Filipinos reactions to conquest and conversion
Most colonial history has come down to us from Spanish authors who believed they were bringing civilization and the “one true religion” to a bunch of “indios” – that was the term Spaniards used for those who now call themselves Filipino. (For this article, we’ll stick to using the modern term in place of Indio. ) It’s rare to find a story from the Filipino’s point of view and even rarer to hear the opinions of a non-Christian Filipino who resisted Spanish rule.
When the Spaniards came to our lands, they burned many houses, eradicated some goods and resources, killed many Filipinos, and stop our economic and commercial cycle. They controlled almost all farms and villages. Many areas were become unpopulated. Almost two thirds of the populations were declined. Many boys especially the teenagers were asked to do the Polo. Farms were left uncultivated and encomedia was implemented. Only the friars and Spanish officials could benefit-from high taxes to church offerings.
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To be able to start a business and work, the permissions from the administrators was required, and not all were granted. For that, many Filipinos gave up their work, lands, and even their life. They viewed their life hopeless ad they thought themselves inferior. True enough, the Spaniards presented the duty of Christianizing the world as a fundamental part of their agenda. Coupled with this though, was an inherent hatred for the Muslims, after having struggled themselves for independence against six centuries of Moorish occupation of their country.
It was more of this hatred, rather than the drive to evangelize, that fueled the Spanish conquest of a predominantly Muslim pre-colonial Philippines. The splintering policies the colonial government had a lingering effect on the consciousness of the generation who came of age during the colonization and the generations that followed. At the same time, they imposed a taint on the spirit of resistance, making it “irresponsible,” “shameful,” even “ignoble” to protest against duly constituted authorities in the colony.