Coastal Bodies and Childhood Memories: Exploring Baby Boomers' Gendered Memories of the Waterfront in Virac, Catanduanes


This work examines childhood memories of baby boomers in the municipality of Virac, Catanduanes Island (Philippines) to examine gender dynamics in Virac’s seascapes. Through drawing together Donna Haraway’s (1988) notion of partial perspectives and Frigga Haug’s (1987) memory-work, this article shows the entanglement between the fragmented memories of boomers and the gendered waterfront of Virac. Employing unstructured interviews, this work presents the meanings and imaginations of the waterfront beyond being economic and industrial spaces. Three relevant discussions emerged from this interest: first, the boomers’ narratives demonstrate how coastal femininities and masculinities are constructed in relation to bodies; second, in contrast to the masculine dismissal of emotions and desires, women’s emotion-bound memories show potentials in navigating the symbolic meanings of bodies in relation to Virac’s waterfront spaces; and third, memories recognise the past as a plurality of subjective meanings, with the waterfront as a relational space. These observations suggest that the waterfront and its contours work together to create remembered narratives that animate and shape Virac’s waterscapes. This work is an invitation to provoke further thoughts and engage in alternative methods in making visible hidden gendered processes in hidden spaces.

Author Biography

Aireen Grace T. Andal, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Aireen Grace T. Andal is a doctoral researcher under a double-PhD track in Social Sciences (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia) and Social Philosophy (Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia). Her research focuses on children’s geographies and children as co-creators of spatial and geographical knowledge. Majority of her engagements involve children’s urban spaces with emphasis on slum-dwelling communities in the global South. She is a scholar for and with children and their spaces. Her academic life is devoted to making children’s voices heard, their insights acknowledged, and their lives seen—matters that are hitherto often dismissed.

How to Cite
Andal, A. (2022). Coastal Bodies and Childhood Memories: Exploring Baby Boomers' Gendered Memories of the Waterfront in Virac, Catanduanes. Changing Societies & Personalities, 6(2), 296–314. doi:10.15826/csp.2022.6.2.176