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Shaping a More Inclusive Philippine History Education

2nd Conversation on Mindano Histories and Studies in Davao City

Over 50 participants from across the Philippines came together again on the 17th and 18th of September 2019 for the Second Conversation on Mindanao Histories and Studies (MHS) at the Pakighinabi Room, Ateneo de Davao University. The center of attention was the MHS Roadmap. Developed by the Technical Working Group on MHS, this document proposes steps to be taken to make the Philippine Education System more inclusive.

Group picture of participants of 2nd Mindanao Histories Conversation
© forumZFD

For two days, participants who had come from all over Mindanao, discussed their respective needs, ideas, and challenges of the past 20 years in integrating Mindanaoan narratives into the teaching of Philippine history. In breakout sessions, participants analyzed their multiple efforts and connected them with government agencies, academic institutions, and other civil society organizations such as the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the Lumad Mindanao Peoples Federation, the Department of Education, the Mindanao Development Authority, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the National Commission on Culture and Arts, the National Book Development Board, the United Nations Development Program, and the Commission on Higher Education. Brother Karl Gaspar, key-note speaker and Mindanaoan author, captured the spirit of the gathering: “It fills me with great hope that as we gather here together, we might finally arrive at the place where we can take pride in the fact that we now can reclaim the voices of our past ancestors.”

Other well-known scholars joined the Second Conversation on Mindanao Histories including Sharon Bulaclac of Mindanao State University-Marawi and Bebot Rodil of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. The event was facilitated by Mags Z. Maglana, a member of the Independent Working Group on Transitional Justice - Dealing with the Past. She pointed out that a key accomplishment of the Second Conversation on Mindanao Histories has been to identify clear next steps on how to accomplish Implementing Rules and Regulations for Republic Act 10908 on the Integration of Filipino-Muslim and Indigenous Peoples History, Culture and Identity in the Study of Philippine History. The meaningful additions to the Mindanao Histories and Studies Roadmap have been harvested and will be integrated in the Roadmap’s final version. A representative of the Honorable Iqbal Mohagher, who is leading the Ministry of Education of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, summarized the event by highlighting: “The process of healing towards unity and reconciliation in the Philippines relies heavily on rewriting its history in more inclusive terms.”

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