October 19, 2015 @ 2:04 pm
Ep. 223 “UOG Students Reflect on Urban Poverty and U.S. Militarism in the Philippines” (hosted by Trish Billen with production assistance by Arthur ‘AJ’ Taimanglo Jr. , Dance Aoki and Alan Grossman) was recorded 4/11/15 and airs 10/16/15.
This episode features a group interview with five University of Guam undergraduate social work students (Francisco Figueroa, Jennifer Lee, Zorka Perez, Antonio Diaz, and Arthur ‘AJ’ Taimanglo, Jr.) who visited the Philippines March 19-26, 2015 as part of a University of Guam course “Social Work in the Philippines”, taught by Dr. LisaLinda Natividad. They engaged with students and faculty at the School of Social Work and Community Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus and the Post-Colonial Studies Program at Ateneo de Manila University. They participated in outreach activities to the urban poor in Manila with the Missionaries for the Poor and to women in the sex trade in Olongapo City with the Buklod Center. They also met with with Ms. Corazon Fabros, a human rights attorney and peace activist, who provided a tour of the former U.S. Naval Base in Subic Bay (now the Subic Bay Freeport Zone) and the former Clark Air Force Base in Angeles City and her perspective on decolonization and demilitarization in this context.
Olongapo is next to the former U.S Naval Base Subic Bay, once one of the biggest US naval facilities in the world. This base was closed in 1992 after the Philippine Senate terminated a bases agreement with Washington at the end of the cold war. Manila converted the facility, which was never home to the Philippine military, into an economic zone. U.S. warships have called regularly at Subic Bay since 2000 but reportedly only to dock during exercises with the Philippine military or to use its commercial facilities for repairs and resupply. One month after this April 2015 interview was recorded, the Philippines announced plans to station new fighter jets and two frigates as it reopens the former US naval base in Subic Bay to military use in response to China expansion in the disputed South China Sea. This marks the first time the massive installation will function as a military base in 23 years, reigniting concerns about the social-cultural-enivornmental impacts in surrounding communities.
Guest host Trish Billen is a May 2015 graduate of the University of Guam Bachelor of Social Work program who has returned to her home, Pohnpei State-Federated States of Micronesia.