Precolonial Culture and Education in the Southern Philippines

  • Jeffrey Ayala Milligan


Almost every written account of the Philippines begins with a description of it as an archipelago of 7,100 islands. While this has become something of a cliché in the literature on the Philippines, it useful in that it does point to the extensive geographic, cultural, and linguistic diversity of the country. While roughly four centuries of colonization have more or less established the geographical identity of the Philippines, the combination of colonial experience and cultural diversity have rendered any sense of common national identity quite tenuous. This is particularly the case in the cultural and geographic margins of Philippine society: among the poor, in the remote rural areas, among the tribal minorities known collectively as the “Lumad,” and particularly among the Islamized ethnic communities frequently lumped together under the name bestowed upon them by the Spanish: Moros. In such a context, with such a history, it is perhaps unsurprising that a relatively weak Philippine state has been unable to assert the effective control of the rule of law into every corner of such a sprawling and diverse nation.1


Educational Policy Fourteenth Century Colonial Regime Spanish Colonial Military Expedition 
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© Jeffrey Ayala Milligan 2005

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  • Jeffrey Ayala Milligan

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