Interiors of the Islands

Authors: Borislav Nikoltchev*, University of Oklahoma, Fred Shelley*, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Regional Geography, Geographic Theory, Asia
Keywords: islands, periphery, interior, frontier, Southeast Asia, Philippines
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Endymion, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

During a trip to the Philippines in 2015, I visited the interiors of the islands of Luzon and Mindoro. Both of these areas are not easily accessible from the coastal regions of these islands. Luzon contains the city of Manila, which is the primary city of the entire country. In the northern part of the island, however, Cagayan Valley is highly isolated. Although this valley is located less than 300 kilometers from Manila, it is surrounded by rugged mountains, and the region can be reached by paved road in only two locations. In contrast to Wallerstein’s theory, this paper examines the world regional differences in relation to places’ distances to the sea. The core regions in Luzon and Mindoro, similarly to many other islands, are located also on their coastline, and the developed coastal plains are encircling the underdeveloped and less populous mountainous interiors. This is a negative image of the common representation of the cores being encircled by peripheries. In discussion of place, scale and globalization, this paper hypothesizes a more specific approach in regional and area studies feasible for studying rural areas in Southeast Asia. Also, because these islands do not have international borderlines, there is a discussion of the borders’ impact on the peripheries – mainly in comparison to locales in peninsular Southeast Asia where these borders are present.

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