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History Course – A Way to Feel at Home in the Philippines


For most foreigners, the Philippines is either their new home or their temporary home. While in this country, adjusting could be hard with the language barrier or the cultural diversity. There is also this notorious Metro Manila traffic jam that stresses out most foreign visitors. This country is a strange, new world for most foreigners, especially non-Asians.




However, there is more about Manila or the Philippines that is worth noticing. Sometimes when we are new in a place, we don’t really appreciate its worth because we don’t feel we belong there. However, knowing about the history of a group of people can eventually open one’s mind into understanding the strangers you meet everyday. With understanding the cultural heritage of a group of people, it becomes easier to adjust with their behaviour, traditions or customs. It is the same thing with places in the Philippines. Once you understand the historical significance of an old building or an island, then you also realise that history comes alive and you are right there in that special place.


In fact, there was a group of foreigners who settled in Manila in the 1981 and they were fascinated with the Filipino culture, historical heritage and arts. One of them is a lady named Margaretha Gloor who was curious about the Filipino culture. Eventually, other foreigners joined her with their common passion for history, archaeology and arts. This lead them to coordinate with the National Museum as a first step. Through the years, their group grew with more foreigners living in Manila who were all studying and learning about Philippine history. What bound them together is their common interest in knowing more about the foreign country where they live in, which is the Philippines. Their group is called “Museum Volunteers of the Philippines.”


Today, MVP has over 200 members with an international group who are both Filipinos and expatriates from different countries around the world. MVP has a library that contains rare and valuable resources for history enthusiasts. They have more than 1400 volumes and other reading materials about the Philippines and Asia.


Registration for the 2017 -2018 MVP History Course is now open.

Museum Volunteers of the Philippines (MVP) announces the opening of registration for the 2017-18 edition of their class “Philippines: Past and Present”. This course is a detailed treatment of Philippine History from pre-colonial times up to the present.


Students will meet each Wednesday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell Center, Makati City from September 2017 to March 2018. The course features presentations by guest speakers and module leaders while encouraging active student participation. As well, each course module culminates with a study-relevant field trip. The course is popular among expatriates and local residents alike who are interested in learning more about the cultural and historical background of the Philippines.


This will be the 29th year for MVP to offer the course. The history class began as a course for docents, or museum guides in order to foster better understanding of Filipino culture and history through volunteer work with local museums, but it now has a wider, more general appeal to anyone wishing to understand the Philippines better. Participation has therefore broadened through the years.


Although the class is taught in English, it is sensitive to the needs of non-native English language speakers. Opportunities for student participation are provided through facilitating presentations, initiating reaction or discussion panels or engaging in research work. It is a chance to interact both intellectually and socially in a congenial, multi-national environment.


The class begins on 20 September 2017 and will end in March 2018, with breaks for local holidays and Christmas. The class is organized into 5 modules:

  • Early History prior to 1521
  • Spanish Rule from 1521 to 1898
  • American and Japanese Periods from 1898 to 1946
  • Independence Period from 1946 to 1986
  • Modern Era after EDSA I (1986 to the present)


Slots are limited, so early registration is encouraged. For further information and registration, please send an email to


Museum Volunteers of the Philippines
Facebook page:


More about MVP

MVP has been providing seminar-style courses about Philippine history since 1989. The scope of discussion includes the precolonial history until the present time. Other than lectures about history, you may also join their study groups and tours for a more in-depth knowledge about Philippine history.


Special Mention


Learn about the influence of Dr. Jose Rizal in the Filipino culture. He is the greatest national hero of the Philippines and he is honoured world-wide for his notable achievements in literature, medical science, arts, languages and more.


Get to know important places and famous historical figures in the Philippines and notable great Filipino leaders and heroes. One of them is Dr. Jose Rizal who is the greatest national hero of the Philippines. Getting to know the fascinating life of Rizal is a way to further understand the best of Filipino culture and the personality of Filipinos in general. Why are Filipinos proud of Rizal? He was very intellectual and a high achiever. He was a doctor of medicine (ophthalmologist), novelist, sociologist, educator, engineer, sculptor, painter, playwright, historian, journalist, martial artist, and more. Apart from that, his was also fluent in 22 languages including English, French, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Swedish and Russian.


Not all Filipinos are like Jose Rizal, but majority of Filipinos consider him as a role model with regards to Rizal’s good character and academic excellence. In schools in the Philippines, children are basically taught and moulded into the nationalistic values of Rizal for them to grow up as good citizens.


Know more about Rizal and other great Filipinos that will be discussed in the history course of MVP. Understanding the personalities and achievements of great historical figures in the Philippines is way of getting to know the people and culture in this country. It is a step towards belonging here and feeling at home in the Philippines.


Author: Expatch Editorial Team


Photo source:

Black and white photo of Dr. Jose Rizal –


Painting Dr. Jose Rizal giving his mother eye surgery  –




Special thanks to Maggie Pedersen of Museum Volunteers of the Philippines






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