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BANAN, Paullene

BARISO, Annette


by Aguilar


Racial Science and Quest for Origins

Late 19 century history was key to identity for
pioneers of Filipino nationhood
Schumacher , 1973 Ilustrados reacted to the
chauvinism common to members of governing races

Pedro Paterno: ancient Tagalog civilization had

long been Christian

Ilustrados desired to illuminate their origins in

order to know themselves; knowledge is vital to
further political actionh

Rizal consciously imagined a past that effaced

the differences in colonial society (Ileto, 1998)
19 century popular and scientific theories of race
and attendant discourses of migration diffusion

positive science : belief that peoples of distinct

races moved into territories in discrete waves of

The extant cultural groups encountered by

European ethnologists in their primitive state
were assumed to be survivals, residues that
closely approximated the races of antiquity

Ferdinand Blumentritt in Versuch einer

Ethnographie der Philippinen (An Attempt at
Writing a Philippine Ethnography) first
systematic formulation of the migration-waves
theory purporting to explain the peopling of the
Philippine islands with two races and diverse
cultural groups

Frenchman J. Montano scientific mission :

classified and elaborated upon three races in a
discussion of Philippine anthropology
Isabelo de los Reyes (1889) attempted to
reconstruct the pre Spanish past through the new
science of folklore
Sucesis de las Islas Filipinas (Events in the Philippine
Islands) Antonio de Morga copy in British Museum
copied by Rizal wherein most were sent to Manila
but was then banned, confiscated and destroyed.
The edifice for pre-Hispanic migration waves and the
associated racial-cultural classification scheme
adumbrated by Blumentritt
Rizal laid the epistemological foundation of Philippine
history and identity

Rizal mined the idea of golden age from

Blumentritts studies prior to the 16 century
Spanish conquest

In Sobre la Indolencia de los Filipinos (The

Indolence of the Filipinos) Rizal expressed his
longing for the ancient civilization he believed
had been lost

Indirectly, racial science left its traces in the

revolutionary worldview of the Katipunan
Summary: Ilustrados turned to racial science for their identity
as a Filipino.

Racism, Nationalism and Philippine History

Relationship between racism and nationalism

Ton Nairin (1977) racism derives from


Benedict Anderson (1991) racism and

nationalism are ideologies that are distinct and
separate in origins, aspirations, and expressions.
Nationalism thrives on political love and dreams
of historical destinies, in contrast to racisms rage

and obsession with contamination and class


Etienne Balibar (1991) broad structure for

racism forms a supplement constitutive of the
nation, providing the basis for its factitive ethnicity
and unity

George Mosse (1995) racism thrives on a

sharp and totalistic certainty and nationalism is a
loosely constructed and flexible belief that can
tolerate ethnic differences

Late 19 century saw nationalism and racism

form an alliance that allowed racism to become
operative and eventually ride upon nationalism
Mosse (1995) emphasizes that the search for roots is
basic to racism because the roots of the race were
thought to determine its future as well
The Iluastrados drew on racial science to form a
counterdiscourse to the unscientific claim of the
Spanish friars and colonials
Constantino pointed out that Filipino was original
referred to Spaniards born in colonial Philippines >Ilustrados transformed it into a class concept >finally embraced the entire nation and became a
means of national identification
William Henry Scott countered that 17 century
Filipino was used to mean people of the Philippine
Edgar Wickberg (1964, 1965) established that Filipino
elite descended from the Chinese mestizos who first
gained economic ascendancy in the mid-18 century

The passage from Chinese mestizo to Filipino

was sidelined by Domingo Abellas (1978) work
entitled from Indio to Filipino
Scott stressed that cultural minorities were a colonial
artifact and that prior to colonial period they were
indistinguishable from those that subsequently
became the Hispanized majority
why many did not consider them to be Filipinos. John
Schumacher has admitted that "[i]ri the Philippines the
pagan Igorots and Muslim Moros were considered
and treated by Christian Filipinos as outside the
civilized Filipino community," but claimed that their
"humiliating treatment" in the 1887 Madrid Exposition
"stung many of the educated Filipinos into identifying
themselves with these their 'brothers' and
H. Otley Beyer (1948) made his own version of
migration-aves theory

Robert Fox critiqued nad modified said theory in

the 1950s

F. Landa Jocano (1975) argued that the theory

distorts, rather than illuminates, the racial origins
of Filipinos while denigrating the vitality and
autochthonous development of Filipino culture
Arnold Azurin (1993) scored theory for its colonial,
racist and anti- Filipino framework

Fuels notions such as the Igorot being another


Scott called it speculative rather than factual


Tagged Negritos as the archipelagos aboriginal


The theory is now widely discredited among

Filipino academics
Racial science of migration waves cannot simply be
disregarded for it was central to Ilustrado nationalism
and provides context that intertwines race and nation
in Filipino

Summary: Racial science of migration waves cannot simply be

disregarded for it was central to Ilustrado nationalism and
provides context that intertwines race and nation in Filipino
Tracing the Ancestors, Differentiating the Indio
Despite the crudity of the Spaniards, Jose Rizal kept
his word on why the ancient Filipinos are something
to be proud of.
Rizal stated that it is brutal debasing of the religious
colony, friars specifically, that made our ancestors
In the past they knew how to reason; at present they
are satisfied with merely asking and believing.
Classification of ancestors las sociedades malayofilipinas (The Philippine-Malayan societies) based on
race, civilization and principally acceptance of
Spanish culture:

the civilized Filipinos (los Filipinos civilizados)

did not resist conversion to Catholicism

the mountain tribes (las tribus montaesas)

resisted conversion and therefore were not
Ancestors that Rizal was referring to as the ancient
Filipinos -> Malays (from third wave)
Rizals view of Spanish colonialism:

He appreciated the access to European

civilization and modernity

He saw the conquest as a tool that alienated him

from his ancestors and deprived him of history
and identity.
Summary: In tracing the ancient Filipinos, Jose Rizal
believed that the Spanish colonialism has made a good and a
bad effect to our ancestors.

The First Wave

Negritos original owners of the land
Antonio de Morga: They are natives who are of black
complexion & barbarians of trifling mental capacity,
who have no fixed homes or settlements
Blumentritt: They are lively and talented people.
However, their isolation has made them almost
powerless to resist their enemies.
Eduardo P. Casal y Ochoa (Bagong-Tauo): There is a
hierarchy of race, Tagalog being at the top (but not all
conformed) and Negritos being at the bottom.
Summary: Negritos are seen as members of the wild race
which proves their incapacity for civilization therefore making
them not our ancestors.

The Second Wave

Malayans- displaced the Negritos
Blumentritt: They are not considered as ancestors
because they are considered contaminated by the
Negritos. Malayans also settled in mountainous
interior and they were consistent in resisting Spanish
rule and culture.
Blumentritts description of Igorots

Although they have same practices as Tagalog,

they progress backwards

Igorrotes was synonymous with primitivity and

1887 Exposicion de las Islas Filipinas (Exposition of
the Philippine Islands)

Showcased the mountain tribes (eight Igorots,

eight Moros, two from Marianas, two from
Carolines, and twenty-four others including

The Madrid Igorots became emblems of

Philippine backwardness they made it look like

the Philippines is moving backward only to show

how they can bring civilization in a colony
Rizal believed that industrialization is the pinnacle of
civilization that is why he thought of Igorots as rare
individuals because they are not industrial workers.
However, he was unaware of the artisanal and
hydraulic-engineering skills of the Igorot.
De los Reyes: Wrote a book confessing about his
Ilocano blood and how he believed that there is
already a civilization but shines with a very faint light.
Evaristo Aguirre: Wrote an article which addresses
persons displayed at the Retiro zoological gardens
(those in the Exposition) as our brothers
Later on, there was inclusion of Marianas and
Carolines which portrayed the deep and rare
comradeship of the ilustrados with the mountain
Being identified as Igorot was such a disgrace and
this way of thinking was only altered after a century
when their native costume was worn by Kidlat
Tahimik (Filipino filmmaker) in an event abroad.
Summary: It was an embarrassment if someone in the past
was called Igorot as they are seen as sign of backwardness
mainly because of how Spaniards viewed them and how they
showcased them to the other parts of the world.

The Third Wave

Blumentritt: 3rd migratory wave = 2nd group of malay
invaders, "milder and more civilized" than the first
malays; lived in lowlands and coastal plains of Luzon
and Visayas
Rizal: Sumatra is the origin of 'Indios Filipinos'
Old traditions / mythologies / genealogies were gone
due to Spanish religious zeal
Blumentritt: 3rd wave (2nd group) Malays had
European-level civ, vs savage 1st group Malays
Blumentritt could see in these Indios Filipinos
themselves (as ilustrados), and so as to not insult
themselves, he differentiated the Indios Filipinos with
the people in mountain tribes, despite the many
similarities in their cultural practices
de los Reyes contended that preconquest Phils was
already a civ due to: mercantile relations, firearms,
religion/pantheon, writing, law
Over time, the Spanish decided that the term 'indios'
referred to those who went under religious conversion
Rizal, Lopez Jaena , A. Luna and other ilustrados
remarked that Chinese, chinitos, blacks and Igorots
are not Filipinos
Summary: Ilustrados considered only the third-wave migrants
as part of the family of 'genuine Filipinos' like them.

The Campaign for Assimilation and Its

Exclusionary Politics of Numbers
Ilustrados [Rizal, etc] excluded Negritos/ highland
peoples/ muslims from the national community they
had begun to form as these races were thought to be
inferior to indios
The ilustrados laid claim to the same lands the
Spanish colonial state had already exercised authority
over, fostering the colonial mentality and campaign for
assimilation of the Philippines to Spain
These ilustrados considered themselves Spaniards,
to as much as claiming co-rulership in "savage" Africa
The "primitive races" were considered a hindrance to
this campaign as they saw it would be hard to give
these 'savages' the same liberties as Spanish citizens
Accd to them: these 'savages' had no capacity for
future development. This, however, should not

exclude the Philippines in Europe's civilizing world

tour, for these 'savages' were not Filipinos.
These early ilustrado nationalists considered a 'nation'
one that was modern, cultured, civilized, Catholic,
industrial, progressive - as per European standards
Only a few of these ilustrados had ever come in
personal contact with said tribes- Rizal, during his
exile in Dapitan, only then realized the positive traits
these tribes had, but his martyrdom prevented him
from expounding on this possible alternative view of
La Soli (1889): Philippine population est. 5.06M
Christians 1.14M Non-christians
These ilustrados kept stressing the tribal people's low
population when they occupied 15% of the population
Summary: Ilustrados wanted assimilation/ equal entitlement to
Spanish citizenship rights for themselves and their 'nation',
which excluded Moros, highland tribes, etc.

Prevarications on Race and Nation

Jose Rizal

doubted idea of indio forebears emigrated from


doubted whether it would ever be possible to

know the origin of Malay race

questioned the very notion of Malay race: It

appears to me that Malayans should not be
considered the original race or the type of race
(die Typen von der Rasse); the Malayans have
been exposed to many foreign and powerful
factors that have influences their customs as well
as their nature

designated himself as indio despite mixed


raised concept of majority -pure indio; minority impure indio

They are creole youth of Spanish descent,

Chinese mestizos, and Maalayans; but we call
ourselves Filipiinos (Rizal to Blumentrit)
Skin color threatened to become the basis for
identifying genuine Filipinos
Common race was seen as basis of unity
Isabelo de los Reyes

Malay race of PH is not pure mixture of

Negritos, Chinese, and Indonesians and Arab

no myth of descent; binding element of race is

territory - Las Islas Filipinas

Malay Tagalog have plenty of foreign blood

flowing in their veins, not only Chinese and
Spanish but also Japanese which mixtures have
bettered the race as a whole

Malays with foreign blood remained Malay

Chinese: next after Malay; new arrivals; alien

entities did not merit any mention at all
Edgar Wickberg

J. Rizal(5th gen. chinese mestizo)s paternal

grandfather used money to transfer from mestizo
tax register to that of naturales; Maternal side:
Japanese & Spanish blood

wealthier chinese mestizos had been hispanized

and rejected chinese culture
Lopez Jaena - we the genuine or pure indios are not
the ones who foment disunity but the mestizos
Native language cannt be a unifying force bec og the
profusion of native tongues
Travel, Education, and Civilization -exclusive domain
of indios

Summary: Because civilization encompassed a racial

boundary, the Ilustrado concept of nation depend on a
mythology of descent.
Filipino as race/nation

at one level, it would appear to be not

fundamental to the nation because of the
ilustrados self-awareness of their own racial

other level, it was an elemental dimension of


scientific idea: diff in appearance, culture, and

mental capacities
Rizal: Malay race as a category

used race to refer to to pueblos of more than half

a million, those whom you call nations, but we do
not call nations pueblos that are not independent,
for example, the tagalog race, the visaya race,
and so on

pride of the malay race

Filipino race

collective designation for filipinos who otherwise

would have been referred to separately as the
tagalog race, visayan race, and so on

circumvented the nascent regionalism that

distancesd the ilocano from the tagalog

this term was racist: it applied only to indios who

were deemed assimilable and civilizable
M H Del Pilar

Japanese are Malay and the inhabitants of PH

are malays

Declared the filipno race is anthropologically in

a state of inferiority

too deeply immersed in racial thinking ( product

of european thought)

began to talk of the filipino race ( la raza filipina)

might have been using rase as a substitue for

Panatang Makabayan(Oath to the nation)

promise is made to love the PH

Summary: Nationhood does not stand still, however, and is
ever being reconstituted.