Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines

Topics: Meaning of life, Culture, 19th century Pages: 6 (1478 words) Published: September 14, 2013
Giles Mark A. Arguilla
PS 202 (Notes on ‘Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840- 1910’ by Reynaldo Clemeña Ileto, 1979)
Sources of Data: History, Biography, Folk Songs, Poems and Religious Traditions (Prayers & Confessions)

A “History From Below”-- the Little Tradition and Great Tradition Discourses (pp. 1- 27)

A constant framework of interpretation: the Evolutionary Framework (which) places premium on the ideas and activities of the Filipino priests and intellectuals who gave form to the aspirations of the masses. (p. 3)

Inspite of the ultimately narrow class interests (native elites, mestizos and principales) behind their agitation, the ilustrados managed to stir up a nationalist sentiment among the masses by focusing upon friar abuse that was universally felt in varying degrees. (p. 3)

“Blind Reaction” theories prevail; intentions and hopes are left unexamined. This leads to the forgone conclusion that early popular movements were largely failures, and continued to be so until they turned more “rational” and “secular”. (p. 5)

*The “Great Divide”*

“No uprising fails. Each one is a step in the right direction.” (Salud Algabre, 1935 Sakdal Peasant Uprising Leader) (p. 5)

Instead of using preconceived categories of nationalism and revolution as a matrix through which events are viewed, the author tried to bring to light the masses’ own categories of meaning that shaped their perceptions of events and their participation in them. (p. 8)

The book deals with the same events: before, during and after the REVOLUTION (1840- 1910) but tries to look at them from within, that is, from the perspective of the masses. (p. 8)

If we are to arrive at the Tagalog masses’ perception of events, we have to utilize their (Spanish ilustrado) documents in ways that extend beyond the search for “cold facts”. (p. 10)

Questions posed by the author

1.How did the masses actually perceive their tradition; how did they put their feelings and aspirations into words?

2.How precisely did Bonifacio and the Katipunan effect a connection between tradition and national revolution? Do we really understand what the Katipunan uprising was all about? (p. 3)

3.How could the post-1902 mystical and millenial movements have taken the form they did and still be extremely radical?

The “Revolt of the Masses” Tradition-- Agoncillo, Sturtevant and Constantino (pp. 3- 8)

Agoncillo’s purpose-- to rectify the tendency of historians before him to regard the revolution as the handiwork of the upper-class, Hispanized natives. (p. 4)

- The physical involvement of the masses in the revolution is pretty clear, but how did they actually perceive, in terms of their own experience, the ideas of nationalism and revolution brought from the West by the ilustrados? (p. 4)

- Agoncillo assumes that to all those who engaged in revolution, the meaning of independence was the same: separation from Spain and the building of a sovereign Filipino nation. We can rest assured that this was the revolutionary elite’s meaning… But the meaning of the revolution to the masses— the largely rural and uneducated Filipinos who constituted the revolution’s mass base— remains problematic for us. (p. 4)

Sturtevant’s suggestion that, because of rural economic conditions and the persistence of traditional cultural forms (e.g. PASYON, anting- anting, etc.), perhaps the peasantry viewed the 19th century situation differently from that of their relatively more sophisticated and urbanized compatriot. (p. 6)

- But what actually occurred during the tumultous era of the revolution, was the appearance of a large number of popular movements in Luzon, some led by local “messiahs” and others by “bandit” chiefs, who embodied rural aspirations such as freedom from taxes, reform of the tenancy system and the restoration of village harmony and communalism. (p. 6)

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