Cover How well do you know your history? (Photo: Engin Akyurt/Pexels)

Over the internet, Filipinos called on the Education Department to bring back and strengthen the Philippine history subject in high school as well as educational programmes designed for children on television. Read on to know why

When horrifying fragments of history come back and repeat themselves in modern times, it may be because they're hardly remembered by the younger generation. To address this, educational institutions, mass media, and more must ramp up their collective efforts in providing free and accessible materials and programmes that will help bridge the huge time gap between yesterday's heroes and their predecessors. 

Over the past few days, Pinoy Big Brother, a popular Filipino reality show, released clips of housemates who answered incorrectly in a televised quiz bee. In one segment, two contestants answered incorrectly a question about the portmanteau of the three martyr priests from Cavite and the longest man-made bridge in the Philippines. 

What was supposed to be an entertaining show suddenly became a concerning clip. 

Netizens called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to bring back the subject of Philippine History “as a dedicated subject in the secondary level of basic education” and “return it as a reinvigorated discipline.”

It can be recalled that DepEd Order 20, 2014 removed Philippine History as a dedicated subject in the high school Araling Panlipunan (civics) curriculum.

In case you missed it: International Women's Day: 14 Filipino Women Who Made History

In this write-up, Tatler seeks to provide a little information about Jose Rizal's nickname, the longest bridge in the Philippines, and who the three martyr priests are, and a lot more: 

Jose Rizal was called "Pepe"

Despite having a relatively long name, José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, was fondly called "Pepe" by her family and peers. His name was inspired by Saint Joseph and Saint Protacio who his mother, Doña Teodora Alonso, honoured.

In Excelsis, a book written by Felice Prudente Santa Maria, explained why the young Rizal was nicknamed Pepe. According to her, “Saint Joseph was the putative (commonly accepted) father of Jesus Christ. In Latin, San Jose’s name is always followed by the letters 'P.P' for pater putativus. In Spanish, the letter 'P' is pronounced 'peh' giving rise to the nickname Pepe for [anyone who is named] Jose.”

Related: What's on a Hero's Plate? 5 Of Dr Jose Rizal's Favourite Dishes

Who were the three martyr priests?

Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora or the "GOMBURZA" are the three Filipino Catholic priests who met their tragic end in a public execution using garrote (a handheld ligature of rope, scarf, or chain used to strangle a person).

Spanish authorities have alleged that the martyrs were masterminds in the insurrection of indios (native Filipinos) working at the Cavite arsenal. The three were also accused of having been part of a movement that seeks to oust the Spanish government. 

The GOMBURZA execution has since been labeled the 'Terror of 1872' and is recognised as a pivotal event relevant to the Philippine Revolution from 1986 to 1898. Last February 17, the country marked the 150th anniversary of martyrdom of the three priests.

The longest bridge in the Philippines is San Juanico

San Juanico bridge, which has a total length of 2.16 kilometres (1.34 mi), is considered as the Philippines' longest bridge.

Made up of steel girder, the San Juanico is part of the Pan-Philippine Highway and stretches from Samar to Leyte across the San Juanico Strait.

Tatler Trivia: There are several urban legends in the Philippines but the one about San Juanico spooks everyone the most. Rumour has it that for the bridge to have such a stable condition, blood drawn from several children had to be included in the cement used for the bridge. 

Melchora Aquino is also known as "Tandang Sora"

Melchora Aquino was one of the key figures of Katipunan, the brotherhood that led the revolution to free the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule. Aquino was also nicknamed the 'Mother of Katipunan', and was often consulted by Andres Bonifacio, the brotherhood's founder and supreme leader, before making any decisions. Aquino was fondly called "Tandang Sora" because she was already 84 years old when she became involved with the revolution.

Related: Do You Know Why We Remember 'Araw Ng Kagitingan'?

The 'Summer Capital' of the Philippines is Baguio

Baguio is the "Summer Capital" of the Philippines because of its average temperature which is often around 15-23°c. Because of its elevated location, the place rarely experiences temperatures higher than 26°c, a reason for tourists to throng the place during the hot and humid summer season. 

Among the famous tourist destinations of Baguio is The Mansion, the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines. It was designed by architect William E Parsons, and was originally intended for the American Governor-General.

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