Philippine Historical Association Annual Conference 2023: A Personal Restrospection

Philippine Historical Association Annual Conference 2023: A Personal Restrospection

Last Aug 31-1 September, I attended the Philippine Historical Association’s Conference entitled, Sangkapilipinuhan, Retrospections on Independence and Nationhood at The Metropolitan Theater, Manila. On the first day, Dr. Ricardo Jose delivered his plenary speech on the Historiography of the Philippine Revolution beyond 1998. Atty. Reynato S. Puno, retired chief Justice delivered his Speech on the first day as well as the Keynote speaker of the event.

There were 44 papers that was presented in the conference which were conveniently grouped by different topics that was held together by the main theme of Filipino independence and Nationhood. The papers covered historiography in different timelines, rich local histories, biographies, some controversies and issues like Women and gender, even Science in nation building. They were delivered by scholars from different universities all over the Philippines and even Yale-NU. My Professors from UP Open University were paper presenters as well as a schoolmate from UP-Baguio.

Among the papers that were presented, I felt affinity with Prof. Mark Madrona’s paper titled, “Examining The Filipino Teacher (1907-1911) as a Platform for Education Advocacy in the Philippines.” His conclusions regarding the issues that teachers faced during the 1900s being the same today is heartbreaking and infuriating. It tells us to continue demanding for teacher’s dignified salary, fair teacher to student ratio, and more.

I also liked the paper by Dr. Abao about students’ awareness about Martial Law. I honestly may replicate it with my own study on my own students maybe with a different historical event or the same topic altogether. Her findings propose a need for a comprehensive and holistic approach in learning Martial Law. I agree on this, and I wish for the success of her proposal.

Out of all the papers that were presented, I have confirmed my belief that a historian’s task may not be as celebrated or prominent compared to doctors, lawyers, and scientists but it is significant in building the nation’s consciousness. I admire their hard work of searching, reading, validating, and authenticating their sources to construct the experiences of Filipinos. I commend their generosity and courage in sharing their work to the public. I am humbled and look forward to the next PHA conference.

The 2-day conference was capped off by a video recording of Sir Rio, whom I missed and wanted to see again since being a fellow in Linangan ng Imahen Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) workshop. He posed a challenge to Historians to share the knowledge of History to the people using the Filipino language to create a national identify and strengthen Nationalism.

It has been an exhilarating experience for a first timer attendee to a PHA conference. Becoming a member has been a great decision for me as I feel proud of the organization I belong to especially after attending the General Assembly on the 2nd of September and hearing the plans of the Association.

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Angela Morales

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