Retaliation, Resistance, Retrieval: Filipino Muslims in Philippine Historiography
Maria Bernadette L. Abrera
Philippine scholarship on Filipino Muslim historiography remains a colonial legacy that has retained stereotypical representations and has not yet fully developed alongside the changes in the writing of general Philippine history. The narrative has been mainly confined to the religious and political aspects of the encounter. Colonial historiography on the Filipino Muslims not surprisingly took the crusades and Reconquista perspective which was turned around by Filipino historians using a nationalist framework, initially reading the so-called “Muslim wars” as acts of retaliation against Spanish aggression. After the 1950s, the Muslim raids were subsumed under a wider anti-colonial narrative and thus were reinterpreted as resistance to colonialism. However, later studies would encompass the wider geographical context of maritime Southeast Asia and explore the historical periods prior to Islam and Spanish colonialism, revealing a retrieval of deeper economic patterns and cultural traditions that will give new insight to Filipino Muslim historiography. The engagements of the ethnic states in insular Southeast Asia even before Islamization took place will significantly magnify the understanding of relationships among ethnic states and the formation of the nation-state by the 19th century.