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Continuado, Anna Bianca S.

HI 166

25 January 2012

We, Filipinos are known for our knack of telling stories. Everywhere you go there is a
story to tell. We feed on different stories about all sorts of thing. Our topics may range from what
happened to us that morning to the on-going impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona. Stories
in the Philippines are full of color and vigor. Every province has its own story of how something
came to be. As Filipinos, we also enjoy telling the story more than being part of it. Our culture
seems to enjoy talking about other people than ourselves. For instance, we are constantly
bombarded with stories of celebrities in media.
Moreover, the rise of social media has hastened information transfer. This has been
beneficial but can also be detrimental. Still, it fuels the desire of Filipinos to know the story and
be able to re-tell it to others.
It then leads one to ponder on how we thrive in talking about other people and seem not
eager to talk about ourselves. Few notable Filipino writers have written about our history but
mostly we encounter foreign nationalities telling us our story. It is ironic how another person is
telling us about our history. This then should make us think about our own history and how we
want it to be told.
Mr. Bao Mahongs talk on Studies of history of the Philippines in China was very
interesting and eye opening. It is such an honor for the Chinese to devote studies on our history.
It makes one think why we are not devoting as much time and effort as China does in writing and
studying our history. It is interesting to know that other countries want to learn about the
Philippines. With Chinas studies on our history, we are able to have a new perspective on our
history. Learning about our history from other countries may be beneficial for us. We might be

able to get new ideas from their perspective. Also, this must serve as a challenge for us to start
writing our own history for it is our story to tell.
According to Mr. Bao Mahong, the Chinese believe that every foreign country should at
least have a history book written by a Chinese historian and a history book from that country
translated into Chinese. This is indeed admirable for the Chinese. It just goes to show the
importance that they have given to history. They are determined to learn from other countries
such as the Philippines and to be able to share what they have learned to the wider population
when translated in Chinese.
In addition, Mr. Mahong also said books were meant to mirror the situations to learn
from history. It is a fact that societies often fear that history repeats itself. In order to avoid the
vicious cycle we must be able to learn from our past experiences. History is vital for every
nation. Learning history is as important as making history.
It is also commendable how the Chinese had different waves of learning our history. They
delved deeper into the studies of our history by exploring our economic history. This paved the
way for a deeper understanding of the Philippines. This was also their way of responding to the
different changes that have occurred over time. The third wave is from the turn of the century to
the present. Young Chinese scholars pushed for more studies to be conducted on the plurality and
complexity of Philippine history. At the same time, the pluralism in the third wave was paralleled
by the deepening and growing plurality of historical thinking in China. This just exemplifies how
the Chinese are able to apply their nations changes to their study of our history. It is definitely
commendable how the Chinese were able to be more open-minded about learning and the studies
became more thematic manner that is more accommodating to different perspectives. They have
become more open to the idea of learning about another nations history by integrating the

nations culture and heritage. They not only put their perspective but now have learned to take
into consideration the nations on perspective.
Chinese historical studies of the Philippines are highly influenced by Chinas own
internal political culture and circumstance according to Mr. Mahong. Still, it is not the only
reason that drives the Chinese scholars to learn about Philippine history. Sino-Philippine
relations and overseas Chinese history remain as one of the primary focuses of Chinas historical
studies of the Philippines. China recognizes that our histories have been on the same road more
than once. The growing number of Filipino-Chinese people is a testament of the connection
between the two nations.
Mr. Mahong said that there is still room for improvement with regard to the Chinese
historical studies. For instance, he suggested that Chinese historians of the Philippines should
actively seek to set up joint programs with Philippine colleagues. Also, the Chinese have
invaluable research on the Philippines and this should be shared. Sharing will be of the benefit to
both the Chinese and the Filipinos. We will be able to learn from the studies of the Chinese and
in return we would be able to impart our experiences being Filipinos and this would enrich their
study of our history.
This information about the Chinese scholarly studies on our history should serve as an
example for us. We must also start on conducting deeper studies on the history of different
nations. What we learn from their history may enable us to develop our own nation. We must not
forget that first and foremost we must begin our study with ourselves. We must put in more effort
in studying our own history for it is our story and no one else can tell it better than us. We must
also value our incredibly rich history. Our history may be tainted but it is definitely beautiful.
Our nation has been through a lot of colonizers and we are still at the point where we are finding

our true identity apart from our colonizers. Our quest to the betterment of our nation can begin
by studying our history. Studying our history can give us new ideas and knowledge on how we
can build a better nation. It is our story. It is our own experiences and we should take pride in it.
Let us tell the world our story the way we truly want and deserve.