Place Names, Seascape and Cartography of Marine Rights: Case of claims to places on the reef of Batasan in Bohol

Eulalio R. Guieb III


The essay looks into how islanders of Batasan in Bohol delineate the geographic distinctions of their environment. Islanders identify places to define markers that describe their environment’s geo-ecological features, provide maritime directions, frame physical and social boundaries, and set limits of marine activities. Such delineations indicate varying degrees of rights and claims. I also address in this essay how codes of access and exclusion reconfigure the physical and social environment of the island. A sense of ownership of what I term as ‘village-encoded local ecological knowledge’ predisposes villagers to claim access to these resources. Central here is how they incorporate this knowledge into issues of tenure and the allocation of use rights that, in the process, rearrange divisions among islanders and between groups of islanders and non-village individuals, organisations and institutions. In the end, islanders’ narrative geography frames their socio-economic practices as they navigate the political terrain of resource rights allocation.

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