This pilot project lays the groundwork for a dissertation project and larger archaeological campaign focused on illuminating indigenous Filipino responses to Spanish colonial intrusions in the Cagayan valley of Northern Luzon. The focal point of the investigation is the church of San Pablo de Cabagan in Isabela province. San Pablo is one of the first established Churches in the region. It therefore has the potential to provide this project with a diachronic data set from pre-colonial to late-colonial eras. This project also aims to be collaborative with the community surrounding San Pablo de Cabagan. As it is still in use today the priest, Father Jomil and several people in the community are interested in the history and conservation of the Church as well. The project plans to share data, conclusions, and to potentially incorporate community originated questions that the archaeology can answer.
This first pilot field season I will conduct aerial drone survey, test excavation pits, and archival survey to assess the extent of archaeological material in and around the church. Ultimately the larger archaeological investigation into San Pablo de Cabagan has the potential to explore the interplay of colonialism, culture, and environmental change on a local and regional scale.