REVIEW: Instilling a renewed interest in the study of our nation’s history

Book: Handumanan (Remembrance): Digging For The Indigenous Wellspring
Author: Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR
Published by t
he Claretian Communications, Inc. and the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples

Handumanan: Digging for the Indigenous Wellspring by Karl Gaspar CSsR gives a fresh new take on scholarship regarding the way of life of early Filipinos and the changes that occurred as a result of their encounter with the Spaniards.

Using extensively a canon of primary and secondary sources, including new material never before used by earlier authors, Bro Karl deftly navigates through the different periods in Philippine History using a novel combination of narratives, a synthesis of historiographic approaches and personal introspection. But perhaps the most enduring contribution of Handumanan was the author’s exposition of the historical context of the plight of the Moros and Lumads of Mindanao.

This is significant because while their place in Philippine History is undeniable, their stories and experiences are often trivialized, glossed over or ignored in the national narratives. Thus it is only fitting that on the eve of the 2021 Quincentennial Celebrations to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Filipinos’ first encounter with the Spaniards, that a book like Handumanan can instill a renewed interest in the study of our nation’s history.

(David  O. Lozada III is chair of the History Department of the Ateneo de Manila University)

 

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