Most students, when asked about their views on history, would say that it’s a boring subject filled with personalities long dead and battles too complicated. After all, memorizing seemingly meaningless names and dates ain’t no fun at all!

History is Much More Than Names and Dates

History, however, is so much more than a recitation of facts and figures. It’s a world full of fables, myths, and legends just waiting for your inquisitive mind to dissect and discover. When approaching a history lesson, say the academic tutors of AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center, think of yourself as a detective looking for clues. These clues can be found in archives, libraries, and even interviews.Heck, even folk tales can be sources of history!

There is Much More to Andres Bonifacio Than What We Were Taught

Andres Bonifacio was a middle class warehouse manager

We all know that Andres Bonifacio was the Father of the Katipunan, and we were taught he was poor. However, closer investigation reveals that he was middle class, since he worked for the foreign trading houses in Manila, where he was able to learn English. Also, the memoirs of his wife, Gregoria de Jesus, reveal that her parents were not opposed to Andres due to his financial status, but because as Catholics, they were hostile to Freemasons. Freemasons only accepted men with some form of education. Bonifacio’s self-education included books on the French Revolution and the biographies of United States Presidents, which was enough to get him in. So, Bonifacio’s supposed poverty was only in comparison to the ilustrados like Rizal, Del Pilar, and the Luna brothers, since he was accepted into Rizal’s La Liga Filipina as well.

Sources can Include Myth and Legend

Cesar Majul uses various sources to construct the history of the Bangsamoro people

Even if some historians may scoff at using myths and legends as a source of history, these still make good sources, for they show how people view themselves. For example, Cesar Adib Majul used the tarsilas (family lineages) and myths of the Tausug and Maguindanao peoples to reconstruct the early history of the Sulu and Maguindanao Sultanates. These myths show that the Bangsamoro people viewed themselves as connected to the wider Malay world, through the Melaka Sultanate and its successor, Johor. Majul uses these non-traditional sources to effectively complement more mainstream ones, like accounts from the Spanish, British, and even the Dutch, to create a narrative of the Bangsamoro people resisting colonization, like the Hispanized Catholic peoples of the north.

History Humanizes Our Heroes

Ambeth Ocampo humanizes Rizal in his works

History is also a learning experience because it shows us that our heroes were human beings like us, with faults and failings. For example, Rizal Without the Overcoat, by Ambeth Ocampo, shows a more human side of Jose Rizal, for it discusses his favorite meals and many other things about Rizal that seem trivial. Also, Dr. Ocampo, in his classes would even humanize historians like Teodoro Agoncillo by talking about their discussions together. As a result, books like those written by Dr. Ocampo would bring historical figures closer to us by showing us that they are people too, and not exactly demigods. Thus, we can draw more lessons from their lives.

There is More to History Than What Meets the Eye

When students look beyond dates and numbers, they will see history as a world full of infinite surprises.After all, history is storytelling, but a special kind of storytelling which is grounded on real events. It also helps if they have a highly trained academic tutor to guide them like those from AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center!

Overhauled, Edited, and Revised by Daniel Francisco P. Del Rosario, 10/24/19

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