The current theme for submissions over at Crossed Genres is Alternative History–and writers take note, they are not only especially interested in Alternate History stories involving non-Western cultures and civilizations but they are also seeing a drop in submissions for this theme–so it got me thinking: the primordial element in the construction of an alternate history story seems to me to be the isolation of a focal point in the timeline of a people or nation, and speculating how a particular addition or omission might radically alter the course of history. While weighing the possibility of submitting to Crossed Genres, I’ve come up with a list of “what ifs” grounded in turning points in our history, and I thought I’d list them here for purposes of discussion/critique, or in the event that they can aid anyone planning to write an alternate history set in the Philippines; not all are major events in and of themselves, but some of the best stories I’ve read have dealt with the chain reactions caused by a shift in a minor detail.
Note that while I have been trying to brush up on Philippine history, I’m by no means an expert and as such I’m open to suggestions if I missed or mistakenly added anything. Also, I’m limiting these to possibilities that had an actual chance of occurring (rather than any number of way-out alternatives such as “What if the Rice Terraces became sentient during World War II?”) — although of course for purposes of a Spec Fic tale, the reason why events took a different turn may be as fantastical as the writer desires.
- 1400s – What if Muslim missionaries had spread across more of the Philippines, entrenching Islam before the arrival of the Spanish?
- 1500s – What if Portugal had discovered the Philippines?
- 1762 – What if the British had conquered the Philippines?
- 1767 – What if the Jesuits had not been expelled?
- 1887 – What if Noli Me Tangere had been written in Tagalog?
- 1897 – What if Bonifacio had executed Aguinaldo?
- 1898 – What if Aguinaldo had not accepted United States aid?
- 1899 – What if Willy Grayson had not taken that shot?
- 1902 – What if the Philippines had won the Philippine-American War?
- 1941 – What if MacArthur had repulsed the Japanese attack against Clark?
- 1942 – What if Corregidor had never fallen?
- 1945 – What if the Philippines had remained under Japanese occupation?
- 1945 – What if the Philippines had become a state of the United States of America?
- 1946 – What if MacArthur had implemented Japanese-style reforms in the Philippines?
- 1946 – What if Taruc and the other five Democratic Alliance candidates had not been denied their seats in Congress?
- 1950 – What if the Huk had overthrown the national government?
- 1957 – What if Magsaysay’s plane had not crashed?
- 1972 – What if Marcos had never declared Martial Law?
- 1983 – What if Ninoy lived?
[More after the jump/cut]
- 1986 – What if the EDSA Revolution had devolved into a massacre?
- 1990’s – What if the power crisis never abated?
- 1990 – What if Mindanao had seceded?
- 1990 – What if the Baguio earthquake had reached 9.5 on the Richter Scale?
- 1991 – What if Mount Pinatubo had erupted with twice the force?
- 1994 – What if massive oil reserves were found beneath the Spratlys?
- 1995 – What if China had invaded and occupied the Philippines, in response to the Spratly stand-off?
- 1995 – What if Pope John Paul II had been assassinated during World Youth Day?
- 2001 – What if the second envelope had been opened during Estrada’s impeachment?
- 2001 – What if the Estrada loyalists had successfully stormed the palace during Edsa III?
- 2005 – What if Meningococcal meningitis had become a pandemic?
That’s about all I can think of off-hand.