sayyaf for 61 days from September 15, 2008; Ferrer is a political science professor and government peace panel chair negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; Antonio and Habito were Team Coordinator and Team Leader of the Mindanao 2020 Planning Team;
The Reviews section features the following pieces: “Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous” by Carlene S. Bonnivier; “A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency” by Marlone M. Araneta; “Challenges to Human Security in Complex Siutations: The Case of Conflict in the Southern Philippines” by Gerald James Y. Ebal; “La Parroquia: The Catholic Church in Zamboanga, 1910-2010” by Amado T. Tumali, SJ; “Chavacano de Zamboanga: Compedio y Dictionario” by Marion B. Guerrero; “When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation” by Ma. Isabel S. Actub; “Pro Deo et Patria: 100 Years of Ateneo de Zamboanga (1912-2012)” by Gerald James Y. Ebal; “Trafficking in Women and Children in Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi (ZAMBASULTA)” by May Lilian T. Maravilles; and “Out of the Shadows: Violent Conflict and the Real Economy of Mindanao” by George B. Radics.
The journal also includes under “Archives,” the November 23, 2013 Investiture Speech of Fr. Karel S. San Juan, the fourth President of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
Alejo said Asia Mindanaw is inviting more contributions for the next issue. “We welcome serious graduate students and their mentors, peace advocates and development practitioners, environmental activists as well as security analysts, to share comparative analyses, in-depth observations, and even conference syntheses.”
He reiterated they have “space for experience-based personal reflections, especially from those who have been into intercultural and cross-regional journeys.”
“Let us make Asia Mindanaw a hub of fresh scholarship that sees Mindanao and Sulu not simply as a focus of internal security, but as a locus of intersecting ideas and interests, of crisscrossing space and movements, whether recent or ancient,” Alejo wrote.
Asia Mindanaw is the second Mindanao book launched this year, three days after the launch in Davao City of the “First 50 Years History of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines” by Antonio V. Figueroa.
At the Mindanao Book Festival here, Alejo showed the audience copies of rare books, including the four-volume “The Birds of the Philippine Islands” by Masauji Hachisuka published in 1931. Hachisuka had earlier led an expedition to Mt. Apo.
The next leg of the 1st Mindanao Book Festival is in Cotabato City on March 18 and 19. From there it will proceed to Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Manila. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)