Tuesday, September 28, 2021

US author of Cebu history, culture books lauded

WRITING CEBU.  A former US Peace Corps volunteer in Cebu, Dr. Michael Cullinane, professor of the University of Winsconsin, has written books on Cebu history and culture. The Cebu City Government conferred on him the title “Adopted Son of Cebu City” during the launching of his book “The Battle for Cebu.”  (Sunstar.foto/Arni Aclao)

AN AMERICAN national who has deep interest in the history and culture of Cebu was conferred with the citation “Adopted Son of Cebu City” during the launching the other day of his book “The Battle for Cebu.”

Dr. Michael Cullinane, professor of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, United States was conferred the citation Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama in a ceremony at the BPI Library Cebu.

Cullinane was born in March 1942 in Panama to American parents and is now the associate director of the Center of South East Asian Studies for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He devoted himself to scholarly studies of the 19th Century and early 20th Century study for Cebu, according to Resolution No. 13-1106-2014 passed by the Cebu City Council and signed by Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Rama.


The resolution added that Cullinane has published books, written scholastic articles, held academic seminars and conferences in the Philippines and abroad pertaining to the history and culture of Cebu, ensuring a greater awareness of the City of Cebu and Province in the international scholarly circle.

“It is but a rare occurrence that a foreigner will develop such immense interest on Cebuano history as substantiated by his lifelong dedication to the research and study of Cebu,” read the resolution.

Cullinane came to Cebu in 1966 as a US Peace Corps volunteer and landed a position as a teacher at the Cebu Normal University (CNU) and Cebu Institute of Technology University (CIT-U).

When he came back in 1972, he became a teacher of the University of San Carlos (USC) and in 1975, he helped establish the Cebuano Studies Center along with Professor Resil Mojares.

Mojares said he was just released from detention during Martial Law and Cullinane was introduced to him by somebody who was going to work on the history of Cebu.

“We became very close since then because we shared an interest in Cebuano studies. We traveled together in the provinces and other areas,” Mojares said.

The Cebuano Studies Center is the country’s first special library and research center entirely devoted to the study of Cebu’s rich cultural and historical heritage.


The book, “The Battle for Cebu,” was based on the diary of American soldier Andrew S. Rowan about the siege of Sudlon (Cebu City) during the American Occupation of Cebu from 1899 to 1900.

Jobers Reynes Bersales, the manager of the USC Press, said the book was sold during the launcing at P500 per copy and is now available at P650 per copy at the USC Press and USC Museum.

The launching was attended by USC President Dionisio Miranda, Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco and representatives from the academe.

In his speech, Cullinane said he was greatly honored to become a Cebuano through adoption.
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