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American Folklife Center Collections: Philippines

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture of the Philippines and its diaspora at the Library of Congress.


Group of young Filipina dancers smiling on stage
Jonas Dovydenas, photographer. Civic Center Plaza Ethnic Dance Festival, Chicago, Illinois. July 1, 1977. Chicago Ethnic Arts Project collection (AFC 1981/004). Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

American Folklife Center collections from the Philippines document the diversity of its expressive culture domestically and among its diaspora. Included in the Center's unique collections are recordings by anthropologist and linguist Harold C. Conklin, which include copies of original ethnography of music and rituals of the Ifugao of northern Luzon, Philippines, found in the Harold C. Conklin Philippine Collection, 1955-1995 (AFC 2001/007). The earliest ethnographic recordings in this collection date back to 1955, and include multiple languages in its music and storytelling. Also held in the American Folklife Center's archive is documentation by Susan Caperna Lloyd, photographer and filmmaker, who similarly documented religious ritual in the Philippines, including those related to Catholic Holy Week and Easter Sunday in the city of Malolos of the Bulacan Province in 1987. These images include those of effigies of Santo Niño, political posters, as well other folk customs and rituals from around the world. In the United States, documentation of the Filipino diaspora can be found in photographs of musicians and performers in the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection (1984/004), as well as through recordings of a 1978 broadcast of "Radio Filipino" found in our Ethnic Broadcasting in America Collection (AFC 1981/018).

Collections of Interest

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available. 

Podcasts and Blog Posts

Public Programming

"Mangyan" is a term often used to refer to several Indigenous communities on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. This virtual panel event focuses on Mangyan scripts and literary heritage, which have persisted through the centuries despite the experiences of Spanish, and then American rule. It also highlights Mangyan collections at the Library of Congress, the Mangyan Heritage Center, Newberry Library, and Yale Peabody Museum. Panelists discussed Mangyan holdings at these institutions, as well as Mangyan writing - thought to be Indic-derived - and literary forms such as the ambahan, a song poem of seven syllables per line. This event seeks to raise awareness about Mangyan literary culture, and opportunities for research on Mangyan-related topics both in the United States and in the Philippines. It also aims to draw attention to Indigenous cultures and contributions, specifically those of the Mangyan, in a highly visible national space, which the Library of Congress affords as one of the oldest cultural institutions in the United States. Coordinated by the Library's Asian Division, this event also mentions materials documented by Harold C. Conklin held in the American Folklife Center's Archive. (September 20, 2023)