Two books by Mindanawons launched this week

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 May) — Two books by Mindanawons will be launched this week: Ronnie Amorado’s “Kakistocracy: The Rule of the Unprincipled, Unethical and Unqualified” and  Redemptorist Brother Karl Gaspar’s “Manobo Dreams in Arakan: A People’s Struggle to Keep Their Homeland.”

Amorado’s book will be launched Tuesday morning at room J-301, Jubilee Hall of the Ateneo de Davao University’s Jacinto Campus.

“Kakistocracy” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.”

Gaspar’s”Manobo Dreams” will be launched Wednesday afternoon at 4:30, at the Ateneo Press Bookshop, Bellarmine Hall, Ateneo de Manila University. It will have its Davao City launch on June 1 at the Museo Dabawenyo, after the opening of Gaspar’s art exhibit and at the Pamulaan, University of Southeastern Philppines in Mintal on June 8.

“Kakistocracy” digs deeper into the untold corruption stories “from a lens of a betrayal theory for theoretical abstraction, as well as generate meaningful insights for anticorruption initiatives through a citizenship-based country strategy for the Philippines.”

“For emancipation, a concept of citizenship as a countervailing power is juxtaposed to challenge corruption and betrayal,” the book’s abstract states.

Amorado, a  Hubert Humphrey Fellow (2009-10), is also the author of the book, Fixing Society: The Inside World of Fixers in the Philippines.

The book won the 2008 Outstanding Book Award in the National Academy of Science and Technology.

“Manobo Dreams in Arakan” is the popular version of Bro. Gaspar’s dissertation  (PhD Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City) entitled: Contestations, Negotiations and Common Action: A Study of the Arakan Manobos’ Struggle for Self-Determination.

The book provides a case study of how the Manobos in the Arakan Valley in North Cotabato struggled through the centuries to keep their ancestral homeland from the time they waged pangayaws (tribal wars) against those who encroached into their territories including loggers, ranchers and politicians who used their power and influence to grab their ancestral territories up to the contemporary period when they shifted their struggles to engaging the State with the assistance of civil society agencies.

In turn, the Manobos’ struggles are juxtaposed with the history of how the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Mindanao (now popularly known as Lumad) have sustained their struggles through the last century to defend their ancestral territories. Integrated into this history is the Lumad Social Movement that arose in Mindanao since the late 1960s when both Catholic and Protestant missionaries began to provide solidarity support to Lumad communities in the fields of literacy, adult education, income-generating projects, basic agricultural assistance and, ultimately, the conscientization and organization of the communities to protect their ancestral domain.

“Manobo Dreams” is Gaspar’s second book in five months.  “The Masses are Messiah: Contemplating the Filipino Soul,” was launched on December 12 at the Titus Brandsma Media Center in Quezon City.

Both authors are graduates of the Ateneo de Davao University. Gaspar obtained his PhD in Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines in Diliman (MindaNews)