Exploring Social Construct of Place Attachment among Settlers in Disaster-prone Areas

  • Sharon Feliza Ann Macagba Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning, College of Human Ecology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, 4031, Philippines
  • John Ceffrey Eligue Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning, College of Human Ecology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, 4031, Philippines
  • Sharmaine Marie Marasigan Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning, College of Human Ecology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, 4031, Philippines
Keywords: place attachment, sense of place, disaster risk reduction.


This paper examines the place attachment of residents living in landslide-prone areas in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. It aims to characterize the place attachment of the residents in these communities as they continue to inhabit such areas despite the risk and to identify social attributes which greatly contribute to the characteristics of their place attachment. Results show that place attachment leads to stronger community ties because/as the meanings, experiences and memory of the people are translated into cultural codes through interactions among residents. Patterns of place attachment among the landslide-prone communities in Los Baños show a strong social bond, particularly determined by the presence of their immediate and extended families. This is bond is further extended to the neighbors and to the whole community as well. However, the strong community ties among residents and their risk-taking behavior may amplify both their vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities. This social aspect of place attachment suggests pragmatic uses for formulating disaster risk reduction initiatives propelled through collective civic involvement.


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