AS WE study today the role of historic events in different countries of the world, Negrenses are motivated to understand the role of global historic changes from the ancient past until the present days. For Negros Island, a major epochal event transpired from the early arrival of the Spanish colonizers led by the European explorer Ferdinand Magellan when the Spaniards started to explore the early days of the Philippines in 1521 until the arrival of the American forces in the Philippines in May 1898. Our people today are witnessing these various historic events in the Philippines as influenced by the past until the contemporary life of our people. Thus, we appreciate more specifically the effects of the various colonial events starting with the Spanish arrival in 1521 and which lasted for 300 years with the rest of the country. This was followed by the American historic arrival in 1898 and succeeded by the Japanese invasion in 1941. Students of history have therefore noted the ancient days of the Philippines in the earliest influences of the Malayans, Hindu, Chinese, Arabic and other Asian influences on this archipelago which became the only Christian nation in the region followed by the later impact of the European culture and the Western influence of the United States of America.
Interestingly, Spanish Christianity and American republican democracy had to contend with the early native culture that resisted the influence of foreign institutions. Thus, the Filipinos brought together the many borrowed cultural and socio-economic elements that shaped the Filipino nations until the present days. In the process, the contemporary advances of science and technology, together with continued migrations were accompanied by massive education, cultural and economic changes in the life of the present Filipino people. We briefly note here, the further cultural heritage which have brought the Filipino evolution to the international community which constitutes the historic "Filipino Saga" as described by our authors Rosario Cortes et.al. in their book "Social Change."
Together with the pre-historic geological and geographic backgrounds, the Philippines developed from the ancient periods to the so-called waves of migrations from the various neighboring countries which eventually showed, according to F. Landa Jocano, that the pre-historic Filipinos are the products of the long process of human evolution and later movements of various peoples and migrations. Thus, the present Filipino is a mixture of ethnic groups with various cultural influences.
Furthermore, with the Spanish arrival, the early Negrenses did not resist the cultural changes brought by the early Spanish colonizers, missionaries and various migrating groups. Migrations to Negros continued to grow because of the early cultural, social and economic factors that encouraged more settlers. These changes in Negros were generally peaceful with the historical events until the epochal Cinco de Nobiembre revolution of the Negrenses against Spain on November 5, 1898.
In our next issue, we will present a brief backgrounder of Negros various colonial historic events.