“The COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Philippine History.”
Ma. Mercedes G. Planta, Ph.D.

Planta, Ma. Mercedes G. 2021. “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Philippine History.”[i] In Borrinaga, Rolando and Bernardita R. Churchill, eds. “History and Historians in Pandemic Times: The Unprecedented Circumstance of COVID-19,” The Journal of History (67): 1–38.


This paper aims to provide a general overview of epidemics/pandemics in Philippine history as an interpretive backdrop to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is undertaken to illustrate that “a study of epidemics/pandemics within their broader cultural, political, scientific, and geographic contexts can offer insights on how diseases are not necessarily functions of pathogens” alone, but also of how society is structured at a particular time.[ii]

[i] Originally read at the Philippine National Historical Society’s “42nd National Conference on Local and National History,” 28 November 2020, via Zoom and originally titled, “Pandemics in historical perspective: A general overview.”]

[ii] Ericka Charters and Richard A. McKay, “The history of science and medicine in the context of COVID-19,” Centaurus 62: 2 (May 2020): 223.