Evidence of pre-colonial FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS by Perry Gil S. Mallari FIGHT Times Editor

Evidence of pre-colonial FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS

Evidence of pre-colonial FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS May 25, 2014 12:30 am by Perry Gil S. Mallari FIGHT Times Editor While there is scant mention of the specific names of the martial arts that pre-colonial Filipinos practiced, I believe that various prototypes of Filipino martial arts (FMA) were already in existence long before the arrival of Spain. To me, three things serve as indicators of the existence of indigenous FMA: organized method of warfare, metallurgical technology and sophisticated blade culture. All three aforementioned were chronicled by the Spaniards when they arrived in the Philippines.    Organized method of warfareAsdang is the prehispanic Filipino term for hand-to-hand combat as mentioned by William Henry Scott in his excellent book Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society (1994), “Asdang was hand-to-hand combat. Bulu was a duel. Hulaw was a man known to be on the lookout for an enemy,” he wrote. While it may be true that sheer number is the prime factor why the native army of Lapulapu defeated the forces of Magellan in Mactan, I am firm in my stand that the pre-colonial Filipinos were already schooled in their own methods of warfare. Scott in his book wrote that the Visayan general term for warfare was gubat. He distinguished combat engagements into two—gahat (by land) and mangayaw (by sea). Salakay is the word used for attacking.” On land attacks, he comments, “The preferred tactic on land was ambush—habon, saghid, hoom or pool—either by lying in wait or by such strategies as exposing a few agile warriors to enemy view to lure them into a trap. Sayang was to pass by hidden enemies unawares.”  Scott even referred to an individual tactic used while being pursued by the enemy as well as how the concept of death could affect a warrior’s psyche, “Pinaorihiyan was for a fleeing warrior to turn and spear his pursuer; naga kamatayan was to fight to the death; and mangin matay was a desperate man determined to die on the field of battle.” Terminologies pertaining to military affairs also abound as the following lines from Scott’s book indicate, “Special roles connected with the conduct of war included away, enemy; bantay, sentinel; bila, allies; kagon, mediator; and laway, spy.”   Continue reading article here: http://www.manilatimes.net/evidence-of-pre-colonial-filipino-martial-arts-2/99117/     … [Read more...]

Comparative table of Baybayin variations by Pedro Paterno, 19th century.


Comparative table of Baybayin variations In the 19th century Pedro Paterno published this comparative table of the various baybayin variations. Baybayin the correct term for our pre-Spanish syllabary not "Alibata". … [Read more...]

Baybayin – The Ancient Script of the Philippines by Paul Morrow

Ang Baybayin

Baybayin - The Ancient Script of the Philippines  by Paul Morrow   This language of ours is like any other, it once had an alphabet and its own letters that vanished as though a tempest had set upon a boat on a lake in a time now long gone. "To My Fellow Children”, attributed to Jose Rizal, 1869 English translation by P. Morrow The tempest in Rizal's verse struck the Philippines in the 16th century. It was the Spanish Empire and the lost alphabet was a script that is known today as the baybayin. Contrary to the common misconception, when the Spaniards arrived in the islands they found more than just a loose collection of backward and belligerent tribes. They found a civilization that was very different from their own. The ability to read and write is the mark of any civilization and, according to many early Spanish accounts, the Tagalogs had already been writing with the baybayin for at least a century. This script was just beginning to spread throughout the islands at that time. Furthermore, the discovery in 1987 of an inscription on a sheet of copper in Laguna is evidence that there was an even more advanced script in limited use in the Philippines as far back as the year 900 C.E.  (See The Laguna Copperplate Inscription) Continue at: http://www.mts.net/~pmorrow/bayeng1.htm … [Read more...]

Baybayin: The Lost Filipino Script (Part 1) by Indio Historian


Baybayin: The Lost Filipino Script (Part 1) by Indio Historian The Baybayin as we know it today is an ancient Filipino system of writing, a set of 17 characters or letters that had spread throughout the Philippine archipelago in the sixteenth century. The graphic contours of the Baybayin are distinguished by smoothly flowing curvilinear strokes that convey both suppleness and strength. For some history enthusiasts, never ever ever ever call Baybayin “Alibata”. This name was invented by Paul Versoza who thought that Baybayin came from Arabic and thus named it ‘Alif-bata,’ the first letters of the Arabic script. Recent studies suggest that Baybayin may have come from Sanskrit, the ancient Indian script, brought to the Philippine shores by Indian traders. Where did the name Baybayin come from? The word ‘baybay’ in ancient Tagalog means ‘to spell’ or in modern Filipino, ‘syllable.’ As early as 900 AD, there are tidbits of evidences that the ancients in our islands had a sophisticated way of writing. As to why it quickly disappeared comes from the fact that we were never a print culture like China and Korea, that used paper and built large libraries of scrolls to preserve their history, their memory. Another factor is the effective colonization of Spain by the forcing of the houses of ‘natives’ to be gathered around a town-square called ‘reducciones’ close to the church and the alcaldes for the close supervision of the Spanish authorities. Continue at: http://indiohistorian.tumblr.com/post/13097309564/baybayin-the-lost-filipino-script-part-1-the … [Read more...]

Massive balangay ‘mother boat’ unearthed in Butuan By TJ DIMACALI,GMA News

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Massive balangay 'mother boat' unearthed in Butuan By TJ DIMACALI,GMA News The largest sailing vessel of its kind yet discovered is being unearthed in Butuan City in Mindanao, and it promises to rewrite Philippine maritime history as we know it. Estimated to be around 800 years old, the plank vessel may be centuries older than the ships used by European explorers in the 16th century when they first came upon the archipelago later named after a Spanish king, Las Islas Felipenas. Continue at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/321334/scitech/science/massive-balangay-mother-boat-unearthed-in-butuan The find also underscores theories that the Philippines, and Butuan in particular, was a major center for cultural, religious, and commercial relations in Southeast Asia. 'Nails' the size of soda cans National Museum archeologist Dr. Mary Jane Louise A. Bolunia, who leads the research team at the site, says almost everything about the newly-discovered "balangay" is massive.She holds up her hand and curls her fingers into a circle, as if grasping a soda can. "That's just one of the treenails used in its construction," Bolunia says. An aptly descriptive term, a "treenail" is a wooden peg or dowel used in place of iron nails in boatbuilding. So with "nails" that size, exactly how big is this boat? Dr. Bolunia produces a piece of onionskin paper with a carefully-inked map of the archeological site. On the upper corner is a roughly pea pod-shaped boat wreck, about 15 meters long, one of nine similarly-sized balangays discovered at the site since the 1970's. But right next to it, discovered only in 2012, are what seem to be the remains of another balangay so wide that it could easily fit the smaller craft into itself twice over – and that's just the part that's been excavated so far. Although the boat has yet to be fully excavated, it's estimated to be at least 25 meters long. Aside from the treenails, the individual planks alone are each as broad as a man's chest – roughly twice the width of those used in other balangays on the site. The planks are so large that they can no longer be duplicated, because there are no more trees today big enough to make boards that size, according to Dr. Bolunia. Proceeding with caution Historians, and Bolunia herself, caution that much work still needs to be done before the boat can be conclusively dated and identified."(The newly-discovered boat) will need more technical verification to establish its connection and relationship with the other boats already excavated, so that we can know its date, boat typology, and technology," said Dr. Maria Bernadette L. Abrera, professor and chairperson of the Department of History at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, in an email interview. "We have to be careful," said Ramon Villegas, a scholar who has done extensive research on pre-colonial Philippine history. "There has not been enough time to study (the artifacts). It could be a Spanish boat or Chinese junk." Aside from carbon dating to determine the age of the wood, the construction techniques used and even the type of wood itself need to be ascertained before anyone can come to a definitive conclusion. "Everything depends on the construction, on how the boat was built, before you can properly call it a 'balangay'," explains archeologist and anthropologist Dr. Jesus Peralta. He said he has yet to see the newfound boat for himself. Nevertheless, the boat's proximity to previous sites of buried balangays promises to send ripples through the academic world. "It's a 'mother boat'," Dr. Bolunia says with little hesitation, "and it's changing the way we think about ancient Filipino seafarers." Rewriting Philippine history It has long been established that Filipinos traveled across Southeast Asia as early as the 10th century, reaching as far as Champa – what is now the eastern coast of Vietnam – in groups of balangays. These groups or flotillas have always been thought to consist of similarly-sized small vessels, an idea perpetuated by the term "barangay" – the smallest administrative division of the present-day Philippine government. But, according to Dr. Bolunia, this new discovery suggests that these may just have been support vessels for a much larger main boat, where trade goods and other supplies were likely to have been held for safekeeping. The discovery also suggests that seafaring Filipinos were much more organized and centralized than previously thought. Butuan as a major center of culture and trade "This balangay reinforces the findings of the earlier excavations about the role of Butuan as a commercial and population center in precolonial Philippines," Abrera told GMA News."Butuan seaport had long-time trade links with Champa and Guandong (China). You can retrace the importance of (the newly-discovered boat) by utilizing it as an archeological key to that period when Butuan … [Read more...]

Cordillera People’s Flag – Igorot Autonomous Region – Northern Philippines

Cordillera People's Flag (Igorot Autonomous Region)

Cordillera People's Flag - Igorot Autonomous Region - Northern Philippines Explanation of the flag The Cordillera people are 7 interior people native to Cordillera mountains which stretch from North Borneo all the way to Luzon Island. The flag has 8 lances: 7 which represent the 7 interior people and 1 which represents the Tagalog people. The flag is also used with the letters CPDF in black under the emblem when it is used as the flag of the Cordillera People's Democratic Front. … [Read more...]

Documentary: Itinaga sa Bato – Baybayin Documentary written by Howie Severino and directed by Cris Sto. Domingo

Itinaga sa Bato baybayin

Documentary: Itinaga sa Bato - Baybayin Documentary written by Howie Severino and directed by Cris Sto. Domingo   http://youtu.be/nk2SF81q7kY Part 1   http://youtu.be/HWmFhBlJLko Part 2   http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/227829/publicaffairs/iwitness/itinaga-sa-bato-documentary-by-howie-severino http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2010078/ Many Filipinos are in the dark about their pre-colonial past, or Philippine history before the Spaniards came. That past is coming to light with Amaya, the first prime-time teleserye about Philippine society and culture before Europeans knew these existed. But even that history is based on what Spanish chroniclers wrote about the islanders they called indios. A recently discovered stone may change all that. A doormat for many years outside a Masbate classroom, the stone slab was cleaned by school children, revealing beneath the hardened mud writing in the ancient Filipino script called baybayin. Is it really a window into our pre-colonial past, or simply the work of a more recent hobbyist? Howie Severino and his documentary team accompany scientists to Ticao Island in Masbate as they try to authenticate the stone's origins and unlock its secrets. What does the writing say? Their investigation leads Howie's team's to living baybayin writers in Manila trying to keep the ancient script alive, convinced that it is an essential element in Filipinos' modern identity and a way for them to stand tall in a globalizing world where many languages, and the cultures they represent, are vanishing.       … [Read more...]

Book review: “Baybayin Atbp.: Mga Pag-aaral at Pagpapayaman ng Kulturang Pilipino” – Why is baybayin relevant today? Ime Morales

Baybayin Atbp book cover

Book review: Why is baybayin relevant today? Text and photo by IME MORALES If you think that baybayin, or the alibata, as it has come to be known in recent times, is simply our Filipino ancestors’ way of writing, then the contents of “Baybayin Atbp.: Mga Pag-aaral at Pagpapayaman ng Kulturang Pilipino” (Teresita B. Obusan, Raymond M. Cosare, and Minifred P. Gavino) will awaken your curiosity and, hopefully, your spirit. It is true, first of all, that baybayin is the indigenous writing form invented by our great grandfathers. But it is also true that it is much more than that. During a September 28 lecture organized by UP Tomo-Kai in Palma Hall, UP Diliman, social worker and writer Dr. Teresita B. Obusan said that the baybayin is a symbol of our culture and a means to study and understand mysticism. She explained, “We did not copy this. It was created by our ancestors and it becomes us.” In the booklet, which was printed earlier this year and written in the vernacular, she writes: “Baybayin is a gift from heaven, given to us through our ancestors; it is a legacy for the Filipino people... and it is our responsibility to take care of it and nurture it.”   Article continues at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/278915/lifestyle/reviews/book-review-why-is-baybayin-relevant-today … [Read more...]

Boxer Codex Manuscript – circa 1595

Tagalog royalty mandirigma.org

Boxer Codex Boxer Codex is a manuscript written circa 1595 which contains illustrations of Filipinos at the time of their initial contact with the Spanish. Aside from a description of and historical allusions to the Philippines and various other Far Eastern countries, it also contains seventy-five colored drawings of the inhabitants of these regions and their distinctive costumes. Fifteen illustrations deal with Filipinos. [1] It is believed that the original owner of the manuscript was Luis Pérez das Mariñas, son of Governor General Gómez Pérez das Mariñas, who was killed in 1593 by the Sangleys (Chinese living in the Philippines). Luis succeeded his father in office as Governor General of the Philippines. Since Spanish colonial governors were required to supply written reports on the territotries they governed, it is likely that the manuscript was written under the orders of the governor. [2] The manuscript's earliest known owner was Lord Ilchester. The codex was among what remained in his collection when his estate, Holland House in London, suffered a direct hit during an air raid 1942. The manuscript was auctioned in 1947 and came into the possession of Prof. Charles R. Boxer, an authority on the Far East. It is now owned by the Lilly Library at Indiana University. [3] The Boxer Codex depicts the Tagalogs, Visayans, Zambals, Cagayanons and Negritos of the Philippines in vivid colors. Except for the Chinese, however, its illustrations of inhabitants of neighboring countries are odd looking. This suggests that the artist did not actually visit the places mentioned from the text, but drew from imagination. Boxer notes that the descriptions of these countries are not original. The account of China, for example, was largely based on the narrative of Fray Martin de Rada. The technique of the paintings suggests that artist may have been Chinese, as does the use of Chinese paper, ink and paints. [4]   Native Pre-colonial inhabitants of the Philippines   Tagalog royalty and his wife, wearing the distinctive color of his class (red).   Tagalog maginoo (noble) and his wife, wearing the distinctive color of his class (blue.   A timawa or tumao (noble) couple, Visayan Pintados   Visayan kadatuan (royal) couple . References ^ Alfredo R. Roces, et. al., eds., Boxer Codex in Filipino Heritage: the Making of a Nation, Philippines: Lahing Pilipino Publishing, Inc., 1977, Vol. IV, p. 1003. ^ Ibid., p. 1004. ^ Ibid., p. 1003. ^ Ibid.     … [Read more...]

Warrior’s Helmet (Oklop), Ifugao, 19th-early 20th c., National Gallery of Australia.

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Warrior’s Helmet (Oklop), Ifugao, 19th-early 20th c., National Gallery of Australia.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Helmet, Masbate, 19th c., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid.

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Helmet, Masbate, 19th c., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Shield, Bagobo, c 1900-1910, Penn Museum.

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Shield, Bagobo, c 1900-1910, Penn Museum.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Dagger Hilt, Butuan, 10th-13th c., Tony and Cecile Gutierrez Collection.

4 mandirigma kali arnis eskrima luzon visayas mindanao 4 4 mandirigma kali arnis eskrima luzon visayas mindanao 4

Dagger Hilt, Butuan, 10th-13th c., Tony and Cecile Gutierrez Collection.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Body Armor, Lanao del Sur, late 19th-early 20th c., British Museum.

mandirigma kali arnis eskrima luzon visayas mindanao 2 mandirigma kali arnis eskrima luzon visayas mindanao 2

Body Armor, Lanao del Sur, late 19th-early 20th c., British Museum.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

“Comisión encargada por el Sultán de Joló de visitar al Capitán General de las Islas Filipinas,” La Ilustración Española y Americana,” 1879.

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“Comisión encargada por el Sultán de Joló de visitar al Capitán General de las Islas Filipinas,” La Ilustración Española y Americana,” 1879.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Indigenous peoples of the Philippines

kali arnis eskrima escrima lameco sulite mandirigma.org

Indigenous peoples of the Philippines From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The indigenous peoples of the Philippines consist of a large number of indigenous ethnic groups living in the country. They are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines who have managed to resist centuries of Spanish and United States colonization and in the process have retained their customs and traditions.[1] In the 1990s, there were more than 100 highland tribal groups constituted approximately 3% of the population. The upland tribal groups were a blend in ethnic origin like other lowland Filipinos, although they did not have contact with the outside world. They displayed a variety of social organization, cultural expression and artistic skills. They showed a high degree of creativity, usually employed to embellish utilitarian objects, such as bowls, baskets, clothing, weapons and spoons. These groups ranged from various Igorot tribes, a group that includes the Bontoc, Ibaloi, Ifugao, Isneg, Kalinga and Kankana-ey, who built the Rice Terraces. They also covered a wide spectrum in terms of their integration and acculturation with lowland Christian and Muslim Filipinos. Native groups such as the Bukidnon in Mindanao, had intermarried with lowlanders for almost a century. Other groups such as the Kalinga in Luzon have remained isolated from lowland influence. There were several indigenous groups living in the Cordillera Central of Luzon in 1990. At one time it was employed by lowland Filipinos in a pejorative sense, but in recent years it came to be used with pride by native groups in the mountain region as a positive expression of their ethnic identity. The Ifugaos of Ifugao Province, the Bontocs, Kalinga, Tinguian, the Kankana-ey and Ibaloi were all farmers who constructed the rice terraces for many centuries. Other mountain peoples of Luzon are the Isnegs of northern Kalinga-Apayao Province, the Gaddangs of the border between Kalinga-Apayao, and Isabela provinces and the Ilongots of Nueva Vizcaya Province and Caraballo Mountains all developed hunting and gathering, farming cultivation and headhunting. Other indigenous people such as the Negritos formerly dominated the highlands throughout the islands for thousands of years, but have been reduced to a small population, living in widely scattered locations, primarily along the eastern ranges of the mountains. In the southern Philippines, upland and lowland tribal groups were concentrated on Mindanao and western Visayas, although there are several indigenous groups such as the Mangyan living in Mindoro. Among the most important groups found on Mindanao are collectively called the Lumad, and includes the Manobo, Bukidnon of Bukidnon Province, Bagobo, Mandaya, and Mansaka, who inhabited the mountains bordering the Davao Gulf; the Subanon of upland areas in the Zamboanga; the Mamanua in the Agusan-Surigao border region; the Bila-an, Tiruray and Tboli in the region of the Cotabato province, and the Samal and Bajau in the Sulu Archipelago. The tribal groups of the Philippines are known for their carved wooden figures, baskets, weaving, pottery and weapons. Reservation The Philippine government succeeded in establishing a number of protected reservations for tribal groups. Indigenous people were expected to speak their native language, dress in their traditional tribal clothing, live in houses constructed of natural materials using traditional architectural designs and celebrate their traditional ceremonies of propitiation of spirits believed to be inhabiting their environment. They are also encouraged to re-establish their traditional authority structure in which, as in indigenous society were governed by chieftains known as Rajah and Datu. Contact between "primitive" and "modern" ethnic groups usually resulted in weakening or destroying tribal culture without assimilating the indigenous groups into modern society. It seemed doubtful that the shift of the Philippine government policy from assimilation to cultural pluralism could reverse the process. Several Filipino tribes tends to lead to the abandonment of traditional culture because land security makes it easier for tribal members to adopt the economic process of the larger society and facilitates marriage with outsiders. In the past, the Philippine government bureaus could not preserve tribes as social museum exhibits, but with the aid of various nationwide organizations, they hoped to help the tribes adapt to modern society without completely losing their ethnic identity.   … [Read more...]

BOOK: MAGAGANDANG SALAYSAY Andrea Amor Tablan & Ursula E. Calma, 1950


Description: Interesting stories, from Philippine myths and legends. Some of the stories are: The first people on earth; Ang Inahin, Legend of Mayon, The butterfly and the worm, the airplane, Ang Mayaman at Mahirap. Illustrated, large fonts.  All stories are in Tagalog. Publisher: Philippine Book Co. 1950 Pages: 165     … [Read more...]

Book: The Collection of Primitive Weapons and Armor of the Philippine Islands in the United States National Museum by Herbert W. Krieger

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Plates from: Herbert W. Krieger's The Collection of Primitive Weapons and Armor of the Philippine Islands in the United States National Museum Smithsonian Institution; United States National Museum, Bulletin 137 (1926)   Plate 1. Philippine weapons of offense and defense. Spears, lances, and halberds. Bows, arrows, and arrow cases. Blowguns, darts, and dart cases. Clubbed weapons and shields. Hand weapons for piercing and stabbing. Bolos. Cutting and slashing blades. Swords for cutting and chopping. Beheading swords. Head axes. Straight and wavy krisses. Circular shields for parrying and targets. Oblong, pronged, clubbed, and tufted shields of hollowed wood. Body. armor of horn, hide, cordage, and fiber construction. Plate 2. Projectile weapons: Blowguns, bows, arrows and darts, quiver and dart case. No. 1. Palmwood bow; highly polished, grooved, concavo-convex self-bow. Negritos, Zambales Mountains, Island of Luzon. 2. Heavy palmwood self-bow; flat surfaces, slightly concave on inner side. Negritos, Negros, Visayan Island, P.I. 3. Palmwood bow wrapped with rattan. Bagobo, Mindanao. 4. Palmwood bow; cord of bamboo splint. Moro, Mindanao. 5. Bamboo blowgun: Surface decorated with burned spiral bands and rings; lining tube of reed, sight elevation. Batak, Island of Palawan, Philippine Archipelago. 6. Arrow case of bamboo provided with rattan basketry cap. Moro, western Mindanao. 7.Blowgun darts and dart case. Batak, Palawan Island. Plate 3. Simple and compound arrowheads of palmwood and bamboo. No. 1. Palmwood arrowhead and bamboo shaft. Moro, Mindanao. 2. Reed arrow with palmwood foreshaft. Moro, Mindanao. 3. Bamboo arrow with palmwood foreshaft; poisoned bamboo arrow point inserted in foreshaft. Bikol, Luzon. 4. Large arrow of bamboo with arrowhead of split bamboo, Bagobo, Mindanao. 5. Triagular shape arrowhead of bamboo, harpoon shaft. Negritos, Zambales Mouutains, Luzon. 6. Barbed, triangular bamboo arrowhead, harpoon shaft. Negritos, Zambales Mountains, Luzon Island. 7. Fish arrow with compound head of bamboo. Bagobo, Mindanao. 8. Three-pronged or trident compound arrow. Negritos. Zambales Mountains, Luzon. Plate 4. Metallic harpoon and arrowheads provided with barbed, hastate, three-pointed, harpoon, and composite points. Shaftments. No. 1. Short, flat, lanceolate arrowhead,designed to make a large wound and to cause profuse bleeding. Negritos Zambales Mountains. 2. Long, triangular, iron arrow point, palmwood foreshaft, unfeathered cane shaft. Moro, western Mindanao. 3. Small, lanceolate shape iron arrowhead, long bamboo shaft; heavy palmwood foreshaft, bulbous at the base. Old Bikol arrow type. 4. Leaf-shape arrow point of sheet copper, bamboo shaft, foreshaft of wood fast set in shaft with resin. Moro. 5. Feathered bamboo shaft, large lanceolate shape arrow point. Negritos, Luzon. 6. Leaf-shape iron arrowhead of excellent workmanship socketed on hardwood shaft, no foreshaft. Moro, Jolo Archipelago. 7. Large feathered bamboo shaft, hastate shape iron arrow point. Negritos, Luzon. 8. Small triangular iron head, palmwood foreshaft, reed shaft. Moro, Mindanao. 9. Ferruled wooden shaft, long hastate shape barbed iron arrow point. Moro. 10. Long quadrangular barbed iron arrowhead. Negritos, Luzon. 11-13. Composite arrow shaftments; feathered shaft provided with lanyard and retrieving cord, barbed toggle harpoon type of arrow point. Designed for hunting pigs. Negritos. Plate 5. Ceremonial, war, fishing, and hunting spears: Barbed, serpentine, harpoon, and compound types of iron and steel spearheads. No. 1. Hunting spear, harpoon type, bilaterally barbed. Moro, Mindanao. 2. Compound spearhead provided with three barbed prongs for use in fishing. Moro, Sulu Archipelago. 3. Serpentine form of steel spearhead socketed on palmwood shaft, shaft wound with plaited rattan and ferruled with brass. Mindanao. 4. Serpentine shape steel lance blade socketed on wooden shaft. Moro, Mindanao. 5. Iron war spear: Bilaterally recurved barbs, palmwood shaft wrapped with braided rattan, iron ferrule. 6. War spear: Hastate shape spear point provided with recurved guard barbs, metal tang inserted in hardwood shaft. Northern Luzon. 7-12. War spears: Multiple barbed iron spear points, short hardwood shafts, wrapped with braided rattan ferrules, iron cap or spud socketed on base of shafts. Igorot, northern Luzon. 11. Ceremonial spear provided with multiple barbs to frighten spirits or "anitos." Igorot, northern Luzon. Plate 6. Spears used ceremonially and in war; shafts ornamented and figured with brass and silver overlay. No. 1. Cane shaft, rough-surfaced iron blade of good form. Moro. 2. Elliptic spearhead of iron with socket. … [Read more...]

Ilustration: Early Sulu Warriors and Weapons & Ilanoan Warrior

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  … [Read more...]

The Filipino People – Early contacts of the Malays and Hindus, and the rise Islam


Original Source: https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/792/the-filipino-people-early-contacts-of-the-malays-and-hindus-and-the-rise-islam The Filipino People - Early contacts of the Malays and Hindus, and the rise Islam   More than two thousand years ago, India produced a remarkable civilization. There were great cities of stone, magnificient palaces, a life of splendid luxury a highly organized social and political system. Writing known as Sanskrit have been developed. Two great religions, Brahminism and Buddhism, arose, the latter still the dominant religion of Tibet, China, and Japan. The people who produced this civilization are known as the Hindus. Fourteen or fifteen hundred years ago Hinduism spread over Burma, Siam, and Java. Great cities were erected with splendid temples and huge idols, the ruins of which still remain, though their magnificence has gone and they are covered today with the growth of the jungle. This powerful civilization of the Hindus, established thus in Malaysia, greatly affected the Malayan people on these islands, as well as those who came to the Philippines. Many words in the Tagalog have been shown to have a Sanskrit origin, and the systems of writing which the Spaniards found in use among several of the Filipino peoples had certainly been developed from the alphabet then in use among these Hindu peoples of Java. A few hundred years later another great change, due to religious faith, came over the Malayan race - a change which has had a great effect upon the history of the Philippines, and is still destined to modify events far into the future. This was the conversion to Islam. Of all the great religions of the world, Mohammedanism was the last to arise, and its career has in some ways been the most remarkable. Mohammed, its founder, was an Arab, born about 572 A.D. At that time Christianity was established entirely around the Mediterranean and throughout most of Europe, but Arabia was idolatrous. Mohammed was one of those great, prophetic souls which arise from time to time in the world's history. All he could learn from Hebraism and Christianity, together with the result of his own thought and prayers, led him to the belief in one God, the Almighty, the Compassionate, the Merciful, who as he believed would win all men to His knowledge through the teachings of Mohammed himself. Thus inspired, Mohammed became a teacher or prophet, and by the end of his life he had won his people to his faith and inaugurated one of the greatest eras of conquest the world has seen. The armies of Arabian horsemen, full of fanatical enthusiasm to convert the world to their faith, in a century's time wrested from Christendom all Judea, Syria, and Asia Minor, the sacred land where Jesus lived and taught, and the countries where Paul and the other apostles had first established Christianity. Thence they swept along the north coast of Africa, bringing to an end all that survived of Roman power and religion, and by 720 they had crossed into Europe and were in possession of Spain. For the nearly eight hundred years that followed, the Christian Spaniards fought to drive Islam from the peninsula, before they were successful. Not only did Islam move westward over Africa and Europe, it was carried eastward as well. Animated by their faith, the Arabs became the greatest sailors, explorers, merchants, and geographers of the age. They sailed from the Red Sea down the coast of Africa as far as Madagascar, and eastward to India, where they had settlements on both the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. Thence Arab missionaries brought their faith to Malaysia. At that time the true Malays, the tribe from which the common term "Malayan" has been derived, were a small people of Sumatra. At least as early as 1250 they were converted to Islam, brought to then by these Arabian missionaries, and under the impulse of this mighty faith they broke from their obscurity and commenced that great conquest and expansion that has diffused their power, language, and religion throughout the East Indies. A powerful Muslim Malay settlement was established on the western coasts of Borneo probably as early as 1400. The more primitive inhabitants, like the Dyaks, who were a tribe of the primitive Malayans, were defeated, and the possession of parts of the coast taken from them. From this coast of Borneo came many of the adventurers who were traversing the seas of the Philippines when the Spaniards arrived. The Muslim population of Mindanao and Jolo owes something certainly to this same Malay migration which founded the colony of Borneo. But the Magindanao and Illanon Moros seem to be largely descendants of primitive tribes, such as the Manobo and Tiruray, who were converted to Islam by Malay and Arab proselyters. The traditions of the Magindanao Moros ascribe their conversion to Kabunsuan, a native of Johore, the son of an Arab father and Malay mother. He came to Magindanao with a band of … [Read more...]

Rajah Sulaiman III, Last Muslim King of Manila (1558 – 1575) – Written in Tagalog by Jose N. Sevilla and Tolentino in the early 1920′s

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Rajah Suliman, Last Muslim King of Manila Rajah Sulaiman III (1558 - 1575) was the last native Muslim king of Manila, now the site of the capital of the Philippines, Manila. He was one of three chieftains, along with Rajah Rajah Lakandula and Adults, to have played a significant role in the Spanish conquests of the kingdoms of the Manila Bay-Pasig River area, first by Martín de Goiti, and Juan de Salcedo in 1570; and later by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1571 The following biography of Rajah Soliman was written in Tagalog by Jose N. Sevilla and Tolentino in the early 1920s:     TALAMBUHAY NI RAHA SOLIMAN Bago nagíng̃ Rahá si Solimán, ay nagíng̃ katulong̃ muna sa pang̃ang̃asiwà ng̃ mg̃a súliranin dito sa Maynilà, ni Raháng̃ Matandâ. Si Lakán Dulà na nanánahanan sa Tundó ay siyá niyáng̃ kasama. Itó ay nang̃ kapanáhunan ni Raháng̃ Matandâ nang̃ taóng̃ 1570. Noón ay isáng̃ pulutóng̃ nang̃ mg̃a sasakyáng̃ kastilà na pinamumunuan ni Martin de Goití at Juan de Salcedo ang̃ dumaong̃ sa luók ng̃ Maynilà. Niyaóng̃ unang̃ datíng̃ dito niná Goití ay dî sila nakalunsád pagdaka. Ang̃ Maynilà, ay may matitibay na mg̃a muóg at sila'y pinaputukán at sinagupà. Nabalitaan niláng isá sa mg̃a makapang̃yarihan doón ay si Solimán, kaya't nagpadalá sina Goití rito ng̃ sugò na nagsásaysáy na silá'y dî naparito upáng̃ makidigmâ kundî upáng̃ makipagkásundô, at ang̃ ganitó'y tinugón sa pamamagitan ng̃ sugò, na ang̃ Hari sa Maynilà ay nagnanasà ng̃ makipagkaibigan sa mg̃a kastilà. Pagtang̃gáp ni Goití ng̃ paklí ni Solimán ay nasók siyá at ang̃ kanyáng̃ mg̃a tao sa ilog ng̃ Pasig at silá'y lumunsád sa isáng̃ baybáy na itinakdâ ng̃ Harì. Sinalubong̃ silá ni Raháng Matandâ at nakipagkamáy sa kanilá, pagkaliban ng̃ iláng̃ sandali ay dumatíng si Rahá Solimán at nakipágkamáy din ng̃uni't nagpasubalì ng̃ gayari: «Kamí ay nagnánasang̃ makipagkaibigan sa mg̃a kastilà samantalang̃ silá'y mabuti sa amin; ng̃uni't mahíhirapan silá ng̃ gaya ng̃ hirap na tiniís na ng̃ ibá, kailán ma't nasain niláng̃ kami'y alisán ng̃ puri». Pagkaraán ng̃ iláng̃ araw si Goití ay nagkulang̃ sa pagkakáibigan sa pagpapaputók ng̃ kaniláng̃ kanyón, at si Rahá Solimán ay napilitang̃ magbago ng̃ kilos. Ipinawasák nitó ang̃ mg̃a sasakyán nina Goití at ipinapuksâ ang̃ kanyáng̃ mg̃a kawal. Nápakabuti ang̃ pagtatang̃gól sa mg̃a kutà at dî nagawâ nang̃ mg̃a kastilà ang̃ makapasok agád, ng̃uni't nang̃ mang̃asalantà ang̃ mg̃a tao ni Solimán at maubos na ang̃ mg̃a punlô ay napipilan din. At nang̃ makuha ng̃ mg̃a kastilà ang̃ Maynilà ay sinalakay ang̃ bahay ni Solimán at dito'y nátagpuán nilá ang̃ isáng̃ mainam na gusali, maiinam na kasang̃kapang̃ sigay, mg̃a damit na mariring̃al na nagkakahalagá ng̃ may 23.000 piso. Hindî nagtaksíl kailán man si Solimán, gaya ng̃ ipinararatang̃ sa kanyá ng̃ mg̃a kastilà. Siyá'y tumupád lamáng̃ sa kanyáng̃ dakilang̃ katung̃kulan na makibaka sa sino mang̃ magnánasang̃ sumirà ng̃ kanyáng̃ kapuriháng̃ pagkaharì, at yáyamang̃ ang̃ mg̃a kastilà ay siyáng̃ nagpasimulâ ng̃ pagbabaka, ay siyá ay nagtang̃gól lamang̃ at natalo, ng̃uni't hindî kailán man nagtaksíl. Ang̃ kanyáng̃ pagibig sa sariling̃ Lupà ay nagudyók sa kanyáng̃ makibaka at siyá ay nakibaka dahil doón. Kung̃ saán mákikitang̃ ang pagguhò ng̃ kaharian ni Solimàn ay utang̃ sa kagahaman ng̃ isáng̃ lahing̃ mang̃aalipin; sa isáng̃ pámahalaáng̃ pinagágaláw ng̃ lakás ng̃ lakás at di ng̃ lakás ng̃ katuwiran. Kawawang̃ bayang̃ maliliít na linúlupig at ginágahasà ng̃ malalakíng bansâ. Ang̃ daigdíg ay patung̃o sa pagunlád, at buhat niyaóng̃ 1914 na gahasain ang̃ Belhika, ang malalakíng̃ Bansâ ay nagsasapì at ipinagtang̃gól ang̃ katwiran ng̃ maliliít na bayan. Panibagong̃ kilos sa daigdíg na bung̃a ng̃ mayamang̃ diwà ng̃ dakilang̃ Wilson sa kaamerikahan.   … [Read more...]

Ancient sea vessel: The Balangay, 1250 AD

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  Thousands of years ago, the ancestors of the Filipino people, the Austronesian speaking people traveled from the Asian mainland by land bridges across the continental shelf to the South East Asian archipelago. They then sailed onward to as far East as Polynesia, and as far West as Madagascar, aboard the ancient vessel: the Balangay. The Kaya ng Pinoy Inc., launches an exciting, new undertaking that will retrace the migration of our ancestors across the oceans using only the native Balangay, built faithful to the craftsmanship and materials used during the ancient times. Navigation will also remain accurate to the method that was used by the earliest mariners - steering by the sun, the stars, the wind, cloud formations, wave patterns and bird migrations.   What is the Balangay? Early Filipinos were a people of the sea, living in coastal villages or near rivers. Boats were linked to many aspects of Filipino life: fishing, trade, warfare,  piracy (trade-raiding for goods and slaves), travel, communication, and dwelling.  The Balanghai or Balangay or Butuan Boat is a plank boat adjoined by a carved-out plank edged through pins and dowels. It was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta, and is known as the oldest Pre-Hispanic watercraft found in the Philippines. The first wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia, the Balangay is only found in the Philippines where a flotilla of such prehistoric wooden boat exists throughout the world. Nine specimens were discovered in 1976 in Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte, Mindanao and 3 of which have been excavated. Examination and extensive investigation reveals that the extant boats found in the excavation site date back to 320, 990 and 1250 AD. The finely built boat, made without the use of blueprints but was taught from one generation to another, uses a technique still used by boat makers of Sibutu Island. Made 15 meters long and 3 to 4 meters wide, the Balangay is propelled by sail of buri or nipa fiber or padding and is large enough to hold 60 to 90 people. With the Balangay's size, it was used for cargo and raiding purposes, giving proof that Butuan played a central role in trade. http://www.balangay-voyage.com/index.php … [Read more...]

Book: Sinaunang Habi – Philippine Ancestral Weave by Marian Pastor-Roces

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The Nikki Coseteng Filipiniana Series "Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave" by Marian Pastor-Roces Photographs by Dick Baldovino and Wig Tysman Published by Anna Dominique "Nikki" Coseteng   ABOUT THE BOOK "Sinaunang Habi's first edition was published in 1991, and reprinted in 2000. It has become a sought-after book in the international circuit of textile connoisseurs of indigenous traditions. This unique book gives us not only a rich collection of haberdashery imbued with artistry and beauty, but also a rich insight into the different ethnic groups in the Philippines. The extensive and informative essays provide a historical and anthropological background on the indigenous people inhabiting each region. The clothing silently but expressively speaks of a nation's unique cultures, customs, ceremonial life, rituals, and practical needs, lending beauty to handcrafted objects while continuing age-old traditions."                               … [Read more...]

Tinalakay sa kumperensya ni Dr. Isorena ang ‘Bangka at Kolonisasyon’. Ito ay hango sa kanyang disertasyon.

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  … [Read more...]

Who Discovered the Philippines? by Perry Diaz


Who Discovered the Philippines? PerryScope Perry Diaz, Global Balita Philippine history books have been saying that Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines. But was he really the one who discovered the Philippines? Long before Magellan landed in the Philippine archipelago, visitors and colonizers from other lands had come to our shores.  The earliest evidence of the existence of modern man — homo sapiens sapiens — in the archipelago was discovered in 1962 when a National Museum team led by Dr. Robert Fox uncovered the remains of a 22,000-year old man in the Tabon Caves of Palawan.  The team determined that the Tabon Caves were about 500,000 years old and had been inhabited for about 50,000 years. In the late 1990s, Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography at UCLA and winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, and Peter Bellwood, Professor of Archaeology at the Australian National University, postulated that the Austronesians had their roots in Southern China.  Diamond said that they migrated to Taiwan around 3,500 B.C.  However, Bellwood believed that the Austronesian expansion started as early as 6,000 B.C.  Around 3,000 B.C., the Malayo-Polynesians — a subfamily of the Austronesians — began their migration out of Taiwan.  The first stop was northern Luzon.  Over a span of 2,000 years, the Malayo-Polynesian expansion spread southward to the rest of the Philippine archipelago and crossed the ocean to Celebes, Borneo, Timor, Java, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, and Vietnam; westward in the Indian Ocean to Madagascar; and eastward in the Pacific Ocean to New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Marquesas, Cook, Pitcairn, Easter, and Hawaii.  Today, the Malayo-Polynesian speaking people have populated a vast area that covers a distance of about 11,000 miles from Madagascar to Hawaii, almost half the circumference of the world. In 2002, Bellwood and Dr. Eusebio Dizon of the Archaeology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines led a team that conducted an archaeological excavation in the Batanes Islands, which lie between Taiwan and Northern Luzon.  The three-year archaeological project, financed by National Geographic, was done to prove — or disprove — the “Out of Taiwan” hypothesis for the Austronesian dispersal.  The archaeological evidence that they gathered proved that the migration from Taiwan to Batanes and Luzon started about 4,000 years ago.  For the next 500 years after the arrival of the Malayo-Polynesians in Batanes and Northern Luzon, native settlements flourished throughout the archipelago. The Philippine islands’ proximity to the Malay Archipelago, which includes the coveted Moluccas islands — known as the “Spice Islands” — had attracted Arab traders who had virtual monopoly of the Spice Trade until 1511.  By the 9th century, Muslim traders from Malacca, Borneo, and Sumatra started coming to Sulu and Mindanao. In 1210 AD, Islam was introduced in Sulu.  An Arab known as Tuan Mashaika founded the first Muslim community in Sulu.   In 1450 AD, Shari’ful Hashem Syed Abu Bakr, a Jahore-born Arab, arrived in Sulu from Malacca.  He married the daughter of the local chieftain and established the Sultanate of Sulu. In the early 16th century, Sharif Muhammad Kabungsuan, a Muslim preacher from Malacca arrived in Malabang in what is now Lanao del Sur and introduced Islam to the natives.  In 1515 he married a local princess and founded the Sultanate of Maguindanao with Cotabato as its capital.  By the end of the 18th century, more than 30 sultanates were established and flourished in Mindanao.  The Sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu were the most powerful in the region.  Neither of them capitulated to Spanish dominion. Chinese traders — who were also involved in the Spice Trade — started coming to the Philippine archipelago in the 11th century.  They went as far as Butuan and Sulu.  However, most of their trade activities were in Luzon. In 1405, during the reign of the Ming Dynasty in China, Emperor Yung Lo claimed the island of Luzon and placed it under his empire. The Chinese called the island “Lusong” from the Chinese characters Lui Sung.  The biggest settlement of Chinese was in Lingayen in Pangasinan.  Lingayen also became the seat of the Chinese colonial government in Luzon. When Yung Lo died in 1424, the new Emperor Hongxi, Yung Lo’s son, lost interest in the colony and the colonial government was dissolved.  However, the Chinese settlers in Lingayen — known as “sangleys” — remained and prospered.  Our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal descended from the sangleys. The lucrative Spice Trade attracted the European powers.  In 1511 a Portuguese armada led by Alfonso d’Albuquerque attacked Malacca and deposed the sultanate. Malacca’s strategic location made it the hub of the Spice Trade; and whoever controlled Malacca controlled the Spice Trade.  At that time, Malacca had a population of … [Read more...]

The Calatangan Pot inscription

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A new translation of the Calatangan Pot inscription The Calatangan Pot is a prehispanic (14th-16th century) artifact containing an inscription around the neck. It is said to be one of the earliest expressions of prehispanic writing in the Philippines, and there have been several attempts at translating the inscription. Rolando Borrinaga is the latest person to offer an translation of the script, based on old Bisayan and old Tagalog alphabets. An earlier attempt to decipher the Calatangan Pot incription was made by University of the Philippines’ Ramon Guillerm *** The mystery of the ancient inscription The Inquirer, 23 May 2009 AFTER 50 years of enigma, the text inscribed around the shoulder of the Calatagan Pot, the country’s oldest cultural artifact with pre-Hispanic writing, may have been deciphered as written in the old Bisayan language. Diggers discovered the pot in an archeological site in Calatagan, Batangas, in 1958. They sold it for P6 to a certain Alfredo Evangelista. Later, the Anthropological Foundation of the Philippines purchased the find and donated it in 1961 to the National Museum, where it is displayed to this day. The pot, measuring 12 centimeters high and 20.2 cm at its widest and weighing 872 grams, is considered one of the Philippines’ most valuable cultural and anthropological artifacts. It has been dated back to the 14th and 16th centuries. *** The Calatagan Pot by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/mystery/pot.htm In the early 1960's, an artifact was offered by treasure hunters to National Museum staff as they were working on a nearby excavation. It was the Calatagan pot, the first pre-Hispanic artifact with writing to be found. As such, it is the best known and written about among all artifacts with writing. Even at that, it is still undeciphered. Calatagan Pot The late Dr. Robert Fox brought the pot to the offices of the Manila Times to ask help from its editor, Chino Roces, in deciphering the writing around the mouth of the pot. The newspaper, as a result, commissioned the sculptor Guillermo Tolentino, an expert on Philippine syllabaries, to decipher the writing. Tolentino had a hard time with certain letters so he, as a spiritist, reportedly summoned his special powers to come up with a translation. The authenticity of the pot has been questioned since it first showed up. For one thing, no other pot has been found decorated with writing. Carbon dating was reportedly done on the pot but the results pointed to such an extremely early date that it had to be rejected. Dr. Fox wanted to do some thermoluminescence testing but didn't live to see it done. Nevertheless, the pot may still be authentic. It would have been very easy for a forger to write something decipherable on the pot, especially text which made sense. Anyone attempting to create a phony artifact would probably have done so. As it was, the strangeness of the characters and the direction of writing (or to be more precise, the direction in which the artisan wrote the letters) gives us something to think about. Juan Francisco, a respected Philippine paleographer, did some analysis of the letters in his 1973 book, Philippine Palaeography. He could not decipher the writing, however. His analysis mainly consisted of classifying the letters as curvilinear, lineo-angular, or a combination of the two. I cannot see the usefulness of such a classification because there is no benefit from its use, whether in trying to find the script's heritage or in classifying it among the known scripts of the world. His book contains good sketches of all the letters though, which makes the section on the Calatagan pot in his book not entirely useless. The writing on the pot goes around its mouth. The letters look similar to those of classic Philippine scripts (Tagalog, Tagbanwa, Buhid, and Hanunóo) but some appear to be oriented in strange ways. Some show a similarity to older scripts used in Indonesia, suggesting an earlier development of classic Philippine scripts. The symbols are divided by stop marks into six groups (which may be phrases), each consisting of five or seven symbols. Calatagan Writing What is strange and maybe significant about the writing is the apparent direction in which the artisan wrote it. A look at the pot will show that the artisan engraved the letters into the soft clay in a direction going to the left looking at the pot as it stands right side up. He apparently misjudged the length of the writing and ran out of space so that its last few letters go under the starting point. This gives us a clue as to the literacy of the artisan. We know that ALL Southeast Asian scripts share a common ancestor and were meant to be read and written from left to right. (Forget what others have said about having observed Tagbanwans writing on bamboo slats in a direction away from their body. You have seen … [Read more...]

Datu Lapu-Lapu/Kolipulako (1491-1542)

arnis kali eskrima lameco ilustrisimo

Datu Lapu-Lapu/Kolipulako (1491-1542) Lapu-Lapu is considered one of the greatest figures of ancient Philippine history. Although the first thing that usually comes to mind when the name of Lapu-Lapu is mentioned is the fact that his battle with Magellan led to Magellan's death, Lapu-Lapu was not honored because of that. Rather, he is honored because he was among the first to reject submission to a foreign power even though Raja Humabon, ruler of the neighboring island of Cebu, and other chiefs recognized the king of Spain as their ruler and agreed to pay tribute. Chief Lapu-Lapu's (1491-1542) other name is Kolipulako. The hero of Mactan and conqueror of Magellan, is described as stern, proud, intelligent, unyielding. He waged continuous war against the powerful ruler of Cebu, then a very much greater kingdom than his little island of Maktang. Of him, President Gullas of the University of the Visayas writes: Lapu-Lapu is a good example of determination and willingness to work well. He learned how to ride on a horseback and on carabao proficiently at the age of six years; knew how to read and write at seven; boxed well at nine; became a champion swimmer, boxer and wrestler at eighteen; beat the Bornean marauders and pirates twice at twenty'. In the lives of men who have almost become legendary one finds it diffucult to separate fact from fiction. This must be true in the case of the material quoted above. History has it that Mactan Island although small was a thriving community when the great Magellan was in Cebu. The brave Spanish navigator and soldier, upon learning that some inhabitants on this tiny island across Cebu refused to recognize the King of Spain, burned one of the villages. Lapu-Lapu was one of he native leaders who refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of Spain over the Islands. When Magellan, with three boatloads of Spaniards and twenty boatloads of Cebuanos, went to Mactan to help a friendly chief, Lapu-Lapu and his men armed with native fighting elements, wooden shields, bows and arrows, lances, met them. The invading Spaniards and Cebuanos were driven back to their boats, but their brace leader, Magellan, met death in the hands of Lapu-Lapu. On what is believed to be the exact spot where Magellan fell and died, now stands an imposing monument in honor of the gallant explorer. In the well-kept plaza of Opon, one of the two towns on Mactan Island, stands today an inspiring monument in honor of Lapu-Lapu, considered the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression. The battle between Mactan Island Chieftain Lapu-Lapu and the Foreign aggressor Ferdinand Magellan occurred in April 27, 1521. It depicts the hero holding a bolo in one hand and a pestle on the other. Said weapons were believed to have been used during his combat with Magellan. This monument stands as a reminder of Filipino bravery. The historic battle for Mactan (Kadaugan sa Mactan) is re-enacted each year on the beach at Magellan Bay by amateur actors, providing a sponsor can be found. The Tourist Office should be able to provide you with up-to-date information.   Lapu Lapu Comic by Francisco V. Coching   … [Read more...]

Anting Anting by Reynaldo S. Galang

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Anting Anting Shrouded in secrecy and mystery, the anting-anting is a subject close to the Filipino’s heart. It holds promise of invincibility, of victory and of heroic deeds. Legends have been born and men have died because of the lure of the mysterious and powerful anting-anting. The anting-anting made a resurgence into popularity in the early 70’s when the film Nardong Putik chronicling the life of the outlaw Leonardo Manecio made its debut. The hero of the film, a local Robin Hood, credited his ability to survive and escape numerous ambushes and gunfights to his anting-anting. There is much dispute as to what his anting-anting really was. Some claim it was a smooth pebble of rare and mysterious material that Nardong Putik kept under his tongue. While others say it is a 66-day old fetus that he kept in a small crystal container. Whatever his anting-anting was, Nardong Putik’s ability to elude the law and his enemies made him a legend and a hero to many people. Jikiri, the noted Muslim pirate, eluded the Philippine Constabulary and U. S. soldiers for over three years. Yet Jikiri boldly operated in broad daylight. The legendary source of his galing (gift) — an anting-anting, of course. These stories and more contribute to the growing number of legends and belief in the efficacy of the anting-anting. Combined with the equally mysterious Orascion (a special verse or prayer), warriors can be psyched to become confident and daring to undertake suicidal missions. There are many prescribed ways of acquiring an anting-anting. The easiest is to have an existing, sacred anting-anting bestowed to you as an inheritance or reward. This happens very rarely, for the agimat (amulet) is usually buried with its owner and master for continued protection against spirits from the nether world. Stealing an anting-anting makes it lose its power and is therefore a useless alternative. An anting-anting loses its power when it leaves its master’s possession without his knowledge or blessing. Various types of anting-anting can be bought at holy places but these are patay (dead/blanks) with no power whatsoever.  These blanks have to undergo sacred and secret rituals to become empowered and effective. There are many different methods to make an anting-anting sagrado (sacred). The most popular day for the anting-anting to have birtud (power) is on Good Friday. This, according to legend, is when God abandons His creation and the spirits roam freely and can be lured, captured, harnessed and enslaved by the brave and mighty. Another popular occasion is at midnight during a full moon with the ritual taking place at a cross road or a cemetery with a sacrificial black cat as a bait or offering. Another kind of anting-anting, known as Mutya, comes from plants, such as a banana or a palm tree. This requires a lot of patience and diligence for one has to wait until the heart of the banana discharges its essence, a crystal clear solid drop that must not be allowed to touch the ground and must be swallowed immediately. With this captive prize, legends say that a successful and prosperous life is guaranteed. Some types of anting-anting or orascion are meant as love charms. Most are for protection — against the forces of darkness, against one’s enemies, and even against sickness. Others are for special gifts, such as the mysterious and esoteric art of Hilot (massage and healing), Hula (fortune telling) and Kulam (spells and witchcraft). However, every anting-anting and every orascion carries with it an immutable commitment. One must be prepared to perform the required rituals, the mandated daily devotion, the annual pilgrimage, to keep the birtud of the anting-anting. Man will always be fascinated with this mysterious harbinger of success, victory and protection. Many, though not all, of the Philippine Grand Masters and Masters of martial arts believe in the power and protection of the anting-anting and orascion. And everyone of these believers, without exception, recognize the value and worth of diligence, dedication and discipline in martial arts training. Like the anting-anting, the easiest way to learn a martial art is to find a good teacher, a worthy master. Someone who, like the anting-anting’s master,  will pass on to you, the secret and power of his own knowledge and skills. Again, like the anting-anting, this knowledge and skill must be nurtured with diligent practice, with moral righteousness, discipline, devotion and dedication. Written by Reynaldo S. Galang   Copyright © 1994, 1997 Bakbakan International … [Read more...]

Majapahit Empire: 1293 – 1500


Majapahit Empire The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. Its greatest ruler was Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked the empire's peak when it dominated other kingdoms in the southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Bali, and the Philippines. The Majapahit empire was the last of the major Hindu empires of the Malay archipelago and is considered one of the greatest states in Indonesian history. Its influence extended to states on Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Kalimantan and eastern Indonesia. Historiography The detailed history of Majapahit is not very clear. he main sources that are used by historians are: the Pararaton ('Book of Kings') written in Kawi language and Nagarakertagama in Old Javanese. Pararaton is mostly about Ken Arok (the founder of Singhasari) but includes a number of shorter narrative fragments about the formation of Majapahit. Nagarakertagama, on the other hand, is an old Javanese epic poem written during the Majapahit golden age under the reign of Hayam Wuruk after which events are not so clear. In addition, there are some inscriptions in Old Javanese and Chinese records. The accuracy of all of the Javanese sources is in dispute. There is no doubt that they incorporate some non-historical, mythological elements, and some scholars such as C. C. Berg consider the entire corpus to be not a record of the past, but a supernatural means by which the future can be determined.However, most scholars do not accept this view, as the basic outline corresponds with Chinese records that could not share this intention. The list of rulers and the nature of the state, in particular, seem rather certain. After defeating Srivijaya in Java in 1290, Singhasari became the most powerful kingdom in the area. Kublai Khan, the ruler of the Chinese Yuan Dynasty, challenged Singhasari by sending emissaries demanding tribute. Kertanegara, the last ruler of Singhasari, refused to pay the tribute. In 1293, Kublai Khan sent a massive expedition of 1,000 ships to Java. By that time, a rebel from Kediri, Jayakatwang, had usurped and killed Kertanagara. Raden Wijaya, Kertanegara's son-in-law, allied himself with Yuan's army to fight against Jayakatwang. Once Jayakatwang was destroyed, Raden Wijaya forced his allies to withdraw from Java by launching a surprise attack. Yuan's army had to withdraw in confusion as they were in hostile territory. It was also their last chance to catch the monsoon winds home; otherwise, they would have had to wait for another six months on a hostile island. In AD 1293, Raden Wijaya founded a stronghold. The capital was named Majapahit, from maja (a fruit name) and pahit (or bitter). His formal name was Kerjarajasa Jayawarddhana. The new kingdom faced challenges. Some of Kertarajasa's most trusted men, including Ranggalawe, Sora, and Nambi rebelled against him, though unsuccessfully. It was suspected that the mahapati (equal with prime minister) Halayudha set the conspiracy to overthrow all of the king's opponents, to gain the highest position in the government. However, after following the death of the last rebel Kuti, Halayudha was captured and jailed for his tricks, and then sentenced to death. Wijaya himself died in AD 1309. Wijaya's son and successor, Jayanegara was notorious for immorality. One of his sinful acts was taking his own step-sisters as wives. He was entitled Kala Gemet, or "weak villain". In AD 1328, Jayanegara was murdered by his doctor. His stepmother, Rajapatni, was supposed to replace him, but Rajapatni retired from court to become a bhiksuni (a female Buddhist monk) in a monastery. Rajapatni appointed her daughter, Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi, as the queen of Majapahit under Rajapatni's auspices. During Tribhuwana’s rule, the Majapahit kingdom grew much larger and became famous in the area. Tribhuwana ruled Majapahit until the death of her mother in AD 1350. She was succeeded by her son, Hayam Wuruk. Golden age Hayam Wuruk, also known as Rajasanagara, ruled Majapahit in AD 1350–1389. During his period, Majapahit attained its peak with the help of his prime minister, Gajah Mada. Under Gajah Mada's command (AD 1313–1364), Majapahit conquered more territories. In 1377, a few years after Gajah Mada's death, Majapahit sent a punitive naval attack against Palembang, contributing to the end of the Srivijayan kingdom. Gajah Mada's other renowned general was Adityawarman, known for his conquest in Minangkabau. The nature of the Majapahit empire and its extent is subject to debate.[citation needed] It may have had limited or entirely notional influence over some of the tributary states in included Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Kalimantan and eastern Indonesia over which of authority was claimed in the Nagarakertagama. Geographical and economic constraints suggest that rather than a regular centralised authority, the outer states were most likely to have been connected mainly by … [Read more...]

Srivijaya: A primer


Srivijaya: A Primer - Part 1 by The Southeast Asian Archaeology newsblog Victorious is the king of Srivijaya, whose Sri has its seat warmed by the rays emanating from neighbouring kings, and which was diligently created by Brahma, as if this God has in view only the duration of the famous Dharma. - The Wiang Sa Inscription (Thai Peninsula) dated 775 AD. With a reach spanning from Sumatra and Java to as far north as the Thai peninsula and a reign of some 600 years, it’s remarkable that what is now known as the Srivijaya empire was only unearthed relatively recently. The first hint of a Sumatran-based polity was first alluded to by the eminent French scholar George Coedes 1918, based on inscriptions found in Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. In this primer, we’ll talk about the Srivijayan empire, the extent of its influence and its eventual fall. The kingdom of Srivijaya, a name which translates to “shining victory”, was a Malay polity centred in Palembang in south Sumatra. At its height, its area of influence included neighbouring Jambi, to the north the kingdoms of the Malay Peninsula: Chitu, Pan-pan, Langkasuka and Kataha, as well as eastwards in Java, where links with the Sailendra dynasty and Srivijaya are implied. The same Sailendra dynasty was responsible for the construction of the massive Buddhist stupa of Borobudur between 780 and 825 AD. Indeed, Srivijaya was considered to be one of the major centres of learning for the Buddhist world. In the 7th century, Yijing, a Buddhist monk who travelled between China and India to copy sacred texts mentioned the high quality of Sanskrit education in Palembang, and recommended that anyone who wanted to go to the university at Nalanda (north India) should stay in Palembang for a year or two to learn “how to behave properly”. Srivijaya’s prominent role in the Buddhist world can be found in several inscriptions around Asia: an inscription in Nalanda dated 850-860 AD described how a temple was built in Nalanda at the request of a king of Srivijaya. In the 11th century, a temple in Guangzhou in China received a donation from Srivijaya to help with the upkeep. The Wiang Sa inscription quoted above recounts how a Srivijayan king ordered the construction of three stupas in Chaiya, also in the Thai peninsula. The Srivijayan empire controlled the important Strait of Melaka (Malacca) which facilitated trade between China and India. With its naval power, the empire managed to suppress piracy along the Malacca strait, making Srivjayan entrepots the port of choice for traders. Despite its apparent hegemony, the empire did not destroy the other non-Srivijayan competitors but used them as secondary sources of maritime trade. Srivijaya’s wide influence in the region was a mixture of diplomacy and conquest, but ultimately operated like a federation of port-city kingdoms. Besides the southern centre of power in Palembang, Arab, Chinese and Indian sources also imply that Srivijaya had a northern power centre, most probably Kataha, what is now known as Kedah on the western side of the Malay peninsula. Kedah is now known for remains of Indian architecture at the Bujang Valley. This was due to the invasion by the Chola kingdom from South India – an invasion which ultimately led to the fall of Srivijaya. How did this happen? Srivijaya: A Primer -  Part 2 by The Southeast Asian Archaeology newsblog In the first part of Srivijaya: A Primer, we learnt about the empire’s role in controlling trade between China and India and as a Buddhist centre of learning. In this segment we learn about the fall of this once-great maritime kingdom. In the 11th century, the south Indian Tamil kingdom of Chola launched an attack on Srivijaya, systematically plundering the Srivijayan ports along the Straits of Malacca, and even captured the Srivijayan king in Palembang. The reasons for this change in relations between Srivijaya and the Cholas are unknown, although it is theorised that plunder made up an essential part of the Chola political economy. While it seemed that the Cholas only intended to plunder Srivijaya, they left a lasting presence on Kataha, the remains of which are still visible at the Bujang Valley archaeological museum. The successful sack and plunder of Srivijaya had left it in a severely weakened state that marked the beginning of the end of Srivijaya. Having lost its wealth and prestige from the Chola attack, the port cities of the region started to initiate direct trade with China, shrugging off the exclusive influence Srivijaya once held over them. Towards the end of Srivijaya’s influence, the power centre of Srivijaya began to oscillate between Palembang and neighbouring Jambi, further fragmenting the once-great empire. Other factors included Javanese invasion westwards toward Sumatra in 1275, invading the Malayu kingdoms. Later towards the end of the 13th century, the Thai polities from the north came down the peninsula and … [Read more...]

Cordillera Administrative Region – Northern Philippines


Cordillera Administrative Region The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) of the Philippines is a land-locked region consists of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Apayao. Baguio City is the regional center. The Cordillera region encompasses most of the areas within the Cordillera Central mountain range of Luzon, the largest range in the country. This region is home to numerous indigenous tribes collectively called the Igorot. The Cordillera Administrative Region is the only landlocked region in the country. Source: wikipilipinas.org Cordillera Administrative Region Flag   Cordillera Administrative Region Map   Cordillera Administrative Provinces/Seals   … [Read more...]

The Butuan Silver Strip by Hector Santos

eskrima escrima

The Butuan Silver Strip by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/mystery/silver.htm The Butuan area has been a rich source of material from ancient Philippines for both treasure hunters and trained archaeologists. So it was in the mid-seventies when a team from the National Museum of the Philippines excavating a site was told that a strip of metal with some kind of writing had been found by a treasure hunter. Fortunately, the artifact was already in the hands of Proceso Gonzales, the city engineer of Butuan. He understood the importance of the find and took possession of it. Butuan Silver Strip The metal strip was found inside a wooden coffin by treasure hunters who were looking for ceramic and gold objects that could be sold for high prices to private collectors. According to Dr. Jesus Peralta, similar burials in wooden coffins in the vicinity of Butuan had previously been found to contain human remains with skulls that have been artificially deformed. This practice was apparently limited to Southern Philippines, the beauty standard for such head shapes never finding its way to Luzon. Ceramics and ornaments were usually placed in the coffins, the ceramic pieces dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. If the metal strip was found within a typical coffin, it would have logically come from the same era. While the metal piece could have come from foreign shores, the safest and most conservative position one can take is that an artifact belongs in the place where it was found unless it can be proven otherwise. The letters were cut into the piece of metal with a knife. The difficulty of making curved lines on metal with a knife is apparent in the clumsy shapes of the letters. The strip measures 17.8 x 1.3 cm. Peralta reports that the late Dr. Boechari of Indonesia identified the script as "similar to a Javanese script that had been in use from the 12th to the 15th century" (late Kavi?). At this time, the writing has not been convincingly deciphered nor have the letters in the strip been identified. A successful transliteration would not guarantee a decipherment because of the brevity of the sample, though. A companion piece with similar writing was also reportedly found in the same coffin. However, the owner refused to part with it because he believed it held the key to the location of a treasure hoard. How he hoped to use that piece to locate the treasure without translating the message is not known. Neither do we know why it is that piece and not the one he gave up that holds the secret. That second piece will play an important role in solving the mystery of the Butuan silver strip. Additional Reading 1. Peralta, Jesus T. "The Butuan palaeograph: ethnographic implications of an ancient script," in Archipelago 6:A-55 (1979): 31-33. 2. Santos, Hector. "Artifacts with writing revisited" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:5 (June 1995), 1. 3. -----. "Other pre-Hispanic writing artifacts" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:2 (February 1995), 1. 4. -----. "The Butuan Silver Strip" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:2 (February 1995), 3. Butuan Silver Strip Deciphered? by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. "Butuan paleograph deciphered using Eskaya script" by Jes Tirol (in UB Update) attempts to show that a "translation" of the Butuan silver strip had been done by using the Eskaya script. A clipping of this article was provided by Antoon Postma of Mindoro, who in turn obtained it from the late William Henry Scott of Mountain Province. This proves that "real" scholars do share information. Eskaya is a secret organization based on the island of Bohol. Its members claim that their ancestors arrived on the island in 677 A.D. from Sumatra. Tirol writes: One of the books of the Eskaya of Bohol is entitled Unang Katawhan Sa Bohol (First People of Bohol). According to the book, Dangko and his 12 children of 11 boys and one girl and his men arrived in Bohol in 677 A.D. They started from Sumatra-Manselis which is the western side of Sumatra, Indonesia on board a "Lutsa." (See: "Lorcha," Webster Int'l Dictionary, Unabridged.) The only daughter of Dangko got married to a chieftain of Butuan. From that time on until the present, the inner psyche of an Eskaya is geared towards Butuan. Since the center of Eskaya culture is now at Biyabas, Guindulman, Bohol, the migrant Eskaya in Butuan maintain close contact with the Eskaya of Bohol. Further on, Tirol continues: The Butuan Kingdom is no more. Its literature and writings are gone, except for the Butuan paleograph. But the Eskaya of Bohol is still existing with their system of writing. It is logographic system not alphabetic, and therefore older than the Malayan-Bisayan recorded by the Spanish writers. The Eskaya scrupulously transmitted their system of writing and literature by conducting classes. At present, classes are conducted every Saturday and Sunday. The Eskaya … [Read more...]

The IGOROT People – Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, and Kankanaey

IGOROT Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg Apayao Kalinga Kankanaey IGOROT Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg Apayao Kalinga Kankanaey

Inhabiting the rugged terrain of the Cordillera Region of Northern Philippines are six ethno-linguistic tribes known as the Ibaloy, Kankana-ey, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao/Isneg, and the Bontoc. They are referred to by a generic term, Igorot, a word coined from the root word, "golot" meaning mountain. Unlike most of the Philippines, which were ruled by Spaniards for about four hundred years, the Cordillera region was generally unfazed by Spanish colonization. The Igorot tribes are held together by their common socio-cultural traits as well as their geographic proximity to each other. During pre-Christian Cordillera (and to some extent, the present), the six different tribes shared similar religious beliefs, generally nature-related, and they make proprietary offerings to "anitos" (spirits) as well as to household gods.   Cordillera ethnic groups The Igorots are grouped into six ethno-linguistic groups, the Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, and the Kankanaey. Below are brief descriptions of the Igorot ethnic groups The Bontoc A Bontoc warrior (c. 1908) The Bontocs (alternatively spelled Bontok) live on the banks of the Chico River in the Central Mountain Province. They speak the Bontoc language. They formerly practiced head-hunting and had distinctive body tatoos. The Bontoc describe three types of tattoos: The chak-lag′, the tattooed chest of the head taker; pong′-o, the tattooed arms of men and women; and fa′-tĕk, for all other tattoos of both sexes. Women were tattooed on the arms only. In the past, the Bontoc engaged in none of the usual pastimes or games of chance practiced in other areas of the country, but did perform a circular rhythmic dance acting out certain aspects of the hunt, always accompanied by the gang′-sa or bronze gong. There was no singing or talking during the dance drama, but the women took part, usually outside the circumference. It was a serious but pleasurable event for all concerned, including the children.[4] Present-day Bontocs are a peaceful agricultural people who have, by choice, retained most of their traditional culture despite frequent contacts with other groups. The pre-Christian Bontoc belief system centers on a hierarchy of spirits, the highest being a supreme deity called Lumawig. Lumawig personifies the forces of nature and is the legendary creator, friend, and teacher of the Bontoc. A hereditary class of priests hold various monthly ceremonies for this deity for their crops, the weather, and for healing. The Bontoc also believe in the "anito"—spirits of the dead who must be consulted before anything important is done. Ancestral anitos are invited to family feasts when a death occurs to ensure the well-being of the deceased's soul.This is by offering some small amount of food to show that they are invited and not forgotten. The Bontoc social structure used to be centered around village wards ("ato") containing about 14 to 50 homes. Traditionally, young men and women lived in dormitories and ate meals with their families. This gradually changed with the advent of Christianity. In general, however, it can be said that all Bontocs are very aware of their own way of life and are not overly eager to change. The Ibaloi The Ibaloi (also Ibaloy and Nabaloi) are one of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines who live mostly in the southern part of Benguet, located in the Cordillera of northern Luzon. The Ibaloi people were traditionally an agrarian society. Many of the Ibaloi people continue with their agriculture and rice cultivation. The Ibaloi language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages family. The Ibaloi language is closely related to the Pangasinan language, primarily spoken in the province of Pangasinan, located southwest of Benguet. Baguio City, the major city of the Cordillera, dubbed the "Summer Capital of the Philippines," is located in southern Benguet. The Ibaloi' major feast is the Pesshet, a public feast mainly sponsored by people of prestige and wealth. The Pesshet feast can last for weeks and involves the butchering and sacrifice of dozens of animals. One of the more popular dances of the Ibaloi is the Bendiyan Dance, participated in by hundreds of male and female dancers. The Itneg The Isneg (or Apayao) inhabit the banks of the Apayao River and its tributaries in Northern Luzon. Like most erstwhile headhunters, they are slash-and-burn farmers who have recently, under the influence of their neighbors, begun to practice wet-rice agriculture. As a dry rice farmer, the male head of a household annually clears a fresh section of tropical forest where his wife will plant and harvest their rice. Itneg women also cook the meals, gather wild vegetables and weave bamboo mats and baskets, while the men cut timber, build houses and take extended hunting and fishing trips. Often when a wild pig or deer is killed, its meat is skewered on bamboo and distributed to … [Read more...]

The Moro Kris

dp - moro weapons, island of mindanao

The Moro Kris The kris is the most famous Moro weapon. Variations are found in every Moro tribe and it was a key symbol of a man’s status and rank in society as well as being a powerful talisman. Kris blades are wide at the base, double-edged, and can be waved, half-waved half-straight, or straight (straight blades were more practical in combat). Older kris had fewer waves and the waves were deeper and wider. Over time the waves became shallower, tighter, and more numerous and therefore required greater skill to prevent the blade bouncing off or being stuck in an enemy’s body. The higher number of waves meant the more potent the kris was in talismanic power. Sometimes engravings (often filled in with brass or silver inlay) are found on the blade in plant motifs (vines, foliage, etc.) or Arabic script. Many kris blades are forged with fullers. Moro kris are cutting and slashing swords versus the stabbing keris of the Malay and Indonesians. Kris range from 45 to 65 centimeters (18 to 26 inches) in length. Older kris before the 19th century tended to be smaller in size. Laminated steel patterns are sometimes evident. Opposite the hook like fretwork on the guard of the blade is a cavity in the form of an elephant, eagle, or mouth of a naga (a mythical snake). Hilts of krises are either straight or slightly curved. Commonly the pommel is in the form of a horse hoof, or a stylized cockatoo head with beak and crest. Usually the pommel is made of hardwood burl with the handle being wrapped in lacquered fiber. Upper-class kris pommels are often made of ivory, silver, brass, or other exotic materials with handles wrapped in chased bands of silver or swassa (copper-gold alloy) or braided wire. Large extravagant cockatoo pommels appeared toward the end of the 19th century and are called junggayan. Pommels before the 19th century were very small. Moro kris scabbards were made of wide grain native hardwoods like mahogany, teak, and narra, lashed together with rattan or metal strips. Sometimes the crosspiece is separate from the bottom, but more often they are carved together. Around the mid-20th century mother-of-pearl was introduced to scabbard work and kris pommels. Scabbards of the nobility are bound with bands of plain or chased silver, brass, or swassa instead of rattan bindings. Some nobility scabbards even have crosspieces made of ivory or horn. ----- There are two types of kris used by the Moros of the Philippines. Kalis is the name used by the Tausugs, Samals and Yakans. In the Mindanao it is called Sundang and is used by the Maranaos, Maguindanos and others. The Moro kris belongs to larger family of kris found in South East Asia: Indonesia, Borneo, Malaysia and part of Thailand. Its origin is mostly likely East Java near Yogya and Solo. The Moro kris has the most varied design and style amongst the bladed weapons found in the Philippines. The Moro Kris evolved from use in combat. The double edge blade is an advantage where there are numerous opponents, the blade can be used to cut in an upward stroke. A single edge blade in contrast , needs to be turned in the opposite direction to do the same cut. The Moro kris is highly regarded by the people of Mindanao and Sulu. It is used as a symbol of authority and prestige. Kris From Wikipedia The kris or keris is an asymmetrical dagger indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. It is known as kalis in the southern Philippines. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, but many have straight blades as well. Both a weapon and spiritual object, kris are often considered to have an essence or presence, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad. In 2005, UNESCO gave the title Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to the kris of Indonesia. In return, UNESCO urged Indonesia to preserve their heritage Etymology The origin of the word kris derived from the old Javanese term ngiris which means to stab, wedge or sliver. "Kris" is the more frequently-used spelling in the West, but "keris" is more popular in the dagger's native lands,[2] as exemplified by the late Bambang Harsrinuksmo's popular book entitled Ensiklopedi Keris (Keris Encyclopedia). Two notable exceptions are the Philippines, where it is usually called kalis or kris, and Thailand where it is always spelled and pronounced as kris. Other spellings used by European colonists include "cryse", "crise", "criss", "kriss" and "creese". Origins Kris depicted on Borobudur bas-relief. Kris display Kris history is generally traced through the study of carvings and bas-relief panels found in Southeast Asia. It is widely believed by archaeologists that the earliest kris prototype can be traced to Dong Son in Vietnam circa 300 BC. From there, the design would have been brought into present-day Malaysia by Cham migrants who made their way into the Malay Peninsula twenty centuries ago. Another theory is that … [Read more...]

“PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE TREE” Diagram, by William Henry Scott (1984)

kapisanang mandirigma

"PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE TREE", William Henry Scott (1984) … [Read more...]

Baybayin: Pre-Spanish Philippine writing system

kali arnis escrima

Baybayin Baybayin is a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system. It is a member of the Brahmic family and is recorded as being in use in the 16th century. It continued to be used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines up until the late 19th Century. The term Baybay literally means "to spell" in Tagalog. Baybayin was extensively documented by the Spanish. Some have attributed it the name Alibata, but this name is incorrect. (The term "Alibata" was coined by Paul Rodriguez Verzosa after the arrangement of letters of the Arabic alphabet  alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony's sake." ) Versoza's reasoning for creating this word was unfounded because no evidence of the baybayin was ever found in that part of the Philippines and it has absolutely no relationship to the Arabic language. Furthermore, no ancient script native to Southeast Asia followed the Arabic arrangement of letters, and regardless of Versoza's connection to the word alibata, its absence from all historical records indicates that it is a totally modern creation. The present author does not use this word in reference to any ancient Philippine script. Modern scripts in the Philippines, descended from Baybayin, are Hanunó'o, Buhid, Tagbanwa, the Kapampangan script and the Bisaya script. Baybayin is one of a dozen or so individual writing systems used in Southeast Asia, nearly all of which are abugidas where any consonant is pronounced with the inherent vowel a following it— diacritical marks being used to express other vowels (this vowel occurs with greatest frequency in Sanskrit, and also probably in all Philippine languages). The term Baybay literally means "to spell" in Tagalog. Baybayin was extensively documented by the Spanish. Some have attributed it the name Alibata, but this name is incorrect. (The term "Alibata" was coined by Paul Rodriguez Verzosa after the arrangement of letters of the Arabic alphabet  alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony's sake." ) Versoza's reasoning for creating this word was unfounded because no evidence of the baybayin was ever found in that part of the Philippines and it has absolutely no relationship to the Arabic language. Furthermore, no ancient script native to Southeast Asia followed the Arabic arrangement of letters, and regardless of Versoza's connection to the word alibata, its absence from all historical records indicates that it is a totally modern creation. The present author does not use this word in reference to any ancient Philippine script. Modern scripts in the Philippines, descended from Baybayin, are Hanunó'o, Buhid, Tagbanwa, the Kapampangan script and the Bisaya script. Baybayin is one of a dozen or so individual writing systems used in Southeast Asia, nearly all of which are abugidas where any consonant is pronounced with the inherent vowel a following it— diacritical marks being used to express other vowels (this vowel occurs with greatest frequency in Sanskrit, and also probably in all Philippine languages). Origins Baybayin was noted by the Spanish priest Pedro Chirino in 1604 and Antonio de Morga in 1609 to be known by most, and was generally used for personal writings, poetry, etc. According to William Henry Scott, there were some datus from the 1590s who could not sign affidavits or oaths, and witnesses who could not sign land deeds in the 1620s. There is no data on when this level of literacy was first achieved, and no history of the writing system itself. There are at least six theories about the origins of Baybayin. Kawi Kawi originated in Java, and was used across much of Maritime Southeast Asia. Laguna Copperplate Inscription. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the earliest known written document found in the Philippines. Butuan Ivory Seal It is a legal document, and has inscribed on it a date of Saka era 822, corresponding to April 21, 900 AD Laguna Copperplate Inscription#cite note-bibingka-1. It was written in the Kawi script in a variety of Old Malay containing numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and a few non-Malay vocabulary elements whose origin is ambiguous between Old Javanese and Old Tagalog. One hypothesis therefore reasons that, since Kawi is the earliest attestation of writing on the Philippines, then Baybayin may be descended from Kawi. A second example of Kawi script can be seen on the Butuan Ivory Seal, though it has not been dated. An earthenware burial jar, called the "Calatagan Pot," found in Batangas is inscribed with characters strikingly similar to Baybayin, and is claimed to have been inscribed ca. 1300 AD. However, its authenticity has not yet been proven. Old Sumatran "Malay" scripts Another hypothesis states that a script or script used to write one of the Malay languages was adopted and became Baybayin. In particular, the Pallava script from Sumatra is attested to the 7th century. Sulawesi The Liboginese and/or Makassarese … [Read more...]