This is the second installment of my recorded conversation with historian cum chemist extraordinaire Pio Andrade Jr. I divided the 3 hour podcast and edited the gaps and dead air last year. I published the first part last January and shelved the second part for a later publication—I thought I lost it only to find out that I backed it up (oddly, the only copy I made!) on one of my thumb drives.
Here the Paracale historian talks about the Catholic church’s legacy, Quezon’s corrupting influence, origin of the “pork barrel,” Agoncillo as historian, Aguinaldo and Gen. Luna, early 20th century Filipino Justice’s delicadeza and so many other historical tidbits about us Filipinos.
The University of Florida alum also discussed the origin of towns and places name; How most of it have botanical if not zoological origins. We should stop telling our children those fancy legends about our towns but I must confess that I find them too amusing. Pasay for example came from a variety of shrimp known as Pasayan—I grew up hearing the legend that Pasay was a name of a Bornean princess—we’ll Andrade just crushed that belief now!
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Andrade’s views are controversial but to him the only history that merits sharing are the ones that are supported by historical proof — outside this everything’s propaganda.
It is easy to understand why there’s resistance to what he writes. He does not conform to the standard, he does not mince words, he plays no politics.
When I spoke with archivist Ernie de Pedro, one of Andrade’s friend, his fear was that Andrade has made so many enemies that no one would touch him one day—that his wealth of historical knowledge would never see the light of day.
Now Andrade’s working on building Arellano University’s publishing house. I wish he gets all his books out.
An illustration of his belligerent writing is an article that came out last November in Inquirer, “Andres Bonifacio: A monument of lies.” I happen to glance over the comments below it and saw a plethora of hate remarks.
That article would stand up to deeper enquiry—trouble is that it’s about Bonifacio—a hero that has been lionize beyond measure.
It’s true that we Filipino are not prepared yet to look at our heroes and scrutinize how they were presented to us—it took me years before I grasped that most of what I know about our history is not really history but political advertising.