Abrera, Maria Bernadette L.
9818500 local 2126
M-F 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM Daily 2-4 PM

Maria Bernadette L. Abrera is a professor of History at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is currently the Dean of the UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (2017-2020) where she also served as the Chair of the Department of History. She has been the recipient of several Professorial Chair awards including the UP Centennial Professorial Chair (2018) and the UP Centennial Faculty Grant (2012). Her research focus is on cultural history and the indigenous knowledge system, having written on the indigenous belief system, the status of women in pre-colonial Philippines and traditional boat building technology. She was part of Oceanides, an international scientific research project on the role of the sea in history. She is co-author of a textbook on Philippine history, Kasaysayang Bayan, and served as president of ADHIKA, a national professional organization for historians and history enthusiasts.

Dr. Abrera obtained her BA in History from St. Scholastica’s College, and her MA History and PhD Philippine Studies from the University of the Philippines.

A. EDUCATION (Most recent degree first)
  • Name of school
    St. Scholastica’s College
    Degree w/ year attained/expected to attain
    A.B. History (1978)
    Dissertation/Thesis Title
    Campus Journalism Award
  • Name of school
    University of the Philippines Diliman
    Degree w/ year attained/expected to attain
    M.A. History (1992)
    Dissertation/Thesis Title
    Ang Numismatika ng Anting-Anting
  • Name of school
    University of the Philippines Diliman
    Degree w/ year attained/expected to attain
    Ph.D. Philippine Studies (2002)
    Dissertation/Thesis Title
    Bangka: Isang Paglalayag tungo sa Pag-unawa ng Kasaysayan at Kalinangan
  • Indigenous belief system
  • Cultural history
  • Spanish colonial Philippines
  • Religion and church history
  • Folklore
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “Boatbuilding Tradition in the Philippines (10th-16th centuries),” The Sea in History. The Medieval World. Volume II. Michel Balard, University of Paris, Pantheon-Sorbonne, editor for the period Middle Ages. (Boydell & Brewer for Oceanides International Research Programme in Maritime History, 2017). The sole Philippine contribution in this four volume series.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “Ang Simbahan sa Panahon ng Krisis at Pagbabago, 1898-1935,” Kagawaran: Mga Institusyon at Paglilingkod Bayan sa Kasaysayan at Kalinangang Pilipino, 1898-1946. Manila: ADHIKA ng Pilipinas, Inc. at National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2017, pp. 201-222.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “War and Liberation in Lipa: The Experience of the Local Church,” Manila Studies Journal, Manila Studies Association, 2016.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “Leading the Nation,” in A Sense of Nation: The Birthright of Rizal, Bonifacio, and Mabini, edited by Ma. Serena Diokno. National Historical Commission of the Philippines, June 2016.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “Book Review: Rido. Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao edited by Wilfredo Magno Torres III,” Philippine Studies Journal 2016, pp.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “Ang Ambag ng ADHIKA sa Historiograpiya ng Katipunan at Himagsikan,” Ryan V. Palad & Vicente C. Villan, editors, 2016.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., “Retaliation, Resistance, Retrieval: Filipino Muslims in Philippine Historiography,” IQRA, Journal of the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Studies and Dialogue in Southeast Asia. Ateneo de Davao University, June 2015, pp. 83-96.
  • Abrera, Maria Bernadette L., coeditor and contributor, Kasaysayang Bayan. Sampung Aralin sa Kasaysayang Pilipino. Manila: National Historical Institute & Adhika ng Pilipinas Inc., 2015 edition.
  • UP Centennial Professorial Chair Award, 2018
  • John Delaney Professorial Chair, July 2015-June 2016.
  • Research grant from the Belgian Government (CARESS CCD) for the project on Local Adaptation, Resilience and Interpretation of Socio-natural Hazards, April 2016-May 2017.
  • Oceanides International Research Programme in Maritime History, January-December 2015.
  • UP Centennial Faculty Grant, 2012.
  • Ninoy Aquino Professorial Chair, 2005-2006.
  • Faculty Writing Research Grant, 2005.
  • Toyota Foundation Research Grant, Indigenous Boat Building Technology, 2000.
  • Paper Reader, “Collaboration and Conflict in a Maytime Festival: Turning Pilgrims into Tourists,” 13th International Conference, City Rituals, International Society on Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania. November 7-9, 2018.
  • Plenary Lecture, “Strengthening Philippine-Indian Socio-Cultural Relations,” The Delhi Dialogue X, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi, India, 20-21 July 2018.
  • Lecture, “Women in Precolonial Philippine Society,” Museum Volunteers of the Philippines. Auditorium, Ateneo Professional Schools, Makati City. 11 October 2017.
  • Lecture, “Ang Teknolohiya ng Bangka sa Daigdig ng Prekolonyal na Timog Silangang Asya,” UP Lipunang Pangkasaysayan ika-26 na Pambansang Kumperensiya. NISMED auditorium, UP Diliman. 21 September 2017.
  • Lecture, “Philippine Boatbuilding from Balangay to Galleon,” Third National Forum on Philipppine Maritime History and Culture, Asian Institute of Maritime Studies, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. 29 September 2017.
  • Lecture, “The Life and Legacy of Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, First Ilocano Bishop,” The Alfredo Verzosa Lecture Series 2017, Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart, Lipa City. 27 August 2017.
  • Lecture, “Martial Law & Historical Revisionism,” PAREF Woodrose School. Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City. 29 August 2017.
  • Lecture, “Championing Truth in the Time of Historical Revisionism,” Miriam College High School Department, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. 25 September 2017.
  • Paper Presenter, “Balangay to Galleon. Philippine Boatbuilding in the Colonial Enterprise,” International Conference on the Galleon, De La Salle University, 16 September 2016.
  • Paper Presenter, “Survival Tales of Lipa, 1945,” Occupation and Liberation, An International Conference on the end of the Pacific War in the Philippines, Asian Center Auditorium. UP Diliman, 3-5September2015.
  • Paper Presenter, “War and Liberation in Lipa: A Backdrop to the Postwar Apparition,” National Conference of the Manila Studies Association, College of St. Benilde,28 August 2015.
  • Lecturer, “The Philippine-Spanish Connection in Philippine Historiography,” Seminar on Enriching the Present by Understanding the Past, National Historical Commission of the Philippines and Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, January 9, 2015.
  • Paper Presenter, “Kasaysayan at Kultura ng Paglalayag sa Wika,” International Conference on Language and Culture, UP Theater, UP Diliman, 20-22 November 2014.
  • Paper Presenter, “Ambag ng ADHIKA sa Historiograpiya ng Katipunan at Himagsikan,” ADHIKA ng Pilipinas Ika-25 na Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Kasaysayan atKalinangan, GSIS Conference Hall, GSIS Building, Pasay City, 28-30 November 2014.
  • Paper Presenter, “Ang Larawan ng Bayani sa mga Kasaysayang Awit ng Pilipinas,” GSIS-DepEd-Metrobank Foundation Conference on Heroism and Pedagogy, GSIS conference hall, GSIS Building, Pasay City, 26-28 September 2014.
  • Paper Presenter, “La Liga and the Katipunan: Translating Brotherhood and the Nation,”
    Alay at Laya: Kumperensiya sa Karangalan nina Andres Bonifacio at Apolinario Mabini sa kanilang Ika-150 Anibersaryo ng Kapanganakan,” National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, 24-25 April 2014.
  • Speaker, “Bishop Alfredo F. Verzosa: A Historical Context of his Contributions to the Growth of the Church in the Philippines (1907-1953),” Annual Convention of the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart (MCSH) congregation, Lipa City,23April 2014.
  • Speaker, “Boats and Boat-building: A Shared Maritime Culture Between Philippines and Indonesia,” Indonesia-Philippines Historical Connectivity during the Sriwijaya Empire, Embasy of Indonesia Forum on The Philippines and Indonesia during the Srivijaya Period, Diamond Hotel, Manila, 22April 2014.
  • Speaker, “Boat Building Tradition in Early Philippine Societies,” First National Conference of the Organization of Area Studies Majors, UP Manila. UP Balay Internasyunal, Diliman,11-12March 2014.
  • Kas 114 Cultural History of the Philippines
  • Kas 119 Indigenous Ethnic History
  • Kas 152 History of Modern South Asia
  • Kas 197 Philippine Historiography
  • Kas 207 Philippine Revolution
  • Kas 210 Problems in the Interpretation of Philippine History
  • Kas 301 Local and Oral History
  • Kas 321 Seminar on Spanish Colonialism in the Philippines
  • Kas 398 Problems in Historiography
  • Kas 330 Kasaysayang Etniko ng Pilipinas
  • Member, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Multi-Sector Governance Council, Department of National Defense, 2014-present.
  • Member, Historical Commission of the Diocese of Dipolog, Investigation on the Life of Fr. Francesco Palliola SJ, proposed for beatification & canonization (2015-2017).
  • Consultant, Historical Commission of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, Investigation on the Life of Bp. Alfredo Verzosa, proposed for beatification & canonization (2013-present).
  • Consultant, The Banaue Rice Terraces research, documentation, and publication project, Universal Harvester Incorporated, Quezon City, August 2016-February 2017.
  • Consultant, Senate Committee on Education on Senate Bill 2474, Mandating the Teaching of Bangsamoro History, Culture and Identity, September 2015.