Unraveling the Past: Readings in Philippine History

Unraveling the Past: Readings in Philippine History

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Maria Luisa T. Camagay Ph,D.
Jopol Alvin C. Ancheta
Michael S. Bernal
Francisco Jayme Paolo A. Guiang
Francis Justine M. Malban
Dondy Pepito G. Ramos II


“The study of history demands that evidence be as close to the events as possible, giving direct witness to the occasion or the happening. Primary sources provide these direct witness to the past and the need for evidence leads to the skills in history . . .

The primary sources presented in this book will provide the students with material by which they can apply the methods of critical assessment and evaluation and learn the historical context and conditions that produced these sources. Hopefully it will be a beneficial and enjoyable activity for the students.”

—Excerpt from the foreword of Maria Bernadette L. Abrera, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy,University of the Philippines Diliman


Unraveling the Past: Readings in Philippine History © 2018 provides a glimpse of Philippine history through a selection of primary sources produced by the individuals and institutions that witnessed or took part in shaping the past. This volume includes documents and materials relating to different events from vital historical periods beginning with the early Philippine society of the precolonial times, the occurrence and termination of Spanish colonization, the struggle for sovereignty under the American and Japanese occupations, the multifaceted challenges faced by postwar administrations, up to the contemporary times which cover the Martial Law years. The book also incorporates sources that tackle important issues concerning agrarian reform, economic nationalism, independent foreign policy, national minorities, and the Philippine constitutions. This creates an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the complex past by reading materials which tackle the different aspects of history related to Philippine politics, economics, culture, society, and religion.

The authors of the book intend to give emphasis on the importance of historical scholarship by allowing its readers to conduct an analysis and evaluation of documents and materials in terms of identifying the historical context, viewpoint, and possible bias of a primary source. Thus, Unraveling the Past aims to produce essential historical knowledge and consciousness, at the same time, cultivate critical and analytic skills amongst its readers.

The purpose of the book is to read the primary sources pertinent to the history of the Philippines. Primary sources are defined as “a piece of evidence written or created during the period under investigation.” The book is composed of 18 chapters starting with the topic on the importance of primary sources in history and ending with the 1986 People Power Revolution. By reading the primary sources covering a particular period in Philippine history, it is hoped that one would be able to make his or her own inferences about the past independent from those provided by a history text.