HomeDLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studiesvol. 3 no. 2 (1967)

Philippine Religious Life in the Light of Early Spanish Missionary Activity

Marcelino A. Foronda Jr.

Discipline: Social Science



THAT missionary activity in the Philippines has produced tremendous and lasting results has been pointed out many times before. It is almost tautological to state that the Spanish missionaries as scholars were the first to study our culture, and contemporary studies of linguists, ethnologists and anthropologists, among other scientists, owe a debt of gratitude to these pioneers; as agriculturists, they introduced plants from the new world; as architects and engineers, they built churches, convents and fortresses, which we proudly point out today to foreign tourists; as educators, they established schools, colleges and universities, some of which are as vigorous today as they were at their establishments; as parish priests in whose care were entrusted the souls of the natives, they were, depending on how one looks at it, both father and despot, protector and executioner. Indeed, it is almost impossible today to speak of any aspect of Philippine life without in any way relating it to the labors of Spanish missionaries.