Tuesday, January 20, 2015

‘Alay at Laya’ Conference Recollection

This is a rather late post. A conference held last year proved to be an enlightening event where I learned that history (Philippine history in this case) can have many dimensions, no matter how wide the gap between the historical events and our time is.

The event was officially entitled ‘Alay at Laya’: Conference on Bonifacio and Mabini In Memory of their 150th Birth Anniversaries. It was held on April 24-25, 2014 at the Study Hall, Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Road, Quezon City. This two-day meeting tackled on the lives of and associated issues and controversies on Apolinario Mabini and Andres Bonifacio, two of the revered and widely recognized national heroes of the Philippines. It also touched on the events such as the Philippine Revolution, the budding Revolutionary Government and even on present-times issues related to them. The activity was in the form of presentation-forum-discussion which, although quite longish, proved to be a good source of insights about certain aspects of our Philippine history.

The topics were as follows:

Day 1 – April 24

Panel 1: Historiography of the Revolution
- Documents of the 1896 Revolution at the University of Santo Tomas (Maria Eloisa De Castro)
- Origins of the Bonifacio Cry (Emmanuel Encarnacion)
- The Revolution Betrayed (Floro Quibuyen)
- Historiography of the Philippine Revolution in Mindanao (Heidi Gloria)

Panel 2: Revolts and Revolution in the Provinces
- Sumoroy and Andres Bonifacio: Two Revolutionists of the 17th- and 19th-Century Filipinas (Regino Paular)
- Revisiting the Basi Revolt of 1807: Its Historical and Axiological Relevance (Jayson Lorenzo Antonio)
- Alimokon: Mateo Noriel Luga, the Life History of an Ibanag Revolutionary (1868?-1899) (Jose Matthew Luga)
- The 1884 Uprising in Pangasinan: Unravelling its Unknown Ties with the Katipunan and the Revolution (Sophia Marco and Erwin Fernandez)

Panel 3: Context of the Revolution
- Money and Everyday Life in 19th-century Philippines (Celestona Boncan)
- Antonio Molina’s Big Question: Differentiating Katipunan’s Musika de Legitimo Kundiman Procedente del Campo Insurrecto from Don Isabelo de los Reyes’ “Jocelynang Baliwag” (Ian Christopher Alfonso)
- From Malolos to the 1987 Philippine Constitution: A Historico-Legal Analysis (Robert Jurado)

Panel 4: Keeping an Eye on Revolutionaries
- Ambivalent Loyalties: Indio Guardia Civil and the Nationalist Imperative of the Philippine Revolution (Danilo Madrid Gerona)
- Public Opinion and Rumors in a Time of Revolution (Mark Dizon)
- Bonifacio and the Katipunan in the Cuerpo de Vigilancia Papers (Rene Escalante)

Panel 5: Bonifacio and the Katipunan
- Tracing the Genealogy of Andres Bonifacio (Joel Regala)
- Liwanag at Dilim: Constructing the ‘Bayan’ of Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto Based on Their Writings (Leodivico Lacsamana)
- Women in the Writings of Bonifacio and Jacinto: Trapped in the Cobwebs of History? (Fe Buenaventura-Mangahas)

Day 2 – April 25

Panel 6: Revolutionary Thought I
- The Katipunan’s Notion of “Tinubuang Lupa” as Fulcrum Point for an Indigenous Critical Social Theory (Rainier Ibana)
- The Intellectual and Enlightened Revolutionary (Angelito Nunag)
- The La Liga and the Katipunan: Translating Brotherhood and the Idea of Nation (Maria Bernadette Abrera)

Panel 7: Revolutionary Thought II
- Two Versions of “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” (Paul Dumol)
- Contending Concepts of Nation and Government: Divergent Paths between Rizal and Bonifacio (Erwin Fernandez)
- Paghahambing ng Dekalogo nina Andres Bonifacio at Apolinario Mabini (Maria Luisa Camagay)
- Apolinario Mabini’s La Revolucion Filipina and Radical Thinking (Jovino Miroy)

Panel 8: Apolinario Mabini
- Mabini, Masonry, and the Revolution (Francis Gealogo)
- Algo para Congreso: Mabini Beyond the Malolos Congress of 1898 (Lino Dizon)
- Kontrobersya sa Unang Republika: Pagbabalik-Tanaw sa Alitang Mabini at Aginaldo (Emmanuel Calairo)
- Mabini and the Filipino Deportees in Guam (Augusto de Viana)

Panel  9: The Present Views the Past
- The Revolt According to the Masses: Views on History, the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and Andres Bonifacio by Urban Poor Leaders of Metropolitan Manila (Michael Xiao Chua)
- Viewing the Past: Movie Watchers’ Take on Filipino Historical Films (Maria Joanna Luciño)
- Bonifacio @ 100: Revisiting the Supremo’s Image in his First Century (Kristoffer Esquejo)
- Imprinting Andres Bonifacio: The Iconization from Portrait to Peso (Manuel Quezon III)

Unfortunately, I had summer undergraduate classes and my own masteral classes and so I was only able to attend on the second day and only for the morning session which were Panels 6 and 7 (as I had to rush to my afternoon classes). Nevertheless a review of those topics I was able to attend proved definitely insightful.

To review some of them:

Paul Dumol’s “Two Versions of Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” brought us back to the printing preparations of the Bonifacio-attributed poem. Revisions turned out to be not from the author himself but were done for purposes of clarity and considerations relative to the ideas put forward by José Rizal.

Jovino Miroy’s “Apolinario Mabini’s La Revolucion Filipina and Radical Thinking” was an intellectual and scholarly challenge during the presentation proper. It was also something you can carry and digest at your own pace. The definitions and descriptions of a radical and of radical thinking and persuasion will always be a dynamic platform for debate.

In the end, I was struck by this realization that indeed history is not just dates, names, and events recorded chronologically on pages to be read and noted. History jumps out of those very pages, assumes many dimensions to which people can look into. A myriad of lenses where one can see history on that particular vantage point, at a different level of interpretation.

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