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Forum Locked"What if's" in Philippines history?

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    Posted: 28-Oct-2006 at 21:47
I came across a really interesting "manila times" article on the Net entitled "'What if's' in Philippines History?" and I would like to share with you guys even though I know Southeast Asian history is not the "hottest thing" in town.
 
 

‘What ifs’ in Philippine history

By Augusto V. de Viana

Given the benefit of hindsight, we could stretch our imagination on what the country could have been if history had taken a different turn. Could it have been for the better or worse?

What if the British never left Manila after 1764?

In 1762 the British successfully defeated the Spaniards and occupied Manila. If the British did not leave Manila in 1764 and restored the city to the Spaniards, Manila might have been a British enclave just like Hong Kong during the 1840s.

In British colonies free trade was practiced especially after the dissolution of state monopolies, like the British East India Company. British English would become the lingua franca of the Manilans and the British system of laws, including trial by jury, would have been applied. Manila would have been an area of freedom like Hong Kong was in the 19th century.

What if Basilan remained under France?

In 1844 negotiations were made with the Sultan of Sulu and the French to buy Basilan island for 100,000 francs. The island was to be used as a trading post. However the French were never able to claim control of the island because of hostile Moros led by Datu Usak. It was suspected that the ignorance of the local customs and language as well as the natives’ violent predisposition was responsible for the clashes with the French.

A party of three Frenchmen was abducted and later released with the intercession of the Spanish governor of Zamboanga after a payment of 2,000 piastres and 1,000 piastres worth of supplies were given to the abductors.

The French sent troops to hunt down Usak but were never able to capture or kill him. For the first year the French had to spend 2.5 million francs to suppress piracy around the island and 1.7 million francs to make the colony livable. King Louis Philippe reversed the decision to buy the island on July 26, 1845.

The French preoccupation in Algeria, the inadequacy of the location and the presence of pirates were the reasons for the decision. Spain and England also opposed French moves to colonize the island. Had the French remained in Basilan, the natives, including the Abu Sayyaf bandits, would be speaking French.

What if the Japanese and Chinese invaded the Philippines during the Spanish period?

During the late 16th and 17th centuries, the Japanese and the Chinese threatened to invade the Philippines.

After having united Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi sent a letter to Governor General Gomez Perez Dasmariñas in May 1592 threatening to invade the Philippines unless the Spanish colonizers recognized his suzerain control and pay tribute to him. At that time Spanish defenses were weak and Hideyoshi had already invaded Korea in preparation for a conquest of China.

Dasmariñas knew that Spanish forces in the Philippines would be no match for the Japanese and stalled for time by sending gifts but declining the demand for tribute. Hideyoshi was already gathering a huge fleet for the invasion of the islands. However his unexpected death removed the threat of an invasion.

Had a Japanese invasion taken place the country might be a part of Japan. We would be driving on the left side of the road and Japanese, not Spanish or English, would be the language of the Filipinos aside from their own.

Like Japan, the Chinese would have invaded the Philippines. Already it experienced the invasion of Limahong in 1574. Had Filipino nobles refused to cooperate with the Spaniards and instead sided with Limahong, the Philippines would have had a close alliance with the Chinese warlord. However since Limahong was a fugitive from Chinese justice, the country might have been invaded by the forces of the Ming Empire.

In 1662 a powerful loyalist from the Ming rulers named Cheng Cheng Kung who was also known as Koxinga threatened to invade the Philippines. Koxinga had driven out the Dutch from Formosa and made it his base after the Mings were defeated in the Chinese mainland by the Manchus. The threat from Koxinga was so real that Spanish forces then fighting in the Moluccas had to be recalled to Manila. Zamboanga and other forts in Mindanao had to be evacuated.

The withdrawal of Spanish forces in Mindanao and the Moluccas allowed the Moros to wage unrestricted warfare in the Visayas and Luzon. On the other hand Mindanao and Sulu experienced relative peace for the next 50 years. During this time the Sultan of Sulu acquired the region of North Borneo after he sent his most experienced warriors to fight the enemies of the Sultan of Brunei.

Had the Moros cooperated with Koxinga, the Spaniards would have been expelled from the Philippines and an extension of the Ming dynasty would have been established in Luzon and other parts of the Philippines. The Moros, on the other hand, would have fought the Chinese, being fiercely independent. The Philippines would have been divided into Moro and Chinese spheres with the Chinese in the north and the Moros in the south.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2006 at 12:58
This is very interesting. Thank you. One question that I have, for anyone who might know: what is known of Phillipino history before 1521?
What is history but a fable agreed upon?
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Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.- Mohandas Gandhi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Nov-2006 at 22:32
Very little indeed. According to a paper by John Larkin (1982), prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the indigenous population of the Philippines subsisted by hunting, gathering, farming (slash and burn), and fishing. Modest external trade was confined to specific locales around the archipalego, with significant activities in the Manilu, Cebu, and Sulu areas. The major settlements, small in size, stretched along the littorals and riverbanks that surround and penetrate the Philippine island world.
 
 
Reference:
 
Larkin, J.A. (1982). Philippine history reconsidered: A socioeconomic perspective. The American Historical Review, 87(3), 595-628.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Nov-2006 at 22:40
I've found some other information on pre-Spanish Philippines, the city of Pangasinan:
 
"Before the Spaniards arrived in 1572, Pangasinan was already a thriving trade center of both locals and Chinese and Japanese merchants particularly in settlements near the Lingayen Gulf. Tang, Sung and Ming dynasty porcelains were dug in archeological sites in the province, indicating strong trade relations with the Chinese merchants.

The Chinese pirate Limahong tried to build a colony on the Lingayen coast in 1574 but was overthrown by the Spanish armada led by Juan de Salcedo. The Limahong Channel, a tunnel dug for six months that served as the pirate´s escape route stands today as a marker of his failed try."
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Nov-2006 at 22:37
I doubt phillipinos before spanish conquest were subsistance people, I think they were much more like the indonesian or malays.
There religion was possibly majority hindu with a muslim minority (or ruling class). Manillia before spanish conquest was ruled by a Sultan Sulieman - who would probably be a muslim. And many phillipino female names to this day are traditional hindu names (such as Diwa).

PS.
A quote from the East Asian section:
Originally posted by explorer6 explorer6 wrote:


A pre-Hispanic Chinese trading colony was formed in the area known as the Parian near ancient Maynila.  The land was granted by the Rajah of Maynila (Manila)

http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=15947
Rajah, again a traditional Hindu title.



Edited by Omar al Hashim - 04-Nov-2006 at 22:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lorddhika Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 16:49
I agree with Omar, some archeological site within the philippines archipelago showed us the ruin of Islamic sultanate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 18:39
In addition Mindinao, which was not included as part of the phillipines until the American conquest, is majority muslim.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 12:17
I would agree with a pre spanish Muslim trading influence in the Phillipines, but not direct Muslim rule of a Muslim people.   Prior to Spanish contact, most of the Phillipinos were amnists who were gradually being Islamicized due to trade from the south.   Even Mindanao, the Muslim hearland ahd a large percentage of amnists among the indigenous tribal peoples.   Some of these people have later converted to Evangelical Chrsitianity.   
 
And if the British had more influence in the Phillipines, the percentage of Moslem Phillipinos would be higher today.  The far more religously oriented Spanish had mass conversion as a official government policy goal.  Islamic missionaries competing for the conversion of amnists were  systematically supressed and expelled under the Spainish.  The British were far more secular and though Christianity was preferred,  mass conversion did not drive government policy (Economic goals did). 
 
 My guess is that a higher percentage of amnists would have been converted to Islam under British rule.  Maybe even a 60-%-40% Christian -Moslem split rather than a 90-10 today.


Edited by Cryptic - 19-Mar-2007 at 12:55
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