Posts Tagged ‘Philippine History’


Commemorating the End of World War II in the Pacific with Japan’s Formal Surrender

September 13, 2015

Dr. Bernardita Churchill, President of the Philippine National Historical Society Invites You to their Conference in Iloilo, Panay Island in the Western Visayas Region.

36th PNHS poster2

PNHS Conference to Commemorate the End of World War II in the Pacific with Japan’s Formal Surrender

The Philippine National Historical Society (PNHS) invites you to the 36th National Conference on National and Local History on October 22-24, 2015, at the Casa Real de Iloilo (Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol), Iloilo City. The conference is co-sponsored with the Office of the Governor, Province of Iloilo, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts – Committee on Historical Research (NCCA-CHR), and the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC).

PNHS is the oldest professional organization of professional historians and practitioners of history in the Philippines, established on February 2, 1941, with the mission to “encourage and undertake the study of Philippine history.” PNHS conferences and publications have presented researches on mainstream national history and local/regional histories that enrich the understanding of the cultural diversity of Philippine society. Paper presentations also include studies in related social science disciplines and the humanities.

In PNHS conferences, papers on local history (regional/provincial) and national history are presented, covering studies of provinces/islands and cultural communities that have not been studied yet, looking at periods from prehistory throughout the colonial period (especially during the 17th and 18th century) which have not been paid much attention to. Local history in the context of national history has always been the guiding theme in PNHS Conferences since we started this series on local/national history since 1978.

This year, 2015, we are commemorating the end of World War II in the Pacific with Japan’s formal surrender on September 2, 1945.

For inquiries, contact PNHS President and National Convener Bernardita R. Churchill, Ph.D.
Tel: (02) 921-4575 / Telefax: (02) 926-1347 / Mobile: 0919-4905371 / E-mail:

Or, Demy Sonza, Province of Iloilo Local Co-Convener
Tel: (033) 337-7963 / Fax: (033) 337-7963 / Mobile: 0928-506-4142
Demy P. Sonza


Mabini Descendants Interviewed

December 11, 2014
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Chika time before the interview with Mabini descendants

Last November 21, I interviewed two descendants of one of our great heroes, Apolinario Mabini whose Sesquicentennial Birth Anniversary is being celebrated this year. He was most vocal and active against Spanish and American sovereignty over the Philippines at the turn of the century. American newspaper reports called him the “Brains of the Insurrectos”. Fearing that his presence in our country would bring in trouble, they sent him on exile to Guam in 1901. He could only return to the Philippines — as their term of conditions — if he swears his oath of allegiance to the US. Ms. Pelagia Mabini, a third generation descendant recounted that when asked to kiss the American flag, Mabini vehemently refused.

Mabini Descendants

Third Generation Descendants of Apolinario Mabini — Pelagia Mabini from Monico Mabini family line and Reynaldo Mabini from Alejandro Mabini family line who quite resembles the looks and simplicity of his Lolo Apolinario

An “insurrecto” to the Americans; he was to the Filipinos — the “Brains of the Revolution” and “The Sublime Paralytic.” Yes! he was a physically disabled man, paralyzed in 1896 two years after he graduated from UST. As a writer and political philosopher, Mabini was feared, and quite annoyed the Americans because of his unwavering conviction to fight for absolute independence. It just showed how much the Americans valued the power of the mind and the pen over physical disability. Isn’t that cool?

Mabini was appointed as Chief adviser of the first Philippine President, Emilio Aguinaldo in June 1898. He was also the first Minister of Foreign Affairs. He could have been the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court were he not discriminated due to his disability. In January 1899, he became the prime minister or president of the council of secretaries of Aguinaldo Cabinet.

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Ms. Pelagia Mabini in front of the genealogical graph of Mabini Family. She used to work as Museum technician in Tanauan, Batangas. She shared stories about Mabini that were handed down to them by their parents and grandparents. [Shot during my interview with her, Mabini Museum in Tanauan]

Mabini resigned however when factions and clashes of ideas with the ilustrados arose; time when he felt that was not serving the popular will as many were against his convictions. Even then, he continued to write inflammatory articles against the Americans when they took over the Spaniards after the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898. The Filipinos’ trust was betrayed as time and history would reveal.

Anyway, during my research, I actually saw the need of providing Deaf access to information on Mabini. The audiovisual materials at the Mabini Museums, both in Tanauan, Batangas and in Sta. Mesa, Manila obviously only target the regular hearing audience and elementary students it seems, based on the treatment and the type of graphic presentations used. For our project, I want the students to feel the ambience of Mabini’s time. And that is only possible by showing actual photos and documents available, sparse illustration, if none at all, and news reports about him in the 1900’s. Most importantly, I want to expose the students to lesser known heroes at the time of Mabini and Rizal.

From July of this year, I have already visited museums, archives, went to the National Library to check on available microfilms that are relevant to his life, and maximized on the use of available books in the personal library of my deceased historian-brother Isagani Medina — a big influence on the type of docus that I am doing, and want to do. I also interviewed for the film a historian, Arch. Jaime Silva, the blind architect, and the curator of the Mabini Museum.

Apolinario Mabini was born in Talaga,Tanauan, Batangas on July 23, 1864. It is a town located outside Manila. Without traffic, one can get there in an hour or so. Nearly a month ago, I was there.

[The project is being made in collaboration with DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies].