HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 56 no. 1 (2010)

The Visayas: Islands in the Seas, A Historical Perspective (Series 5)

Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope

Discipline: Development, Philippine History



This paper is part of 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 Islands in the context of national history. Following the trend in historiography inspired by Fernand Braudel, the discussion in this paper is anchored on the maritime perspective as the analytical framework for the reconstruction of the history of the Visayas. The paper examines the Japanese Occupation of the Visayas in the context of the role of the seas in connecting the anti-Japanese resistance movements in these islands. This had resulted in the delivery to Negros Island of the “Koga Papers” from Cebu, which was facilitated by the installation of a radio communication network that started on Panay Island. Subsequently, the documents were delivered to the headquarters of the Allied Forces in Australia and laid the groundwork for the American invasion of the island of Leyte and, later, the Philippine archipelago. Furthermore, the discussion looks into the submarine route that connected the Visayas to the Southwest Pacific Area Command in Australia, which was influenced by an interconnected Visayas resistance movement.