PANEL 1: The Philippines and the International

Chair and Discussant: Erickson Calata (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)
– Instructor, Department of Political Science

1.1 Language as Evidence of International Relations: The Case of Tagalog Language
Ronel O. Laranjo (University of the Philippines, Diliman)
– Instructor, Department of Filipino Language and Philippine Literature
Abstract: Tagalog is the language spoken in the port of Manila, the center of trading and where people with different languages converge in pre-colonial Philippines. The barter trade in the port can be considered as the first and simplest form of international relations wherein different people like the Chinese, Arab, Malays, Indians, and Japanese interact with each other. This paper will analyze the Tagalog loan words from Chinese, Arabic, Malay, Hindi and Japanese language and their domains/categories as evidence of how international relations affect or shape a language as a result of interactions of different people. This study will also explore the contribution of this international relations to the concept of international or foreign as reflected in the psychology of Tagalog language.

1.2 The Third Pillar of Philippine Foreign Policy: The Experience of Overseas Filipinos in Vientiane, Lao PDR
Farland Valera (University of Baguio)
– PhD Candidate in Development Education & Chair of the Department of Political Science
Abstract: The Philippines is one of the biggest sources of foreign human resource for the world’s fastest growing regions like the Middle East, East Asia, and North America. A huge number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are also concentrated in nearby urban centers such as Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur. Contrary to the trend of OFWs emigrating to work in the Gulf States or the developed economies of East Asia, some OFWs took a less-popular work destination in the ASEAN region for their professional endeavors – Lao PDR. This paper, therefore, aims to describe the reasons why Filipinos in Vientiane have selected the Lao capital as a place of work and how the Philippine government performs its duty of caring for its nationals in this part of the world. The data gathered through the use of key informant interviews shall be analyzed thematically and presented using the third pillar of Philippine foreign policy – protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of Filipinos overseas – as a backdrop. This paper shall then cover three discussion areas, namely: (a) the push factors that led the OFWs to work in Vientiane; (b) the contribution of the Philippine embassy in settling the OFWs in Vientiane; and (c) the fulfillment of the third pillar of Philippine foreign policy in the experience of the OFWs in Vientiane.

1.3 Inserting Air and Naval Power Doctrines as Leverage of Philippine Foreign Policy
Jan Emil Langomez (Philippine Women’s University)
– Master in Foreign Policy student, Helena Z Benitez School of International Relations and Diplomacy
Abstract: China’s increasing hegemony in Southeast Asia is slowly constricting the Philippines on exploiting opportunities in the region, as well as reasserting its sovereignty on the territories it owns. The Philippines’ reliance on soft power via leveraging international legal institutions has not realized much of its desired interests in constraining Chinese advances in the South China Sea. Such setbacks have led to the reversal of its foreign policy direction by the Duterte administration from his predecessor, and instead settling for an appeasement strategy with China that is supposedly born out of real politik. A foreign policy born out of real politik entails a primary reliance on utilizing military capabilities in leveraging both hard and soft power. Yet in reality, there seems to be an unclear direction on where military strategy fits in the overall foreign policy narrative of the Philippines. This is not only an issue of Duterte’s administration alone, but in effect has been institutional status quo due to a lack of coordination among departments. This has created a theoretical gap where foreign policy planners have a separate worldview from their military counterparts. With that said, the study endeavors to describe, analyze, and merge possible intersections between Duterte’s foreign policy and existing military frameworks – specifically naval and air power doctrines. Through its literature, the paper seeks to understand how the two different worlds of international relations and military doctrine could be utilized in creating a more holistic national strategy as part of Philippine foreign policy in dealing with Southeast Asia.

1.4 Implication of the Sole-Footing of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Military Endeavors of the Republic of the Philippines
Francis Mark A. Fernandez and Katrina Angeline Santos (University of Santo Tomas)
– Advanced undergraduate students in Political Science
Abstract: The relations of the Philippines toward other countries have been crucial in a sense that its modern pronouncement will certainly affect its place in the international arena. Recently, the president of the state renounced its relationship with the United States and announced its withdrawal re: US Special Forces from the Southern Mindanao and vowed to end the annual military exercises. And thus, the aim of this study is to assess the probable countries, particularly Vietnam, which have been surviving single-handedly and its implication to the undertaking of the Philippines vis-à-vis military endeavor and its possible partnership with the said socialist republic. Subsequently, this paper also aims to trace the history of the Philippine-Vietnam relation, and in doing so, provide an overview of what may happen in the future of the Philippines’ international relations. Furthermore, this goal will clearly illustrate why it is important to look into the future and importance of international relations to this country. The entirety of the paper will be comparative in nature as it will compare the history of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of the Philippines through time and will in due course assess the implication of the sole footing of Vietnam and how the Philippines can learn from it as a state.

1.5 An Investigation into a Computer-aided Intimate Friendship between Filipino Students and their Foreign Friends: Towards an Emerging Cross-Cultural Communication
Edgar R. Eslit (St. Michael’s College of Iligan City)
– PhD Candidate and Associate Professor
Abstract: Modern technology enriched our perspectives on how people communicate and establish intimate online friendship across cultural boundaries. With the emergence of Computer-aided Communication (CAC), it opens new concepts towards understanding the meaning of relationship maintenance, interdependence, commitment and relationship barriers in a Cross-cultural communication situation. Others may find its use dynamic while others find it artificial. Because of this, issues and concerns relating to the parameters of its use and how it affects Cross-cultural communication are opening all kinds challenging ideas for researchers all over the globe to explore. Hence, the current study ventured into investigating the Computer-aided intimate relationship between Filipino students and their foreign friends: Towards an emerging Cross-cultural communication. Cultural Dimension, Relational Maintenance, and CAC theories served as primary theoretical backbones for this research. As this paper was qualitative in nature, methodologies used include in-depth interviews and focus group discussion (FGD) which was voluntarily participated in by Filipino college students and their intimate online foreign friends. Results showed that informants utilized practical relationship maintenance strategies, interdependence, commitment, and in breaking relationship barriers using the CAC. Further, informants convincingly explicated seven dyadic cross-cultural communication patterns which can be considered emerging. To wit: a) Openness in communication; b) Willingness to commit online friends; c) Benefiting from distance interaction; d) Strong Interdependence; e) Practical relationship maintenance strategies amidst relationship barriers; f) Active participation of social networks; and, g) Mutual support. With these findings, grounded theories such as “Relationship Resiliency”, “Personal Perspective” and “Computer-aided Cross-cultural communication” came to the fore.

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