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Activity Sheet 1

Lesson 1.1. Meaning and Relevance of History
Towards a People’s History
Document 1. Renato Constantino – A Past Revisited (Chapter 1: Towards a People’s History) pp. 1-9

Document 2. John Schumacher -The Making of a Nation, Essays on Nineteenth-Century

Filipino Nationalism (Chapter 1: A Historian’s Task in the Philippines) pp. 7-15


Fr. John N. Schumacher SJ died on 14 May 2014, thirty-four days short of his 87th birthday. Born in Buffalo,
New York, on 17 June 1927, Father Schumacher entered the Society of Jesus on 30 July 1944, arriving in the
Philippines four years later to undertake philosophical studies at the Sacred Heart Novitiate. From 1951 to 1954
he taught English and Latin and served as Prefect of Discipline at the Sacred Heart He returned to the United
States to pursue Theology at Woodstock College. He was ordained to the priesthood on 22 June 1957.
Fascinated by Rizal, he went on to pursue a doctorate at Georgetown University. He returned to the Philippines
in 1964 and became part of the pioneer faculty of the Loyola House of Studies, which would become the Loyola
School of Theology, where he devoted over forty years to impart church history to generations of Jesuits,
seminarians, and students. Father Jack, as he was known, took his oath as a Filipino citizen in 1977. In 1998, on
the centenary of Philippine independence, he received the Ateneo de Manila University’s Gawad Tanglaw ng

Renato Constantino (March 10, 1919 – September 15, 1999) was a Filipino historian . Constantino attended
the University of the Philippines where he became the youngest editor of the University's student publication,
The Philippine Collegian. He wrote editorial columns criticizing President Manuel Quezon, which earned the
attention of the President by responding to the article in one of his speeches. Constantino held professorial
positions at the University of the Philippines (Diliman and Manila), Far Eastern University, Adamson University,
and Arellano University. He was also a visiting lecturer in universities in London, Sweden, Japan, Germany,
Malaysia and Thailand. He served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Contemporary Asia, and
Trustee of Focus on the Global South in Bangkok.
The Miseducation of the Filipino (1959)
Recto Reader: Excerpts from the Speeches of Claro M. Recto (1965)
Veneration Without Understanding (1969)
The Making of a Filipino: A Story of Philippine Colonial Politics (1969)
Dissent and Counter-consciousness (1970)
The Philippines: A Past Revisited (with Letizia R. Constantino; 1975)
Philippines: A Continuing Past (1978)
History: Myths and Reality (1992

Engaging/Re reading…
Group Activity. Divide the class into small groups (5 members in each group). Each group will brainstorm
on the following.

1. Identify some of the flaws/issues /myths in Philippine history. Do you see a need to re write the
history of the Philippines? Justify.
2. John Schumacher highlighted Rizal’s insistence on the need for Filipinos to understand their own
past, explain Rizals line of argument of a history from a Filipino point of view.
3. What were the criticisms of John Schumacher of a history written from a nationalist point of
view? What is your opinion on the issue raised by Schumacher.
4. Compare and contrast Renato Constantino and John Schumacher’s views on the following:
A. “peoples history”.
B. Historian’s task in the Philippines


What is a thought paper?
Thought papers are concise, accessible summaries based on research and your interpretation of an analysis
of the results at this stage.
These brief papers allow you to explore your own thoughts, ideas, and insights regarding a particular topic in a
less formal way than a journal article or conference paper. They should be written so audiences outside your
field can understand your analysis and discussion.
You get to determine why the discussion of these issues is meaningful, and why the questions raised are
Your thought paper should demonstrate:
evidence of considered, analytical thinking about the topic
points articulated in a clear, straightforward, and understandable way
a logical, compelling, and convincing argument, proposition or demonstration of the topic
The introduction should contain all the basic information in one paragraph (“tell them what you are going to
them”). Begin the introduction with a general sentence or a relevant example from daily life. Then talk about
the topic you have selected. Finally, include your own idea/opinion/view in a concise and focused form.
The body of your thought paper should provide support for your idea/opinion/view (“tell them”). For this,
on the key points that will focus your ideas and put them into “topic sentences” (a topic sentence makes a
general statement that is wider in its scope than the rest of the sentences in the paragraph, and those other
sentences should support it). Try to write in short sentences and have a new paragraph for each of your ideas.
The final sentence of each paragraph should lead into the next paragraph. Also, make sure (a) the topic
sentence of each paragraph really supports your idea/opinion/view, and (b) this is obvious to the reader.
Questions to consider in the body of the paper
Who is the message for?
What issue does the your thought paper address?
Why is this issue current and relevant?
What position do you take on the issue? Why?
What evidence do you have to support this argument?
The conclusion of the thought paper comes in the final paragraph. It should be a restatement of what you said
in your paper. It can also be a comment which focuses your thoughts and/or makes predictions for future
studies. Note that your conclusion should include no new information (“tell them what you told them”).
Individual Activity: Write a thought paper on the chapter. Formulate your own title.

Engaging/Re reading…
Sources of History:

There are three diverse sources of history:

Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date
by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs). They reflect the individual
viewpoint of a participant or observer. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible
to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. The National Library has complete
microfilm copies of the Philippine Revolutionary records, the Manuscript section has presidential papers
of different administrations. On the other hand the National Archives are major repositories of
documentary sources.

A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon. It is generally
at least one step removed from the event is often based on primary sources. Examples include: scholarly
or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.

Three Filipino Historians set new directions in redefining Philippine historiography:

1. Zeus Salazar

“Sabi ni Salazar, ang kasaysayan daw ay isang salaysay hinggil sa nakaraan na may saysay para sa
sinasalaysayang pangkat ng tao o salinlahi. Ang bagong kasaysayan ay ang pagsasanib at pagtatagpo nito
sa ideya ng inangking kasaysayan sa loob ng diwa ng makabayang pagkilos at pantayong pananaw na
pangkabuuang Pilipino.

Napapaloob ang kabuuan ng pantayong pananaw sa pagkaugnay-ugnay ng mga katangian, halagahin,

kaalaman, karunungan, hangarin, kaugalian, pag-aasal at karanasan ng isang kabuuang pangkalinangan—
kabuuang nababalot sa, at ipinapahayag sa pamamagitan ng isang wika. Dagdag pa ni Salazar,
magkakaroon lamang ng pantayong pananaw kapag gumagamit ang lipunan at kalinangan ng Pilipinas ng
mga konsepto at ugali na alam ng lahat ang kahulugan na magiging talastasang bayan.

2. Reynaldo Ileto

Professor Reynaldo C. Ileto has consistently played a leading role in historical research with his focus on
the Philippine Revolution from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Professor
Ileto has paid particular attention to the grass-root masses and marginalized people of the society. This
has enabled him to provide a fresh perspective with a new view of the revolution that concentrates on
the ordinary people rather than the elites by gaining a deep understanding of the spirit of those people
who resisted colonial rule. He has also actively expanded the scope of interdisciplinary study, linking his
historical research with research into literature, religion, and culture. http://fukuoka-

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3. Samuel Tan

A History of the Philippines, herein offered by Dr. Samuel K. Tan...offers a conceptual framework of what
he calls "the story of man in the Philippines" in the context of "the specific ecological system" and
"distinctive historical experience" that have shaped his "particular character and identity." Dr. Tan
provides in this slim volume a picture of Philippine culture which..."ought to be understood from the
totality of the ethnolinguitstic varieties which constitute the fabric of Filipino society." Hence he divides
Filipino cultural communities into three main groups--the Moros, the Indios, the Infieles--colonial
categories, but nevertheless reflective of what evolved in the Philippines as a result of the historical
processes that have transpired in the island world of the Filipinos. -Berndardita Reyes Churchill

Weakness of Contemporary Philippine Historiography :

1. Most of our national histories today are narratives that deal with the political aspects of nation-
building such as the legacies of political leaders and establishment of different governments. The
Challenge is to present a more holistic history that goes beyond politics.

2. Colonial histories in Historical Narratives. The portrayal of colonizers as liberators of Filipino

Cultural backwardness. The need to re examine available historical sources and to write about our past
by understanding the historical myths and misconceptions that characterize the Filipino Culture for

3. Elite-centric Perspective in Historical Narratives. Through eminent historians such as Constantino

and Ileto reiterated the importance of a “peoples history” and “history from below” respectively so much
has to be done in terms of writing about the roles played by ordinary people in our history.

4. Patriarchal orientation in Historical Narratives. With this bias in mind it is imperative for
contemporary historians to use gender sensitive approaches in understanding history.

5. Emphasis on Lowland Christianized Filipinos. Local histories should broaden the scope of our
national history reflective of the roles played by the country’s cultural communities in nation building.

Historical Criticism:

External Criticism

External criticism is concerned with establishing the authenticity or genuineness of data. It is also called
lower criticism. It is aimed at the document itself rather than the interpretation or meaning of them in
relation to the study. The tasks of establishing the age or authorship of a document may involve tests of
factors such as signatures, handwriting, scripts, type, style, spelling and place names. According to Mouly,
“the purpose of external criticism is not so much „negative‟ (the detection of fraud) as it is the
„establishment of historical truth‟. As with external criticism, several questions need to be asked in
attempting to evaluate the accuracy of a document and the truthfulness of its author.

With regard to the author of the document:-

Engaging/Re reading…
Was the author present at the event he or she is describing? In other words is the document a primary
or a secondary source?

Was the author a participant in or an observer of the event?

Was the author competent to describe the event?

Was the author emotionally involved in the event?

Did the author have any vested interest in the outcomes of the event?

With regard to the contents of the document:-

Do the contents make sense?

Could the event described have occurred at that time?

Would people have behaved as described?

Does the language of the document suggest a bias of any sort?

Do other versions of the event exist? Do they present a different description or interpretation of what

Internal Criticism

Internal criticism which is also known as higher criticism is concerned with the validity, credibility, or worth
of the content of the document. Both the accuracy of the information contained in a document and the
truthfulness of the author need to be evaluated. Internal criticism has to do with what the document says.
Besides the textual criticism, it also involves such factors as competence, good faith, bias and general
reputation of the author. It is positive in nature when the researcher seeks to discover the literal and the
real meaningof the text. It is negative when the researcher tries to seek every possible reason for
disbelieving the statement made, questioning critically the competence, truthfulness or accuracy and
honesty of the author. Both positive and negative criticisms are essential in historical research but the
researcher should not go so far as to be cynical and hypercritical. Travers has listed those characteristics
commonly considered in making evaluation of writers. Were they trained or untrained observers of the
events? What were their relationships to the events? To what extent were they under pressure, from fear
or vanity, say to distort or omit facts? What were the intends of the writers of the documents? To what
extend were they experts at recording those particular events? Were they too antagonistic or too
sympathetic to give true pictures? How long after the event did they record their testimonies? And were
they able to remember accurately? Finally, are they in agreement with other independent witnesses?
Regarding the authenticity of the Directory published by the Mar Thoma Church as well as the Directory
of the Management, the conclusion of the researcher was that the Mar Thoma Church was unbiased in
their recordings. The information regarding various organizations and institutions were added on the
basis of the reports directly sent by the mother institutions. More than that, the preface and introduction
part of M.T. and E.A. Schools Directory of 1974 was written by persons who were directly involved in the
efforts of starting educational institutions. It was the usual practice of the church to record the daily
accounts and to publish budget, Prathinidhi Manadalam reports, directories and income-expenditure

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statements. They have done all those things in a reliable manner. With regard to the veracity of the
secondary sources which have been referred by the researcher, it is presumed that all those published
works are based on the above mentioned registers, reports and minutes taken and passed by the Sabha
Council and governing bodies of educational institutions. So there is little scope for errors and fallacies.
Furthermore, the investigator also spent much time on comparing the primary and the secondary source
materials in order to point out and remove erroneous statements or findings, if any.After the authenticity
of historical documents was established, there were still problems of evaluating their accuracy. For
this,questions were asked as to whether they revealed a true picture, whether the writers were
competent, honest, unbiased and how they acquired the facts or whether they were prejudiced, too
antagonistic or too sympathetic to give a true picture. Often these questions were found difficult to
answer, but the researcher presumes that the data were authentic and accurate. In addition the
footnotes mentioned in the work cited the authority for statements and helped in cross references.

Engaging/Re reading…