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This page provides links to Chi Chai's academic work while  pursuing her Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) at the University of San Francisco.

master's thesis

Challenging Filipino Colonial Mentality

with Cultural Art


Most Original Research

by the MAIS department

at USF

November 2016


        For 350 years, the Philippines was colonized by Spain and the United States. The Philippines became a sovereign nation in 1946 yet, fifty years later, colonial teachings continue to oppress Filipinos due to their colonial mentality (CM.) CM is an internalized oppression among Filipinos in which they experience an automatic preference for anything Western—European or U.S. American— and rejection of anything Filipino. Although Filipinos show signs of a CM, there are Filipinos who are challenging CM by engaging in Philippine art. Philippine art is defined as Filipinomade visual art, literature, music, and dance intended to promote Philippine culture. This research project analyzes the Philippine art community and discovers that those involved in the Philippine art community are conscious of how colonialism dictates standards today. They also actively challenge colonial affects by creating and/or supporting artists whom promote Filipino cultures. However, Philippine art’s ability to decrease CM among Filipinos is not evenly accessible among classes.

legal position paper

Pacific Islands against Climate Change: Small Island
Developing States of the Pacific’s Need for International Cooperation to Survive

December 2015

The final for the MAIS class "International Law and Human Rights" required students to write a legal position paper. For the paper, students must make a stance on a human rights issue, use international law to strengthen our arguments, and propose changes to current laws in place. We were also required to make a 10-minute presentation of our paper.

I addressed the life-threatening effects climate change has on small island developing states. I argued  that we need a legally binding agreement in which world leaders must work together in preventing more environmental damage, assisting small island developing states in adapting to the environmental changes made by climate change, and redefine the term refugee in order to open their borders for those displaced by climate change.

paper on global health

Reproductive Health vs. Religion: the Philippine Dilemma with its growing population

May 2016

The MAIS class "Food Security & Global Health" assigned students to write an analytical paper about an argument for a global health issue. Students had to present the importance of the issue, the strengths and weaknesses of opposing positions, and elicit our position with specific empirical evidence.

My paper explored how the Philippine government is conducting a form of structural violence towards its population—especially towards women and girls—by systematically prohibiting reproductive health rights.

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