Life in the Philippines: Contextual Essays on Filipino Being

This collection of essays comprises the ideas that fueled the author’s work on Philippine society and Filipino worlds of thought. The ideas concerned have been conceived in a comparative context that, on the one hand, draws on general social science and the humanities, and, on the other, on the analogies with the praxis of life in both Thailand and on Java (Indonesia). Whereas the focus of the essays is on life in the Philippines, Jose Rizal’s demonio de las comparaciones firmly situates Filipino being in Southeast Asia, or at least among the commonalities of life along the littoral of the South China cum Java Sea. Because of this, and after this position has been clarified in essay 2, Javanese and Thai data will steadily be juxtaposed to similar observations on Filipino being. After this, and similar to the analysis of the Filipino condition in essay 1, the spotlight will be on the mentality informing the public world in the Philippines.

Upon these analytical essays, we step down to earth with sketches of everyday happenings and observations that should convey the flavor of life in the islands such as experienced and interpreted by the non-native denizen.

Niels Mulder has the rare ability to be both scholarly and entertaining
– Ian Buruma in God’s Dust

In Inside Philippine Society, Mulder is particularly good at showing the contradictions in Philippine society and culture. The chapter on Filipino self-images is extremely revealing
– Raul Pertierra in Review of the Asian Studies Association of Australia