A Filipino Response to Flogging

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Colonial Whip
A Filipino Response to Flogging in 1835

Cracks in the Parchment Curtain – 17 essay compiled into one to reveal factual information on the 300 year master-and-slave relationship of the Philippines and Spain. In here, we’ll see desolate angle of Filipinos living through the Spanish shadow for three centuries. An American author with Dutch-Lutheran decent uncovers the Philippine’s neglected history with an aim to put a window on every angle during the three century colonial rule of Spain. The book contains facts from primary sources in which the author patiently cracked through persons, places and time. Among them are musty books and documents coming from libraries to libraries, countries to countries, parishes to parishes and persons to persons. These were the keys in unsealing and renewing the Philippine history with the realistic glimpse of the Filipinos who have hungered for freedom and dignity in the chains of foreign power. William Henry Scott was an American historian primarily interested with the Philippine history. In 1982, he completed twenty-five years of teaching, scholarship and publication in the Philippines. Upon completing his college education in Cranbook School, Michigan, he joined the Episcopalian Church mission in China where he also taught and studied. With a general expulsion of foreigners in China, he then followed his teachers to Yale University where he enrolled and graduated with a BA in Chinese Literature and Language. Although he wanted to teach in Japan, he was offered a post in St Mary’s School in Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines where he eventually taught English and History. Scott held a Bachelor's degree from Yale University, a Masters from Columbia University and a PhD from the University of Santo Tomas. Scott's dissertation was published by the University of Santo Tomas Press as Pre-Hispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History in 1968. A revised and expanded second edition was published in 1984.

Scott's first well known academic work is The Discovery of the Igorots. This is a history of the Cordillera mountain region over several centuries of Spanish contact, constructed from contemporary Spanish sources. Scott argues that the difficulties the Spaniards encountered extending their rule in the face of local resistance resulted in the inhabitants of the region being classified as a 'savage' race separate to the more tractable lowland Filipinos. He adopted a similar approach in Cracks in the Parchment Curtain, which he tries to glean a picture of pre-colonial Philippine society from early Spanish sources. Scott received various critics on his works. Scott was aware of this limitation, but argued Spanish records provided glimpses of Filipino society and native reaction to colonial dominion, often incidental to the intention of the Spanish chronicler, which were the cracks in the Spanish parchment curtain. The writing and teaching of "sound history" has been Scott's obsession. Although he has been popularly known as the historian of the Igorots, he has made a more basic contribution to Philippine historiography - that of methodology in history.

Although William Henry Scott used English as a medium in this compilation of Essays, he never failed to give the information as coherent as possible. He cited sources which made his dissertation reliable. He even included personal documents of the complainant of the people of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. He began the essay with the event that took place prior to the complaint of “excessive number of floggings” and threats caused by their parish priest. As he went through, he gave a brief history of flogging and castigation among the Spaniards and how acceptable it is as to the part of their penal traditions. He gave a brief translation of the complaint as it was written based on the vernacular of the town of Tagudin. The complaint itself gave an overview of the situations and provided a glimpse on the “unjust”...
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