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In Pursuit of ProgressNarratives of Development on a Philippine Island$
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Hannah C. M. Bulloch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858865

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858865.001.0001

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Mystic Island

Mystic Island

(p.99) 5 Mystic Island
In Pursuit of Progress

Hannah C. M. Bulloch

University of Hawai'i Press

Throughout the Philippines, Siquijor is infamous as a realm of sorcery, witchcraft and hyperactive paranormal activity. At the same time, the island is promoted as an unspoiled haven of white beaches and undulating palms. Both caricatures position Siquijor as an isolated place, eluded by progress. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Siquijodnon are Christian—a religion with which official public performances of development are closely aligned in much of the Philippines. The chapter explores the symbolic associations between belief and development, and the ways in which people on Siquijor negotiate social categories of modernization through representations of belief. It is argued that as Siquijodnon attempt to challenge nationally dominant stereotypes of themselves as backward, the often reinforce the very framework that has defined them as backwards.

Keywords:   religion, belief, scepticism, shamanism, Christianity, Catholicism, animism, modernization, backwardness, performance

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