‘Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Promise’: Performing a Pan-ASEAN Archipelagic Identity at Age 50

Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)


An analysis of the summit’s principal public performances, namely the Gala Dinner and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, reflect how a pan-ASEAN identity and politics were imagined and performed in ways that create a virtual, coherent, and regionally constituted archipelago where cultural flows, real and imagined, link states and geographical locations. We interrogate these performances through archipelagic frames to unpack the construction of a pan-ASEAN character and politics. Ultimately, we propose a pan-ASEAN identity seen through the politics and theatre of the summit as an archipelago that extends Southeast Asia to other locations, an identity reflecting the region’s history as a postcolonial intervention and invention of previous imperial forces, while subject to the global forces of neoliberalism.


  1. Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Apter, David E. 2006. Politics as Theatre: An Alternative View of the Rationalities of Power. In Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual, ed. Jeffrey Alexander, Bernhard Giesen, and Jason L. Mast, 328–356. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. Accessed April 11, 2018.
  4. Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 31st ASEAN Summit Manila. Accessed August 6, 2018. 2017.
  5. Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN Economic Community. Accessed August 6, 2018.
  6. Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN Summit. Accessed August 6, 2018.
  7. Ballet Philippines. 1981. Rama Hari. Manila.Google Scholar
  8. Benitez-Rojo, Antonio, and James Maraniss. 1985. The Repeating Island. New England Review and Bread Loaf Quarterly 7 (4): 430–452.Google Scholar
  9. Channel 90 seconds. TV Official Channel. 2017. 31st ASEAN Summit Gala Celebration Dinner. YouTube, November 12. Accessed August 6, 2018.
  10. CTGN. 2017. Live: Closing Ceremony of 2017 ASEAN Summit. YouTube, November 14. Accessed August 7, 2018.
  11. De Vera, Rodolfo. 1993. Ang Paglalakbay ni Radiya Mangandiri: Isang Pilipinong Ramayana. Manila.Google Scholar
  12. DeLoughrey, Elizabeth. 2001. “Litany of Island, The Rosary of the Archipelagoes”: Caribbean and Pacific Archipelagraphy. ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 32 (1): 21–51.Google Scholar
  13. Duterte News Report. 2017. Wow, Tagumpay [success]! President Duterte and President Trump @ 31st ASEAN Summit Manila Philippines!. YouTube, November 12, Accessed July 6, 2018.
  14. Glissant, Edouard, and Pierre Joris. 1999. Introduction to the Poetics of the Diverse. Boundary 2 26 (1): 119–121.Google Scholar
  15. Lumbera, Bienvenido, and Roy Iglesias. 1999. Rama at Sita. Quezon City.Google Scholar
  16. mmacaliwanagan. 2006. Idem-dem Malida. YouTube, August 25. Accessed July 8, 2018.
  17. Ness, Sally. 2003. Where Asia Smiles: An Ethnography of Philippine Tourism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  18. Peterson, William. 2017. Places of Happiness: Community, Self, and Performance in the Philippines. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. PH News Unfiltered. 2017. ASEAN 2017 Live Musical! Grabe ang Galing ng Pilipino!. YouTube, November 12. Accessed April 15, 2018.
  20. Philippines’ Duterte Sings Love Song for Trump: “You are the light.” 2017. The Guardian, November 13. Accessed July 6, 2018.
  21. Pilipinas Updates. 2017. MapapaWow ka sa Galing!!! 31st ASEAN Summit World-Class Performances at the Opening. YouTube, November 12. Accessed July 7, 2018.
  22. Roberts, Brian Russel, and Michelle Ann Stephens. 2017. Introduction. In American Archipelagic Studies, ed. Brian Russel Roberts and Michelle Ann Stephens, 1–54. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. San Juan, Thelma Sioson. 2015. “FuntaSea” for Apec: PH Takes a Long-Awaited Bow. Philippines Inquirer, May 24. Accessed August 8, 2018.
  24. Stratford, Elaine, Godfrey Baldacchino, Elizabeth McMahon, Carol Farbotko, and Andrew Harwood. 2011. Envisioning an Archipelago. Island Studies 6 (2): 113–130.Google Scholar
  25. Tabago, Evelyn. 2017. Pres. Duterte & Ms. Pilita Corales Duet (Ikaw). YouTube, November 13. Accessed August 7, 2018.
  26. Yamsuan, Cathy Cañares. 2017. “All about the future”: 600 Pinoy Artists Lead Grand Charm Offensive for Asean Meet. Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 12. Accessed August 2, 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Philippine Studies Network in AustraliaMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations