Saysay’s 1st Bikol journal of history now on sale

If you were wondering what life was like for our Bicolano ancestors before and during the Spanish colonization, there’s a new book about that. And it is available for pre-order.


Entitled “Saysay: The Journal of Bikol History,” is a collection of four articles which includes “the lifeways and indigenous responses to Spanish colonialism by investigating sites of activity in three riverine Bikol towns,” namely Quipayo, Camaligan and Bombon in Camarines Sur. According to the book description, “it is only fitting that the maiden issue of” the book opens with this investigation with the Bicol Archeological Project (BAP).


Launched during the quincentennial anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival to an archipelagic country that is now the Philippines, the book “invites us to rethink Magellan once more and shift the colonial paradigm we learned from our formative years in school.”


One of them is the idea that Magellan discovered the Philippines when it wasn’t true. As such, the book urges historians and social scientists to provide a decolonized view of the pre-colonial Philippines that Magellan “stumbled and disrupted in 1521.”


This way, “the natives are no longer the subjugated and passive receivers as they were once depicted in historical narrative but are agents themselves capable of decision-making,” the book description read.


The book is edited by Saysay Bikol co-founder and research director Javier Leonardo Vitug Rugeria.