Project Description


The main focus of the Bicol Archaeological Project (BAP) (Philippines) is to understand indigenous responses to colonialism, including economic, landscape, and political shifts that occurred soon after conquest. The field school provides training in archaeological field methods and bioarchaeological methodologies. The Bicol Region has a rich, but largely undocumented archaeological record that spans the Neolithic, Metal Age, Trade and Interaction with Asian traders, and Spanish colonial periods. The BAP aims to launch a region-wide archaeological program that will provide data to establish the region’s cultural chronology, which will be tied to the larger chronology in the region. Anthropological issues such as culture-contact, subsistence shifts, resource utilization, responses to colonialism, climate change, heritage conservation, and community engagement will also be pursued by the BAP. Although BAP primarily looks at the archaeology of colonialism, the deep archaeological deposit in the region provides a broader research opportunity that students can pursue.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 25-July 22, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,660
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology, Bioarchaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Stephen Acabado, Dr. Zandro Villanueva, Dr. Adam Lauer, Dr. Francisco Datar
  • Online Orientation: May 5, 2018, 4:00 PM PST
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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Stephen Acabado
Dr. Stephen Acabado Director
Dr. Zandro Villanueva
Dr. Zandro VillanuevaCo-Director
Makati Museum
Dr. Adam Lauer
Dr. Adam LauerCo-Director
International Archaeological Research Institute
Dr. Francisco Datar
Dr. Francisco DatarCo-Director
University of the Philippines


This is a new IFR field school. There are no student testimonials available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field house in the city of Naga, Bicol, and will be provided with hotel lodging while in Manila. Conditions at the field house are basic and hot water is not always guaranteed. Students will likely sleep on bunk beds or on mattresses on the floor and will share large communal rooms.

All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. The daily diet in Bicol is heavily based on rice and meat (pork and chicken). Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are available, but could sometimes be difficult to maintain in this location. Vegetarian diet is also available in the location.

Travel Info

Field school participants are expected to be in Manila on or before 12PM on Monday, June 25th, 2018. Students arriving either on June 24th and 25th will be met by project staff at the Manila International Airport (MNL). Students who arrived earlier, the meeting place will be at the Red Planet Hotel Aseana City. Room and board starting June 25th will be covered by the project.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email the project director immediately. A local cell phone number for emergency contact will be provided to all enrolled students.

We will travel to Bicol by bus on the morning of June 26. We will return to Manila by bus on July 21. Students should plan onward travel or flights back home for anytime on July 22

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.