EDITORIAL| Testing our knowledge in history

WE seldom have the chance to study our own history, much less Davao and Mindanao’s past. Usually, history books used in schools talk about the valor of Filipinos in the north and how their heroes fought colonizers, changing the course of the nation.

We only know of one town in Mindanao mentioned in our textbooks where our national hero Jose Rizal was exiled, Dapitan. But even students growing up in Mindanao only have a passing knowledge of our history and the years before the coming of the colonizers. What we know is that we are rich in culture and heritage with our tribes continuing their way of life despite rapid modernization. There are many things we still have to learn from our history and more research has to be painstakingly made to dig into more scientific data on how we came to be.

There are books that have traced the coming of the Spaniards on our shores, even before they went to the Visayas. There are exciting, unwritten stories of the exploits of the colonizers and how tribes kept their treasures from being pillaged. There are diaries and letters exchanged by friends from different factions that need to be analyzed and understood to piece up missing memories of war.

History is more than dates and popular heroes. It is also about the day to day struggles of ordinary people to survive in the context and time they live in. We can only appreciate what we have now if we know how it came to be.

Yesterday, the Davao Historical Society conducted its 17th annual historical quiz which was participated by 33 secondary schools, both public and private. It was an experience these students will not forget easily. And win or lose, they definitely came out all winners with the knowledge they have gained as they prepared for the quiz and during the quiz itself.

Knowing our history elicits pride of place and people. Our heritage should be preserved, protected and promoted.

Posted in Opinion