Ex-NHCP chairperson Samuel Tan dies at 88


Posted at Jan 07 2022 05:03 PM

Photo from National Historical Commission of the Philippines' Facebook page
Photo from National Historical Commission of the Philippines' Facebook page

MANILA -- Former chairperson and executive director of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Samuel Tan passed away on Thursday, the government agency announced. He was 88.

The NHCP released a statement Friday to express its condolences to the family and colleagues of Tan, who served as the chief of National Historical Institute, former name of NHCP, from 1997 to 1999. 

Under his leadership, Tan “enriched the curatorial content of the Museum of Philippine History” which was opened in 1995 at the ground floor of the NHI Building in Ermita, Manila.

This has evolved and moved into NHCP’s Museo ng Kasaysayang Pampulitika ng Pilipinas in Casa Real Shrine, Malolos, Bulacan.


Tan, who was born in Siasi, Sulu in 1933, was also the first Tausug-Sama of Chinese-Filipino descent to head the agency, according to the statement.

He is also known to be an advocate of “a multicultural Philippine history and the appraisal of the marginalized in the national history discourse.”

Tan also backed many local history conferences and publications conducted throughout the country by the Philippine National Historical Society and the Philippine Historical Association in 1998. 

Aside from serving the NHCP, he also acted as the commissioner of the National Centennial Commission and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Before serving the institute, Tan was the chairperson of the University of the Philippines Department of History where he was also a faculty member. 

He also published several books including “A History of the Philippines (1987/1997)”; “Decolonization and Filipino Muslim Identity (1989)”; “The Critical Decade, 1921-1930 (1993)”; and “The Filipino-American War, 1899-1913 (2002).”