Renato Constantino (March 10, 1919 – September 15, 1999) was an influential Filipino historian. He was a member of the leftist tradition of Philippine historiography. Apart from being a historian, Constantino was also engaged in foreign service, working for the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and the Department of Foreign Affairs
Education and early career
Constantino attended the University of the Philippines where he become the youngest editor of the University's student publication, The Philippine Collegian. He wrote editorial columns criticizing President Manuel Quezon, which earned the attention of the President by responding to the article in one of his speeches. When the Second World War erupted, Constantino fought in Bataan and was a member of an intelligence team spying on the Japanese. He also worked as a journalist during the war.
At the conclusion of the war, Constantino joined the Philippine Mission to the United Nations from 1946 to 1949 as its Executive Secretary. He worked as a counselor for the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1949 to 1951. These exposures to foreign service became the foundations of a book he wrote about the United Nations.
Constantino held professorial positions at the University of the Philippines (Diliman and Manila), Far Eastern University, Adamson University, and Arellano University. He was also a visiting lecturer in universities in London, Sweden, Japan, Germany, Malaysia and Thailand. He served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Trustee of Focus on the Global South in Bangkok.
He wrote around 30 books and numerous pamphlets and monographs. Among Constantino's well-known books are A Past Revisited and The Continuing Past. He also wrote The Making of a Filipino (a biography of Claro M. Recto), Neo-colonial Identity and Counter-Consciousness, and The Nationalist Alternative. Several of his books have been translated into Japanese and The Nationalist Alternative has a Malaysian translation.
Constantino earned various distinctions for his historical work. He received nationalism awards from Quezon City in 1987, Manila in 1988, The Civil Liberties Union in 1988, and the University of the Philippines Manila in 1989. Constantino was also the Manila's Diwa ng Lahi awardee in 1989. He was conferred the Doctor of Arts and Letters (honoris causa) from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1989 and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the University of the Philippines in 1990.
- The Philippines: A Past Revisited
- Philippines: A Continuing Past
- Excerpts from the Speeches of Claro M. Recto
- Dissent and Counter-consciousness
- Veneration Without Understanding
- The Miseducation of the Filipino