The first

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  • So, who really are the first inhabitants in the Phils? Tabon man or the Negritos/Aetas
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The first

  1. 1. The First “Filipinos” <br /> <br />Many historians and scientists believe that the first inhabitants of the Philippine islands emerged during the Pleistocene period. There are two theories on where the inhabitants (first Filipinos) came from namely: Beyer’s “Migration Theory” and Jocano’s “Evolution Theory”. Noted social scientist Henry Otley Beyer believes that Filipinos descended from different groups that came from Southeast Asia in successive waves of migration. Each group had a distinct culture, with it’s own customs and traditions. While Jocano believes that Asians, including Filipinos are the result of a lengthy process of evolution and migration.<br /> <br />Migration Theory<br /> <br />The first migrants were what Beyer caked the “Dawnmen” (or “cavemen” because they lived in caves.). The Dawnmen resembled Java Man, Peking Man, and other Asian Home sapiens who existed about 250,000 years ago. They did not have any knowledge of agriculture, and lived by hunting and fishing. It was precisely in search of food that they came to the Philippines by way of the land bridges that connected the Philippines and Indonesia. Owing perhaps to their migratory nature, they eventually left the Philippines for destinations unknown.<br /> <br />The second group of migrants was composed of dark-skinned pygmies called “Aetas’ or “Negritoes”. left0About 30,000 years ago, they crossed the land bridged from Malaya, Borneo, and Australia until they reached Palawan, Mindoro and Mindanao. They were pygmies who went around practically naked and were good at hunting, fishing and food gathering. They used spears and small flint stones weapons.<br /> <br />The Aetas were already in the Philippines when the land bridges disappeared due to the thinning of the ice glaciers and the subsequent increase in seawater level. This natural events “forced” them to remain in the country and become its first permanent inhabitants.<br /> <br />Because of the disappearance of the land bridges, the third wave of migrants was necessarily skilled in seafaring. These were the Indonesians, who came to the islands in boats. They were more advanced than the Aetas in that: they had tools made out of stone and steel, which enabled them to build sturdier houses: they engaged in farming and mining, and used materials made of brass; they wore clothing and other body ornaments.<br /> <br />Last to migrate to the Philippines, according to Beyer, were Malays. They were believed to have come from Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula more than 2,000 years ago. Like the Indonesians, they also traveled in boats.<br /> <br />The Malays were brown-skinned and of medium height, with straight black hair and flat noses. Their technology was said to be more advanced than that of their predecessors. They engaged in pottery, weaving, jewelry making and metal smelting, and introduced the irrigation system in rice planting.<br /> <br />Jocano’s Theory<br /> <br />Renowned Filipino anthropologist Felipe Landa Jocano disputes Beyer’s belief that Filipinos descended from Negritoes and Malays who migrated to the Philippines thousands of years ago. According to Jocano, it is difficult to prove that Negritoes were the first inhabitants of this country. The only thing that can positively concluded from fossil evidence, he says is that the first men who came to the Philippines also went to New Guinea, Java, Borneo, and Australia.<br /> <br />In 1962, a skullcap and a portion of a jaw-presumed to be a human origin-were found in the Tabon Caves of Palawan by archaeologist Robert Fox and Manuel Santiago, who both worked for the National Museum. Carbon dating placed their age at 21,000 to 22,000 years. This proves, Jocano argues, that man came earlier to the Philippines than to the Malay Peninsula; therefore, the first inhabitants of our islands could not have come from the region. The “Tabon Man” is said to resemble Java Man and Peking Man. He gathered fruits, leaves and plants for his food. He hunted with weapons made of stone. Although further research is still being done on his life and culture, evidence shows that he was already capable of using his brain in order to survive and keep himself safe.<br /> <br />Instead of the Migration Theory, Jocano advances the Evolution Theory, as a better explanation of how our country was first inhabited by human beings, Jocano believes that the first people of Southeast Asia were products of a long process of evolution and migration. His research indicates that they shared more or less the same culture, beliefs, practices an even similar tools and implements. These people eventually went their separate ways; some migrated to the Philippines, the others to New Guinea, Java and Borneo. Proof, Jocano says, can be found in the fossils discovered in different parts of Southeast Asia, as well as the recorded migrations of other peoples from the Asian mainland when history began to unfold.<br />

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