Reader's Commentary and
On December, 2008, I received
an email from Mr. Angelito Romano of the Divine Word College of Bangued,
Abra with a critical note on the study. I do not keep the email but I do
have in my hard disk my reply dated December 10, 2008 which includes his
email. Following is the interchange to which there was no further follow-up:
Angelito Romano <email@example.com
Casa Real de Bucay
Foremostly, I am Mr Angelito Torrijos
Romano from Bangued, Abra, a college instructor of humanities, social sciences
and philosophy at Divine Word College of Bangued. Currently, here in University
of the Philippines, Diliman for my master's degree in Philosophy.
I have come across your manuscript
on the Casa Real de Bucay through the internet for purposes of finding
more related literature that would complete my studies on the Historical
Development of the Province of Abra. I have started my research since January
2008 for an article to be published in DWCB Abreniana Institute. And most
likely the research caters on the ecclesiastical development, with political
and socio-economic perspective, in the province of Abra since 1598. Partly,
I have finished my section on Abra River and the Discovery of the First
Pueblos of the Province
So far, I have perused information
coming from the books of Josef Schmitz, Fay Cooper and William Scott concerning
the historical roots of the province, the spanish regime, the tingguians,
the igorots, the Augustinians and the SVD. In as much as there are also
unpublished documents from each municipality I have visited, the histories
of pilar, villaviciosa, san isidro, pidigan, bucay, manabo, tayum, lapaz
(these are the only unpublished documents I have) can adduce to the completion
of the whole picture of Abra.
When I was reading your article,
I can't help myself but to comment. Roughly speaking, a good research must
always be objective; which from my reading of the article, it reveals that
most of your conclusions are founded on sentimentality and concern for
the casa real. Technically speaking, if the paper passed through series
of thesis critiques and defense, I myself as a mentor and panel, it would
be returned for further explication of your findings in complete objectivity
and detail. Nonetheless, I would be sending you detailed sketches of my
comments per section lately. These comments are opined from an objective
criticism and hermeneutic principles of studying history for which I am
Hope I could render more constructive
criticisms for the betterment of our articles.
Thank you and may Abra find its
true values and culture
Dear Mr. Romano,
Being a layman in the field of history,
I am gratified when members of the academe read and show interest in the
little published work I do. Thank you, then for your interest in my manuscript
and your mail comments.
I agree, history must be first and
foremost an objective study, then it can be a good deal of other things
for as long as based on objectivity.
You are partially right when you
state that my conclusions are based on sentimentality and concern, for
indeed, I feel a lot of it for that foreboding monument that I am sure
you have seen in Bucay. However, while those feelings only explain the
beginning of my interest, they did not guide in any measure my conclusions.
Once I felt the interest I decided to have a look at the PRIMARY sources
available in the Philippines, that is the materials in the National Archives.
I found and perused –read each one of them in their original language-
some six hundred manuscripts related to the early history related to the
foundation of the province of Abra and OF Bucay as capital. I thought it
would be not only nice but also useful to write a story based on them.
So far as I know, these manuscripts have not been published nor used at
all in any historical book or paper. I thought exposing them in a sort
of running commentary could guide other researchers, perhaps you included,
in pointing to and designing topics to be researched. And that is what
my study is all about.
My conclusions are my own reading
of the documents using my best educated guesses and common sense. But I
would welcome all the time critics and other views on my conclusions for
as long, that is, as they are also based on primary sources. The Appendix
to my study contains transcripts of about 100 manuscripts in the National
Museum, that could be a beginning.
I would like to share with you other
reactions to my paper. In November of 2006, I was invited to present my
study on Bucay to the First Symposium on Philipine Towns and Cities, organized
by the National Heritage Society and the UP Department of History. Most
of the presentors, six all in all, were like me civilian volunteers interested
in the history and beginnings of our towns. Dean Llanes and Prof. Veneracion
of UP called us “citizen historians” and appreciated the efforts as valid.
Later in March of 2007 I did some research in the library of UP Baguio.
There I met Dean Rovillos of Social Sciences with whom I discussed my work
and who saw my paper, not yet finalized then. He shared with me his plan,
a reality now, of setting up the Cordillera Archives on campus. I was honored
by his accepting my paper on Casa Real and collection of digital copies
of the 600 manuscripts in the National Archives mentioned above as one
of the first contributions to the Archives. Javellana also takes seriously
my work in his "Fortress of the Empire."
You say “may Abra find its true
values and culture”, I wholeheartedly share your wish, and most fervently.
Like you say, I feel ‘sentimental and concerned.’ I have one suggestion
that can contribute in a small way to achieve that wish. I attended the
Arya Abra fest in Bangued two years ago and noticed that the official foundation
date for the province is 1917, when the American regime returned Abra to
its former status. Let’s go to the true roots. Abra was founded as a province
by a decree from Gov. Clavería dated October 1846, effectively established
when Gov Tajonera took possession of his post in Bucay in January of 1847.
Any of those two dates could serve the purpose. It may be very nice if
the local academe, particularly its historians, in Bangued convinced the
local government to set the dates right and devolve a piece of its real
history and culture to its people.
With my best regards,
Jose R. Perdigon
José R. Perdigón
San Juan, February 2013