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Before the coming of Spanish colonialists, the people of the Philippine archipelago
had already
attained a semicommunal and semislave social system in many parts and also a
feudal system in certain parts, especially in Mindanao and Sulu, where such a
feudal faith as Islam had already taken roots. The Aetas had the lowest form of
social organization, which was primitive communal.
The barangay was the typical community in the whole archipelago. It was the basic
political and economic unit independent of similar others. ach embraced a few
hundreds of people and a small territory. ach was headed by a chieftain called the
rajah or datu.
The social structure comprised a petty nobility, the ruling class which had started to
land that it owned privately or administered in the name of the clan or community!
an intermediate class of freemen called the maharlikas who had enough land for
their livelihood or who rendered special service to the rulers and who did not have
to work in the "elds! and the ruled classes that included the timawas, the serfs
who shared the crops with the petty nobility, and also the slaves and semislaves
who worked without having any de"nite share in the harvest. There were two kinds
of slaves then# those who had their own $uarters, the aliping namamahay, and
those who lived in their master%s house, the aliping sagigilid. &ne ac$uired the
status of a serf or a slave by inheritance, failure to pay debts and tribute,
commission of crimes and captivity in wars between barangays.
The Islamic sultanates of Sulu and mainland 'indanao represented a higher stage
of political and economic development than the barangay. These had a feudal form
of social organization. ach of them encompassed more people and wider territory
than the barangay. The sultan reigned supreme over several datus and was
conscious of his privilege to rule as a matter of hereditary (divine right.)
Though they presented themselves mainly as administrators of communal lands,
apart from being direct owners of certain lands, the sultans, datus and the nobility
e*acted land rent in the form of religious tribute and lived o+ the toiling masses.
They constituted a landlord class attended by a retinue of religious teachers, scribes
and leading warriors.
The sultanates emerged in the two centuries precedent to the coming of Spanish
colonialists. They were built up among the so,called third wave of 'alay migrants
whose rulers either tried to convert to Islam, bought out, enslaved or drove away
the original non,'uslim inhabitants of the areas that they chose to settle in. Serfs
and slaves alike were used to till the "elds and to make more clearings from the
Throughout the archipelago, the scope of barangays could be enlarged either
through the
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
e*pansion of agriculture by the toil of the slaves or serfs, through con$uests in war
and through
interbarangay marriages of the nobility. The confederations of barangays was
usually the result of a peace pact, a barter agreement or an alliance to "ght
common internal and e*ternal enemies.
2s evident from the forms of social organization already attained, the precolonial
inhabitants of
the Philippine archipelago had an internal basis for further social development. In
either barangay or sultanate, there was a certain mode of production which was
bound to develop further until it would wear out and be replaced with a new one.
There were de"nite classes whose struggle was bound to bring about social
development. 2s a matter of fact, the class struggle within the barangay was
already getting e*tended into interbarangay wars. The barangay was akin to the
4reek city,state in many respects and the sultanate to the feudal commonwealth of
other countries.
The people had developed e*tensive agricultural "elds. In the plains or in the
mountains, the
people had developed irrigation systems. The Ifugao rice terraces were the product
of the engineering genius of the people! a marvel of 35,666 miles if strung end,to,
end. There were livestock,raising, "shing and brewing of beverages. 2lso there were
mining, the manufacture of metal implements, weapons and ornaments, lumbering,
shipbuilding and weaving. The handicrafts were developing fast.
4unpowder had also come into use in warfare. 2s far north as 'anila, when the
Spaniards came, there was already a 'uslim community which had cannons in its
weaponry. The ruling classes made use of arms to maintain the social system, to
assert their independence
from other barangays or to repel foreign invaders. Their 7urisprudence would still be
borne out today by the so,called 1ode of 8alantiyaw and the 'uslim laws. These
were touchstones of their culture.
There was a written literature which included epics, ballads, riddles and verse,
sayings! various forms and instruments of music and dances! and art works that
included well,designed bells, drums, gongs, shields, weapons, tools, utensils, boats,
combs, smoking pipes, lime tubes and baskets. The people sculpted images from
wood, bone, ivory, horn or metals. In areas where anito worship and polytheism
prevailed, the images of 9ora and fauna were imitated, and in the areas where the
'uslim faith prevailed, geometric and arabes$ue designs were made. 'orga%s
Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, a record of what the Spanish conquistadores came
upon, would later be used by :r. ;ose 0izal as testimony to the achievement of the
indios in pre,colonial times.
There was interisland commerce ranging from .uzon to 'indanao and vice,versa.
There were
e*tensive trade relations with neighboring countries like 1hina, Indochina, /orth
Borneo, Indonesia, 'alaya, ;apan and Thailand.3 Traders from as far as India and
the 'iddle ast vied for commerce with the precolonial inhabitants of the
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
archipelago. 2s early as the <th century, Sulu was an important trading emporium
where trading ships from 1ambodia, 1hina and Indonesia converged. 2rab traders
brought goods from Sulu to the 1hinese mainland through the port of 1anton. In the
3=th century, a large 9eet of >6 vessels from 1hina anchored at 'anila Bay,
'indoro and Sulu. Previous to this, 1hinese trading 7unks had been intermittently
sailing into various points of the Philippine shoreline. The barter system was
employed or gold and metal gongs were used as medium of e*change.
number of distinctions between the modernBarangay or Barrio, and the city-states and
independentprincipalities encountered by the Spanish when they frstarrived in 1521 and established
relatively permanentsettlements in 1574. The most glaring diference would bethat the modern entity
represents a geographical entity,the pre-colonial barangays represented loyalty to aparticular head
(datu). Even during the early days ofSpanish rule, it was not unusual for people living besideeach
other to actually belong to diferent barangays.[2] Theyowed their loyalty to diferent Datus. Also,
while themodern barangay represents only the smallestadministrative unit of government, the
barangay ofprecolonial times was either independent, or belonged towhat was only a loose
confederation of several barangays,over which the rulers picked among themselves who wouldbe
foremost - known as the Pangulo or Rajah. In most cases,his function was to make decisions which
would involvemultiple barangays, such as disputes between members oftwo diferent barangays.
Internally, each datu retained hisjurisdiction.[3][4]
2. THE FIRST COMMUNITIES Historically, the frst barangays started as relatively small
communities of around 50 to 100 families. Most villages have only thirty to one hundred houses and
the population varies from one hundred to fve hundred persons. When the Spaniards came, they
found communities with twenty to thirty people only. They also encountered large and prestigious
principalities. Theories, as well as local oral traditions,[5] say that the original barangays were
coastal settlements formed as a result of the migration of these Malayo-Polynesian people (who
came to the archipelago) by boat from other places in Southeast Asia (see chiefdom). Most of the
ancient barangays were coastal or riverine in nature. This is because most of the people were relying
on fshing for supply of protein and for their livelihood. They also travelled mostly by water up and
down rivers, and along the coasts. Trails always followed river systems, which were also a major
source of water for bathing, washing, and drinking.
3. The coastal villages were more accessible to trade with foreigners. These were ideal places
for economic activity to develop. Business with traders from other Countries also meant contact with
other cultures and civilizations, such as those of Japan, Han Chinese, Indian people, and Arab
people.[6] In time, these coastal communities acquired more advanced cultures, with developed
social structures (sovereign principalities), ruled by established royalties and nobilities.[7]
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4. SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND STRATIFICATION The barangays in some coastal places in
Panay,[8] Manila, Cebu, Jolo, and Butuan, with cosmopolitan cultures and trade relations with other
Countries in Asia, were already established Principalities before the coming of the Spaniards. In
these regions, even though the majority of these barangays were not large settlements, yet they had
organized societies dominated by the same type of recognized aristocracy (with birthright claim to
allegiance from followers), as those found in established Principalities. The aristocratic group in
these pre-colonial societies was called the Datu Class. Its members were presumably the
descendants of the frst settlers on the land or, in the case of later arrivals, of those who
were Datus at the time of migration or conquest. Some of these Principalities have remained, even
until the present, in unhispanized[9] and mostly Islamized parts of the Philippines, in Mindanao.[10]
5. In more developed Barangays in Visayas, e.g., Panay, Bohol and Cebu (which were never
conquered by Spain but were accomplished as vassals by means of pacts, peace treaties, and
reciprocal alliances),[11] the "Datu" Class was at the top of a divinely sanctioned and stable social
order in a "Sakop" (elsewhere referred to as Barangay). This social order was divided into three
classes. The members of the Datu Class were compared by the Boxer Codex to the titled Lords
(Seores de titulo) in Spain.[12] As Agalon or Amo ( Lords),[13] the Datus enjoyed an ascribed right
to respect, obedience, and support from their "Oripun" (Commoner) or followers belonging to the
Third Order. These Datus had acquired rights to the same advantages from their legal "Timawa" or
vassals (Second Order), who bind themselves to the Datu as his seafaring warriors. "Timawas" paid
no tribute, and rendered no agricultural labor. They had a portion of the Datus blood in their veins.
The above-mentioned Boxer Codex calls these "Timawas": Knights and Hidalgos. The Spanish
conquistador, Miguel de Loarca, described them as "free men, neither chiefs nor slaves". In the late
1600s, the Spanish Jesuit priest Fr. Francisco Ignatio Alcina, classifed them as the third rank of
nobility (nobleza).[14]
6. To maintain purity of bloodline, Datus marry only among their kind, often seeking high
ranking brides in other Barangays, abducting them, or contracting brideprices in gold, slaves and
jewelry. Meanwhile, the Datus keep their marriageable daughters secluded for protection and
prestige.[15] These well-guarded and protected highborn women were called "Binokot", and the
Datus of pure descent (four generations) were called "Potli nga Datu" or "Lubus nga Datu".[16]
THE TAGALOG REGION The diferent type of culture prevalent in Luzon gave a less stable and
more complex social structure to the pre-colonial Tagalog barangays of Manila, Pampanga and
Laguna. Enjoying a more extensive commence than those in Visayas, having the infuence of
Bornean political contacts, and engaging in farming wet rice for a living, the Tagalogs were described
by the Spanish Augustinian Friar Martin de Rada as more traders than warriors.[17]
8. The more complex social structure of the Tagalogs was less stable during the arrival of the
Spaniards because it was still in a process of diferentiating. A Jesuit priest Francisco Colin made an
attempt to give an approximate comparison of it with the Visayan social structure in the middle of the
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
seventeenth century. The term Datu or Lakan, or Apo refers to the chief, but the noble class to
which the Datu belonged or could come from was the Maginoo Class. One maybe born a Maginoo,
but he could become a Datu by personal achievement. In the Visayas, if the Datu had the personality
and economic means, he could retain and restrain competing peers, relatives, and ofspring.[18]
The term Timawa came into use in the social structure of the Tagalogs within just twenty years after
the coming of the Spaniards. The term, however, was being applied to former Alipin (Third Class)
who have escaped bondage by payment, favor, or fight. The Tagalog Timawas did not have the
military prominence of the Visayan Timawa. The warrior class in the Tagalog society was present
only in Laguna, and they were called the Maharlika Class. At the early part of the Spanish regime,
the number of their members who were coming to rent land from their Datus was increasing.[19]
9. Unlike the Visayan Datus, the Lakans and Apos of Luzon could call all non-
Maginoo subjects to work in the Datus felds or do all sorts of other personal labor. In the Visayas,
only the Oripuns were obliged to do that, and to pay tribute besides. The Tagalog who works in
theDatus feld did not pay him tribute, and could transfer their allegiance to another Datu. [20]
10. The Visayan Timawa neither paid tribute nor performed agricultural labor. In a sense, they
were truly aristocrats. The Tagalog Maharlika did not only work in his Datus feld, but could also be
required to pay his own rent. Thus, all non- Maginoo formed a common economic class in some
sense, though this class had no designation.[21] There are two types of persons belonging to
the alipin class . The Aliping Namamahay who served his master in his own felds, and Aliping
Saguiguilid who lived in the peripheral areas of his masters house.
11. HISPANIZATION (A R R I V A L O F T H E S P A N I A R D S Upon the arrival of
the Spanish, smaller ancient barangays were combined to form towns. Every barangay within a town
was headed by the cabeza de barangay (barangay chief), who formed part of the Principala - the
elite ruling class of the municipalities of the Spanish Philippines. This position was inherited from the
frst datus, and came to be known as such during the Spanish regime. The Spanish Monarch ruled
each barangay through the Cabeza, who also collected taxes (called tribute) from the residents for
the Spanish Crown.
1. The literature of a formative past by the various groups of people who inhabited the
A literature of varying human interest
Close to the religious and political organizations of the ancient Filipinos
The verses were addressed to the ears rather than the eyes
2. Verses composed and sung were regarded as group property
Legendary and religious poems
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Dalawang Balon
Hindi Malingon
Sa araw ay Bunbong
Sa gabi ay dahon
Examples of Ancient Filipino Poetry
3. Sang dalagang marikit
Nakaupo sa tinik
Kung bayaay nabubuhay
Kung himasiy namamatay
4. Made up of one or more measured lines with rhymes and may consist of 4 to 12 syllables
Showcase the Filipino wit, literary talent, and keen observation of the surroundings
Involves reference to one or two images that symbolize the characteristics of an unknown object that
is to be guessed
Riddle (bugtong)
5. To entertain. Living in remote areas, before the advent of electricity, families would sit around
the fre and the elders would quiz the younger generation with riddles.
To educate. Riddles serve the function of passing down knowledge from one generation to the next.
They require thinking in order to solve them.
To titillate. Many old Filipino riddles contain double entendres that were intended to amuse the men
and shock the women.
To curse, without expressly cursing. A riddle could be made up against an enemy, rival town, or
To preserve the culture. Riddles communicate the old ways from one generation to the next.
Purpose of Bugtong
6. Ate mo, ate ko, Ate ng lahat ng tao.(My sister, your sister, everyone's sister)
Atis (Sugar Apple)
7. Epigrams/maxims/proverbs
Short poems that have been customarily been used and served as laws or rules on good behavior by
our ancestors Allegories or parables that impart lessons for the young Often expressing a single
idea, that is usually satirical and had a witty ending Maxims- rhyming couplets (5,6,8 syllables)
Salawikain & Sawikain
8. Ex of salawikain
Ang matapat na kaibigan, tunay na maaasahan. - - -You will know a true friend in time of need.
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9. Ex of Sawikain
kumukulo ang dugo "blood is boiling" = is very angry
isulat sa tubig "write on water" = forget about it
10. Ex of Maxims
Pag hindi ukol, Hindi bubukol. means What is not intended for one will not bear fruit.
11. Used in witchcraft or enchantments
Sa hinaba-haba ng prusisyon
Sa simbahan din pala ang tuloy
12. Helehele
13. BULONG (chants)
14. Halimbawa (for example):Tabi, tabipo, Ingkong Makikiraan po lamang.
15. Used in teasing or to comment on a persons acutations
Catitibay ca tolos
Aco I momontinglomot
Sa iyo I popolopot
Kaninglamig, tinapa;
Ikawnasana, sinta
Kasabihan (sayings)
16. A quatrain with seven syllables each with the same rhyme at the end of each line
No title
Ex. Tahakngtingin, tulak
ngsulyap, yakap, lapat
ng titig sa balikat.
hatak pa, kindat, hakat
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17. traditional poetry of the Hanunoo Mangyans of Oriental Mindoro which is normally inscribed
on bamboo using a pre-Colonial syllabic writing system called the SuratMangyan .
seven-syllable metric lines can be composed of more than four lines usually chanted teaches
lessons about life recited by parents to educate their children, by the youth to express their love, by
the old to impart experiences, or by the community in tribal ceremonies Ambahan
18. on some occasions like burial rites, the ambahan is used for entertainment
SugotngamaawkunmanTangdayan no ma-ambanSabungan no
manuywanImpadlasyamidaywanHangganbuhoktimbanganHanggansabalodpangdanBugkatdi way
yamunganBilangdayibunlaganNo kangtinagindumanKang magpahalimbaw-anGabugtongtibilugan
19. (Isn't this the truth with all:If the wife is good and kind,the husband reasonable, you have
always friends around,like long hair drooping so nice.Till the fnal burial mount,you'll be sleeping on
one mat. You don't want to separatePutting down my thoughts like this: An example very clear, being
TWO, you're only ONE.)
20. derived from Philippine folk literature, which is the traditional oral literature of the Filipino
people. This refers to a wide range of material due to the ethnic mix of the Philippines
There are many diferent creation myths in Philippine mythology, originating from various ethnic
Story of Bathala
Visayan version
The legend of Maria Makiling
21. Presence of diferent deities
Ex. Bathala
Mythical creatures
22. Ifugao Hudhud hi Aliguyon
Ilocos Biagni Lam-ang
Bicol - Ibalon
Mindanao Darangan
Panay Hinilawod
Bagobo - Tuwaang
Kalinga Ulaliim
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Manobo Agyu or Olahing
Subanon - Sandayo
Ancient Metrical Tales
23. Aliguyon
the exploits of Aliguyon as he battles his arch-enemy, Pambukhayon
Biagni Lam-Ang
tells of the adventuresvof Lam-Ang who exhibits extraordinary powers at a very early age.
the story of three Bicol heroes: Baltog, Handiong, Bantiong
oldest and longest epic poem in Panay
the exploits of three Sulodnon demigod brothers, LabawDonggon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap of
ancient Panay
Ancient Metrical Tales
25. a form of folk lyric which expresses the peoples hopes, aspirations, and lifestyles
repetitive and sonorous, didactic and naive
traditional songs and melodies
inspired by the reaction of the people to their environment
Folk Songs
26. uyayi lullaby
komintang war song
kundiman melancholic love song
harana serenade
tagay drinking song
mambayu Kalinga rice-pounding song
subli dance-ritual song of courtship /marriage
Tagulaylay- songs of the dead
The script used in writing originated in ;ava, and was used across much of 'aritime
Southeast 2sia. But by at least the 3?th century or 3=th century, its descendant
known in Tagalog as Baybayin was in regular use. The term baybayin literally
means syllables, and the writing system itself is a member of the Brahmic
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
family. &ne e*ample of the use of Baybayin from that time period was found on an
earthenware burial 7ar found in Batangas. Though a common perception is that
Baybayin replaced 8awi, many historians believe that they were used alongside
each other. Baybayin was noted by the Spanish to be known by everyone, and was
generally used for personal and trivial writings. 8awi most likely continued to be
used for oCcial documents and writings by the ruling class. Baybayin was simpler
and easier to learn, but 8awi was more advanced and better suited for concise
2lthough 8awi came to be replaced by the .atin script, Baybayin continued to be
used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines up until the late 3<th
1entury. 1losely related scripts still in use among indigenous peoples today
include -anunDo, Buhid, and Tagbanwa.
Eilipinos used a syllabary which was probably of Sanskrit or 2rabic provenanceF the
syllabary consisted of seventeen symbols, of which three were vowels and fourteen
consonantsF no one is certain about the direction of writingF Er. Pedro 1hirino%s
theory is that the ancients wrote from top to bottom and from left to right
F pre,colonial Eilipinos wrote on bark of trees, on leaves and bamboo tubes, using
their knives and daggers, pointed sticks or iron as pens and the colored saps of
trees as inkF only a few of this writings survive into the present because early
Spanish missionaries destroyed many manuscripts on the ground that they are the
work of the :evil himselfF some pieces of literature, however, have been handed
down to us orally
1. The cultural achievements of pre-colonial Philippines include those covered byprehistory and
early history of the Philippines archipelago and its inhabitants, whichare the indigenous forebears of
todays Filipino people.These early Filipinos possessed a culture and technology that were quite
advancedconsidering the timeline of history of science when it fourished. Waves of migrantswho
came to settle in the islands contributed to the development of ancientPhilippine civilization.
Prehistoric aborigines, a cross of Afro-Asiatic and Austro-Aborigines, now called Negritos (Aeta,
Agta, Ayta) reached the islands by way ofand bridges around 15,000 to 30,000 BC, and they were
excellent hunters and foodgatherers. In its midst, other ancient civilizations were also thriving and
evolving.The Proto-Malays, a Mongol-Asiatic race, arrived around 2500 BC using oceanicvessels
called balangays, and they brought with them their knowledge inseafaring, farming, building of
houses from trees and creation of fre for cooking.The next to arrive were the Duetero-Malays, of
India-Asiatic race(Indian, Chinese, Siamese, Arabic), that prevailed with a more superior
andadvanced culture. They possessed their own systems of writing, knowledge and skillsin
agriculture, metallurgy, jewelry-making as well as boat-building. When theSpaniards came to the
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
islands in the 15th century, industries such asmining, agriculture, fshing and pottery were already in
place and contacts withother Asian nations had been long established.
2. Peopling of the Pre-Colonnial PhilippinesThe Negritos were early settlers but their
appearance inthe Philippines has not been reliably dated ; and theywere followed by speakers of the
Malayo-Polynesianlanguages, a branch of the Austronesian languages, whobegan to arrive in
successive waves beginning about 4000B.C.E, displacing the earlier arrivals.By 1000 B.C. the
inhabitants of the Philippinearchipelago had developed into four distinct kinds ofpeoples: tribal
groups, such as theAetas, Hanunoo, Ilongots and the Mangyan whodepended on hunter-gathering
and were concentrated inforests; warrior societies, such as the Isneg and Kalingaswho practiced
social ranking and ritualized warfare androamed the plains; the petty plutocracy of the
IfugaoCordillera Highlanders, who occupied the mountainranges of Luzon; and the harbor
principalities of theestuarine civilizations that grew along rivers andseashores while participating in
trans-island maritimetrade.
3. Pre Colonial Culture During the early period thousand years ago, the early Filipinos were
composed of diferent groups that came from diferent part of Asia. With diferent groups they form
their own community, system of education and religious belief.They group into diferent communities
composed of 50to 2,000 individuals and they construct their shelters indiferent areas according to
their lifestyle and source of living. Usually they were situated along the seashores, streams, rivers,
forests, fertile land areas and even in caves. In water areas they look for fsh, shells and pearls as
their source of living. They also used boat and craft as there means of transportation for an easier
travel and carrying their goods for trade from one place to another. For those people located in land
areas they cultivate the land and plant rice, bananas and crops. After the harvest they no longer use
the area indeedthey just move to another place with less grass and fnesoil and abundant of trees
where they can start farmingagain. Perhaps this gives an idea that the Philippines is very rich of
resources for a bountiful living.
4. Pre Colonial Culture During the pre-colonial time there was already an indigenous
spiritualtraditions practiced by the people in the Philippines. Generally, for lack of better terminology
prehistoricpeople are described to be animistic. Their practice was a collection ofbeliefs and cultural
mores anchored in the idea that the world is inhabited by spirits andsupernatural entities, both good
andbad, and that respect be accorded to them through nature worship thus; they believed that their
daily lives has a connection of such beliefs.
5. Pre Colonial Culture These spirits are said to be the anito or diwata that they believed to be
good and bad. The good spirits wereconsidered as there relatives and the bad were believed to be
their enemies. Some worship specifc deities like Bathala a supreme godfor the Tagalog, Laon or
Abba for the Visayan, Ikasi of Zambal, Gugurangfor the people of Bicol and Kabunian of Ilocano and
Ifugao. Aside from those supreme deities they also worship other gods like Idialao as god of farming,
Lalaon of harvest, Balangay god of rainbow and Sidapa god of death.
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
6. Pre Colonial CultureOthers also worship themoon, stars, caves, mountains, rivers,
plantsand trees. Some creatures are being worship too like the bird, crow, tortoise, crocodileand
other things they believed has valueand connected to their lives.The variation of animistic practices
occursin diferent ethnic groups. Magic, chantsand prayers are often key features. Itspractitioners
were highly respected (andsome feared) in the community, as they werehealers, midwife (hilot),
shamans, witchesand warlocks(mangkukulam), babaylans, tribalhistorians and wizened elders that
providedthe spiritual and traditional life of thecommunity. In the Visayas region there is abelief of
witchcraft (kulam) and mythicalcreatures like aswang, Nuno sa Punso and
7. Pre Colonial ClothingDuring this pre-colonial era historians havefound out that the Barong
Tagalog (dressof the Tagalog) already existed. The earliestBaro or Baro ng Tagalog was worn by
thenatives of Ma-I (the Philippines namebefore) just before they were colonized bythe Spaniards.The
men wore a sleeve-doublet made ofCanga (rough cotton) that reached slightlybelow the waist. It is
collarless with a frontopening. Their loins were covered with apane that hung between the legs and
mid-thigh. The women also wore a sleeve dressbut shorter than the men. They also wear apane
attached to the waist and reaching tothe feet accented by a colourful belt. Thematerials used for their
dress is of fne lineor Indian Muslin.
8. Pre Colonial ClothingThe Visayan men wore a jacketwith a Moorish style rob, thatreach
down their feet and was embroidered in beautiful colours. Tagalog and Visayanmen bound their
temples and forehead with a putong (a narrow strips of clothe).They also wore gold jewellery and
other accessories to beautify their bodies.
9. Pre Colonial Writing SystemsDuring the early period almosteveryone in the society-male
orfemale knows how to read and write.They have their own method ofwriting which they use sharp-
pointed tools, leaves, bamboo andtrunks skin. They write from top tobottom and read it from left to
right.Accordingly they have their Alibatawhich script is diferent fromChina, Japan and India. This
accountwas told by one of the frst Spanishmissionaries who came in thePhilippines, Fr. Pedro
10. Pre Colonial Writing Systems Another account proved after the discovery of a jar in
Calatagan, Batangas. This system of writing came from the alphabet of Sumatra.The frst Visayan,
Tagalog, Ilocano and some ethic groups have their own dialect and form of writing too. They have an
alphabet composed of 17letters; 3 of which are vowels and 14 are consonants. The Muslims have
also their ownsystem basing on there dialect. This is called kirim of Maranao and jiwi of the Tausug,
which they are still using
11. Abugida:Pre Colonial method ofHandwriting (Baybayin)
12. Pre Colonial Form of Government Before the Spaniards came into the Philippines there
were existing culture of the Filipinos which were not distinguished by most of theflipinos especially
for the new bornflipino citizens. The Filipinos lived in settlements called barangays before the
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
colonization of thePhilippines by the Spaniards. As the unit of government, a barangayconsisted from
30 to 100 families. It was headed by a datu and was independent from the other group.
13. Pre Colonial Form of GovernmentUsually, several barangays settled near each other to
help one another in case of war or any emergency. The position of datu was passed on by the holder
of the position to the eldest son or, if none, the eldestdaughter. However, later, any member of the
barangay could be chieftain, based on his talent and ability. He had the usual responsibilities of
leading and protecting the members of his barangay. In turn, they had to pay tribute to the datu, help
him till the land, and help him fght for the barangay in case of war. In the old days, a datu had a
council of elders to advisehim, especially whenever he wanted a law to be enacted. The law was
written andannounced to the whole barangay by a town crier, called the umalohokan.
14. Pre Colonial Houses:
15. Social Classes Before the coming of Spanish colonizers, the people of the Philippine
archipelago had alreadyattained a semicommunal and semislave social system in many parts and
also a feudal system incertain parts, especially in Mindanao and Sulu, where such a feudal faith as
Islam had alreadytaken roots. The Aetas had the lowest form of social organization, which was
primitive communal.
16. Social ClassesThe barangay was thetypical community in the whole archipelago. It wasthe
basic political and economic unit independent of similar others. Each embraced a few hundreds of
people and a small territory. Each was headed by a chieftain called the rajah or datu.
17. Social Classes The social structure comprised a petty nobility, the ruling class which had
started to accumulate land that it owned privately or administered in the name of the clan or
community; an intermediate class of freemen called themaharlikas who had enough land for their
livelihood or who rendered special service to the rulers and who did not haveto work in the felds;
and the ruled classes that included the timawas, the serfs who shared the crops with the petty
nobility, and also the slaves and semislaves who workedwithout having any defnite share in the
harvest. There were two kinds of slaves then: those who had their own quarters, the aliping
namamahay, and those who lived intheir masters house, the aliping sagigilid. One acquired thestatus
of a serf or a slave by inheritance, failure to pay debts and tribute, commission of crimes and
captivity in wars between barangays.
The Philippines is a predominantly Christian nation on account of 300 years of Spanish rule. It is
estimated that 81% of the population is Roman Catholic. In the south on the large island of indanao!
many are adherents of Islam. "ilipino uslims ma#e up a$out fi%e percent of the national population.
&nimism or fol# religion encompassing indigenous spiritual traditions from pre'colonial times still pre%ail
e%en among $apti(ed mem$ers of formal churches. Superstitious $eliefs are )idespread.

P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
1. Religious Beliefs pre-colonial Filipinos believed in the immortality of the soul and in life after
death they also believed in the existence of a number of gods whom they worship and made
oferings to according to rank i.e. Bathalang Maykapal (Creator), Idinayale (god of agriculture),
Sidapa (god of death), Balangaw (rainbow god), Mandarangan (war god), Agni (fre god) Lalahon
(goddess of harvest), Siginarugan (god of hell), Diyan Masalanta (goddess of love), etc.
2. Agni (India)Bathala
3. also showed respect for animals and plants like the crocodile, crow, tigmamanukin; some
trees were not also cut because they were thought to be divine diseases were thought to be caused
by the temper of the environmental spirits Filipinos also venerated the dead by keeping alive their
memory by carving idols of stone, gold or ivory called likha or larawan; food, wine and other things
were also shared with the dead
4. adored idols called anitos or diwatas to whom they made oferings some anitos were
considered bad; however, they made oferings to them too in order to appease them or placate their
anger priestesses such as the babaylan/ baylana or katalona acted as mediums to communicate
with these spirits
5. Burial the dead was placed in a wooden cofn and buried under the house complete with
cloth, gold and other valuable things upon the death of the person, fres were made under the house
and armed men acted as sentinels to guard the corpse from sorcerers professional mourners were
hired to accentuate the depth of mourning
6. sometimes, the relatives of the dead wore rattan bands around their arms, legs and necks
and they abstained from eating meat and drinking wine the ancients distinguished mourning for a
woman from that of a man morotal (for women) and maglahi (for men) mourning for a dead chief
is called laraw, and this was accompanied by certain prohibitions like engaging in petty quarrels,
wars, carrying daggers with hilts in the normal position, singing in boats coming from the sea or river,
and wearing loud clothes
7. some ancients fasted and limited their nutrition to vegetables; among the Tagalogs, this is
called sipa relatives of the dead who was murdered would not end their mourning until they have
exacted vengeance or balata the celebration held on the ninth night after the death of the person is
called pasiyam, in which a play called tibaw is staged to honor the dead
8. Divination and Magic Charms ancient Filipinos are quite superstitious and put much stock
into auguries, and magic charms they interpreted signs in nature like the fight of birds, the barking
of dogs, the singing of lizards, and the like, as good or bad omens depending on the circumstances
they also consulted with the pangatauhan, or soothsayers, to tell their fortunes
9. there was also a belief in the existence of the aswang, mangkukulam, manggagaway,
tiyanak, and the tikbalang amulets and charms were also used by the ancients like the anting-
anting, gayuma, odom or tagabulag, wiga or sagabe, and tagahupa these beliefs were not
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
eradicated with the coming of Western civilization and most of them were practiced behind the backs
of the Christian missionaries the result was a blending of pagan and Christian beliefs that made
Filipino Catholicism unique
10. PHILIPPINE HISTORY Pre-Colonial Period Arts & Letters University of Santo Tomas Manila
Prepared by: Mr. Ernie Ronel T. Mabahague
11. Long before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, Filipinos had a civilization of their own.
This civilization partly came from the Malay settlers and partly from their response to the new
environment. Many of these customs and traditions, government and way of life, have come down to
the present day, despite thechanges brought about by westernization and modernization. This is why
it ispossible to know about our distant past by simply observing some customs and practices that
have resisted change and modernization.
12. Society Philippine pre-colonial society is bothdiferent and the same as in the present. Some
aspects of the pre-colonial periodhave survived into our time. The following is a description of the
way of life of pre- colonial Filipinos.
13. Mode of Dressing male attire was composed of the kanggan (sleeveless jacket) and bahag
(loincloth) the color of the kanggan indicates rank red for the chief, black or blue for the
commoners men also wear a turban calledBogobo man & woman putong, which also tell the social
status/achievement of the individual wearing it female attire consisted of baro or camisa (jacket with
sleeves) and saya or patadyong (a long skirt); some women wore a piece of red or white cloth on top
of their skirt Kalinga & subuanon women called tapis
14. putong Bogobo man
15. Ornaments men and women wore ornaments to look attractive both wear kalumbiga,
pendants, bracelets, and leglets these ornaments were made of gold some wore gold fllings
between the teeth tattoos were also fashionable for some pre-colonial Filipinos; they also exhibit a
mans war record Islas del Pintados term coined by the Spaniards for the Visayans
16. Bontoc men
17. Houses built to suit the tropical climate called bahay kubo, made of wood, bamboo, and
nipa palm; it was built on stilts and can be entered through ladders that can be drawn up some
Filipinos, such as the Kalingas, Mandayas and Bagobos built their houses on treetops others, such
as the Badjaos, built their houses on boats
18. Social Classes the society was made up of three classes: nobles (made up of the datu and
their families), mahadlika or maharlika (freemen) and the alipin (dependents) members of the
nobility were addressed with the title Gat or Lakan among the Tagalogs
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
19. alipin or dependents acquired their status by inheritance, captivity, purchase, failure to
settle debts, or by committing a crime there were two kinds of dependents: aliping namamahay and
aliping sagigilid in the Visayas, dependents were of three kinds : tumataban, tumarampok, and the
ayuey Maguindanao Sultan, nobles & Alipins
20. Status of Women women in pre-colonial Philippine society had the right to inherit property,
engage in trade and industry, and succeed to the chieftainship of the barangay in the absence of a
male heir had the exclusive right to name their children men walked behind them as a sign of
21. Marriage customs men were in general, monogamous; while their wives are called asawa,
while concubines are called friends in order to win the hand of his lady, the man has to show his
patience and dedication to both the lady and her parents courtship usually begins with paninilbihan
if the man wins the trust of the parents, he does not immediately marry the woman, but he has to
satisfy several conditions: - give a dowry or bigay-kaya - pay the panghihimuyat - pay the wet nurse
bigay-suso - pay the parents himaraw - bribe for the relatives called sambon (among the Zambals)
22. once he had settled all of the above requirements, he brings his parents to meet with the
bride-to-bes parents to haggle and make the fnal arrangements; this is called pamamalae or
pamamanhikan or pamumulungan the wedding ceremonies vary depending on the status of the
couple; but normally, those from the upper class, a go-between was employed weddings are
ofciated by the priestess or babaylan uncooked rice is thrown on the couple after the wedding
23. Marriage ceremony - eating riceTausog wedding ceremony
24. Muslim Filipinos have similar marriage customs; the frst stage was called pananalanguni or
bethrothal; it was followed by the consultation with the girls parents, who relays their decision to the
village chief, who in turn informed the suitors parents of the decision dowry was also settled by the
chief (pedsungud). This was of seven kinds: 1. kawasateg, money given to the brides close relatives;
2. siwaka, brassware given to those who helped arrange the wedding; 3. enduatuan, brassware or
animals for the village chief; 4. pangatulian, jewelry given to the brides mother and aunts; 5. tatas,
blade given to the girls uncle; 6. langkad, money given to the girls parents as fne for having
bypassed the girls elder sister if she had any; and 7. lekat, amount of money given to the girls
25. once everything is settled, the pegkawing, or the wedding ceremony follows the wedding
ceremony is ofciated by the hadji six days of festivities followed, and only on the seventh day could
the couple sleep together Muslim wedding
26. Mixed Marriages, Inheritance and Succession mixed marriages were allowed in pre-colonial
society the status of children were dependent upon the status of the parents often, the status of
children in mixed marriages is divided evenly between the parents single children of mixed marriage
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
were half-free and half-dependent legitimate children inherited their parents property even without
any written will and was divided equally among the children
27. natural children inherited only a third of the inheritance of legitimate children children of
dependent mothers are given freedom and a few things nearest relatives inherit the property of
childless couples in succession, the frst son of the barangay chieftain inherits his fathers position; if
the frst son dies, the second son succeeds their father; in the absence of male heirs, it is the eldest
daughter that becomes the chieftain
28. Politics
29. Government unit of government was the barangay, which consisted of from 30 to 100
families. The term came from the Malay word balangay, meaning boat barangays were headed by
chieftains called datu the subjects served their chieftain during wars, voyages, planting and harvest,
and when his house needs to be built or repaired; they also paid tributes called buwis
30. balangay
31. the chief or datu was the chief executive, the legislator, and the judge; he was also the
supreme commander in times of war alliances among barangays were common and these were
formalized in a ritual called sangduguan conficts between or among barangays were settled by
violence; those who win by force is always right
32. Laws were either customary (handed down from generation to generation orally) or written
(promulgated from time to time as necessity arose) dealt with various subjects such as inheritance,
property rights, divorce, usury, family relations, divorce, adoption, loans, etc. those found guilty of
crimes were punished either by fne or by death; some punishments can be considered as torture by
modern standards however, it must be noted that ancients did not believe in endangering society by
letting loose a gang of thieves of recidivists who are incapable of reform
33. Legislation before laws are made, the chief consults with a council of elders who approved
of his plan they are not immediately enforced until the new legislation is announced to the village by
the umalohokan, who also explains the law to everyone
34. Judicial Process disputes between individuals were settled by a court made up of the village
chief and the council of elders; between barangays, a board made up of elders from neutral
barangays acted as arbiter the accused and the accuser faced each other in front of the court with
their respective witnesses both took an oath to tell the truth; most of the time, the one who presents
the most witnesses wins the case if the losing party contests the decision, he is bound to lose in the
end because the chief always take the side of the winner
35. Trial by Ordeal to determine the innocence of an accused, he is made to go through a
number of ordeals which he must pass examples include dipping ones hand in boiling water,
holding a lighted candle that must not be extinguished, plunging into a river and staying underwater
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
for as long as possible, chewing uncooked rice and spitting, etc. among the Ifugaos, ordeal by
combat was common, i.e. bultong (wrestling), alaw (duel)
36. Economic Life
37. Agriculture main source of livelihood rice, coconuts, sugar cane, cotton, hemp, bananas,
oranges, and many species of fruits and vegetables were grown done in two ways : kaingin system
(slash and burn) and tillage when the Spaniards came to the Philippines, they noted that Cebu and
Palawan were abundant in many agricultural foodstufs
38. agricultural productivity was enhanced by use of irrigation ditches like those found in the
Ifugao Rice Terraces landholding was either public (less arable land that could be tilled freely by
anyone) and private (rich and cultivated lands belonging to nobles and datus) some rented land and
paid in gold or in kind
39. the daily fare consisted of rice and boiled fsh, or sometimes pork or venison, carabao or
wild bufalo meat fermented the sap of palm trees and drank it as liquor called tuba Livestock Pre-
colonial Filipinos raised chickens, pigs, goats, carabaos, and small native ponies
40. Fishing Was a thriving industry for those who live in the coast or near rivers and lakes
Various tools for fshing such as nets, bow and arrow, spear, wicker basket, hooks and lines, corrals
and fsh poisons were used. Pearls fsheries also abound in Sulu.
41. Fishing with bow & arrow Mining Comparatively developed before the coming of the
Spaniards. The ancients mined gold in many parts of the archipelago and were traded throughout
the country and with other countries.
42. Lumbering and Shipbuilding were fourishing industries Filipinos were said to be profcient
in building ocean-going vessels all kinds of boats or ships were built, which the Spaniards later call
banca, balangay, lapis, caracoa, virey, vinta and prau
43. Weaving home industry that was dominated by women using crude wooden looms, textiles
such as sinamay from hemp, medrinaque from banana, cotton, linen, and silk, were woven
44. Trade was conducted between or among barangays, or even among the islands there was
trade too with other countries such as China, Siam, Japan, Cambodia, Borneo, Sumatra, Ja , and
other islands of old Malaysia did not use any currency but conducted trade through barter
sometimes, goods were priced in terms of gold or metal gongs Chinese traders noted that Filipinos
were very honest in their commercial transactions
45. CulturePhilippine pre-colonial culture was basically Malayan in structure and form. They had
written language which was used not just for communication but also for literary expression. They
also had music and dances for almost all occasions and a wide variety of musical instruments that
shows their ingenuity.
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
46. Languages there are more than one hundred languages in the Philippines, eight of which
are considered major languages. They are: Tagalog, Iloko, Pangasinan, Pampangan, Sugbuhanon,
Hiligaynon, Samarnon or Samar-Leyte, and Magindanao
47. these languages are descended from Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian language the
diferences might be accounted for the need to forming new words and phrases to ft the new
environment many of the words or terms in Filipino languages were derived from Malayan
48. System of Writing before the arrival of the Spaniards, Filipinos used a syllabary which was
probably of Sanskrit or Arabic provenance the syllabary consisted of seventeen symbols, of which
three were vowels and fourteen consonants no one is certain about the direction of writing Fr.
Pedro Chirinos theory is that the ancients wrote from top to bottom and from left to right
49. pre-colonial Filipinos wrote on bark of trees, on leaves and bamboo tubes, using their
knives and daggers, pointed sticks or iron as pens and the colored saps of trees as ink only a few of
this writings survive into the present because early Spanish missionaries destroyed many
manuscripts on the ground that they are the work of the Devil himself some pieces of literature,
however, have been handed down to us orally
50. Laguna Copperplate InscriptionBy Hector
Santoshttp://isanghamahal.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.htmlAntoon Postma, a Dutch national
who has lived most of his life among the Mangyansin the Philippines and the director of the Mangyan
Assistance & Research Center inPanaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, was able to translate the
writing. His efortis all the more remarkable when you consider that the text was in a language
similarto four languages (Sanskrit, Old Tagalog, Old Javanese, and Old Malay) mixedtogetherThe
text was written in Kavi, a mysterious script which does not look like the ancientTagalog script known
as baybayin or alibata. Neither does it look similar to otherPhilippine scripts still used today by
isolated ethnic minorities like the Hanunos andthe Buhids of Mindoro, and the Tagbanwas of
Palawan. It is the frst artifact of pre-Hispanic origin found in the Philippines that had writing on
copper materialPostmas translation provides a lot of exciting surprises. Like most other
copperplatedocuments, it gives a very precise date from the Sanskrit calendar whichcorresponds to
900 A.D. in our system. It contains placenames that still exist aroundthe Manila area today. It also
lists the names of the chiefs of the places mentioned.The placenames mentioned prove the
Philippine connection of the LCI. The namesare still recognizable today although almost eleven
centuries have passed since thedocument was issued. The placenames are Pailah (Paila), Tundun
(Tundo), Puliran(Pulilan), Binwangan (Binwangan), Dewata (Diwata), and Medang (Medang)
51. Literature pre-colonial literature may be classifed into : foating or oral and written literature
Tagalogs have the bugtong (riddle), suliranin and indulanin (street songs), sabi (maxim), sawikain
(saying), talindaw (boat songs), diyuna (song of revelry), kumintang (war song which evolved into a
love song), dalit and umbay (dirge), tagumpay, balikungkong, dupayinin and hiliraw (war songs),
uyayi and hele (lullabies), ihiman (bridal song), tagulaylay (mournful song), tigpasin (rowing song),
tingad (household song), and kutang-kutang (couplets usually chanted by the blind)
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
52. songs, dance and the drama probably developed simultaneously most of the pre-colonial
drama was held in the sambahan or places of worship these dealt with various subjects including
love, war, legends, the memory of the deceased, and war heroes
53. dramas developed into diferent forms such as the pagbati, karagatan, tagayan,
pananapatan, sabalan, and tibaw the karagatan was a debate in verse in which a problem is
resolved; it developed into the duplo during the Spanish period and then into the balagtasan in 1924
during the American period tibaw on the other hand is perform during the pasiyam
54. Maranaw literature, inspired by Islam, consisted of tutul (folk tale), tubad-tubad (short love
poems), pananaro-on (sayings and proverbs), sowa-sowa-i (drama), antoka (riddle or puzzle), and
darangan (epic poetry) Ilocano literature, for its part, has many kinds of songs sung on diferent
occasions; this include dal-ot (song during baptismal party, wedding, or a feast), badeng (love song
sung in a serenade), and dung-aw (dirge)
55. Filipinos were fond of composing epic poetry, which is why the country is unique for having
more than twenty epic poems. Examples of this are Hudhud and Alim (Ifugao), Biag ni Lam-Ang
(The Life of Lam-Ang / Ilocano), Bantugan, Indarapatra at Sulayman, and Bidasari (Moslems) Igorots
reciting Hudhud
56. Princess Lanawen to be won by Prince Bantugan Princess Bidasari story is like Snow
WhitesIndarapata &Sulayman
57. Music and Dance Filipinos are naturally fond of both music and dance, and usually,
whenever music is played, it is accompanied by dance
58. some examples of pre-colonial musical instruments include kudyapi (Tagalog), bansic or a
cane with four holes and gangsa or a small guitar (Negritos of Luzon), abafi a Malay music
instrument (Igorots), gongs, Jews harp, bamboo fute, kutibeng or a guitar with fve strings (Ilocano),
kalaleng or a nose fute and diwdiw-as or pan pipe made of seven bamboos reeds (Tinguians)
59. examples of the native dances, which depict diferent events include Potato Dance, Torture
Dance, Duel Dance, Lovers Dance (Negritos); macasla dance (Tagbanua), kinnotan or ants dance
and the kinnallogong or hat dance (Ilocano); balitaw and dandansoy (Visayan); balatong, dalit,
hiliraw, kutang-kutang, lulay, indulanin, kumintang, salampati, tagulaylay, subli, barimbaw, and
tagayan (Tagalog)
60. this shows that Filipinos have songs and dances for almost all occasions and because of
their frequent association, their social organization was more well- knit than it is today
61. Art frst glimpse can be seen in primitive tools and weapons that were polished along the
lines of leaves and petals of fowers can also be seen in beads, amulets, bracelets, and other
ornaments made of jade, red cornelian, and other stones dyed and ornamented their barkcloth with
designs of attractive colors
P-I.IPPI/S P0,1&.&/I2. 02
62. in the Iron Age, aside from armlets, bracelets, rings, and headbands, tattoos also became
fashionable; metals and glass also came into use; weaving became a preoccupation for women;
weapons were manufactured with designs on their handles; pottery with incised designs were made;
and carvings made of wood, bone, ivory or horn were also done not only for the use of the living but
also of the dead
63. Sarimanok utensils gangsa
64. the zigszag designs on ancient lime tubes and the ornamental carvings on combs refect
Negrito infuence Indonesian infuence can be seen in the apparel of the Kalingas, Maranaos,
Manobos and Bagobos Malay infuence can be traced to the wood carvings found in utensils, boats,
and wooden shields of the people of Sulu, Mindanao and Mountain Province
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