HomeSynergeiavol. 1 no. 1 (2005)

Can We Take Bonifacio's, Aguinaldo's and Mabini's Readings of Philippine Colonial History Seriously?

Paul Arvisu Dumol

Discipline: Literature, History



The three documents the tirle of the paper alludes to justify the Philippine Revolution of 1896 by referring to a pact between Spaniards and Filipinos that the Spaniards had violated. The writings of the Filipino reformists of the 1880s have been cited as the source of this line of argument. The paper considers whether the references to a pact by both reformists and revolutionaries were not, in fact, the articulation of an oral tradition among the Tagalogs and whether the observation that Spaniards had violated the pact was the common sentiment among Tagalogs. Two events in Philippine history are cited as the possible bases of what we may call the late nineteenth-century Tagalog reading of Philippine history as promise and betrayal: the referendum held among native vassal communities by order of Philip II in 1599 and the change of Spanish colonial policy initiated by the Bourbons, something that dawned on Filipinos only gradually over the nineteenth century, particularly during its last thirty years.