The Philippines is commonly understood to occupy an anomalous position in Southeast Asian area studies. This essay explores the logic, politics, and logistics of the inclusion and exclusion of the Philippines in or from Southeast Asian studies. Perspectives on and from the Philippines can help rethink and refine concepts of “region” by emphasizing, rather than glossing over, the transregional connections and histories that link the Philippines and its localities to its neighbors, to various regions, and to the world. Area studies need not be hobbled by an intellectual parochialism that cordons off analysis at any given local, national, regional, and transregional scale.
KEYWORDS: AREA • REGION • TRANSREGIONALITY • SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES • AREA STUDIES