HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 52 no. 1 (2006)

Revaluating Orthodox “National History,” Re-invigorating Regional Histories

Arnold M. Azurin

Discipline: History



This paper starts with a critique of the Agoncillo-Constantino-Corpuz “national” historical narrative that has been over-focused o the Tagalogs’ participation in the anti-colonialist struggle from the later part of the 1880s. Documentary evidence demonstrate the narrow and Tagalog-centric framework as arbitrary and overbearing on the earlier and longer participation of other regions in resisting the colonial rulers. Why this historiographic orthodoxy has persisted for more than a century, thereby giving the Tagalog region an undeserved primacy in the reminiscence and imagination of the Filipino pantheon of “national heroes,” shall be diagnosed as a case of “involuted nationalism,” of one regional heritage foisted on the rest of the regional legacies.


The next portion of the paper shall be devoted to suggesting a reformulation of the foundational premises of nation building and national building and nationalism with more sensitivity and reflexivity toward cultural plurality. In sum, an outline of an inter-regional historiographic rendering shall be interwoven into the prospective larger canvas of decentered Philippine national history so as to emancipate the Filipino consciousness from the “internal colonialism” dominating the country via the national agencies based in Metro Manila.