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The Journal

Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints is an internationally refereed journal that publishes scholarly articles and other materials on the history of the Philippines and its peoples, both in the homeland and overseas.

It believes the past is illuminated by historians as well as scholars from other disciplines; at the same time, it prefers ethnographic approaches to the history of the present. It welcomes works that are theoretically informed but not encumbered by jargon. It promotes a comparative and transnational sensibility, and seeks to engage scholars who may not be specialists on the Philippines. Founded in 1953 as Philippine Studies, the journal is published quarterly by the Ateneo de Manila University.



Call for Abstracts: Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints Special Issue on Health Messaging in the Philippines


From the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, breakthroughs in scientific medicine and advances in visual technology combined into a new public health practice: health messaging. Health messaging was heavily reliant on visual materials such as film, photography, posters, pamphlets, diagrams, and maps to translate new insights on the nature, transmission, and prevention of disease to lay audiences. Although referred to as “medical propaganda” by contemporaries, health messaging was not just about education. In particular, in non-Western settings health messaging was instrumental in promoting new biomedical practices and ideas among the general population, displacing local medical traditions, and transforming both. Today, health messaging—what we now refer to as public health education—remains a key practice of public health around the world.


We propose that the Philippines has been significant to the history and development of health messaging. Beginning with—if not before—the American occupation in 1898, health officials, philanthropic organizations, and companies started to experiment with the development of health messaging in the archipelago. With an early focus on infectious disease, health messaging would ultimately expand to cover hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, childcare, sexual health, mental health, and lifestyle diseases. Health messaging was a constitutive component of public health in the Philippines under American rule and was instrumental in achieving imperial ambitions. In the postcolonial era and indeed up to the present, health messaging remains a principal means by which local populations are exposed to “modern” medical knowledge. The practice continues to be enmeshed with political agendas.


The children’s special or the Red Cross health mobile. The newest venture of the Philippine Chapter, Manila, c.1920.

Source: American National Red Cross Photograph Collection, US Library of Congress


Posted: 2023-07-13 More...

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