Bidlisiw_Vol 1, Issue 1 (Maiden Issue) May 2021

Bidlisiw_Vol 1, Issue 1 (Maiden Issue) May 2021_FINAL

Volume 1, Issue 1 Maiden Issue May 2021
Leonardo O. Munalim, PhD, LPT
Chief Editor
Felina C. Young, PhD
Honored Consultant
Philippine Women’s University

Volume 1

2021

ISSN 2782-9995
Bidlisiw (print)
ISSN 2783-0004
Bidlisiw (online)

BIDLISIW:

A MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCHOLARLY JOURNAL
Volume 1, Issue 1 (Maiden Issue) May 2021
Published by
Philippine Women’s University
Manila, Philippines
www.pwu.edu.ph
© Philippine Copyright 2021
by the Philippine Women’s University
ISSN 2782-9995 Bidlisiw (print)
ISSN 2783-0004 Bidlisiw (online)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Except in the form of brief quotations embodied
in critical reviews, portions of this Issue may not be used or reproduced
in any manner or form without the prior written permission both of the
Authors and the RDO.
Inquiries and permission should be addressed to:







Research Office and Development
Philippine Women’s University
1743 Taft Avenue, 1004 Manila, Philippines
Tel no. +63(2) 8465-1777
Fax no. +63(2) 8526-6935
E-mail: rdo@pwu.edu.ph

ABOUT THE TITLE

BIDLISIW: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCHOLARLY JOURNAL
Starting the Academic Year 2020-2021, Bidlisiw is the fourth type of publications
together with the PWU Research Journal, Sabangan, and Compendium of PWU
Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts. This peer-reviewed journal welcomes and
publishes academic papers such as speeches, keynote speeches, presentations
of papers in local and international conferences, commentaries, visiting
professorial lectures, short critiques, book review, critical review of literature,
squibs, occasional full-blown research papers, and other related academic
articles which are worthy of dissemination within the academic and professional
communities, thus which are likely to elevate academic discourses. It is published
in May and December of the same year.
The lexical item “bidlisiw” is a Cebuano word, which means “rays of the sun,” in
Tagalog “sinag.” In a semiotic lens, the rays of the sun signal the coming of the
new day and promise. Situating this to research, “bidlisiw” alerts all academic
and professional communities to the discovery and the coming of the new sets of
information. It may also signify the academic, professional and vibrant cultivation
and propagation of new dimensions of knowledge base, which can be criticized,
enjoyed and consumed by all academic and professional communities of scholars,
not only at the local, but also in the international research spheres. Just like the
rays of the sun, the academic papers published in this Journal will prompt and
ignite more healthy lively discourses that are worthy of dissemination.
The choice of this autochthonous Cebuano word, thus a nationalistic term, neatly
sits well with the original logo of the Philippine Women’s University, where it
illustrates the rays of the candle. Like the “bidlisiw” or the rays of the sun, the
light and rays of the candle mark their potent source of inspiration among the
educators and scholars in the continual search for knowledge, and therefore try
to bridge the gap between academic and family life. The “bidlisiw” or the rays
of the sun indeed are enough to meld different societal institutions into one
coherent society of knowledge seekers for the betterment and advancement of
human lives in particular and in the human society in general.

ABOUT LOGO

The Bidlisiw logo honors the seven PWU
founders: Francisca Tirona Benitez, Paz
Marquez Benitez, Clara Aragon Villanueva,
Carolina Ocampo Palma, Mercedes Rivera,
Concepcion Aragon Santiago, and Socorro
Marquez Zaballero. They are represented
in the seven women-icons who collectively
welcome the coming of the new day.
To be specific – historically – one case that
attests to the Filipinos’ confidence in English
was the publication of the first modern short
story in English written by Paz Marquez
Benitez, a Philippine Women’s College
founder in 1919. Her short story, Dead Stars
published in 1925 marked the landmark of
the maturity of the Filipino writer in English.
The fulcrum of research endeavors is always
the researcher who is situated inside the
circle. The researcher is conceptuallymetaphorically represented as a bird as he/she freely explores the spaces
of the bodies of knowledge. His/her scholarship is fueled by a book,
considered as the wellspring and testament of knowledge and discovery.
The 14 sets of sunray represent the 14 major Schools at PWU whose light
runs within the circle and confines of the continual search for knowledge.

FOREWORD
Many students write with some trepidation because writing entails formidable
control over a number of writing conventions and rules. Professionals in the
university level are never spared from this fear of writing. In fact, the long tedious
traditional publication processes dishearten us to write full-blown research
papers. The punctiliousness of the templates and standards required by many
journals is also consequential to meager faculty publications. Deeper still, it
remains ironic when research papers are prepared for many days and months to
conform to the standard of the target journal; yet, it will only take a few minutes
for the Editorial Team to reject the submissions. This is disconcerting to all of us!
The tradition of academic publications is fortunately getting more and more
inclusive in terms of welcoming different written genres. Many journals
now accept short papers, short research articles, abstracts, conference
papers, critical essays, squibs, working papers, raw data, proposals, among
other shorter academic papers. In my valuation, the Data in Brief journal by
Elsevier is a promising journal for publication without qualms on longer paper
lengths. Another journal by Elsevier, Journal of English for Academic Purposes,
also piloted a novel and evolving genre to complement the traditional fulllength research articles. Short papers up to 4,000 words are accepted.
The publication of this maiden May 2021 Issue of Bidlisiw of the Philippine
Women’s University is an attempt to subscribe to this inclusive and pluralized
practice of publications. Bidlisiw is ideally the best venue for PWU scholars and
researchers to remain active in academic writing and publication. We hope that
our PWU community of scholars and researchers will find this multidisciplinary
and scholarly journal as the best alternative in engaging with academic writing
opportunities without losing sight of the lofty purpose of academic publication
– filling in the research spaces and silos in order to advance bodies of knowledge.
The increasingly diverse academic written genres in our spheres will mean,
hopefully, that more and more PWU scholars and researchers may now find
themselves engaging with academic writing as we cultivate the culture of
research.
Because if we do not cultivate it now, cuando?

Full Prof. Leonardo O. Munalim, PhD, LPT

Chief Editor, Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Director, PWU Research and Development Office

EDITORIAL BOARD
BIDLISIW: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCHOLARLY JOURNAL
Philippine Women’s University
1743 Taft Avenue, Malate1004, Manila, Philippines
Chief Editor:
Dr. Leonardo O. Munalim
Philippine Women’s University
SCOPUS ID: 57194585534
Honored Consultant:
Dr. Felina C. Young
Philippine Women’s University
Reviewers
Dr. Maria Virginia Aguilar




De La Salle University – Dasmarinas
SCOPUS ID: 57191170580

Dr. Jennifer Oestar

Department of Education, Lucena City
Glenn Ison

University of Rizal System, Rizal
Job Vincent Arcebuche

Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Hazel Samala

Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Darren Rey Javier

Philippine Normal University - Manila

Baras - Pinugay Integrated High School
Dr. Maria Charlene Melegrito

Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Merline Rabaya




Western Philippines University – Palawan
Shangrela Genon-Sieras

Mindanao State University, Main Campus
Dr. Teresita Banag
Philippine Cultural College
Elizabeth Ann Gutierrez
Philippine Women’s University
Raul Guillermo Chebat
Philippine Women’s University
Administrative Assistant:
Layout:

Edna Lugartos
Jesus A. Sy

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Convocation Speech
The 2021 PWU President’s Convocation Speech

1

Marco Alfredo Moya Benitez

Full Research Article
Social Capital for Successful Aging: A Design Criteria for
Bahay Sigla

11

Short Research Article
Micro-Practices of Multicultural Education in Online Classes
at PWU During the COVID-19 Pandemic

27

Critical Essays
Internationalization of Higher Education in the
Philippines: A Structuration Theoretical Approach

38

Technological Determinism and Social Construction
of Technology: The Points of Convergence and
Divergence

52

Feature
Art in the Public Sphere: From Beautiful to Meaningful

57

Undergraduate Students’ Proposal
A Social Media Communication Plan for PWU: A Proposal

63

About the RDO Logo

72

Ma. Bienvenida Candelaria

Mitos Sheila Yun

Raul Guillermo Chebat

Leonardo Munalim

Mervy Pueblo

Alyssa Alba et al.

Convocation
Speech

THE 2021 PWU PRESIDENT’S
CONVOCATION SPEECH
Marco Alfredo Moya Benitez
Philippine Women’s University
The 10th University President
26 February 2021 | Google Meet | FB Live
mmb@pwu.edu.ph
ABSTRACT. This 2016 President’s Convocation
speech highlights the PWU experiences, challenges, and
accomplishments which were engendered by the COVID-19
pandemic. Specifically, it spotlights the outlook of PWU’s
current state of affairs, and the PWU’s trajectories within
the context of the University’s vision-mission. Historically,
the first community quarantine in Metro Manila started at
midnight of 15 March 2020. The following day 16 March
2020, the (last) Third Trimester of Academic Year 20192020 at PWU had to commence.

Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
Members of the PWU Board of Trustees led by our Chairperson Ms. Victoria
Amalingan-Sales, Dr. Felina Young, University Chancellor and SVPAA; our
hardworking Administrators, Deans and Program Chairs; faculty, alumni, our
dear students, and friends watching on our social media pages, good afternoon.
Allow me first to thank all those who have worked hard to organize this
virtual convocation, led by Dean Shirley Padua and Dean Leonardo Munalim. This
year marks PWU’s 102nd Anniversary as an institution which has been dedicated
to holistic education and righteous citizenship.
The Homecoming and Installation last February 2020 seemed almost ages
ago, after nearly a year into this pandemic. Our world has been turned upside
down, and we in the education sector, are in a virtual environment we never would
have imagined this time last year. Let us stop to think of that for just a moment.
Despite these drastic unprecedented changes, however, one thing that has
remained at the heart of our institution and our mission, is our Learners. As I
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

1

mentioned last year and I will say again now, they are the “why” of our institution.
In fact, our experiences and the actions we have tenaciously taken throughout the
course of the pandemic serve only to highlight that truth.
Allow me to take us back briefly through what happened in SY 2019-2020:
The School year started relatively well enough in August 2019, with first
trimester enrollment figured relatively stable as compared to the same period in
the previous year. The second trimester also showed stable numbers, registering
only the historical reduction that happened from one trimester to the next. After
an immensely fun Christmas party and with preparations for the Centennial
Culminating Homecoming in full swing, the first cases of what was then the SARS
CoV2 virus had started appearing in February 2020. Over the next few weeks, we
had been monitoring the situation closely, and releasing regular updates on the
number of confirmed cases in the country.
Then on March 15, three weeks after a successful Alumni Homecoming and
Installation of yours truly at the Manila Hotel, the Philippine government declared
the Enhanced Community Quarantine over Metro Manila for 30 days. On 2020
March 16, I met with the PWU administrators at the CB Hall to discuss what would
happen to the third trimester of academic year 2019-2020, as enrollment had to
be suspended, and how we would respond to the challenges should we need to
temporarily migrate to an online modality.
Basically, the University was faced with the tough decision of whether to
suspend classes altogether, or continue via emergency remote learning. There were
various sectors calling for a complete educational freeze because of the ongoing
public health crisis. We decided, however, to proceed because of the uncertainty
as to how long the pandemic would last, because of the need for education to
continue for our students, and because of the need to sustain the operations of the
University. In hindsight, that was a crucial step forward.
In a matter of two weeks, we had to migrate the entire enrollment process
online. Classes had to immediately be conducted remotely. After an entire trimester
of growing pains – and there were a lot of them – from April to June of 2020,
as both the students and employees had adjusted to remote learning and flexible
work arrangements, we opened the SY 2020-2021 in August 2020, better prepared
for flexible learning.
Under the guidance of our Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, we
created the Learning Delivery Team and Technology Integration Team to address
the pedagogical and technological needs for our faculty to be better prepared for
2

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

flexible learning. They, together with our Deans and Program Chairs, spearheaded
a plethora of webinars, which were all directed towards adapting to this new mode
of teaching and learning.
On top of this, the University had adopted many measures in order to
support our community during those initial months, when we were all still very
anxious about learning to live with the virus, and many were affected economically
and emotionally as a result of the lockdowns.
These came in the form of holding off on tuition fee increases; offering
discounts and rebates on miscellaneous and other school fees; drastically reducing
installment fees while offering flexible payment options; allowing students to
attend classes online despite not yet being enrolled; and even offering tablets and
laptops on payment terms in order to support both students and faculty who were
struggling to cope with the effects of this paralyzing health crisis. We even opened
the “We Rise as One Scholarship” last year 2020. Qualified scholars only had to
pay for miscellaneous and other school fees just to allow more incoming students
the chance to avail of PWU education. Academically, we had adopted a “Pass or
Incomplete” grading system in that third trimester to relieve the pressure from the
students, and even allowed those who received Incomplete marks the entire first
trimester of School Year 2020-2021 to complete their requirements.
In terms of operations, we crafted a 4-phase transition plan to mitigate
the spread of the virus and keep our campuses and our members safe, while
ensuring the continuity of operations. We have allowed our members to work and
teach from home, where possible, to minimize health risks. We also held off on
leave deductions until May 15, 2020, a full two months after the declaration of
the lockdown. Importantly, I admire how we stepped up to contribute in cash or
in the form of leave credits, which amounted to more than P800,000 to support
our colleagues who could not work from home. In the middle of all these, we also
found it in our hearts to donate to and support the frontliners of PGH Medical
foundation, and the victims of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses, which ravaged parts
of Luzon late last year of 2020. Indeed, the Bayanihan spirit of working together
which we so espouse, even at our own personal cost, was in full display during
these times.
It was inspiring to see the entire community bonding together to contribute
to our response to the pandemic, especially in the first few months as we adjusted
to this new normal.
A heartfelt thank you to our faculty - from the Basic Education all the way
to Graduate school - as this pandemic has arguably been toughest on you and
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

3

your craft. Yet, you have displayed resiliency and openness to change – yourselves
becoming the lifelong learners that we want to mold our students into. It has
been especially hard for our elementary teachers who are tasked with handling
the youngest and most vulnerable of our population, as well as those with special
needs, likewise with our laboratory and skills-based courses, including music,
fine arts, dance, allied health, where a little more imagination and innovation are
necessary to teach these hands-on and performance-based subjects.
Thank you to our administrators and unit heads for leading your respective
teams; taking care of their primary needs; and for driving innovation, collaboration
and sharing of ideas, because as we know, there have been no perfect solutions to
these challenges, but solutions that need continuous feedback and improvement.
To highlight some examples, as our libraries closed to the public, our
librarians shifted to become curators and consolidators of digital resources to
supplement our online classes and theses and dissertations. As of the most recent
tally, Ms. Purita Uson and her library team have amassed close to 17,000 e-books,
e-journals, articles and other forms of digital media for use by our community.
Our lab custodians, as our labs continue to be closed, have been repurposed to
aid our faculty conduct their virtual simulations. Our guidance counselors from
Basic Education to tertiary shifted to tele-counselling and providing students with
the mental and psychological support very much needed without having to see
them physically. Even Dr. Lina Laigo and our Institute of Family Life and Children
Studies, through their online “Wellness Kumustahans” have given the community
a vital outlet for their worries, anxieties, and valuable insights on how to cope with
this unprecedented phenomenon. My thanks and commendations go out to all of
them.
Our shift to flexible learning was led by our SVPAA, Dr. Felina Young,
the Learning Delivery Team and Technology Integration Team led by Dr. Shirley
Padua and Dr. Menchita Dumlao, in collaboration with our Deans and Program
Chairs, who helped craft our guidelines for flexible learning. This allowed us to
more effectively achieve the learning outcomes for our students mindful of the
different constraints this virtual environment provides. Through feedback and
needs assessment, they were able to tailor the different webinars in accordance to
the immediate needs of our faculty; and moving forward, are developing a flexible
learning curriculum which will allow us to set a standard of excellence across all
our teaching units.
In line with adapting to change, we commend our different programs for
raising their bars of standard while maintaining a spirit of empathy towards the
circumstances of our students.
4

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

The School of Arts and Sciences, led by its new Dean, Dr. Leonardo
Munalim, who is also the new Director of the Research and Development Office,
has re-energized its culture of research, locally and internationally, as many of its
faculty also serve in the editorial boards of acclaimed peer-reviewed journals here
and abroad. He, together with our Program Chairs, Dr. Alcazaren, Dr. Dumlao, Ms.
Villafuerte and Ms. Segovia, are championing our renewed focus on a liberal arts
education with focus on experiential-project-problem-based approaches.
The School of Education led by Dean Shirley Padua, having maintained
its PACUCOA Level III accredited status in the undergraduate level, also
recently passed the remote virtual accreditation for Level I status conducted by
the PACUCOA for three of its graduate programs. We commend them for their
emphasis on high impact research, inclusive education through both physical and
online platforms, and their adoption of transformative education through brainfriendly teaching and learning strategies.
We welcome back Dean Josephine Turalba to the School of Fine Arts and
Design. Her expertise, international experience, and innovative approach already
evident with the various initiatives, webinars, virtual exhibits, and collaborations,
have reinvigorated the program, and bodes well for the coming years.
We congratulate Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo, the Dean of the HZB
School of International Relations and Diplomacy for once again having been elected
to another term as Expert to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for 2021-2024.
We commend Dean Earl Jimenez and the School of Music for hosting the
“SMEC Kolokiya ng Musika,” a well-attended Research Colloquium on the conduct
of research in the field of music and ethnomusicology, particularly in the time of
pandemic. We congratulate as well the achievers from their school - Kelvin Floyd
Masangkay, first placer in the Flute/Open Class Category at the Asian Virtual
Championships; Zean Saliendra, NAMCYA finalist; and Reynaldo Abellana,
awarded the “2019 Outstanding Young Men in Arts and Humanities - Classical
Music Category.”
The School of Hospitality Management, School of Tourism, School of Food
Science and Technology, as well as the Conrado Benitez Institute for Business
Education have all proactively embraced the shift to this virtual environment by
moving their activities online - be it skills competitions, election of student officers,
lectures and webinars on the state of the food, tourism, meetings and events,
marketing and business industries. Recently, the School of Tourism has also
partnered with one of the country’s renowned travel agencies, the Rajah Travel, to
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

5

provide the third and the fourth year students with a Remote Practicum Program.
Congratulations Dean Prime Abellana, Mr. Ian Soriano, Dr. Ligaya Braganza, and
Dr. Felina Young for leading these initiatives.
Our Allied Health Programs have been among the busiest not only in
terms of shifting their heavily-regulated and skills-based courses online, but also
in dealing with affiliate hospitals and institutions, and staging webinars involving
topics which are highly relevant to our frontliners. The School of Nursing led by
Dr. Minerva De Ala has been the fastest growing and is now our largest Graduate
school program in terms of enrollees, catering to students as far as China and the
Middle East. The Schools of Pharmacy, Medical Technology, and Nutrition have
produced graduates that did notably well in the 2019 Board examinations. We
welcome our new young and dynamic Program Chairs, Sherwin Toriano for the
School of Medical Technology, and Vanessa Ceballos for the School of Nutrition,
joining Mark Harvey Adamson of the School of Pharmacy and Dean De Ala of the
School Nursing to complete our Allied Health cluster.
Of course, in this time of pandemic and natural calamities, our Philippine
School of Social Work and UNICORP led by Evelyn Valencia, have been at the
forefront of our community extension efforts, not only in raising health awareness
in the time of COVID, but also in our relief distribution drives for the victims of the
Taal Volcano eruption and typhoons Rolly and Ulysses last year 2020.
We commend our Basic Education unit, JASMS Manila and Quezon City,
led by Executive Director Remedios Cruz; Principals Diane and Regina; and their
entire team for adapting the JASMS pedagogy of differentiated, experiential
learning even in an online environment. They have recreated most of their activities
online such as Curriculum Day, English, Math, Arts and Social Studies Months,
and even their guidance counselling sessions, while providing their students with
an experience that is still uniquely JASMS. JASMS Manila in particular achieved
the PAASCU Level III accredited status last year, while JASMS Quezon City is
awaiting its visit this year.
Speaking of accreditation, last November 2020, 10 of our Graduate Programs
in Business; Hospitality Management; Food Science and Technology; Nutrition;
and Education simultaneously underwent Remote Virtual Accreditation - the first
among all Graduate programs in the country - by the PACUCOA. Congratulations
to Dr. Felina Young; Dr. Emerita Zornosa, our Graduate studies director; and the
programs that accomplished this feat. We understand that 2021 will be another
year where we strive to raise our standards through continuous accreditation of
the different programs.
6

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Of course, we would not be where we are today without the efforts of our
non-teaching student support services.
The Office of Campus Life, Student Affairs, Sports Development Office,
and Student Publications led by Dr. Suzie Moya-Benitez, have remained active all
throughout. They have shifted student activities online, including Student Council
elections; continued with graduation pictorials; and conducted PE and varsity
training via virtual means. With the guidance of Dr. Leonardo Munalim, they
have even revived The Philwomenian and The Paseo, our student publications, in
both print and digital formats. Dr. Suzie’s team is also going to release some longawaited editions of the Maroon and White Student Yearbook this year.
The External Affairs and Scholarship Office led by VP Freddie Reyes has
ensured that our external linkages, both local and international, remain strong
despite the pandemic. Equally important, our scholarships, grants and financial
aid continue to be given out to students in need. In fact, out of the 8,093 students
that enrolled university-wide for SY 2019-2020, a total of 1,075 or roughly 13%
were given some form of scholarship.
Our administration led by VP Marilou Mirasol, together with MSDC led
by Dr. Nini Lim have taken the lead in ensuring that our facilities have been
reoriented and re-engineered if needed, to adhere to all health protocols to prevent
the spread of the COVID-19 in all our campuses, and we appreciate everyone for
conscientiously following the guidelines. Thank you to our nurses in particular,
who have been our first line of defense in screening all visitors for almost a year
now. And while most of the community are working and teaching from home, the
administration personnel have begun the rehabilitation and renovation of many
of our facilities since last year. We thank our security and maintenance personnel,
who, regardless of the level of community quarantine, have religiously fulfilled
their duties, keeping our campuses safe and clean.
Not a lot of you may know, but the Registrar’s Office, as soon as Enhanced
Community Quarantine was lifted, and when we went into Phase 2 of our transition
plan, have been on campus everyday, to process student records, which are too
sensitive to be processed elsewhere. Thank you Fernan Glemao and your entire
team for your dedication and sacrifice.
We thank our Finance and Accounting department under VP Ana Del
Rosario for judiciously monitoring our finances and making sure that we are
financially stable amidst this crisis. In particular, to our cashiers who have also
regularly reported onsite to process payments of our students, we express our
heartfelt appreciation. It must be noted that for the first time in many years, and
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

7

in the middle of the pandemic, we were able to submit our final Audited Financial
Statements on time and even ahead of the deadline, to both the SEC and the BIR.
One of our main thrusts has always been to nurture and develop our human
capital. Through the HRMO, led by Cheryl Zantua, we are putting into order and
updating our recruitment, assessment, evaluation, training, and development
processes. They have already reassessed most, if not all our faculty, and are now
in the process of refining the evaluation of our NTPs, to ensure that, to the extent
our resources will allow, we give each one a fair and just compensation; and that
we have a professional development plan in place. More importantly, through their
feedback and survey mechanisms, they make sure that your voices are heard, and
that they are listening to your needs.
We cannot end without acknowledging that the University’s digital
transformation in both process and experience, is due in large part to our ICT,
Multimedia, Marketing and Admissions teams, who not only provide the platform
but also manage the experience and the points of interaction between the different
stakeholders of the University. Our social media presence, the student and
employee experience on our portals, Google Classroom management, and even the
production of our webinars, to name a few, are heavily reliant on their tireless
efforts. Thank you to Michael George Ventanilla, Nelson Guillen, Robert Tomas,
and the rest of your teams.
As you have probably heard, the country’s vaccine rollout is set to begin this
first quarter of 2021 for the medical frontliners. By the government’s estimates,
the other priority groups, including the education sector, will likely be vaccinated
beginning the second and third quarter of this year. True to our values, we will
make it a point to contribute to the government’s efforts in any way that we can so
that we can do our share in ending this pandemic sooner rather than later.
Realistically, we foresee that flexible learning will continue through to the
end of 2021, with some programs, gradually being allowed to resume limited faceto-face classes for specific laboratory and skills-based courses, as well as practicum
subjects. Rest assured that the University will take a cautious approach, without
sacrificing our students’ learning experience.
Moving forward, we remain committed to upgrading our facilities and
preparing them for hybrid learning, which we foresee will be here to stay. The
digital transformation that was started several years ago and accelerated by the
COVID-19, will be further strengthened through our partnerships in the areas of
enterprise resource planning, learning management platforms, cybersecurity, and
other digital educational resource providers.
8

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Forgive me for this lengthy address. You will notice that I have tried to
include all of the units of the University – and I apologize to those I may not have
been able to mention – but this is to emphasize the fact that it has really been a
whole of University response to this once in a lifetime pandemic. While there are
still areas for improvement, we would not be here without the contributions of
each and every one of you; and we will continue to succeed moving forward only
with the cooperation of everyone.
After World War II when the University was nearly burned to the ground,
PWU was able to rise from the ashes because of our founders’ unshakeable
commitment to their mission and the legacy of this institution, that is, to provide
Filipinos with education that would prepare them for a life of continuous learning,
directed towards the holistic development of character, in preparation for career
and professional competence, but with a firm grasp of family values, and oriented
towards a life of leadership and community participation. That is the commitment
that we affirm and that we strive to pass on to our students, the next generation.
And working together, that is the commitment that will allow us to build back
better even in the face of this once in a lifetime pandemic.
Thank you once again and may you all continue to stay safe and healthy!

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

9

Full Research SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR SUCCESSFUL AGING:
Article
A DESIGN CRITERIA FOR BAHAY SIGLA
Ma. Bienvenida T. Candelaria
Philippine Women’s University
School of Fine Arts and Design
Associate Professor
bcandelaria@pwu.edu.ph
ABSTRACT. The study explores various related studies to
classify concepts as evidence-based and apply to a new model
specifically for the needs of the aged. Using a different but
interlarding analytical lens, this study discusses solutions to
spatial problems based on identifying shared preferences of
the elderly in terms of living independently with community
support. Looking into the different evidence-based studies,
a matrix is considered as its instrument to summarize the
highlights, which connect to design solutions for Bahay
Sigla. Following the design-based approach, Bahay Sigla
embodies an overall design solution that answers the
older generation’s needs. Hence floor plans, elevations,
and a perspective drawing have been put forth for possible
pragmatic use of the design.
Keywords: aging in place; intergenerational interaction;
multi-family housing; social capital; successful aging.
Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
INTRODUCTION
Gerontologists can become active advocates for long-term housing options that
emphasize greater integration into local communities. Like any public good,
social capital provision is likely to require coordinated planning and financing, for
example, in the form of subsidies for assisted living developments at the federal,
state, and local levels (Cannuscio, Black, & Kawachi, 2003). The researcher saw
new results where elderly residents can socialize and affiliate with groups outside
their homes. It is significant because the elderly people are not isolated. The related
literature which discusses successful aging through mutual assistance between
10

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

neighbors, and the involvement of local groups (Cannuscio et al., 2003) include
design solutions that this present researcher has applied in the current study.
Factors influencing the wellbeing of the elderly living in the Old Aged Homes
(OAHs) identified through this study include encouraging a sense of independence
and freedom, enabling productive ageing, allowing spiritual fulfillment, establishing
routine, providing basic care and support, being sensitive to their financial and
health concerns, as well as ensuring an elderly-friendly physical environment
(Khoo, 2017). Older people want to be self-governing and fruitful even if they are at
the prime of their life. They need a built environment where they age well. Hence,
a design model which fits their needs should be considered. The researcher of this
present study is currently considering advocacy related to her specialization area,
particularly architecture. An elderly population is a group which the researcher
sees as a priority. The researcher believes that successful aging must have certain
norms.
Green design solutions are visible in most developments, especially for the
elderly. Based on the researcher’s experience when his father died, he preferred
living in a rural area than in the city. The researcher realized that there is more to
just designing pleasing layouts that fit the needs of the elderly. The social aspect
should direct towards successful aging. The researcher saw how her father looked
forward to visiting relatives, thus socializing is significant, especially at the prime
of one’s life. Likewise, many developments are seen around us. Politicians who
belong to the old generation pursue their careers visibly. In this light, it is essential
to accommodate the aging generation in their residence to grow old healthy based
on specific conditions to improve their wellbeing.
In addition, horticultural therapists have long understood the positive
health benefits that gardening brings. It can lower blood pressure, increases brain
activity and leaves us with a heightened sense of well-being (Maguire, 2017).
Tending the garden provides positive vibes on an individual, especially the elderly.
A study by Pouya (2018) discussed the importance of horticulture in terms of
stimulating emotions in people. The researcher saw a connection to garden therapy
for the older generation. Hence, this study’s framework considered the inclusion of
this activity in the aged’s everyday life. The study includes construction materials
such as wood and stone (Nyrud & Bringslimark, 2012). The users of a space prefer
materials that give comfort and calmness. Therefore, this recommendation should
be considered to add to a home-like experience for old people.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

11

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This section consists of six (6) subject areas directed towards creating a conceptual
framework. The topics covered are (1) Moving House and Housing Preferences in
Older Age in Slovenia (2) Ageing in Place in Multi-Family Housing (3) Housing with
Care for Later Life (4) Quality of Life in Assisted Living Homes: A Multidimensional
Analysis (5) The Importance of Horticulture Therapy and Gardening for Older
Adults in Nursing Home and (6) Social Capital and Successful Ageing.
Moving House and Housing Preferences in Older Age in Slovenia
This study looks at the possibility of providing the older generation an environment
that will suit specific groups’ preferences in Slovenia. The researcher wanted to
access studies that answer questions in her mind on attitudes of the elderly in
case they decide to move to another shelter that fits their needs. One option is
sheltered housing equipped with 24-hour institutional assistance nearby, yet
they care for themselves independently (Kerbler 2014). Hrast (2019) mentioned
the assisted living facilities; care retirement communities; shared housing in
the category of semi-dependent living; and rented or owner-occupied housing
architecturally adapted for elderly people for independent living. Hrast study
showed how important it is to live with family members who may be their children,
nephews, nieces, or even grandchildren. To live in an atmosphere that allows only
older people of the same ages to interact is like living in a home or institution
for the elderly. He, therefore, asserted that such a set up contributed to an ideal
atmosphere fit for successful aging.
Aging in Place in Multifamily Housing
This study considers housing setups that can accommodate several families with
different age groups. This study’s main concern is the creation of an environment
for the older generation to provide for their needs such as essential health services,
recreation, and safety. The study looks into the details by categorizing questionnaires
used to gather information in 15 groupings such as operating attitudes and policies;
activities and services; safety and convenience features; and intergenerational
interactions (Prosper, 2004). This study is connected to the researcher’s goal of
enhancing the environment for the elderly through additional facilities such as
increased use of universal design features and architectural elements to extend
residents’ independence and self-management (Prosper, 2004). The commonality
between this related literature and the current study allowed the inclusion of the
features mentioned by Prosper to the proposed retirement dwelling model for use
by older people.
12

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Inclusive Design Close to Home
Newbill’s (2007) study is closest to the current research in terms of layout. Newbill
proposed four types of dwellings for a variety of elderly and disabled individuals
of different characteristics. It also emphasized universal design; transgenerational
design; and barrier-free design and place attachment. Newbill identified aged
groups, especially the baby boomers who are retired or about to retire. Accordingly,
many of them are planning to age-in-place, which is defined as to stay in one’s
current abode rather than relocation.
Housing with Care for Later Life
The report mentioned different housing set models that fit users for later life
(Croucher, Hicks, & Jackson, 2006). The compilation of studies focused on homes
of independent users. It provided evidence-based philosophies which proved
useful for developers aiming to create models for older people. One American study
considered situations such as social integration; the experience of bereavement;
friendship formation; patterns of volunteering, among others (Croucher, Hicks, &
Jackson, 2006). The law enforced for senior citizens in the Philippines is applied
to the ingredient principle. Croucher, Hicks, and Jackson (2006) promoted quality
of life using two ingredients such as (a) design and assessment and (b) allocation.
One may convert a traditional home into one which can be single detached
yet allows a range of social activities and promotes progressive privacy (Croucher,
Hicks, & Jackson, 2006). Therefore, the situation makes an old individual
productive, independent, and progressive in affiliation with lifelong learning
groups. Older people need a positive approach to mental health to maintain a happy
disposition. In the same manner, older people prefer to do their tasks on their own.
Therefore, the study that considers a barrier-free and progressive environment for
older people is needed.
Quality of Life in Assisted Living Homes: A Multidimensional Analysis
This present researcher enrolled in a membership platform called International
Marketing Group, which educates as many families on financial management. The
company developed vital concepts that served as a guide on wealth management.
According to this company’s mentors, long-term healthcare is the solution to a solid
financial foundation. In this regard, the researcher connected this to a situation
that can sustain a person beyond 60 years old. The researcher also ensured that
the long-term health care savings program covered her and her husband’s future.
The vehicle included healthcare, insurance, and investment. It differed from short
term healthcare because the contributions can grow in interest when unused.
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

13

Mitchell (2000) justified that older adults with disabilities are likely to
need long-term health care services due to functional impairments. On the other
hand, Grayson (as cited in Mitchell, 2000) mentioned that seniors in structured
livings may be at risk for lower quality of life than seniors in the community. An
ideal setup is possible for successful aging.

Importance of Horticulture Therapy and Gardening
Older people should experience quality life especially at the prime of their lives.
Pouya (2018) saw the disadvantages of transferring the elderly to an institution
where they experience loneliness. The current condition of a traditional institution
for the aged, according to Pouya, can be upgraded to provide its users quality of life.
This study discusses a design consideration where one can integrate horticulture
therapy (Pouya, 2018) into a nursing home. The current study considered a
design solution that encourages a retired couple’s independence. Furthermore,
a built environment that incorporates horticulture therapy, among other factors
mentioned in the other related literature, is a crucial design solution.
Social Capital and Successful Aging
The related literature on “Social Capital and Successful Aging” is closest to how
the researcher perceived older individuals who want to experience wellness.
Cannuscio, Black, and Kawachi (2003) asserted that elderly individuals will live
longer if they actively participate in activities that will allow them to do voluntary
work that will provide fulfillment in their lives.
In the 21st century, social capital is now taken over by the internet. Social
capital, which involves community engagement, is like the participation of the
elderly in civic meetings which can help make people’s lives better. Furthermore,
a home office provision is one design solution for the aged to participate in civic
groups via the internet actively.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
With all these in mind, there is a need to customize design proposals specific to the
older generation’s needs. This study has been guided by these questions:
1. What contributes to successful aging at Bahay Sigla?
2. What is the need for a design model specific for older people?
3. What architectural model is appropriate for older people?

14

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Through this study, there will be a developed solution to successful aging.
Section 1. Declaration of Policies and Objectives. -Pursuant to Article XV, Sec. 4
of the Constitution states that the family must take care of its elderly members.
Simultaneously, the State may design social security programs for them. In addition
to this, Sec. 10 in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies provides: “The
State shall provide social justice in all phases of national developments (Republic
Act No. 9257, 2003). The law affirmed that citizens must take care of the family’s
older members. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize senior family members’ needs
in the creation of a built environment.
METHODOLOGY
The research paradigm called pragmatism directs towards design-based research
(Patel, 2015). The study aimed for a creative outcome that required production
drawings following a design concept specific for Bahay Sigla. As an architect, the
researcher prioritized specific users who will soon age. Elkjaer and Simpson’s
(2011) study reported how the originators Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead sought
practical solutions to the myriad practical problems that arise in lived human
experience.
A 150 square meter lot located in Binan was an available site for the
proposed project. The house Bahay Sigla has summed up the design concept of
the study. The Bahay Sigla is applied as a person-environment concept mentioned
by Nussbaumer (2015). It embodies all other ideas such as aging in place, social
capital, universal design, biophilic design, transgenerational design, and place
attachment (Newbill, 2007), which can lead to a healing environment.
The researcher went through related studies, thus creating the matrix that
summarized the design criteria for Bahay Sigla aligned with the design model.
The matrix contents evolved from concepts based on excerpts from the related
studies to design solutions directly related to the associated reviews’ inputs. In the
heading, there were six columns which contain a description that shows the title of
five related studies and concepts, namely: person-environment, aging in place with
Intergenerational interaction, Universal Design, Biophilic Design and Functional
Design (Social capital and successful aging thru community engagement using
the internet in a home office). Along the rows at the left side of the matrix, the
researcher provided titles of five related literature to include excerpts from each
related study, which led to design solutions confirmed from inputs of authors of
each related research.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

15

In the first related study on person-environment theory, the researcher
emphasized the importance of a built environment fit for older people. It is
essential to create a layout that will provide comfort for older people as their
capacity decreases with time. The concept allows an old individual to adapt to the
surroundings explicitly created for them. The second related study discussed the
concept of “aging in place” (Prosper, 2004). The researcher of this study emphasized
an alternative to institutional care. With the advent of the internet, communication
was available from neighbors who assist the needs of 31 homeowners when needed.
Food deliveries were at hand, especially when homeowners connect through
available links for their convenience.
The third related study capitalized on universal design as a user-friendly
approach (Newbill, 2007). Health, safety, and welfare of the users are essential
so that the elderly will experience a quality life. Provisions under universal design
provide convenience for the elderly in terms of comfort. Specified devices and
mechanisms in all homes were taken into consideration by designers. The fourth
related literature promoted mental, social, and cognitive (Pouya, 2018) wellness
for the aged. The occupants of Bahay Sigla should experience therapeutic activities
to add to their physical, mental, and spiritual fitness.
Lastly, the related study provided an alternative to health solutions,
specific medication. Older people need to participate in voluntary activities via
internet connectivity actively. A home office with an altar served as a meditation
area, production area, and communication area for outreach activities. In this way,
social capital allows older people to experience activities that provide fulfillment
in their daily lives. The concepts derived from the related literature and evidencebased theories by Nussbaumer (2015) summarized the model that fits an abode for
older people as illustrated in Figure 1.

16

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Figure 1. The conceptual flow of the design
RESULTS
The study seeks to create an architectural model specific to older people. The
proposed structure is a built environment fit for the aged’s needs.
RQ1. Design Approaches that Contribute to Successful Aging
The researcher saw a common factor where living independently can still be
considered based on the condition of older people. The researcher realized that a
common factor such as independent living is preferred by older people. The result
in the related study by Hrast (2009) saw a positive attitude of elders who preferred
living in a multigenerational residential building. The consideration for a living
environment consisting of the aged and the youth is suitable with the assumption
of expecting motivating activities in the space users’ everyday life. Older people
feel motivated when they interact with the youth every day.
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

17

This condition was witnessed by the researcher when she visited relatives
in Antipolo City, Philippines. Three elderly aunties ages 84 and above transferred
to a residence that accommodated several families. Older people are assisted
with the presence of the grandchildren. The current study considered the most
acceptable condition chosen by Hrast’s study respondents to complete a current
study framework.
The results in Prosper’s (2004) study showed that environmental elements
affect the well-being of elderly tenants and their ability to successfully age in
place. Among the four groups named concerning the gathering of information in
Prosper’s study, “activities and services” was highly considered by the respondents
who participated in a 130-item survey on different areas which help the older
generation age successfully. “Safety and convenience features” ranked next.
“Intergenerational interactions” came next in the results which showed that older
people age well. In this connection, the current study’s conceptual framework
should consider the factors mentioned above.
A professional interior designer should enhance interior spaces’ function
and quality to improve the quality of life, increase productivity, and protect the
public’s health, safety, and welfare. Designers have the responsibility of addressing
the needs of users. Safety design features which comply with universal design
should be adapted for the users.
An ideal set up for older people considers the social aspect, which allows
designers to create an environment that leads to a healthier outcome for the elderly.
Designers should create healthy environments which will allow older people to
socialize. The researcher realized the significance of this report because of results
derived from evidence that mentioned “ingredients like principles, design, care,
and leisure” (Riseborough & Fletcher, 2003, p. 3). A planned concept that will
provide a quality life for the aged is essential. The three ingredients mentioned
by Riseborough et al. should not ignore leisure aside from principles, design, and
care.
Quality of life (QOL) may refer to objective indicators such as income,
education, marital status, and health condition, and subjective indicators such
as well-being, happiness, and satisfaction (Mitchell, 2000). An ideal layout
appropriate for the elderly who needs to maintain a happy disposition is the current
study’s goal. The goal of the current study is to create an ideal layout appropriate
for older people. QOL is a common factor between this related literature and the
present study.

18

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Independent living helps promote well-being of older people. One solution
mentioned about the use of common spaces is a significant contribution to
increasing social interaction. The beauty of the garden promotes self-reflection
and cognitive prowess (Pouya, 2018). An individual who gets motivated by the
built environment created specifically for his/her needs leads to a positive outlook
in life.
Long-term financing is significant for older people in order that future
expenses are covered. They should experience engagement with the community,
whether it is a church activity or a related one. On the one hand, it is not advisable
to isolate an old individual; thus, a long-term plan in terms of financing and a
design layout that fits their needs provides a positive outlook for them.
Bahay Sigla is an abode that answers the needs of older people. Design
concepts such as person-environment (Nussbaumer, 2015), aging in place (Prosper,
2004), universal design (Republic Act No. 10366, 2013), biophilic design (Pouya,
2018), and functional design and place attachment (Nussbaumer, 2015) contribute
to the successful aging of the occupants. Most of all, social capital (Cannuscio et al.,
2003) dramatically contributes to the welfare of older people, considering that it
will not isolate the individual from connecting with the community.
RQ2. Need for an Architectural Model for the Aged
The term Bahay Sigla is where different concepts are intertwined and lead to an
explicit outcome, specifically a dwelling for older people. Therefore, the current
study showed a list of design criteria that answered the older population’s several
needs. Increasing frailties among aging adults suggested that the environment
plays a greater role in supporting independence in the face of declining abilities
and is, therefore, a good target for interventions (Iwarsson, 2005). The current
study considered all factors mentioned in the conceptual framework. The model
created for this study justified the aged’s needs in the proposed layout of Bahay
Sigla.
RQ3. Architectural Model: A Proposal
The floor plans show space allocations that align with the related studies’ concepts.
The proximity of every space answers the needs of the elderly. A detached house
with a home office allows the users to move independently. The home office, which
provides access to the outside world via an internet connection, does not isolate
the users from interacting with a community of acquaintances. The view of the
garden offers a healing atmosphere for the elderly. Safety features within spaces
like kitchen area and the toilet and bath as well as color preferences for the interior
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

19

space that fit older people addressed the rulings on “universal design” (Republic
Act No. 10366, 2013). The second and third-floor levels accommodate the younger
siblings to assist older people when the need arises.
Figure 1. Proposed Floor Plan of Ground, Second and Third Floor

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

20

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

SECOND FLOOR PLAN

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

21

FRONT ELEVATION PLAN

Figure 8
Perspective of Bahay Sigla
22

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Proposed Perspective
The design solution shown above aligned with the suggested concepts mentioned
in the related studies. The ground floor plan shown above comprises a garage,
living room, dining room, home office, master’s bedroom, kitchen, maid’s room,
laundry area, service kitchen, vegetable gardens, and gardens with decorative
plants. The car garage that accommodated two cars can convert to an activity
area for entertainment purposes like family reunions or children’s parties. Social
activities such as these allow older people to experience blissful moments with the
family that leads to wellness. The living room opened to a garden view, with a wallmounted television to complete a leisurely and therapeutic experience.
The dining area’s location is next to the kitchen and the home office. The
dining table can serve as a conference table when office activities call for the
situation. The home office also served as a prayer room. The master’s bedroom
had its toilet and bath, and it had access to the gardens at the rear and the side.
The bathroom and bath are provided with grab rails both in the shower area send
the water closet to ensure the users’ safety. The laundry area, which is next to the
maid’s room, is private to avoid eyesores. Shelves are situated at the rear and next
to the garage to answer the storage needs for carpentry, car accessories, garden
tools, and the like. It answers the functional requirements of older people.
There is the provision of the proposed second and third-level floor plans to
house the younger siblings and their families privately, utilizing a studio-type setup.
An intergenerational (Nussbaumer, 2015) interaction is a healthy way of providing
older people a happy disposition based on related studies. The researcher opted
to specify lever-type handles for doorknobs, luminous light switches, warm lights,
and neutral colors for Bahay sigla’s interiors. The non-skid floor finish is assigned
to prioritize safety for the elderly. The cabinets have safety features for ease of use
regarding anthropometric requirements.
CONCLUSION
The study focuses on a goal for successful aging to create a built environment that
allows the users to live a healthy life. The current study model is suitable for the
proposed layout of Bahay Sigla. Creating an architectural model for older people
is relevant because the law, specifically RA 10366, seeks comfort for them. As
designers, there is a responsibility to comply with what the required law. Besides
the law, there should be a residence for older people to help them experience
something worthwhile, especially at the prime of their lives.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

23

The proposed layout applied design concepts that justify the use of various
design solutions for all Bahay Sigla areas. Most importantly, the design process
considered explicit factors where convenience is experienced by older people in the
allocated spaces. The design solutions contributed to their physical well-being and
included the desire to help enhance their mental well-being. The proposed layout
is considered a detached dwelling place for the retired couple and a multi-story
abode for two families. The allocation of spaces for two to three families answers
the need for proper interaction of older people with younger siblings who act as
caregivers aiming for a healthy lifestyle.
The study limits its scope on design issues for older people, specifically
factors that lead to successful aging. Because the researcher is an architect by
profession, she would like to pursue a design concept for retirees’ residence.
The study limits its coverage for a proposed residential design that fits the older
generation’s needs 60 years and above. The researcher conceptualized an existing
lot available for Binan, Laguna, Philippines. A conceptual framework that provided
the design solution for a couple to retire can apply to other venues or developments.
The layout provided older people with an environment adapted to their needs
in the 21st century. The proposed framework suits a single detached layout that
embeds the current study’s model’s context.
The study is significant for designers, mainly because there is a need to
consider design solutions that best fit specific users. There is a need for a humancentered design that addresses each requirement to provide comfort to the space
users. In this case, the researcher prioritized the design requirements of older
people to provide them with utmost convenience for successful aging.
The researcher recommends that the current study model is suited to the
older population. This architectural model will allow older people to experience
quality living directed towards successful aging. Designers can develop modular
designs using the Bahay Sigla framework. In this way, there can be various models
using the same framework in different options. The options can go around different
situations in terms of budget, lot size, and others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ar. Ma. Bienvenida T. Candelaria finished her Master’s in Interior Design at the
College of Home Economics, UP Diliman. She is Associate Professor 2 at the
PWU-School of Fine Arts and Design, teaching the architectural subject to Interior
Design students. She wrote unpublished studies on board examination results,
Work Integrated Learning, CAD modules, and others.
24

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

REFERENCES
Cannuscio, C., Black, J., & Kawachi, I. (2003). Social capital and successful aging:
The role of senior housing. Annals of Internal Medicine, 1-7. doi: 10.7326/00034819-139-5_part_2-200309021-00003
Croucher, K., Hicks, L., & Jackson, K. (2006). Housing with care for later life.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Elkjaer, B., & Simpson, B. (2011). Pragmatism: A lived and living philosophy.
What can it offer to contemporary organization theory? In H. Tsoukas & R.
Chia (Eds.), Philosophy and organization theory (Research in the Sociology
of Organizations, Vol. 32 (pp. 55-84). Emerald Group Publishing Limited,
Bingley (pp. 55-84). https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2011)0000032005
Hrast, M. F. (2019). Moving house and housing preferences in older age in Slovenia.
Housing, Theory, and Society. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.108
0/14036096.2018.1510854
Iwarsson, S. (2005). A long-term perspective on person-environment fit and ADL
dependence among older Swedish adults. National Library of Medicine
Kerbler, B. (2014). Housing for the elderly in Slovenia: Analysis of the most
common forms. Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management,
Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest,
Romania, 9(2), 87-103.
Khoo, K.C-A. (2017). Factors influencing the wellbeing of elderly living in old
age homes. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320623819_Factors_
Influencing_the_Wellbeing_of_Elderly_Living_in_Old_Age_Homes
Maguire, K. (2017). Big ideas small spaces creative ideas and 30 projects
for Balconies, Roof Gardens, Windowsills, and Terraces. London: Royal
Horticultural Society.
Mitchell, J. M. (2000). Quality of life in assisted living homes: A multidimensional
analysis. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 117-127. https://
academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/55/2/P117/578705
Newbill, T. (2007). Inclusive design close to home: Residential accessible
dwellings for aging in place. Florida State University Libraries Electronic
Theses, Treatises and Dissertations.
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

25

Nussbaumer, L.L. (2015). Evidence-based design for interior designers. Fairchild
Books.
Nyrud, A., Bringslimark, T., & Englund, F. (2011). Wood use in a hospital
environment: VOC emissions and air quality. European Journal of Wood
Products, 70, 541–543.
Patel, S. (2015, July 15). The research paradigm – methodology, epistemology, and
ontology – explained in simple language. Retrieved from http://salmapatel.
co.uk/academia/the-research-paradigm-methodology
Pouya, S. (2018). The importance of horticulture therapy and gardening for older
adults in nursing home. 164-184. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/
article-file/653492
Prosper, V. (2004). Aging in place in multifamily housing. Cityscape: A Journal
of Policy Development and Research, 7(1), 81-106.
Republic Act No. 10366. (2013, February 15). Retrieved from http://www.
officialgazette.gov.ph/2013/02/15/republic-act-no-10366/
Republic Act No. 9257. (2003, July 28). Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.
gov.ph/2004/02/06/republic-act-no-9257
Riseborough, M., & Fletcher, P. (2003). Extra care housing: What is it? https://
www.housinglin.org.uk/_assets/Resources/Housing/Housing_advice/
Extra_Care_Housing_What_is_it.pdf

26

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Short Research MICRO-PRACTICES OF MULTICULTURAL
Article
EDUCATION IN ONLINE CLASSES AT PWU
DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Mitos Sheila M. Yun
Philippine Women’s University
School of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor
mmyun@pwu.edu.ph
ABSTRACT. Multicultural education is hastened by
the growing cases of local and international educational
exchange, interaction and teaching-learning processes.
While there are already studies of multicultural education,
no studies have evaluated the status of multicultural
education during the current COVID-19 pandemic, thus
this study. This study specifically tried to determine
the level of micro-classroom practices of multicultural
education of university professors during the pandemic for
school year 2020-2021 in a local university in Manila. As a
quantitative study, the paper employed Banks and Banks’
(1993) dimensions of multicultural education to ascertain
how the professors employed a multicultural education in
an online modality during the pandemic. The dimensions
include content integration, knowledge construction,
prejudice reduction, and equity pedagogy. Results show
that all of these dimensions were rated as excellent.
The results are indicative of the professors’ attempt to
maintain the multicultural practices even in online classes
brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The results
also demonstrate that the type of channel in the teachinglearning process may not affect the professors’ goals in
practicing multiculturalism in their classrooms. Limitations
of the study and the implications of the present results of
this small-scale quantitative study are offered toward the
end.
Keywords: higher education institutions, internalization,
multiculturalism, multicultural education, pandemic,
COVID-19.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

27

Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
INTRODUCTION
Multicultural education is growing both in local and international educational
spheres. The reason for this vibrant multiculturalism can be attributed to a
number of general factors such as but not limited to cultural, ethnic, religious, and
other socioeconomic conditions of the society (Manning & Baruth, 2000; Salili &
Hossain, 2001). Specifically, these factors include citizenship and migration (Chen,
Wang & Zhou, 2017; Chetty, 2018; Ho, 2017; Layne, Dervin, & Longfor 2018;
Salili & Hossain, 2001), religion (Allan & Miller, 2005), special education (Allan
& Miller, 2005; Sleeter & Grant, 1994; Seo, Oakland, Han, & Hu, 1992), diaspora
(Bekerman & Kopelowitz, 2008), globalization, democratization movements (Çelik,
Gümüş, & Gür, 2017), international marriages (Okubo, 2017), anti-Semitism and
Islamophobia (McKinney, 2018), marginalization (Farini, 2018), among others.
In the Philippines alone, there are 350,000 recorded students with special needs
in school 2015-2016. In short, the world has become more and more diverse, thus
the need to reconfigure the schools and teachers’ practices accordingly to fit in the
multicultural way.
Multicultural education is an “educational approach that deals with the
social and cultural diversity that exists within individual countries” (Cha, Ham,
& Yang, 2017, p. 11). Gollnick and Chinn (2017) maintain that it is important to
examine and apply the concepts of culture, diversity, equality, social justice, and
democracy into schools, as these are the first step in achieving a multicultural
classroom. There should be a “heightened sense of cultural diversity and common
humanity” (Cha, Ham, & Yang, 2017, p. 19) inside the classroom. Put simply,
multicultural education is relative to providing an inclusive education and providing
the students social justice and equity in the words by Cha, Gundara, Ham, and Lee
(2017). When achieved, it can result in a “culturally sensitive pedagogy that values
student experience as a learning resource and highlights the ways in which our
experiences and histories are connected, thereby helping to develop a shared sense
of belonging and promote cohesion” (Chetty, 2018, p. 33).
To date, there are many educational institutions that adopt multicultural
education such as Singapore. According to Ho (2017), in Singapore, the primary
goal of multicultural education is largely focused on “membership of a community
and decision-making based on compromise and consensus” (p. 98). Other countries
that apply the concepts of multicultural education include South Korea, as reflected
in the revision of their textbooks to fit the multicultural way. In Japan, there is
a concept of tabunka kyōsei as a state-sponsored notion of multiculturalism to
28

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

accommodate foreigners into the Japanese society. In the Philippines, Munalim
(2019) reports that the cases of multicultural education are demonstrated based
on the use of multilingual policies through a mother-tongue based instruction;
contextualization, localization, and indigenization in the K-12 curriculum, including
the recognition of LGBTQA+ rights movement, the institutionalization of Special
Education programs in 1997 through Department Order 26; growing conversion of
schools from all girls/boys exclusivity to co-educational; and the use of Philippine
Englishes in the classroom (cf. Munalim, 2019; Munalim & Lintao, 2016). In 2018
alone the Bureau of Immigration (2018) reported that these nationalities topped
the list, which seek education in the Philippines: Korean (11, 909), Japanese
(3,548), Indian (1,449), Indonesian (877), Chinese (818), Taiwanese (510), and
American (354).
With the current health crisis precipitated by COVID-19 pandemic, local
and international schools have migrated to online teaching-learning. Thus, there is
a need to determine whether or not multicultural education is still upheld in online
classes, given the challenges and limitations of online and distance education. Thus,
this present simple study is a good start to determine how the faculty members
in the tertiary level embed in their online classroom practices the multicultural
education way.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This present study sets out to analyze the professors’ micro-classroom practices of
multicultural education in the delivery of online classes during the pandemic. It
sought an answer to this sole research question: What is the level of the professor’s
micro practices in terms of content integration, knowledge construction, equity
pedagogy and prejudice reduction?
ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK
To achieve the purpose of this small-scale study, Banks and Banks’s (1993) model
of multicultural education was used. In the model, there are five dimensions of
a multicultural education such as content integration, knowledge construction,
equity pedagogy, prejudice reduction, and strengthening school culture. For this
present study, the last dimension was excluded as it is not intended to measure
the professors’ practices of multicultural education. Banks and Banks (1993)
delineated that:
Content integration deals with the extent to which teachers use examples
and content from a variety of cultures in their teaching. Knowledge
construction is achieved when teachers need to help students understand,
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

29

investigate, and determine how the implicit cultural assumptions, frames
of reference, perspectives, and biases within a discipline influence the
ways in which knowledge is constructed. Equity in pedagogy exists when
the teachers modify their teaching in ways that will facilitate the academic
achievement of students from diverse racial, cultural, gender, and socialclass groups. Prejudice reduction dimension focuses on the characteristics
of students’ racial attitudes and how they can be modified by teaching
methods and materials. Lastly, for an empowering school culture and
social structure, the school is characterized with grouping and labeling
practices, sports participation, disproportionality in achievement, and the
interaction of the staff and the students across ethnic and racial lines. (p. 5)
METHODOLOGY
This study is quantitative in nature to examine what classroom multicultural
practices that the professors employ during the pandemic (cf. Creswell, 2009).
The respondents were 33 first year university students enrolled this first trimester
of academic year 2020-2021 in a local university. They have an average age of
18. They were enrolled in two different courses such as Medical Technology and
Tourism. Their profile was collected but was not treated in this study.
This study made use of Munalim’s (2019) questionnaire, which has been
designed based on the dimensions of Banks and Banks’s (1993) multicultural
education. Although their model of multicultural education has been since 1993,
no questionnaire except for Munalim’s questionnaire was designed. In this
questionnaire, each dimension is composed of 5 statements, a total of 20 statements
for four dimensions. For this present study, the last dimension on the “school
culture” was excluded. Following Munalim’s SCOPUS paper, all statements have
a five-point Likert scale of 5- Excellent; 4- Above Average; 3-Average; 2-Below
Average; and 1-Extremely Poor.
Due to the physical absence which is precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic,
the data were gathered online, through the Google Form. The students were sent
the link to the Form, and were asked to respond to the statements accordingly.
After two days, the results were complete. Only 33 students out of 35 responded
before the deadline. The quantitative data was subject to a descriptive analysis
such as frequency and percentage. The levels of micro classroom practices were
rated based on mean scores, with the following interval: 4.21 to 5.00 – Excellent;
3.41 to 4.20- Above Average; 2.61 to 3.40 – Average; 1.81 to 2.60 – Below Average;
and 1.00 to 1.80 – Extremely Poor. On the one hand, descriptive statistics such as
mean score was sought to see the levels of practices. Inferential statistics were not
sought, and will be left for future studies.
30

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
RQ 1: Level of Micro Classroom Practices of Multicultural Education
in Terms of Content Integration, Knowledge Construction, Equity
Pedagogy, and Prejudice Reduction During the Pandemic
University professors’ practices in the classrooms related to multicultural education
during the pandemic such as content integration, knowledge construction, equity
pedagogy, and prejudice reduction turned out to be all Excellent. Table 1 shows
that Knowledge Construction (4.18) bested the other domains of multicultural
education. It is followed by Prejudice Reduction (4.02), Equity Pedagogy (3.79),
and Content Integration (3.72). By and large, the overall performance of the
professors during the pandemic is impressive even though they are struggling with
the limitations of online and distance education.
Dimensions of Multicultural
Education

Mean Score

Interpretation

Knowledge Construction

4.18

Excellent

Prejudice Reduction

4.02

Excellent

Equity Pedagogy

3.79

Excellent

Content Integration

3.72

Excellent

Table 1. Levels of Multicultural Education at a Local University During the Pandemic

Comparing these results with the study of Munalim (2019) before the
pandemic, it turns out that there is one dimension of multicultural education that
was rated as “Above Average” by the different groups of respondents. From this
comparison, multicultural education is further enhanced and observed during
the pandemic even if there is an absence of physical interaction. Although there
were different groups of respondents and the professors being rated for these two
studies, the results still are an indication that multicultural education is practised
in an online modality.
Dimensions of
Multicultural Education

Before Pandemic
(Munalim, 2019)
Mean Score

Interpretation

This Study During the
Pandemic (Yun, 2020)
Mean Score

Interpretation

Knowledge Construction

4.18

Above Average

4.18

Excellent

Prejudice Reduction

4.26

Excellent

4.02

Excellent

Equity Pedagogy

4.35

Excellent

3.79

Excellent

Content Integration

4.27

Excellent

3.72

Excellent

Table 2. Comparison of the Levels of Multicultural Education Before and During the Pandemic
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

31

Knowledge Construction. According to Banks and Banks (1993),
Knowledge Construction is achieved when teachers need to help students
understand, investigate, and determine how the implicit cultural assumptions,
frames of reference, perspectives, and biases within a discipline influence the
ways in which knowledge is constructed. The results show that knowledge
construction is the top domain. Under this dimension, English professors allow
the class to question, compare, contrast, and classify the assumptions, biases, and
other cultural misconceptions (Munalim, 2019). “School curriculum is constantly
influenced by institutional dynamics of the wider environment in which general
models of curricular formations are constituted and elaborate globally” (Cha &
Ham, 2017, p. 44).
Equity Pedagogy. Equity Pedagogy ranks second. Banks and Banks (1993)
believe that equity in pedagogy exists when the teachers modify their teaching in
ways that will facilitate the academic achievement of students from diverse racial,
cultural, gender, and social-class groups. In this present study, equity pedagogy
is rated excellent. It means that the professors allow the students of different
backgrounds to achieve better in academics by “confronting and fighting racism,
sexism, and other discrimination in schools and society. They develop strategies to
recognize their own biases and overcome them” (Gollnick & Chinn, 2017, p. 276).
Prejudice Reduction. Prejudice Reduction is also rated excellent.
Prejudice Reduction dimension focuses on the characteristics of students’ racial
attitudes and how they can be modified by teaching methods and materials,
according to Banks and Banks (1993). The professors were able to use foreign
students and other students of different backgrounds as primary informants of
cultural similarities and differences. They also use different materials that can
promote cross-cultural information and communication. In short, the professors
were inclusive of the different students of different backgrounds within the
dominant Filipino and Manila-centric culture.
Content Integration. This dimension is also rated as excellent. Content
integration is achieved when teachers “use examples and content from a variety of
cultures in their teaching” (Banks & Banks, 1993, p. 5, as cited in Munalim, 2019).
In this study, this is achieved at an excellent level. The professors were able to ask
the students of different backgrounds to share with the class their rich cultures,
religious practices, etc.

DISCUSSION
With the limitations of online classes, the professors were able to observe
multicultural education practices in their respective classes online. The results
32

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

look promising. It means that the teachers are capable of providing multicultural
education even with the physical absence. It means that regardless of the modality
of education, the professors’ goal in observing multicultural education is not
affected by the channel of communication. In fact, in this study it turned out
that multicultural education practices in an online modality is better than that of
face-to-face interactions. The results are indicative of the professors’ attempt to
“provide the students with cultural and ethnic alternatives” (Banks, 1999, p. 2) in
an online modality.
It should be noted that “the role of the international shaping the national
is evident in the twentieth century” (Ramirez, Bromkey, & Russell, 2017, p. 24 as
cited in Munalim, 2019). With the results, it is clear that the professors in this local
university are much more ready to further revitalize multicultural education when
they go back to their respective face-to-face classes. The professors can provide
the students and the school’s stakeholders better sensitivity to local and global
cultures (Cha, Ham, & Yang, 2017) in this ever-changing and diverse society, even
during the health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the results
are indicative of the fact that the professors have “redefined and strengthened the
global perspective and learning experiences of the students on college campuses”
(Roxas, Dade, & Rios, 2017, p. 201).
CONCLUSION
For this present study, the professors in a local university have demonstrated
excellent practices of multicultural education. In fact, the practices of multicultural
education during the pandemic in online classes are better than the practices
of multicultural education in a face-to-face set-up. Put simply, the channel of
teaching-learning process does not affect the practices of multiculturalism, but can
further trigger these practices due to the absence of physical interaction.
It is understood that the present study has a number of limitations given
that this is only small-scale. Also, inferential statistics were not sought. These
limitations are all acknowledged, and should be addressed in future studies.
However, at the same time, the results show that the present study can be expanded
into a better study. The results here are rather insightful in its own right.
The results presented here have implications for any educational endeavor.
Policy makers, professors, students and all of the stakeholders in the Philippines
should spend time having dialogues in order to better discuss the strengths,
challenges and weaknesses that the online classes will continue to give in the
educational institutions, especially in the practice of multicultural education. This
is important because regardless of the channel of the teaching-learning process,
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

33

education and its practices should remain multicultural. “Multiculturalism is both
constraining and enabling/empowering to people, social actors, in a particular
time/space” (Okubo, 2017, p. 136), thus should be upheld even in online classes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitos Sheila Mahilum-Yun is Assistant Professor at PWU–School of Arts and
Sciences. She is a PhD candidate in Educational Management from PWU–School
of Education, where she also finished her MA. She is a licensed teacher. She took
CTP-Bachelor of Secondary Education at West Negros University. She speaks
Korean and taught English in South Korea for many years. Her research interests
include educational management and multiculturalism. Researchgate: https://
www.researchgate.net/profile/Mitos-Sheila-Yun
REFERENCES
Allan, K.K., & Miller, M.S. (2005). Literacy and learning in the content areas:
Strategies for middle and secondary school teachers (2nd ed.). Boston:
Houghton Mifflin.
Banks, J.A. (1999). An introduction to multicultural education (2nd ed.). Boston:
Allyn and Bacon.
Banks, J. A. (2006). Cultural diversity and education: Foundations, curriculum,
and teaching (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon Pearson.
Banks, J.A., & Banks, C.A. (Eds.) (1993). Multicultural education: Issues and
perspectives (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Bekerman, Z., & Kopelowitz, E. (Eds.). (2008). Cultural education-cultural
sustainability: Minority, diaspora, indigenous and ethno-religious groups in
multicultural societies. London: Routledge.
Bureau of Immigration. (2018, August 10). Statistics of foreign students in the
Philippines.
Cha, Y-K., Gundara, J., Ham, S-H., & Lee, M. (2017). Introduction. (2017). In Y.K.
Cha, J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.), Multicultural education in global
perspectives: Policy and institutionalization (pp. 1-7). Springer.

34

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Cha, Y-K., & Ham, S-H. (2017). Educating supranational citizens: The rise of English
in curricular policies. In Y.K. Cha, J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.),
Multicultural education in global perspectives: Policy and institutionalization
(pp. 41-60). Springer.
Cha, Y-K., Ham, S-H., & Yang, K-E. (2017). Multicultural education policy in the
global institutional context. In Y.K. Cha, J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.),
Multicultural education in global perspectives: Policy and institutionalization
(pp. 11-21). Springer.
Cha, Y-K., Ham, S-H., Ku, J., & Lee, M. (2017). Multicultural policy and
ethnolinguistic minority learners’ academic engagement. In Y.K. Cha, J.
Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.), Multicultural education in global
perspectives: Policy and institutionalization (pp. 169-181). Springer.
Chen, J., Wang, D., & Zhou, Y. (2017). Education for population control: Migrant
children’s education under new policies in Beijing. In Y.K. Cha, J. Gundara,
S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.), Multicultural education in global perspectives:
Policy and institutionalization (pp. 153-166). Springer.
Chetty, D. (2018). Using diversity to advance multicultural dialogues in higher
education. In R. Race (Ed.), Advancing multicultural dialogues in education
(pp. 33-52). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed
methods approaches (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
Farini, F. (2018). School activism: The meanings of political participation of
young migrants in Italian schools. In R. Race (Ed.), Advancing multicultural
dialogues in education (pp. 87-105). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gollnick, D.M., & Chinn, P.C. (2017). Multicultural education in a pluralistic
society (10th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Ho, L-C. (2017). Harmony and multicultural education in Singapore. In Y.K. Cha,
J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.), Multicultural education in global
perspectives: Policy and institutionalization (pp. 91-101). Springer.
Layne, H., Dervin, F., & Longfor, R.J. (2018). Success and multiculturalism in
Finnish schools. In R. Race (Ed.), Advancing multicultural dialogues in
education (pp. 159-176). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

35

Manning, M.L., & Baruth, L.G. (2000). Multicultural education of children and
adolescents (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
McKinney, S.J. (2018). The need for dialogue in the strategies to combat antiSemitism and Islamophobia in contemporary Scotland. In R. Race (Ed.),
Advancing multicultural dialogues in education (pp. 177-194). London:
Palgrave Macmillan.
Munalim, L.O. (2019). Micro and macro practices of multicultural education in a
Philippine University: Is it global integration ready? The Asia-Pacific Education
Researcher, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40299-019-00497-7.
Munalim, L.O. (2019). Subject-auxiliary inversion in embedded questions in
spoken professional discourses: A comparison of Philippine English between
1999 and 2016-2019. Journal of English as an International Language, 14(1),
40-57.
Munalim, L.O., & Lintao, R.B. (2016). Metadiscourse in book prefaces of Filipino
and English authors: A contrastive rhetoric study. i-manager’s Journal on
English Language Teaching, 6(1), 36-50.
Okubo, Y. (2017). Multicultural practice for cultural heterogeneity and national
cultural homogeneity: Immigrant youth’s experience in Osaka, Japan. In Y.K.
Cha, J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.), Multicultural education in global
perspectives: Policy and institutionalization (pp. 135-151). Springer.
Ramirez, F.O., Bromkey, P., & Russell, S.G. (2017). The valorization of humanity
and diversity. In Y.K. Cha, J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.), Multicultural
education in global perspectives: Policy and institutionalization (pp. 23-40).
Springer.
Roxas, K., Dade, K.B.M., & Rios, F. (2017). Institutionalizing internationalization
within a college of education: Toward a more critical multicultural and glocal
education perspective. In Y.K. Cha, J. Gundara, S-H. Ham & M. Lee (Eds.),
Multicultural education in global perspectives: Policy and institutionalization
(pp. 201-). Springer.
Salili, F., & Hossain, R. (Eds.) (2001). Multicultural education: Issues, policies,
and practices. Connecticut: Information Age.

36

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Seo, G., Oakland, T., Jan, H-S., & Hu, S. (1992). Special education in South Korea.
Exceptional Children, 58, 213-218.
Sleeter, C.E., & Grant, C.A. (1994). Making choices for multicultural education:
Five approaches to race, class, and gender (2nd ed.) New York: Macmillan
Publishing.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This is a term paper submitted to Dr. Layla Padolina of the PWU School of
Education as a course requirement.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

37

Critical Essay

INTERNATIONALIZATION OF HIGHER
EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES:
A STRUCTURATION THEORETICAL
APPROACH
Raul Guillermo B. Chebat
Philippine Women’s University
School of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor
rgbchebat@pwu.edu.ph
ABSTRACT. Higher education has become “more
international,” and has experienced many transformations.
There are a multitude of aspects that make higher education
more international such as the diversity of international
students studying in the country and research collaboration
with academics from different countries, to name a
few. The main objective of this study is to analyze the
internationalization of higher education in the Philippines
through the lens of Giddens’ Structuration Theory — one of
the more contemporary sociological theories. This research
will also explain the internationalization of higher education
from other developing countries that may be able to suggest
policies for educational institutions in the Philippines; this
can further shape the educational landscape of the country in
terms of being more international. This study therefore has
the potential of enhancing our sociological understanding
concerning developments in the rapid development of
international networks in higher education.
Keywords: internationalization of higher education;
international students; Philippines; Structuration theory.

Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
INTRODUCTION
Higher education has become more international, particularly in recent years.
It has experienced many transformations (Komotar, 2018). During the last two
decades, universities worldwide have been experiencing increased pressure from
38

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

the external environments because of globalization (Cinches et al., 2016). These
external environments include the interplay of culture, politics, and economics
of nations. In addition, virtually all institutions of higher education, public and
private, are evolving into global actors, following a trend found in many other
industries (Naidoo, 2006). Since Naidoo’s observation was fourteen years ago, one
could only surmise the evolution of higher education to be more international in
nature. Thus, in response to an expanding global village, colleges and universities
find ways in which to be more international, as internationalization of education
includes the internationalization of students, teachers, and research projects
(Currie et al., 2014).
The influence of globalization and internationalization on the character
and behavior of higher education institutions has become a key theme in academic
research (Enders, 2004). While globalization and internationalization are two
similar terms, both have their own definitions as the terms can get confusing within
higher education. Globalization emphasizes worldwide conditions that influence
perceptions of space, mobility of actions, and the nature of communication;
internationalization focuses attention on the intentional actions of individuals,
groups, and social institutions as they actively seek to cross national borders in
pursuit of social, economic, political, or cultural benefits (Mitchell & Nielsen,
2012).
Knight (1999) argues that globalization can be thought of as the catalyst
while internationalization is the response, albeit a response in a proactive way.
Internationalization can be thought of as a leading variable, encouraging and
facilitating globalization (Nielsen, 2011). Therefore, while these two concepts
have distinct definitions, internationalization can be explained as the result of
globalization. This article will concentrate more on internationalization rather
than globalization of higher education in the Philippines, but will also consider the
relationship between globalization and internationalization.
This paper will analyze the internationalization of higher education in the
Philippines through the lens of Anthony Giddens’ Structuration Theory, which
is one of the more contemporary sociological theories. Moreover, this study will
also explain the internationalization of higher education from other developing
countries that may be able to suggest policies for educational institutions in the
Philippines.
Rationales for Internationalization of Higher Education
Colleges and universities worldwide engage in various international initiatives
in response to the growing globalized village and have launched into several
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

39

approaches to become global educational institutions (Cinches et al., 2016).
Research collaboration, international internships, and the influx of international
students and academics are some of the activities and programs that universities
have been doing for years already. But the question is why? What are the reasons
that these have been practiced at institutions around the world? Why exert too
much effort in collaborations, some of which may be costly for the students,
especially some international internships (at the students’ expense)?
In its broadest sense, internationalization of higher education involves the
integration of international and intercultural dimensions to higher educational
institutions’ (HEIs’) purpose, functions, and/or delivery (Knight, 2003). It involves
a process of interchange of higher education between nations, between national
systems of higher education, and between institutions of higher education (Knight
& de Wit, 1997). A comprehensive definition of internationalization of higher
education is that it is the process of integrating an international, intercultural,
or global dimension into the purpose, functions, and delivery of post-secondary
education (Knight, 2008). These are broad definitions of internationalization and
they are expected to be broad, since being international of a college or university
concerns various aspects such as teaching and research.
One main purpose of internationalization of higher education is to produce
graduates who have the ability to be an active part in a globalized society, able to
communicate effectively in terms of linguistic, technological skills, and skills to
deal with different institutions and cultures, and are internationally competitive
(International Labor Organization, 2007). These skills are not only practical, but
essential in today’s society. University graduates will therefore be able to compete
in national, regional, and international labor markets and would not be left behind
in terms of the aforementioned skills.
In the Philippine context, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
(2016) states that an internationalization strategy in colleges and universities is
warranted by the demands of integration and globalization which the national
higher education system alone cannot adequately meet. The students’ learning
environment needs to be enhanced and expanded so that the Filipino students can
be more adaptable to fast-paced changes in the global environment. As the students’
learnings are enhanced, they will have a deeper awareness and appreciation of
what they have and what more they need to learn. They will be able to comprehend
various cultures, therefore inculcating respect for social and cultural differences.
Another rationale for internationalization is that students will be more
aware and be engaged more with global problems and issues, such as those
outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations,
40

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

2019). This is essential for students, as their learnings will not be limited to
academic readings in their specific fields. They will learn to think in a more critical
manner, especially since global issues occur practically everywhere, and not only
in developing nations.
Higher Education in the Philippines: How International?
The English Language
Education in the Philippines, particularly higher education, is already international
in some aspects. To begin with, English, the world’s lingua franca, is the main
language of instruction in the Philippine HEIs. Even college courses such as
Readings in Philippine History and The Life and Works of Jose Rizal are taught in
English in almost all universities, since the majority of the readings and reference
materials in those two courses are written in English.
Consequently, because the ASEAN Economic Community has adopted
English as its official language, it is expected that the Philippine higher education
will have a more favorable position within the ASEAN (Killingley & Ilieva, 2015).
Because of this, there is likely to be a stronger demand for international higher
education within the region.
Furthermore, as English in the Philippines is not only a required college
subject but also the main instructional language, Filipino students will learn
to be more exposed to the language. They will learn a sought-after language,
and this will be able to aid the students in obtaining jobs not only in competent
institutions and corporations in the country but even overseas, given the choice.
That is why Filipinos easily adapt in different English-speaking countries—it is not
just because of job-related skills but because of having working knowledge of the
English language.
Policy Framework on Internationalization of Higher Education
The CHED, which governs higher educational institutions in the Philippines,
released a memo in 2016 regarding the policy framework and strategies on the
internationalization of Philippine higher education. CHED’s memo highlighted
several aspects of internationalization of colleges and universities on a broad scale.
Being a more international institution goes beyond study abroad programs and
foreign student advising.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

41

CHED also mentioned that the concept of internationalization is
distinguished from international education by the comprehensiveness of the
framework and the inclusion of different forms, providers, and products of crossborder education apart from internationalization initiatives at home that entails
incorporation of international dimensions in the curriculum and the actual
learning process. This is mainly because of the rapid changes in information and
communications technology in recent years.
The Philippines adheres to the principles of ASEAN cooperation and is
committed to establishing an ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community that is peoplecentered and socially responsible with the view to achieving solidarity and
common identity within the ASEAN. Furthermore, the Philippines is committed to
facilitating people mobility in ASEAN through higher education exchanges across
member states, as embodied in the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025
(Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 2016).
In addition, the CHED stated that it shall pursue internationalization as
a strategy to enhance the quality of Philippine higher education, strengthen the
country’s role in an interconnected global community, produce graduates with
21st century competencies who are able to live and work in a diverse multicultural
setting, and foster closer cooperation and understanding between the Philippines
and the rest of the world.
Global Networks and Linkages
Many educational organizations in the Philippines are members of global
organizations and networks that foster cooperation in education. These organizations
collaborate with colleges and universities. These forms of collaboration may be
research linkages, practicums, and exchange student programs.
The Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) is linked with the United
Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The
UNESCO National Commission (UNACOM) of the Philippines conceived the idea
of a social science council in the Philippines and through a series of meetings
with Filipino social scientists in the 1960s, set in motion the formation of PSSC.
UNACOM has since become a consistent partner and supporter of PSSC, teaming
up on key research projects and conferences over the last five decades.
The PSSC has linkages with prestigious institutions such as the Association
of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC), International Science
Council (ISC), and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). These
institutions are committed to the advancement of cooperation in the field of social
42

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

sciences. At the same time, these institutions seek to promote the application
of social science knowledge and the humanities to understanding and solving
contemporary problems. Hallym University in South Korea also collaborates
with PSSC with the aim of enabling sustained partnerships in the social sciences,
including more exchanges of researchers, methodologies, training resources,
which will promote high standards of research and excellence in the social sciences.
Among the priorities under the collaboration between Hallym University and PSSC
are addressing current problems in society and promoting multidisciplinary and
structurally-oriented social science research instruction in areas of medium- and
long-term interests.
The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), which is under
the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also has several international
linkages. One is the Pacific Science Association (PSA), a scholarly organization that
seeks to advance science and technology in the Asia Pacific region by fostering
research collaboration. Another international organization is the Social Council
of Asia (SCA), based in Tokyo, Japan. The SCA brings together scientists and
scientific organizations from all academic fields, including the cultural and social
sciences as well as the natural sciences and technology. The NRCP is also linked
with the International Council for Science (ICSU), a scientific non-governmental
organization based in Paris, France. The ICSU coordinates interdisciplinary
research to address major issues of relevance to both science and society. It also acts
as a focus for the exchange of ideas, the communication of scientific information,
and the development of scientific standards.
Aside from organizations in the Philippines that collaborate with
international institutions, many HEIs in the country also have international
linkages. Recently, the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) partnered with
two Indonesian universities, Lambung Mangkurat University and University
of Muhammadiyah Jakarta (PWU, 2018). The collaboration among the three
institutions committed to scholarly exchange and cooperation through joint
academic and research programs, faculty and student exchange programs, and
reciprocity in research materials and publications. Munalim (2019) and Yun (2021,
in this Issue) also report that the same university, PWU, has also become more
international in terms of micro and macro practices of multicultural education
based on Banks and Banks’ (1993) dimensions of multicultural education.
Another university, the Ateneo de Manila University (Ateneo, 2014), has
numerous international linkages through its Office of International Relations
(2014). Under these linkages, the university has hosted visiting faculty and
research fellows. Additionally, some faculty members have availed research grants
and study programs in foreign countries.
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

43

The Philippine Normal University (PNU), a state university, through its
Linkages and International Office, hosts fora such as the International Forum
on Strengthening Urban Engagement of Universities in Africa and Asia in 2018
(Reyes, 2018). This forum gathered researchers, educators and community
engagement experts and practitioners from various universities, government and
non-government agencies across the Philippines to discuss best practices in urban
engagement and extension programs. It was part of a research project conducted
in partnership with the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Another state university, the University of the Philippines, promotes
academic collaboration with foreign universities in the form of student and faculty
exchange, joint research, sponsorship of conferences, and other academic activities
through its Office of International Linkages. Recently, the university has been
offering short-term programs in Italy, Japan, and Canada for its undergraduate
and graduate students. The university also encourages participation in foreign
language courses and academic conferences like the “2nd International Health
Promotion Conference: Moving towards Healthy Universities in Asia,” jointly
hosted by the ASEAN University Network and the university last August 2019.
Internationalization of HEIs: Selected Southeast Asian Countries
The linkages and collaborations of HEIs in the Philippines are essential to student
development. They internationalize the educational and research experience
and prepare them for a globalized working environment, whether it is in the
Philippines or elsewhere. However, when comparing the internationalization
of higher education to the Philippines’ neighboring countries like Malaysia or
Thailand, the country lags in some ways. In Malaysia, the internationalization of
higher education in terms of student mobility has changed tremendously in the
last two decades as the country has shifted from a sending to a receiving country
(Tham, 2013). In addition, the Malaysian government has targeted not only to
further internationalize higher education in their country, but to be a regional hub
for higher education.
In Thailand, the government, through the Ministry of University Affairs
(currently the Office of the Higher Education Commission under the Ministry of
Education) started their internationalization plan thirty years ago in 1990. It was
their 15-year Long-range plan Plan on Higher Education (1990-2004), which saw
itself as the pioneer in pushing internationalization forward under the Seventh
National Development Plan (1992-1996), which emphasized internationalization
and regionalization (Kanjananiyot & Chaitiamwong, 2018). Despite some gaps
of implementation due to the change of administration with “new policies,” the
internationalization efforts move on though much more slowly through existing
44

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

projects. Thailand’s movement in internationalization was fueled by the ASEAN
integration in 2015, and like Malaysia, it has a goal of becoming a regional education
hub. This has been done, and it is done continuously. Several exchange programs
and efforts were seen, for example, ASEAN International Mobility for Students
(AIMS) Program (previously known as M-I-T: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand
Exchange Program), promoting student mobility with credit transfer in the ASEAN
region as part of the harmonization of higher education in Southeast Asia; and
Thailand-ASEAN Exchange Program, which is a one-way exchange since 2012 to
enhance students’ competencies to meet the demand of ASEAN labor market, and
to strengthen the relationship and the integration of ASEAN Community through
education.
Structuration Theory
The Structuration Theory of Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist, is a theory of
social action. This theory claims that society should be understood in terms of action
and structure — a duality rather than two separate entities. This duality of structure
as termed by Giddens states that structure and agency cannot be separated; that
they are connected to one another (Lamsal, 2012). Giddens proposes that people
do not have an entire preference of their actions and their knowledge is restricted;
nonetheless, they are the elements that recreate the social structure and produce
social change (Craib, 1992).
Giddens (1984) further points out that human beings’ daily activities are not
directly motivated but through reflective monitoring the individual can rationalize
their actions. Therefore, our routines are based on rational thought, not on the
hidden motivations that drive our actions (Lamsal, 2012). The relevance of the
separation between routines and motivations can be seen through our capabilities
and the unconscious results of our actions. This idea is explained by Giddens
(1984):
The consequences of what actors do, intentionally or unintentionally,
are events which would not have happened if that actor had behaved differently,
but which are not within the scope of the agent’s power to have brought about
(regardless of what the agent’s intentions are). (p. 11)
What Giddens is explaining to us is that our current state of affairs in society
is in control of the factors that influence them, and not solely restricted by our
structure. This notion can be applied at various levels of society (for example, town
vs. world policy). In this paper, the interconnection of local policies and strategies in
the Philippines by the CHED in relation to the global needs (now and in the future)
of Filipino students and the academe will be tackled, relating it to Giddens’ theory.
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

45

In terms of Structuration Theory as a whole, structures and systems provide
a framework that can be used to analyze various aspects of social organization and
social change. As Giddens’ analysis of structures and systems are dynamic, they
can therefore accommodate many different forms of social change—in the case
of this research, social change in higher education through internationalization.
Structuration Theory can be employed in further understanding the
internationalization of higher education; how it is transformed through social
interaction across time and space.
Analysis in Terms of the Structuration Theory
One objective of this paper is to analyze the internationalization of higher education
in the Philippines through the lens of Structuration Theory. This section will look
deeper into Giddens’ theory and its relation to internalization of higher education
in the country, and other factors that will connect the two.
Higher education in the Philippines is already international, albeit needing
improvement in research production and research and development spending. The
country ranked 66th worldwide in research and development expenditure (% of
Gross Domestic Product), which is 21st in Asia and the Pacific — ranked lower than
neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, to name
a few (The World Bank, 2018). In terms of citable documents, the Philippines is
ranked 63rd in the world, or 21st in Asia. The country is 67th worldwide in terms
of total citations, or 21st in Asia (Scimago Journal & Country Rank, 2019).
In terms of strategy at the national level, the Philippines scored a 5 out of
10 in bilateral/multilateral agreements; this scoring scheme is adapted from the
British Council’s Global Gauge study (Killingley & Ilieva, 2015) and 5 out of 10
means that the criteria are partly met. That score is considerably lower than those
of some ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand, but on a par with
Indonesia.
These are promising data for the Philippines. Compared to some of its
neighboring countries in Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam,
Thailand, and Singapore, however, the Philippines has some catching up to do.
This is since one of the Philippines’ advantages compared to most Southeast Asian
nations is that English is an official language in the country, giving the Philippines
a headstart and advantage when it comes to interrelationships with primarily
English-speaking nations outside Asia.

46

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

The Philippines can create and build relationships with regard to research
and further strengthen research exchange programs. This will be not just for
undergraduate and graduate students, but also for faculty and researchers in HEIs.
Through these research exchange programs, students, faculty, and researchers
will be able to hone their research skills and share ideas with fellow students and
researchers in their specific fields. In addition, they will be able to coordinate and
learn more how to work with different cultures, in effect being an advantage to
them and their home institutions in the long run. While co-authorship among
researchers and faculty from different geographical locations is quite easy to do
nowadays because of the internet and e-mail communication, working in person
with other nationalities and cultures will be better for the concerned faculty or
researcher. This is because they can coordinate more closely with their co-faculty
and co-researchers, thus exchanging ideas in a more “intimate” or personal, faceto-face manner.
In Structuration Theory, the agency does not have complete power but it
is constrained by societal “rules,” a modality of the structure that limits human
freedom. Relating Giddens’ Structuration Theory to the Philippines’ recent status
on the internationalization of its HEIs, it can be inferred that the country is lacking
in terms of research expenditure when compared with some of its Southeast Asian
neighbors. There should be a positive correlation between the Philippines’ research
expenditure vis-à-vis Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia, Thailand, and
Vietnam so as not to be left behind in research production. While the CHED stated
that it shall pursue internationalization as a strategy to enhance the Philippines’
higher education, it is not too reflected in terms of research production as it is
ranked 21st in Asia alone (Scimago Journal & Country Rank, 2019).
The CHED also mentioned that it will pursue internationalization as a
strategy to strengthen the country’s role in an interconnected global community,
but as stated by Killingley and Ilieva (2015), the Philippines’ score was 5 out of 10
in bilateral/multilateral agreements, meaning that criteria are partially met. The
Philippines also lags in terms of “aggressiveness” in being more international in
recent times, as two ASEAN neighboring countries, Malaysia and Thailand have
goals of not just expanding research collaboration with other nations, but have
goals of being regional education hubs.
Based on the explanations above on how internationalized is higher
education in the Philippines, it can be noted that the country is exerting efforts
to be highly international in terms of its HEIs. The government, through CHED,
has policies, frameworks, and strategies set in place for guiding the HEIs in its
internationalization goals for the present and the future.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

47

The Structuration Theory also states that human beings are the elements
that enable creation of our society’s structure by means of invented norms, or
are reinforced through social acceptance. At the same time, however, people are
constrained by our social structure. This means that no matter how competent
researchers or faculty are in the county, if there is no proper social structure — in
this case, research culture, they will be constrained by that shortcoming. They will
be limited because of the societal “rules,” that research expenditure is not enough
in the country and that the Philippines is ranked quite low compared to some
neighboring Southeast Asian countries.
CONCLUSION
Internationalization of higher education should be more than a “buzz concept” or
a trend. From the earlier definitions and explanations of this concept, it should be
seen more as a continuing concept for improvement of the HEIs in the country,
rather that wanting to be more international just for the sake of having more
connections. While it is essential to have connections or networks in the academe,
these should translate to the following—to name a few: conferences, colloquia,
practical workshops, and research.
It is true that the Philippines is developing its internationalization of the
HEIs through different ways, but as of now, it falls short in terms of research
expenditure and research output. This is in comparison with some of the
country’s ASEAN neighbors. When relating this to Giddens’ Structuration Theory,
internationalization of higher education should be seen not as the structure, but
as a combination of agency and structure — the stakeholders (students, faculty,
researchers) being the agency, and higher education being the structure. It
should be in between these two; “guiding” the agency in the pursuit of academic
advancement, and supporting the structure of higher education in the country.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Raul Guillermo B. Chebat has been teaching social science subjects such as
Socio-Anthropology, The Contemporary World, and Readings in Philippine
History at PWU since 2013. His research interests are Sociology of Education,
Internationalization of Higher Education, and Social Inequality. After pursuing a
master’s degree in Sociology, he has committed himself to the academe by attending
teaching and research training from the Commission on Higher Education, the
Department of Science and Technology, and National Cheng Kung University
in Taiwan. In 2019, he completed the Certificate in Teaching Program from the
Philippine Women’s University. In addition, he has presented research work about
the sociology of education in various conferences in the Philippines, Hong Kong,
48

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

and Taiwan.
ResearchGate: www.researchgate.net/profile/Raul_Guillermo_Chebat
REFERENCES
Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (2016). Master plan on ASEAN
connectivity 2025. ASEAN Secretariat.
Ateneo de Manila University. (2014). International linkages. https://www.ateneo.
edu/oir/international-linkages
Cinches, M. F., Russell, R. L., Borbon, M. L. F., & Chavez, J. (2016).
Internationalization of higher education institutions: The case of four HEIs
in the Philippines. Liceo Journal of Higher Education Research, 12(1), 17-35.
http://dx.doi.org/10.7828/ljher.v12i1.961
Commission on Higher Education. (2016). CHED memorandum order no. 55.
Policy framework and strategies on the internationalization of Philippine
higher education. https://ched.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CMO55-s.-2016.pdf
Craib, I. (1992). Anthony Giddens’ Structuration. Routledge, Chapman and Hall.
Currie, G. M., Greene, L., Wheat, J., Wilkinson, D., Shanbrun, L., & Gilmore,
D. (2014). Internationalization, mobilization, and social media in higher
education. Journal of Medical Imaging & Radiation Sciences, 45(4), 399-407.
Enders, J. (2004). Higher education, internationalisation, and the nation-state:
Recent developments and challenges to governance theory. Higher Education,
47, 361-382.https://doi.org/10.1023/B:HIGH.0000016461.98676.30
Giddens, A. (1984). The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of
structuration. Polity Press.
International Labour Organization. (2007). Internationalization of teacher
education in the Philippines: Innovative practices that made a difference
(Presentation by Romero, R.C.).

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

49

Kanjananiyot, P. & Chaitiamwong, C. (2018). Thailand’s higher education
internationalization in practice voice of a stakeholder. Fulbright ThailandUnited States Educational Foundation. http://www.fulbrightthai.org/
knowledge/thailands-higher-education-internationalization-practice-voicestakeholder/
Killingley, P. & Ilieva, J. (2015). Opportunities and challenges in the
internationalisation of the Philippine higher education sector. British Council.
Knight, J. & de Wit, H. (1997). Internationalisation of higher education in
Asia Pacific countries. Programme on Institutional Management in Higher
Education of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Knight, J. (1999). Quality and internationalisation in higher education.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. https://www.
oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/9789264173361-en.f?expires=1610950868&id=i
d&accname=guest&checksum=812FD0F510911A51F04C658AE32D31FE
Knight, J. (2003). Updated internationalization definition. International Higher
Education, 33, 2-3.
Knight, J. (2008). The internationalization of higher education: Complexities
and realities. In D. Teferra & J. Knight (Eds.), Higher Education in Africa:
The International Dimension. Boston College Center for International Higher
Education.
Komotar, H. (2018). Quality assurance of internationalisation and
internationalisation of quality assurance in Slovenian and Dutch higher
education. European Journal of Higher Education, 8(7), 1-20.
Lamsal, M. (2012). The structuration approach of Anthony Giddens. Himalayan
Journal of Sociology & Anthropology, 5, 111-122.
Mitchell, D. E. & Nielsen, S. Y. (2012). Internationalization and globalization in
higher education, globalization: Education and management agendas. Intech
Open. DOI: 10.5772/48702
Munalim, L.O. (2019). Micro and macro practices of multicultural education in a
Philippine University: Is it global integration ready? The Asia-Pacific Education
Researcher. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40299-019-00497-7.

50

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Naidoo, V. (2006). International education: A tertiary-level industry update.
Journal of Research in International Education, 5(3), 323-345. https://doi.
org/10.1177/1475240906069455
Nielsen, S. Y. (2011). The perceptions of globalization at a public research
university Computer Science Graduate department. University of California
Riverside. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8qf1g31h
United Nations (2019). The sustainable development goals report 2019. https://
unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2019/The-Sustainable-Development-GoalsReport-2019.pdf
Philippine Women’s University. (2018). PWU partners with Indonesian
universities. https://pwu.edu.ph/headlines/221.html
Reyes, Z. (2018). PNU hosts SUEUAA International Forum. Strengthening urban
engagement of universities in Africa and Asia. http://sueuaa.org/blog/pnuhosts-sueuaa-international-forum
Scimago Journal & Country Rank. (2019). Countries ranked –
citable
documents.
https://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.
php?year=2019&order=itp&ord=desc
Tham, S. Y. (2013). Internationalizing higher education in Malaysia: Government
policies and university’s response. Journal of Studies in International
Education, 17(5), 648-662.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2018). Research and development expenditure.
The World Bank. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/GB.XPD.RSDV.
GD.ZS?most_recent_value_desc=false
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (n.d.). How much does your country invest in
R&D? http://uis.unesco.org/apps/visualisations/research-and-developmentspending/
Yun, M.S.M. (2021). Micro-practices of multicultural education in online classes
at PWU during the COVID-19 pandemic. PWU’s Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary
Scholarly Journal, 1(1). In this Issue.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

51

Critical Essay

TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM AND
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF TECHNOLOGY:
THE POINTS OF CONVERGENCE AND
DIVERGENCE
Leonardo O. Munalim
Philippine Women’s University
School of Arts and Sciences
Full Professor; College Dean; Research Director
lomunalim@pwu.edu.ph
ABSTRACT. At heart, there are points of convergences
and divergences between the theories of Technological
Determinism (TD) and Social Construction of Technology
(ScoT). Looking at the touching points of these two theories
of technology is of prime importance within the discourse of
teaching situations, especially rooted in the new generation
of Distance Education platforms. Thus, it is useful to
delineate these sets of convergence and divergence in order
to cast light on their merits in the tuition process, and
the possible teachers’ troubleshooting in their attempt to
amalgamate one theory to another, thereby providing the
teachers a solid ground in their educational and pedagogical
decisions with the use of technology especially during any
of the paralyzing social and health crisis like the COVID-19
pandemic.
Keywords: convergence and divergence; distance
education; social construction of technology; technological
determinism; theories of technology.

Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
INTRODUCTION
Technological Determinism (TD) is anchored on the belief that “changes in
technology exert a greater influence on societies and their processes than any
other factor” (Smith, 1994a, p. 2). These social processes which are precipitated
by technological advances, by all means, go through an iterative and inevitable
course, as supported by Smith (1994b). In a similar vein, Heilbroner (1994) posits
52

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

that the milieu of the inexorable connection between society and technology has
a “direct bearing on the human drama...” (p. 54). In sheer logic, it means that the
connection between technology and society is contingent from each other.
On the one hand, Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) is a theory
proposed by Pinch and Bijker (1987/2002). They assert that technology and its
developmental process of an artifact remains a multidirectional view, which is a
rather socially constructed phenomenon. Put simply, any technological artifact has
inherent value of variability and selection of the society (cf. p. 22). SCOT is well
manifested in the three-pronged domains such as (1) interpretative flexibility, (2)
closure and stabilization, with sub-dimensions such as (a) rhetorical closure and
(b) closure by redefinition of problems; and (3) wider context. As a rejoinder, Klein
and Kleinman (2002) borrowed the ideas of Pinch and Bijker (1987), and further
expanded SCOT into its fourth dimension, that is, (4) relevant social group.
From these definitions, therefore, TD and SCOT both share the touching
points, especially within the discourse of teaching situations. The ensuing
paragraphs then are an attempt to tease out the similarities and differences of
these theories based on the use of technologies such as Facebook group, Google
Classroom, among others, which are either favored or not by the millennials
nowadays in the teaching-learning process.
Convergences and Divergences Between TD and SCOT
The first promise of similarity of both theories lies in the fact that when applied to the
sphere of teaching-learning practice using modern technologies such as Facebook
(groups), Google classrooms, and related Learning Management System (LMS),
it is a predictable event the recipient-students feel the normative expectations of
mind-conditioning of convenience. What makes this as the case? Subscribing to
ToD theory, Bimber (1994) underlines the concept of normativity that is entirely
culture-specific. Given the nature of our millennial students who are computersavvy, the use of technology is automatically favored in their attempts to be more
conditioned by the ease, comfort, and the sense of instance that technology can
purvey.
The interpretative flexibility domain of SCOT has a formidable standpoint
that different social groups hold different interpretations of any technological
artifact (cf. Klein & Kleinman, 2002; Pinch & Bijker, 2012). For example, the use
of Facebook group, where students can engage in media discourses, bears some
merit on the predictable and normative acceptance and even modification of their
thought processes in the learning process. At the political and macro-level, the
school which institutionalizes the use of media-mediated instructions and other
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

53

policies (cf. Munalim, 2019) can augment the overall acceptance of the use of
technology, thereby strengthening the culture of technological superstructure
within this social and academic community of practice. Klein and Kleinman
(2002) highlighted the importance of wider context of relations, rules that put the
interactions in order.
However, arguably, TD differs from SCOT in the aspect of the universal
sentiments of nomological account. In this construct, Bimber (1994) expounds that
“technology rests on the laws of nature rather than the social” (p. 83) normative
predictability in a given society of practice. It means that the use and acceptance of
technology vary from one culture to another, from one local condition to another,
hence throwing up the notions of culture-independency. By stark contrast, SCOT
has to abide the constructs of closure and stabilization, both rhetorical closure
and closure by redefinition of the problems (Pinch & Bijker, 2012). The middle
core ideas of closure and stabilization purport that an artifact (i.e. educational
technologies this essay) has to be stabilized in its form, or else different social
groups may hold different interpretations of its functional purpose, which may
result in inevitable conflicts and appreciation. When the social groups do not cease
to hold different dispositions and attitudes towards an artifact will continue to be
modified, enhanced and redesigned (cf. Klein & Kleinman, 2002).
The parameters assembled above do not sit well with the notions of
nomological tenets of TD. Put simply, TD is flexible, culture-based, culturerenewing, and context-driven, while SCOT is purpose-motivated in its attempt to
stabilize the use of technology, which will eventually solve the problems so that the
groups of people hold the sense of shared purpose and appreciation of an artifact.
Such failure of closure, in my impression, impinges on the acceptance of social
practice. For instance, in my teaching-learning experience, there are still many
students, administrators, and parents who honestly resist the use of Facebook
(groups) and other social networking sites, as these can be a fertile ground for
unethical and irresponsible use. Within the remit of SCOT, this predicament has
to be well-rationalized by the teacher, and has to be solved by the majority, or else
the classroom cannot use one specific platform, which may result in poor academic
and social online engagement.
WHAT IS NEXT?
By and large, both theories applied in the teaching-learning process using the
modern technologies have both intended and unintended (cf. Bimber, 1994) effects,
whose educational decisions solely lie among the teachers in tandem with good
communication with the students, the parents, and all other stakeholders. The
convergences should be used to further strengthen the culture of technologically
54

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

mediated teaching-learning processes, while the divergences should encourage
the teachers to consult all other stakeholders in order to reach a consensus of the
merit of these modern technologies used in distance and other computer-mediated
learning-teaching environments. This idea is tenable if these teachers believe that
an educational enterprise remains a collective effort. In like manner, while both
convergences of TD and SCOT are important, we are more interested in looking at
the possible resolution of their divergences, as to do away with dysfunctional use
and even lack of appreciation of technological advancements in our midst.
To this end, Hughes (1994) has assured us with his concepts of
“technological momentum.” Accordingly, it is “a more complex concept than
determinism and social construction, technological momentum infers that social
development shapes and is shaped by technology” (p. 102), which is “located
somewhere between the poles of technical determinism and social constructivism”
(p. 112). In my valuation, this is another theory which can make us complacent of
reconciling both the similarities and differences of TD and SCOT in our attempts
to provide the students the sophisticated educational experiences through the aid
of technologies – with or without any paralyzing social and health crisis like this
COVID-19 pandemic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leonardo O. Munalim, a licensed teacher, is the current Dean of the School of
Arts and Sciences of PWU, and Research Director of the same university. He
finished three aligned degrees in PhD in Applied Linguistics; MA in Language Arts
both from Philippine Normal University – Manila; and BSED-English from BIT
International College – Tagbilaran City Bohol. He finished a graduate certificate
in distance education from UP Open University. He serves as an editorial board
member in international SCOPUS-indexed journals. Researchgate: https://
www.researchgate.net/profile/Leonardo_Munalim. SCOPUS ID: 57194585534
REFERENCES
Bimber, B. (1994). Three faces of technological determinism. In Smith, M.R., &
L. Marx (Eds.), Does technology drive history?: The dilemma of technological
determinism (pp. 79-101). MIT Press.
Heilbroner, R.L. (1994). Do machines make history? In Smith, M.R., & L. Marx
(Eds.), Does technology drive history?: The dilemma of technological
determinism (pp. 53-77). MIT Press.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

55

Hughes, T.P. (1994). Technological momentum. In Smith, M.R., & L. Marx (Eds.),
Does technology drive history?: The dilemma of technological determinism
(pp. 101-114). MIT Press.
Klein, H. K., & Kleinman, D. L. (2002). The social construction of technology:
Structural considerations. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 27(1), 2852.
Munalim, L.O. (2019). Micro and macro practices of multicultural education in a
Philippine University: Is it global integration ready? The Asia-Pacific Education
Researcher. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40299-019-00497-7.
Pinch, T., & Bijker, W. (1987/2012.) The social construction of facts and artifacts:
Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit
each other. In Bijker, W., T. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction
of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of
technology (Anniversary Edition), (pp. 11-44). MIT Press.
Smith, M.L. (1994a). Recourse of empire: Landscapes of progress in technological
American. In Smith, M.R., & L. Marx (Eds.), Does technology drive history?:
The dilemma of technological determinism (pp. 37-52). MIT Press.
Smith, M.R. (1994b). Technological determinism in America. In Smith, M.R., & L.
Marx (Eds.), Does technology drive history?: The dilemma of technological
determinism (pp. 1-36). MIT Press.

56

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Feature

ART IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE: FROM
BEAUTIFUL TO MEANINGFUL
Mervy C. Pueblo
Philippine Women’s University
University of the Philippines Open University
School of Fine Arts and Design
Associate Professor
mcpueblo@pwu.edu.ph
ABSTRACT. The meaning of ‘public space’ has been
debated since the late 90s. It poses open-ended questions
such as “What makes a space public? Who is the public?
Where is the public space?” These issues portray the
limitation of traditional notion of public art that the new
genre public art/socially engaged art exposes. What are the
limitations of the said contemporary public art paradigm that
is created outside the institutional structures? This article
examines the dimensions of this populist artistic practice
that has moved away from the bourgeois objecthood of art
to step back to Trotsky’s social realism but has expanded as
an art being actual models of action for social change.
Keywords: activation of the audience/public; anti-art;
commodification; culture capital; institutional critique;
new genre public art; public space; relational aesthetics;
semiotics; socially engaged art.

Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
INTRODUCTION
What makes art truly public? Artworks in monumental scale on public spaces are
commonly understood as public art. But is it really truly for the public? Instead
of discussing arguments on the taste and scale of the public, let us reorient the
issue by borrowing Patricia Phillips’ (1998) notion that “public art is not about
accessibility and volume of viewers, but about addressing the public for them to
reflectively engage” (p. 298). Public art ‘today’ has shifted beyond monuments of
heroes and large-scale aesthetic objects as it emphasizes its populist nature. When
artists become event makers who encourage spectator-participants to engage in
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

57

open interrelation with the work or with fellow participants, then art becomes
populist. In this phenomenon, the function of murals and monuments have shifted
from beautification of space, to activation of space for dialogues.
Art that calls for reflection and action is public art. This paradigm addresses
certain issues for the public to reflectively engage or to become socially involved.
The redefinition of public art or socially engaged art may be confusing and it is
understandable. Artists, architects, environmentalists, designers, the national
government organizations (NGOs), and many others operate within the populist
or socially engaged system made available through the arts, while at the same time,
borrowing tool sets made available through non-art discipline as a turnaround
in order to make their work or project more effective. Contemporary artists and
designers of the Philippines are (slowly) beginning to turn their attention to this
notion of social because social and environmental problems are becoming far too
difficult to ignore today.
To name a few, the Davao-based fashion designer Emi Englis is currently
working in collaboration with the Maguindanaon weavers of Inaul I in order to
experiment with locally available materials and to push the functional limitation of
the traditional Inaul fabric. Louis Talents, a Manila-and-Paris-based visual artist
who co-founded the Meupia Art Project with Morgane Quinger, developed this
project with the intention to raise awareness of the talented Manobo Children and
raise funds for their school matriculation. In like manner, Alma Quinto, a visual
artist based in Manila has worked with the National Commission for Culture and
the Arts (NCCA) Artists for Crisis Program and different NGOs, with special focus
on debriefing disaster and abused victims, as a facilitator that shares creative tools
that draw out the authentic voice and individual expressions of her art workshop
participants.
Activation of Space
The artist engaging with the audience, and opening a space as a site for dialogue
and self-reflection makes art public. Artists who make socially engaged art or
populist art are no longer limited to the confines of their studio, as public artists
care about the world we live in. Consequently, they situate themselves and their art
in places where there are larger audiences.
Art does not hinge itself on wide acceptance, but on its ability to extend
reasonable and fair opportunities for members of the public to understand and
negotiate their own relationship with it (Knight, 2006). Thus, the context of public
art is about empowering the public. Populism is framed as an advocacy for free
will. It does not seek a common denominator or express some common good to be
58

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

public as Phillips (1998) suggests. Populist art does not tame or dull the edge of
artistic expression as it does not seek to please the audience, but instead to engage
the viewers to think. Knight (2006) puts it crisply:
Once art is shared with a larger public, the artist surrenders control to the
unpredictable will and whims of the people… We can best understand art’s
public functions where we consider the interrelationship between content
and audience: What art has to say, to whom it speaks, and the multiple
messages it may convey. (p. viii)
This quote assembled above does not imply that artists have no control or
freedom in the creation of the work, as the control of the subject and activity is
never removed from them. The point rather is that with this open interpretation,
the possibility for mutation of meanings in the work is endless. Thus, art becomes
richer and more meaningful.
We must recognize the potential power of the viewer/participants’ role;
they expand the meanings of an artwork or art itself. Hence, providing a space that
socially engages viewers/participants may liberate us from the canons or dictation
of the dominant culture and its constructed notion of taste.
Perhaps the platform of public or socially engaged art is brought out by the
institutional critiques of the Modernists and the avant-garde, as they all challenge
the structure of society, questioning the predetermined meanings, language, or
culture in order to find individuality. But the context of public or socially engaged
art differs from previous art movements, as it does not seek to highlight artists
as a celebrity, but rather serves to underline the characteristics of the public and
directly activate viewers/participants to rethink about the anatomy of the world, or
at least their own political thoughts.

Ethics and Accountability
The populist-spirited art, sometimes called “new genre public art” or “community
art,” reflect politically and socially conscious artists. Borrowing Rosalyn Deutsche’s
(2002) new definition of public art practice, the radical aesthetic practice of art
and urban planning merge social justification. She, however, warns us about the
terminological abuse of invoking “the community” (pp. 165-166) in discussions
of public art as it endows social accountability. Often the subject of choice of
populist artists is the marginalized and destitute (Knight, 2006). But, do ‘social’
artists really have earnest concern for the community they attend to? When should
responsibility or liability step up for public art projects? Is our socially engaged
project ethical? These are riveting questions that a true populist artist would reflect
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

59

upon. And any artist that operates in socially charged art practices should caution
if s/he is simply bordering on a fetishization of a community in need or a social
issue for the sake of culture capital that s/he can gain.
Take the Money and Run?
When a community outreach program is aestheticized in the name of art or for
culture capital, then it becomes problematic. There is nothing wrong in living off
multiple grants, having residencies, and opportunity to become itinerant brought
by the public art project but it does not make one artist a saint.
It is interesting to note Martha Rosler’s (2010) perspective that “political
and socio-critical art is at best a niche production” (p. 106) – benefits that would be
gained with social/community art, that even ‘serious artistic mission’ can position
itself into the intellectual bourgeois market niche. Even for an art that is ‘anti-art’
in mode, it is still commodified. Despite the critical nature of the art form, avenues
to generate financial incentives and status are still obtainable.
Biennales, Triennales, and artist-in-residency programs are space for
artists who experiment with spontaneous and often irrational methods of artistic
production. These avenues are launch pads for artists to generate reviews and
celebrity status - the reward or exchange from their participation in these events,
even without the promise of sales. Unlike art fairs, Rosler (2010) critiques Biennales
for their capitalization of artists coming from the peripheries - while artists gain
validation or attention - as the event guarantees an aestheticized critique of the
society. They still, however, seek funding from institutions to perpetuate the event
(see pp.130-131). This becomes a theoretical problem, I argue.
In a sense, capitalizing on assumed needs of a specific community with
the aid of institutions that share the same cause can advance a career of an artist.
Things become even more complicated when a socially engaged artist rejects this
reality. Despite this, it does not dull the edge of art to become more purposeful.
Relational Aesthetics
Changing the way of seeing the street is more important than something that
changes our way of seeing a painting as Guy Debord and Claire Bishop argue
recounts Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics. Bourriaud’s (1993) observations on
the populist art model are part of the origin of the term he invented to describe
succinctly the artistic activity that brings tangible relationships with people. Arts
role is no longer to form imaginary utopian realities, but to actually be a way of
living and a model of action. This contemporary conceptual model of activating the
60

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

public is, however, distinct from Roland Barthes’ semiotic postulation as art moves
towards the reader or spectator, not merely as interpreters, but as collaborators.
Non-space: Public Art
This platform is not for aestheticization of the interactive component of the public
art project as its objective is for social change. The temporal quality of public art
projects leads us to question the lack of accountability or genuine commitment
due to the short-lived nature of projects. But perhaps, this temporal attitude is a
ramification of the ever-changing conditions of society. Quoting Patricia Phillips
(1998), “the temporary public art is not about the absence of commitment or
involvement, but about an intensification and enrichment of the conception of
the public. The public is diverse, variable, volatile, controversial…” (p. 298). This
suggests the notion of temporal quality of any public art project is valid and is a
positive feature that generates openness for the future.
CONCLUSION
In a nutshell, we have challenged the definition of public art, the claim of populist
spirit in context of social art, audiences, ethics and earnestness of relational
(populist) art. The usefulness and function of public art bears more weight than its
visual forms. Public art can possibly bring about the emancipation of the public at
large as it can facilitate the magnification of important concerns in public psyche,
and activate the public to make a difference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mervy Pueblo, under the flagship of Fulbright, received her MFA in Visual Studies
major in New Genre Public Art and Sculpture from Minneapolis College of Art
and Design, USA. A practicing visual artist since 2001 that explores human
relationships and everyday life raising concerns in human and environmental
ecology. A Marciano Galang Acquisition Prize Winner (2020), resident artist in the
2019 Nakanojo Art Biennale in Japan, recipient of the 2019 Awards for Continuing
Excellence in Service as visual artist and art educator, a 2015 CCP Thirteen Artist
Awards winner, recipient of the 2013 Ethel Morris Vanderlip Award from the
USA, a 2012 Ateneo Art Awards winner, and recipient of the Special Citation
award from the 2006 MADE Sculpture competition. Researchgate: https://
www.researchgate.net/profile/Mervy-Pueblo. ORCID Number: https://orcid.
org/0000-0002-5112-7867

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

61

REFERENCES
Bourriaud, N. (1993). Relational aesthetics. In Participation: Documents of
contemporary art, (pp. 6-9). MIT Press. http://artsites.ucsc.edu/sdaniel/230/
Relational%20Aesthetics_entire.pdf
Deutsche, R. (2002). The tilted arc and the uses of democracy. In Eviction: Art
and spatial politics (pp. 165-166). MIT Press.
Knight, C.K. (2006). Public art: Theory, practice and populism. Blackwell
Publishing.
Phillips, P. (1998). Temporality and public art. In H.F. Senie & S. Webster (Eds.),
Critical issues in public art: Content, context and controversy (pp. 290-298).
Smithsonian Institution Press.
Rosler, M. (2010). Take the money and run? Can political and socio-critical art
‘survive’? e-flux Journal: What Is Contemporary Art? (pp. 104-106). Sternberg
Press.

62

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Undergraduate A SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATION PLAN
Students’
FOR PWU: A PROPOSAL
Proposal
Alba, Alysa Shereen*; Albayalde, Patricia Kate;
Bejer, Gwyneth Marie; Cruzado, Nathaniel Rey;
Donceras, Rose Mary; Eljera, Hannah Isabel;
Geronimo, Joyce Anne; Pabelico, Ivy Bliss; Paray,
Alexandra; Tabilog, Vanessa Joy; Tan, Timothy
Jave; Torres, Maria Kathryn; Vidon, Chester Dave;
Villate, Shella Mae; Zapanta, Jhon Roy
Philippine Women’s University
School of Arts and Sciences
BA Communication Students
2019t0301@pwu.edu.ph (*corresponding author)
ABSTRACT. Social media sites have been ubiquitous for
many years. Different organizations use these platforms for
a number of pragmatic functions. The Philippine Women’s
University, a 102-year old institution is not exempted from
this move. This present analysis on social media sites of
PWU is intended as a “living document,” subject for changes
as technologies and social media platforms continue to grow
and evolve. Such analyses and proposals are seen to help
the university in strengthening the online presence of PWU
in various social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube,
Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and PWU’s official website.
These humble sets of assessment and suggestions remain
within the perspective of the student-researchers who may
not be considered experts in the field yet. At the same,
the analyses, recommendations, and proposals are seen
to be valid as these student-researchers are media users
themselves.
Keywords: Facebook; Instagram; PWU; social media;
Tiktok; Twitter; Website.

Bidlisiw: A Multidisciplinary Scholarly Journal
Volume 1, Issue 1, Maiden Issue, May 2021
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

63

INTRODUCTION
Social media continues to grow its influence and use, not only as a communication
tool but also in gaining more audience to actively join and participate in certain topics
or issues. The Philippine Women’s University employs and makes practical use of
a variety of channels and social media platforms, and monitors media innovations
that can be used to influence audiences and gain more engagement applicable
to all existing social media platforms. Social media presents an opportunity for
additional channels in which the Philippine Women’s University can capitalize on
to reach more audiences. These social actions can be achieved by promoting highquality contents, interactive social media pages and other resources. Aside from
information dissemination, social media also opens doors for online communities
of students of Philippine Women’s University and of other universities.
PURPOSE OF THE ARTICLE
In essence, this paper is an attempt to assess current PWU’s social media strategies
especially on Facebook page, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and its
official website. These sets of assessment are used as bases for suggestions and
recommendations.
GENERAL ASSESSMENTS
First, the number of engagements fails to commensurate the reactions-to-followers
ratio. For example, a post about a seminar would only garner about 14-15 likes
on Facebook, and 4 on Twitter. There also seems to be an inconsistency with
engagement: one post can garner about 700 likes and numerous shares while other
posts are lucky enough to have more than 10. It is therefore highly recommended
that social media administrators of PWU fully utilize and understand analytics to
identify the strength of certain highly engaged content and conceptualize a creative
and even unconventional strategy.
Secondly, there is an apparent lack of aesthetic innovations in social media
posts. One factor that can catapult engagement in social media is aesthetics, or how
content or publication material is creatively presented using visuals such as video
clips, photos, and graphics. In general, PWU’s social media contents are concise
and free from major prescriptive-grammatical errors. Information presented is also
sufficient with the exception of its official website. However, there is an apparent
lack of aesthetic innovations in social media posts. Information dissemination
of announcements and school events may be its strength, but somehow it lacks
engaging contents that will help promote the university itself.
64

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

In like manner, there seems to be a lack of information when it comes to
the University’s offered courses and posts about the university’s achievements,
organizations and campus life.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS: THE PARTICULARS
Facebook
Facebook is the most preferred social network. It is a platform primed for sharing
every kind of content, from articles and ads to live video, memes and more. With
more than a million active users in the Philippines, the potential for information
dissemination is immense. In fact, as of January 2020 data from NapoleonCat
(2020) reported that 73,170,000 Filipinos use Facebook, which constitutes about
66.4% of the country’s total population.
Currently, it should be noted that the audience of PWU’s Facebook page are
students ages 13-25, teachers ages 30-60, and the staff ages 40-65 (59% women
and 41% of men estimated). Of the combined social media platforms that PWU
has, Facebook has the widest reach of all with 35,644 likers. Despite the huge
following, however, the audience engagement is not doing well as each post only
gains an average of 150 likes/reactions.
With these observations in mind, the researchers hope that policy makers
especially the Marketing Team should:
Integrate social media accounts on Facebook. Because the
Facebook page has the widest reach, it should be connected with the other social
media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and the official website. All
posts made by the other social media accounts should be re-posted on the Facebook
page to let the other followers know the different accounts the school has. This
could result in potential followers on the said platforms.
Organize a Monitoring Team for faster response. Although PWU’s
Facebook chat is generally accommodating and polite, response could be done
much faster. There are parents and potential enrollees who gauge a university
through its online customer service. Busy parents or young enrollees would not
wait a day for a simple response to their inquiries. In addition, it would be best for
the social media moderators of PWU’s Facebook page to initiate follow-ups on a
query, rather than the other way around.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

65

Welcome student-generated contents. Besides sharing news and
disseminating announcements prepared by the University officials, the page can
actually post and share photos and videos created by the PWU students, faculty,
and alumni. This not only gives prospective students a view of the university from
current students’ perspectives but it also gives an opportunity for the current
students to be featured in the University page. The Team can also highlight the
other university organizations by reposting contents.
Answer and react to comments for better interaction. This is one
way to establish relationships with students and the audience. This would make
them feel they are heard and more willing to comment on your Facebook posts
in the future. Aside from just reacting to their posts which are more likely to feel
insincere, the comments to posts can actually open up conversation about things
that can help boost the engagement of the page. This can satisfy the audience.
Diversify contents. The tone of the Facebook page is scholarly and highly
corporate – which is understandable because this is an academic institution. Yet, if
the goal is to engage different people of different backgrounds, the page must have
conversational and simple contents. Avoiding wordy or text-heavy contents is also
helpful. Put simply, variability is key
Not treat FB page as a Bulletin Board. It is important to post official
memoranda and written messages. Yet the FB administrator just takes screenshots
and posts the official messages. Oftentimes, the texts are too small. Posting the
whole of the original texts is not reader-friendly. The Team should create a novel
material from the original texts.
Avoid purely talking-heads on video materials. Together with
the spoken message, video materials and other visual embellishments should be
embedded. The 2021 President Convocation’s pre-recorded message was the best
example.
Feature and highlight the forte of the school. PWU is Center of
Excellence for Music, Arts, and Culture. Highlighting PWU’s forte will attract more
students especially those who are interested in these fields. Also, the University
has renowned alumni such as Dr. Boy Abunda and Laarni Lozada. They should be
featured once, and may be asked for testimonies.
Utilize Facebook live and stories for events. Once the pandemic is
over, we can use Facebook live to broadcast student organization events, seminars
and even (if possible) athletes’ games.
66

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

Monitor non-official accounts. The administrators should also search for
and monitor possible fake and duplicate accounts. Doing so can do away with
confusion.
Instagram
Instagram is an online photo sharing social web service that lets its users share their
life’s experiences through visual materials. The platform has evolved, which allows
the users to create filters, games, polls and other activities. GIFs on Instagram are
also useful when creating journals, diaries, and infographics. Likewise, Instagram
is increasingly introducing new advantages to address key market concerns and
literacy to help people embrace their favorite brand and school accounts. PWU
then can use this social media platform to build a relationship with the younger
audiences by showcasing photos and videos related to the University.
As of November 2020, it was identified that the main users of this application
are between 18-34 years old. For this platform, PWU’s audiences are students (age
16-25), teachers (age 30- 45), and staff (ages 30-45). To date, the platform has only
1,843 followers.
With these observations in mind, the researchers hope that policy makers
especially the Marketing Team should:
Use the Instagram account as the main source of information.
Currently, The Patriots’ Radio handles the dissemination of information for the
university, and then PWU official account reposts whatever is posted by Patriots’
Radio. This manner may potentially lead to confusion in terms of determination of
the official owners.
Use Instagram stories to brand the University. Instagram stories
can be used to showcase events in the University, promote certain courses, to
mention a few.
Create infographics and diverse content: #MyPWUStories. This
can be done by posting success stories from the alumni. The materials can be a
photo, a quote, and shorter testimonies. Once the pandemic is over and the school
returns to face-to-face sessions, there should be an Instagram story posted for
every event. Instagram-able locations of PWU facilities can likewise be featured.
Series of photo competitions for PWU and non-PWU students can be organized.
Lastly, a day or “On This Day” dedicated to posting facts about the University and
showing the PWU milestone can be strategically done.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

67

Twitter
Twitter is a microblogging system that allows one to send and receive short posts
called tweets. With its interface, tweets can be up to 140 characters and can include
links to relevant websites and resources. To date, many of the younger generation
are slowly moving to Twitter.
As of writing, PWU has 4921 followers. The account posts the updates that
are already posted by the Facebook page. With these observations in mind, the
researchers hope that policy makers especially the Marketing Team should:
Spend ‘Q&A’ Day. Because the followers are mainly students, there
should be a day dedicated to answering students’ questions and suggestions. They
should make sure to engage with students, and reply to tagged tweets and answer
direct messages.
Feature ‘Fact Day’. Dedicating a day to tweet fun facts about the
University – how old it is, the founders, achievements, etc. will be very engaging.
Share motivational quotes and tweets. Students normally look for
helpful contents that can make them feel light.
Retweet students’ tweets that provide good feedback about
PWU. This way, the students become part of the marketing strategy.
Use trending hashtags. Using hashtags allows one’s post to be included
to that specific topic from a hashtag. For example, #SanaAll, #ThrowbackThursday,
and #TGIFs are some of the popular hashtags. Using relevant recurring hashtags
to connect with the audiences can also drum up the engagement.
Create online Polls for students. Creating interesting topics to
promote academic discussions.
YouTube
YouTube allows its users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report,
comment on videos, and subscribe to the other users. It provides wide varieties
of user-generated and corporate media videos, video clips, TV show clips, music
videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams,
and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational
videos. As of writing, PWU has 270 subscribers.
68

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

The researchers hope that policy makers especially the Marketing Team
should provide features for:
A ‘Day in a Life’ of a PWU Student. This may include the creation of
a blog on how students are coping with the pandemic.
‘How to enroll’. This will not only make life easy for the incoming students
but can also guide them in the enrolment process. It can also lessen the confusion
on how to enroll especially during the disruption of face-to-face enrolment similar
to what happened during the pandemic.
PWU student leaders’ and athletes’ contents. This can be in the
form of interviews on how PWU has helped them. Broadcasting the games and
competitions online is also a good content for this platform.
PWU organizations’ contents. The video can focus on the events of
the organizations. Featuring these organizations can promote the students’ affairs
at the University.
PWU virtual University tour. This technique can provide the
community with insights about the University.
Tiktok
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media sites in the world. It offers an
alternate version of online sharing. It helps users to create short videos with audio,
filters, and other features. Because of its engaging platform, Tiktok quickly gets
the attention of the users. Even with its second/time-constrained videos, PWU can
strategically use it to release short advisories, announcements, and contents about
the University. Overall, the suggested activities listed above for Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, and may be applicable for this platform.
PWU’s Official Website
An organization’s website is the first page that anyone is interested in looking at.
Fortunately, PWU’s website is functional.
The researchers hope that policy makers especially the Marketing Team
should provide features for:
Online chat box. The creation of an online chat box can ease the inquiry
processes. This will be convenient for anyone who visits the website.
PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

69

FAQs. With the creation of the chat box, the patterns of questions will be
determined and archived easily.
Academic scholarship information. There is an academic tab on
the website. However, it only consists of the Underwood organization; it does not
provide information about the academic scholarship that a student can avail if
their grades are high.
Sophisticated and improved Graphic User Interface (GUI). The
website’s text is too small; content is too wordy; with minimal use of visual media;
absence of navigation bar. The website can be converted more to a portfolio-like,
rather than simple documents. For example, in the Campus Life directory, they can
incorporate slideshows of their events. To make things simpler, a website should
present simple and reader-friendly information.
Organized sectioning. Pages for the specific courses are too
wordy. Each course deserves a separate page which should include the following:
course description; philosophy- vision, mission and objectives; a flowchart on how
to apply for the course, along with fees; career opportunities; student Experience
(in the form of videos, slideshows, etc.); program curriculum (old and new); and
program policies.
Needless to say, the strategies, suggestions, and recommendations
highlighted under each of the platforms above can be applied for PWU’s website.
CONCLUSION
The use of social media is an important component of the communications
department/division of any institution. In fact, it is believed that strategic use of
social media can improve audience engagement which will result in the increase
of PWU enrollees. Therefore, these suggestions should be considered accordingly.
Despite these promising recommendations and suggestions, however, a few of the
essential questions were figured out during the presentation. Questions include
(1) What department or group is handling the social media sites of PWU? (2) Does
the University have sufficient manpower and teams to oversee all of these social
media platforms? (3) What are the financial implications for these suggestions?
and (4) What do the suggestions and recommendation mean in terms of planning,
manpower, collaboration, open communication, and overall structure, which are
expected to be composed of the different stakeholders of the University?
These humble sets of assessment and suggestions remain within the
perspective of the student-researchers who may not be considered experts in the
70

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

field yet. At the same, the analyses, recommendations, and proposals are seen to
be valid as these student-researchers are media users themselves – whose voice
should be heard and considered – with the idea in mind that any University is a
product of collective efforts – no matter how small they may be.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
All student-authors are current BA Communication students of the Communication
Department of PWU – School of Arts and Sciences.
NOTES
This assessment-proposal was presented to Mr. Cesario del Rosario in the
course “Communication Planning” last second trimester of AY 2020-2021. The
presentation was observed by the Dean of School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Leonardo
Munalim last January 23, 2021 via Google Meet.

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

71

ABOUT RDO LOGO

Semiotic
Signs
R
D

Descriptions
“R” and “D” stand for “Research” and “Development” the official
lexical items of the Office. They have conspicuous spaces; they
represent the important spaces in literature, studies and bodies of
knowledge that the academic community of the Philippine Women’s
University needs to consider and re-consider when producing
research and other professional, academic and scholarly materials.

O
Gear

The third semiotic sign is the icon of a gear. It represents letter
“O.” The has 14 teeth, which represents 14 major Schools of the
University. This mimetic representation is based on the nature
of the gear which moves and propels the other constituent parts
of an object. The gear does not work individually, but works in
tandem with its immediate parts, that is, the 14 different academic
programs of the University which meld together for collective
research undertakings. The Logo then was carefully designed that
one of the toothed wheels is attached to the letter “D.” There are
no touching points, however, between “R” and “D” because it is
the ideal challenge of the researchers and scholars to build and
establish the connections of these gaps, thereby filling in the white
space at the center for a well-oiled gear.

Color
Maroon

The dominant color of Maroon is based upon the color of PWU:
CYAN - 27 MAGENTA - 100 YELLOW - 90 BLACK 31.

Gradient

It is indicative of the multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and
transdisciplinarity of all research activities in the University.
2020 RDO Logo Design by PWU Multimedia Team

72

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

73

74

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021

75

76

PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY BIDLISIW Volume 1, May 2021



Fleepit Digital © 2020