ANCIENT FILIPINOSANCIENT FILIPINOS
BY: ALBERT MARION T. SOLIVERESBY: ALBERT MARION T. SOLIVERES
There was education in the Philippines in
ancient times. The children were taught by
their parents or by the old men of the
barangay. The subjects taught were reading
writing, arithmetic, tribal traditions and
custom and some vacation, such as
agriculture, carpentry, metal work, poultry,
fishing and weaving.
Our forefathers had both oral and written literature, consisting of poems, songs,
and laws. Unfortunately, only a few relics of our ancient literature was preserved
to the present. Oral literature was handed down from generation to generation,
most of them consisting of poems, songs, legends, proverbs, riddles, fables and
Their best known songs were the kundiman, the komintang, the balitaw, and the
Our ancient painting consisted of figures tattooed on the bodies of the warriors.
Sculpture was done on stone, clay, wood and gold. Many figures were
representations of spirits and gods whom they worshiped.
There was also architecture. Houses were constructed out of wood, bamboo.
coconut palm and nipa leaves. Although small, the houses were cool and
adapted to the tropical conditions of the country.
Our ancestors spoke many languages and
dialects as there were tribes.
When the Spaniards arrived, our forefathers
already had known how to read and write in
their own ancient alphabet that came from
India. Our ancient alphabet consisted of
seventeen letters. Almost all these ancient
writings are lost today, but some relics can still
be seen in the archives of the Dominican
fathers in Manila and in private collections
Astronomy was known to our ancestors. They had names for the heavenly
bodies, like tala for stars, buan for moon, monbunkol for the dipper, and
kumaliit for shooting stars.
They knew some practical medicine and the use of medicinal plants. they
knew poisons and their antidotes.
Our ancestors could add, subtract, multiply and divide. They had a system
of weights and measures.
They also knew practical engineering and built irrigation ditches. The
world wonders, our Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Mountain Province, are
really a masterpiece of ancient Filipino engineering science.
There were three classes of people; namely, the chiefs, the freemen or
timaguas, and the slaves. Both chiefs and timaguas could have slaves. The
slaves were of several kinds. "Some were for all kinds of work and slavery,
and they were called saguiguilirs. They served inside the house, like the
children born of them.
There were others who lived in their own houses with their families, and
came to help their lord in his farming, in rowing, in construction, and to
serve in his house at special occasions. These slaves were called
namamahays and their children and descendants were slaves of the same
Our Malay ancestors were courteous in their speech and respectful in
their actions. Children were taught early to be obedient and respectful to
Our ancestors believed in a supreme being whom they called Bathala
Maykapal. They also beleived in lesser gods or spirits called anitos whom
they also invoked. There was anitos every place they went to-fields,
forest, sea, home.
Malayan Filipinos believed that when a person died, his spirit went to
another world. There were rewards for the good, and punishments for the
Mohammedanism was brought to Mindanao by Kabungsuan, a Malay
Muslim from Johore, Malay Peninsula.
DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TRADE
Our forefathers traded among themselves, barangay with other barangays,
island with other island.
They traded with other countries, such as China, Arabia, Japan, Cambodia,
Siam, Borneo, Java and other islands in the East Indies.
In trading, they usually used the barter system, exchanging products for
the goods of other places. Sometimes they used units of trading like gold
and colored shells.
Money was loaned at high interest rates. Business partnerships were
formed for business purpose.
The major industries were agriculture, stock-raising, fishing, mining, ship-
building, lumbering, metal work and wine manufacture. Some minor
industries were weaving, gathering of bird's nests for exportation to
China, and preparation of animal hides and horns.
FIVE VIRTUES OF THE FILIPINOS
In his book,"Cinco Reglas de Nuestra Moral Antigua," (Five Rules of Our
Ancient Morals), Teodoro M. Kalaw, late director of the National Library
and historian, discusses the social standards taught in the past by the
Filipinos-1) bravery, 2) honesty; 3) courtesy, 4) self-control, and 5)unity of
the family. These five virtues or characteristics have been greatly
emphasized in our social education.
While there are characteristics common to all Filipinos the various
peoples have developed traits peculiar to themselves, according to
Maximo Kalaw. Thus the Tagalogs, Visayans, and Ilocanos are
characterized by one writer in this way: "The Ilocano hides his emotions,
represses his feelings; the Visayan a creature of emotion, the Tagalog
looks at life from a distance. The Ilocano is a man of action, the Visayan a
creature of emotion, the Tagalog a person of intellect." This is, of course,
just a general opinion.
We find other social values and standards under Spain in the form of
proverbs which are common among all Filipino people.
The native ideas of bravery are shown in many proverbs such as these:
"Valor without justice is dangerous." (Ang tapang na walang katwiran ay
"When the soldier is wounded his courage is increased twofold." (Ang
bayaning nasugatan, nag-iibayo ang tapang)
"Modest bravery is better than boisterious bravery." (Ang lihim na
katapangan, siyang pakikinabangan)
The desire of the Filipinos for learning and proper bringing up are shown
in the following:
"Even if they inherit no property they should inherit good manners." (Di
man magmana ng ari, magmamana ng ugali.)
"Straighten crooked plants when young and soft and not when they are
big and hard."
"The sleeping shrimp is carried away by the current."
ARTICLES-ALAMAT NG PINYA
In ancient times there lived a mother to a distant place. The mother Aling Rosa
and the child was Pina. Which loved Rosa's his only begotten son. So was
Pinang grew spoiled. Want to learn mother was Pinang of housework, but always
argue Pinang by knowing that he could do the teaching of the mother. So just
abandoned her child.
One day ill Aling Rosa. He did not get up and do housework. He ordered Pinang
to cook porridge. Isinalang Pinang by the porridge but neglected due to play
together. The porridge will stick to the pot and burnt. Nagpasensiya just Aling
Rosa, he had served also somehow children.
Soon the pain Aling Rosa was so compelled Pinang makes at home. One day, his
cooking he did not see the match. Asked his mother where it was. Once again
has the scoop looking. That the way things are. There is nothing in sight and
immediately asked his mother. Aling Rosa weary child katatanong so nawika this:
"Oh! Pinang, I hope you have many eyes so you can see everything and you
asked me a question.
After a few days, had been great Aling Rosa. He looked Pinang. He asked the
neighbors if they had seen his son. But vanished like bubbles add Pinang. Which
never saw Rosa was Pinang.
One day, Aling Rosa plants found in his yard. He did not know what kind of a
plant that. He nursed well until it results. Aling Rosa sized surprise to see the
appearance of its fruit. This human-shaped head and is surrounded by eye.
ALAMAT NG LANSONES
In ancient times, a town in Laguna found many trees with circles round
fruit. Looks delicious fruit but without any dare to eat it because the fruit is
poisonous. 's Approach to such trees are not done by people themselves.
Proven to poison the fruits a day castaway who have traveled to their town.
Due to fatigue, the old man sat under such a tree to rest. When the
traveler's hanging fruits are suddenly he remembered his hunger and pick
There is one in town who saw when put into the mouth of mature fruit. He
tried to resist it but of late he reached the man. Eaten that its poison fruit
and gradually it nangingisay and foaming at the mouth. Since this event,
the more scared the people who come over.
Come a severe drought in the area. Crops died and the remainder only the
poison tree that thrives to be full of fruits. Earnestly prayed the
townspeople after the drought that they would re makapagtanim and able
to produce to eat because it is near exhausted their stored food.
A day in the heat of noon, a mysterious woman came and knocked on the
doors of local people. The beautiful woman begging for food. But can not
provide the people because they are also scarce food. A young beautiful
woman approached and gave the tittle to eat. Pagpasensyahan who
claims he did it because it was all his remaining food.
The woman smiled and took the child took food. Watched a young
woman while they are eating. After eating, the woman asked the children
why they said they scarce food while many turn their fruit trees. Told the
child to the woman who poison these results. The woman smiled and
shook his head it.
She picked fruit and squeezed it to get out the flesh. Before prevented
the young woman was naisubo to its white flesh of the fruit. Wondered
the child because nothing happened to the woman; instead gave its fruit
smiling child who in turn hast proved also the fruit.
Delicious and manamis-namis fruit. To the delight of the child cried out
and called the neighbors to undergo They also fruit. Nagsilabasan the
people themselves. At first they do not believe the child but later they
were also hast proved it and then found out the sweet fruit. They looked
beautiful woman to thank but it's gone.
Believe they removed the mysterious woman's poison fruit. From the
former "poison" became "lanzones".
ALAMAT NG ASWANG
In ancient times, yet only five people in the world.
One of these is the young Lam-eng. With him in their flat kingdom his
uncle Samuel. There are also two reviews that they were dark and Amir
Nightly dreams Lam-eng counterpart about a man who looks like he lives
in the mountains. Because of anxiety, he asked his uncle Samuel about it.
Told him his uncle Samuel twins they were born with their mother
supreme deity. He was settled in the flat with her uncle and his twin was
Asuw-eng turn to a left on the mountain.
Thus, immediately said that barbaric person with wings and two large tusk
was Asuw-eng. So said it placed the mount for those with the meat of
animals as food. It also said stronger with Lam-eng and can dissect case
comes with Lam-eng-eng Asuw.
However, it would still see Lam-eng his brother. He never allowed his
uncle Samuel said its command so he just two reviews to climb the
mountain to get to add Asuw-eng. It will dawn tomorrow.
Night prior to climbing the mountain, called by Uncle Samuel pasikretong
Amir-th. In their conversation, gave Uncle Samuel Amir-th two large
needles. Need alleged jab the needle in the neck by two Inas before they
get to the top of the mountain. In addition, you also wound was wounded
Inas as though torn by a wild beast.
When produce Lam-eng, he warned them not to go to the mountain because
there the monster his brother Asuw-eng.
Passed down from generation to generation by Lam-eng the story of Asuw-eng.
Also gradually changed the call beast from Asuw-eng became asuwang and now
is ghost. He said it also had children. One is divided body called the
manananggal and large, elegant man called Kapre, the son of Asuw-eng.