The historiography of early Philippine settlements is the academic discipline concerned with the studies, sources, critical methods and interpretations used by scholars to understand the history of settlements in early Philippine history. By modern definitions, this does not involve a story of "events in the past directly," but rather "the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians."[1]

The study of early Philippine settlements is often hampered[2][3][4][5] by the fact that the modern political entity known as the Philippines did not actually exist prior to the arrival of Spanish colonial powers in the late sixteenth century.[6] It is thus important to note that the historiography of early Philippine settlements concerns the writing of the histories of settlements which were not united as one state, but which happened to be located on what is now called the Philippine archipelago.

Comprehensive Reviews of Primary Sources

All a few comprehensive reviews of source materials for the study of Philippine prehistory and early history have been done, with William Henry Scott's 1968 review being one of the earliest systematic critiques.[3] Scott's review has become a seminal academic work on the study of early Philippine history, having been reviewed early on by a panel of that era's most eminent historians and folklorists including Teodoro Agoncillo, Horacio de la Costa, Marcelino Foronda, Mercedes Grau Santamaria, Nicholas Zafra and Gregorio Zaide.[7] Scott's 1968 review was acknowledged by Laura Lee Junker when she conducted her own comprehensive 1998 review of primary sources regarding archaic Philippine polities,[3] and by F. Landa Jocano in his Anthropological analysis of Philippine Prehistory.[4]

Scott lists the sources for the study of Philippine prehistory as: archaeology, linguistics and paleogeography, foreign written documents, and quasi-historical genealogical documents.[5] In a later work,[6] he conducts a detailed critique of early written documents and surviving oral or folk traditions connected with the Philippines early historic or protohistoric[4] era.

Sources Junker[3] considers particularly relevant to the study of early Philippine settlements include:

Key figures in the Historiography of early Philippine settlements

This section provides an incomplete list of key figures in the historiography of early Philippine settlements, including: early chroniclers from before and immediately after Spanish contact; historians from the Spanish colonial era; "modernist" and "nationalist" historians from the 20th century; and finally contemporary-era critical historians and historiographers.

Early Chroniclers

Colonial Era Historians

Writers and Historians from the Nationalist History tradition

Historians from the Critical Historiography tradition

Writers from the Folkloristics tradition

Historians and Writers from the Postmodern, Local/Ethnic History, and Religious History traditions

See also


  1. ^ (The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide, 1988, p. 223, ISBN 0-88295-982-4)
  2. ^ "Pre-colonial Manila". Malacañang Presidential Museum and Library. Malacañang Presidential Museum and Library Araw ng Maynila Briefers. Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. 23 June 2015. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Junker, Laura Lee (1998). "Integrating History and Archaeology in the Study of Contact Period Philippine Chiefdoms". International Journal of Historical Archaeology. 2 (4): 291–320. doi:10.1023/A:1022611908759. S2CID 141415414.
  4. ^ a b c Jocano, F. Landa (2001). Filipino Prehistory: Rediscovering Precolonial Heritage. Quezon City: Punlad Research House, Inc. ISBN 971-622-006-5.
  5. ^ a b Scott, William Henry (1984). Prehispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History. Quezon City: New Day Publishers. ISBN 978-9711002268.
  6. ^ a b Scott, William Henry (1994). Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 971-550-135-4.
  7. ^ [bare URL PDF]