How many of us are familiar with the stories of the Ifugao, the Tausug, the Talaandig, the Mangyan; of the history of Pampanga, Iloilo, Cotabato; of agriculture in the country and the rituals observed with fishing, or with the planting and harvest seasons? There are many provinces in the Philippines; there are many ways of life; indigenous peoples are Filipino and part of the nation-state. But apart from an awareness of some of these places as tourist sites; apart from remembering indigenous peoples through street names and even class sections in elementary or high school, we know little about them.
Modernity is ultimately about human agency and reason. Such allowed people to accomplish and to fight for so many things. The values and practices that we espouse now – freedom of expression, human rights, free markets, mobility, innovation – are legacies of changes that took place in Europe from the 1600s onwards. They are contemporary expressions of modernity.