Thursday, February 21, 2013

Call for Contributions for the Geography Week Photo Exhibit

Exhibit Title: Geobiography: Geography and Filipino Geographers

Scope: In line with the Department’s celebration of Geography Week on March 19 to March 22, and its 30th anniversary in November, this year’s celebration theme focuses on the connection between the construction of the self as a Filipino geographer and the spaces that actively shaped this identity. The photo exhibit will highlight Filipino geographers’ personal insights, experiences, memories and milestones, along with the places that have been important to their practice of Geography. These ideas inspired the Committee to put up a photo exhibit that showcases the various engagements of Filipino geographers in research, the promotion of geography to the public, extension services and community work in different locations.

We would like to invite you to take part in the activity by sharing with us a photograph of you practicing geography in an interesting and compelling setting, along with a short narrative that will serve as caption. Approved contributions will be enlarged and printed on a 13”x19” (A3) photo paper which will be showcased in the Geography Week exhibit at the 1st floor AS lobby. After the week-long celebration, the exhibit will be available for viewing at the 4th floor lobby of CSSP Faculty Center. Due to limited funding, contributors with accepted entries will be charged a minimal amount of Php230 to cover printing expenses.

The photo exhibit will open for all in the lobby of Palma Hall in the University of the Philippines Diliman from 19 - 22 March 2013. See you there!

Guidelines for the submission of photos are as follows:

  • Landscape high-resolution photo (at least 1 mb)
  • As this is a Geobiography, geographer/s must be in the photo
  •  To give emphasis on the landscape, the geographer must only constitute at most 1/6 of the    photo (1/3 for group pictures)
  • Photos must be original
  • Photos that were manufactured using Photoshop and other similar applications will not be accepted
  • Only some elements of the photos can be enhanced (i.e. brightness, contrast, hue, etc.)
  • Must be in English and written in first person point of view
  • Maximum of 200 words
  • Answers the following questions: a) How has the place shaped you into the geographer you are today? b) What are your academic and/or personal learnings that can be gleaned from the picture? and c) How did you contribute to the enrichment of knowledge about the place?

Email your photos and narratives to Pryor Placino ( AND David Garcia ( on or before March 11, 2013. Please also include the following details: complete name of contributor, job/position, affiliation, age, place and date the photo was taken.

Read the original post by clicking this link.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wishing you happy holidays!

From the guys behind the Filipino Geographers Blog Project, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Enjoy your holidays folks! The blog will be back with new interviews for 2012. Thank you very much for supporting the blog during its starting year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kristian Saguin

For Kristian, his journey as a geographer started since he was a child. Now, he is at the forefront of producing geographic knowledge (and geographies of knowledge). In this interview, Kristian shares his thoughts about life in the academe.

Basic Info
Name: Kristian Saguin 
Hometown: Legazpi City, PH 
Current City: College Station, TX, USA 
Profession / University: 
- Current Ph.D. student, Graduate Teaching Assistant and Fulbright Fellow at Texas A&M University working on my dissertation on the political ecology and commodity chains of aquaculture in Laguna de Bay
- Former Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, University of the Philippines, where I taught for six years. 
Hobbies and other interests: travel, photos, landscapes, the sea, swimming, fish, science studies, social theory, world cinema, the humanities

Towards Your Geographic Career

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I knew I wanted to be a geographer ever since I was seven or eight. As a budding nerd, I would take pleasure in poring over school library atlases and figuring out where things were located. I grew up learning to love traveling, knowing which places I was in, and being fascinated by their interconnections. When I was deciding on a university and a course to take, I could not see myself anywhere else except in Geography in UP. Along the way I also dreamt of being a doctor, a music DJ, and an astrophysicist, but none of them were anywhere near as fascinating to me as geography!

What has inspired you to pursue geography?
As with perhaps most of us, I thought geography was primarily about studying maps and places. Now that I am in the middle of pursuing my third geography degree, I am always surprised by the things and topics that geographers can and do study. My current research interests for instance range in scope from social theory, global political economy, agrarian household economics, limnology, and fish genetic manipulation, among other things. The holistic view of how things work across (and produce) spaces, scales, natures and relations has kept me interested in pursuing knowledge through the unique lenses that geography (or perhaps geographies) provides. Geographers, in their ability to link society, space and nature in very insightful ways, are also active advocates in a broad range of pressing issues that concern us at various scales.

Why did you take up Geography as your undergraduate degree? 
I love geography!

Upon finishing your degree, how was it stepping out to the “real world”?
It really was not as different as I built on and expanded the interests I developed in undergrad. A career in teaching and research was a logical extension of four years of undergraduate studying and learning.

Your Geographic Career
What would be your typical day at work? 
Life as a graduate student is pretty much composed of studying, attending classes, building my research, fulfilling other school duties, occasional socializing, and then more studying in the periods in between. While time is more flexible, every day is a work day.

What do you like most about your work? 
I enjoy reading and learning new stuff that challenge me intellectually and that help make better sense of the world around me, which can hopefully eventually help effect change.

What is/are the challenging parts of your work?
At the current stage of my research, the challenge is to develop a dissertation proposal that is not only theoretically and empirically original but also practically relevant and useful for addressing social justice concerns. As geographers, I feel we have the duty to ensure we do not directly or indirectly contribute to the further displacement, marginalization and oppression of people as a result of our work and research. On the contrary, geography can be at the forefront of change and the dismantling of unjust structures of status quo.

How is your background in Geography relevant to your profession today? 
I am still doing geography, in particular geographic perspectives on nature-society interactions.

What are some of the important things that you’ve learned in your years as an undergraduate student?
I learned that pursuing my passion for geography was the best professional decision I have made.

Lighter Side
What is your favorite geography subject? 
Field Methods in Geography

Where would you most like to travel?
All over the Philippines. I am also fascinated by countries like Turkey, Ethiopia, Mali, Mongolia, Bolivia, Algeria, Iran, and Kyrgyzstan (mostly because it is hard to spell).

If you were not a geographer, what career would you have chosen?
A career related to either film or fisheries
What book are you reading right now?
Fiction: Against the Day (Thomas Pynchon)
Non-fiction: Books for my upcoming exams!

What was the most interesting trip you have ever taken? Why?
Every trip is unique because every place is. I would say the one to Tunisia was noteworthy because I still cannot believe that I got there in the first place.

Final Thoughts
What current issue/world problem can geographers help solve?
There are many geographers practicing different geographies. Geographers can formulate different approaches to one problem. I am always wary and critical though of promises of win-win solutions. Advocating change for better and just socioecological arrangements begins with unpacking how the world works, and geographers can contribute to this in a variety of ways. Political ecology, the geography sub-field I am interested in, for instance, is dedicated to understanding and critiquing current commonsensical views of environmental issues, and proposing in their stead a deeper and contextualized examination of human-environment-development nexus.

What contributions could Filipino Geographers make or leave behind?
We need to examine what kinds of geographies we do and practice, why, and to what effect. As geographers and scientists, we should never be divorced from the power relations and the stuff of politics that operate within and around us.

What can we do, as geographers, to raise the profile of the discipline of Geography in the country?
I think the best way to promote geography is to pursue whichever geography we are interested in as well as we can, and to continue our passion for the discipline and its potentials.

What are the prospects for geography in the future?
As an academic discipline, geography has survived the uneasy coexistence of human and physical geography in one department. It has remained integrative and holistic despite broader trend elsewhere toward specialization. Geography will continue to redefine itself and geographers will remain self-conscious about exactly what geography is, what geographers do, and for whom – questions that have bugged the discipline and its scholars for generations!

What would be some life lessons you learned as a geographer? 
I have learned to see the bigger picture in any issue.

Any advice to aspiring geographers?
1. Do what you love and do it well. 
2. Reflect on why you do what you do and for whom. 

You can view Kristian Saguin's Geography Profile at the Texas A&M University website at