HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 55 no. 1 (2009)

The Visayas: Islands in the Seas, A Historical Perspective (Series 4)

Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope

Discipline: 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 in the context of national history. Following the trend in historiography inspired by Fernand Braudel, the discussion in this paper will be anchored on the maritime perspective as the analytical framework for the reconstruction of the history of the Visayas.


The paper will examine the maritime raiding phenomenon that occurred in the Visayan Seas in the context of the popular concept of slave raiding perpetrated by what the Spanish colonizers labeled as "Moro raids." The paper will be a sequel to the collection of essays of an ambitious project on the history of the Visayas. Thus far, the series had 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 (Series 1); the condition of the islands at the time of European contacts (Series 2); and the early revolts that rocked the islands up to the 1880s (Series 3).


It is hoped that this project will prove to be an interesting subject in the schema of studying the Visayas as a whole in the context of developing an evolving historiography towards a national history of the Philippines.