The Geological Foundation and the Beginnings of the Filipino by yBZA0sm

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									 The Geological Foundation and the Beginnings of the Filipino
   Society and Culture During the Pre-Spanish Period in the

      The beginnings of the Filipino society and culture can be viewed
from the geological and paleontological studies conducted by Jocano
in his book Philippines Pre- History: An Anthropological overview of
the Beginnings of the Filipino Society and           Culture provided
comprehensive discussion along these areas. He viewed that tracing
the emergence of man and the development of his culture in the
Philippines is a complex task.It requires an inter-disciplinary
approach. That is, data from disciplines other than archaeology are
also important in shedding light on the intricate problem of
reconstructing pre-historic lifeways. Furthermore, he mentioned that
prehistoric cultures were as much products adaptation to specific
ecological niches as contemporary cultures are. This eventually led
the structuring of the Filipino society and culture until finally made
contacts with the Asian neighbors. The natural setting he presented
also provided a comprehensive background about the geological
foundation of the Philippines.1

The Comparative Geologic Time Scale in the Study of Geological
Foundation of the Philippines

   1. Archeozoic Period ( 1,500- 925 million years) – First traces of life
   2. Proterozoic Period ( 925-570 million years)-Few simple life forms.
   3. Paleozoic Period ( 570-225 milion years)
        3.1 Cambrian ( 570-500 million years) - First abundant record
            of marine life.
        3.2 Ordovician(500- 440 million years)- First fishes;
            invertebrates dominant
        3.3 Silurian ( 440 – 395 million years) –First terrestrial plants
            and animals.
        3.4 Devonian ( 395-345 million years) – First amphibians; fish
        3.5 Carboniferous ( 345 – 280 million years)
              3.5.1 Mississipian ( 345-320 million years) –Sharks and
                    amphibians abundant; large scale trees and ferns.
              3.5.2 Pennsylvanian (320-280 million years) – Great coal
                    forests; conifers first reptiles.
        3.6 Permian ( 280-225 million years) – Extinction of many kinds
            of marine animals.
   4. Mesozoic Period
        4.1 Triassic ( 225-190 million years) – First dinossaurs;
            abundant conifers.
        4.2 Jurassic( 190-136 million years) – Fist birds, first
            mammals; dinossaurs abundant.
        4.3 Cretaceous ( 136-53 million years)
              4.3.1 Lower Cretaceous ( 136-110 million years) – First
                    flowering plants; climax of dinosaurs.
              4.3.2 Upper Cretaceous ( 110- 85 million years) – First
                    placental mammals
              4.3.3 Maestrichian (100- 65 million years ) First Primates
              4.3.4 Paleocene ( 65-53 million years) Diversified hoofed
   5. Cenozoic Period
        5.1 Tertiary ( 53 – 2 million years)
              5.1.1 Eocene ( 53 –37 million years) – many modern types
                    of mammals
              5.1.2 Oligocene ( 37- 26 million years)- Large running
              5.1.3 Miocene ( 26-7 million years) First abundant grazing
              5.1.4 Pliocene ( 7-2 million years) Large carnivoress
   6. Pleistocene Period ( 500,000-9,000 years)
        6.1 Lower Pleistocene( 2 million –500,000 years )
              6.1.1 Villa Franchian ( Europe/ North America)
              6.1.2 Gunz Glacial ( Europe)/ Jerseyan Glacial ( North
              6.1.3 First Interglacial
              6.1.4 Kanjeran Pluvial – for South and East Africa
        6.2 Middle Pleistocene (500,000-105,000 years)
              6.2.1 Mindel Glacial ( Europe) Kansan Glacial( North
                    America) Interpluvial/ Kamasian Interfluvial for
                    South and East Africa)
              6.2.2 Second Interglacial
              6.2.3 Riss Glacial ( Europe)/ Illinoian- Iowan Glacial (
                    North America) Interpluvial for South and East
        6.3 Upper Pleistocene ( 105,000 – 9.000 years)
              6.3.1 Third Interglacial
              6.3.2 Wurm Glacial for Europe and North America
              6.3.3 Gamblian Pluvial for South and East Africa
        6.4 Holocene ( 9,000 years and below)
              6.4.1 Post Glacial for Europe and North America
              6.4.2 Postpluvial for South and East Africa

   The overview of the geological and paleontological studies
presented by Jocano       in relation to the geologic time scale as
presented in natural science to identify the era and epoch of
development specifically on the land formation until finally to the
migration and the structuring of Filipino. Geological and
paleontological studies suggest that living things appeared on earth as
early as 1,500 million years ago, during the era known in geology as
Archeozoic period. This was followed by Proterozoic Period, the time
when early life forms abounded on earth. The Proteozoic , as is known
today, is estimated to have extended from 925 to 505 million
years.Other scientists have lumped all of these eras in geological
history into one generalized time-scale as preCambiran.The most
important materials on the evolution of man and his culture are found
in the Cenozoic era or the age of more advanced forms of animals.2

       The Tertiary is the period in the geological history of the earth
   when mammals, including primates became dominant. The two
   major events in the tertiary periods.

         a) The earth surface underwent tremendous changes known
            to geologists as land uplift.
         b) Land uplift was brought about radical changes in climatic
            and other ecological conditions favorable to mammalian

       According to Jagor before the Tertiary uplift most of such
Asiatic areas as the Iranian plateau, Turkestan, Indian subcontinent,
and Tibet were submerged under a sea known geologically as the
Tethys sea. When the great uplift occurred as a result of such
phenomena as volcanic eruptions and faulting due to crustal
deformation, this ancient sea receded and shrank in size, part of
which is now known as the Mediterranean. The scope of the
movement of land in Asia is well – documented by the Eocene
sediments of the tethys sea found about 20,000 feet above sea level in
Tibet. One can form a good mental image of the world-wide elevation
of the land that resulted form this massive uplift by referring to the
present heights of the Alps, the Rockies, Andes, and the Everest
mountain ranges. The high mountain ranges were formed during the

Basic Land Formation and Structure in the Philippines

      Geologically, it was during the tertiary period that basic land
structure of the Phillippines was defined, especially during the Eocene
and Oligocene periods. Some scientists suggest that it was at the
terminals period of the mesozoic. This suggestion is based on the
presence of cherts and slates in many parts of the archipelago which
contian unicellular forms belonging to the radiolarian fauna, which
appeared probably during the Jurassic, middle Mesozoic Age.4
Basically, the framework of the Philippines was the same as it appears
today, with slight modification as readjustment of island forms
occurred in various phases of their geologic evolution. The causes of
these readjustments are many; the best known are faulting and
folding of the earth’s crust, volcanic activities and erosion.5
      The probable connection of the Philippines with Taiwan was
presented as to the similar basement rock deposits, some fossil-
bearing guide markers as various horizons and paleobotanical
materials on floral affinities that appeared during the early tertiary
period. Specifically, Jocano explained this probable connection of the
Philippines in the following: 6

   1.     Sedimentary deposits containing species of Viscarya callosa
        Jenkins and Lepido cyclina which can be encountered in the
        Philippines can also be encountered in Formosa. These materials
        could have not been transported at great distance , which fact
        attests to the existence of a land connection. This is reinforced by
        similar species of pine trees found in the highlands of Central
        Cordillera in Luzon.

   2. Although the Formosan “bridge” was totally lost about the middle
      of the Tertiary, the southern links of the archipelago with other
      areas remained. These links were neither continuous nor direct
      stretches of land ;at most, they were a series of isthmuses, cut
      through by shallow waters.The western connection, particularly
      the one which linked Palwana to Borneo become dry land during
      the Pleistocene which followed the Pliocene period. The eastern
      connection which linked eastern Mindanao to northern Celebes
      and New Guinea remained as series of islet.

  3. As the connection with other areas changed the internal structure
     of the archipelago also underwent changes. During the Pliocene,
     extensive coral reefs and their associated marls and sandstones
     were laid. Geologists refer to this time scale as the period of
     subsidence. It was characterized by the flattening of the crustal
     surface of the existing higher grounds.The greater part of the
     archipelago was covered by water. The central plains of Luzon,
     Cagayan Valley, and the central region of Mindanao, which were
     lowlands, became completely submerged until the Pleistocene

   4.     Small islands and narrow strips of land masses started to
        appear in other parts of the country. Land above the sea at this
        time included that of eastern Davao, Samar, Leyte, and the
        eastern coast of Luzon ( starting from Bundoc Peninsula), the Sulu
        archipelago, the portion of Westen Zamboanga, western Panay,
        Tablas and Masbate. These were all narrow strips of coral
        reefs,as were the eastern Zambales part of the Lingayen area
        and the northern ilocos coast.

   5.      Asia, the exposed shelf known as the Sunda became vast
        dryland of considerable importance. It covered an area of
        1,800,000 square kilometers and extended from the Malay
        peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, to Palawan. On the Australian
      side, the continental bank known as Sahul was also exposed. It
      covered the islands of New Guinea, part of Celebes, and the
      outlying groups close to Timor Islands.

Waves of Migration in the Philippines

       The most widely known version of the peopling of the
Philippines during the prehistoric times is the theory of Prof. H. Otley
Meyer. The theories of Prof. Beyer about Philippine prehistory on the
waves of migration are now under attack by the new breeds of
historians and anthropologists. Indeed the migration of ancient
Filipinos cannot now be held tenable due to many questions about the
manner in which this theory was postulated, and the be archeological
evidence which challenge many of Dr. Beyer’s hypotheses . These are
presented below on the ancestors of the Filipinos came in different”
waves of migration.7

   1) The Cave-man ”Dawn Man” Group

          This type was similar to the Java Man, Peking Man, and other
      Asian homo sapiens of 250,000 years ago. Beyer called the first
      Filipino the “ Dawn Man,” for he appeared at the dawn time. It is
      claimed that he reached the Philippines through land bridges.

         a) Thickly haired and brawny had no knowledge in
         b) He lived by means of gathering wild plants, by fishing and
         c) Hunting, for that time many Pleistocene animals such as
            boars, deer, rhinoceros, small and giant elephants.

   2) Negritos Group

              The aboriginal pygmy group, who came between 25,0000
   and 30,000 years ago. Again they walked across the land bridges
   from the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and the Australian connection.
   Hence they looked like the aborigines. After their arrival, the land
   bridges became submerged under the seas, and the Negritos lived
   permanently in the archipelago and became its first settlers. They
   are also known as Aeta, Ati or Ita.The negritos are among the
   smallest people on earth. They are usually 5 feet tall, with black
   skin, dark kinky hair, round eyes,a nd flat noses. The Aetas are
   primitive people with culture belonging to the Old Stone Age.
   ( Paleolitic)

            a) They had no permanent dwelling but wandered in the
               forests, living by hunting, fishing, and foraging for wild
            b) Their homes consisted of temporary sheds made of tree
               branches and jungle leaves.
            c) They wore little clothing.
            d) They had no community life and only practiced the
               crudest religion, with a belief in charms, amulets,
               fetishes, or even animal and human sacrifices.
            e) They were among the world’s best archers and

   3. Indonesion Group

   These were the maritime Indonesians, who belonged to the
Mongoloid race with Caucasian feature, who came about 5,000 -6,00
years ago. They were the first immigrants to reach the Philippines by
sea. They were tall, with height ranging from 5’6” to 6’2”.According to
Beyer, the Indonesian came in two waves of migration, with type “A”
arriving about 3,000 to 4,000 BC and the second about 1,500 to 500

    3.1 Indonesian” A” was tall and slender with light complexion, thin
lips and high aquiline nose

    3.2 Indonesian “B” was shorter, with bulky body, dark complexion,
thick lips, and large nose.

   It is said that the descendants of the Indonesians are the terrace-
building tribes of Northern Luzon ( Ifugao), and also Igorots, Apayaos,
Gaddangs, Kanlinga and Ibanags; the Mangyans of Mindoro; the
Tagbanuas of Palawan; and the Bagobos, Bilaans, Bukidnons,
Manobos, Mandaya, Subanuns, Tirurays, and other tribes of Mindanao.

      a) They brought a more advanced culture than the Negritos, for
         they belonged to the New Stone ( Neolithic) Age, and they
         displaced the Negritos who moved to the mountains.
      b) They had permanent dwellings, wore clothing and personal
         ornaments, and knew agriculture, mining and copper tools

   4. Malay Group

       The Malays migrated from 300 BC to as late as the 14 th and 15th
   centuries AD.There were several waves of Malay migration to these
   islands: (1) The first group representing the Bontoks, Ilongots and
   Tinggian of Northern Luzon,;(2) The second group representing the
   alphabet-using Malays who became the Tagalogs, Bicolanos,
   Pampangenous, Visayans and other Christian Filipinos; and (3) The
   Third group      representing     the Muslim Malays who were
   descendants of the present day Muslim
           a) The seafaring, more civilized Malays who brought the Iron
              Age culture and introduced new industries like iron metal-
              smithing, pottery-making, cloth-weaving by loom and
              jewelry making.
           b) They were the real colonizers and dominant cultural group
              in prehispanic Philippines.
           c) They had organized settlements and better weapons,
              clothes and ornaments than the two previous groups.

         The presentation of the waves of migration was further
      provided by Beyer Table of Philippine Ancestry in its result of
      population in 1942.8

      A. Primitive Types ( Land- Migrating)

 1. Australoid -Sakai ¾ percent : Paleolithic
2. Negrito – ¾ percent Paleolithic
3. Proto-Malay ( or short Mongoloid) 9 ¼ Mesolithic
              Total Population…….1,750,000 ( 10 percent)
4. Indonesian A – 12 percent
5.Indonesian B – 17 percent
6. Papuan ( or Melanesoid) – 1 percent
       Total Population…….5,250,000 ( 30 percent)

          B. Early Iron Age Type ( Sea-migrating)

7. Northern Malay – 6 Percent: (Copper -                   Bronze   Age)
8. Southern Malay – 30 percent ( True Iron Age)
9. Jar- burial People – 4 percent ( Proto- Chinese)
             Total Population….. 7,000,000 ( 40 percent)

     C.Historic or Proto-historic Type ( Ship-Migrating)

   10.   Hindu ( Indian) – 5 percent
   11.   Arab ( or Persian) – 2 percent
   12.   Chinese ( and other East-Asians) – 10 percent
   13.   European and American – 3 percent
              Total Population …. 3,500,000

      However popular and systematic may be this “migration theory
unfortunately it must now be dismissed, because there is on definite
evidence- archeological or historical evidence- to support it. On the
contrary, there are sufficient evidence for doubting it, as presented by
Dr. Sonia Zaide in her book,The Philippines: A Unique Nation.9

           (1) Prof. Beyer used the 19th century scientific methods of
               progressive evolution and migratory diffusion as the basis
               for his hypothesis, which have now been proven to be too
   simple and unreliable to explain the prehistoric peopling of
   the Philippines.

(2) The empirical archeological data for this theory was based
    on surface finds and mere conjecture, with a lot of
    imagination and unproven data included. For example,
    there is no relic of the so-called “ Dawn Man,” so how could
    have existed? Beyer differentiates two types of Indonesian
    immigrants, describing them in vivid details as to include
    fair complexion, thin lips, aquiline, nose, etc. Again, there
    are no skeletal remains to prove this theory, and even if
    there were, the “ thinness of lips” can never be determined.
    Beyer also postulated that about 12 percent of the
    contemporary 20th century Filipinos descended from the
    Indonesian “ A” group and 3 percent from the “ B” group.

(3) New findings contradict the waves of migration theory and
    the existence of the “ Dawn Man” as the first Filipino. We
    have no evidence of there having been a “ Dawn Man,”
    who came to the Philippines about 250,000 years ago. Until
    today his skeletal remains or artifacts have not been
    discovered. So far the oldest human fossil found in the
    Philippines is the skull cap of a Stone_Age Filipino, about
    22,000 years ago. This human relic was found by Dr.
    Robert B. Fow, American anthropologist of the National
    Musuem, inside Tabon Cave, in Palawan, on May 28,
    1962. Hence the first Filipino may really be the “Tabon
    Man” or the “ Palawan Man:”

(4) Undue credit is given to the Malays as the original settlers
    of the lowland regions and the dominant cultural
    transmitter. The migration theory may be nice story,
    especially when it seems supported by some legends as
    the Ten Bornean Datus but            in reality, the Malays,
    Indonesians, and Filipinos are co-equal ethnic groups in
    Southeast Asia, without being racially or culturally
    dominant. It was the Western colonizers who divided the
    Asian population into ethnic groups. In scholarship, the
    British popularized the term “ Malay” to mean the group of
    people whom hey encountered in the Malay Peninsula. The
    Portuguese, Germans, and the Dutch introduced the term “
    Indonesians” for their colonials. Finally, the Spaniards and
    the Americans differentiated the Filipinos from their
    Southeast Asian cousins. In reality, we are one race with
    many shared customs and traditions. Thus, the migration
    theory is a figment of the colonial imagination.
         (5) Finally, the migration theory does not agree with the real
             character of Filipinos, who are adaptive and highly creative
             people, because it suggests that we were only passive
             receptors of outside cultures. The migration theory shows a
             people whose total culture seems to have been “ imported”
             from outside, and each group maintained a more or less
             distinct personality form the other groups. The truth is that,
             although there are variations due to the islands’
             geography, ancient peoples in the Philippines held many
             things in common and inter-acted dynamically.

       There were interesting findings of Prof. Landa F. Jocano as to
the prehistory studies of the fossil evidence of the early men in
Southeast Asia including the peopling of the Philippines that Filipinos
are Malays or that Filipino culture is derived from the Malays is to
create a myth of origin which has no basis in fact. It is doubtful
whether once can safely recognize Malay characteristics in the Java,
Solo, Wadjak, Niah and Tabon fossil men – a population so
widespread in the area prior to any prehistoric or proto-historic
movement of people. In addition, influences of external cultures and
local responses to them show recognizable differences during historic
times, even if there was a common prehistoric culture which linked
these ethnic groups. 10

Fossil Evidence of Early Men in Southeast Asia including the
Peopling of the Philippines 11

   1. Java – the oldest human fossils found in Island Southeast Asia
    come from the central region of Java, particularly in sites close to
    the Solo and Brantas rivers. Credit goes to Eugene Dubois, a Dutch
    geologist, for having discovered the first relic of the ancient
    Javanese in 1891.Technically, the Java men ( i.e the Djetis and the
    Trinil specimens) are known as Pithecanthropus erectus or “ erect
    ape-men.”The term accepted was            accepted by the other
    paleontologists with additional subspecific labels, javanesis and
    pekinensis, in order to indicate the place where they were
    recovered. As to the comparative physical features on the cranial
    capacity the Java men had 900 cubic centimeters and 1,075 cubic
    centimers of the peking men. Today, most scientists refer to the
    Homo erectus group as the pithecanthropines.

   2.Solo and Wadjak- the Solo finds are advanced enough to be
    classified with modern men, they show some skeletal
    characteristics of earlier forms. They possessed large brow ridges,
    sloping foreheads and thick skulls .According to J.B Birdsell the
    men of Solo can be judged to be evolved descendants of the
    pihthcanthropines found in the earliest deposits of Java and
    China.The other advanced form of early men found in Java is
    known as the Wadjak men, named after the site where the fossil
    remains were recovered.The skulls of this type of humans were
    discovered by Eugene Dubois in 1891 were not reported until
    1920. Physically, Wadjak men appear to be more advanced than
    Solo.The cranial capacity, as suggested by the size of the skull, is
    1,500 cubic centimeters for Wadjak I and 1,600 cubic centimeters
    for Wadjak II. This grow in cranial capacity show advances in the
    evolution of man’s ability to handle growing complexity of his
    adaptation to the environment.The fossils of the Wadjak were also
    taken form Oceania, New Guinea, and Austalia

   3. Niah – In 1958, while digging inside the huge Niah Cave in
    Sarawak, Borneo, Tom Harrison and his associates recovered a
    skull of a young individual probably 15 to 17 years old. The date
    by carbon-14 for the stratigraphic layer from where it was
    excavated is 40,000 BP.It has a receding forehead,shallow palate,
    rounded skull side bones, and a fairly deep nasal root. It shows
    certain morphological resemblance with earlier specimen of Java
    and also with the modern population of Southeast Asia, suggesting
    some continuity in the evolution of men in the region.

   4. Tabon- The discovery of fragments of hominid skull in Tabon cave
    in Palawan, Philippines in 1962 by Robert B./ Fox and his
    associates working for the National Museum of the Philippines,
    documents further the existence of man in the region during the
    Pleistocene period.

      The fossil evidence suggests that the people in Island Southeast
Asia – Indonesians, Malays, and Filipinos- are the products of both
the long process of human evolution and the latter events of
movements of people. They stand co-equal as ethnic groups, without
any one being dominant group, racially or culturally.

   Pre-Spanish Period: The Structuring of Filipino Society and
                           Culture 12

       Jocano (1973) identified 3 structures in the development of
Filipino Society and culture namely: (1) Formative Period - the stone
tradition;(2) Incipient Period – pottery and metal traditions; and(3) The
Emergent Period- Contacts with Other Asians.

I. Formative Period: The Stone Traditions

      This is the earliest period in the development of Philippine
society and culture which refers to the level of technological
development during which a discernible pattern of cultural adaptation
to post-Pleistocene environment began to take shake. There were two
main trends in the development during this period:
      a) The stone-tool technology characterized by roughly-made
         ,unpolished, and more generalized ( i.e. multi-purpose)
         implements.This refers to the” Old Stone Age”. This may be
         viewed as human activities associated with manufacture of
         tool types than in terms of shapes and sizes of tools.

       b) A later technological development characterized by highly
         developed. Polished, and more specialized tools. This refers to
         the “ New Stone Age”. Our prehistoric ancestors, in response
         to the demands of precarious living in a post-pleistocene
         environment fashioned more implements than what thet
         already possesed.Instead of fracturing large nodules for tools,
         the people during this time achieved a method of cutting
         stones, generally river pebbles, to a desired shape. The
         implements were carefully grounded,pecked, rubbed, and
         polished. Through this process, they developed a more
         effective technology.

      b) Pottery traditions. The appearance of pottery during the New
         Stone Age ushered in more changes in the lives of ancient
         Filipinos.Pottery is possible only through kilning, and implies
         that fire must have been put into full use in pottery-making.
         The use of fire and pottery meant radical changes in the
         lifestlyles of the people, particularly their diet. It is possible to
         infer that they learned to broil and boil their food instead of
         eating them raw.In the process, new cultural preferences,
         attitudes, and beliefs could have also been developed and
         practised. Social behavior became more complex.

2. Incipient Period: Pottery and Metal Traditions

       This period was beginning of the general levelling off of local and
regional socio-cultural differences and an uneven breakdown of
isolation the throughout the archipelago. The widespread distribution
of similarity fashioned tools and other cultural artifacts throughout
the archipelago attests to this qualitatively distinct configuration of
culture.There were two important technological traditions:

         2.1 Metal Tradition. A new system of handling the raw
          materials had to be devised once it was discovered that
          these could be fashioned into tools more effective than
          stones.The only way to achieve this was smelting.

                  2.1.1 Early Metal Age. The initial appearance of
                     metal and its utilization as implements for food
                     production and for protection.The tools as this stage
                     were crudely manufactured . The phases was brief,
                     in fact so brief, that scholars call it the transitional
                     phase between stone and metal implements.
                 2.1.2 Developed Metal Age.It was characterized by
                    the predominant use of iron as the materials for
                    tools.Other metals like gold, copper, and bronze
                    were used primarily for ornaments and ritual

          2.2 Pottery Tradition.Pottery-making highlighted , in many
          ways, the creative genius of ancient Filipinos. It enabled
          them to develop a radically efficient technology and to find a
          medium to express their artistic potentials.Prehistoric pottery
          reveals the combination of human impulses to meet adaptive
          needs and to give meaning to human tendencies for aesthetic

3. The Emergent Period: Contacts with Other Asians

       By emergent is meant the appearance of a definable Filipino
social organization    ( political, economic, religious, and so forth) and
patterns of cultural behavior.The following features of emergent period
identified by Jocano (1973) in this period:

     3.2 The major impetus for this dramatic event was the
         development of a relatively efficient maritime transportation.
         Traders from other parts of Asia like India and the MIddle
         East came to do business with local entrepreneurs.In turn,
         local merchants followed the maritime trade routes of these
         foreigners. This led to the intensification of inter-island
         contacts and commerce.The result of thses series of events
         was the transformation of small villages of slash-and-burn
         agriculturists into commercial centers with big population of

     3.1 Community life throughout the archipelago was dominantly
         founded on extensive trade and by increasing specialization in
         craftmanship as technology became more complex. Along side
         with these economic development cultural homogeneity among
         the people from north to south emerged.

   3.2       Filipino society showed homogeneity in cultural
      orientationit remained politically fragmented. Each community its
      political independence.Leadership was laergely based on kinship
      and the leaders were usually the older and able members of the
      kin group.

    The emergent period also identified the contacts with other Asians
and other neighboring groups particularly the Indian-Indonesian
Contacts ,Chinese and Arab Traders.It must be noted that the contact
of the Asian neighbors were concentrated on commerce and trade that
eventually influence the development        of   culture   in   the   early
communities in the Philippines.

A. Indian- Indonesian and Malayan Contacts

     Indian-indonesian of the great traditions believed to
have extended broad cultural influence in Southeast Asia, including
Philippines , was India.Jocano(1973) explained that Indian influence
filtered into the Philippines only indirectly. However, the Indian
contact may have been connected with the following generalizations
about historical facts in this period:

       The Philippines is geographically outside the direct line of early
commerce between India and the rest of Asia and Southeat
Asia.Moreover, the island world of Indonesia with Sumatra and Java
controlling the traffic of trade, functioned as a sieve to whatever
influence ( cultural, social and commercial) India might have had to
offer beyond the Indonesian archipelago). As Rasul ( 1979) pointed out
that the advent of Islam the first wave to come in contact with these
early practices were the Indian, Chinese, and primitive Arab cultures.
The neighboring Sumatran, Javanese, and Malayan cultural strain
combined to form the cultural world of the Philippines at the time
Islam was introduced.

      One theory holds that Indian influences reached the Philippines
from the Pallava kingdom in Southern India through the Srivijayan,
Madjapahit, and Macaccan empires. When islamic principalities were
established in the South Asian region beginning 1214, these areas
again served as the bridges for proselyting Islam. Of course Islam did
not escape local Indian influences as it traveled to the Southern
Philippines through this route. 13

There were two powerful empires that dominated the commercial and
political power in Indonesia:

        1. Srivijayan Empire. By the end of the 7 th century AD,
           Srivijaya was unquestionably the foremost commercial
           power relations with India and china, and later with the
           peoples of the Middle East were regulated in terms of
           volume     and    products    sold   or    exchanged.In    7th
           century,Srivijaya became the center of Mahayana Buddhism
           and it remained to be so until its decline towards the end of
           the 8th century. The Philippines was also in contact with this
           empire mainly commercial in nature which started an
           exchange of cultural ideas that might influence communities
           in the Philippines.
        2.   Madjapahit Empire. Philippine-      Indonesian relations
         during this period became intensified and the indian cultural
         influences reached the Philippines through Indonesia.

B. Chinese Traders

      The Chinese Traders were able to reach the Philippines during
the Ta’ng Dynasty ( 619-906 AD);Sung Dynasty ( 960-1279 AD); Yuan
and Ming Dynasty ( 1260-1364) which was identified by Jocano (
1973) that the Chinese were among the early group of Asian traders
who had contacts with our ancestors and who contributed to the
enrichment of ancient culture even up to contemporary times.

  1. The appearance of T’ang wares in the archipelago,as well as in
     Bornean indicates extensive contacts between the Chinese and
     the peoples of Southeast Asia as early as the 9 th century.Beyer
     states that the Ta’ng wares were brought to the Philippines by
     Arab traders, who at the time carried a very flourishing business
     with the Chinese.There are several archaeological sites
     throughout the country which yielded T’ang items: Babuyan
     islands, Ilocos and Pangasinan coasts, Manila and the
     neighboring area ; Mindoro, Bohol, and Cebu in the Bisayas; and
     Jolo and Cagayan de Sulu in the south. Jocano identified that
     most of these sites are located close to the coast or near the
     riverbanks, indicating the configuration of settlements along
     areas where community life could be sustained through trade.
  2. A comparative analysis of archaelogical materials recovered from
     various parts of the country suggest the nature of trading
     activities pursued by early Filipinos with Sung merchants as well
     as generally with other foreign traders.
          2.1 The trade was carried out wholesale. The items were
              loaded in junks which were easily from one coastal
              community to another.
          2.2 Internal trade, particularly with those communities which
              were outside the direct line of commerce, followed the
              initial wholesale deals.Even today such activities are
              carried out in exactly the same way. Thus ,it is
              interesting to note that many contemporary cultural
              groups in remote mountain and coastal areas still
              possess magnificent Sung pieces, mostly jars, which they
              use for ritual purposes.
          2.3 Aside from porcelain, the Sung merchants also traded
              with the ancient Filipinos non-ceramic items such as
              mirrors, scales, coins, jade, projectile and so forth. Many
              of these items have been recovered in Sung sites.
          2.4 The quality of porcelain wares brought in by the Sung
              traders were of superior quality than those reaching
              during the later dynastic periods, starting with the Yuan
              and Ming times.
        2.5 It was during the Sung period that big jars were brought
            into the Philippines. These jars were later used as burial
            coffins and part of the paraphernalia used during
            magico-religious ceremonies, apractice which continues to
            be dominant among the contemporary mountain peoples
            in different parts of the country.

 3. With the donwfall of the Sung emperors, the Yuan leaders took
  over the dynastic control. It was a short-lived rule, however,
  lasting only 86 years. During this time, Yuan potter exported a
  tremendous number of porcelain wares.

The Advent of Islam and Arab Traders in the Philippines

    The Arabs came       in the Philippines to trade then to do
missionary work and finally, to establish a political foothold in the
archipelago.Jocano expounded that the Arab Traders had a more
direct intrusion into the Philippines by the Arab traders began in
the 9th century, after they were prevented from entering South
china seaports by the authorities of the T’ang Dynasty. This
difficulty made them turn to neighboring places. The most
convenient port of call in entering the region of Island Southeast
was Kalah in Malaya. From here, the traders expanded their
activities to other products which commanded high prices in the
Middle East markets.

   Historically, the islamization of the Philippines started during
the time of Sharif Makdum who came in Sulu about 1380 as a
Muslim missionary from Mallacca where he propagated Islam.
Later about 1390, Raha Baginda carried on Makdum’s work which
was followed by Abuk Bakr where he married Princess Paramisuli.
This was the daughter of Raja Baginda who founded the Sulu
sultante in 1450.

    The introduction of Islam is best explained by the various stages
of Islamization in the Southern part of the Philippines through the
work of Rasul (1979) which necessitates further research, for
serious study on the account of Makdum shows that the ‘ Seven
Brothers” reportedly responsible for the introduction of Islam in the

   1.   The first Muslims to visit the Philippines South were the
        ninth century Arab traders bound for china to get products
        in Formosa needed in Arabia. Since they could not go
        directly to China from Arabia due to the Chinese Prohibition
        Act of 878 A.D. their successors, the Gujerat zealots,
        continued convering the natives to Islam.
   2.   Beginning in 1214, Muslim principalities were established in
        early Malaysia including the Philippines. When the
           Spaniards arrived in Manila 1571, that muslim principally
           was under Raja Ahmad, whose ancestors came from Brunei
           sometime in 1258. The inhabitants of the Manila area were
           mostly Muslims. The inhabitants of Cavite, Batangas,
           Tarlac, and Pampanga at the time also showed such
           marked Muslim influences as the avoidance of eating pork
           and drinking hard liquor, the performance of prayer rituals,
           and other Muslim practices.

                        Arab Makdumin ( sg. Makdum) or missionaries
            were among the first to propagate Islam in the tenth
            century.But prior to then came three “ brothers,” siad to be
            sons of Sultan Jainal Abirin of Johore.They were Ahmad
            Timhar, Alaw Balbaki, and Kabungsuhan. Ahmad went to
            Sulu, Alawi to Tawi-Tawi, and Kabungsuhan to Mindanao (
            perhaps Magindanao, in present-day Cotabato)

                        The arrival of the famous Arab traveler Ibn
            Batuta at Tawi-Tawi in the twelfth century, followed by
            Karimul Makdum some time in 1380 , undoubtedly shows
            that Islam came to the Philippines slowly and gradually
            through traders, adventurers and missionaries from the 9 th
            and 15th centuries.

      3.      The advent of Islam in the Philippines was thus part of a
            gradual process in the context of Indo-Malaysian
            Islamization lasting from the 9th to the 15th centuries. No
            single figure, such as Makdum, can thus be given the
            exclusive honor of having introduced Islam in the

      The Early Filipino Culture, Society and Community 14

       The ancient Filipinos were living in big settlement clustered
along sheltered bays, coastal areas and mouths of big rivers.In the
interior, the settlement were located at the headwaters and banks of
big rivers and their tributaries. These villages were of various sizes,
ranging from 50 to 2,000 people.(Loarca, 1582)The lineal arrangement
was characterized by houses constructed close to each other in a
single file, along the river banks or along seashore. Economic needs
appear to be the most important motivating reason underlying this
residential pattern. The sea, river. Lake and stream were, as they still
are today major sources of protein food such as fish, shrimps,edible
shells, eels and others. The ease of transportation in the coastal and
riverine areas also favored this type of settlement. The river and the
sea provided the people with the most convenient and effective means
of travel.In the interior, the movement of people and goods was up and
down big river systems . Even trails were often blazed along river-
banks, following the course of the water. Hauling was done by sleds,
the wheeled-vehicle being a late development. In the coast, water such
as outriggers, biniray,paraos and others provided the most common
and effective means of transportation. 15

    The Historical Events of the Philippine Island written by Morga (
1609) and annotated by Jose           Rizal provided a comprehensive
discussions as to the political, social, cultural and economic activities
of the early Filipino society. 16

The Culture and Traditions of the Filipino Society27

    The discussions of the culture, tradition and the Filipino society
during the Pre-Spanish Period that was presented by Morga ( 1609)
on his book The Historical Events of the Philippine Island annotated
by Jose Rizal provides us an interesting primary insights as to the
genuine identity of the Filipinos. Let the student of history reflect their
identity that had been throughout the colonial history of the
Philippines guided by the insights and thought of Jose Rizal when he
annotated this book. . It is interesting to note that the intangible
characters of the Filipinos are well reflected during the Pre-Spanish

A. Cultural Practices and Early Life of the Filipinos

1. Personal Hygiene and Bathing

       Both men and women ,particularly the prominent people, were
very clean and neat in their persons, and dress gracefully, and were of
good demeanor. They dyed their hair and pride themselves with
keeping it quite black.They shampooed it with the boiled bark of a tree
called gogo and anointed it with oil of sesame, perfumed with must and
other sweet-smelling substances. Rizal commented “ rather than the
bark it is the body it self of a shrub that is crushed but not cooked. It is
strange that father Buzeta and Bravo, in speaking of the gogo, mention
its use in mines and washing clothes and not its most common use,
which is for washing the hair, as it is used until now by almost all
Indios.” They were all careful of their teeth with grinders and other
implements of stone,etc.and give them a permanent black color which is

        The young and the old ordinarily bathe their entire bodies in the
rivers and streams without regard to whether their may be injurious to
their health, because they found it to be one of the best remedies to be
healthy. When a child is born, they immediately bathe it and likewise
the mother. Rizal provided an interesting insight about this that the
Spaniards think so but they were mistaken. The Indios are very careful
not to take a bath during siesta, after luncheon, the first two days of a
catarrh, when they have herpes, some women during menstruation, etc.
Fr. Chirino says : “ They take bath with the body bent and almost
seated for modestly immersed in the water until the throat, with the
greatest care not to be seen, though there may not be anybody who can
see them. The most common and most general bathing-hour is sunset
after the days work and to carry water home. After a funeral they
bathe.” This hygienic custom of the inhabitants of the tropics has been
preserved in Japan, like many other things that prove the southern
origin of some of her inhabitants.

2. Occupation and Pastime

       As matter of pastime and occupation, the women worked with the
needle with which they were proficient and they engaged in all kinds
of needle work. They also weaved blankets and spin cotton and kept
house for their husbands and parents. They pound rice which was to be
cooked for their meals and prepared the rest of the food. Rizal ( Chapter
8: 246) explained ”though this work is not very hard, for the pestle is
light, it is now done generally by men, leaving to the women the
cleaning of the rice.” They raise chickens and pigs and do the house
chores while their men-folk engage in the work of the fields, fishing,
boating and farming.

3. Clothing

   The dress which natives of Luzon wore before the advent of the
Spaniards in the land, consisted of the following:

       a) Kangan – For men, this clothes made of fabric without
          collar, sewn in front with short sleeves extending down to
          beyond the waist some blue and some black, while the
          headmen used red one which they called chiminas.According
          to Colin,the chiefs used the red color and the cloths is fine
          gauze form India.This fondness for red which already found
       b) Bahag - They wore this in the middle of the legs being bare,
          the rich colored cloth and quite often with gold stripes among
          the chiefs.
       c) Potong –The head uncovered, with narrow kerchief tied
          around it tightly over he forehead and temples. It was not
          proper. They put it different ways, sometimes in Moro style
          like a turban, sometimes wrapped around the head-dress.
          Those who took pride in being let fall the end of the cloth,
          elaborately decorated, and so long they reach until the legs.
          And on it display achievement . It was not proper for any one
          to use red potong until he has killed at least one man. And
          wear certain stripes on it, like a crown, he must have killed
          seven men. ( Colin, book I: 59)
       d) Baro – The women throughout the province of Zambales
          wear sayas or dresses with sleeves of the same cloth or of
           different color, without any chemise except around their
           bodies as shawls, with much gracefulness.

4. Native Food

       Their regular daily food was rice, crushed by wooden pilons or
pounders, which was cooked and was then called morisqueta (kanin),
and this constituted the daily mainstay for the entire country, together
with boiled fish of which there was an abundance, and pork or venison,
likewise meat of wild buffalo or carabao. They preferred meat and, fish,
saltfish which begun to decompose and smell. Rizal ( Chapter 8: 248)
explained this is another preoccupation of the Spaniards who like any
other nation, in the matter of food , loathe that to which they are not
accustomed or is unknown to them. The English, for example, is
horrified on seeing a Spaniard eating snails; to the Spaniard beefsteak
is repugnant and he can’t understand how raw beefsteak is repugnant
and he can’t understand how raw beefsteak can be eaten; the Chinese
who eat tahuri and shark cannot stand Roquefortcheese and etc.The
fish that Morga mentions does not taste better when it is beginning to
rot; all on the contrary; it is bagoong and all who have eaten it and
tasted it know that it is not ought not to be rotten.Bagoong is fish or fish
eggs preserved with plenty of salt, Filipino serve it as relish or
sauce.They also ate boiled sweet-potatoes which resembled the
ordinary potatoes, kidney-bean,quilitis, and other vegetables, all kinds
of bananas, guavas, pineapples, anonas or custard-apples, oranges
and other citruses, and other various kinds of fruit and vegetables
which abound in the land.

5. Local Wine

       They drink that which dripped out of the tender flowers of the
coconut -trees and the nipa-palms which were abundant and which
were raised like vineyard-grapes although with less care and difficulty.
Upon taking the tuba’ juice from the palms, they distilled the same in
their container, stoves and other utensils, and when it was fermented it
becomes strong or light which is drunk throughout the Islands. It
became a clear fluid like water but very strong and dry. When used
moderately, it was medicinal for the stomach and good for phlegms and
other kinds of rheums. When mixed with Spanish wine, it becomes a
pleasant liquor which is tasteful and wholesome.

      The natives drink liquor in the day and night without end in their
meetings, weddings, feasts and circles, accompanied by singing by a
few who were so inclined and who come to drink and have a good time,
although this habit does not carry with it, according to their estimation,
any dishonor or infamy. Rizal ( Chapter 8:.248)commented that
drunkenness, however, was not dangerous for Colin says: “ But rarely
do they become furious or wild; rather, after drinking, they preserve
proper respect and circumspection. They only become more gay and
talkative and say some amusing things. But it is known that none of
them after leaving a banquet, even at a late hour of the night, fail to
reach their home. And if they offer buy and sell, and touch and weigh
gild or silver, they do it with so much circumspection that neither does
their hand tremble nor do they make a mistake’ ( Book I,61)

6. Vessels and Craft

       The weapons consisted of bows and arrows but generally
throughout the Islands, the arms were medium spears with well-made
iron spearheads, shields of light wood with their “coats-of-wood” which
were smooth inside, which cover them from head to foot and which they
called carasas ( kalasag) On their waist they wore a four-inch wide
dagger, with a sharp-point a foot long, the handle being uncovered and
made of gold or ivory with two plain double edges, and they called it
Bararaos and had two edges with wooden scabbarbs or finely
engraved buffalo horns. “They are very dexterous when they go after
their adversary, by holding him by the hair and with the other hand,
they cut his head off with a single blow of the balaraw, and carry it
away in order to hang it in their house to show it off, so that people will
consider them brave and vengeful of their enemies and the evildoers.”

        In the river and streams inland they used one-mast large canoes
or bancas made of boards attached to the keels. There were also
viceroy type and the barangay craft which were straight and light craft,
with low body held together with wooden tress-nails, as strong in the
prow as in the stern, accommodating many rowers on both sides, which
craft, likewise, had paddles who propelled the same in unison, thanks
to the chanting of their singers of natives heroes and their deeds, in
their native tongue, for the purpose of quickening or slowing down the
rowing of the vessel. Above the rowers’ seat, there was a passage-deck
made of bamboo where as many fighting-men as the size of the craft
requires, pass to and fro, without disturbing the rowers’ post. From
there was handled the sail which was square and of canvas through a
lift made of two thick bamboos, which serves as mast, and when the
vessel was large, it also had a foremast of the same kind with their
pulleys to lower the sail when the wind was adverse, also its
helmsman at the stern to steer the vessel.

       The vessel also carried another compartment made of bamboo on
the same passage-deck on which, when the sun was hot, was placed a
cover made of palm-leaves woven together closely to make a thick roof
named Cayanos, under which was covered the entire personnel and
vessel. There was also a cage-like devise made of thick bamboos on
both extremes of the vessel, which was strongly attached to it and
which barely touched the water but did not interfere with the rowing
but served to balance and prevent the craft from turning over, however
rough the sea may get or howsoever strong the wind may hit the sails.
It often happened that the uncovered vessel gets filled with water and
capsizes and was destroyed yet it did not sunk to the bottom in view of
the bamboo balancing devise which served as a buoy, and also
prevented drifting away.

       This kind of vessels were used throughout the Islands since
ancient times, likewise larger vessels were used throughout the Islands
since ancient times, likewise larger vessels known as bancas or vintas
uncovered rowing-craft, lapis and tapakes. They were used to transport
the merchandise and were very appropriate for the purpose because
they were roomy and could float on shallow water and can float on
shallow water and could be beached at the mouth of rivers and canals
on which they often navigated without going out to sea or far from the
land. All natives were able to handle and navigate them. Some were so
large that they could carry on hundred rowers sitting on the border and
thirty soldiers to top, but the common draft were the barangays and the
viceroy-type vessels using smaller sails and fewer crew. Many of them
no longer used the wooden tree-nails but assorted metal nails, and their
ruddlers and bows used fender-beams and so forth, Spanish style.

       The land was covered with shadows everywhere from trees of
various kinds and fruit-bearing ones which beautify the country
throughout the year, both along the coastline and the meadows and
mountains. It was full of large and small rivers giving good drinking-
water which flowed down to the sea and were navigable and abound in
tasteful fishes of all species. There was also an abundance of timber
which was cut down and taken to the saw-mills and many logs were
floated down the rivers which were mostly navigable. The timber was
good for building houses and edifices and for making large and small
vessels. Many trees were straight and thick, fit for used as masts foe
galleys and galleons, both light and flexible, so that any vessel could be
equipped with a single mast without need of dovetailing or cutting it into
pieces. There was likewise an abundance of timber for hulls of vessels,
for their keels, framework, toptimber and any futtock-timbers, breast-
hooks, knees and small-knees, upper works and good timber for decks
and sides.

7. Fruit Trees

      There are many fruit-trees in the land such as santol, mabolo,
tamarind, nanca or jack-fruit, anonas, papayas, guayaba and various
kinds or oranges both small and large, sweet and sour, citrus and
lemons, about ten or twelve varieties of bananas very tasteful and
wholesome, many kinds of coconuts with good-taste, from which liquor
and common oil was made, very useful for wounds, and other wild
palm-trees of the mountain which yielded no nuts but which, however,
gave good trunks, and from the husks of which oakum was obtained,
very useful for calking vessels. Efforts had been made to raise olives
and quince and other European fruits but so far, they had not
succeeded excepting pomegranates and grapes which yielded excellent
fruits after two years, and quite abundantly and three times a year;
likewise figs. Vegetables of all kinds thrived in abundance but they did
not seed well, and it was necessary to bring seeds from Castile, China
or Japan.
       a) There were chestnut-trees that produce nuts, and in other
          places there were pine trees and other kinds of trees which
          produced large kernels and strong good – tasting nuts which
          were known by the names piles. ( Pili nut)
       b) There is abundance of cedar which is called calanta and also
          fine red timber called asana, also ebony, a variety of which is
          better that the rest, and other much esteemed woods fit for
          every elaborate purpose.

8.Animals, Birds, Snakes and Crocodiles

      There is an abundance of cattle that Fr. Gaspar de San Agustin
says, speaking about Dumangas ( Rizal, Chapter 8:.252) “ This convent
has an extensive farm for cattle, of so many cows that there was a time
when they were over 30,000… and this farm also has many and very
fine horses.” The cattle from China, and they taste well and make good
capons. There were no horses, mares or donkeys in the Islands until
thee Spaniards had them brought over form China and from New Spain
( Mexico). Likewise ,sheep have been imported several times from New
Spain, they have never multiplied. So that they are scarce in the land
now as it seems that both the climate and pasture lands are not quite
appropriate for them. The other domesticated animals as explained by
Morga during this period.

      Domesticated Animals, Monkeys and Birds

        a) Goats are also raised although owing to the dampness of
           the land, their flesh does not taste good and they easily get
           sick and die on this account, also because they eat certain
           poisonous plants.
        b) There are many turtle-doves or pigeons, said green ones
           having very red feet and bills while some pigeons are white
           with a red spot on the breast like pelican..
        c) In the place of quails, there are fowl resembling them
           although smaller known as ponos           ( pogos) and some
           small maya birds.
        d) There are likewise some wild cocks and chickens… they
           have also royal herons both white and brown also fly
           cathers and sea-birds, ducks, lauancos, egrets, sea-crows,
           eagles, buharros ( Buhos, a species of owl) and other birds
           of prey, although one of them are used like falcons for
        e) They either eat or destroy the wild, destructive animals
           living in the mountains and fields such as wild cats, foxes,
           badgers,large and small rats which abound, also other land
        f) An infinite number of small and large monkeys thrive and
           sometimes bend the branches of the trees, throughout the
        g) There are likewise green and white parakeets but they are
           poor talkers, also very small parrots bearing green and red
           colors, called kulasisi which also do not talk.

        Snakes, Scorpio and Crocodiles

            In the rivers and streams there are very large and small
       scorpions and great number of very fierce and small scorpions
       and a great number of very fierce and cruel crocodiles which
       frequently get the natives from their bancas on which they ride.
       They work a great havoc on the cattle and horses in the ranches
       when they go to the river to drink water. However, the people
       may trap, catch and kill them, these reptiles hardly diminish in

             For this reason, the natives build on the border of their
       rivers and streams in their settlements where they bathe,-traps
       and fences with thick enclosures and bars of bamboo and
       timber within which they do their bathing and washing, secure
       from these monsters which they fear and respect to the degree
       of veneration, as if they were somehow superior to them. Rizal (
       Chapter 8:255) reacted that perhaps reason, other nations have
       great esteem for the lion and bear, putting them on their shields
       and giving them honorable epithets. The mysterious life of the
       crocodile, the enormous size that it sometimes reaches, its
       fatidical aspect, without counting any more its voraciousness,
       must have influenced greatly the imagination of the Malayan

            Morga further explained on the veneration of the crocodiles
       that these are involved or mentioned in their oaths, execrations,
       etc. hurled to their important hated people- even among
       Christians-in the Buhayan Moro Language, thus: “May the
       crocodiles kill him!” and there have been cases where God has
       permitted those who have sworn falsely or broken their
       promise, to become victims of the crocodiles, in view of their
       violation of the authority and purity of the truth or promise.

B. Marriage and Women

      The women both married and otherwise, were not so chaste,
while the husbands, parents and brothers were scarcely jealous or
careful regarding this matter. Man and women were covetous and
money-loving, so that when there was price, they easily yielded and
when the husband caught his wife committing infidelity, he is appeased
and satisfied without difficulty. Rizal ( Chapter 8:.247) defended this
observation about the early Filipinos that this weakness of Indio women
that historians relate, it seems, can be attributed not only to the
sincerity with which they obey nature and their own instincts but also
to a religious belief that Fr. Chirino tells us about. “ A doctrine planted
the devil in some women of these islands and I believe in all who
cannot be saved, be they married or marriageable, is the woman who
does not have some lover. Because say he will help them in the next life
by leading them by the hand in crossing a very dangerous river that
has no bridge but a very narrow piece of timber which must be crossed
to reach what he call Kalualhatian.” (Chirino, Chapter XIX)

       Rizal further explained “as to the rest, the priest-historians
relating the missions in the first years of Christianization, give
numerous examples of the chastity of young women who resisted and
preferred death to surrendering to the violence and threats of the
soldiers and encomenderos. This weakness for the “pay”, we believe, is
not a defect monopolized by Filipino men and women. We find it
everywhere in the world, in Europe itself so satisfied with its morality
and throughout its history, many times connected with crimes,
scandals, et. The cult of Venus, Priapus, Bacchus, etc. and above all in
the Rome of the popes, prove that this matter there is no nation that can
be throw the first stone. At any rate, today the Filipino, women have no
reason in blush before the women of the most chaste nation. When both
men and women, especially the prominent people, go out for a walk
along the streets or to church, they walk with slow measured dignified
step, well accompanied by male and female slaves who carry silk-
parasols which they always carry with them for protection from sun
and rain. The ladies walk ahead followed by their female servants and
slaves, their husbands, fathers and brothers walking behind them,
followed in their turn by their male servants and slave.”

       Marriages among natives are generally between the principals or
nobles. Likewise timawas( Common Class) marry among those of their
own station, and the regular slaves also marry their fellow-slaves, but
sometimes they intermarry among different castes. Rizal ( Chapter
8:282) noted     “ this proves that the relations of these classes among
themselves are not only far from resembling those of the masters of the
West and their servants but that they were even more cordial than
those of the patricians and the Roman people among whom at the
beginning it was forbidden to establish family ties through weddings. If
the chiefs and timawa Filipinos has been so tyrannical towards their
inferior as they are depicted to us, there would not have been such
unions. Hatred and contempt would have separated the classes.” Let
me cite marriage tradition that had been practiced in the early Filipino
      1. The natives have one wife each with whom a man may wed
and she is called the Inasawa but behind here are other women as
friends. The children of the first wife were held to be the legitimate ones
and full heirs of their parents, but the children of the other women were
not so considered, but some provision was usually made for them, but
they never inherited.

      2. The groom was the one who contributed a dowry, given by his
parents, while the bride did not bring anything to the marriage
community until she inherited in hr own right from her parents.

             “ This custom continued the union between the parents
        and the children, a wiser practice than that which is
        followed in many parts of Europe where cases are found of
        children neglecting their parents once they have taken
        possession of their patrimony, or of parents who do not
        consent to the marriages of their children in order not to part
        with their property. In Europe can be seen sons who are
        richer and in more comfortable circumstances than their
        parents who prefer their sons to be conscripted than to be
        married, which does not happen in the Philippines, not even
        now, because this customs survives. We say that is always
        taken for granted, this affection in many people bordering
        veneration. While the father or mother lives, the home
        continues even though all the children are married and live
        apart. Dowry in the Philippines. Naturally the woman did not
        and does not carry a dowry. The character of the Filipino
        woman, to be help rather than a burden to the husband,
        reject this custom, necessary to the European woman
        because is she is not a burden, in general she increases the
        husbands’ budget. In the Philippines the woman does not
        fish for a husband, but she chooses a husband; the husband
        does not take heavy burden or the matrimonial yoke, but a
        companion to help him and to introduce economy in the
        irregular of a bachelor.” ( Rizal, Chapter 8: 282)

      3. The solemnization of marriage consisted in the mutual
agreement between the parents and kinsmen of the contracting parties,
the paying of the concerted dowry to the father of the bride’s parents for
the purpose of celebrating with eating and drinking the whole day until

             “This dowry, if it can be called thus, represented a
        compensation for the parents of the bride for the care and
        education of their daughter. The Filipino woman, never being a
        burden on any one, neither on her parents nor on her husband
        but all on the contrary, represents a value for whose loss the
        possessor must be compensated. And this is so true that even in
        our times parents consent with great difficulty to part from heir
       daughters. It is almost never seen in the Philippines the sad
       spectacle that many European families present who seem to be
       in a hurry to get rid their marriageable daughters, not
       infrequently the mothers playing ridiculous role. As it will be
       seen, neither is there a sale or purchase in this custom. The
       Tagalog wife is free and respected, she manages and contracts,
       almost with the husband’s approval, who consults her about all
       this acts. She is the keeper of the money, she educates the
       children, half of whom belong to her. She is not a Chinese
       woman or a Muslim slave who is bought, sometimes from the
       parents, sometimes at the bazaar, in order to look her up for the
       pleasure of the husband or master. She is not the European
       woman who marries, purchases the husband’s liberty with her
       dowry, and loses her name, rights, liberty, initiative, her true
       dominion being limited to reign over the salon, to entertain
       guests, and to sit at the right of her husband.” (Rizal, Chapter

       4. The spouses could separate and dissolve their marriage ties
owing to trivial cause and upon proper hearings had before the relatives
of both parties and some elders who participated therein, and who
rendered judgment, upon which the dowry received was returned to the
husband, and it was called vigadicaya ( Bigay-kaya) as a voluntary
offering, except in cases where the separation was caused by said
husband’s fault, when it was retained for the parents of the wife to

            “Bigay-kaya means to give what one can, a voluntary
       offering, a gift of goodwill. This confirms further that in the case
       of marriage there was no sale, unlike in the already known ‘
       alms: for scapulars, rosaries, belt, etc. in which one does not
       give what one can be altered notwithstanding, by increasing it.
       This Bigay-kaya, according to Colin, was returned intact to the
       spouses if the son-in-law was obedient to his parents-in-law
       and if not, it was divided among all the heirs.” “ Besides the
       dowry members of the principal class used to give some gifts to
       the parents and relatives and even to the slaves according to
       the rank of the newly married.” ( Colin, Book I, Chap.XIV /
       Rizal, Chapter 8: 284)

      5. Their property which had been acquired in common by both
spouses, was divided between them in equal shares, and each
disposed of his part as best he or she desired. If any of the spouses
had any gain or income unknown to and not participated in by the other
spouse, it became the property of the said spouse, to own by himself or

      6. People could adopt any person in the presence of the relatives;
and the adopted child or person would then deliver whatever he or she
possessed, as a present to the adopting party, upon which the adopted
person remained in his house and under his protection, thereby
acquiring the right to inherit together with the children of the foster.

       7. Adultery was not punished physically but instead, the guilty
spouse would pay to the aggrieved spouse such indemnity as the elders
adjudged to be right, and which said parties agreed among themselves.
The grievance was thus forgiven and the husband acknowledged to be
satisfied, and he retained his honor and resumed his married life with
his wife, and no mention would hereafter be made of the matter.

       8.In the matter of inheritance, all legitimate children inherited
equally all the property which the parents had acquired. However, if
there was any personal or real property left by the parents, in the
absence of legitimate children and by asawa, they were inherited by
the nearest relatives from the collateral branches of the main family-
tree. This was effected either by will or testament or, in the making of a
will aside from simply leaving it in written form, or by stating the wish
verbally in the presence of well-known persons.

            “ And there was no need for more. The memory of the
      parents, so sacred and revered, the belief that the spirits of
      ancestors came to live among their descendants, punishing them
      or protecting them according to their later behavior, prevented
      any violation of the wills or disobedience on the part of the heirs.
      Only since the missionaries convined the Indios that their
      ancestors remained toasted and burned in Purgatory or Hell did
      they have a need for notaries for notaries, stamped paper, and to
      engage in lawsuits and intrigues forever and ever.” ( Rizal,
      Chapter 8:285)

       On the other hand, the marriages practices and succession of
office of the nobleman during the early Filipino society were done in
this way ,if any principal or nobleman was chief of a barangai or clan,
he was succeeded in the office or dignity, by his eldest son had by his
asawa or married wife, and in his default, by the second son had by
her. In the absence of male children, by his daughters in the same
order. In absence of legitimate children, the succession reverted to the
nearest of kin belonging to the same lineage and family of the principal
who last possessed it. Rizal ( Chapter 8:285) noted that the same law of
succession was now followed by the royal families of Spain, England,
Austria, etc.

       In the event that any native having female slaves, should have
had intercourse with any of them and come to have children as a result
thereof, her child as well as herself became free thereby, but if she
failed to have any, she remained a slave.
      The children of slave-mothers and those females slaves, should
have had another man’s wife, were considered children of ill-repute,
and they did not succeed like the legitimate heirs to the estate, neither
were their parents bound to bequeath any property to them; and even if
they were children of dignity or nobility or to the privileges of their
fathers, and only remained in their station and were considered
ordinary timawa-plebeians like the rest of them.

      All these distinction between legitimate children who inherited,
the children of free concubines who did not inherit, but received.

C. Local Economy and Foreign Trade of the Early Filipinos

        Jocano pointed out that available documents do not treat in detail
the economic subsistence of the people. What the chroniclers narrated
at length were the economic subsistence of the people. What the
chroniclers narrated at length were the kinds of products-like rice and
gold- which they obtained in great abundance or which they did not get
at all. However, even from this sketchy reports, it is clear that the most
important sources of economic subsistence were agriculture, fishing,
poultry, and swine raising, gold mining, and trade .

       According to Morga the contract and negotiations with the natives
were generally considered illegal, so that each of them had to take care
of himself or see how he could best attend to his business. Loans made
for profit were very common, and they bore excessive interest, thus
doubling or increasing the more their settlement was being delayed,
until the creditors would take everything their debtors had, together
with their persons and their children, if they had any, in capacity of

       Morga enumerated the common way of doing business was the
trading of certain things for others, such as supplies, blankets, cattle,
fowl, lands, houses, fields, slaves, fisheries, palm trees, nipa swamps
and forests; and sometimes when there was a price fixed, it was apid
in gold as might be agreed upon, also in metal bells coming from China,
which articles are considered precious jewels. The latter look like large
pots giving very good sound, and are much used in their festivals, and
are usually taken in their vessels in going to war and expeditions, and
used in the place of drums and other metal instruments. There were
often delays and extensions given for the payments of debts, needing
bondsmen who participated elements of profit and very usurious

      On the other hand most of the foreign trade was carried out with
neighboring countries. From the Asia mainland, Chinese merchants who
brought into porcelain, mirrors, jade, and other materials dominated the
commerce. In return, they acquired Filipino goods ranging from
almaciga gums, honey and fowls to gold and so forth.

1. Agriculture

       Agriculture in the archipelago began at about the end of the
Formative Period. It continued to be the dominant means of livelihood
during the Incipient Period and became even more developed during the
later periods. There were two types of agriculture- the slash-and-burn
type found in the interior and in the higher coastal places, and the wet-
rice agriculture found in the lower sections of the countrysides except in
the highland area of central Cordillerra where rice terracing was
already practiced ( Jocano, 1973 :166-167)

       The technique for slash-and-burn agriculture resembled what
could still be observed among mountain peoples today. The area
cleared for cultivation was small and generally on the shoulders of
rolling hills. Rituals were involved in selecting working and planting the
field. The prospective cultivator, before starting his kaingin, looked for a
good site. A good site consisted of a primary forest where no thickets or
tall grasses abound. As soon as this was done, the farmer performed a
ritual to appease the spirits and to ask their permission to allow him
clear the area. If no bad omens were noted after the ceremony, the
cutting of the trees followed. Then the felled trees were left for
sometime. As soon as the leaves and branches dried, these were
burned and the entire are scraped of the remaining roots and shrubs.
After the site was cleared, the crops like rice or corn were planted ,
either by sowing the seeds or by dropping these into “ hills” dug by the
use of dibble sticks.

      Preparation of seedlings for planting resembled the practices in
many rural areas. That is, the seeds were selected and placed inside a
basket. These were soaked in the river for a few days, and the bad
seeds ( those which did not sprout) were removed and thrown away.
The rest were placed on a bamboo mat and covered with earth. The
container was drenched with water to keep it moist. As soon as the
grains sprouted and germinated sufficiently, they were transplanted
one by one.

      Aside from rice, other agricultural products consisted of millet,
barona, cropisa ( a tuber which looked liked sweet potato ( camote ),
areca nuts, oil, cotton, wine and vinegar from cultivated palms like
coconut, and many others . Abaca fiber from plants having the same
name were also gathered and used either for making ropes or fabrics.

2. Fishing and Hunting

      Fishing of all kinds of fish in the sea or in fresh waters of rivers
and streams, is very greatly indulged in and is quite productive; in fact,
this industry is quite general in the entire country and is considered a
natural activity for the self-support of all the people. There is an
abundance of good sardines, bass, sea breams called bacocos, dace
ells, bicuda, tanguigue, flounders,plantanos and tarakitos, pin pointed
fish, golden fish, eels, large and small oysters, mollusks, crabs,
shrimps, sea-spiders, marine crabs and all kinds of mollusks, etc. also
shad and white fish. The seas are full of large fishes such as whales,
sharks, caellas, bufeo cetaceans, and other unknown species having
unusual size and shape.

       There is another lake in the province of Bonbon ( Batangas)
bearing the same name, and although it is not so large, it abounds with
fish. The method of fishing used by the natives is that of making corrals
or traps made of rattan vines which are very flexible, strong, thin and
solid, made into strong cables for their vessels and other purposes.
These traps are attached posts stuck into the bottom of the lake and
they gather the fish caught from said traps through wicker and bamboo
baskets and smaller and various fishing-nets besides other
contrivances and also fishing – rods. The ordinary food of the natives is
a very small fish which is netted, dried in the sunb or air, then cooked
in various ways; and they enjoy them better than the larger
fishes.Among them they call this fish laulau. The Tawilis of Batangas,
or dilis, which is smaller and a large quantity of it is eaten by the

3. Jar Industry

      The provinces of Manila, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Ilocos, there
are to be found earthen tabors or jars, brown in color and not so
beautiful to look at. Some are of middle size and others are smaller,
bearing certain marks and seals, and they cannot explain where they
got them from or in what period. At present they are no longer
obtainable neither are they manufactured in these islands, and they
are in great demand on the part of the Japanese who prize them very
much for the reason that they have discovered that these are the only
receptacles in which to properly keep and preserve the roots and leaves
of a plant called cha ( tea), the beverage of which they drink hot and
which the Japanese so highly esteem; so that they constitute their most
precious and valuable possession, which they keep in their stores and

       A jar is worth a great deal of money, and is adorned on the
outside with fine gold-plating with brocade cloth, so that there are
vases which are worth or sold for two eleven-reales ( pieces of eleven)
taels each, or less, as the case may be, even if it is slightly dented or
has a flaw, for them for this purpose; and as a matter of fact, these
bases have become very scarce owing to the great demand there is for
4. Mining Industry

       The ancient Filipinos were also engaged in domestic and foreign
trade. The most common items for trade were foodstuffs and gold. Many
chroniclers were impressed by the manner in which Filipinos handled
their business. Sande noted that they were shrewd businessmen and
trusted no “ reckoning” but their own. Local merchants also knew the
value and qualities of gold as a medium of trade.The natives had a
system of classifying goods. There was a base gold for which they did
not have any name and which they used to cheat customers. Second-
class gold was known as malubai ,bielu,and linguigui. The best kind of
gold was the oregeras, known as penica among the Chinese
traders.Jewelry were also traded, although these placed second to gold.
Sande noted” the best gold obtained is another grade called
guinogulan, which means ‘ the lord of gold’; it weighs about twenty-
carats. From this is made they never part; and even when they wish to
sell these ornaments


       The pre-Hispanic belief system of Filipinos consisted of a
pantheon of gods, spirits, creatures, and men that guarded the streams,
fields, trees, mountains, forests, and houses. Bathala, who created
earth and man, was superior to these other gods and spirits. Regular
sacrifices and prayers were offered to placate these deities and spirits--
some of which were benevolent, some malevolent. Wood and metal
images represented ancestral spirits, and no distinction was made
between the spirits and their physical symbol. Reward or punishment
after death was dependent upon behavior in this life.    Anyone      who
had reputed power over the supernatural and natural was
automatically elevated to a position of prominence. Every village had its
share of shamans and priests who competitively plied their talents and
carried on ritual curing. Many gained renown for their ability to develop
anting-anting, a charm guaranteed to make a person invincible in the
face of human enemies. Other sorcerers concocted love potions or
produced amulets that made their owners invisible. ( Miller)

       In matters of religion, Morga expounded that they proceeded in
primitive fashion, and with more blindness than in other matters, for the
reason that aside from being Gentiles, without any knowledge of the
true God, they did not take pains to reason out how to find Him, neither
did they envision particular one at all. Rizal (Chapter 8:291) reacted
this idea ” In this matter of the true God, every people believe what is
their own, and as until now there has not yet been found a reagent for
the discovery of the true God and distinguish Him from the false ones,
Morga, who was a person of superior judgment to many of his
contemporaries, can only be forgiven for such pretension for the sake of
the dominant ideas …”Furthermore, Morga describes the devil
ordinarily deceived them with a thousand and one errors and blind
practices. He appeared to them in various from as horrible and fearful
as ferocious animals which held them in dread making them tremble,
and very often they worshipped him through images representing him,
kept in caves and in private houses, where they offered to him sweet-
smelling perfumes, food and fruits, calling them Anitos.

        Pigafetta describes in the following manner, the idols he saw in
Sebu:” These idols are wood, hollow or concave, without, without parts
behind; the arms are open and the legs part, with the legs turned
upward. The face is rather large with four enormous teeth similar to the
fangs of the wild boar; all are covered with paint.” Some historians
following speak of idols of silver, gold ,ivory, stone, bone,etc., that they
found in Luzon, some in the possession of the Babaylanas. The Tagalog
had anitos for mountains and country, for the planted fields, the sea, to
whom they entrusted their fisheries and sea voyages, anitos for the
house among whom they put their ancestors, they called their images.
(Colin: 54). These idols do not always have the shape that Pigafetta
attributes to them. Sometimes they are seated with their arms crossed,
their elbows resting on their knees. Sometimes the arms are stuck to the
sides with the hands above the abdomen or crossed over the breast
and the hands over the clavicles, etc.They are not always found with
teeth or fangs and those which have them are probably the images of
malevolent gennii. ( Rizal: 291)

     Plasencia explained that the most powerful deity of Tagalog was
Bathala or Abba.
             (1) He was the sustainer, keeper, nourisher and protector
                 of mankind.
             (2) He welcomed gifts form the people with deep
             (3) He was pleased when men were helpful and obedient
                 to his morals
             (4) He was lavish in his love towards those who kept his
                 commandments and those who paid him homage.
             (5) He was Compassionate and understanding, equally
                 exacting in his punishment to those who trespass his
             (6) He did not hesitate to send thunder and lighting to
                 strike the transgressors of his laws.
             (7) He presided over the lesser divinities who cared for
                 the needs of the people and guarded the general
                 welfare of the reverent families.
             (8) His power and goodness were showered on the people
                 to whom he was likewise the ultimate protector.
             (9) He was represented by a turtle-dove called tigma-

      It followed by the other divinities working closely with
him:;Kaluwalhatian ( the eternal space);Indianale ( labor and good
deeds);Dimangan (        good harvest);Amanikabli ( sea);Mayaari( the
caretaker     of   moon);Hana      (   morning);Tala         (stars);Ikapati
(agriculture);Mapulon ( changes of season);Apolaki (patron of fighters
and the keeper of the sun) and Dian Masalanta ( lovers). It is believed
that the activities of these divinities gave order and regularity to the
Tagalog world. However, as life became more complex as a result of
expanding social relationships among the worshippers, Bathala sent
down to earth the ancestral spirits to help these spirits had a special
office. Some of them were given the task of protecting men from illness;
others of making those who were neglected of their duties suffer. Each
divinity interceded for the men in relation to the other gods. 28

       The early Tagalogs also believed in life after death. In fact, belief
in transmigration of the soul was one of the chief reasons why
sacrifices were offered and rituals were performed during interment.
The early belongings of the deceased were buried with him because it
was believed that the spirits of the said person would need these things
during his journey to the other world. In some groups, the favorite alipin
were said to be buried with their masters, and in others, the dead
man’s wife or captured enemies.

       Belief in the final judgment- i.e. rewarding of the good and
punishment of the evil-was also a dominant feature of the prehistoric
belief system. The soul of the good men were said to be brought to a
village of rest called Maca where they enjoyed eternal peace and
happiness. However, those who deserved punishment were brought to
Karanaan, the village of grief and affliction where they were tortured
forever. The souls were kept then by the deity name, Sitan.He was
assisted by many lesser divinities:

      1)  Mangangaway – the most feared among them who was
         responsible for the disease on earth. She wore a necklace of
         skulls, and her girdle was made of severed human hands and
         feet. Sometimes, she would change herself into an old woman,
         an animal, or abird and roam the countryside. Anyone who
         crossed her path or incurred her ire was severely punished,
         either with bad luck or with prolonged illness. If she wished to
         kill someone, she did so by her magic wand. She could also
         extend the agony of dying even for a number of months, by
         simply encircling the waist of her patient with a live snake
         which was believed to be her real self or at least her
      2) Manisilat – The second agent of Sitan sometimes known as
         the deity of broken homes. She was said to be restless and
         mad whenever was a happy home within sight. Dtermined to
         destroy every home, she would disguise herself as a healer or
         an old beggar, enter the dwelling of her unsuspecting victims,
         and then proceed with her diabolical aims. With the aid of her
         charms and magic powers she would turn the husband and
         wife against each other. She was most happy when the couple
         quarreled and she would dance with glee when one of them
         left their home.
      3. Mankukulam – The third agent of Sitan, his duty was to
         emit a ball of fire at night, especially during dark nights’ and
         bad weather.Like his fellow agents, he often assumed human
         form and went around the villages, pretending to be a folk
         healer. Then he would allow in the filth beneath the house and
         emit fire.
      4. Huklaban – The fourth agent of Sitan, she had the power to
         change herself into any form she desired. In fact, some people
         said that she had greater power than Mangangaway. She
         could kill anyone by simply raising her hand. However, id she
         wanted to heal those whom she had made ill, she could do so
         without any difficulty. It was also said that she could destroy
         a house by the power of her word.

       Rituals and ceremonies either to appease or to propitiate the
different divinities were celebrated regularly by the people. These
celebrations ranged from simple to complex performance of rites
appropriate to the occasion. Simple ritual involved only food offering
while the complex ones included animals, as well as human sacrifices.
They performed in connection with important events in the family or in
the community. Specifically, religious ceremonies were done for the
following reasons: (1) to prevent and cure diseases; (2) to insure safety
in voyages; (3) to achieve a good harvest; (4) to attain success in raids
and wars; (5) to have a happy and prosperous married life; (6) to insure
the safety of the mother and the child during childbirth; and (7) to
acquire protective powers against witchcraft and other sources of evil.

Social Classes Constituting the Commonwealth19

       The term social class may not be the right term, by present
standards, to describe the social stratifications system of pre-colonial
Filipino community organization. Some writers argue that there were
the datu group ( or principales) and the commoners.. However, the
chroniclers such as Loarca noted that and characterized four
subgroupings based on wealth, “ political” influence , and social
privileges enjoyed. These were: (1) the datu class or chiefly group;(2) the
maharlika or the free men; (3) the timagua or the common class; and (4)
the alipin ( also known as ayuey) or the dependent class. ( Jocano:176)

       Morga identified three social classes among the natives of these
islands constituting the common to wit: Principal people( and the Datu);
timawas which was equivalent to plebeians; and slaves both of the
principals and of the Timaguas.
1. Principalias and Datus

       The datu class was looked upon by the people for leadership in
economic, military, social, and religious activities. The headman of this
group acted as the leader of the community . He represented the group
in dealing with outsiders and in making important decisions. He
worked for the general welfare of the community and participated in
almost all of its activities. For example, he acted as go-between in the
marriage preparations of the maharlika, attended funeral rites, and
performed other social and religious functions. He was both a paternal
protector and a political leader. This affinity with the people may be
best be appreciated if is recalled that most of the chiefs and leaders ‘
ruled” over but few families, sometimes as many hundred houses, at
other times even less than thirty. Nevertheless , the relationship
between the people and their leader was characterized by reciprocal
rights and obligations, with authoritarian responsibility and power to
impose accepted rules of conduct in the community ( Jocano: 176-177)

       Morga explained the presence of the Principalias that there were
neither kings nor lords to rule them in the same manner as in kingdoms
and provinces. Elsewhere instead, in every island and province many
principals were known among the natives, some being more important
and outstanding than others, each having his own followers and
henchmen, forming barrios and families who obeyed and respected
them. Those principal men used to have friendship and relationship
with each other, and sometimes even wars and difference with each

       These principalia or high social status were inherited by
succession form father to sons and heirs and in their default, to
brethren and lateral kinsmen.The descendants of these prinicipales or
nobles and their kinsmen were esteemed and respected, even if they
had not inherited their distinction, and the former were considered and
treated as noblemen, and as exempt from rendering service which was
demanded from the Timaguas ( Timawa).The privileges of a
principalship were also enjoyed by women of noble birth on a par with
the men. Rizal ( Chapter 8, p.276) conformed the privilege of noble
women“ In this regard the Filipinos acted very much in conformity with
natural laws, being ahead of the Europeans, whose women lose their
nobility when they marry plebeian and among the descent is along the
male line which offers the least guarantee. This proves besides the high
consideration that the women in these Islands had enjoyed since

       When any of these principal men became more outstanding than
others in war and in other matters, he thereby acquired ( illegaba) more
privileges and a greater following hencemen, and he governed other
people even principals themselves, while retaining for himself his own
authority over his particular Barangai or clan with datus and other
particular leaders who attended directly to the needs of the Barangai.”
From the Tagalog balangay, name of a vessel on which it is supposed
the Indios who now inhabit the Philippine came.” ( Rizal Chapter 8:276)

      Their duty was to govern and rule their subjects and henchmen,
and attend to their needs. In exchange for this, they received the
peoples’ respect and esteem, together with their support and help in
their wars, expeditions, general work in farming, fishing, building
houses and structures whenever they should be called upon to perform
the same by their principals, upon which they would respond with
punctuality. They also paid their tribute with the fruits of their toil which
they called buis, some paying more than others.

       The authority which these principal men or leaders that they
considered its components as their subjects, to treat well or mistreat,
disposing of their persons, children and possessions at their will and
pleasure without any opposition from the latter, nor duty on their part to
account for the principals’ action. Upon committing any slight offense or
fault, these henchmen were either punished, made slaves or killed.”
These slaves were no always in such dismal condition. Argensola says
that they ate with their master at the same table and afterward they
married members of the family…” ( Rizal Chapter 8: 276)

       Whenever any native had any controversies or differences with
others on pecuniary matters, on property or regarding insults and
physical injuries to their persons there were appointed elders among
the same clan or group, who heard them in the presence of parties, and
their witnesses whenever evidence was necessary, and then decided
the matter on their findings, thus following the same procedure used by
their forefathers in similar cases. Thus, their decision was respected
and executed without any further process or delay.” This is very simple
and crude but it was more speedy, and the judges were persons of the
locality, forming jury, elected by both parties who knew the case the
customs and usages…” ( Rizal Chapter 8:277)

       Their laws along similar lines following the tradition and customs
of their ancients in accordance with the unwritten statutes. In some
provinces, there were different customs in certain things, although
generally speaking, they had uniform usages and procedure throughout
the islands. Rizal ( Chapter 8, p. 278-279) explained “which is no way
affected the peace of the people because many times a custom has more
force than a written or printed law, especially when the written laws
are a dead letter to those who know how to evade them or who abuse
of their high position. The force of law is not that it is written on a piece
of paper but if it is engraved in the memory of those for whom it is
made, if they know it since their tender age, if it is in harmony with
their customs and above all if it has stability. The Indio, since childhood
learned by heart the tradition of his people, live and was nourished in
the atmosphere of his customs and however imperfect those laws might
be, he at least knew them, and not as it happens today that wise laws
are written, but the people neither know nor understand them, and
many times they are changed or become extinct at the whim of persons
entirely alien to them…This agreement of the laws at bottom and this
general uniformity prove that the relations of the islands among
themselves were very strong and the bonds of friendship were common
than wars and differences. Perhaps a confederation existed…”

2. Maharlika

       The Maharlika ranked next in the social stratification of
precolonial Philippine society. Although earlier writers referred to this
group as the nobility, it is doubtful whether this concept, developed from
feudal Europe would fit the Philippines system. The maharlika may
best be conceived as the group of “ free men.” This group did “ not pay
taxes or tributes to the datu,” but accompanied him in “war” at their
own expense. From the maharlika group came the men who assisted
the leader every endeavor he undertook- be it in building a house,
rowing the boat, raiding the enemies’ territory, and so

3. The Timagua ( or Timawa)

       The timagua or the common masses was lower than the
maharlika in social ranking and constituted the greater bulk of the
population. They neither chiefs or servile debtors. If a timagua desired
to live in a certain village, he simply joined one of the chiefs in any
community of his own choice.(Loarca: 147)There are, however, certain
rules based on group consensus, regarding the shifting of village
residence and of attaching oneself to another chieftain. For example,
should a man desire to align himself with another chief, he must be
present by all means at the feasts given for other chiefs because does
so.( Plasencia: 179)

      For these services the chief reciprocated by assisting the timagua
economically and by defending him and his family against anyone who
would cause them harm. For example , if the timagua was attacked
while visiting another village, it was the obligation of the chief to avenge
the offense committed to him at all cost. Thus, the timagua lived in
security and were free to move out of their service of one chief to
another whenever they desired.( Loarca:123)

4. Alipin ( Saguiguilir and Namamahay)

       The least privileged group in the social groupings of ancient
Philippine society was the alipin. Among the Tagalogs, there were two
kinds of alipin. They were the saguigguilir and the namamahay. (
        a) Saguiguilir – It resided in the master’s” house and did all
           kinds of work. Their children inherited their status, remained
           in the same household and performed the same tasks as their
        b) Namamahay – It lived in their own houses. They came only to
           assist the master in planting and harvesting crops,
           constructing houses, traveling to far places, and in times of
           emergency. The were likewise summoned to assist in the
           house of the village headman when he had guest.


1  Jocano, F. Landa . Philippine Prehistory: An Anthropological Overview
       of the Beginnings of Filipino Society and Culture. Philippine
       Center for Advanced Studies. University of the Philippines
       System. Diliman Quezon City. 1975
2 Ibid.,p. 22
3 Jagor, Travels in the Philippines.1873( A Reprint).Manila: Filipinia

       Book Guild, p.1965. For Translation, Antonio de Morga, “
       Successos de las Islas Filipinas” in Blair and Robertson, The
       Philippine Islands.1903. Vol.XVI,p 104.
4 Solhelm. W.G. II, “ Potsherds and Potholes: Philippines Archaeology in

       1974”Asia                      Perspective.                    Vol
       XII ( 1969), pp. 97-104
 5 Ibid.,p.24
 6 Ibid., pp. 25-27
 7   Zaide, Sonia M. The Philippines: A Unique Nation: With Dr.
       Gregorio Zaide History of the Republic of the Philippines. All
       Nations Publishing Co. Inc. 1994,p.32
 8 Hartendorp. A.V.H. The Contributions of the Foreign Communities

       to Philippine. Culture through the Beyer Table of Philippine
       Racial Ancestry. 1942
 9 Loc. cit.,pp.32-35
 10 Jocano, op.cit. p. 70
 11 Ibid., pp 53-70
 12 Ibid., pp 73-160
 13 Rasul, Jainal D. Muslim- Christian land: Ours to Share.Alemar-

       Phoenix Publishing House. 1979.        pp 70-17
  14 Taken from the publications of the National Historical Institute

       (1990), Writings of Josel Rizal, Volume VI on the Historical
      Events of the Philippine Islands by Dr. Antonio De Morga
      published in Mexico in 1609 recently brought to light and
      annotated by Jose Rizal.
15 Jocano,op. cit., pp160-161
16 Rizal, loc.cit. chapter 8,p.244
17  Based on the annotated work of Rizal in Chapter 8 on the
      Historical Events of the Philippines Islands by Antonio De
      Morga .1609
18   Plasencia, Juan de” Custom of the Tagalogs” in Blair and
Robertson. Philippine Islands, pp.185-189
19 Jocano op.cit, pp 176-179

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