Read These Free PH History Books Before Your Next Bee Quiz


The “education crisis” is officially the term of the week. But while we’re aware that the GomBurZa fiasco in the Pinoy Big Brother history quiz has bumped up the algorithm, making it easier for us to agree with the phenomenon, these are situations that we ourselves are witnessing: difficulties in blended learning, budget cuts in the education sector, and horrifying historical revisionism, to name a few. On the contrary, these wrong answers to the basic story are just the tip of the iceberg.

Much remains to be done in the fight for quality and accessible education. Academia can sometimes be an alienating place, but luckily there are references spread across the virtual world made available to everyone. In a sea of ​​unverified spliced ​​videos and sensational stories, here are some online readings on Philippine history by Filipino writers and historians that you can visit anytime.

“The Philippine Islands” by Ramon Reyes Lala

If you’re on your own mission to uncover the origin stories of our islands, this book – dubbed a “culturally significant work” – chronicles early conquests, conflicts between church and state, the history of trade , and more. Some chapters even focus on our natural minerals and the oppressive systems around them. Also, here’s a fun fact: in the first few pages, you might have spotted “A Native of Manila” under the name of the author, Ramon Reyes Lala. Well, he is believed to be the first naturalized Filipino-American, with this book being the first written about the Philippines in English by a Filipino.

Read it on Project Gutenberg.

“Philippine History Source Book” by various authors

Looking for a thick stack of sources for your next humanities article? Thank the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for the assistance of RRL. In 2021, they released the free version of an e-book that covers the events of the pre-Spanish period in the post-war Philippines, providing different documents such as inaugural speeches, decrees and personal letters, among others . A collaborative work of members of the academy, this collection of primary and secondary sources is a journey into the Philippiniana section in itself.

Read it for free after completing this survey.

A Question of Heroes by Nick Joaquin

National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin plays the critic of 10 figures in the revolutionary history of the Philippines. This collection of essays serves as a deep dive into the nuances of the narratives surrounding Jose Rizal, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, and Gregorio Del Pilar, among others. It explores stories of identity, victory, and other intricate points in history – a nice addition to your background knowledge if you want to go beyond the usual textbook discussion. (We’re particularly intrigued by this topic: “How ‘Filipino’ was Burgos?”)

Read it via the Heritage Library of the Philippines.

“The History of Our Country” by Leandro Fernandez

Sharing a reading session with a brother or cousin for their first history lesson? A more digestible work for young readers, Leandro Fernandez’s book feels like non-intimidating dialogue – with enticing illustrations – for those brushing up on their basic nuggets. Stories include the first revolts, our ancestors, and the Katipunan timeline. There’s even a special chapter called “The Story of Three Great Filipinos” dedicated to Filipino poet Francisco Baltazar, Father Pedro Pelaez, and Father Jose Burgos.

Read it via the Heritage Library of the Philippines.

« Kartilyang Makabayan: Mga Tanong to Sagot Ukol Kay Andrstars Bonifacio at his KKK by Hermenegildo Cruz

Meanwhile, in the Andres Bonifacio department, there are still issues that are rarely tapped. Fortunately, Hermenegildo Cruz, historian and founding member of the Union Obrera Democratica, decided to write a book specifically focused on his life and the Katipunan, saving you one (or more) Google search on each page. How was Andres Bonifacio’s youth? How did the Katipunan acquire members? What were Jose Rizal’s thoughts on this? Sometimes the story is more easily remembered with questions.

Read it on Project Gutenberg.

Art by Yel Sayo

This story was first published via

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