HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 58 no. 1 (2012)

Not all the ‘Spanish’ Churches in Pampanga Were Built by the Spaniards: Two Cases for the Re-examination of Records in Historical Research

Regalado Trota Jose Jr.

Discipline: History



The province of Pampanga is well known for its historic churches, exemplified by massive monuments such as those in Guagua or Angeles, or ornately decorated temples such as those in Betis or Minalin. In fact, most people would associate church building in Pampanga with the Augustinians. However, careful archival research will reveal that two Spanish colonial period churches were built by the secular priests, members of the indigenous clergy: in San Luis (erected by Padre Gaspar Macalinao) and in Santo Tomas. According to the same vein of commonly accepted knowledge, Jose Rizal was persecuted by the Dominicans in the University of Santo Tomas. Records kept by the school will show that Rizal maintained a good track record of grades and, in fact, finished second in his class.


This paper hopes to show that we should not accept commonly accepted “ facts” on their face value. Moreover, it hopes to encourage researchers to dig deeper into archival records to draw out a better nuanced understanding of our history and culture.