Training Seafarers: Science Education in the Escuela Náutica de Manila

The chapter titled “The Physics Class” in José Rizal’s El filibusterismo provides an unflattering portrait of science education in the Spanish Philippines. It portrays a stifling university education, symbolized by “the mysterious laboratory” where closed cabinets held “enigmatic apparatuses” that the students were not allowed to touch. Nevertheless, Rizal offered a warning against any hasty generalization, saying … Continue reading Training Seafarers: Science Education in the Escuela Náutica de Manila

A CARRIER’S PLIGHT: A SOCIAL HISTORY OF CHINESE CARGADORES

Contrary to the long-held stereotype of a widespread affluent Chinese community in the nineteenth century, the majority of the Chinese population actually belonged to the lower strata of the Philippine colonial society. In fact, Chinese cargadores (stevedores and transporters), who were situated at the lowest stratum of the labor hierarchy, were rather a “common sight” … Continue reading A CARRIER’S PLIGHT: A SOCIAL HISTORY OF CHINESE CARGADORES

The Mathematics of Cultural Tradition: Geometric Symmetry in Batak Basketry

A Batak basket. Image provided by De las Peñas, Garciano, and Versoza. Most people associate mathematics with the numerical equations taught in school or the management of daily finances in a household. More complex examples of mathematical applications that come to mind include the infrastructure projects that support the urban landscape or the precise calculations … Continue reading The Mathematics of Cultural Tradition: Geometric Symmetry in Batak Basketry

Tragic Heroes: Behind Agoncillo’s Reification and Vilification of the Masses

Pambansang Bantayog ni Andres Bonifacio (The Bonifacio National Monument) at Caloocan City, by Guillermo Tolentino. Photo taken by Mello47. Andrés Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan, is a figure that arrests the imagination just as well as José Rizal does. Monuments depict the Supremo, bolo in hand, leading the Katipuneros (Katipunan members) clad in loose … Continue reading Tragic Heroes: Behind Agoncillo’s Reification and Vilification of the Masses

The Torch of Science: On the Twentieth-Century Philippine Scientific Community

Leading NRCP scientists presenting scientific perspectives in a discussion on the nation’s futureSource: NRCP. 1937. Proceedings of the Third Philippine Science Convention, February 26 to March 2, 1935. National Research Council of the Philippines Bulletin 12:1–49 Amid the excitement and uncertainty accompanying the imminent separation of the Philippines from the United States (US), the Filipino scientific community emerged … Continue reading The Torch of Science: On the Twentieth-Century Philippine Scientific Community