The University of Wisconsin Press

Asian Studies / History / Political Science / Women’s Studies


Amazons of the Huk Rebellion
Gender, Sex, and Revolution in the Philippines
Vina A. Lanzona

New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies
Alfred W. McCoy, R. Anderson Sutton, Thongchai Winichakul and Kenneth M. George, Series Editors

"Vina Lanzona’s account of Filipinas who, as girls and young women, joined the Huk insurgency is genuinely eye-opening. This book will be of interest to anyone thinking about women and social movements, gender and war, or masculinized ambivalence.”

—Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link

Winner, Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize for the best history book written by a resident of Hawaii, sponsored by Brigham Young University–Hawaii

Awarded a First Book Subvention Grant by the Association for Asian Studies


Labeled “Amazons” by the national press, women played a central role in the Huk rebellion, one of the most significant peasant-based revolutions in modern Philippine history.  As spies, organizers, nurses, couriers, soldiers, and even military commanders, women worked closely with men to resist first Japanese occupation and later, after WWII, to challenge the new Philippine republic. But in the midst of the uncertainty and violence of rebellion, these women also pursued personal lives, falling in love, becoming pregnant, and raising families, often with their male comrades-in-arms.

Drawing on interviews with over one hundred veterans of the movement, Vina A. Lanzona explores the Huk rebellion from the intimate and collective experiences of its female participants, demonstrating how their presence, and the complex questions of gender, family, and sexuality they provoked, ultimately shaped the nature of the revolutionary struggle.


Vina A. Lanzona is associate professor of history at the University of Hawai’i–Manoa.

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Of Related Interest:
Cover of An Anarchy of Families is orange with black and white photos of individuals with guns.An Anarchy of Families

State and Family in the Philippines
Edited by Alfred W. McCoy
With a new preface

“Rends the canopy of ‘civility’ and ‘culture’ surrounding the ruling families of the Philippines, revealing long histories of opportunism and violence.”—Patricio Abinales, Kyoto University

Winner of the Philippine National Book Award

The cover of the Lazona is illustrated with a poster or photo of one of the Amazons, and two panels of blood red.

April 2009

LC: 2008040624 HQ
376 pp.   6 x 9  
25 b/w photos, 2 maps, 2 diagrams


Paper $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-23094-4
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“The great strength of Amazons of the Huk Rebellion derives from Lanzona’s interaction with the women who participated in the Huk movement and from the skill with which she has entwined their voices with chronological narrative and gender theory. This book not only casts new light on a significant period of Philippine history but also raises comparative questions for scholars working on revolution and social action elsewhere.”
—Barbara Watson Andaya, University of Hawai’i


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Updated June 7, 2012

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