Skip to main content

Brief Profile

Maria F. Mangahas is Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of the Philippines, Diliman. She has a PhD. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (2001), and MA in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines Diliman (1994). Coastal and small-scale fishing communities had been an area of research since 1987-88. Long term fieldwork sites are Batanes and Samal Island, Davao Gulf. The ethnographic themes she has explored center on traditional fishing culture and the community economy, and on impoverishment and sharing, as well as tradition and identity born out of the interaction and circulation of people (‘indigenous’ and migrants). From 2009 she looked into the phenomenon of digitized ‘scandals’ and the culture of media piracy in the Philippines, including the unauthorized circulation of pirated DVDs in response to current events as a form of alternative media. More recent research undertakings have been into the history of anthropology in the Philippines, and investigating the apparent absence of the maritime or archipelagic perspective in Philippine Anthropology. Her publications and papers have been on indigenous coastal resource management, ‘gear conflicts’ and changing seascapes, collective fishing technology, notions of ‘luck’ and leadership, the rural as ‘frontier’, digital piracy as alternative media, and maritime anthropology in the Philippines. She was President of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao Inc. (Anthropological Association of the Philippines) in 2014-2017, and is currently Editor of its official journal, Aghamtao.

Research Interest and Specialization

Anthropology of fishing, ritual technology, the commons…

Geographical Areas / Field Sites

Batanes; Samal Island, Davao Gulf; city market nodes and cyberspace;


  • Mangahas MF. “To be lucky and to catch a lot of fish”: masagal in Batanes. National Museum Journal of Cultural Heritage.
  • Mangahas MF, Rodriguez-Roldan S. Recovering Filipino Production of a Maritime Anthropology. In: Thompson EC, Sinha V Southeast Asian Anthropologies: National Traditions and Transnational Practices. Singapore: NUS Press ; 2019. Southeast Asian Anthropologies
  • Mangahas MF, Zayas CN. Continuing alongside the Katutubo: Current challenges to Filipino anthropology. Aghamtao. 2018;26 :101-120
  • Mangahas M. ‘Gear conflicts’ and changing seascapes in Batanes. AghamTao. 2016;25 :174-200.
  • Mangahas M. Television of, by, and for the Poor? On Suffering and Media Ethics. Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society. 2016;13 (01) :149-155.
  • Mangahas MF. Seasonal Ritual and the Regulation of Fishing. In: Vaz J, Aphinives N Living Landscapes, Connected Communities: Culture, Environment and Change Across Asia. Kuala Lumpur: Areca Books ; 2014. pp. 199-204.
  • Mangahas M. DVD Piracy as Alternative Media: The Scandal of Piracy, and the Piracy of “Scandal” in the Philippines, 2005–2009. Kasarinlan (Philippine Journal of Third World Studies). 2014;29 (1) :109-139.
  • Mangahas M. ‘Scandal’ in Filipino Pop-Cyberculture. In: Baumann S Cybercultures: Cultures in Cyberspace Communities. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press ; 2012. pp. 183-211.
  • Mangahas M. BA Anthropology as a commodity choice. AghamTao. 2010;19 :56-66.
  • Mangahas M. Seasonal Ritual and the Regulation of Fishing in Batanes Province, Philippines. In: Managing Coastal and Inland Waters: Pre-existing Aquatic Management Systems in Southeast Asia. Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York: Springer ; 2010. pp. 77-98.
  • Mangahas M. A History of Mataw Fishing in Batanes, Philippines. Asia-Pacific Forum. (Special Issue: Island Environmental Histories and Management in the Asia-Pacific Region). 2009;44 :109-135.
  • Mangahas M. Making the Vanua: Collective Fishing Technology in Batanes and an Austronesian Archetype of Society. Philippine Studies. 2008;56 (2) :187-199.
  • Mangahas M. Ang mga Bundok ng Sierra Madre Bilang isang Frontera sa Pilipinas. Philippine Social Science Information. 2005.
  • Mangahas M. Compradors and Fishers: Poverty, Community, and Market in the Periphery (Samal Island, Davao Gulf). Pilipinas. 2004;43 :1-31.
  • Mangahas M. Fishing and Performing Fair Shares. AghamTao. 2004;10 :51-80.
  • Mangahas M. Narratives of Power in the Landscapes of a New City. Banwa. 2004;1 (1) :37-74.
  • Mangahas M. Two Fishers’ Knowledge Systems and Frontier Strategies in the Philippines, in Putting Fishers’ Knowledge to Work. Vol 11. 1st ed. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada: Fisheries Centre Research Reports ; 2003 :340-346.
  • Mangahas MF. (Book Review) Fenella Cannell, 1999, Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Anthropology (A Journal of the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University). 1999;21 (1) :101-104.
  • Mangahas M. (Review Essay) On Raul Pertierra’s ‘Emancipation Within Culture’. Public Policy. 1999;3 (1) :119-121.
  • Mangahas M. Modern bongkog: ‘temporary weddings’ and dual Samal and Bisaya identities in Samal Island, Davao Gulf. Pilipinas. 1998;30 :45-62.
  • Mangahas M. Mataw fishing in Batanes. AghamTao. 1996;8 :1-12.
  • Mangahas MF. Mataw, Amung Nu Rayon, Anitu / Man, the “fish of Summer”, and the spirits—An Ethnography of Mataw Fishing in Batanes. Department of Anthropology, University of the Philippines, Diliman. 1994.
  • Mangahas M. Indigenous Coastal Resources Management: The Case of Mataw Fishing in Batanes. Quezon City: Center for Integrative and Development Studies. University of the Philippines, Diliman.; 1994 pp. 56pp.
  • Mangahas M. Music Acculturation and two Philippine composers. Diliman Review. 1993 :56-64.