The Lie that was the Philippine History





What if I told you that much of what is written in your Philippine history books is false?

What if I told you that much of what you read in your Philippine history books are just products of propaganda, deception, and lies?

When you ask a Filipino about Spain's contribution to the Philippines, the typical answer would be Fiestas, Foods, and Surnames. You'd never think of Catholicism. You'd never think of unification. I myself, am guilty of this. When asked this question, I automatically see colorful banderitas, a sign that our history books gave too much emphasis on these trivial things. The most precious contribution of the Spanish to the Philippines is probably our nationhood. Has it ever occurred to you that if Spain never colonized us, we probably would still be small and separate kingdoms/sultanates up to this time? Our religion is also another big contribution that Spain gave to us. When asked what is Spain's contribution to the Philippines, these two should be the immediate answers.

The typical history book would tell you that Spain brought nothing but misery to the Philippines. The Americans however are depicted in a much nicer way. They are seen as our friends who gave us 'Education'. Most of us even think that we should never have declared independence from the Americans. This mindset is proof of how poisoned our minds are! Well let me just clear this up. The Spanish did educate us! What about the University of Santo Tomas which some say is the oldest university in Asia? Do you know that it is Spain which established that institution? In fact it is called The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas.

The Spaniards also established numerous primary schools to educate the indios. The reason why university was never widespread in the islands those days was the fact that our economy was primarily agricultural. You won't really need higher education if you were to become a farmer or a merchant.

Filipinos must also understand the situation back then. Spain itself was ravaged by numerous wars. The Philippines bankrupted their national coffers. You can't expect Spain to put us first before their own citizens.

A lot of what happened back then was a result of the 'times'. The exploitation, slavery, and etc. were all a natural order of things. If we were a super power back then, we would have colonized and exploited other lands as well.

The Americans played the game well. They also exploited us but you don't see a single Filipino mad at the Americans for colonizing us. They never enslaved us but then again, they colonized the country in the latter part of the 19th century already when slavery was already unpopular. I guess in the end you could say that the Americans were much better at pacifying peoples. Our present adoration of anything American is proof of it. Yes, the Americans were probably less cruel and resulted more to propaganda (than arms) in colonizing the country. However that doesn't take away the fact that they still exploited our land.

Most Filipinos think that the reason why Spanish never flourished in the islands was the fact that the Spaniards never taught the language to the indios. While Spain never did teach the Filipinos Spanish, it wasn't the reason why we never learned to speak Spanish. At it's height, Spanish was spoken by 60% of the populace with varying degrees of fluency. However the reason why this figure never went up was the American occupation of the islands. The Americans suppressed Spanish and propagated English. By the 1960s only a few knew Spanish. In Latin American countries, the Spanish language never became widely spoken until they gained their independence from Spain. In the Philippines, the same (flourishing of Spanish) would have happened if not for the American invasion.

In the end, I guess that history can indeed just be written and rewritten. After all, our history is told by people who aren't spared from biases and lies.


16 comments:

BURAOT said...

very true. besides, history as it is on the books are written by victors.

charmedguyp1 said...

That is very correct.

Anonymous said...

I agree to this very much. It's very sad we have to translate the greatest Filipino literary works and historical articles into English so we can understand it.

adrian said...

yes, it's true. history books present false facts most of the time. why? first, because gaps in history are filled up with lies, bias, and deception. second, because, as late historian Teodoro Agoncillo said, "there is no Philippine History before 1872( or the death of GOMBURZA)". it means that references about philippine History before 1872 are all written by foreigners! no nationalistic viewpoint. so, the emphasis is definitely biased.

Anonymous said...

Quote from Samuel P. Lyones, a Lieutenant in the American occupation army in the Philippines after the Spainish defeat.
"My but I am sick of these dark skin people. They are practically all liars and thieves and most of them murderers"
Some things never change in the Philippines!!

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withonespast said...

Adrian - Nationalism would always be biased towards true version of the history, it would, naturally try to rid itself of anything foreign. This in my opinion created the Agoncillo's & Constantino's of this world.

Philippines is a Spanish creation. before you start with any analogy on Philippine history and identity, the first question should always be the definition of a true Filipino.

Agoncillo's 1972 idea is probably the craziest statement I've heard. History is not static, culture evolves overtime - this people, this nationalistic historians wanted regression, unfortunately, their books are all over the place, Poisoning young Filipino minds. Their work is a but a continuation of the American mis educational.

Anonymous said...

This is the reason why I used to advocate a separate republic for Luzon(Luzon+Palawan),a separate republic for visayas and a separate republic and a Mindanao Republic.

Josh AviƱante said...

Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio were probably Spaniards in Agoncillo's point of view, lol. Among the ironies in Agoncillo's book was that schools were established in the Philippines but only for Spaniards. We all know that Rizal, Aguinaldo, Quezon, Del Pilar, Luna ... I could go on all day all graduated from the schools that Agoncillo insisted were only reserved for the Spaniards. Even Mabini, the poor peasant, managed to graduate from Letran!

trickkity said...

if i can go back in time, i want to rewrite history and destroy all american and spanish conquerers and make sure they never step foot in the philippines and let it be named with other countries in asia cause it belongs to ASIA period.

Anonymous said...

@trickkity: Hmm... i doubt that any asian country will take an interest in helping our country without a reason that will benefit them.

Anonymous said...

id help. us filipinos still have history to make bro....

Anonymous said...

'In the end, I guess that history can indeed just be written and rewritten. After all, our history is told by people who aren't spared from biases and lies.'

Napaka ironic ng huli mong pangungusap. Katulad mo din. Please read and analyze your history again.

Mana Katott said...

Too many lies

Mana Katott said...


if i can go back in time, i want to rewrite history and destroy all american and spanish conquerers and make sure they never step foot in the philippines and let it be named with other countries in asia cause it belongs to ASIA period.

Really? Nah there would be no Christianity in the Philippines if you'd do that lol

Gregory Jones said...

It is my understanding that the schools and institutions that led the Philippines to be the most educated nation in Asia in Spanish colonial times were bit the result of Spain's beneficence> They were founded by missionaries intent on destroying the mainly animist religion of the native Filipino. AS for saying a religion that has kept the Philippines in poverty and today still preaches prejudice (in spite of Pope Francis's exhortations) is a big contribution is tendentious to say the least.