The Foreign Service Institute recently hosted the Mabini Dialogue “Toward a Diplomatic History of the Philippines” at the Benedicto Room of the Carlos P. Romulo Library, DFA, on 14 June 2016. Mr. Carlo L. Santiago, a former researcher for the Center of International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS), was guest speaker.
In his presentation, Mr. Santiago discussed the essentials in understanding Philippine diplomatic history. He said that diplomatic history is a discipline where historians and practitioners of diplomacy converge. Mr. Santiago shared accounts of the earliest Filipino diplomats such as Leon Ma. Guerrero, Renato Constantino, and Mauro Mendez and discussed their roles in shaping Philippine diplomatic history.
Mr. Santiago also gave suggestions and recommendations on how to incorporate a diplomatic history program in FSI. He proposed that original documents and Post and annual reports and other materials be digitized and that an open archival information system be created to make these accessible to researchers. All these will be needed in helping the stakeholders better understand the nature of Philippine diplomatic history.
During the open forum, Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo, Dean of the Helena Z. Benitez School of International Relations and Diplomacy at the Philippine Women’s University, shared anecdotes about her experiences as a former diplomat and commended Mr. Santiago for his initiative in conducting research on Philippine diplomatic history.