Mindanao Study Center


The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) conducted a meta-analysis of research, publications, and extension work of its faculty on/in Mindanao. The data from this collection was analyzed to describe the research and extension interests of the College, identify key research concepts, and characterize existing and emerging methodologies. The output of this study will be utilized in guiding the directions of the Mindanao Studies Center (MSC) through its three-track function, namely instruction, research and publication, and public engagement.


  1. Course Number: Min Stud 1
  2. Course Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Mindanao
  3. Course Description: Exploration on the geographical, cultural, socio-economic, environmental and political conditions of the peoples of Mindanao through historical and contemporary perspectives.
  4. Prerequisite: None
  5. Semester Offered: May be offered every first semester, second semester or during midyear term
  6. Course Credit: 3 units
  7. Number of Hours: 3 hours per week
  8. Course Goal/s: To introduce students to the peoples and cultures of Mindanao, and facilitate the analysis of its historical, cultural, geographic, socio-economic, environmental and political life.


Mindanao Studies 1 is a general education (GE) subject that tackles the peoples and cultures of Mindanao and their historical, geographic, socio-economic, environmental and political life. In this way, students can possess a wholistic understanding of Mindanao, and in turn, value its unique context or location. This proposed GE subject also discusses themes/topics particular to lumad (indigenous peoples/katutubo), Bangsamoro1 (Moro people), and settlers2 of Mindanao. These interests will inform students on the inherent diversity of peoples in the island. Finally, this proposed subject envisions UP students who can provide critical, grounded and informed ideas and lens in understanding and discussing historical and contemporary issues of the peoples in the island. By offering this subject, misconceptions of Mindanao can be discussed or clarified.

1. Course Outcomes (CO)

Upon completion of the course, students must be able to:
CO 1. Discuss the history and context of peoples and cultures of Mindanao;
CO 2. Examine historical and contemporary issues in Mindanao;
CO 3. Demonstrate knowledge on Mindanao peoples to contribute to the discussions on issues confronting
the region.

1.1 GE Objectives Met by the Course

A Broaden intellectual and cultural horizons
B Hone critical and creative thinking
C Develop a passion for learning and scholarship
D Cultivate a high sense of intellectual and moral integrity
E Foster commitment to nationalism and social justice

  1. To broaden intellectual and cultural horizons: The course will expand the students’ thinking and culturalhorizons by introducing them to the history of Mindanao, the ethnolinguistic groups, and the phenomenon of in- migration in the island which contributed to the cultural exchanges in its regions. In so doing, students taking this course will be able to appreciate the cultural diversity in Mindanao, and understand how such plurality helped shape and re-shape Mindanao’s situation. It is this sense of historical awareness which will also dispose students to inquire on their roots, and the origins of other groups in the island.
  2. To hone critical and creative thinking. The course will expose students to the struggles and tensions that
    posed and continue to pose as challenges to the peoples living in Mindanao. Issues concerning governance,
    ancestral domains, the use of environmental resources, and the impact of settlers in the island are looked into,
    as well as the role of globalization. With such concerns, students will be encouraged to critically appraise the
    problems and are challenged to think of possible solutions. In this way, this subject will invite students to locate
    themselves in an area/locale where struggles and tensions subsist and consequently condition them to think of
    ways to solve or at least minimize problems besetting Mindanao.
  3. To develop a passion for learning and scholarship. The course will encourage students to critically study
    Mindanao, the issues that confront its people, and environment. In this way, students are challenged to engage
    in research on Mindanao’s situation by asking important/emerging questions. By emphasizing the role and need
    for research, students are reminded of their potential in contributing to the body of knowledge that seeks to
    document and interpret Mindanao from various point of views.
  4. To foster commitment to nationalism and social justice. This course will help students realize the role of
    Mindanao in national development, and cultivate a sense of pride in the unique historical and cultural landscape
    in the island. With this awareness, this course will position students to think and appreciate how Mindanao has
    been shaped by the movements/issues/concerns through time, and in turn, acknowledge how Mindanao figures
    in the country’s quest for development.


A total of 365 publications produced from 2011 – 2020 and public services/extension work rendered from 2016 – 2020. Table 1 summarizes the breakdown of the published works and extension work.

Table 1. Total Number of Researches, Creative Work, and Public Service (Extension Work)
*available data on Public Service is only from 2016 – 2020

All published works were produced by 35 CHSS faculty members from four Departments. Table 2 summarizes the distribution of faculty members based on sex (assigned at birth) for each department.

Table 2. Distribution of Faculty Members Based on Sex (assigned at birth)
There are a total of 246 publications from 2011 – 2020. Table 3 depicts the number of publications for each department.

Table 3. Number of Published Works for each Department

          The publications consisted mainly of Researches and Creative Works. These publications were further categorized according to the method/s used. Notably, the members of the Mindanao Studies Center Ad Hoc Committee contributed to the identification of categories of Researches and Creative works.

Table 4. Taxonomy of Published Works

          Table 4 shows the types of Published works based on the methods employed. Practice as Research or Arts-Based Research (ABR) was identified as an emerging type of research.

          According to Patricia Leavy (2017), ABR involves adapting the tenets of the creative arts in a social research project. Researchers aim to address social research questions in holistic and engaged ways in which theory and practice are intertwined. Arts-based practices draw on literary writing, music, dance, performance, visual art, film, and other artistic mediums. ABR is a generative approach whose researchers place the inquiry process at the center and value aesthetic understanding, evocation, and provocation. ABR is generally appropriate when your purpose is to explore, describe, or evoke, provoke, or unsettle.

     ABR questions are generally inductive, emergent, and generative, which means they are open to the process itself. Arts-based questions often emphasize experiential knowledge, artistic practice or expression, and an emergent inquiry process (Leavy 2017).

Table 5. Number of Published Works based on Type

          As depicted in Table 5, the Humanities Department has the most number of publications under the Genre type. These publications consist mainly of literary publications (short stories, fiction, poetry), journal articles, book, book chapter, book review, conference proceedings, among others as presented in Figure 2. In terms of authorship of the published works, 205 publications are singe-authored and 41 publications are co-authored.

Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 2. Number of published works according to type

           The research sites were also considered in the analysis of the data. Figure 3 shows the different locations

Figure 3. Geographical Distribution of Research Sites

              A significant number of researches were conducted in Mindanao with the highest occurrences in Davao City. There were also observed research sites in Visayas and Luzon.

Sample groups in the various published works mainly represent different demographics based on ethnolinguistic groups, socio-economic status, gender, and political rank. However, most of the informants of published works were categorized as “not specified”. These publications are language studies or creative works and most of these are based on fiction, translations, text analysis, and book reviews that do not target a specific sample group. Indigenous peoples groups (e.g. Manobo, Mandaya, B’laan, T’boli, Mansaka) comprise the next largest sample groups in different researches. It is followed by non-IP groups: migrant settler, women, politicians, vendors, farmers, and students (tertiary level).

Table 6 summarizes the most common themes of the published works based on frequency.
Table 6. Research Themes per Department

Activities and accomplishments under Public Service include:

  1. Work that contributes to and is in line with UP’s public service programs/projects/thrusts
  2. Contributions to institution building and governance of the University
  3. Service to the community in line with one’s discipline that enriches teaching and research, disseminates knowledge to the larger community, and contributes to social development and public welfare.

            Apparently, the database only contained activities and accomplishments from 2016 up to 2020. The 2019 Merit Promotion Instrument was used as basis of this category.

Table 7. Types Activities or Accomplishments under Public Service (2016 – 2020)


These are the key findings based on the data:
  1. The categories of the published works are inclusive, grounded and based on the works of the faculty members.
  2. There are studies on indigenous peoples and settler groups in Mindanao, but it lacks studies/publications on the Bangsamoro. 
  3. Geographical distribution of the research sites shows significant number of studies conducted in the Davao Region, particularly in Davao City. Studies were also conducted in Visayas (e.g., Bicol, Negros, Cebu)
  4. Public service or extension work has various categories (e.g. awards, grantsmanship, service to discipline).
  5. The current database template is not able to capture other significant details in identifying emerging conceptual interests/themes, methodologies, or areas/topics as meta-analytic handles in making sense of the archived works.


  1. This project has established the Taxonomy of Published works that is inclusive, grounded, and based on the works of the faculty members.
  2. The Mindanao Studies Center was successfully launched on December 6, 2021. 
  3. The data was presented to the University and was used in complying the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Performance Report to the UP System.
  4. CHSS Department Heads expressed their commitment to the MSC and plan to engage students to conduct research that contributes to the functions of the MSC.


Based on the key findings, the following are recommended:
  1. Create database template in capturing the details of Public Service. This category should be framed towards the discipline but with the Mindanao Studies Center vantage point. 
  2. Public service/extension work of faculty members must have continuity to their discipline.
  3. Indicate applicable Sustainable Development Goals Metrics for the Researches, Creative Works, and Public Service in compliance with the UP System’s submission for the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.


Leavy, P. (2017). Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Arts-Based, and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN 9781462514380. 300 pp.