Monday, October 17, 2005

Richardson, Jim. "Roster of Katipuneros at Balintawak, August 1896." 2005.

Amidst all the debate about precisely when and where the revolution started, historians have often neglected to ask exactly who gathered in Balintawak or thereabouts in August 1896. In the absence of a complete roster – clearly an impossibility at this distance in time – the fullest listing is to be found in an interview given by the KKK veteran Guillermo Masangkay to the Manila newspaper Bagong Buhay in 1952.1 In this interview, Masangkay recalled the names of 56 men who had met in Balintawak prior to the first encounters with Spanish forces. In the great majority of cases, he also recalled their occupations, and it is fascinating to note that nearly half the patriots on his list worked in some capacity or other for branches of the Spanish administration. The three 'government secret agents', it is presumed, had in the preceding months been supplying useful information to the Katipunan and misinformation to the Spaniards.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Taylor, John R. M. "The Philippine Insurrection of 1896-97." The Philippine Insurrection against the United States: A Compilation of Documents with Notes and Introduction. Pasay City: Eugenio Lopez Foundation, 1971 [1906]. 61-78.


Chapter III

The Philippine Insurrection of 1896-97

The Filipino insurrection of 1896-97 was planned and carried out under the auspices of a society, local to the Philippines, called the Katipúnan. According to Spanish writers on the subject, this organization was the outgrowth of a series of associations, formed by what afterwards became the revolutionary clique with the expressed purpose of securing reforms in the government of the Philippines, but whose unexpressed and ultimate object was to obtain the independence of the archipelago. In order to accomplish this purpose, a systematic attack was made on the monastic orders in the Philippines to undermine their prestige and to destroy their influence upon the great mass of the population. Among the societies actively opposed to the friars and perhaps to Spain the first formed was the Tagálog Center of the Spanish Orient, lodges of which had been established in the islands some five or six years before this formidable insurrection by Miguel Morayta and others, who had used similar methods to combat the influence of the friars in the Spanish peninsula. The Spanish Orient, which has no affiliation with and is not recognized by English and American Masons, may be regarded as the source of that propaganda in the Philippines which afterwards developed into the sanguinary Katipúnan. A grand master of the Spanish Orient presided over the Carbonari of Italy. Its proselytes formed the Katipúnan of the Philippines.
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Ileto, Reynaldo C. Excerpts from The Diorama Experience: A Visual History of the Philippines. Makati City: Ayala Foundation, 2004. 84-93.


Katipunan Initiation Rites
Manila, 1892

The arrest and exile of Jose Rizal convinced many Filipinos of the need for more radical measures to attain equality with, if not independence from, Spain. Andres Bonifacio, an admirer of Rizal and a member of La Liga Filipina (the Philippine League), proceeded to organize a secret society named Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (The Highest and Most Venerable Association of the Sons and Daughters of the Nation). The Katipunan, as the KKK was commonly referred to, was a small confraternity, numbering only three hundred from 1892 to 1895. It drew its inspiration from European Freemasonry as well as from confraternities or sodalities approved by the Catholic Church.

Bonifacio was a native of Tondo, a warehouseman, apart-time actor in vernacular dramas or komedya. Although proficient enough in reading Spanish, he wrote and spoke Tagalog almost exclusively. In his writings, he spoke of history and revolution in terms that the common people could understand. This is evident in his manifesto, Ang Dapat Mabatid ng Mga Tagalog (What the Tagalogs Should Know).
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Richardson, Jim. "Ileto's Indeterminacies." 2005.

Pasyon and Revolution and other pieces by Ileto, it is not entirely flippant to suggest, might be seen as akin to the pasyon itself, as texts capable of generating multiple, even contradictory, meanings. These diverse meanings stem not just from the diverse interpretations of individual readers, but also from Ileto’s own inconsistency.

Perceptions or empirical realities?

Ileto, it has been said (BfB, 287), is interested principally in perceptions rather than behavior or attitudes, and indeed this statement can be supported by a host of quotes. The tenets of traditional empiricist historiography, Ileto maintains, - cause-and-effect, objective truth, common sense, the author-centric fixation of meanings etc. - are outmoded, and need to be rejected in favor of structuralist and phenomenological approaches that focus on collective discourses, mentalities and perceptions.

On the other hand, Ileto by no means forswears addressing traditional concerns. When analyzing the popular movements of the period 1840-1910, he makes innumerable statements about the character, attitudes and behavior of individuals as well as collectivities. This, one might argue, smacks strongly of what he scorns in other passages as fuddy-duddy, old-style history. He indicates, for example, that his purpose in examining literature like the pasyon, awit and poems is largely instrumental; he is seeking to complement conventional sources and to shed fresh light on the trajectories and ideologies of "concrete struggles", not merely on how they were perceived (P&R, 14-5; CI, 95; 103).
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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fast, Jonathan, and Richardson, Jim. "The Katipuneros: Revolutionary Leadership in City and Province." In Roots of Dependency: Political and Economic Revolution in 19th Century Philippines. Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1979. 67-74, 129-30.



The Katipuneros: Revolutionary Leadership in City and Province

Rizal's view of the lowly character of the Katipunan was widely shared in ilustrado circles. In the opinion of Felipe Calderon, a plantation-owner and successful lawyer, the insurrection was “organized by the most ignorant element of the people.”1 The first Filipino historian of the Katipunan, the propagandist Isabelo de los Reyes, stressed in a pamphlet published in 1900 that the revolutionary association was a “plebeian society,” whose members "belonged to the workmen and peasant classes" and among whose founders "there was not a single rich man, nor one of a learned profession."2 Behind such observations lay either distaste or condescension. Later accounts, however, have often echoed this uncomplicated analysis of the Katipunan's composition more approvingly, presenting the insurrection as a salutary popular reaction against ilustrado gradualism and prevarication. The elaboration of this argument forms the central theme, for instance, of Teodoro Agoncillo's The Revolt of the Masses, which since its publication in 1956 has been generally accepted as the most authoritative study of the subject. The Katipunan, Agoncillo asserts at the outset, was a "distinctively plebeian society."3 Objectively, he writes, the "middle class" reformists had proven themselves "the bulwark of the Spanish reactionary party,” too concerned with their own position and consequently too cautious to make any real impact on the nature of colonial rule.4 Through their failure to provide effective leadership, their inability to understand the common people's aspirations and their snobbish aloofness they had won "the hatred of the masses" and direction of the nationalist cause had passed into other hands."5 The sentiments of the Katipuneros, Agoncillo agrees with Isabelo de los Reyes, were that "where there are learned men everything is brought to naught by discussions.” For this reason, they "did not want to admit the learned" into the association.6
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De Jesus, Gregoria. "Mrs. Andres Bonifacio's Letter to Emilio Jacinto Re Bonifacio's Arrest." In Revolt of the Masses: The Story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan, by Teodoro A. Agoncillo (Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2002 [1956]), 394-8.


Appendix H:

Mrs. Andres Bonifacio's Letter to Emilio Jacinto Re Bonifacio's Arrest

Sila (ang mga taga Magdalo) ay nagdaos ng isang lihim na pulong at pinagpasyahang usigin siya at siya'y hamunin sa isang kagalitan, at kung siya'y mamuhi ay pagpapatayin sila o sila'y disarmahin at gapusin, (A. Bonifacio) na kasama ang kanyang mga kawal. Ng dumating ang mga kawal, sila ay nagpadala ng pasabi sa aming bahay na galing sa malayo, na isalong namin ang mga armas. Hindi namin inaalumana'y sila ay dumating, at ng sila'y malapit na sa aming bahay, kanilang kinubkod ang bahay at ang kanilang koronel ay pumanhik. Siya'y lumapit at itinanong kung saan siya patutungo; sumagot ang koronel at sinabing sila'y nagmamanmang patungo sa Indang; at sila'y naparaan sapagka't sila'y hindi pa nagaalmusal. Kanyang itinanong ang aming kalagayan at sinabing marahil ay kapos na kami ng mga pangangailangan. Sinabi naming hindi kami kinakapos at mabuti ang lagay namin dito kay sa Indang sapagka't may nagbibigay sa amin ng bigas na pinawa. Sumagat ang koronel: Mabuti ang kanilang kalagayan sa bayan sapagka't sila'y tumatanggap ng bigas na galing sa Naik, at kung iibigin ma'y magsama na tayo. Siya (ang aking asawa) ay sumagot: Ano ang aking gagawin sa Indang samantalang masama ang tingin


sa akin ng ating mga kapatid?
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De Jesus, Gregoria. "Nostalgia." In Julio Nakpil and the Philippine Revolution, ed. and trans. Encarnacion Alzona. Manila, 1964. 177-81.


The original poem in Tagalog has no title, but after reading it, we believe it can very well be titled Nostalgia. Perhaps Gregoria de Jesus, its author, had no time to polish it. Oriang, her pet name, is written at the end.

The following is an English version of it done by Professor Teodoro A. Agoncillo of the University of the Philippines.

Darling, ever since you left
Body and heart have been ill at ease
Slow is the flow of the blood in my veins
More so when I remember your kind treatment

Deep has been my sorrow
At your untimely departure and leaving me bereft
I had fears for what you will meet on the way
And, too, for your safety
I go to the window to peek
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Bonifacio, Andres. "Huling Paalam ni Dr. Jose Rizal." In The Writings and Trial of Andres Bonifacio, trans. Teodoro A. Agoncillo and S. V. Epistola (Manila: Antonio J. Villegas; Manila Bonifacio Centennial Commission; University of the Philippines, 1963), 78-80.


Huling Paalam ni Dr. Jose Rizal

Pinipintuho kong Bayan ay paalam
lupang iniirog ng sikat ng araw
mutyang mahalaga sa dagat Silangan
kaluwalhatiang sa ami'y pumanaw.

Masayang sa iyo'y aking idudulot
ang lanta kong buhay na lubhang malungkot;
maging maringal man at labis alindog
sa kagalingan mo ay aking ding handog.
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Bonifacio, Andres. "The Cazadores." In The Writings and Trial of Andres Bonifacio, trans. Teodoro A. Agoncillo and S. V. Epistola (Manila: Antonio J. Villegas; Manila Bonifacio Centennial Commission; University of the Philippines, 1963), 11-12.


The Cazadores*

The cazadores were sent here
allegedly to eradicate lawlessness,
but it is not fight they seek,
but chickens and cattle to steal.

The people who are living in peace,
to the Spaniards they are sent,
anything they see that can be eaten,
they grab like hungry ones.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Constantino, Renato. “Historical Truths from Biased Sources.” In The Philippine Insurrection Against the United States: A Compilation of Documents with Notes and Introduction, by John R. M. Taylor. Pasay City: Eugenio Lopez Foundation, 1971. ix-xii.


Historical Truths from Biased Sources
by Renato Constantino

History continues to be enriched by new discoveries and new analyses. New truths are unfolded by developing viewpoints that reflect man's changing outlook and goals in each historical stage. There is no source, no matter how biased, that does not yield a bit of historical truth. No attempt at misrepresentation can escape ultimate exposure when a people who make their history critically examine the roles of individuals and groups in particular epochs. It is with this attitude that one should read John Roger Meigs Taylor's The Philippine Insurrection against the United States: A Compilation of Documents with Notes and Introduction.

Like the old chronicles written by Spaniards, Taylor's history is biased in favor of the colonizer but rich in data and revelations essential to a rediscovery and reassessment of Philippine history. The period Taylor covers is still relatively unknown to a majority of Filipinos. What we know contains so many distortions that it has produced attitudes which impede the correct handling of current problems.
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Monday, October 03, 2005

Ileto, Reynaldo C. "History and Criticism: The Invention of Heroes." In Filipinos and their Revolution: Event, Discourse, and Historiography (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998), 203-37, 279-82.



History and Criticism: The Invention of Heroes

The nationalist "invention" of Andres Bonifacio, though brought to the limelight by Glenn May in 1997, is an issue that begins for me in the early 1980s. Soon after the publication of my book, Pasyón and Revolution, I found myself engaged in a polemic with a University of the Philippines colleague concerning a relatively minor episode in Philippine history: an excursion that Bonifacio and eight fellow Katipuneros made to the mountains of Montalban and San Mateo in April 1895.1
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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bonifacio, Andres. "The Last Appeal of the Philippines." In The Writings and Trial of Andres Bonifacio, trans. Teodoro A. Agoncillo and S. V. Epistola. Manila: Antonio J. Villegas; Manila Bonifacio Centennial Commission; University of the Philippines, 1963. 9-11.


The Last Appeal of the Philippines*

Mother, in the east is now risen
the sun of the Filipinos' anger
that for three centuries we suppressed
in the sea of suffering and poverty.**

We, your children, had nothing to shore up
against the terrible storm of suffering,
the Philippines has but one heart,
and you are no longer our Mother.
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Schumacher, John N. Excerpt from Response to "The Making of a Myth: John Leddy Phelan and the 'Hispanization' of Land Tenure in the Philippines," by Glenn Anthony May. Philippine Studies 52.3 (2004), 314.


Response: John N. Schumacher, S.J.

Glenn May is not a historian ready to repeat without question the domnant or accepted histoncal orthodoxies, no matter how impressive the list of predecessors who have done so. He has shown it in more than one of his books, most notably in his book on Andres Bonifacio, Inventing a Hero. Though I myself cannot accept all his conclusions in that book, unfortunately his arguments were for the most part not met here with solidly-based counterarguments.
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