Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance
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75 pages

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The legacy of anarchist ideas in the Philippines was first brought to the attention of a global audience by Benedict Anderson’s book Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination. Activist-author Bas Umali proves with stunning evidence that these ideas are still alive in a country that he would like to see replaced by an “archepelagic confederation.”

Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance: Anarchism in the Philippines is the first-ever book specifically about anarchism in the Philippines. Pangayaw refers to indigenous ways of maritime warfare. Bas Umali expertly ties traditional forms of communal life in the archipelago that makes up the Philippine state together with modern-day expressions of antiauthoritarian politics. Umali’s essays are deliciously provocative, not just for apologists of the current system, but also for radicals in the Global North who often forget that their political models do not necessarily fit the realities of postcolonial countries.

In weaving together independent research and experiences from grassroots organizing, Umali sketches a way for resistance in the Global South that does not rely on Marxist determinism and Maoist people’s armies but the self-empowerment of the masses. His book addresses the crucial questions of liberation: who are the agents and what are the means?

More than a sterile case study, Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance is the start of a new paradigm and a must-read for those interested in decolonization, anarchism, and social movements of the Global South.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 décembre 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781629638195
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Isabelo de los Reyes and Mariano Ponce: good men now mostly forgotten even in the Philippines, but crucial nodes in the infinitely complex intercontinental networks that characterize the Age of Early Globalization.
-Benedict Anderson, author of Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination
For these anarchists, while they may come from different interest groups, they all form the same basic principles of true anarchism: that anarchism values the capacity of the individual to organize itself; that anarchism sees the role of the individual as a tool that contributes to a larger community; that anarchism is about mutual aid, directly helping any soul in need; and that anarchism is about the belief that humans are wired to pursue the common good, regardless of an authority figure.
-Portia Ladrido, CNN Philippines
What impressed me most about Bas Umali s essay on the Archipelagic Confederation is that, in setting forth an anarchist alternative for the Philippines, Bas Umali created an original synthesis of the communitarian anarchism of people like Murray Bookchin and traditional communal forms of organization in the Philippines, pioneering the development of a postcolonialist anarchism, building on the lived and shared experiences of the dispossessed. A collection of his writings was long overdue.
-Robert Graham, editor of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas
Bas Umali gives us an in-depth explanation of the decentralized struggle for autonomy in the Philippines. He offers not just a reconstruction of the history but also an example of what anarchists can do for building alternative political structures. Archipelago is fertile.
-Keisuke Narita, Irregular Rhythm Asylum, Tokyo
The important work of assembling the vocabulary of libertarian socialism, the regional history of failed Maoism, the persistence of indigenous anti-colonial action, and the future potential for a decentralized federation of citizen councils in the Philippines is masterfully done by Bas Umali. This book belongs in every Southeast Asian anti-capitalist toolkit.
-Mark Mason, US domestic and foreign policy analyst
Umali s work makes an important contribution to an expanding body of literature on global anarchism and its connections to processes of decolonization in the archipelago known as the Philippines. Taking a historical approach to examine local resistance to some three hundred years of colonization, Umali persuasively argues that the most effective tools for decolonization and sustainable future can be found within the diverse practices of indigenous groups. Umali uses examples from Tagalog, Visayan, and other island cultures to explore local conceptions of social stratification, economic exchange, and debt.
-Russ Skelchy, Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies, UC Davis
Bas Umali s collection of essays offers an alternative account and analysis of the Philippine condition by advocating for decolonization. Well-written and clear-cut, these essays introduce foundational concepts of anarchism, which serve as guide points in reassessing Philippine history and resistance. Umali argues that decolonization should embrace diverse methods and practices, rather than replicating colonial systems through a hierarchical and nation-state framework. In charting this decolonization path, Bas Umali proposes archipelago as a collective setup and pangayaw as an indigenous form of war against centralized institutions. Innovative and ambitious, this collection is an important contribution to an anarchist reading of postcolonial contexts.
-Arnisson Andre Ortega, geographer, Syracuse University

Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance: Anarchism in the Philippines
Edited by Gabriel Kuhn
This edition 2020 PM Press
All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical publications or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced, used, or stored in any information retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.
All images courtesy of Bas Umali and the Local Autonomous Network (LAN).
ISBN: 978-1-62963-794-5 (print)
ISBN: 978-1-62963-819-5 (ebook)
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019946106
Cover by John Yates /
Interior design by briandesign
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
Printed in the USA.
Editor s Preface
Anarchism in the Philippines: Interview with Jong Pairez and Bas Umali
Marco Cuevas-Hewitt: Sketches of an Archipelagic Poetics of Postcolonial Belonging
Archipelagic Confederation: Advancing Genuine Citizens Politics through Free Assemblies and Independent Structures from the Barangay and Communities (2006)
A Pathology in Our Filipino Identity: A Disease That Decayed the Archipelago s Freedom and Prosperity (2011)
Reconnecting Traditional Links: A Contribution to Understanding the Sabah Crisis (2013)
Dialectical Historical Materialism: An Effective Tool for Authoritarian Politics, Dominance, and Control in the Archipelago (2017)
Pangayaw: Decolonizing Resistance in a Network of Communities in the Archipelago (2019)
The first time I met an anarchist from the Philippines was at Tokyo s Irregular Rhythm Asylum infoshop in 2006. Jong Pairez, an arts student, was living in Tokyo stocking supermarket shelves. For me, it was an introduction to labor migration in Asia. As we chatted with Japanese friends, Jong drew a portrait of me that I have kept to this day. It was not the meeting s only lasting outcome.
A couple of months after our meeting, associates of Jong s greeted me at Manila International Airport. They introduced me to the Philippine capital and put me up for a few days, before I found my own place to stay in the Malate district. My visit to the country lasted no longer than a month, but I was deeply impressed by the dedication and positivity of the anarchist activists I met.
The relevance of anarchist ideas for social movements in the Philippines was first presented to an international audience in Benedict Anderson s book Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination (2005). While Anderson focused on historical figures like Jos Rizal und Isabelo de los Reyes, 1 for contemporary anarchists in the Philippines other influences are at least as important, among them punk rock and the alterglobalization movement of the early 2000s. The latter helped establish horizontal forms of activism that allowed people to engage in social protests without subscribing to the Marxist organizations that have long dominated the Philippine Left.

One evening in Malate, I met Bas Umali and a group of young punks. We sat down at a sidewalk caf for a long chat. Bas, like many of today s anarchists in the Philippines, came of age in the Marxist milieu of the Communist Party and its affiliate organizations. Disillusioned by top-down organizing and authoritarian structures, he turned to grassroots alternatives and got involved in a variety of projects, from setting up radical publishing projects to establishing Food Not Bombs chapters. Our conversation with the young punks, whose names I sadly cannot recall, revolved mainly around the Sagada 11, a group of punks who had been arrested after a festival in the highlands of Luzon. Accused of having been involved in a guerilla attack, they would remain in jail for a year before finally being acquitted.
After leaving the Philippines, I kept in touch with both Jong and Bas, and we soon conceived the idea of compiling a book about the anarchist movement in the country. But publishing ambitions, especially collective ones, aren t always that easy to realize; you need to find the time, the right approach, a suitable infrastructure, and, last but not least, a publisher. We never got that far. But we collaborated on other writing projects, did fundraising together, and connected with people sharing similar ideas internationally. In 2012, German comrades organized a speaking tour by Cris, a close associate of Bas s and the founder of the Etniko Bandido infoshop in Pasig, Metro Manila.

We never fully dropped the book idea. Bas is a prolific writer. At the time we met, he had just finished the essay Archipelagic Confederation: Advancing Genuine Citizens Politics through Free Assemblies and Independent Structures from the Barangay and Communities. It can be found on various anarchist websites and was included in the third volume of Robert Graham s Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas (2012). Other writings by Bas were published in different forums over the years. In 2019, Bas was looking for a publisher for a longer essay titled Pangayaw: Decolonizing Resistance in a Network of Communities in the Archipelago. When PM Press expressed interest, we discussed the possibility of adding material to it-and, almost fifteen years after we first discussed it, proceeded to compile the book we had thought about for so long.
It isn t exactly what we originally had in mind. The focus on one particular author hadn t been the plan, but you cannot always foresee the future. While no single voice can ever represent a movement, the texts collected in this volume provide an important entry point into the discussions and activities of contemporary anarchists in the archipelago we call the Philippines.
The fact that the author comes from the country it is about should not be noteworthy, but given the reality of international publishing it is. There are sti

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