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Title: Igorot representation in Cordillera picture postcards
Authors: Torres, Anna Christie K. Villarba
Keywords: Igorot representation
Colonial history
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society
Citation: Plaridel, v.3, no.1, February 2006
Abstract: Benedict Anderson points to three institutions of power which metamorphosed "in form and function as the colonized zones entered the age of mechanical reproduc- tion, namely: the census, map and the museum" (163). I will push the map, or the cartographer's domain, further by venturing into the cultural studio of peopled and landscape postcards. It is easy to dismiss postcards as mere commodities of capitalism or markers of and for tourism, or even as glorified places that are neither real nor authentic. Using Barthean semiotics as my mode of inquiry, I will show how these cultural markers are a powerful analytical tool in the context of colonial history and contemporary tourism. More specifically, I will illustrate how these postcards may be seen as: a site of power; a legitimizer of institutions; an arena of experiental contradictions and "parodic repre- sentations" of authorized transgressions (Hutcheon, 2003: 97). The experiences of Baguio City, Benguet as an American colonial hill station, Sagada, Mountain Province and Banaue, Ifugao, reputed gateways to the Cordillera will figure prominently in determining if and to what extent the colonial imaginings have been transcended or if new representations are emerging in the light of tourism's serious bid to lead the service-led economies of the 21st century.
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