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Safeguarding Pabalat-Wrapped Pastillas in the Philippines Problems and Possibilities of Community Participation

Patricia Gonzalez


This article describes the Philippine foodway and craft form of pabalat-wrapped pastillas by examining the different communities involved in its practice and preservation. It analyzes how the participatory framework reshapes the authorized heritage discourse and argues for a more pragmatic conceptualization of community participation that recognizes the different kinds of communities involved in heritage work, shows sensitivity to the politics at play, and aims at parity among actors—not exclusion. Tracing the history of borlas de pastillas and assessing its uses in tourism demonstrations, festivals, training programs and museum exhibits reveals the problematic issues of disinheritance, dissonance, memory, and ownership that emerge when dealing with intangible heritage.

KEYWORDS: Intangible heritage, community participation, heritage as process, cultural production, identity

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