Narratives from the Rice Fields: Colonial Legacies, Agricultural Change, and Coping Strategies in Nabua, Camarines Sur

Jehu Emmanuel G Laniog, Purdue University


Since time immemorial, agricultural changes in the Philippines have been inspired by the notion of self-sufficiency projected by developed and industrial countries. Through ethnographic writing and historical analysis, I visit the outcomes of the Green Revolution and how the development of new agricultural technology escalated violence embedded in communities that experienced multiple colonialism. These acknowledged and disclaimed forms of violence are perpetuated by occurring negotiations between community actors, primarily the landed and landless farmers, living in the context of precarity.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-five farmers (aged 20 – 85), who mostly cultivated on borrowed land. I argue that in a post-colonial town like Nabua, the sociocultural and socio-economic factors involved in farming do not coincide with the Philippine government’s plans for agricultural development and progress. These ethnographic essays investigate how colonial legacies manifest and perpetuate violence locally by examining Nabua’s historical experience with multiple colonialism, the outcomes of persisting precarity, and agricultural developments. In the first chapter, I contextualize precarity by analyzing the history of change from the Spanish colonial period to the peak of the Green Revolution, cruising through how national policies manifest in agricultural developments at the local level. For the second chapter, I dive into the present-day farming situation in Nabua and how violence and precarity are perpetuated by the national government’s agricultural development master plan. I conclude with a call to localize agricultural development and address local challenges to attain sustainable and progressive agricultural development.




Docot, Purdue University.

Subject Area


Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server