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Philippine History Reaction Paper

Philippine History Reaction Paper

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Published by Alvin Santoalla
From The Philippines and the Filipinos During Pre-Colonial Period up to Spanish Explorations and Integration. Hope you'll find this useful. :))
From The Philippines and the Filipinos During Pre-Colonial Period up to Spanish Explorations and Integration. Hope you'll find this useful. :))

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Published by: Alvin Santoalla on Aug 24, 2012
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03/13/2015

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Republic of the Philippines
City of Taguig
Taguig City University
Gen. Santos Avenue, Central Bicutan, Taguig City
 
 
 
LESSON 1
The Philippines and the Filipinos DuringPre-Colonial Period
The Philippines is an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands and islets. There are three majorislands in the Philippines. The largest of these islands is Luzon which is approximately 40,814 sq. miles.Second largest is Mindanao which is approximately 36,906 sq. miles. These two islands comprise exactlytwo-thirds of the total land area of the Philippines. While the smallest of the three major islands wasVisayas.The Filipinos during the pre-colonial era were completely different from the current Filipinos.Different in terms of houses, mode of dressing, ornaments, society, laws, customs, religion, rites,practices, education, literature, music and dances, arts, and their government systems.One of the typical ancient Filipino houses was made of bamboo, wood nipa palm, cogon, orwhatever native materials found in the area. This mode of housing was popularly known to us today asbahay-kubo. Their modes of dressing were different from ours today. Male Filipinos wore collarlessshort-sleeved jacket called the Kanggan as the upper part of their clothing. The lower part of theirclothing was the bahag which is a strip of cloth wrapped around the waist and in between legs. On theother hand, women wore baro or camisa as the upper part of their clothing. The skirt of the lower part wascalled saya and among the Visayans the patadyong. They also had no shoes. They walked bare-footed buthad gold anklets.Ancient Filipinos also has their own fashion in terms of their ornaments. Gold was their commonarmlets, rings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants. They even used gold as fillings between their teeth.Tattoos were adorned in their bodies and faces. For men, it represents their war record as to how manyenemies a warrior killed, the more tattooed he was. For women, they had tattoos to enhance their beautyas men find tattooed women attractive. Nowadays, gold are still used as an ornament but this is onlyexclusive for women. While tattoos nowadays are considered as expression of art and is most commonlyseen to men.Their society was also divided into three social classes: the nobles, the free men and thedependents or the alipins. The chiefs, their families and relatives composed the upper class or nobility.The middle class or freemen who were usually free-born persons or freed slaves constituted the majorityof the social classes. The alipins belonged to the lowest class. This only shows inequality towards society.That is why nowadays, everyone in the society is equal no matter how rich or poor they are.
Women in ancient Filipino society are recognized as equal of men. Why? It’s bec
ause they couldsucceed as rulers of the barangay. They could engage in trade and commerce and they had the exclusiveright of naming their children. Women were regarded highly during pre-Spanish times. One could even bepunished severely as to enslave him for insulting any woman of rank, or taking away her robe in publicand leaving her naked, or causing her to flee or defend herself so that it falls off. This pre-colonialconcept of decency quite coincides with our current concept of respect to women.Their political unit was the barangay, which was composed of 30-100 families. This barangaywas ruled by a chieftain called Datu, Hari or Rajah. Each barangay was independent and was considered
“village state” for having the elements of statehood.
 
 
They also have written and customary or oral laws. The oral laws were tribal customs andtraditions handed down from generation to generation. One example of written laws was The MaragtasCode. In terms of judicial process, their court was composed of the chieftains as the judge and thecommunity elders as the jury. Trials were usually done in public. If the court could not clearly determinethe guilt or innocence of both parties in a case, they will end up to a trial by ordeal or pagsubok. In case of theft, the suspects were ordered to retrieve a stone in a boiling pot of water. The one whose hand was themost scalded was the alleged guilty. In some instances, the suspects were ordered to chew uncooked rice.He whose saliva was thickest was adjudged guilty. We can see clearly the big difference in judicialprocess during the pre-Spanish times. Nowadays, trials were done in a court room. Judges make theirdecisions based on the evidences and written laws to make it fair to both parties.The early Filipinos believed in the immortality of the soul. They also believed in life after death.They worshipped a Supreme Being they called Bathalang Maykapal. The pre-Spanish Filipinosworshipped nature, the sun, the moon, the animals, the birds, and even old trees.Their marriage customs are also far from what we are used to. Traditionally, early Filipinosmarried within their own class. Thus, a noble married a woman of his rank; a freeman married that of hisclass and a slave married that of his status. But, there was no restriction whether a noble wants to marry afreeman or between a freeman and a dependent. As a condition to marriage, the man must give the bigay-kaya or dowry to the family of the bride.
The groom also served the bride’s parents for months. He must
etch water, chop woods for the girl’s family
 
and help the girl’s father in his farming chores. The ancient
Filipinos also allowed divorce. But this is only limited to the just causes such as adultery on the part of the wife, childlessness, loss of love, and abandonment on the part of husband.Early Filipinos, because of their belief in life after death and in the immortality of soul, were veryrespectful of their dead. They embalmed their dead like the Egyptians and buried them near their houses,complete with gold, cloth and other objects of value, for they believed that if they departed rich, theywould be well received in the other world, but coldly if they departed poor.The early Filipinos were also music and dance lovers. Some of their native instruments could stillbe seen nowadays as part of Filipino culture. Some of these are the Kudyapi, tultogan, silbay, and thekutibeng. The favorite dances of Visayans were the Balitaw and Dandansoy. Tagalogs have Kumintang astheir love dance. Their songs and music were expressed in all aspects of their lives. They had songs andmusic in celebration of victory in war, for good harvest; for religious rituals; and for each death andburial.Pre-colonial Filipinos are obviously far too different from the Filipinos after the Spanish Era.This shows that even before the Spanish came to the Philippines, we already have established our originalway of living.
That is why I truly agree about Prof. Landa Jocano’s
statement: that the Filipinos possessedan elaborate civilization in the past, but because of the colonization of different countries, our perceptionabout pre-colonial Filipinos are distorted, and somehow erased.Through history, we can trace the way pre-colonial Filipinos lived. We can actually compare andsee how far we have been developing. I believe that every Filipinos have an inherent desire for what isgood, that is the reason why our culture and way of living changes. Everything that seems bad and unjustin the past, we correct or change.These characteristics, traits, rituals and way of living of Early Filipinos only show that theoriginal Filipino culture is rich and simple. Although imperfect, they paved the way to unlocking the truenature of Filipinos: brave, strong and powerful yet hospitable, respectful and cheerful.

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