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Lim Teck Ghee (ed). 1988.

Reflections on Development in
Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
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Outlturcs of

Non-Linear Emplotment of Philippine History

131

From the momenl ihe typical Filipino student begins to learn about
himself, his society, history artcl culture in books, the niass-media and the
classroom, he becomes immersed in ideas of development, emergence,
linear time, scientific reason, humane pragmatism, governmental ordering,
and nation-building. He becomes so immersed in them that he takes them
to be part of the natural ordering of things. J.itlle does he know that such
categories are historical, that they were devised at a cerlain time by men
borrnd by their unique interests and environments. The operations by which
sorne events are highlighled while others suppressed, the establishment of
chains of cause and effect, the temporal ordering of phenomena in a certain
way, such as from primitive to advanced, religious to secular revolts - all

Outlines of a
Non-Linear Emplotment of
Philippine History

lhese are obscured in textbooks and teaching methods. The student is made
to learn the facts as they are strung out in some linear fashion, not the
relationship of histories to power groups, the silences of the past, or the
history of the linear scheme itself.2
This paf:er will, first of all, look into the common struclural features
that underlay linear Philippine histories of different political persuasions.
These texts have dominated the educational scene for at least a decade,
and have become part and parcel of the intellectual baggage of the present
generation of politicians, radical activists, and technocrats. By interrogating
these texts one may begin to understand why it is so difficult for lhe men
and women at lhe top to escape the'linear developmental'mode of com'
prehending national 2roblems ancl prospects. But it is not enough to discern
lhe structure or discourse of Philippine history. The second part of this

REYNALDO C. ILETO

Most sensitive thinkers today regard the concept of 'development" not as


universl but as historically conditioned, arising from social, economic, and
ideological trends in eighteenth-century Europe. The idea of progress - thc
belief that the growth of knowledge, capabilities and material produclion
make human exstence better - placed science at the summit of knowledge.
It gave birth to high imperialism, as the West identified progress with civilization and set out to dominate the rest of the worlcl. lbday, the idea of progress
and the developmental ideology it engendered are under attack. People
are generally aware of how scienlific knowledge and technique can bring
disaster, how increased material production does not necessarily lead to a
better life. The reality of poverty, exploitation of workers, dominalion of
certain groups by others, and destruction of the environment, flies in the
face of rational planning by lechnocrats.l
As lhe awareness of what tlevelopmenl" really means grows, it becomes
nevertheless difficult to identify and negate the features of this outlook that
have been internalized for decades and continue to shape one'-s lhinking.
In the Philippines, the developmental outlook is deeply implicated in power
relationships within the society as well as between the Philippines and the
outside world. Il shapes behaviour and thought without being fully articulated itself. The concept of development is still understood as a universal
'given' the livenl for example, of any text enranating from the nalional
government and its technocrats. Surprisingly enough, even the critics of
government and the technocralic 6lite, whether of the right or left in the
political spectrum, while pointing out distortions and misapplications, fail to
escape the very discourse of development. It is as if to beconre an educated
Filipino one had to internalize this central organizing concept of the age

paper will look into the late nineteenth-century context of its irruption,
particularly the still unexplored rise of medical power. Finally, the question
of what to do with the data lhat is marginalized in the dominant histories
will be discussed. It is suggested that an alternative historical project might
consist of retrieving such data and allowing it to challenge the dominant
constructs, fomenting what Foucault calls 'the insurrection of subjugated
knowledges" which were'present but disguised within the body of functionalist and systematizing theory".3

Linear History
The late lbodoro Agoncillq the Philippines' most influential history textbook writer, is famous for his construction of a history that begins after
1B?2, the year of the exccutions of three reformist priests, or lhe -r,'ear
that a 'national consciousness" was born.a Agoncillo justified this view on
the grounds that one cannol hear an authentic Filipino voice prior lo L872
in the masses of Spanish colonial records that have survived. At most
there are isolated, regional and tribal assertions against the colonial order,
but hardly one that articulates a common experience and destiny of the

Filipino people.

in which one lives.


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llqnal<lo C. Ileto

Agoncillo blames this on spanish colonialism. According to him, before


the ionqucsr in the sixteenth century the people had a sense of belonging
to the Malay worlcl; they were literate, prosperous and united under their
respective chiefs. spanish rule encouraged the docility of the masses, the
corruption of leaders, their collaboration with the foreigners, and, above
all, a loss of authentic customs and beliefs. Only with nineteenth-cenlury
economic development and the consequent rise of a native intelligentsia
called iluslrodo, would things be set straight again.
Agoncillo's textbooks are considerecl exemplary in the nationalist tradltion,
but an examination of o/l modern history textbooks will reveal that they
contain the.following categories and chronological sequence: A Golden
Age (pre-Hispanic society), the Fall (that is, the conquest by Spain in the
sixteenth century), the Dark Age (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries),
Economic and social Development (nineleenth century), the Rise of Nationalist consciousness (post-1872), the Birth of the Nation (1898), and either
suppressed Nationalism or Democratic Thtelage (Rost-1901, the American
regime).
The year L872,or sometimes 1896 - when the Katipunan revoh against
spain occurred - is the lynchpin of several binary oppositions: forward/
bickwarcl, reasonlsuperstition, enlightenment/enslavement, modern/traditional, religion/progress, and so forth' To put it another way, some time
in the late nineteenth century lhere seemed to be a breakthrough out of
darkness and subjection, towards independence, progress and the Filipino
nation-state.Ib understand how deeply rooted this conception of history is
in the Philippines we musl go back to the late nineteenth century.
The ilusfrqdos were the offspringpor excellence of thg Spanish ordering
of society. The effect of the colonial intervention was to gather together
the scattered barungays (villages) into more compact, Hispanized pueblo'
centres, where the naiive and mestizo gentry called principolio, educated
by the Spanish friars in the convents, began to assimilate the basic elemenls
of a progressivist outlook, such as the Judaeo-Christian concept of man
working out the Divine Plan over lime, or the notion of man's perfectability.
Even the common masses, through local versions of the Old and New Testament came to be familiar with the notion of 'history" as a series of evenls

with a beginning (the Creation) and an end (the final Judgment). After
the fall from an original state of perfection in ihe Garden of Eden, history
consists of man's strivings for salvation which ultimately is to be found in
the afterlife, in the City of God.S
The well-known opening of the countryside to capitalist penetration
from the 1820s onwards, but particularly after 185O, was accompanied
by the crystallization of new knowledge which was readily accepted by
the generations of upper- and middleclass Filipinos who went to Spanishlanguage schools. Up to the eighteenth century man's perfectabilily was
deemed impossible on earth. The Spanish clergy was determined to keep

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a Non-Lineor Ernplotment of Philippine History

133

this perception intact in the colony. By the mid-nineteenlh century the


educated, l/usl;"odo, segmenl of the princrpcrli,:, resenlful of the archaic
dominance of the Church over practicallv all aspects of inclio life, was prepared to assimilate nineleenth-century ideas of secuiar progress. Ironically,
their exposure to Christian catechism and Church history predisposed
them to linear, progressive ideas of history. The ilusfroclos, despite their
attacks on what they saw as Spanish-controlled religiosity that kept the
ordinary people in subjection, nevertheless retained the Christian conslructs
of "Fall" and 'Recovery" in writing anti-colonial history.
The first native students of Philippine history - Jose Rizal, Gregorio
Sanciangco, Isabelo de los Reyes, Ramon Paterno and Tlinidad Pardo de
Thvera - saw lheir generalion as the first to be guided by reoson ralher
than supers/ition. As a way of liberating themselves from their colonial consciousness, lhey studied the ancient alphabets, literature, religion, and other
aspects of pre-Hispanic society, and posited a time in the past when the Philippine archipelago was a flourishing civilization that, however, succumbed
to the proferred benefits of alliance with the Spanish conguis/odores. History
hence, begins with a "fall". As heirs of the Humanist tradition, the iluslroclos
further posited a break in their lime between the 'clark age' of Spanish
colonialism when religion and ignorance ruled men's minds, and a new
age of enlightenmenl when the glory of an ancient past would be fused
with the progress of nationhood. The future hope was no longer bliss in
heaven but a prosperous nalion stale lhat would take its place in rhe international community.6
Wilh ilustrqdo writing, then, Philippine history became intelligible, progressive, linear and, to some extent, "purposive". The people, or its intelligentsia vanguard, could help push history to its goal by education/reform,
or revolulion. Subsequent histories, both of the liberal and radical varieties,
have reproduced this nineteenth-century emplotment. In fact, this has formed
the backbone of the dominant state ideology and intelligentsialed opposition
to it since the triumph of the First Republic in 1898.
In E,E. Marcos's multi-volume series, Tbdhona: The History ofthe Filipino
fuople, a guarter of the volumes is devoted to the pre-Hispanic 'roots of
Filipino heritage'i In this view of the past, the seed of the future Filipino
nation is to be found in the idealized pre-Spanish barungay - a community
bound togelher by kinship ties and loyalty to the paternal leader - whose
evolution was inlerrupted by the Spaniards. Another guarter of. Tadhana,
nearly completed, discusses thc Spanish regime, tluring which the Fi-

lipinos struggled first to assimilate and participate in the Hispanization


process, gradually and consciously moving towards the idea of a national
community in the reform or propaganda movement". The "counter-socieiy'
thal emerged in 1872 would find fulfilment in the birth of the nation-state
in 1898. From 1898 to 1946, when political independence is granted by
the United States, the story - to be told in another quarter of the series -

134

ReynalCc C. Ilelo

consists of realizing this dream, this destiny, in the face of American, Japanese, rightist, leftist arrd other ihreats to it.7
Marcos's history departs from Agoncillo's in taking a more positive view
of the "Conquista' (that is, the 'fall") and the 'dark agei It accommodates
the research of Phelan and others lhat have shown that while the native
perception of reality was strained by the impositions of colonialism, there
was no break or disruption arising from the conversion and relocation of
the lowland populace. Phelan demonstrates that Spanish missionaries could
not have succeeded vrithout building on pre-existing notions of curative
waters, amulets, anito worship, family alliances, and the like. The process
of Hispanizing the native 6lite was as much through the latter's initiative as
it was Spain's.8 Marcos develops this notion of indio creativity and assertion

into that of the'bounter-society" - the substratum of indigenous civilization - taking the form of a primitive yearning for liberty lhat simmered
beneath the surface of Spanish rule.
The tounter-society" in Marcos's history in the process of revealing itself,
of making liberty manifest, gradually lransforms itself into a state. Here is
the culminalion of ilus/rodo efforts to construct a chain of events leading
lo the modern nalion-state. "Marcosl', in fact, is also the name of a large
group of contemporary scholars who have used the idiom of modern scholarship to essentially fulfil the dreams of their forebears. They see the origins
of the state in the pre-Spanish borongcry, which was gradually transformed
during the cclonial period into the much larger pueblq dominated at the
centre by the municipal hall and church/convent complex. Thus, from this
pueblo cenlre emerged the pnhcipolio anci ilustrado classes which wrote
and subscribed to a history organized from the centre's perspective.
Ib put it another way, if history was continuous iind progressive, the
pueblo and its fulfilment, the state, would be the very site of progress. Thus,
there is a disproportioned celebration, in both history books and national
festivities, of the founding of the first Philippine republic in 1898, despite
the latter's suppression of religio-political movements that preceded it and
plagued its shortlived experience. The sacred character of the state is evi
denced in Marcos's selfconsciously Hegelian argument that the state was
the "self realization of the Absolutdl and that the form of constitutional
authoritarianism his regime practised - in which through him as "world
historical" leadet the guidiqg hand of history/progress operated - was the
only way that lhe ilustrado dream could be realized.e
The most effective critics thus far of the "statist" construction of history have been those who go by the much-misunderstood name, "Marxist'i
Ilruo examples will be mentioned here: Renato Constantino, author of a
best-selling textbook, The Philippines: A ^Fosf Revrsiled, and the National
Democratic Front (NDF), whose version of Philippine history is derived
from A. Guemero's Philippine Sociefy and Rqolution.ro Constantino pointed
out, in reply to Agoncillo's dismissal of the 'dark age" of Spanish rule, that

Outlines af a Non-Linear Emplotment of Philippine History

135

Spanish coioniai poiicy, and even Spanish history and society, from the
beginninc "had profor-rnd effects on the evolving Filipino socicly and cannot
therefore be ignored'l His criticism of Agoncillo's 'great men" approach was
also an attack on Marcos's history at the height of martial rule: 'All powerful
leaders, and especially tyrants, exerled efforts to insure that the history
of their lime would be written in their imagel' In the final analysis, however, "it is the people who make or unmake heroes". The NDF has likewise
rejecled lhe lreat heroes" approach; leaders or rebels are thrown up by the
particular social and economic formatiorrs in which they livcd. In [acl, one

of the preoccupations of the NDF (as well as other; competing, Marxist

groups) has been lo locate states in the Philippine past so that development
and its concomitant struggles can be more scientifically plotted.rt
'There must be no segmentation of the different stages of our history'l
argues Constantino. Despite the 'evolution and disappearance of forms
of social life and institutions'l there is a conlinuity in the people's material
and subjective growth. Constantino calls revolts and other assertions during colonial rule "the schools of lhe masses'l 'From blind responses to
foreign oppression, mass actions against the Spaniards and later against
the Americans underwent various transformations until they finally became
a conscious struggle for national liberationl Nole that lhe end poinl of
popular struggles is not state formation but "nalional liberation'or, as Constantino says elsewhere, "the birth of a naliort'. Note, too, thal revolts are
shown lo be increasingly self-conscious and secular, evolving in states as
lhe economy develops. Variations on the theme are found elsewhere. For
example, Constantino-inspired church aclivists picture religious unrest as
developing in stages, from Hermano Pule's primitive Cofradia movement
of 1840-41 io the highesl stage in Fr. Gregorio Aglipay's schisrn from the
Roman Catholic Church during the revolution. The former is pictured as a
blind groping, with the leader, Hermano Pule, still encumbered by idark
agd superstition; hence his failure.l2
The problem is that, their sincerity noti,vithstanding, Conslantino and the
NDF have failed to exlricate themselves from the discourse of the liberal

nationalists they condernn. Like Agoncillo and Marcos, they present an


image of a pre-Hispanic feudal order bastardized by colonialism and a native

culture contaminated by Christianity. What these texts have in common


with their liberal rivals is that they proceed from the same construct of
falldarkness-recovery (or triumph), where there is a necessary development
ffom a point in the past lo the present and everything in between is either
taken up in the march forward, or simply suppressed. Older ideas of progress can be gleaned in these texts' insistence on consciousness of lhe
'laws of motionl and on torrect" organizalional responses to hislorical
opportunities for revolutionary change.
While Constantino and the NDF look upon the masses as the real'makers
of history". the masses are not allowed to speak. They exist only to be

136

Reynaldo C. Ileto

represented by articulate leaders who are said to have a deeper understanding than ''ordinary people' of the causes of oppression, and who began to emerge in the second half of the nineteenth century. Here we see
another intersection of nationalist establishment writing and nationalist/
Marxist oppositionist writing. It is a very subtle kind of 6litism, because
it draws upon the Filipino 'bommon sense'view that colonialization made
the masses passive, that Spanish colonialism preached such virtues as
'resignation, passivity and respect for autt5ity". An example cited by both
Marcos and the NDF is the Spanish use of such lexts as the Posyon indigenous versions of the New lbstament story - to make the masses
submissive.r3 Naturally, if such writers ignore the creative appropriation
of Spanish-Christian texts by the masses, then it follows that the coming of
the intelligentsia is sorely needed.
It is not surprising that such ostensibly diverse texls share a common
hisiorical emplotment. The reason most educated Filipinos find the lineardevelopmental mode a natural one for ordering such phenomena as revolts
and the consolidation of state power in the name of nationalism is because this framoauork puts lhem at the forefront of the development process.

Whether as apologists or activists, they are able to recognize themselves


in a comfortable way in the past, and they are assured of a primary role in
the fulfilment of the end towards which history moves.

Physicians and the State


Rizal alwap comes to mind as the foremost nationalist writer and interpreter

of hislory in the late nineteenth century. It is often forgotten that he was


trained as a medical practitioneq and that much of his scholarly investigations
had to do with the natural sciences. But having situated his historical writing
in the episteme of the period, it is no longer possible to separate Rizal, the
writer, from Rizal, the physician. Nineteenth<entury linear history and science
shared the same basic assumpiions: chains of cause and effect, perfectibility
of man on earth, triumph over untruth and superstition, and so forth. It can
likewise be argued that the iluslrodo construction of Philippine history and
the medico-scientific outlook of such practitioners as Rizal, Paterno and Pardo de thvera - who also wrote histories - are part of the same discourse.
After 1872, parenls, with good reason (that is, the execution of the three
reformist priests), were reluctant to send their sons to seminaries. The
medical profession succeeded the priesthood as the most popular career
-goal for bright and well-to-do youth. Medicine and its auxiliary discipline,
pharmacy, were regarded as having long since broken away from fantasy
and superstition. It formed the vanguard of science during the nineteenth
century. The rise of medicine as a distinct discipline depended upon the
view that knowledge could be steadily accumulated and perfected. Filipinos,
reading their history through lhis medico-scientific matrix, quite nalurall5r

autlines of u Non-Linear Emplotment of t'hili1:pine History

137

were attracted to lhe pattern or construct described at the beginning of this


1-raper:

fall-dark ages-enliglrtenment and progress.

Our alternalive reading of the nineteenth-century rise of the medical


profession - a sign of progress
- is based on the actual intersection of

medicine, politics, and society during the cholera epidemics lhat swepl the
colony from 1820 to 1902. The 1820 epidemic was particularly frightening
since Asiatic cholera had not been experienced previously. colonial (that
is, European) doctors were guite helpless about preventive and curative
procedures. The 1820 expcrience was particularly remembered for the antiforeign riots that originated in the native district surrounding Manila, which
resulted in the deaths of many foreigners. Afflicted natives of the lower
class abandoned the pueblos, and turned in droves to what the Frenchman
Gironiere, himself a physician, called "native sorcerers". The almost total
disruption of public order al the height of the epidemic was as equally
feared by the colonial establishment as the disease itself.ra
The experience of the 1820 epidemic as a time of chaos was constantly
al the back of the minds of colonial health officials during subsequent
visitations. Mec.ical and sanitary practices that were devised in succeeding
decades had the additional, if not essenlial, function of preventing a repeti-

tion of chaos.rs
Soon after 1820, Spanish health officials were in touch with physicians
from British India, and much of the developmenls in cholera cures elswhere were adopted. From hindsight it is easy to smile at the noi'uetd of
the cures and such "mistaken' conceptions as the dreaded mrosmo. But
documents of the sanilary and health commissions reveal a reverence towards the advances in knowledge and technigues in the nineteenlh century.
Baltling a killer disease such as cholera with the weapons of science gave
the Tunfo.s sonrlonos, or sanitary commissions, a rising prestige among
the nascent Filipino middle class, a prestige previously enjoyed only by

ihe Church.
The fairly exlensive documentation on the 1882 and 1889 epictemics
reveal a situation far different from that of 1820.16 sanitary commissions
were quickly mobilized in each torvn at thc first sign of an outbreak. Inilially, parish priesls, either Spaniards or Filipinq served as presidents of
these commissions but, increasingly, gobemadorcillos (justices of peace)
were allowed lo assume this function. Individuals who showed a lack of
enthusiasm and competence were immediately sacked. By and large, local

officials, municipal policemen, top rnembers oI the princrpolia, and the


Guardia civil, worked remarkably well as a team to enforce state regulations.
These consisted principally of the daily moniloring and inspection of houses
and public facilitieg daily accounting of infected persons and cholera deaths,
strict quarantines, the banning of idangerous'food items (such as the foul

smelling shrimp paste, or bagoong), and even the policing of oullying


villages and hamlets which could be the source of pollution or infection.

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Reynoldo C. Iieto

A schccltrle of fines and detentions for infractions of sanitary rules

was

strictly obsen'ed.

The reorganization of society and surveillance over ritual practices and


individual consciences that accompanied conversion to Ctrristianity in the
sevenleenth century was repeated in the nineteenth century by the colonial
state which made its presence felt through the system of door-to-door inspections, the monitoring of casualties, and the bans on visiting the sick
urra t" deacl. Furthermore, lhere appears to be a continuity between the
surveillance and the curtailment of population movements practised dur.ing epidemics, and similar iechniques of "bandit suppression' that were
pJ.t""t"A at about the same period. The cholera attacked both rich and
poor. But the local sanitary commissions vvere well aware of the threat of
contamination offered by unhygienic clusters of peasant dwellings and
movements of people. The principolro's energetic response to anti-cholera
programmes was at one level a measure of its desire to survive as a Class.
it, ittitrau towards "banditry" was not different. For example, the Spanish
infantn,3 campaign to eradicate banditry in southern Luzon in 1881 was
tantamounl lo a massive quarantine operation that isolated the'hard working and peacefuf inhabitants of town centres from rough and unsettled
elements in the peripheries that posed a threat to the centres. In both
operations, that is, epidemic and bandit suppression, Spanish commanders,
parish priests and thepnncipolio were allies. The saga of progress in health
ind sanitation is also that of the involvement of the p rincipalia in the deploy-

ment of state power under ihe aegis of disease control.


After the middle of the nineteenth century lhe nascent ilustrodo segment
of the pnncipolro began to assert itself in the name of scientific medicine.
During the 1882 cholera visitation which rivalled in intensity that of 1820
(34,000 died in Manila alone), the frequent appeai to Manila of provincial
!orurno.., parish priestq and municipal officials was,'Send a medico titular
at once!" A medrco lilulor was a bona fcle graduate of a medical course,
a physician, variously called 'Medico" or "Licenciaddi In the mid-1860s
the University of Santo Tomas had opened its medical faculty to F'ilipinos
(natives and mestizos), and so by the late 1870s the native physician was
becoming a powerful figure in the pueblos which had one.17
Due to the scarcity of medicos in 1882 they had to be rotated. The
majority of towns, and even some provinces, had to do without one, relying
(officially, that is) on the vocunodorcillo, the vaccinator who had been around
since the beginning of the century, and the mediquillo, a name designating
anyone with a smattering of formal training who could prescribe medicines,
apply poultices, set broken bones, and the like. There was no slrict line
separating mediquillo from curondero, the Spanish name for a herbalist or
a healer aided by spiritual powers.
One glaring fealure of the rise of "medico poweC' was the full support
it had from the colonial state. The words and deeds of the medicos were

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Nort-Linear Emplotment

of Philippine History

139

thus framed by the aura, the power, of "Ciencial and "Medicina Racional'l
r,r'hich in turn were harncsscd by the stale for its consoliclation. With support

from the centre. meclicos easily ciisplaced the vocunadorcillo rvhom they
regarded as backward and ineffective practitioners of molos orles. The post
of Vacunador General was taken over by a medico titulor in 1889. In some
cases, though, power struggles between the two erupled, usuaily as a result
of meclicos clumsily allempting to subordinate long-established vaccinators
in the lowns. The meclico did not really know mtrch more about cholera
control than the vaccinator who had the experience of past epidemics to
his credit, but an arena of conflict was created by the distinction that had
arisen between "licensed" and "unlicensed" medical practitioners, with the
vaccinator slipping into the lalter category.18
The medicos inevitably encountered rhe power of the parish priests,
particularly the Spanish friars. The latter, armed with handbooks that encapsulated the missionary experience with tropical disease, had in the past
assumed the role of doctors in the pueblo centres, though, as far as they
were concerned, being in a proper moral condition was still the best weapon
against disease. It u'as still common for parish priests to head the local
sanitary commissions in 1882. With the appearance of the medico, clerical
dorninance in health rhatlers began to decline. The medrcos'struggle against
the priests was an uphill one, however. Since meclrcos, apafi from being
few in number, were generally helpless against the 1882 visitation, priests
still ruled lhe scene as deaths multiplied.
The rise of scientific medicine in the context of the epidemics of lhe
1880s also signalled the delegitimation of the activities of the mediquiilol
curandero. The municipal police and Guardia Civil tried to prevent access
lo curers. The epidemics were also a time of war on illegitimate doclors.
Tb quote an 1889 proposal for reforms in lhe vaccination service, "hopefully
these changes, without added cost to taxpayers, will diminish the numbers
of curunderos and mediquillos, and will advance the public's education in the
methods of rational medicine. . ..'re Mediquillos, formerly indispensable
in lhe pueblo centres, were steadily pushed back to the peripheries, their
aclivities increasingly coming to coincide with those of "illicit associalions".
There was, needless to say, resistance even in lhe pueblo centres to
disease control measures. Documents of the sanitary commissions complain
of stubborn, secretive, apathetic, filthy, undisciplined towndwellers, generally
of the poorer class. They are accused of egorsfo indifercncio and posrvo
rcsr'sfencro. Worst of all, as far as the commissions were concerned, rvas the
'irrational' preference of many for the mediquillo and curundero, resulting
in discernible population movements to the fringes of. pueblos or lo nearby
hills where these curers continued to practise their art virtually unimpeded.
The 1882 cholera epidemic began lo subside, nol so much as a result of
aclion by the locallunfos sonitorias, but in the aftermath of powerful slorms
that washed oui the sources of infection. The onset of natural immunily

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P'qnoldo C. Ilcto

amongst the populace was also a tactor. I'he Filipino metlicos titulores
errrrged nevertheless as powerful figures in ihe comrnunity.20 Il quitc naturally fell upon lhern to speak on behalf of the Filipino people during the
propaganda, or reform movemenl, from 1BB2 to aboul 1895. The meclrcos
in the towns, together with the schoolteacher, or moeslro, sccretly disseminated the views that their compatriots were publicly advocating in Europe:
Filipinos should be recognized as equal to any Spanish citizen; the people's
education and livelihood should be properly attended to by the state.2r
The friar quite easily became the figure of backrvardness, the 'bther" of
the rising medico lifurlor. When separation from Spain became a reality at
the turn of the century physicians and pharmacists were actively involved
in setting up the shorllived Republic under Aguinaldo's leadership.

Medical ProgressAVarfare
The irony of the story narrated above is thal when thc Uniled States began
to take over lhe reins of the stale at the beginning of this cenlrrry (1901 and
after), the progress of the earlier decades was simply consigned to another

tlark agel In other

words, the whole process described above was repealed,

with a slightly different constellation of characters.


The great cholera epidemic of 1902-3, like the ones treated earlier, gives

us a privileged glimpse of the relationships between medical knowledge


and practices, and the consolidation of power by the state. Former Secretary of the Interior, Dean Worcester, in his History of Asiatic Cholem in the
Philippines (1909), reviewed the earlier epidemics, particularly that of 1862,
and blamed the feeble and incompetent Sparrish health authorities for the
massive 'runawaf deaths incurred. In contrast, the most rccenl epidemic
of L9O2-4 wilh which he was involved, was relatively quickly controlled.
Worcester naturally viewed it as a triumph of modern medicine and public
health measures under the aegis of the U.S. governmenl. In facl much, if
not all, of lhe literature on the subject treats lhe American handling of
ihe 1902-3 epidemic as a lriumph of rationality and science over Filipino
superstition and obstinacy. The disease is seen as a biological, physical (in
short, objective) fact requiring direct, scienlifically-proven solutions.22
What is concealed in this saga of triumph of Weslern medicine? When
the disease appeared in Manila in March 1902 and spread to the rest of
Luzon in subsequent months, il provoked a massive medical, quarantine
and sanitation effori on the part of the newly installed colonial government.
Ib this lhere were various kinds of resistance on the part of the populace.
The burning of infected houses, burial in mass graves and atlempled cremations, application of unfamiliar treatments and solutions, to name a few,
were met with flight, concealment and a general "sullenness" of people in
some areas. The segregation of infected persons in cholera hospitals was
particularly resisted. Quarantine measures were broken whenever possible.

Outllnes of

o Non-Lineor Emplormenl ol Philippirrc History

141

Curonderos were secrelly atlracting villagers to their mountain redoubts. In


thc errd, the objective presence of a killer disease rvas justification enough
for colonial policies to be pushed through by force, if necessary. American
cavalrymen and soldiers were recruited by Worcester to serve as crack officers of his sanitation brigades. Here, we have the image of the conquering
soldier quickly transformed to thal of the crusading sanitation inspector.23
In southwestern Luzon, cholera appeared at the tail-end of years of
guerrilla iesistance to U.S. occupation. In a final attenlpl lo break the
resistance, the U.S. army under Gen. j. Franklin Bell implemented populationreconcentration and search-and-destroy strategies in late l90l up to the
middle of the following year when the cholera began to threaten the region.
The rapid spread of the disease was, in fact, greatly facilitated by the
movement of U.S. troops, as well as the crowding of villagers in the pueblo
centres, now called 'prolected zones". War, disease, and hunger were inextricably linked logether in the experience of the southern Thgalogs, yet
in accounts such as \,lbrcester's one finds nothing but the saga of cholera
suppression, with its concomitant disciplining of the native and the sanitiz-

ing of his

habitat.2a

With the final surrender of most guerrilla officers in May 1902, the discourse of lerm-warfare" guickly replaced "pacification" discourse. Military
surgeons supplanted the strategists and combal troops. As one veteran
surgeon wrole, 'the sanitary work of combating this disease among an
ignorant and suspicious people, impoverished by war, locusts and rinderpest
and embittered by conguest was an exlremely difficult task, calling for much
patience, tact and firmness, the brunt of which fell on the Armylzs In effect,
the epidemic was the scene of another war, a "combal zone'of disputes
over power and definitions of illness and lreatment, involving American
military surgeons, Filipino medico titulorcs (veterans of '82 and '89), parish
priests, lhe principalia. stricken townspeople, and ahernative curers in the

fringes of the towns.


Why was there a conflict between Filipino/Slanish medrcos and their
American counterparts, if both were lhe standard-bearers of progress?
Worceste4 at ihe onset of the epidemic, met with the Filipino and Spanish
medicos who promised without exceplion to aid the Board of Health. However, with few exceptions they not only failed to give assistance, but in
many instances, by neglecting to report cholera cases, by falsely reporting
them, and by decrying the sanitary measures deemed necessary by the
authorities, added materially to the crushing burdens which rested upon
the Board of Health.26 The Board had to threaten Filipino physiciang heads
of familieg and olher responsible persons with prosecution for concealment
of cases.
At one level, the medicos'passive resistance may be explained by their
threatened loss of influence over lhe masses occasioned by the advent of
U.S. rule. Filipino medicos, in particular, were chafing under the overbearing

Rqnaldo C' Ileto

142

manners of their American superiors. The only way they could be macle
to co-operate was when they were given some measure of conlrol themselves. In Manila this came when Filipinos were made heads of auxiliary
boarcls of healrh. That meclicos simply desired what later would be called
..Filipinization'of government
the
- in this case control over health programmes involving their countrymen - is only part of the story' Their
ionflict with American health authorities appears to have run deeper. The
fact that their exemplar, Jose Rizal, had been an associate of the German
physician and scientist, Rudolf Virchouw, has sorne implications here'
In an investigation of an epidemic in Upper Silesia in 1847, Virchouw
traced its origins to heavy rains which had ruined the year's crops, resulting
in famine. The winter following had been extremely severe, forcing the
poor people to hudclle together in their homes, cold and hungry. It was then
ihat a typhus epidemic broke out and spread rapidly among the poorer
class, eventually attacking lhe wealthy classes as well. Virchouw's experience

1848 to found a new journal, Medizinische Reform, in which


he professed that poverty bred disease, and that physicians must support
reforms that sought to reconstruct society in a manner favourable lo man's
health. Epidemics, he said, "resemble great warnings from which a statesman in the grand style can read that a disturbance has taken place in the
development of his peoplel In the control of crowd diseases, social and even
political action was necessary.2?.If it is assumed that, in general, Filipino

led him

in

medicos lilulores were sympathetic io Virchouw'." ideas, here is one explanation of their antipathy towards American anti'cholera efforts.
American physicians by 1902 almost universally subscribed to the germ
theory or more generally lhe doctrine of "specific etiology". of disease. Pasteur'.s writings on the subject appeared at about the same time as Darwin's
theory of evolution. At a time when relationships between living beings
were being set in a context of a struggle for survival, where one was either
friend or foe, the germ theory gave rise to a kind of aggressive warfare
against diseasecausing microbes, which had to be eliminated from the
stricken individual and from lhe community. lbwards the end of the nineteenth century the notion of disease as, in the final analysis' a lack of
harmony between man and his environment, was giving way in the W'est to

the search for the specific germ and the specific weapon against il. In

Germany, Emile von Behring regarded Virchouw's ideas as an antiquated


expression of the vague nineteenth-century Nofurphilosophie - a charac'
teristic, incidentally, of some of Dr Rizals writirrgs.2s
Accounts of the 1902 cholera epidemic show the contrasl between Fili
pino and American views of disease control. U.S. military surgeons tried

out all sorts of germ-killing preparations. These treatmenls, experimental


in nature, were based on the assumption that some drug ought to be able
lo attack and destroy the cholera vibrio within the patient. In a report from
the Santa Mesa cholera hospital it was admitted that'the definite lines

Outlines of o Non-Linear Emplotment of Philippine

History

143

uf trealmenl advocatcd from tirne to lime have rrcver proved o[ niatcriai


service in true cholera]V/heiher or not it was due to thc medicine used,
the American doctors' method of treatment brought nothing but aversion
among cholera patients. Significantly, though, when "a few simple medicines"
were distributed to the auxiliary boards of health under Filipino direction,
the effect on popular attiludes was decidedly positive. These medicines did
not cure many cases of cholera, but did so diarrhoea, "lhus removing a predisposing cause and gratifying the people, as the poorer class firmly believe
undcr these circumstances that ttrey have been cured of true cholera'.2e
Filipino patients encountered American physicians only in hospitals, and
we have noted the horror with which confinement was viewed. Filipino
meclicos, in the cities at least, generally visited their patients in their homes.
They treated families with which they presumably had had long-standing
relationships. They applied what Americans termed with derision, "mixed
treatment", which meant the inclusion of some features of what used lo
be the official treatmenl throughoul mosl of the nineteenth century. The
relatively backward and unscientific Filipino meclrcos - as lhe American
surgeons viewed them - thus lurned out to be more effective vis-d-yrs the
populace.3o It was somewhat like 1882, when victims were more attracted
to the mediguillos and curanderos than to the new, Manila-trained medrcos!
In 1902, lhe medrcos were applying old treatments and keeping patients
in a familiar and reassuring environment, where lheir "morale" as well as
body would have been altended to. Families were delermined to keep it that
way even if their doctors had to conceal cases from the government. For the
alternative was lhe hospital, and the frightful treatmeill (whatever it ccnsisted ofl) rendered by alien physicians. The fear of detention only began to
subside when hospital reforrns were enacted which placed Filipino medrcos
in contact with native patienis.
All this interaction between Filipino and American physicians took place
in Manila and a few other larger towns and cities. In the vast majority of
cholera-stricken townq lhe principalio-run boards of health and the parish
priests were the local agents of disease control, and they invariably collided
with the American military surgeons and other agents of Worcester. The
contrast between their enthusiastic impiementation of sanitary measures
under Spain, and lheir lethargy under U.S. supervision, is striking. But the
explanation for this is obvious: the revolution was not yet over for most of
them; memories of the guerrilla war were not easily cast aside; their tradi
tional dominance over the pueblo centres was threatened by a new, still
unfamiliar, colonial ruler. Only lhe strict surveillance of U.S. Army surgeons
from the local garrisons, and the brute facl of acceleraling cholera deathrates, brought lhe principolia around to acquiescing to lhe colonial solutions.
After a long "military" phase, the colonizing process began lo shape the
people's daily lives and thinking in lhe inescapable context of surviving
the cholera.

Rqnaldo C. Ileto

144

whatever worcester may have claimed, germ-warfare methods, including


rhe use of powerful clrugs, strict quarantine, and attempted cremation of
the cleacl, all failecl for various reasons. In the end, as in 1882, it was the
combination of heavy rains and the growing immunity of the populace

that causecl the epidemic to subside. As a result of this event, however'


modern meclicine ancl sanitation are said to have been implanted in the
Philippines - a fact that not even nationalist histories can deny. \{hal
needs to be pointed out in an alternative history is that fine, humanitarian

.obje(:tives mask other dimensions of colonial health and welfare measures:

the ,clisciplining" of the masses, the supervision and regulation of more


and m-p*re- aspects of life, and the suppression or elimination of what the

slate.perceived as forms of resistance, disorder, and irrationality. The par-

ticipalion of natives in colonial health and sanitation matters implicates


the,m in the process. Not surprisingly, for in the twentieth century as control
of the reins of the state passed on to Filipinos, the latter's attitude lowards
forms of indiscipline, disordet irrationality and deviancy was no different
from that of their colonial predecessors.

Beyond lhe Pueblo Centre


The plague as a form, at once real and imaginary of disorder had as
its medical and political correlative discipline. Behind the disciplinary
mechanisms can be read the haunting memory of contagions, of the
plague, of rebellions, crimes, vagabondage, desertions, people who
appear and disappear, live and die in disorder.3r

once again, Foucault's suggestions have a ring of familiarity in the Philippine context. Disease control in 1882 and l9O2 are repetitions of other

events in which the taming of disorder figures prominently. Historical writings, in giving emphasis to the integration of. pueblo cenlres and central
administration, and the leading aclors of both (pnncrpoles, bureaucrats),
have relegated to the margins the events taking place beyond the control
of such centres. Much of recent Philippine social history deals with the

expansion of the frontiers, the rise of cash crop agriculture and urban
entrepots, the links of the Philippine economy to the world capitalist system,
and the activities of the inqreasingly entrepreneurial principalialChinese
mestizo class.32 After all, these are what the colonial archives tell us most
about. But, to cite W.H. Scott, there are'hracks in the parchment curtain',
through which we can fleetingly glimpse the unique wala in which Filipinos
reacted to Spanish rule. Unfortunately, says Scott, 'these insights do not
generally appear in the official histories'.s Even "non-official" histories can
be at a loss as to how to situate such insights. For example, Cruickshank's
recent history of Samar offers us fascinating glimpses of the bther sidd' of

Oullines of

Non-Linear EmPloimcnt ol Philippine History

14s

the pueblo centre rvltere vagalt<.rnds are a "plaguc', alternative priests beckon
the populace, and a pilgrimage site constitutes a powerful focus of popular
aspirations. But, in the end, Cruickshank warns us that all this may give us
"a distorted image of the major lhemes of Samar's hislory'l a history lhat
was largely enacted on the coasls (with settled populations) and that reflects

the long impact of Catholicism and economic/commercial development.3a


Research into the records of the Guardia Civil and provincial courts
enable us to reread the nineteenth century saga of development quite
differently. The pueblo, we argue, can be read as aa ambiguous centre of
Philippine life, coming into play when "proper" Catholicism, bureaucralic
centralization, the rise of the export economy, technical advancements, and

the activities of the 6lite, are the foci of investigation. The consolidation
of the Spanish colonial state which was inherited by the princrpqlio al the
turn of the nineteenth century, 'happened" or was accomplished through
countless encounters with the phenomenon it named 'banditry'l and with
many small but authenlic communities - "illicit associations" to the estab-

lishment - led by non-principalia, non-pueblo dwellers, who lowards the end


of that century were forming lheir own image of community and nation. We
suggest that,jnstead of aberrations or'problems'l they can be read as lhe
suppressed "other", the condition for the possibilily, of the pueblo cenlres.
One of the suppressed figures of Philippine history is the /ulr'son (bandit,
highwayman). In lbgalog literature, he signifies contempt for lhe law and
for settled pueblo life. He is often a victim of false accusations by the parish priest or some member of the princlpolro, arrd lhus resort io flight.
EJ. Hobsbawm has inspired a whole generation of historians to view the
"ideal type" of bandit, based on peasant perceptions, as the embodiment or
expression of peasanl hopes for liberty and justice. Banditry is regarded
as a rural and pre-political phenomenon; the bandit is a substitute for lhe
peasantry's failure to lift itself from its condition.3s There is, indeed, a lot
of evidence lhat Robin Hoods exisled in the Philippines. What concerns us
here is the bandit as the emblem of disorder, of the fundamental discontinuity of any pueblo-based hislory.
The bandit or lulrson had, in fact, already been lhere sirlce the Conquista,
as lhe name given by the establishmenl to the shadowy rival of the proSpanish dotu, or gobemadorcillo, for control over terrilory and followers. In
a recenl dissertation, Medina argues that banditry was'a revolt against the
policy of the reduccion". "Reducclbn" at one level is almost synonymous with
'conquistd': the religious and civil aspects of friar missionary activities,
Its second, laler, meaning is "the process of resettling or consolidating a
community". According to Medina, Filipinos who did not recognize Spanish
authority and laurq thus refusing lo become part of the rcduccion,Iled to the
hills and were called lodrones monreses ("mountain thieves"), fulisones, or
toga-lobos (literally, butsiders'l that is, outside the established reduccion).

146

Rqnoldo C. Ileto

\\'as an
Medinas conclusion, in deference to linear history, is that barrditry
period, a phettomenon
the
Spanislr
during
peasant
unrest
of
form
inciroale
peasant
that clevelopect through the nineteenth century into a full-blown

"already
movement. His ciata, however, suggests that banditry was always
pueblo
existence'36
to
settled,
threat
perpetual
therel a
The bandit was ubiquitous, yet he remained a hidden and slipperSr figuls.
In contrast to the inhabitants of lhe pueblo centre, particularly the prinor
cipales, the bandit often lacked a proper christian name and lineage,
*as kno*r, by an alias signifying a certain character or physical trait. He
was illiterate, yet helct in awe by the common folk for his bravery and invulnerability. He robbecl and killecl the rich, particularly chinese merchants
pueblo'
ancl native lancllorcls, including the occasional spanish priest. Unlike
"wanderer"
definition,.and
by
a
people, he usually hacl no fixed abode, was
when a base was stakecl out, lhis was in distant and isolated borrios or in

forests and mountain caves.3?


It is almost impossible to trace the origins of bandit chiefs and their
followers. After the middle of the nineteenth century, their presence was
intensifiecl as the economy developed and theprincrpo/io prospered, prompting the organization of the Spanish-commancled r6lite constabulary force,
rhl Cuarctt Civil, in the 1860s. In the 1870s and early 1880s, a special
regiment of the spanish army under captain (later, Lt. col.) Faustino villa
anritte triecl to flush them out of their hideouts in Luzon and the visayas.
But, despite massive arrests and the capture of a few key bandit chiefs,
ihe terrain and the lack of central control outside the pueblos prevented
this "hydra-headecl monster" - as slurtevant calls it - from being slamped
out completelY.3s
The proliferation of archival records dating from the 1870s to the 1890s
is a meisure of the cellral government's attempts to eliminate this plague
callecl banclitry. The police network was periodically reorganized, the keeping

of dossiers systematized, and the judicial system streamlined. The charac'


ter ol pueblo life itself was shaped by the preoccupation wilh banclitry.
Settlements were relocated into more compact units, and ways to Control
population movements between them were put into practice. Scott points

ori tnut a member of the Guardia Civil

was allowed "to enter houses situated

in populated areas at any hour of the day or night if he believes it useful

for the service". The police.regulations of the day'amounted to virtual martial law, with no civil rights to redress for military abuses". For bandits rvhatever thc4, really were - were /eored. Spanish leaders and lo.:al principolia alike imagined an army of them poised to attack not only towns but
also at one point Manila itself. In the sugar districts of Negros, such grouPs
proliferated, creating the need for extensive police surveillance and military
operations. The abaca plantations of Bikol, the districts of cagayan planted
wiih tobacco, and just about every region where economic development
took place, all witnessed the same phenomenon.3e

Outlines of a Non-Linear Emplotment of Philippine History

147

One obvious explanation for briganclage is that it is a mark cf the onslaughl of capitalism upon viliage society, creating a deprived class that
then turned to pillage. While not denying this, it can be pointed out that lhe
lerrain of the nincteenth-century brigands had almost alwal's been the site
of'clisorder'] "assertion'or "resistance'in earlier periods, and revolutionary
guerrilla warfare at the turn of the century. Inslead of. seeing banditry as
a unigue nineteenth-century response to new socio-economic forces, it can
just as readily be seen as another, perhaps more visible, embodiment of
-that shadowy 'bther side' of the developing pueblo and its principolia.
The intensity of banditry in the nineteenth century may perhaps be
explained by the fact that the Spanish colonial state was determined to
become self-supporting and financially independent from Spain and Mexico.
tooking to its neighbour, the Netherlands East Indies, for inspiration, it
tried to implement a new ethic of efficiency and profit. Spaniards, Englishmen, Americans, Frenchmen, Chinese and mestizos were invited to finance
the Iabour-intensive clearing of virgin lands. Sturtevant, following Hobsbawm,
sees the coalitions of bandit groups that emerged after 1850 as another
sign of lhe attempt of the Little Tladition "to lurn back or resist unwelcome changes'l Certainly, the colonial state undertook to subjugate what it
regarded as pockets of resistance to central authority, represented by the
spread of capitalist agriculture.
By depicting "banditry" as a form of resistance to change, Sturtevant, like
Medina and mosl others who have looked into this phenomenon, incorporated it into another form of linear history through the implication that
'change'was inevitable and historically determined, and lhat more effective
forms of resistance to its negative consequences would appear later. On
lhe contrary to reslate whal we said earlier, banditry was lhe hidden bther
side" of the developing pueblo centre. The bandit was one of the signs
.of fundamental disorder in the colonial polity, of the gap between pueblo
.centre and periphery..In combatting the bandit, the colonial state and its
local pnrtcrpolio allies were extending the state's authority and legal appar-a-tus beyond lhe pueblo centre, literally attempling to put the countryside
in order. Cruickshank describes how the new system of head tax, or cedulo,
the proliferation of bureaus and regulations, and the increase in number
of provincial and pueblo police, functioned to tie the Samareflo people to
the administrative centres, and isolate vagabonds and bandits. Local leaders,
especially the gobernodorcillos, saw in bandit suppression a chance to gain

distinctions and rewards, and a longer lerm of office, within the colonial
bureaucracy. The town-dwellers' consciousness of the difference behileen
them and 'outsiders' was heightened. The principalia's self-conception
as leader or spokesman of the townspeople was made possible not only
througtr its co-operation with or opposition to the colonial power, but lhrough
its difference from the bandil chiefs.

ReYnaido

148

C lleto

whether as Robin

in Philippine histories'
However banclitry is treated
to thc
rebellion' its status renrains tied
piu'ur't
of
Hooci-ism or a precursot
bandits
against
wars
the
about
is silence
'clark age'of such t'i'toti"""' iftt'e
it
pueblo-based Filipino idcnrily. tnstead'
;h";;
,"
much
so
lhal
that servccl
idcas
libcral
of
influx
an<l the
is againsl the backdrop;il;;;;t"s
revoluseen to emerge cluring the 1896
are
masses
the
and
lhe principali'o
the rcvolution:
of
narrative
the
in
abound
tion against Spain' But i;;;i;t

ban<litandKatipunanchiefscollaboratecltoterrorizethesuburbsofManila.
of townspeople and Spanish

consiclerable;;fJ;;' ilthe eyes


of the tlr'"11' were they revolutionaries
authorities alike as t" th" ;;;iity
of banctits in the Montalbanrldoubts
tittintuin
or plain bandits? fn"
refuges of the secret society' The

There was

U"came
San Mateo area, east crt:no*ii"'
semi-eclucated leacler

Bt;ift;;"
b;;ii;hi"f;

of betng
accusecl by Cavite principalia
he
defeated
iI
that
admittecl

he himself

nothing more than "


woulcl turn to banditry'4o
banditry
is what really thrusts the issue of
The Philippine-American war
guerrilla resistance
the
During
into contempo.urv t i"to.r""iconsciousness.
new colonial governrrtent controlled
to the U.S' takeover tt"* igOi' the
loyal municipal governments wherthe puebloor town
"".r;;;,;"ablishing
originated from the princrpolio'
largely
who
ever possible. Guerritta ciiiefs'
chiefs'
arch-enLmies and rivals: the bandit
now occupied the site oi ttt"it
with
resislance'
guerrilla
on identifying
American propaganda ;;;;;;
Americans' pursued ihis

;;;;l;itiatlv wrltten bv
banctitry. Accounls
Malvar
"f
uy cl.iefs ,,"h u" Agrrinaldo and.
line. There *u" u f,unti"- "u"*p'
bandits'
from
soldiers
Ls to distinguish
to procure the proper "^ii"t*t ""
of the lou'n centres to lhe very
resiclents
tft"
n't"tghi
war
of
The exigencies
them from the'other side"'ar
margin that normally ilti'is;t"hta
the
educatecl in American 56[6615'
Thus, to gur,u.utio#"J'"r';li;i;;t
episode in history' since the grealer
Philippine-American

*ut *""

U'i"t

oartofithadbecome.conflateclwiththefamiliarthemeoftowncentres
parr of official town historics

ffi;;il;;;;;;il"

countryside. A major

the line betrveen anti-American


unabashedly srl""'b"1o itti" i'u*"*otk;
Not surprisingly' one of
clrawn'a2
resistance ancl bandit[ i"';;t;;;"rly
concerns

ilittory in recent decades


the most heated aeUate" in Philippine
to fight the Americans and
precisely the status of guerrillas who continuecl
most famous among them'
the
was
1902:
their nelv Filipino
"d;-;iter a patriot? It is a sensitive issue because
General Mar:ario Su^"-V, u funait ot
at"'uguitl for life' property aird settlcd.exisr
the term'bandil' *tl"t"tl
A^paramount concern even during
ence, and Sakay's gto;p'diJfit rtre-filt'
for the lives and property of resithe height of ttre reruoiiiion *u, security
segment of the principorio that became
clents of the puebro centre. Tb that
iiheritect the colonial state, brigands
attracted to na,onalilt'-"a"1"-."a
example, turned into romantic rebels
for
had at reast to r. .t.rn".,estrc;*.r of national unity'
o, put.iot. i[ rror rvoicled in discussions

Outlines of

Non-Linear Emplotntent of Philippine

llislory

149

lllicit Associations, Disjointed Histories


The theme of brigandage or banditry as the 'bther side' of evenls in the
pueblo centre is repeated in the phenomenon of curers, kings, gods and
goddesses, who promised peasants release from the ravages of cholera
and other diseases, a life of abundance, and freedom from taxes and the

police. Curiously enough, these figures, more or less evenly distributed


around the archipelago, multiplied in the 1880s, during and after the great
cholera epidemic of 1892, at precisely the time when, one would think,
the state, gentry, and praclitioners of scientific metlicine had things under
control. They again made tl'reir presence felt, as "anti-revolutionaries", during the shorllived Republican period in 1898-99; and again, this time as
'fanatics'l during the years following the official end of resistance to the
United States.
Research inlo the bundles of documents labelled Sedrciones y Rebeliones
(Seditious Movements and Rebellions) and Erpedtentes Gubemativos (govern-

ment files of cases and investigations) covering roughly the years 1880
to 1897 when the iluslrodos were making their statements, has revealed a
starlling piclure of "fanatical" religious movements all over the archipelago.
Some of lhem are named - for example, Pulajan, Dios Dios, Babaylar,
Colorum, Santa Iglesia, Ttes Crislos. Others are identified in the records by
place names, such as the "Dapdap affair" in Samar, or the names of lheir
leaders, such as the "Gabinista'in Pampanga and'Ruhawi" in Negros.a3 It
is a startling scene because conventional Philippine history, in valorizing
the saga of lhe ilusfrocloJed propaganda or reform movement, has ignored
this parallel set of events. Where they are given ample trealment, as in the
works of Constantino and Sturtevant, they are subjected to a classificatory
scheme that includes categories like primitive, prolo-nationalist, nativist,
fanalical, religious, millenarian, and irrational. The understanding is lhat
primitive becomes modern, religious becomes secular, fanatical becomes
pragmatic and rational, and so forth. The.vantage point is rationality and
progress, rather than the inner logic of these movements, their plain and
simple difference from familiar, "modernl ones
Spanish officialdom called these movemenls or communities'illicit asso-

ciations" (osociociones ilrcilos), discovering them around such sites as a


mounlain regarded as sacred, an efficacious statue of a saint (for example,
St. Francis or the Virgin Mary), or a curer residing in an outlying village.
Sonre leaders identifiecl lhemselves as Christs, Virgin Marys, and other
figures of the Bible. They claimed to have the power lo deliver men from
the smallpox, cholera and lesser ailments through a combination of herbal
cures (some of lhem were the very mecftguillos displaced by the medicos
tifulores) and spiritual powers recognized by their followers.
These gods and kings altracted mainly illiterate peasants, particularly
those who lived in villages beyond the influence of the pueblo centre and

Reynaldo C. Ileto

150

workers imCatholic church. Among those who joincd were sugar-cane

poverisheclbythepricecrashofthel880s,debtors,displacedfarmers,tax

epidemics
Lr labour evaclers- Many were survivors of cholera and smallpox
vorvs Others
their
of
fulfiiment
in
sites
pilgrimage
journeyecl
to
*no nua

wereptalnvaga-bonclsanclseekersofmagicalpower.Someassociations
powers was
were iominatect or led by women, rryhose access to magical

,.ot"..potentthanthemen's'Thebrethrencametogetherinformally,perand
i,up. to'p.uy, to listen to the leacler's homilies, to partake of a meal,
to be cured.

a cofra'
An illicit association coulcl be a rnore structured affair: a church,
natural sites
clio, or an association (somohon) of brethren' These became
generally
of resistance 1o control bypueblo'cenlres and the state. Members

."t*"a to pay the poll oi heacl tax and thus were called indocumentadb
the larger
in short, they refusecl to be..processed'' by the state. Furthermore,
boundaries associaiio.,s transcended not onlypueb/o but also provincial
of populacontrol
their
to
bolster
aclministration
the
those lines clrawn by
movements,
iions. This was the situation in the 1880s; in later decades, these
or others that arose in their place, would widen their field of altraction.
In the late 1880s, the time - in linear history that is - of the Propaera'
ganda Movement, there seems to have been an expectation of a new
or
one
under
unified
be
in which all inhabitants of the archipelago would
would
particular'
in
poor
dispossessed,
and
the
in which
more native kings;
"knowleclge
(lishil, prosperitv, and phvsical well-being' The
of
;;j;;;*
had to
Ciiy of God woull become i .uuiity on earth. But first, the brethren
associatheir
growth
of
the
nurturing
in
sacrifice
exierience harclship ancl
tions.IndepresseclareassuchasNegrosandcentral'Luzon,lheb.rethren

Civil
armed themselves and raicled the houses of the ricl-r. Tb the Guardia
brigandsfrom
them
distinguished
nothing
and the viciimized principalia,
it"U, *".", above all, siins of irrationality and disorder surrounding and
threatening lhe Pueblo centres.
"illicil assoIn this paper there is no attempt to enter the world of these
complex of
the
of
elaboration
a
cletailed
require
woulcl
ciations", ioi tt i.
spanish-catholic and Malay cultural elements that shaped their perception
and
oi reality. We can, however, ieflect on their function in the construction
movelhese
regard
to
a
mistake
It
is
history.
developmental
challeniing of
They
ments ai simply reactions to accelerated social and economic changes.
the
because
records
archival
appearecl in ihe 1880s - that is, in the
process
1he
in
them
'discovered"
concernedprincipalia
Spanish police and

oi putfin! prcler in the countryside. The language of investigative reports

holcl of the centre would be contaminated, subverted, if these associations were allowed to exist and spread. While some
movements saw lhe participation of. principalio elements - mainly headmen
of villages loosely iiu.l to the pueblo centre - the majority precipitated
the
antagonisms between the gocl-kings and princrpoles, or landlords, in

sho*s

iorl""r., that the

Oullines of a Non-Lircar Emplotmenl ol Pltiiippine History

151

pueblo centres. Ib the i/us/roclos, joining illicil associations was not the
proper rnode of challenging th.e colonial order. Thus, both native 6lite and
colonial state felt it had to conquer and re-form this phenomenon.
What is the furrction of this type of event in an alternative history that
allows it to enter.into play with more "traditional" elements? Since it is now
evident that the ilus/rodo construction of reality is indeed a consrruc/ion
along the lines of enlightenment and progress, and not the "trudl "correcl",
or "proper" view, in effect it has the same status as the world of the Tles
Crislos and l)ios-Dios. The differerrce is thal the i/usfrodo construclion has
been upheld by current standards of objectivity and truth while the Tles
Cristos and Dios-Dios were marks, precisely, of what had to be excised

from history.

Illicit associations, as their name implies, have been cast outside the
mainstream of Philippine history and for understandable reasons. They were
marginal, archaic, and undecideable in their orientation to progress and
change. Yet, despite attempts to ignore or marginalize this "dark side' of
Philippine history it appears in the gaps of this history. For an example of
ironic reversals there is no need to go farther than the career of the ver1,
archetype of ilusfroc/o-ness, Jose Rizal.aa Here is the principal and ilusfrqclo,
the phlaician and historian, whose popular biography was conflated rvith
that of Christ's life and various Ihgalog mythical figures. In 1888 this Filipino reformist, based in Madrid, was expected to return as the Messiah by
people 'in the mountains'l When he returned he was hailed as a magical
curer. The Spanish courts decided that because Rizal was regarded by the
'ignorant classes' as a god-man and redeemer he must be publidy executed.
Just the same, his mode of death was a scattering of signs that the Passion
and Death of Christ (a popular epic) was being re-enacted. Rizal the Filipino
.Christ, rather than Rizal the physician and historian, was the rallying point
of thousands who joined the Katipunan rebellion in 1897. After his death,
he became the source of healing and other powers to peasant leaders way
into the twentieth cenlury.
The word "Katipunan" means hssociationl The revolutionary organization's full Thgalog name means "Highest and Most Venerable Association of
the Sons and Daughters of the [,and". It was, in fact, an illicit associalion,
not too different in some respects from the others mentioned. Historical
wriiing, however, has turned it into an emblem of development. The uprising
against Spain that it instigated in 1896 is regarded as a turning point in
the struggle for national indcpendence, a stage higher than the ineffectual
reform movement of earlier decades. The sanitized version of this period
of history portrays a working man, Andres Bonifacio, fusing the ideas of
Rizal and the French revolutionists and calling for armed struggle against
the evil colonizer. The Philippine Army and Communist Party find common
inspiration in this historical episode.
Yet,'Katipunali also means those illicit associations in the peripheries

152

Reyrrcldo C. Ileto

of their basic ambiguity, switched


-of the pueblo centres who, as a measure
figirters. The Colorum, now lhe F.alias
revolutiorrary
re-elnerged
antl
-signs

punan of san cristobal, with their saints and magical ropes attacked the
spanish garrison at thyabas. The Gabinistas resurrected as the santa lglesia
oi Fulipe Salvador. The followers of Buhawi became a Katipunan under
Papa (Pope) Isio. In the name of the Katipunan revolution these groups
threatenecl, not just the spanish establishments, but also the princrpolro of
lb-e puablo ccntres.
Many members of the princrpolio regarded the 'briginal" IGtipunan itself
not just as a bandit gang, as already mentioned, but also as a fanalical,
illicit association. In Cavite province, the heartland of the revolution, principolio elements accused the Katipunan's supremo, Bonifacio, of entertaining
ambitions to kingship, and ridiculed him for' among other things, making'
the unlettered folk think that the mythical Thgalog King Bernardo Carpio
would soon escape from his mounlain prison 1o aid the Katipunan forces.
In the revolutionary era, it was anathema for the supreme leader to hold
such'clark age'views. Bonifacio had to go; indeed, he was executed by his
forrner comrades. A replacement, this ti-me from theprincrpolio, was needed
to rid the movemenl of its unsavoury characteristics. Thus, the emergence
of a new leader, Aguinaldo, who put the Katipunan in'proper order" as a
liberal nationalist movement seeking to form a republican state that would
be recognized by all civilized nations.as
Philippine histories conveniently ignore the idark age" aspects of Bonifacio's career. His death is attributed to a variety of causes: personal or
factional rivalry class antagonism, his hot ternper, his stubborn commitment
lo the secret sociely mode of struggle, and so forth. His death has left a
troublesome gap in the otherwise smooth transition to the hext stage of the
nationalist struggle. The first Philippine republic of 1898-1901 is universally
regarded as the crowning achievement of nationalist efforts from the 1880s
onwards Advanced state institutions were created: a Cabinet, a Cougress, a
bureaucracy, a legal system inherited from Spain, an army, a school syslem,
and so forth. Only in recent historical writing, however, has the chaos and
disorder of this period come to light. Newly-installed officials all over the
nation complained to President Aguinaldo of centres of power beyond their
control, frequent bandil attacks and fanatical movemenls - all of which
Aguinaldo labelled as "anti-revolutionary".a6 Are these simply to be regarded
as technical problems faced by a fledgling nation-state?
The {act is, most of these "bandit" groups aud'fanatit',a1" associations.
had participated in the liberation of pueblo centres from Spanish control
in 1898. But their support for the national revolution - insofar as this was
orchestrated by the pueblo centres - was inconsistent. The conlroversies

involving these groups cannot be discussed here individually. However,


the roots of their differences with the first Philippine republic will be out.
lined below.

Oullines of o lJon-Linear Emplotmerrt of Philippine History

fJJ

From scattered poems, songs and interrogation rccords it is possible to


glimpse the rnentalily thal brought clisorder io the Republic. With the defeat
of Spain, a new era or condition of independence was expected to set in.
"Independence' or "liberty" was imagined as a kind of paradise on earth

where those, at leasl, who participated in the unfolding of victory would


enjoy prosperity and comfort. There was an expeclation of authentic, even
Chrisllike, leaders manning the government: individuals with courage and
elidence of inner powers who also showed compassion and willingness to
undergo sacrifices, evcn to die, for the sake of the whole.a?
"Government" was a term with negative connotations, implying the management of people by some superior force, based on superior/subordinate
relationships lhat characterized colonial society. If there had to be 'government'l it was expected to be based on a covenant between the chosen leader
and his followers. An ou.til (song, metrical romance) about the life of "Mother

Country'l dating from 1900, starts with the Parable of the Lost Sheep.ae
The refreated image of the enclosed space into which the sheep are to be
led is an emblem of salvation, unity and identity. This fenced-in space is
substituled later in the poem with images of kingdom, nation, and molherland. In this oruil as well as other slalements collected, the nation and its
administrative apparatus are to be built upon closely-knit, village-based,
associations; it is to be a voluntary toming together" of many small clusters
of people rather than the forging of a whole. There are lo be no taxes, no
surveillance, no police, and no forced labour.
'History" might take on a different complexion as well in the new order
that was imagined. As an example, in the abovementioned awit there is
mention of a Rajah Malanda (Old Man), who is the ancestor of the Thgalog
people. In ilusfrodo history Rajah Matanda is one of those who signify the
pre-conquest civilization. In the ouif, however, Rajah Matancla is prefigured
by Noah, described as "old beloved father". Furthermore, his immediate
ancestor is no less than Jesus Christ himself. Unlike ilustmdo history the
ou.rif refuses to recognize a pre-Christian past. There is no anxiety about
some losl purity of race. "lktoliko" and "Kristiano" are appropriated and
made emblerns of Filipino identity in the 'Holy War" then being waged
againsl the American invaders.
Not all groups and individuals subscribed lo the same set of ideals.
Challenges to the Republic were not necessarily on ihe side of the good
and the moral. And lhere were Republican officials who had similar ideals
in mind but simply could not put them into action. This is not necessarily
outlining better alternatives to the goals of the first Republic and its Presentday successor..The point of this is to show that the Republic cannot be
abstracted as a slage in the development of political institutions, national
.consciousness and the struggle for freedom. Despite the good intentions
of most of its leaders, the Republic failed to break out of the structures ihat
preceded it. Differences characterized it from the start. It then reproduced

1s4

Retnaldo C. Ileto

the same instruments of domination and controi as its Spailish predeccssor.


In shorl, it became caught up in the age-old problem of establishing order
in what seemed, to its representatives in the pueblo centres and provincial
capitals, to be a sea of anarchY.
This rereading of the past can be extended indefinitely. The saga of
nationalism and progress as it continued into the American colonial period,
theJapanese occupation, and the New Society can be confronted with suppressed data similar to those presented above. It is even possible to speculate on the kind of history that will emerge from the present regime that
toppled the Marcos dictatorship through, among other factors, the popular
energies released by a Rizalesque martyrdom, and whose leader is hailed
as a modern 'iloan of Arc'l Enough has been said, however, to enablc us to
relurn to the original issue addressed in this paper.
A reflection on tlevelopment" has to take inlo account those things which
have stood in opposition to it, those irreducible differences which in the
final analysis may be the only way out of the present development bind. In
examining historiography, criminality, epidemics, and popular movements,
one has only begun to reflect upon those crucial moments when the state,

or the historian, or whoever occupies the site of the dominant

centres,

performs a cutting operation: remembering/furthering that which it deems


meaningful for ils concept of development, and forgetting/suppressing the
dissonant, disorderly, irrational, archaic, and subversive.
For historians, in parlicular, such an operation enables the data of lhe
past to be strung together into a trajectory of emergence, growth, complexity,
and increasing rationality, and enables greal moments and individuals to
be celebrated. Such an operation, however, also leaves behind a surplus of

data that can be retrieved and reslored into play in an alternative history,
in which an event, to cite Foucault's reading of Nietzsche,

is not a decision, a lreaty, a reign, or a battle, but the reversal of

relationship of forces, lhe usurpation of power, lhe appropriation of a


vocabulary lurned against those who had once used it, a feeble domination that poisons ilself as it grows lax, the entry of a masked 'bther'las

This history should lhrow into focus a whole range of phenomena which
have been discredited or denied a history. It should have a conception
of historical beginnings as lowly, complex and contingent. It should give
eqtral slatus to inlerruptions, repetitions and reversals, uncovering the subjugations, confrontations, power struggles and resistances that linear history
tends to conceal. It should reveal history for what it has been: a weapon
in ihe struggle for and against domination of all shades. As has been shown
here, the subversion of linear history also strikes at the tevelopmentalism"
that presently dominates the core of the state/centre's ideology.

Outlines of a Non-Linear Emplolmenl of Philippine History

155

NO'I'ES
Ar;krrowledgcr:rents arc due to lbrry Commins, Ranajit Guha, Albert Hirschman.
Norman Owen, Craig Reynolds, William H. Scotl, my Southeast Asian and African
colleagues in the'Reflections on Devclopment" project, and the project advisers,
for eilher cornmenting on an earlier draft or providing me with new insights through
our conversations. My thanks, also, to Benedict Anderson, Andrew Gonzales, F.S.C..
and Anthony Reid for helping me get started. My apologies to all of the above for
the shortcomings of this final product.

1. Rather than plowing through the morass of development lilerature, I have


allowed myself to be guided by the following: Alain Birou, Paul-Marc Henry and
John Schlegel , Tbward a Redefinilion of Derrelopmenl, Essays and discussions
on lhe nature of developmenl in an inlernational perspective (Paris: Development Centcr, OECD/Pergamon Press, 1977); George Aseniero, n reflection on
developmentalism: from development to lransformation", in Development os
Social Tfansformation: Reflections on the Global hoblemotigue (lnndon: Hodder
and Stoughton/UN University, 19BS), pp. 48-85; and PJIV. Preslon, Theories of
Development (tondon: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982).
2. On this subject, see also R. Ileto,'Bonifacir.r, lhe text, and the social scienlist",
Philippine Socrblogrcol Review 32 (1984): f9-29.
3. Pouer/Knowledge: Selected InteNietDs and Qther Writings, 1972-77 (New York:
Pantheon, 1980), pp. 80-81.
4. This idea was first broached by Agoncillo in 1{ re-interpretation of our hislory
under Spain", Sundq Times Magazine, 24 August 1958. See alsq'On the
rewriting of Philippine ldstory", Historical Bulletin 17 (Philippine Historical
Associalicn, f973): 178-87. The scheme was applied in his textbook, initially
co-authored with Oscar Alfonsq Hislory of the Filipino,Feop/e (University of
the Philippines, 1960). Ttte textbook's fifth and current edition, co-aulhored
with Milagros Guerrerq appeared in 1977.
R. Iletq Paslnn and Rewlution: hpular Mot/ements in the Philippines, 184OI91O (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila, 1979), pp. f8, 38.
6. R. Ileto, 'Rizal and the undersidc of Philippine history", in Moral Order and
Chonge: Essqa rn Sourheosl Asion Thought, edited by D. Wyati and A. Woodside (New Haven: Yale Southeast Asia Studies 24,1982), pp. 2?6-78. For an
introduction to ilus/rodo historical wdting, see John Schumacher SJ., 'The
Propagandists' reconstruclion of lhe Philippine past-, in l\rceptions of the
Pos/ rn Sou/heosfAsio, ediled by A. Reid and D. Marr (Singapore: Heinemann,
1979), pp. 264-80.
?. In 1976 or early 1977, Marcos published Outline: Tadhona, The History of the
Filipino People, which skelched the overall design of his new hislory projecl.
8. John Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines: Sponish Aims and Filipino
Respcnseg 1565-1700 (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1967).
9. Marcos spoke of his role in history and state construction in i\ sense of national
history" (Keynote address, annual seminar on history Philippine Historical
Association, 29 November 1976), published in llis/oricol Bulletin 26 (f982):

Reynaldo C. Ileto

156

1-15. For an exposition of ?oc/honds Hegelian underpinnings, seeJaime Vener'


acions review in Koscysq'on I (Dept. of History University of the Philippines,
November 197?), pp. 213-16.
10. The immensely popular A Past Revisited was first published in 1975, as the
firsl of a trilogy, of which two volumes have so far appeared. We guole liberally
from chapter 1,'Towards a people's history'i Our source for NDF history is their
mimeographed "Handbook for the Middle Forces" (undated); chapter 3 is titled
'The historical view of Philippine society'l The work of Amado Guerrero (pseu'
donym) was originally published in I970 by the "Revolutionary School of Mao
Tsetung Thought'i Its first chapter is titled "Review of Philippine history'l
11. For representative examples, see the essays in Feudalism ond Capitalism in the
Philippines (Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1982). See also,
Ricardo Ferrer, 'On the mode of production in the Philippines: some oldfashioned questions"; and Julieta de Lima-Sison, J<.rse Maria Sison on the '
mode of production' - both in the Ner-u Philippine Review | (1984): 1-3.
12. Examples abound in the magazine Kalinangan (lnstitute of Religion and Cul'
ture, Bicutan, Metro Manila). Organizations aligned with the NDF apply the
basic historical construct in text written for the respective'sectors" they represent. For example, the Ecumenical Institute for l,abor Education and Research
has published an illustrated history Monggagowo, Noon ot Ngalnn lahor lThe
Worker, Past and Present] (Manila, 1982). TheJoint Committee for Moro Concerns has its own illustrated history Ang Moro [The Moro] (Marawi, 1985).
13. F. Marcos, An ldeology for Filipinos (1983), pp. 90-91; NDF llondbooA, p. 73.
14. P. de la Gironiere, Adrrenturcs of .o Frenchman in the Philippines (orig. pub. in
French in 1853),9th ed. (Manila; Burke-Miailhe, 1972), pp. 3,9-10; Ma. l,uisa
Camagay,'Manila - a city in the throes of epidemics", Historical Bulletin 26

(1982): 105-8.
15. The changes in governmenl and medical attitudes to disease control after
the 1820 epidemic are outlined irr fragments of a long treatise by Fernando
Gonzales Casas, with the endorsement of the Junta Municipal de Sanidad,
daled 15 January 1822 (Philippine National Archives [hereafler cited as PNA],

Colera 74).
16. Our main sources of information on the 1882 and 1889 epidemics are lhe
bundles in ihe PNA with the following markings: Colera 1, Colera 4, Colera
B-S 86, Colera 101, Colera 121, Colera 6 (B-S 93), and Colera 7 (B-S 90). Therc
are also fragments of information on epidemics in 1843 and 1863. Scattered
throughout these bundles are government orders, daily reports of sanitary
commissions, and complaints of medrcos, vaccinators and parish priests.

17. For the history of medical education, we have relied onJose

P.

Bantug, Bosquejo

historia de lq medicina HisputoFilipino lunfinished historical sketch of SpanishFilipino medicirre], (Madrid, 1952). Part 2 is a history of medical and charitable
institutions, and public sanilation projects.
18. For a representative text that illustrates these processes, see Director GraI. de
Mministracion Civil, lnspeccion Gral. de Beneficia y Sanidad, "Expediente sobre
reorganizacion del servicio de vacuna del Archiepelago e instalacion de un
Ynstituto de vacunacion" (Manila, 6 May 1889). This document is accompanied
by an assessment by the Faculty of Medicine, Real Colegio de San Jose, Mss.,

Outlines of

a Nort-Linear Ernploiment of Philippine History

1s7

in PNA, Colera 7. An example of a dispute between a medico /ilulor and a


vacunador is that betr,;een ]r{edico 'fitular Don Mariano Felizardo and \hcunador General Don Nemesio Valbuena, Catbalogan, Samar, 1889, mss. in PNA,
Colera 7.
19. de Beneficia y. Sanidad, op. cit. There were comparable situalions in olher
parts of the globe. See, for example, Nancy Frieden, "The Russian cholera
epidemic, 1892-93, and medical professionalizatiori',Journal of Social Hislory
10,no. 4 (L977):538-39; and Matthew Ramsey,'Medical power and popular
medicine: Illegal healers in nineteenth-ceniury France", ibid., pp. 560-87. Wc
owe nruch of the analysis of medical power in this paper to the suggestions
of Michel Foucault in Modness and Civilizqtion: A History of Insanity in the
Age of Reason, trans. by Richard Howard (New York: Random House, 1965),
and ?he Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical krception, trans. by
A.M. Sheridan Smith (New York: Vintage, 1973).
20. The local concerns and scientific outlook of meclicos in the provinces can be
gleaned from their memorias or reports to the central government, in the
bundle Memorios Medrcos; Varios Provincios, PNA. The PNA bundles labelled
Medrcos Titulares are a still-untapped source of information.
21. A well-kno',,vn example is Dr. Pio Valenzuela of Polq Bulacan, who became an
adviser to Andres Bonifacio and physician of the Katipunan secret society. See
the investigations of Medico Don Felipe Zemora in Seclrciones

y Rebeliones (here-

after cited as SR), vol. 35, and Medico Rianzares of Nagcarlan, SR, vol. 17,
PNA.

22.

Worcester's ideas on the epidemic and public health matters are also in his
The Philippines Past qnd Prcsenl, 2 vols. (New York, 1914), chapter 16. For a
thorough exandnation of early American attitudes towards medical progress
in the Philippines, see R. Sullivan, "Exemplar of Americanism: the Philippine
career of Dean C. Worcester" (Ph.D. dissertalion, James Cook University of

North Queensland, 1986). Chapter 4 is on the 1902 cholera.

23. This accounl of the Philippine experience of ihe 1902 visitation is based
largely on the following: reports of commanding officers and surgeons of U.S.
Arnry garrisons in the southern Thgalog provinces, in Record Group 395, United
States National Archives (hereafter cited as USNA); Repori of lhe Philippine
Commission for 1902; and the circulars and reports collected in the Bureau

of Insular Affairs, File 498f , USNA.

24. The precise linkages of rvar, disease and famine are examined in R. Ileto,
"Cholera and colonialism in southwest Luzon, 1902" (Paper presented at a conference on "Death, Disease and Drugs in the Southeast Asian Past", Australian

National University, Canberra, 1983); publication forthcoming.

25. George de Shon, M.D. 'Medical highlights of the Philippine-American

war",

Bulletin of the Anrcrican Hrsloricol Colleclion 12 (1984): 69.


26. 'Report of the Secretary of the Interior", Report of the Philippine Commission
(1903), part 1, p. 2?1.
27. Rene Dubos, Miruge of Health; Utopios, Progress and Biological Cftonge (New
York: Harper, f959), p. 146; see alsq C.E. Rosenberg,'Cholera in nineteenthcentury Europe: a tool for social and economic analysis". Comparotive Sluclies
in Sac..-i: and History B (1966): 453.

Reynaldo C. Ileto

158

The Microbe Hunters (New York:


Harcourl Brace, 1926), captures very well lhe drama and excitement surrouncling the quest, mainly by colonial or military surgeons, for the "magic bullel"
against microbes.
29. Report of Dr. E Bourns, Commissiorter of Public Health, August 1902; appendix
to "Reporl of the Secretary of the Interior".
30. Sometime after 1895, the ideas of Pasteur, Koch, Klebs and olher "microbe
hunters" were introduced to medical sludents in the Philippines via the work
of E. Barcones , Estudio pora trn Nosologio Filrpino [Towards a Scicntific Classi'
fication of Philippine Diseases] (Madrid, fB95), but the chaotic half-decad<:
beginning with the revolution of August 1896 must have crippled medical
education in Manila. Barcones, incidentally, was a naval surgeon who served
in the Philippines.
31. Michel Foucault, Discipline ond Ifunish: The Birth of the Prison, lrans. by
A. Sheridan (New York: Vintage, 1979), p. 198.
32. Representative examples of this genre can be found in Alfred McCoy and
Ed de Jesus, eds. , PhiliPpine Socrol Hislory: Global Tlode and Local Tfansforma'
tions (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila, 1982).
33. Scott, CrocAs in the Parchrnent Curtqin (Quezon City: New Day, 1982), p. 1.
34. Bruce Cruickshank, Samor: 1768-1898 (Manila: Historical Conservation Soci
ety, 1985), p. 197.
35. Primitive Rebels,'studres in Archaic Forms o/SociolMorrement in the 19th and
2oth Centuries (New York, 1959), chapter 2. Much of this evolutionism is
overcome in Hobsbawm's later work, Bondils (Netr York, 1969, revised 1981);
see chapter ?,'Bandits and Revolution".
36. Isagani Medina,'Cavite beiore the revolution, 1571-1896'(Ph.D. dissertation,
University of the Philippines, 1985), pp. l2O-210.
37. The generalized picture of banditry in lhis essay is based on a reading of
operations reports and other official transmissions preserved in the Guardia
Civil (hereafter cited as GC) bundles, PNA. The besi sources are the catalogued

28. Dubos, op. cit., pp. 151-52. Paul de Kruif,

bundles marked GC1864-98, GC18?0-77, and GC1889-91, and the uncatalogued


bundles numbered GC27 and GC57. Other sources of information uscd are the
Deportadoq Expedientes Gubernativos and Varias Provincias series of bundles
which contain files of individuals caplured and senlenced rnainly irr the wake
of Villa Abrillc's campaigns.
38. David Sturtevanl, hpular Upn'sings in the Philippines, 184O-194O (Ithaca:
Cornell, 197,6), p. 119.
39. Scott, op. cit., pp. 25-26. One such threat to Manila is investigated in'Expediente gubernativo . . . en averiguacion de una cuadrilla de ladrones que
merodean por esta capital y sus arrahales" [Oificial inve$tigation of a bandit
gang marauding this capital and its outskirtsl,Jan. 1882, in EG1879-1889, PNA.
Apart from the works of Medina and Sturtevanl cited above, banditry is given
chapterJength treatment in Angel Cuesta O.A.R., History o/Negros (Manila:
Historical Conservation Society, f980), pp. 427-35; and Ed de Jesus, The
Tbboc'co Monopoly in the Philippines, 1766-188O (Manila: National Archives,

1971), pp. 57-?0.

Outlines of

40.

41.

a Non-Linear Emplotment of Philippine History

159

Ilelo, Poslon, pp.228-29. The best juxtapositions of Katipunan and tulr'son are
found in Spanish reports from the August iB96 lo lr{arch 1897 period, in the
Sediciones y Rebeliones bundles, PNA. Cuesta (p. 436 ff.) shows how support
for the Katipunan in Negros came solely from groups tagged as bandits.
These are conclusions based largely on research on the Philippine Insurgent
Records lodged in the Philippine National Library and Record Groups 395 and
94, Military Records Division, USNA. See Renaldo C. Ileto, "Chiefs, gunq and
men: the jefes insurrectos of Tiaong" (Paper presented at a conference on

"Elites in the Philippines", Australian National University, 1983); publication


forlhcorning.
42. These accounts are mainiy in the Historical Data Papers series, in the Filipiniana Division, Philippine National Library.
43. The Tles Cristos, in the Libmanan area of Kabikolan, dates from an earlier
period, 1865; SR vol. 28 (1864-68), PNA. The "Gabinista" in central Luzon
and the'Dios Dios" lhat appeared all over the Visayan islands, are the most
exlensively documented in the PNA. But there must have been countless tiny

44.
4s.
46.

47.
48.

reunrbnes rlrcilos such as the 4-5 women "fanatics" under one Severino Morales,
discovered in the outskirts of Manila in 1887; 8G1886-89, PNA. For recently
published studies: on the Dapdap affair and other'Dios Dios" phenomena see
Cruickshank, op. cit., chapters 7-8; on Buhawi, see Cuesta, op. cit., pp. 433-35;
on the Babaylan and others in the western Visayas, see Alfred McCoy,'Baylan:
animist religion and Philippine peasant ideology", in Wyatt and Woodside, eds.,
pp. 373-82; on the Gabinista and Colorum, see lleto, Foslon.
For a fuller account, see lleto, "Rizal", pp. 307-21.
See lletq Pagon, pp. L35-44.
See ibid., pp. 146ff.; and Milagros Guerrerq "Luzon at war: contradictions in
Philippine society" (Ph.D. .lissertation, University of Michigan, 1977), chapter 4.
See lletq .Fogon, chapters 3-4.
Awit na Pinagdoonang Buhay ng Is/os Filrpinos [Awit of the life experience of

the Philippine Islandsl, by'Dimatigtig", 15 July 1900 (Ms in Philippine Insurgent Records, box I-19, Philippine National Library).
49. 'Nietzsche, genealogy, histoq/, inLanguage, Counter-memory, Pmctice; Sr.lelc,ted
Esscaa ond Inle rviews by ltlichel Foucault, ediled by D. Bouchard (Ithaca: Cornell, 1977), p. 154.