This is the second installment of Making Philippine History More Interesting. It’s a chronological booklist for the study of our country’s history. Today we’re giving you the list of books that you can use for the time before the Spaniards came.
As hard as we looked, we couldn’t find suitable books about the gold culture of our ancestors, as well as the balangay that they used to trade with neighboring islands. A story of how Chinese pottery got here would be nice too.
Nevertheless, we still found a few and interesting and exciting gems.
Si Diwayen, Noong Bago Dumating ang mga Espanyol
Historical fiction / Picture book / Filipino with English translation / Ages 4 and up (for English; for Filipino, depends on the child)
We all know that before the Spaniards came, Filipinos had datus and slaves. In this story, Diwayen is a nine-year old slave who befriends the datu’s daughter. She earns her freedom when she saves the princess from harm.
Historical fiction / Picture book / Cebuano with Tagalog translation / Ages 4 and up
This is a very fun book about the battle between Lapu-Lapu and Magellan. The illustrations also show Philippine culture, such as where people lived and what they wore. We read this as part of a unit study, which you can read about here. This is a simple book, but so fun!
Enrique El Negro (English and Filipino editions)
Historical fiction / Chapter book / Living book / Ages 7 and up (for independent reading or read-aloud)
In 1980, Carlos Quirino, National Artist for Historical Literature, posited a very intriguing and controversial theory. He said that Magellan’s slave, who was with him when he accidentally discovered the Philippines, was Filipino.
This historical fiction based on Quirino’s assertion is an enjoyable read that gives a glimpse of a time before the Spaniards came to the Philippines. It also ignites the imagination with the claim that Enrique was the first to travel around the world. The story ends after the death of Magellan.
You can choose from the Filipino edition (which is a nice translation) or English edition.
The Story of Magellan and the Discovery of the Philippines
Historical novel / Biography / Ages 9 and up (for read aloud)
Have you ever wondered who Magellan was? Here’s your chance to know the man beyond being the European who stumbled upon the Philippines. I was thrilled to find this book as it answers, Who was that man who brought colonization upon us? How did he get here? The book includes chapters about the Philippines, as well, so there are descriptions of how Filipinos lived then. The value of this book for me is that it gives perspective about this important person in our country’s history.
If you have questions about the books or how we’re going to use them, just leave a comment below. But better yet, do you have other book suggestions for this list?
Part I – Making Philippine History More Interesting: A Chronological Booklist – Read about the value of studying history chronologically, as well as a list of suggested books for your history spine.
Part III – Spanish Era Until the Revolution – Read about life under Spanish rule and our country’s heroes who fought against it.
Do come back for the next in the series:
Colonization to Before the Revolution (16th to 19th century) – Magellan just discovered the Philippines, but colonization didn’t start right away.