by Kylle Pistula, BA Philosophy 3
On June 1-3, 2023, the Union of Societies and Associations of Philosophy in the Philippines (USAPP) conducted its 3rd Biennial Summit with the theme “Philosophies in the Philippines, Past, Present and Future: PAP @ 50.” This historic gathering of professional philosophy in the country was hosted by Saint Louis University, School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts (STELA) Philosophy Department in coordination with the Philosophical Association of Northern Luzon (PANL). This was held at the Fr. Francis Gevers Hall.
The summit was historic and a landmark academic event because all philosophy organizations in the country gathered on the occasion of the 50th Founding Anniversary of the Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP) – the premier association of philosophy in the country. Professional philosophers, scholars, and students gave their best efforts in myriad activities and advocacies to celebrate common gains and triumphs in advancing the crucial role of philosophy in education, public engagement, and nation-building.
USAPP is a SEC-registered non-profit professional organization of academic philosophy whose members are different philosophy organizations in the country, namely: Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP), Philosophical Association of Northern Luzon (PANL), Philosophical Association of Visayas and Mindanao (PHAVISMINDA), Societas Ethica Philosophic, Inc (SEPI), Social Ethics Society (SES), Pagarubangan, and Philippine National Philosophical Research Society (PNPRS). USAPP’s main objective is to advance the critical role of philosophy in education, public engagement, and nation-building through its trifocal task – to professionalize, internationalize and inclusivize philosophy in the country.
3rd Biennial Summit of USAPP: A Platform for Key Conversations and Discussions
The summit kicked off with Prof. Dr. Julius Mendoza’s keynote address on “Human Agency and Solicitude: Pondering Over the Moral Foundation of Institutional Life,” and was followed by the lecture of Prof. Dr. Leovino Ma. Garcia on “A Plea for a Truly Ethical Society.” To highlight the 50th anniversary of the PAP, its presidents, represented by Dr. Leovino Garcia, Dr. Jove Jim Aguas, and Dr. Jeremiah Joven Joaquin, had a roundtable discussion to underscore PAP’s triumphs and challenges through the five decades and lay down possible direction to the future of philosophy in the country and beyond.
Equally informative and engaging were the lectures of the plenary speakers as follows: Dr. Hazel T. Biana of De la Salle University (DLSU) on “Breaking the Wall: Some Issues in Philosophy;” Dr. Ian Clark R. Parcon of Ateneo de Davao University on “Imagining a Mindanaoan Philosophy: Mapping out the Development of Philosophizing in Mindanao Through the Framework of Corrective Agonism”; Prof. Alexis Deodato S. Itao of Cebu Normal University on “Doing Christian Philosophy in the Philippines: Barely Alive or Bursting with Life,” and Prof. Ian Nichola Jugo of Cebu Institute of Technology on “The Human Body, Sex, and Phenomenology.” More than 80 research papers discussing a wide range of current topics and issues in philosophy, humanities, education, religion, and social sciences were assigned in parallel sessions where intense exchange and conversation transpired amongst the participants.
New Officers Elected
Organizational meetings and election of the new set of officers were also administered during the 3-day summit: Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP), the Philippine National Philosophical Research Society (PNPRS), and the Union of Societies and Associations of Philosophy in the Philippines (USAPP). Two SLU Philosophy faculty members were elected officers of PAP and USAPP – Dr. Godofredo Nebrija and Atty Mark Ramolete.
The Summit Features Undergraduate Research Presentations
A unique characteristic of the summit was that undergraduate students were able to present their research papers with the guidance of the research promoters. They were also able to interact with professional philosophers and researchers.
The first research work presented was titled “Vandana Shiva’s Revival of the Feminine Principle Against the Problem of Reductionist Maldevelopment,” presented by Kylle Pistula, Ness Dianne Kidkid, Raymart Nebsan, Stephen Palicdon, Oscar Sison Jr., and Cheyanne Tiago. The second research work presented was titled “Withstanding Neoliberalism in Educational Standards: Educated Hope in the Philippines,” by Anabelle Abordo, Mari Alexie Adriano, Joanah Allysa Areola, and Cydrex Kyle Balawan. The third research work presented was titled “Earthship House Design: A Metaphor for Heidegger’s Dwelling,” presented by Oscar Sison Jr., Chloe Rossette Angluben, and Jamie Lou Calica.
The research presentations were a testament to the quality of academic work produced by students at SLU. It was an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their work and receive feedback from peers and experts in their field. The summit provided a platform for intellectual exchange, where students could learn from each other and gain valuable insights into their disciplines.
Overall, the summit provided a venue for stimulating conversation where students and professionals could learn about one another’s fields of study and contribute their expertise.