Pantayong Pananaw

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(To view the Filipino version of this article, click Pantayong Pananaw (Filipino))

Pantayong Pananaw is a particular historical perspective used by Philippine historians.



Pantayong Pananaw comes from two Filipino root words, "tayo" and "pananaw." "Tayo" in the Filipino language is used as a collective and inclusive form of "we", referring both to the speaker and listeners, while "pananaw" means perspective or outlook. Pantayong Pananaw would then refer to a historical theory or dialogue that consists of both active (speakers) and passive (listeners) subjects in their own discourses. Using the Pantayong Pananaw perspective, "kasaysayan" not history, is now defined as "salaysay ukol sa nakaraan o nakalipas na may saysay para sa isang grupo ng tao at iniuulat sa pamamagitan ng sariling wika."

Dr. Zeus Salazar was the intellectual leader of the Pantayong Pananaw movement. In his unpublished thesis, Salazar laid the backbone of the Pantayong Pananaw perspective. Salazar further discussed and explained Pantayong Pananaw in a series of monographs, papers, and other published documents, as well as in many local fora and symposia. In 1991, a systematic definition of Pantayong Pananaw was published by Salazar in an essay entitled "Ang Pantayong Pananaw Bilang Diskursong Pangkabihasnan."

Basic Tenets

First of all, the original language of the Filipinos and other indigenous groups in the Philippines must be used in writing Philippine history. Language as proposed by the advocates of Pantayong Pananaw serves as the root and backbone of the Filipino experience. Pantayong Pananaw believes that although foreigners can learn and speak the local and national languages of the Philippines, they do not have a frequent and whole-hearted understanding and grasp of these languages. Writing history using Pantayong Pananaw would therefore hinge on using and tapping the local and national languages. Pantayo believes that foreigners and foreign languages do not effectively capture or convey the message, local ideas, symbols, definitions, and feelings of the Filipino psyche.

Aside from using the local and national languages, Pantayong Pananaw supports the use of unconventional type of sources. Since this historical theory presupposes that most official documents, manuscripts, and other books written by foreigners are tainted with biases (since they represent the foreigners' perspectives and worldviews), Pantayong Pananaw states that historians must also make use of unconventional sources that are untainted by any foreign biases. Historians using Pantayong Pananaw would use other avenues of locating and reading these said sources. Because of this, Filipino historians using the Pantayong Pananaw perspective usually use least likely sources such as revolutionary songs, soldiers' letters, poems, plays, games, and sculptures. Pantayo advocates also relies on oral histories as means of substantiating and buttressing their ideas and concepts, in congruence with other conventional sources.


In academic circles, significant publications, studies, and documents have been written using the Pantayong Pananaw perspective. The publications, dissertations, and theses of Dr. Zeus Salazar, Dr. Jaime Veneracion, Dr. Nilo Ocampo, Dr. Ferdinand Llanes, Dr. Portia Reyes, Efren Isorena, Vicente Villan, Mary Jane Rodriguez-Tatel, Dr. Jose Rhommel B. Hernandez, Myfel Joseph Paluga, Nancy Kimmuel-Gabriel, Arthur "Atoy" Navarro, and Raymund Arthur Abejo have used Pantayong Pananaw as the main framework in their studies. Pantayong Pananaw has also crossed the field of Philippine history and is now frequently cited by sociologists, linguists and other social scientists to explain and define the Filipino psychology in sociology, anthropology and other social science disciplines.


Since Pantayong Pananaw has attracted many historians, sociologist, and other social scientists, its true idea has branched out into different divergent paths, depending on the application of a social scientist. Today, other historians have loosely used the Pantayong Pananaw perspective in looking at specific historical studies. Although they are using the primary sources prescribed by Pantayong Pananaw, the langauge in which they articulate these histories is a foreign language (English). One example of this proto pantayong pananaw is Reynaldo Ileto's Pasyon and the Revolution.

Meanwhile, foreign historians have used Pantayong Pananaw to rewrite Philippine history using the primary sources methodology advocated by Pantayong Pananaw. Foreign historians have used plays, letters, oral histories, poems, and songs to interpret and rewrite history but the language is not Filipino but English.


One of the most problematic of the Pantayong Pananaw movement is its insistence that historiographic or scientific discourse be written in the native language. This would render many landmark books such as Reynaldo Ileto's Pasyon and Revolution (1979), only as proto-Pantayo, even though the author was the first to tell history from below, as gleaned from the revolutionary texts of awits and pabasas. As the critic Ramon Guillermo wrote: "It would be useful to point out here that the use of internal concepts to explain socio-cultural phenomena does not necessarily entail the use of the language of origin of these concepts in the exposition itself. A case in point here would be Virgilio Enriquez’ variant of Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SP) which pursued an emic approach even as the primary language of transmission tended to be English, especially in his later works (Enriquez 1994; 1995)."

Some of Guillermo's critiques are the following:

1. Pantayong Pananaw is overly restrictive in its formulation.

2. It needs to maintain a "position of neutrality on ontological and epistemological questions which ought to be preserved as areas for scientific research and philosophical investigations rather than 'solved' by programmatic statements."

3. The language issue tends to divide the ranks of historians and social scientists and alienate the cause of broadening the use of the national language.

Future Trends

Presently, the Pantayong Pananaw perspective has been used to successfully explain and write about the inarticulate sectors and sections of the Filipino society. Pantayong Pananaw is found to be useful in women's studies, particularly in writing about the silent contributions and impact of women in the social, economic, political, and historical development of the country. Pantayong Pananaw through its methodology also gives distinct and particular voices to the previously inarticulate. Using Pantayong Pananaw, the voiceless Filipino masses, through the use of oral history and unofficial sources, now have a venue to air their side and record their story.


  • Ileto, Reynaldo. 1999. “History and Criticism: The Invention of Heroes.” In The Filipinos and Their Revolution, Reynaldo Ileto. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  • Ileto, Reynaldo. 1979. Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840-1910. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. 2000. “The Pantayo Perspective as a Civilizational Discourse.” Translated into English from Filipino by Ramon Guillermo. Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science 28, no. 1.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. [1991] 1998b. “‘Philippine Studies’ and ‘Pilipinolohiya’: Past, Present and Future of Two Heuristic Views in The Study of the Philippines.” In The Malayan Connection: Ang Pilipinas sa Dunia Melayu, Zeus A. Salazar. Quezon City: Palimbagan ng Lahi.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. [1976] 1998c. “The Matter with Influence: Our Asian Linguistic Ties.” In The Malayan Connection: Ang Pilipinas sa Dunia Melayu, Zeus A. Salazar. Quezon City: Palimbagan ng Lahi.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. 1998e. “Wika ng Himagsikan, Lengguwahe ng Rebolusyon: Mga Suliranin ng Pagpapakahulugan sa Pagbubuo ng Bansa.” In Wika, Panitikan, Sining at Himagsikan, eds. Atoy Navarro and Raymund Abejo. Quezon City: LIKAS.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. [1971] 1997. “Ang Pagtuturo ng Kasaysayan sa Pilipino.” In Pantayong Pananaw: Ugat at Kabuluhan, eds. Atoy Navarro, Mary Jane Rodriguez and Vicente Villan. Mandaluyong: Palimbagang Kalawakan.
    • Salazar, Zeus A. [1973] 1996. “Ukol sa Wika at Kulturang Pilipino.” In Mga Piling Diskurso sa Wika at Lipunan, eds. Pamela C. Constantino and Monico M. Atienza. Quezon City: U.P. Press.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. 1991a. “Paunang Salita.” In Pilipinolohiya: Kasaysayan, Pilosopiya at Pananaliksik, eds. Violeta V. Bautista and Rogelia Pe-Pua. Manila: Kalikasan Press.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. 1991b. “Ang Pantayong Pananaw Bilang Diskursong Pangkabihasnan.” In Pilipinolohiya: Kasaysayan, Pilosopiya at Pananaliksik, eds. Violeta V. Bautista and Rogelia Pe-Pua. Manila: Kalikasan Press.
  • Salazar, Zeus A. 1989. “Ilang Batayan para sa isang Sikolohiyang Pilipino.” In Sikolohiyang Pilipino: Teorya, Metodo at Gamit, ed. Rogelia Pe-Pua. Quezon: UP Press.

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