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RECOVERING THE PAST

“There is a documentary curtain of


parchment which, at first sight,
conceals from modern view the
activities and thought of the Filipinos
and only reveals the activities of the
Spaniards. But many “cracks” in that
parchment allow the perceptive
investigator to glimpse Filipinos acting
in their own world…”

William Henry Scott


(Cracks in the Parchment Curtain)
RECOVERING THE PAST
• Much can be learned about the Filipino life and society by
reading between the lines of Spanish documents.

• Spanish chroniclers indirectly speak of sixteen century


Filipinos while writing about the exploits, devotion, zeals
and hardships of the Spanish missions.
THE FORMATIVE CENTURY
• Research in Philippine history
has been mainly focused on
the revolution and the
American colonial periods.

• Further research on regional


basis has been done on the
century before the revolution.
METHOD IN HISTORY
• Can history be objective?
• It is always written from a point of view.
• Involves a human interpreter.

“SCIENTIFIC HISTORY” is a myth.


CRITICAL HISTORICAL METHOD is not.
METHOD IN HISTORY
Critical Historical Method
 requires to base on documentation
 requires to draw evidences for his assertion or
interpretations from facts found in the documents
 require demonstration of how to arrive at the facts
 verifiable by others
 documents should not be limited
METHOD IN HISTORY

Knowing how to put the questions and what


questions to put to a document will make a
difference to the historian’s point of view.

HISTORY NEVER DELIVERS READY-MADE ANSWERS.


But the historians questions may shed a light on his
people’s problems of the present.
NATIONALIST HISTORY
“Nationalist” historiography only offers one-dimensional of such real
and complex issues as Spanish obscurantism and American
imperialism.

A true “people’s history” must see the Filipino people as the primary
agents in their history – not just the repressed and oppressed.

A true nationalist history must understand all aspects of the experience


of all the Filipino people, as they themselves understood it.
NATIONALIST HISTORY

“…by depicting the whole reality, history will


make it possible to reform and reshape the
society toward a better future.”
REFERENCE

• Schumacher, J. (1991). Making


of a Nation. Chapter 1