The Ilongga in Times of War and Peace (1942-1944)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts major in History (Option I: Thesis)



First Advisor

Karl Ian U. Cheng Chua, PhD


This study documents the socio-civic activities of the Ilonggas during the Japanese occupation of Panay Island and how they struggled to bring back normalcy to their lives during the war. While most of the literature on the Japanese occupation focuses on women’s involvement in the resistance movement either as combatants or auxiliary support, this study presents another perspective of women’s activities during wartime period. The Ilonggas joined the Kapisanan ng Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas’ (KALIBAPI) cultural and industrial rally that featured the Lakambini Popularity Contest in April 1944. Women’s participation to beauty contests can be traced to the prewar Philippine Carnival which crowned its first Carnival Queen in 1908, which coincided with the beginnings of the women’s suffrage campaign. Using the case of Iloilo, the study argues that there was a continuity in women’s activities during the prewar to occupation years. The persistence of socio-civic activities particularly in the city of Iloilo have conflicted with the attempt of the Japanese to control and limit the women in their traditional place which is the home. By participating in various socio-civic activities, women were able to claim these public spaces that transcends their aspiration to live a normal life during the time of war.

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