HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 53 no. 1 (2007)

The Visayas: Islands in the Seas, A Historical Perspective (Series 2)

Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope

Discipline: Philippine History



This paper is a modest attempt to offer a new framework for the writing of a “total” national history, one that underscores the role of the sea as a factor in the historical development of the Visayas in the context of national history. Following the trend in historiography inspired by the ideas of Fernand Braudel, the discourse in this paper uses the maritime perspective as the analytical framework for the reconstruction of the history of the Visayas. Intended as a sequel to the introductory essay (in 2002) of an ambitious project on the history of the Visayas which explored the role of the bodies of water surrounding the Visayas Islands in the historical development of the region by examining the folklore and etymologies about the Visayan Islands, this paper looks into the conditions in the islands at the time of European contact and the subsequent Spanish colonization.