Iloilo honors '1st Filipino anthropologist'

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo—The Iloilo Provincial Board honored the contribution of the late Dr. Felipe Landa Jocano, an Ilonggo who is considered as the first Filipino anthropologist.

“Dr. Jocano’s passing is a great loss to the nation and especially to the Province of Iloilo, the land of his birth,” it said in a resolution.

The native of Cabatuan, Iloilo died at the age of 83 in Quezon City last October 27.

Authored by Provincial Board Members Demy Sonza and Manny Gallar, Jocano was recognized for his “invaluable contributions towards the building of Filipino identity and nationhood.”

Jocano was best known for his research work on the Sulodnon (also known as Sulod or Panay Bukidnon), an indigenous group found in the mountains of Central Panay.

Jocano was a student-researcher at Central Philippine University (CPU) in Iloilo City during the 1950s when he unearthed the existence of Hinilawod (The Epic of Panay), touted as the country’s longest epic.

Jocano is also known for the Core Population Theory, one of the alternative theories on pre-historic migration of people in the country.

Jocano taught at the University of Chicago in the United States and at UP Diliman in Quezon City.

Jocano has written extensively on Philippine mythology, pre-colonial Filipino culture, Filipino social system, Filipino value system, and Filipino folk medicine.

Jocano’s body of works has been constantly used by historians, teachers, artists, writers, and cultural workers both in the Philippines and abroad.