Thursday, November 22, 2012

David Wurfel (May 22, 1929-November 12, 2012)

With the passing of Dr. David Wurfel on the 12th of November 2012, the staff of the University of the Philippines Third World Studies Center (UP TWSC) would like to convey their most deeply felt sympathy to Dr. Wurfel’s family, friends, and colleagues in this time of loss. Dr. Wurfel had given to the TWSC much generosity and support since its founding in 1977. Among his other notable contributions to TWSC, Dr. Wurfel had established a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of the Philippines that made possible the Violet Wurfel ASEAN Lecture Series (named after his mother). Since 2005, the lecture series on peace social justice, agrarian reform, environmental protection, human rights, and democracy has hosted lectures by experts in Southeast Asian studies. Dr. Wurfel had also written for Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies on the Philippine party-list system.

The TWSC looks back with gratitude to what Dr. Wurfel had shared with the Center and is firm in its commitment to continue his legacy of critical and committed scholarship on Southeast Asia, especially on the Philippines, a country that he no doubt loved—indeed, his fellow scholars have been unabashed in saying that he had been a true friend of the Filipino people.

A memorial of Dr. David Wurfel's life and work as an academic was held last 3 December 2012 at the Third World Studies Center Conference Area. Testimonials were given by Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, Dr. Joel Rocamora, Professor Felipe Miranda, Dr. Jose Abueva, and Dr. Eduardo C. Tadem--some of his friends and colleagues who had worked with him during the long years of his career as a revered academic.

Please click here for a playlist of the video recordings of the memorial.

Below are some of the photos taken during the event:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winner na ba ang LGBT sa UP? (A Public Forum)

"Winner na ba ang LGBT sa UP?" is the fourth forum of the 2012 TWSC Public Forum Series, "Ang Tama ba sa UP, Tama rin sa Bayan?"

Please click here for the playlist of the forum's video recordings.

28 November 2012 (Wednesday), 9:00 AM - 12:00 NN

Pulungang Claro M. Recto (Faculty Center Conference Hall), Rizal Hall, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City


8:30 – 9:00

9:00 - 9:10
Michael L. Tan, PhD
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

9:10 - 9:20

9:20 - 9:40
Heart F. Diño
University Student Council
University of the Philippines-Diliman

9:40 – 10:00
Prescilla D. Tulipat
Guidance Counselor
Diliman Gender OfficeUniversity of the Philippines-Diliman

10:00 – 10:20
Eric J. Manalastas
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

10:20 - 11:50

11:50 - 12:00

Soledad M. Dalisay, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

In March 2012, the Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial wrote that, UP, “true to its vaunted cutting edge . . . has produced another first,” with the triumph of Heart Diño as the first transgender University Student Council (USC) Chairperson. Bisexual and transgender students were also elected as USC Vice Chair and Councilor respectively. But this unprecedented victory has blotted out events that left a bad taste in the mouths of those exalting UP as “a sanctuary of openness, acceptance and liberalism for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.” Other candidates to the USC chairperson post, belonging to progressive organizations and taking pride in their feminist and “inclusive-activism” advocacies, have allegedly made heteronormative and transphobic remarks against Diño during her candidacy. Moreover, said milestone for the LGBT struggle transpired shortly after UP Babaylan, the first and largest LGBT student organization in the Philippines, had claimed that discrimination is still prevalent in the UP Diliman campus. Graduation rites, org applications, rest rooms, office space, and classrooms remain sites of bullying, ridiculing, and stigmatization. This is despite the promotion of gender equality within the university through university gender sensitivity initiatives, university gay games, university educational discussions on LGBT issues, and tie-ups with other LGBT organizations. The UP Charter of 2008, as stated in the UP website, mandates UP to go beyond traditional solutions and pursue innovative approaches on issues confronting the University. Despite UP’s avowedly progressive view of LGBTs, can UP be considered as privy to gender discrimination or is UP’s cognizance of LGBT issues “marked by a mild or negligent tolerance” as suggested in the UP Forum? This forum thus looks at the present stance of UP towards the LGBT community from the perspectives of the various sectors within the UP System.


1.    What are the different issues confronted by the LGBT community in the university?

2.    What is the stance of UP towards the LGBT community against the backdrop of LBGT issues in the country?

3.    Despite its avowedly progressive view of LGBTs, can UP be considered as privy to gender discrimination? How can it be demonstrated otherwise? Or is UP’s cognizance of LGBT issues “marked by a mild or negligent tolerance”?

4.    Does UP adequately address gender discrimination issues within the university? What are the policy frameworks and institutional mechanisms in place to ensure that the university promotes and protects LGBT rights? Does UP have the statistics to back up its claim to the existing LGBT climate in UP?