True or False. Philippine Historical Inaccuracies

Any history, around the world, has its own inaccuracies and baseless hand me down information, after all it is written by human from his/her recollection, and often time, our memories fails us with regards to the details of an account. Now, the sad part was, these “so called” facts were written down and handed down, as information, to younger generations which is now hard to unlearn most especially it if stemmed out of proportions.

Luckily, there are some historians who opted to correct inaccuracies for the benefit of the future generations and the country as well. To be right, is to do the things correctly the first time you do it, and if you didn’t had the chance to do it the first time, if the opportunity presents itself, then do and correct it.

Take for instance the case of the great Apolnario Mabini, who was for the longest time was rumored to have suffered from a then dreaded disease Syphillis, reason why he was paralyzed from waist down. That was the reason believed from 1896, until it was proven wrong in 1980 when a group of doctors performed an autopsy, and determine that Mabini suffered from polio, which is the most logical reason why he was paralytic until his death in 1903.

Historian Ambeth R. Ocampo said that the Syphilis rumor was a dirty tactic of Aguinaldo’s cabinet to take him out because Mabini is no longer getting well with the other cabinet members of Aguinaldo’s government.

Another inaccurate account of history was Andres Bonifacio’s image, in popular culture, Bonifacio is a camisa de chino clad-bolo wielding-hot headed-uneducated-poor hero. This has what our history books and teachers have told us for the longest time. But, in reality, these characteristics are far from the true Supremo.

The only fact that was given to us by the textbooks and professors is that he and his siblings were orphans, but Bonifacio was a self taught reader, and in fact his favorite book was Le Miserables and had penned several poems and short stories.

In addition, he was also presented as a camisa-de chino or massa styled common man, but it was proven not true where historians uncovered that he is in fact a big fan of formal attires.

With regards to his weapon of choice, unlike what has been incepted publicy, he is a big fan and owner of a pistol, which is very appropriate considering his rank as the Supreme leader of Katipunan.However, you cannot take out the fact that majority of the Katipuneros’ weapons are bolos considering the circumstances at that time, where firepowered weapons are very hard to acquire.

He was also seen as a hot headed leader but in reality the only time he lost his head is when he drew a pistol to a man who called him an uneducated man in the popular Tejeros Convention, but he was talked out of it, which only showed how level headed he was. It was also pointed out that our history could have been different (or at least Bonifacio’s or Aguinaldo’s) if Bonifacio had not been degraded because he was more than willing to hand the highest seat to Aguinaldo, peacefully.

Bonifacio’s death also has its inconsistencies when it was formerly written that he and his brother, Procopio, received bullets in their heads as they were executed, as per order Aguinaldo’s orders, only to be discredited by Aguinaldo’s men saying that Andres and his brother was hacked to death in order for them to save bullets.

Another inaccurate information that was recently handed down to our students was included on a book for grade 5 students wherein it says persistent rainstorms and floods led Ferdinand Marco declare Martial Law in 1972. However, on my own opinion, this is pure negligence and guess work or maybe, the authors and editors of the book are either lazy or a die hard loyalist.

Who knows.


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