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Philippine History in Stories by

Conrado Benitez and

History of the Filipino People by
Teodoro Agocillio
Book Analysis

Agra, Jose Mellenio I.

This project was to simply analyze the books from well-popular historians in the Philippines. And
that books are Philippine History in Stories and A History of the Filipino People that is written by
Conrado Benitez and Teodoro Agoncillo, respectively. It is considered to find the Historical styles
that they use in this book that is similar to the western counterpart. These 2 books generalized and
consolidated the accounts of historical events. Some as time goes by, history are changed that’s
why there is some falsified events that still they write in these books.

Philippine History in Stories by Conrado Benitez

Conrado Benitez is a former instructor in history and government at Philippine Normal School.
He write this book (that will seen in Preface part) as a response to the urgent demand that Philippine
history be taught in the primary school.

Historical Style
Conrado Benitez as he writes this book, consolidate independent stories that emphasize great
movements in the cultural, commercial and political development that greatly influenced the
progress of the Philippines. By this, he uses the perspective of some historians like Montesquieu,
Voltaire and Francis Bacon.
Montesquieu and Voltaire perspective- Conrado Benitez use socio-cultural and economic
condition of the Philippines from Pre-Spanish to Spanish period to give insights to the readers. He
emphasizes that we, the Filipinos is civilized before the Spaniards came. Our ancestors have social
hierarchy that can be linked and their influences neighboring countries, form of writing, and
religious concept. Also, the economic conditions, from trade relation from other countries to
establishment of monopoly, own ships, and such.
Francis Bacon perspective- Conrado Benitez also use political customs that we have from pre-
Spanish to Spanish Colonization. He describes one neighbor’s custom of crowning kings as almost
same as our ancestors used in their times. Also, he added to these accounts of stories that there is
also a political relation between our own Sulu leaders to the Emperor of China.
In discussing Pre-Spanish period, Conrado Benitez uses Covering Law model. He writes,
according to his available sources on his time, that we the Filipinos came from Malay races in the
Malay Peninsula. That’s why in the first part of the, he gives emphasis on the history of politics,
and culture of those people.
He uses context and words which should give Filipino children no difficulty because he wants the
students to understand his book more easily. He added exercises at the end of every stories that
was discussed to enhance the reader’s knowledge. He writes all that he thinks that are important
and independent stories in our Philippine history.
Conceptual Framework

Racial composition
of pre-Spanish
Pre- Who Are Filipino
History Filipinos? Culture, Political, and
commercial relationship

First European in
Spaniards the Philippines
Conquer the
Unpaid Tribute

Ancient Filipino
The Filipinos Religion
Christians Early
Missionaries won
Filipino Religion
The Filipinos Valuable Service of
Work for the
Spaniards the Filipino

Phiippine The Filipinos Unsuccessful

Revolt but do
History in Spanish not Unite Filipino Efforts
Stories Treats of the
Galleon Trade
The Philippines Spanish Attitdes
are closed to
the World towards Filipinos

Isolation of the

Opening of the
Philippines are
opened to the
Worls Revolutionary
The Filipinos Period of
Unite and Aks for
Freedom Propaganda

American America
Friendship between
Comes to the
Colonization Americans

There is 9 parts of this that is divided into 3 era (Pre-Spanish, Spanish, and American), and
according to him, the work is divided represent the outstanding units in our national development.
Part 1 that is all about “Who are the Filipinos?” which he discussed the racial composition as well
as cultural, commercial and political relationship of the Filipinos and other countries. Part 2 is
“The first European” who sailed in the Philippines “Unpaid Tribute” that shows independent
sovereign states existed. Part 3 gives accounts of the ancient Filipino Religion that changes to early
missionaries won the Filipinos to Christianity. Part 4 is all about the accounts of valuable service
rendered by Filipinos to Spain. Part 5 is the story of unsuccessful Filipino efforts to overthrow
Spanish. Part 6 discussed the isolation of the Philippines. Part 7 discussed the opening of the
Philippines to the world trade. Part 8 is where the Filipinos unite and ask reforms. Last part, is the
Americans come to the Philippines.

This book was published in 1928, so some of the stories that he include in these book are falsified
“A long time ago, before the Malays came to the Philippines, there lived in our country a small,
black, curly-haired people. A few people descended from this race still live in our islands; we call
them Aetas or Negritos” – Philippine History in Stories by Conrado Benitez, 1928, (page 8).
By these two sentences, he believes to Henry Otley Beyer’s wave migration theory, that we are
descended from Negritoes and Malays who migrated to the Philippines thousands of years ago.
It is falsified by Felipe Jocano’s Core Population theory, which is state that early Filipinos came
from the settlers within the islands not from the outside. It is supported by skull cap and a portion
of a jaw in 1962, that is called a Tabon man. And today, it is falsified again by another fossil that
is named Homo Luzonensis.
“The first Visayans to reach the Philippines sailed from Brunei, which is in the northern part of
Borneo. Among these Visayans were nine datos with their families. Their leader was Dato Puti,
the second official in importance in Brunei. These nine datos and their followers left Brunei
because of a quarrel with the ruler of Brunei.” – Philippine History in Stories by Conrado Benitez,
1928, (page 18).
These parts say that there is nine datos that who came from Brunei. It is written in Maragtas. But
according to William Henry Scott, Maragtas is not a pre-historic source. It is a book written by a
historian in Panay named Pedro Monteclaro, a Spanish. According to GMA News Online, there
are studies that point out the incongruity of the story. They interviewed Dr. Victor Torres and this
is legend that has been record.

Regularity of Accounts
By using this book, we could know that there is a regularity of accounts. Because of trade as a
cause, there is cultural connection that are happening. We adopt the cultural that the traders have
and uses as our own just like we have trading relationship in India, China, and Malay Peninsula
during the Pre-Spanish era.
History of the Filipino People by Teodoro Agoncillo
Conceptual Framework
The Setting
Before the

Under Imperial
Spanish Spain
Period From Indio to

The Revolution:
First Phase
Reforms and
History of Revolution The Revolution:
the Filipino Second Phace
Colonial Politics:

The War
The Third

As you can see, this is the framework of the content of his book Teodoro Agoncillo discuss our
history. He discussed first the setting or the primary geological features and its resources, as well
as the norms and traits of the Filipino people. Then, he thematically analyzed our Pre-colonial era
in the help of recent researches and available and considerable primary sources. Part 2 is all about
the Spanish period which this is the very long years of colonization in the Philippines. He discussed
the Imperial rule which is great affect our country as their colony, and the transition to well
educated Filipinos that brought the part 3, which is all about the Reforms and Revolution. There
are many events that he discussed but he highlights more on the 2 phases of Revolution, from the
time of Bonifacio to Aguinaldo. After Aguinaldo surrendered, the part 4 which is all about the
American period arouse. Part 5 which is War Year’s that we faced with Americans against
Japanese that brought to Japanese Occupation and soon to our Liberation. After our Liberation,
Third Republic was discussed in last part, Part 6.
Historical Style
This book is a consolidated event from Pre-Colonial to the time where President Ferdinand Marcos
declared Martial law. He uses historical documents write this book as his critical basis and give
primary facts about our history. To be effectively give historical accounts to write this book, he
uses historical perspective and themes from notable historians Ibn Khaldun, Montesquieu,
Voltaire, Francis Bacon, and Vico perspective.
Ibn Khaldun perspective – Its all about geographic and climatic conditions as influence in
explaining and writing history. Teodoro Agoncillo includes geographic locations and what climate
conditions the Philippines has as the first part of his book that he is called “The Setting.” He
successfully describes the setting that the Philippines has to give foundations on the readers in
geographic view. He describes the geographic places using some natural events that have happened
in our country on our history. Also, the products and natural resources that our country Agoncillo
uses to include them in his book. Those events, as you read, has an impact on the subsequent
Montesquieu perspective- Considered the social, economic, and institutional aspects of history.
Teodoro Agoncillo, just like mainstream historian, uses this kind of perspective. He first describes
the present norms and traits that we, the Filipinos have. He before he goes to proper discussion,
which is all about history, he wants us to realize who are we today before he goes who are we from
the past. Subsequent to that, in his discussing about the past, he gives importance to social and
economic events that happened. Because he knows that these prior events give progress and
relationship with other neighboring countries and to the world.
Voltaire perspective- Examined the history of culture, customs and knowledge. Culture and
customs that we have today has a causal linked from the past. And this, he identified in studying
culture is also a window on revisiting the past.
Francis Bacon perspective- Historical study of political customs. This is his main perspective. He
is giving more emphasis on our history using political customs and events. He believes that politics
is a great driving force in our history. As I read this book, he put religion in a minority of
discussion, surprisingly in the time of the Spanish. But he put a part for discussing Religious
Vico perspective- How it is expressed. Historians only gives content, but Agoncillo is more over
it. He wants history to be appreciated by all Filipinos as the foundation of its present. That’s why,
in this book, he not only discusses the content, but he helps us to view our own history and give
appreciation on it.
In this book, he also gave Andres Bonifacio a significant tribute in this writing. As I read this, he
argued that Bonifacio is true Filipino model of nationalism and patriotism, by his work and his
leadership on Katipunan. He believes that the birth of Bonifacio and the Katipunan is the major
turning point of our history. Also, he didn’t give thematic analysis on the life of Jose Rizal. I
conclude that Agoncillo is a “fanatic” of Bonifacio.
Teodoro Agoncillo promotes Nationalistic point of view of Philippine History. By reading this
book, he is more dedicated to write history for the sake of his countrymen, not only for the elites.
By the mean of this, he is writing history to arouse our nationalistic theme on the Filipino readers.
He is not writing to tell a story; he writes because he wants us to reflect on our history.

He falsified the theory about the peopling of the Philippines proposed by Henry Otley Beyer, that
the Negritos are the first people who settled in the country. He uses F. Landa Jocano’s believe that
early Filipinos came from the settlers within the islands not from the outside. It is supported by
skull cap and a portion of a jaw in 1962, that is called a Tabon man. And today, it is falsified again
by another fossil that is named Homo Luzonensis.
Also, he put the “Ten Bornean Datus” as a legendary or at least semi-historical, which some
earliest historians considered this as a purely historical event. Also, he adds the “Code of
Kalantiaw” as one of the unauthentic documents.

He is more sophisticated in giving the cause in such event. For example, in the Failure of the
Reform Movement as he discussed in the book, he didn’t give only one caused, he gives the many
conditions that brought to a failure.

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