Can tsismis be considered history?

July 9, 2022

Tsismis as history?

Social media has been dominated by this silly question. Both those interested and uninterested, famous and unknown, have voiced their opinions.  

It is clear that Tsismis is not history. Further explanation is not necessary. I find it surprising that regarded historians have even taken the time to explain why it’s not.

Tsismis will never be history. Interpretation, however, is subject to bias. Whatever anyone does to convince anyone or themselves that they have no bias, that is simply not possible.

Actress’ critical historical view

In the first place, if you take any statement too seriously when it is not meant to be taken seriously, you have a problem.

The young actress, whose name I had never heard before this controversy, made a ridiculous statement. I think that’s all there is to it. When I first saw it, I thought she probably never studied Philippine history in depth. 

Personally, I thought it was funny. 

Had she taught history or been a history major, I would have been a little concerned. But she’s a young actress.

Considering how history has been taught in our schools for decades, is it surprising that young people like her think this way about our history?


There are historians I know who have immediately protested. To let the public know that the actress’ statement is false. “History is not Tsismis!” they want everyone to understand.

Only they believe Filipinos will start believing history is mere Tsismis. A historian friend told me that one of these overacting historians is doing it for attention.

Honestly, I feel we owe this young actress a debt of gratitude for, if it weren’t for her controversial statement, we wouldn’t even be discussing Philippine history this much.

Thanks, Ella.

Opinion lang

Opinions of local historians are rarely in agreement. Different historical narratives are being pushed by different camps.

With a Marcos in Malacañan palace, It is no surprise why historians who believe Cory is the angel and Marcos the devil have emerged.

As a result, I anticipate wild and hot debates in the years to come.

History will always be rife with disagreement over truth and falsehood.

It is for this reason that arguments over whether Rizal should be the nation’s primer hero, how should the flag look, whether Aguinaldo was a traitor, how did the Christianization of Spain benefit us, and so on, never seem to end.

Tsismis to engage

In our country, historical rumors like “Rizal is Hitler’s son” are more commonly known than dates and events that are factual.

Historical “tsismis” are often introduced by some educators to make history more engaging. 

See, I’m trying to finish Larry Henares’ “The Search for Antonio Luna’s Descendant”. I would not have picked it up if it wasn’t for persistent tsismis about Luna and Ysidra Cojuanco’s love affair and love child.

When smoke appears, there is fire, right? Most, if not all of the time, history bears this out.

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