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.