History of the Philippine Islands

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Genres: Children's History
Language: English
Type: Digital

Here's a summary of "History of the Philippine Islands" by Antonio de Morga:

Primary Source and Colonial Context

  • Published in 1609, the book is considered a primary source for understanding the Philippines during the early Spanish colonial period (16th-17th century).
  • Written by a Spanish soldier, lawyer, and colonial official, Antonio de Morga, it offers a perspective from within the Spanish colonial system.

Focus on the Early Spanish Colonial Era

  • The book likely covers the period from Ferdinand Magellan's arrival in 1521 to the early years of the 17th century.
  • It might detail Spanish exploration, conquest, and the establishment of Spanish rule in the Philippines.

Beyond Military Conquest

  • While the book likely touches upon military campaigns, it probably goes beyond simply recounting battles.
  • De Morga might explore the social, political, and economic landscape of the Philippines during this time.

Description of Indigenous Cultures

  • A valuable aspect of the book is its description of the various indigenous Philippine cultures encountered by the Spanish.
  • De Morga might detail their languages, customs, religions, and social structures.

Spanish Colonial Administration

  • The book likely sheds light on how the Spanish established their colonial administration in the Philippines.
  • This could include details about governance, taxation, and the relationship between Spanish officials and the indigenous population.

Insights into the Author's Perspective

  • Being a Spanish official, de Morga's perspective might be biased towards the Spanish colonial system.
  • However, the book still offers valuable insights into the attitudes, beliefs, and motivations of the Spanish colonizers.

Overall Significance

  • "History of the Philippine Islands" is a crucial resource for understanding the Philippines during a pivotal period in its history.
  • It offers a valuable window into the early Spanish colonial period, the indigenous cultures of the Philippines, and the dynamics between the colonizers and the colonized.


  • As a historical text written during a specific period, it's important to be critical of potential biases and consider the broader context of Spanish colonialism while reading de Morga's account.


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