IRFP  2019
Constructing Philippine Modernities

11 - 12 November 2019 | La Trobe University City Campus, Melbourne, Australia


IRFP 2019 centres on defining modernity as spanning through the current human condition and experience, as formed by complex and interrelated local and global histories and circumstances. This highlights the unceasing changes in the economic, scientific, environmental, technological, social, and political climates that make modernity open to construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. In this way, modernity can be as diverse as human and society potentials. Thus, defining Philippine modernity is an ongoing process wherein global preconditions and the actions of Filipinos serve as catalysts for change. The complex experiences of these Filipinos give rise to the dynamic, and at times paradoxical, versions of modernity and its inevitable futures which this forum seeks to explore.


Call for Papers

     IRFP 2019 welcomes scholarly submissions from the arts and humanities, the social sciences, the natural and physical sciences, and technology and engineering disciplines that highlight the multidimensional concerns of Constructing Philippine Modernities or address one of the following questions:

  • How do we understand and experience modern Philippine society?

  • How is applied research contributing to the development of modern society?

  • How do generations and social classes benefit or suffer in our modern society?

  • How do we navigate contradicting ideas of our modern society and visions for our future?

Submission of Abstracts


  • A 500-word abstract that concisely describes the paper's (1) rationale, (2) research questions, (3) methodology, (4) findings/conclusions and limitations.

  • An 80-word justification of how the paper responds to the theme of Constructing Philippine Modernities

  • A completed Submission of Abstracts Form


  • The title must be descriptive, clear, and concise (under 20 words).

  • The participant must select the conference discipline which the paper is most closely related to.

  • The participant must provide 5 keywords to describe the paper.

  • The participant must select between an oral and/or poster presentation. 

  • A participant may submit up to 3 abstracts (including both oral and poster presentations). If multiple abstracts are accepted, an alternative presenter will be required.

  • By submitting an abstract, it will be assumed that all authors have consented to its submission and that all copyright provisions have been met.

  • Entries must be based on outcomes, not future projects.

  • The participant will receive an email within 14 days of submission on whether their abstract as been (a) accepted, (b) rejected, or (c) waitlisted. 

Accepted Abstracts

  • Accepted abstracts may appear on the IRFP website for public viewing.

  • Accepted participants must follow all formatting instructions for oral and poster presentations. The quality of presentation delivery must be of the highest standard.

  • Accepted participants must complete IRFP’s registration process to confirm their participation in the conference. 

Important Dates:


  • Notification of Acceptance: Within 14 days of submission

  • Deadline for Presenter Registration: 10 October 2019

  • Conference Dates: 11-12 November 2019

Review of Abstracts

Double-Blind Peer Review

  • Completed online submissions will be documented by the IRFP 2019 Co-Chairs.

  • Both components (500-word abstract and 80-word justification) of the submissions will be forwarded to the review committee without the authors’ names.

  • The review committee is composed of academics researchers.

  • The review committee will either accept, reject, or place on waitlist all abstracts. The Organizing Committee will notify participants regarding the status of their abstract within 14 days of submission. 


  • Originality: The paper explores a new issue related OR presents new insights about existing research.

  • Significance: The paper highlights important issues relevant to the Philippines.

  • Quality: The paper presents sufficient data drawn from a rigorous and logical research process, with limitations of the studied described honestly. 

  • Relevance: The paper addresses the forum theme, ‘Constructing Philippine Modernity.’


IRFP 2019 Program

Keynote Addresses

IRFP invites respected academics working in Australia to share about their experiences and findings from working on research in relation to the Philippines. 

Plenary  Sessions

IRFP 2019 offers opportunities for academics, scholars, students, and the general public to engage with the research community in Australia through meaningful discussions and networking activities. 

Parallel Sessions

IRFP 2019 features scholarly submissions from multiple disciplines for research related to the theme 'Constructing Philippine Modernities.' Accepted papers have been grouped into sub-themes for oral and poster presentations.

Social Functions

IRFP 2019 is an avenue for connecting with others interested in research on the Philippines. This year, IRFP invites participants to join Optional Social Functions aimed at strengthening our growing academic community.


Dr Caslon Chua

Swinburne University of Technology

       Dr Caslon Chua is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Software and Electrical Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology. His research interests focus on data analytics, data visualisation, and human computer interaction. As Deputy Academic Director, he plays a key role in developing programs to support both undergraduate and postgraduate students’ transition to university. At the core of Dr Chua's work is his involvement in pedagogy, determination for innovation, and excellence in educational practice. 

       In his keynote address, "Are we there yet?", Dr Chua will engage with this year’s IRFP theme on modernity by providing an overview of the role of IT education in constructing Philippine society. He will extend this exploration by illustrating the potential effects that applied IT research could have on furthering the development of our modern society. In discussing his parallel experiences of higher education and research in the Philipines and Australia, Dr Chua will draw insights on how his own academic journey was affected by people's understanding of what is "modern."  

Prof Greg Foliente, PhD

University of Melbourne

Prof. Greg Foliente is Enterprise Professor in the Melbourne School of Engineering and Deputy Director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS). He leads interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, education, consulting and collaboration initiatives that advance innovation in the urban systems and built environment sectors, with a primary focus towards improved sustainability, liveability and resilience. He has an international reputation in research innovation and science leadership that has been recognised through numerous honours and awards, and appointments to esteemed positions in international scientific committees and leading institutions. He is a strategic leader and facilitator, with a number of successful projects, including those undertaken with industry, UN agencies, the World Bank, AusAID and Australian federal departments and state agencies.

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided useful objectives and targets that global agencies and national governments can focus on to lift the overall quality of life of people worldwide. But in disaster-prone countries like the Philippines, any progress towards the SDGs can be significantly set back by a major disaster event or a series of them. The presentation provides an overview of global risks, including those related to a changing climate, and explores the links between the SDGs and key priority policy and research areas in disaster management, generally, and in the specific context of the Philippines. These policy and research priority areas are:

  • Understanding and mitigating extreme events and critical incidents

  • Enabling technology, informatics and analytics

  • Improving whole-life infrastructure system performance and resilience

  • Strengthening organisational, institutional and community resilience

  • Enhancing policy and decision making

On these bases, a multi-layered approach to disaster resilience planning, investments and policy-making will be presented, along with specific themes and cases that are especially relevant to the Philippines.


Cities of Contrasts or Centers of Co-production?

A Panel Discussion on Modernity and Informality in Metro Manila

with Ms Mai Yoshida (Institute of Social Theory and Dynamics),

Assoc Prof Wataru Kusaka (Nagoya University),

and Dr Redento Recio (The University of Melbourne)

Since the beginning of Spanish colonial occupation in the 16th century, Metro Manila has been the Philippines’ primary urban region. It has attracted poor rural migrants looking for better economic opportunities. Many of them have engaged in urban informal work – street vending, informal transport operation, waste picking – that often takes place in public spaces. Second and third generations of migrants’ children – those who were born and raised in the metropolis – have also embraced informal employment. The recent street clearing operations in Manila and a national government directive to ‘reclaim’ public roads from private use have reignited a hostile sentiment on the legitimacy of informal economic activities.


Clearing operations are also couched as part of a broader agenda to promote a clean, orderly and word-class metropolis. Here, urban planning is seen to play a key role. Deeply inspired by the Western modernist project, the dominant urban planning tradition in the Philippines embraces a rational process, exalts a linear progress and elevates planners as ‘value-free’ experts capable of rendering ‘neutral’ judgment to produce order in cities.  Yet, inequality, poverty and wicked problems persist in Philippine cities. Inevitably, the processes of producing ‘order’ always operate within existing power relations where the dominant players define what constitutes ‘disorder’.


In this urban environment, state authorities deploy formal rules to manage stubborn realities and complex relations. Many urban poor, on the other hand, resort to adaptive yet constrained informal initiatives to survive the precarity of life in Metro Manila. This session interrogates how and to what extent these tactics of the poor and strategies of survival are embedded in the dominant modernist urban development in Metro Manila. It unpacks the multiple ways in which marginalized groups contribute to the creative co-production of cities.

Disaster Archipelago

A Panel Discussion and Book Launch on Philippine Disasters and Nationhood

by Dr Will Smith (Deakin University)

Dr Sarah Webb (University of Queensland), and

Ms Pamela Cajilig (RMIT University)

The Philippines is nation often simplistically associated in global disaster discourse and policy with the devastation wreaked by typhoons, flooding, earthquakes and drought. In working to move past these representations, this panel aims to interrogate the place of disaster in Philippine nationhood. To do so, presenters consider two broad but interrelating questions: How can environmental extremity in the Philippines help us understand disasters? How can disasters help us understand the Philippines?

Following this discussion, Dr Smith presents "Disaster Archipelago: Locating Vulnerability and Resilience in the Philippines" (Lexington Books, 2019). This book brings together a group of Filipino and international scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to grapple with the complex nature of disaster in the Philippines. Firmly grounded in the relationship between disaster and place, the volume’s contributors confront the challenges of the Philippine nation’s internal heterogeneity of language, ethnicity and class.

1: Culture and Identity

2: Gender and Sexuality

3: Religious and Symbolic Structures 

4: Environment, Natural Resources,

and Disaster Management

5: Indigenous Peoples

6: Education and Literacy

7: Cultural Spatialities

8: Rare Diseases

9: Labour, Industry, and Markets


     The multi-disciplinary parallel sessions of IRFP 2019 feature 32 selected scholarly submissions that highlight the multidimensional concerns of Constructing Philippine Modernities by addressing the following questions:

  • How do we understand and experience modern Philippine society?

  • How is applied research contributing to the development of modern society?

  • How do generations and social classes benefit or suffer in our modern society?

  • How do we navigate contradicting ideas of our modern society and visions for our future?


Optional Conference Functions

Welcome Reception

Sunday, 10th November 2019 (1pm-2:30pm)

The Filipino-Australia Student Council of Victoria (FASTCO Vic) invites both local and international participants of IRFP 2019 to a local Melbourne café for the opening event of the conference! Join the whole delegation for some coffee, meet the speakers, attendees, and organizers of the conference, and share your ideas about research and the Philippines.

Venue details will be sent to those who RSVP. Each RSVP comes with a cup of coffee.

CBD and Universities Walking Tour

Sunday, 10th November 2019 (2:30pm-5:00pm

Directly following the Welcome Reception, participants are invited to join a walking tour of Melbourne. This starts with exploring the celebrated laneway, arcade, and street art cultures of the city and then ends with a visit to some of Victoria’s top university campuses and research facilities.

Venue details will be sent to those who RSVP.

Conference Socials

Tuesday, 12th November 201 (6pm - 8pm)

To celebrate an enlightening and successful conference, everyone is invited for refreshments at a local Melbourne pub. Join us as we make a toast to the IRFP, the international academic community, and our continued participation in research about the Philippines!

Venue details will be sent to those who RSVP. Each RSVP comes with light refreshments.



Registration Rates
International Participants          - AUD150.00

Australia-based Professionals   - AUD150.00

Australia-based Students           - AUD30.00

FASTCO Victoria Members         - FREE

Registration Inclusions

- Name tag

- Access to all sessions across the duration of Day 1 and 2 of the Conference Proper

- Free access to Optional Functions (RSVP Required)

- Conference catering (morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea)

- Access to online copy of Participant Book (including full conference program, profiles of invited speakers, and presentation abstracts)

- Complimentary Wi-Fi within the conference venue

Registration Process
1. Completed registration form:
2. Completed payment of appropriate registration fees:
- AUD 150 for Professionals and international participants
- AUD 30 for Australia-based students
- FREE for Registered FASTCO Victoria members

Payment Guidelines
A. For international participants: Payment should be made via PayPal.
(Telegraphic Transfer of funds will not be accepted)
Pay AUD150 (students and professionals) through 

Put your FULL NAME in the payer details.
Please save a copy of your payment confirmation.

B. For Australia-based participants: Payment should be made via bank to bank transfer.
(Please DO NOT use PayPal)
Pay AUD 30 (student) or AUD 150 (professional) through
BANK: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
ACCOUNT NAME: Filipino Australian Student Council - Victoria
BSB: 063019
ACCOUNT NO: 10911988
Put your FULL NAME under description.
Please save a copy of your payment confirmation.

C. For current FASTCO Victoria Members
Please save a copy of any document confirming your registration as a member, valid until after 12 November 2019.
E.g. Document/Email from FASTCO Victoria or partners (Filipino Association of Monash, RMIT Filipino Student Association, or The Filipino Club of Victoria University) which confirms that you currently hold a registered and active membership.

Important Dates
26 August - Registration for all opens
11 October - Registration for Presenters closes
5 November - Registration for Non-Presenters closes

Optional Social and Academic Functions

- 10 November 2019: Welcome Reception 
- 10 November 2019: CBD and Universities Walking Tour
- 12 November 2019: Conference Socials

(RSVP through the IRFP 2019 Registration Form)

Cancellation and Refund Policy

- Cancellation and refund request must be made in writing and sent to


- Written requests received on or before 10 October 2019 will receive an 80% registration fee refund.

Written requests received between 11 October to 03 November 2019 will receive a 60% registration fee refund.

No refund will be made after 04 November 2019.

- Verbal changes or cancellation cannot be accepted. The refund will be returned via the same payment method as the original receipt of funds.

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IRFP 2019 Organisers


Lirio Josefina G. Mapa (Monash University)

Melvin B. Marzan (La Trobe University)

Committee Members:   

Athena Jessica Ong (The University of Melbourne)

Laurence Marvin Castillo (The University of Melbourne)

Marnylle Bonilla (Swinburne University)

Charles Irvin Siriban (The University of Melbourne)
Ethel Villafranca (The University of Melbourne)


Email  with the subject "IRFP 2019"
and we will get back to you within 10 working days.

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