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Lawmakers seek revival of PH history as separate subject

/ 05:15 AM July 05, 2022
An in-person class at Abellana National High School in Cebu City. STORY: Lawmakers seek revival of PH history as separate subject

BACK TO CLASSROOMS Several schools in Cebu City, like Abellana National High School, have been holding limited in-person classes for several months now. But Mayor Michael Rama on Wednesday allowed all local educational and training institutions to hold physical classes for all students due to the improving public health situation in the city. —NESTLE SEMILLA

MANILA Philippines — Actress Ella Cruz’s remark that history can be equated to gossip only stresses the need for Congress to prioritize Philippine history as a separate subject for high school students.

Makabayan lawmakers called out the actress, who plays Irene Marcos-Araneta in “Maid in Malacañang,” claiming that history, a social science, is just like gossip or rumor-mongering.

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“This only proved that we really need to bring back Philippine history as a subject in high school because now, it’s only regarded as gossip by a few in order to distort the history of our people,” said ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro.

In a statement on Monday, she said it was unsuitable for history to be just “inserted” in other subjects in high school.

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“Because of simple gossip or being a ‘Marites,’ students are losing the fundamentals of history which is part of social science,” Castro said.

Castro pointed out that the country is already seeing the “destructive effects of the absence of Philippine history as a subject in basic education,” citing the distortion of history during the martial law regime.

She then urged the next leaders of Congress to prioritize the passage of House Bill No. 207, which seeks to restore Philippine history as a separate subject in the high school curriculum.

“We also challenge the next education secretary to ensure the return of Philippine history to the high school curriculum,” Castro said.

She added: “It is up to the government to ensure that education is a priority, that our educators have adequate support and that the curriculum does not aid historical revisionism and denialism for the sins against the Filipino people.”

The 25-year-old Cruz drew flak from historians and netizens alike for relegating the study of history, a social science, to mere gossip or rumor-mongering.

Public historians such as Ambeth Ocampo, Xiao Chua, and Alvin Campomanes agreed that real history is “evidence-based” and undergoes verification to ensure that it is about truth, “not lies or fiction.”

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For Gabriela Women’s Rep. Arlene Brosas, it was unfortunate that Cruz, whose real name is Gabriela Annjane Cruz, has likened history to gossip even if she is the namesake of the Filipino revolutionary Gabriela Silang.

“While the choice of playing the role of [Irene] Marcos in a historical revisionism film project was hers, we need to call out the further trivialization of history by such statements,” Brosas said.

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TAGS: Ella Cruz, history as chismis, Philippine history
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