|Not Professor Susan Russell, but rather Marian Rivera as Amaya wearing an|
example of indigenous armor worn before the Spanish Friars came a'calling.
For those of you with very little time on their hands, here are key points of her lecture (which is the second one on the page):
- A majority of the population of the "Philippines" at the time was organized into scattered communities with no central authority -- which made it easier for the Spaniards to do their work;
- The Muslim Sultanates, found mostly in the southern islands with some presence further north, never fell to Spanish rule;
- Before he met his end against Lapu-Lapu, Magellan successfully converted Rajah Humabon and 800 of his followers after Magellan's people were able to cure the Rajah's grandson of an illness;
- Legaspi conquered a Muslim Filipino settlement in Manila in 1570;
- Islam spread slowly through the Philippines and would likely have dominated the archipelago if not for Spanish intervention.
- Mass baptisms -- given the friar to Filipino ratio, this was the only way to convert huge numbers quickly; it was aided by the fact that Filipino animist / syncretic beliefs of the various settlements also believed in the potency of holy water;
- Reduccion policies -- the practice of resettling the small hamlets and thorps into artificially created towns helped the Spanish enforce their will (which included paying taxes) on the populace... when the population stayed and didn't eventually wander away back to their original homes;
- Attitude of the clergy -- many of the early missionaries learned the many (more than 200) languages (not dialects, there are even more of those) of the Philippines at the time in order to preach to Good News;
- Attitude of the clergy 2 -- many of the clergy at the time also stood up against abuses and excesses of the Spanish military, winning the favor of the indigenous population;
- Adapting the faith to the local context -- where possible, the clergy sought to supplant existing beliefs; where there once was a minor god, the priests inserted a saint; where there once was an animist festival for the harvest, an appropriate religious celebration was held instead; and so on.
Have I mentioned that some of the animist beliefs echo stories of faeries and little people and strigoi and wereboars of other countries? I'm quite thankful for the work of GM Dariel on Hari Ragat because it means I won't have to bust my butt too much when it comes to the 'monsters'.