College Educated Pinatubo Aytas: A ‘Struggle of Identification’”


  • Julieta C. Mallari



college educated Pinatubo Aytas, identification, acculturation, assimilation


After the eruption of Mt Pinatubo (Philippines) in 1991, most Aytas living at the foot of the volcano were resettled in lowland areas. Breaking with the past entailed a painful struggle particularly among these indigenous people who were uprooted from their source of life. As they tried to adapt to their new environment, they had no choice but to conform in re-establishing their habitat and in attempting to find ways of achieving a better future. Since formal education was a most promising venture, there were Ayta parents who welcomed the scholarships offered by the government or the private sector to their children. This study features interviews with Pinatubo Aytas—who were given the opportunity to finish college—and highlights their struggle as they aspire for socio-economic mobility. The new generation of Aytas has become an emerging breed of acculturation that puts their identity fundamentally at stake: their case demonstrates a “struggle of identification,” to use Bhabha’s term. Their experience of self-consciousness in their psychic identification with the dominant culture or their alacritous acceptance of their assimilated condition remains a critical issue calling for further inquiry.