Milestones

50th Anniversary of the Philippine Assembly

In 1957 President Carlos P. Garcia designated the Association to take the lead for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Philippine Assembly, the first all-Filipino legislature in the country.

International Conference of Historians of Asia (IAHA)

Just on its fifth year of existence, the Association took the bold step of organizing an international conference of historians in Manila. It was the first international conference of its kind to be held in the country.

The First International Conference of Historians of Asia was held on November 25–30, 1960. Appointed to oversee the preparations of the conference was a three-man committee made up of Nicolas Zafra, as chairman, and Jorge Revilla and Celedonio Resurreccion, as members.

The conference had two aims. The first was to afford scholars in different countries an opportunity to come together for an exchange of views, ideas and information regarding conditions and problems of historical study and research in their respective countries. The second was to bring about, through an association of scholars from Asia, the establishment of closer cultural relations among Asian countries and the enhancement of the effectiveness and usefulness of written history as a means of promoting international peace, goodwill and understanding.

The conference was a success. Australia, Burma, Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Macao, Pakistan, Ryukyus, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States were represented in the conference. No less than President Carlos P. Garcia addressed the delegates at the opening ceremony which was held at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives.

Speakers for the Philippines included Horacio de la Costa, S.J., Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil, Carlos Quirino, Encarnacion Alzona, Teodoro Agoncillo, Jose Maceda, Gregorio Zaide, Henry Otley Beyer, and Gabriel Fabella.

Aside from bringing together various historians in a meaningful discussion of historical research and study, the conference became the instrument for the creation of the International Association of Historians of Asia. Two days before the conference adjourned, the delegates adopted a constitution for the IAHA and elected its first officers. Constituting the first board of the IAHA were Domingo Abella, president; Chang Kuei-Yung, first vice-president; Yu-Kai Wang, second vice-president; Toshio Kawabe, third vice-president; Horacio de la Costa, S.J., secretary-general; Lao Kan, treasurer; and Sun Kwo-Tung, auditor.

The Filipino charter members of the IAHA include Domingo Abella, Teodoro Agoncillo, Celedonio Ancheta, Ricardo Arcilla, Horacio de la Costa, S.J., Pacifico Dumandan, Sr., Gabriel Fabella, Silvina Laya, Dalamcio Martin, Esteban de Ocampo, Sixto Orosa, Celedonio Resurreccion, Jorge Revilla, Leopoldo Yabes, Nicolas Zafra and Gregorio Zaide.

June 12 Independence Day

It was the Association that proposed to then President Diosdado Macapagal to change our Independence Day celebration from July 4 to June 12.

Promotion of Philippine History

The Association supported two initiatives of its prominent member, Teodoro Agoncillo, that have had a great impact in the promotion of Philippine history:

  1. Commission on Philippine Historical Research

The first is the creation of a Commission on Philippine Historical Research which eventually became the National Historical Institute.

  1. Rizal Law

The second is the teaching of the life and works of our national hero, Jose Rizal, which was eventually mandated under Republic Act No. 1425.

Decade of Centennials of Nationalism and Independence

The Association launched in 1988 a movement to celebrate the centennial of the Revolution. Every year till 1998 the annual seminars of the Association focused on a theme that was appropriate to the centenary celebration. Hence, the Propaganda Movement for 1988, the publication of the La Solidaridad in 1989, the founding of the La Liga Filipina and the Katipunan in 1992, and the outbreak of the Revolution in 1996. Bannered as the “Decade of Centennials of Nationalism and Independence,” the movement followed the tradition of the Association of celebrating significant events in the country’s history and observing the centenaries of leading historical personalities.

Paligsahan sa Kasaysayan

In 1996, the Philippine History Foundation was made a member of the Rizal Martyrdom Centennial Commission under the Philippine Centennial Commission. The contribution of the Foundation in this endeavor was the awarding of plaques for the Paligsahan sa Kasaysayan, a national high school competition on the life and martyrdom of the national hero, Jose Rizal, and the 1896 Philippine Revolution. The contest was launched in 1996 by the National Historical Institute as part of the Centennial Celebration. The winners in the regional contests went on to become the finalists of the Grand National Finals which were to be held in Manila. The first Grand National Finals was held in 1997 at the RPN Channel 9 Studio with Senator Orlando Mercado as quizmaster.

The first Paligsahan proved to be a success. In the following year, the feedback from the regions was to continue the contest. The National Historical Institute expanded the contest to include culture as another theme of the contest and thus renamed it as Paligsahan sa Kasaysayan at Kultura ng Pilipinas.

Members of the Association also participated in the Paligsahan. They sat as members of the board of judges in the grand national finals. They also assisted the National Historical Institute in the formulation and evaluation of the questions.

“The Centennial Goes to the Barrio”

The Association actively participated in the celebration of the centennial of the 1896 Revolution. A project initiated by past president Pablo Trillana III became one of the projects of the Philippine Centennial Commission. This was The Centennial Goes to the Barrio Project which is aimed at bringing the celebration of the centennial to the different regions of the country through a lecture-forum and a photo exhibit on the Philippine Revolution and a seminar-workshop on the study, teaching and writing of local history.

 

From 1997 to 1998 the Association convened a total of fourteen such conventions — Laoag, Ilocos Norte (Region 1), Santiago, Isabela (Region 2) Tarlac City (Region 3), Calaca, Batangas (Region 4), Kalibo, Aklan (Region 6), Cebu City (Region 7), Catbalogan, Samar (Region 8), Zamboanga City (Region 9), Iligan City, Lanao del Norte (Region 10), Malaybalay, Bukidnon (Region 12), Novaliches (National Capital Region) and Baguio City (Cordillera Administrative Region).

 

Projects: “Towards the Effective Teaching of History”

One of the aims of the Association is to promote the study and appreciation of history, in particular, Philippine history. In line with this, the Association initiates, sponsors and supports the holding of seminars on the teaching of history in Manila and in different parts of the country.  In 1996, the Association accomplished its mission of enhancing the teaching of history. It had been widely observed that many teachers of Philippine history in the secondary and tertiary levels were not majors in history. The Association sought the endorsement of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and the Commission on Higher Education to allow it to conduct accreditation seminars that would be carried out under the program called Akademyang Pangkasaysayan. The seminars were held in Northern Philippines, Southern Philippines, National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao.

The Association launched the Akademyang Pangkasaysayan on June 26–28, 1996 at St. Mary’s College in Quezon City. Since then, it has brought the Akademyang Pangkasaysayan to various parts of the country — Leyte Normal University in Tacloban City, Leyte, Aquinas University in Legazpi City, Albay, University of St. Anthony in Iriga City, Camarines Sur, Divine Word College in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Ateneo de Davao in Davao City, and Ateneo de Cavite in Cavite City.

The Malay World Conference

4th International Conference of the International Council for Historical and Cultural Cooperation-Southeast Asia (ICHCC-SEA) was held at Manila Hotel and De La Salle University from the 14th to the 16th of September 2017. The ICHCC-SEA consists of the Philippine Historical Association, Masyarakat Sejarawan Indonesia and Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia

With the theme, “The Malay World: Connecting the Past to the Present”, the three day conference examined the state of historical studies in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia; identified regional trends in research methods, topics and perspectives; recognized Filipino scholars doing research on Malaysia and Indonesia; recognized foreign scholars doing historical research on the Philippines; enriched historical education; provided a venue for collaboration and networking; and made historical research relevant to contemporary needs.