Macario Tiu in his Ateneo office. Before him is a copy of his book and the National Book Award trophy (davaotoday.com photo by Tyrone Velez)
DAVAO CITY - The trophy that Davao writer Macario Tiu won from the National Book Award for his book on Davao history is, of all things, a sculpted camera.
"I'm figuring out why the sculptor designed the trophy this way," Tiu
pondered as he
took the award off the shelf in his
office in Ateneo de Davao University's Tambara Office.
"Perhaps it suggests that writers want to show the readers a picture of the world."
That may well describe Tiu's effort in Davao
: Reconstructing History Through Text and Memory, where he
presents a vivid narrative of Davao's growth and identity and its resistance against Spanish and American colonization.
The book provides new insights into Davao's history gathered from the writer's research of the oral traditions and histories of Lumad and Moro communities.
Tiu, a professor of literature at the Ateneo de Davao, a detainee during martial law and a two-time Palanca awardee, said the book was about telling history from the view of the Filipino.
"Previous history books started their record of Davao with its conquest by Jose Oyanguren in 1848," he said in an interview with davaotoday.com.
"Not much else was said about Davao
Oyanguren was the Basque conqueror who came and set Spanish rule in the Davao province.
This version of history only reflected the western and elite bias that relied on foreign documents and sources, said Tiu
For instance, Oyanguren was considered a central figure in Davao's
history, while Datu Bago, a native who fought Oyanguren's troops, was branded as a pirate.
"Aren't pirates the invaders of a land?
Then, isn't Oyanguren the pirate in our history?
For that, Tiu
sought other sources of information, the oral literature of the elders of the tribes accounts of events, folklores, even myths.
called "memory documents" as it preserves the communities' histories.
Interestingly, Tiu included the stories of anti-martial law martyrs in Davao, the likes of labor leader Alex Orcullo of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, who was murdered on Oct. 19, 1984, and of Socorro Par, a youth activist killed in 1985 in South Cotabato.
explained: "In the Philippine context, wherein the history of the people's struggle is to become free or to remain free, anybody who fights for that freedom is a hero."
makes this call to remember the heroic acts of Davaoeos past and present: "The task is to locate more of these heroic men and women who have done a great deed in defense of Davao
, of the country and reclaim them from oblivion."
This task has started with the book, which seeks to restore Davao's
past and identity.
It is a laudable effort, as cited by Soledad Reyes, panelist of the National Book Award: "Tiu
offers an alternative to official history even as he proceeds to demonstrate the wealth of insights such texts from indigenous communities possess as indices to the consciousness of the people of Davao
I read davao today
in most of my free time . I am so happy to know that Mr. Tiu
won an award for his
Very inspiring article.
I'm wondering if you are the same Macario Tiu
who was in Xavier University
on the 60s?
I recently visited Davao City last December and had the chance to talk to Macario Tiu
who happens to be a friend during our days at ADD college
told me that he
wrote two books one being the much discussed book in your article and the other "Conquest and Rebellion...".
I would like to ask for your permission since I need a photo of Mr. Macario Tiu
for our journalism class under Ms. Gemima Galang.
And we need to have a copy of Sir Tiu's
picture for our news article.