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The Philippines Is Not a Small Country: An Eye-Opener Book for Filipinos

The Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands, making it one of the world's biggest archipelagos. It is undoubtedly big, however, most people consider the Philippines to be a "small country" with limited resources. Sometimes, it is even labeled "poor".

Disparaging as it may sound, we cannot always argue with others' perspectives. Contrary to what many people have assumed, the Philippines is not a small country. A book containing essays about the Philippines has also been written to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about the country.

'The Philippines Is Not a Small Country' is a book written by Gideon Lasco which was published in the year 2020. Gideon Lasco, MD, Ph.D. is a physician, medical anthropologist, and writer. He is also a senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman's Department of Anthropology and a researcher at the Ateneo de Manila University's Development Studies Program. He is also currently an honorary fellow at Hong Kong University's Centre for Criminology as well as a forthcoming visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Department of Communication (from June to November 2021).

This book is intended for Filipinos and for the world to see how diversely beautiful our country is. In this book, the Philippines is explored as a beautiful land, a home to diverse people, a nation-in-the-making, and a country in the center of the globe. The articles establish links between environment and culture, self and society, the local and the global, based on anthropology, history, current events, popular culture, and the author's field experiences and travels.

The essays inside this book connect to nature and culture, self and society, the local and the global, and the past and present to arrive at a deeper, more complete, critical, yet hopeful picture of a country that is greater than many people realize.

For Caroline S. Hau, the book is "Wide-ranging, well-considered, and, above all, thought-provoking and empathetic, the essays collected in The Philippines is Not a Small Country tackle major as well as quotidian issues, from the war on drugs to human-nature entanglements, from cyberculture to politics as “teleserye,” from racism, colorism, and heightism to “Bawal ang umihi dito” signs, the art of habal-habal riding, and concepts of “Filipino time,” tambay, tagay, pantawid-gutom, pasalubong, and utang na loob. A doctor and medical anthropologist by training, a writer and public intellectual by vocation, Gideon Lasco is attentive to the nuances and resilience of Filipino life-, place-, and meaning-making, even as this book amply fulfills the Rizalian injunction to reproduce the conditions of our country faithfully while keeping always the world in perspective."

In this book, the author examines some of the reasons why the Philippines may be considered "small," as well as rebuttals, all based on the assumption that size is relative: It requires a reference point, just like any other type of measurement or measured amount. The reference points that we utilized in our measuring are thus essential to understanding how we look at the size of our country.

Inside this book, Gideon Lasco also expresses the issue of Filipinos often viewing our own nation through the eyes of outsiders.

This book will undoubtedly enlighten the eyes of the Filipino people, particularly the youths who have been foretold to be the nation's hope bearers. This will surely help the Filipinos in understanding and embracing that our country is not small and there are thousands of reasons why we should stand tall and raise our flag.


About the Writer

Pamela Elizabeth, Editor-in-Chief at AVCreativity Studio. Earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Secondary Education Major in English. She loves going on little adventures alongside reading good books. She is enthusiastic about her work and ensures that her clients receive the finest service possible.

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