Spain ruled the Philippines for a total of 333 years, starting on the day that European explorer Ferdinand Magellan ‘discovered’ the country in 1521 and ending in 1898 when the American Colonial Era began.
It could not be denied that Spain had a major influence on the Philippines, shaping our language, influencing our customs and behavior, changing our religion, and so much more. There are lots of families with Spanish ancestry, plenty of homes and buildings with Spanish architecture, and lots of various relics from the Spanish era.
But behind these positive influences were the dark atrocities that happened, sometimes behind closed doors but others out in the open – things that people like national hero Jose Rizal rebelled against and got killed for.
Many of these bad things never made it to official history books but when one Spaniard, Johnny Barnreuther, learned about the abuse done by his ancestors in the Philippines in those over 330 years they ruled the country, he researched more about it and was shocked to learn that not one of his country’s leaders ever apologized to Filipinos about it!
He took it upon himself to apologize to Filipinos, in behalf of the people of Spain. If his leaders won’t do it, then he felt that it was his task to do it for the healing of nations – a big responsibility for just one man to carry yet he did it, anyway.
What do you think happened next? Read on to find out…