Travel Grant Series: Ethnographic and Archival Research in Manila

John Friend, East-West Center Affiliate Student, received a Travel Grant from the East-West Center Alumni Association to help him conduct ethnographic and archival research for his dissertation in Manila, Philippines.

Here is John’s report from his experience.

With support from the EWCA Alumni Travel Grant, I was able to conduct ethnographic and archival research for my dissertation in Manila, Philippines, this past summer. While in the Philippines, I held an affiliation with the Social Development Research Center (SDRC), De La Salle University. As a Visiting Researcher at SDRC, I was able to access documents and records on Filipino medical perceptions and practices as well as literature on the American occupation housed at De La Salle University (DLSU). Furthermore, through my affiliation, I had the opportunity to interact with faculty and graduate students that share similar research interests. The first photograph was taken during a presentation of my preliminary research findings on biological citizenships in colonial and contemporary Philippines. During this forum, I was able to receive feedback from both students and faculty as well as discuss other similar topics.

But, not all of my time was spent at SDRC. I also visited the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and interviewed a researcher with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). Finally, the second photograph was taken at the Co Tec Tai Medical Museum in Pasay City, Philippines. This museum contains numerous medical and health related artifacts and documents from the Spanish era, the American era, and the present. In addition to examining some of the materials housed at this museum, I also had the opportunity to discuss the role of medicine in Philippine society with the curators of the museum.