History of the Philippines (900–1565)

The recorded history of the Philippines between 900 and 1565 begins with the creation of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription in 900 and ends with the beginning of Spanish colonization in 1565. The inscription records its date of creation in 822 Saka (900 CE). The discovery of this document marks the end of the prehistory of the Philippines at 900 AD. During this historical time period, the Philippine archipelago was home to numerous kingdoms and sultanates and was a part of the Indosphere and Sinosphere.[1][2][3][4]

Pre-colonial era of the Philippines
HorizonPhilippine history
Geographical rangeSoutheast Asia
Periodc. 900–1560s
Datesc. Before 900 CE
Major sitesTundun, Seludong, Pangasinan, Limestone tombs, Idjang citadels, Panay, Rajahnate of Cebu, Rajahnate of Butuan, Rajahnate of Sanmalan, Kota Wato, Kota Sug, Ma-i, Dapitan, Gold artifacts, Singhapala
CharacteristicsIndianized kingdoms, Hindu and Buddhist Nations, Malay Sultanates
Preceded byPrehistory of the Philippines
Followed byColonial era

Sources of precolonial history include archeological findings; records from contact with the Song dynasty, the Brunei Sultanate, Korea, Japan, and Muslim traders; the genealogical records of Muslim rulers; accounts written by Spanish chroniclers in the 16th and 17th centuries; and cultural patterns that at the time had not yet been replaced through European influence.

Societal categories edit

Early Philippine society was composed of such diverse subgroups as e.g., fishermen, farmers and hunter/gatherers, with some living in mountainside swiddens, some on houseboats and some in commercially developed coastal ports. Some subgroups were economically self-sufficient, and others had symbiotic relationships with neighboring subgroups.[5]: 138  Society can be classified into four categories as follows:[5]: 139 

  1. Classless societies, societies with no terms which distinguish one social class from another;
  2. Warrior societies, societies with a recognized class distinguished by prowess in battle;
  3. Petty plutocrats, societies with a recognized class characterized by inherited real property; and
  4. Principalities, societies with a recognized ruling class with inherited rights to assume political office, or exercise central authority

Laguna Copperplate Inscription edit

Reconstructed image of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI) is the earliest record of a Philippine language and the presence of writing in the islands.[6] The document measures around 20 cm by 30 cm and is inscribed with ten lines of writing on one side.

Text edit

The text of the LCI was mostly written in Old Malay with influences of Sanskrit, Old Javanese and Old Tagalog using the Kawi script. Dutch anthropologist Antoon Postma deciphered the text. The date of the inscription is in the "Year of Saka 822, month of Vaisakha", corresponding to April–May in 900 AD.

The text notes the acquittal of all descendants of a certain honorable Namwaran from a debt of 1 kati and 8 suwarna, equivalent to 926.4 grams of gold, granted by the Military Commander of Tundun (Tondo) and witnessed by the leaders of Pailah, Binwangan and Puliran, which are places likely also located in Luzon. The reference to the contemporaneous Medang Kingdom in modern-day Indonesia implies political connections with territories elsewhere in the Maritime Southeast Asia.

Depiction of a noble Visayan couple in the 16th-century (Boxer Codex)

Politics edit

Emergence of Independent polities edit

Early settlements, referred to as barangays, ranged from 20 to 100 families on the coast, and around 150–200 people in more interior areas. Coastal settlements were connected over water, with much less contact occurring between highland and lowland areas.[7] By the 1300s, a number of the large coastal settlements had emerged as trading centers, and became the focal point of societal changes.[8] Some polities had exchanges with other states across Asia.[9][10][11][12][13]

Polities founded in the Philippines from the 10th–16th centuries include Maynila,[14] Tondo, Namayan, Pangasinan, Cebu, Butuan, Maguindanao, Buayan, Lanao, Sulu, and Ma-i.[15] Among the nobility were leaders called datus, responsible for ruling autonomous groups called barangay or dulohan.[8] When these barangays banded together, either to form a larger settlement[8] or a geographically looser alliance group,[9] the more esteemed among them would be recognized as a "paramount datu",[8][16] rajah, or sultan[17] which headed the community state.[18] There is little evidence of large-scale violence in the archipelago prior to the 2nd millennium AD,[19][better source needed] and throughout these periods population density is thought to have been low.[20]

Social classes edit

The fourth societal category above can be termed the datu class, and was a titled aristocracy.[5]: 150–151  [21]

The early polities were typically made up of three-tier social structure: a nobility class, a class of "freemen", and a class of dependent debtor-bondsmen:[8][9]

  • Datu (ruling class)
  • Maginoo (noble class, where the datu ascends from)
  • Maharlika (warrior class)[22]
  • Timawa (freemen)
  • Alipin (dependent class), classified into aliping namamahay (serfs) and aliping saguiguilid (slaves)[23]
Pre-colonial polities in the Philippine archipelago
Polity / Kingdom Period Today part of
Ijang unknown – 1790 Batanes
Lakanate of Lawan unknown –1605 Samar, parts of Eastern Visayas
Samtoy unknown – 1572 Ilocos Region
Tondo Before 900 – 1589 Manila, parts of Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Bicol
Ma-i Before 971 – c. 1339 Mindoro Island, parts of Southern Luzon
Rajahnate of Sanmalan Before 982 – 1500s Zamboanga
Sandao c.1000 – c. 1300s Calamian, Palawan, and parts of Luzon
Rajahnate of Butuan c.989 – 1521 Butuan, parts of Northern Mindanao and Caraga
Cainta unknown – 1571 Cainta
Kedatuan of Mairete unknown – 1569 parts of Northern Leyte
Kedatuan of Bohol/Dapitan unknown –1595 Bohol, parts of Northern Mindanao
Namayan Before 1175–1571 Manila, parts of Calabarzon
Kedatuan of Madja-as c.1200 – 1569 Western Visayas
Kumintáng unknown – 1572 Batangas
Pulilu unknown – 1571 Polillo, Quezon
Ibalon unknown – 1573 Bicol Region
Taytay c.1300 – 1623 Northern Palawan
Sultanate of Buayan c.1350-1905 Parts of Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, Cotabato, South Cotabato and General Santos City
Rajahnate of Sugbu c.1400–1565 Cebu, parts of Central Visayas
Sultanate of Sulu 1457–1915 Sulu Archipelago, parts of Southern Palawan, Sabah, North and East Kalimantan in north-eastern Borneo
Caboloan Before 1225 – 1576 Pangasinan, parts of Northern Luzon
Maynila c.1500–1571 Manila, parts of Central Luzon
Sultanate of Maguindanao 1515–1928 Maguindanao, parts of Bangsamoro, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen and Davao Region
Sultanates of Lanao 1515 – Present Lanao, parts of Bangsamoro

Other political systems by ethnic group edit

The Agusan image statue (900–950 CE) discovered in 1917 on the banks of the Wawa River near Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao in the Philippines.

In Luzon edit

In the Cagayan Valley, the head of the Ilongot city-states was called a benganganat, while for the Gaddang it was called a mingal.[24][25][26]

The Ilocano people in northwestern Luzon were originally located in modern-day Ilocos Sur and were led by a babacnang. Their polity was called Samtoy which did not have a royal family but, rather, was a collection of certain barangays (chiefdoms).

In Mindanao edit

The Lumad people from inland Mindanao are known to have been headed by a datu.

The Subanon people in the Zamboanga Peninsula were ruled by a timuay until they were overcame by the Sultanate of Sulu in the 13th century.

The Sama-Bajau people in Sulu who were not Muslims nor affiliated with the Sultanate of Sulu were ruled by a nakurah before the arrival of Islam.

Trade edit

Trade with China is believed to have begun during the Tang dynasty, but grew more extensive during the Song dynasty.[27] By the 2nd millennium CE, some Philippine polities were known to have sent trade delegations which participated in the Tributary system enforced by the Chinese imperial court, trading but without direct political or military control.[28][page needed][9] The items much prized in the islands included jars, which were a symbol of wealth throughout South Asia, and later metal, salt and tobacco. In exchange were traded feathers, rhino horns, hornbill beaks, beeswax, bird's-nests, resin, and rattan.

Indian influence edit

Indian cultural traits, such as linguistic terms and religious practices, began to spread within the Philippines during the 10th century, likely via the Hindu Majapahit empire.[12][8][29]

Writing systems edit

Brahmic scripts reached the Philippines in the form of the Kawi script, and later the Baybayin writing system.[30] The Laguna Copperplate Inscription was written using the Kawi script.

Baybayin edit

The Baybayin script

By the 13th or 14th century, the baybayin script was used for the Tagalog language. It spread to Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Panay and Leyte, but there is no proof it was used in Mindanao.

There were at least three varieties of baybayin in the late 16th century. These are comparable to different variations of Latin which use slightly different sets of letters and spelling systems.[31][better source needed]

In 1521, the chronicler Antonio Pigafetta from the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan noted that the people that they met in Visayas were not literate. However, in the next few decades the Baybayin script seemed to have been introduced to them. In 1567 Miguel López de Legaspi reported that "they [the Visayans] have their letters and characters like those of the Malays, from whom they learned them; they write them on bamboo bark and palm leaves with a pointed tool, but never is any ancient writing found among them nor word of their origin and arrival in these islands, their customs and rites being preserved by traditions handed down from father to son without any other record."[32]

Earliest documented Chinese contact edit

The earliest date suggested for direct Chinese contact with the Philippines was 982. At the time, merchants from "Ma-i" (now thought to be either Bay, Laguna on the shores of Laguna de Bay,[33] or a site called "Mait" in Mindoro[34][35]) brought their wares to Guangzhou and Quanzhou. This was mentioned in the History of Song and Wenxian Tongkao by Ma Duanlin which were authored during the Yuan Dynasty.[34]

Arrival of Islam edit

Depiction of female commoners in the Philippine archipelago during the 16th century when Spanish conquest began. (Boxer Codex)

Beginnings edit

Muslim traders introduced Islam to the then-Indianized Malayan empires around the time that wars over succession had ended in the Majapahit Empire in 1405. However, by 1380 Makhdum Karim had already brought Islam to the Philippine archipelago, establishing the Sheik Karimal Makdum Mosque in Simunul, Tawi-Tawi, the oldest mosque in the country.[citation needed] By the 15th century, Islam was established in the Sulu Archipelago and spread from there.[36] Subsequent visits by Arab, Malay and Javanese missionaries helped spread Islam further in the islands.[citation needed]

The Sultanate of Sulu once encompassed parts of modern-day Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Its royal house claims descent from Muhammad.[citation needed]

Bruneian attacks edit

Around 1500, the Sultanate of Brunei controlled a western portion of the Philippine archipelago

Early in the 16th century, the Bruneian Empire under Sultan Bolkiah attacked the Kingdom of Tondo.[1][37]

Spanish expeditions edit

The following table summarizes expeditions made by the Spanish to the Philippine archipelago.

Spanish expeditions reaching the Philippine archipelago
Year Leader Ships Landing
1521   /   Ferdinand Magellan Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Santiago and Victoria Homonhon, Limasawa, Cebu
1525   García Jofre de Loaísa Santa María de la Victoria, Espiritu Santo, Anunciada, San Gabriel, Jayson Ponce, Santa María del Parral, San Lesmes and Santiago Surigao, Visayas, Mindanao
1527   Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón 3 unknown ships Mindanao
1542   Ruy López de Villalobos Santiago, Jorge, San Antonio, San Cristóbal, San Martín, and San Juan Samar, Leyte, Saranggani
1564   Miguel López de Legazpi San Pedro, San Pablo, San Juan and San Lucas first landed on Samar, established colonies as part of Spanish Empire

First expedition edit

Ferdinand Magellan

Although the archipelago may have been visited before by the Portuguese (who conquered Malacca City in 1511 and reached Maluku Islands in 1512),[citation needed] the earliest European expedition to the Philippine archipelago was led by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan in the service of King Charles I of Spain in 1521.[38]

The Magellan expedition sighted the mountains of Samar at dawn on March 17, 1521, making landfall the following day at the small, uninhabited island of Homonhon at the mouth of Leyte Gulf.[39] On Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521, in the island of Mazaua, Magellan planted a cross on the top of a hill overlooking the sea and claimed the islands he had encountered for the King of Spain, naming them Archipelago of Saint Lazarus as stated in "First Voyage Around The World" by his companion, the chronicler Antonio Pigafetta.[40]

Magellan sought alliances among the people in the islands beginning with Datu Zula of Sugbu (Cebu) and took special pride in converting them to Christianity. Magellan got involved in the political conflicts in the islands and took part in a battle against Lapulapu, chief of Mactan and an enemy of Datu Zula.

At dawn on April 27, 1521, Magellan with 60 armed men and 1,000 Visayan warriors had great difficulty landing on the rocky shore of Mactan where Lapulapu had an army of 1,500 waiting on land. Magellan waded ashore with his soldiers and attacked Lapulapu's forces, telling Datu Zula and his warriors to remain on the ships and watch. Magellan underestimated the army of Lapulapu, and, grossly outnumbered, Magellan and 14 of his soldiers were killed. The rest managed to reboard the ships.[citation needed]

The battle left the expedition with too few crewmen to man three ships, so they abandoned the "Concepción". The remaining ships – "Trinidad" and "Victoria" – sailed to the Spice Islands in present-day Indonesia. From there, the expedition split into two groups. The Trinidad, commanded by Gonzalo Gómez de Espinoza tried to sail eastward across the Pacific Ocean to the Isthmus of Panama. Disease and shipwreck disrupted Espinoza's voyage and most of the crew died. Survivors of the Trinidad returned to the Spice Islands, where the Portuguese imprisoned them. The Victoria continued sailing westward, commanded by Juan Sebastián Elcano, and managed to return to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain in 1522.

Subsequent expeditions edit

After Magellan's expedition, four more expeditions were made to the islands, led by García Jofre de Loaísa in 1525, Sebastian Cabot in 1526, Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón in 1527, and Ruy López de Villalobos in 1542.[41]

In 1543, Villalobos named the islands of Leyte and Samar Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain, at the time Prince of Asturias.[42]

Conquest of the islands edit

Philip II became King of Spain on January 16, 1556, when his father, Charles V, abdicated both the Spanish and HRE thrones, the latter went to his uncle, Ferdinand I. On his return to Spain in 1559, the king ordered an expedition to the Spice Islands, stating that its purpose was "to discover the islands of the west".[43] In reality its task was to conquer the Philippine islands.[44]

On November 19 or 20, 1564, a Spanish expedition of a mere 500 men led by Miguel López de Legazpi departed Barra de Navidad, New Spain, arriving at Cebu on February 13, 1565.[45] It was this expedition that established the first Spanish settlements. It also resulted in the discovery of the tornaviaje return route to Mexico across the Pacific by Andrés de Urdaneta,[46] heralding the Manila galleon trade, which lasted for two and a half centuries.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b *Scott, William Henry (1994). Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 971-550-135-4.
  2. ^ "Philippines | The Ancient Web". theancientweb.com. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Scott, William Henry (1992), Looking for the Prehispanic Filipino. New Day Publishers, Quezon City. 172pp. ISBN 9711005247.
  4. ^ Patricia Herbert; Anthony Crothers Milner (1989). South-East Asia: Languages and Literatures : a Select Guide. University of Hawaii Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-8248-1267-6.
  5. ^ a b c Scott, William Henry (1979). "Class Structure in the Unhispanized Philippines". Philippine Studies. 27 (2). Ateneo de Manila University: 137–159. JSTOR 42632474 – via Jstor.
  6. ^ Postma, Antoon (1992). "The Laguna Copper-Plate Inscription: Text and Commentary". Philippine Studies. 40 (2): 182–203.
  7. ^ Newson, Linda A. (April 16, 2009). Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines. University of Hawaii Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-8248-6197-1.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Jocano, F. Landa (2001). Filipino Prehistory: Rediscovering Precolonial Heritage. Quezon City: Punlad Research House, Inc. ISBN 978-971-622-006-3.[page needed]
  9. ^ a b c d Junker, Laura Lee (1999). Raiding, Trading, and Feasting: The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8248-2035-0. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  10. ^ Miksic, John N. (2009). Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 978-981-4260-13-8.[page needed]
  11. ^ Sals, Florent Joseph (2005). The history of Agoo : 1578–2005. La Union: Limbagan Printhouse. p. 80.
  12. ^ a b Jocano, Felipe Jr. (August 7, 2012). Wiley, Mark (ed.). A Question of Origins. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4629-0742-7. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)[page needed]
  13. ^ "Timeline of history". Archived from the original on November 23, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  14. ^ Ring, Trudy; Robert M. Salkin & Sharon La Boda (1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania. Taylor & Francis. pp. 565–569. ISBN 978-1-884964-04-6. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  15. ^ Historical Atlas of the Republic. The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. 2016. p. 64. ISBN 978-971-95551-6-2.
  16. ^ Legarda, Benito Jr. (2001). "Cultural Landmarks and their Interactions with Economic Factors in the Second Millennium in the Philippines". Kinaadman (Wisdom) A Journal of the Southern Philippines. 23: 40.
  17. ^ Carley, Michael (November 4, 2013) [2001]. "7". Urban Development and Civil Society: The Role of Communities in Sustainable Cities. Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 9781134200504. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Each boat carried a large family group, and the master of the boat retained power as leader, or datu, of the village established by his family. This form of village social organization can be found as early as the 13th century in Panay, Bohol, Cebu, Samar and Leyte in the Visayas, and in Batangas, Pampanga and Tondo in Luzon. Evidence suggests a considerable degree of independence as small city-states with their heads known as datu, rajah or sultan.
  18. ^ Tan, Samuel K. (2008). A History of the Philippines. UP Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-971-542-568-1. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  19. ^ Mallari, Perry Gil S. (April 5, 2014). "War and peace in precolonial Philippines". Manila Times. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  20. ^ Newson, Linda (2009) [2009]. "2". Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines. University of Hawaii Press. p. 18. doi:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832728.001.0001. ISBN 9780824832728. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Given the significance of the size and distribution of the population to the spread of diseases and their ability to become endemic, it is worth commenting briefly on the physical and human geography of the Philippines. The hot and humid tropical climate would have generally favored the propagation of many diseases, especially water-borne infections, though there might be regional or seasonal variations in climate that might affect the incidence of some diseases. In general, however, the fact that the Philippines comprise some seven thousand islands, some of which are uninhabited even today, would have discouraged the spread of infections, as would the low population density.
  21. ^ "Chapter 30 : What is the Oldest Kingdom in the Philippines? The Lakanate of Lawan or Tondo, or the Muslim Sultanate or the Spanish Kingdom?". sites.google.com/site/truelakandula. The United Royal Houses of the Philippines. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  22. ^ Scott, William Henry (1992). Looking for the Prehispanic Filipino.. p. 2.
  23. ^ Woods, Damon L. (1992). "Tomas Pinpin and the Literate Indio: Tagalog Writing in the Early Spanish Philippines" (PDF). UCLA Historical Journal. 12.
  24. ^ "The Islands of Leyte and Samar – National Commission for Culture and the Arts".
  25. ^ "ILONGOT – National Commission for Culture and the Arts".
  26. ^ "GLIMPSES: Peoples of the Philippines".
  27. ^ Glover, Ian; Bellwood, Peter; Bellwood, Peter S.; Glover, Dr (2004). Southeast Asia: From Prehistory to History. Psychology Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-415-29777-6. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  28. ^ Scott 1994.
  29. ^ Osborne, Milton (2004). Southeast Asia: An Introductory History (Ninth ed.). Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74114-448-2.[page needed]
  30. ^ Baybayin, the Ancient Philippine script Archived August 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed September 4, 2008.
  31. ^ Morrow, Paul. "Baybayin Styles & Their Sources". Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  32. ^ de San Agustin, Caspar (1646). Conquista de las Islas Filipinas 1565–1615. 'Tienen sus letras y caracteres como los malayos, de quien los aprendieron; con ellos escriben con unos punzones en cortezas de caña y hojas de palmas, pero nunca se les halló escritura antinua alguna ni luz de su orgen y venida a estas islas, conservando sus costumbres y ritos por tradición de padres a hijos din otra noticia alguna.'
  33. ^ Go, Bon Juan (2005). "Ma'l in Chinese Records – Mindoro or Bai? An Examination of a Historical Puzzle". Philippine Studies. 53 (1). Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University: 119–138. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  34. ^ a b Patanne, E. P. (1996). The Philippines in the 6th to 16th Centuries. San Juan: LSA Press. ISBN 971-91666-0-6.
  35. ^ Scott, William Henry. (1984). "Societies in Prehispanic Philippines". Prehispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History. Quezon City: New Day Publishers. p. 70. ISBN 971-10-0226-4.
  36. ^ McAmis, Robert Day. (2002). Malay Muslims: The History and Challenge of Resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 18–24, 53–61. ISBN 0-8028-4945-8. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  37. ^ del Mundo, Clodualdo (September 20, 1999). "Ako'y Si Ragam (I am Ragam)". Diwang Kayumanggi. Archived from the original on October 18, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  38. ^ Zaide, Gregorio F.; Sonia M. Zaide (2004). Philippine History and Government (6th ed.). All-Nations Publishing Company. pp. 52–55. ISBN 971-642-222-9.
  39. ^ Zaide 2006, p. 78
  40. ^ Zaide 2006, pp. 80–81
  41. ^ Zaide 2006, pp. 86–87.
  42. ^ Scott 1985, p. 51.
  43. ^ Williams 2008, p. 14
  44. ^ Williams, Patrick (2008). "Philip II, the Philippines and the Hispanic World". In Ramírez, Dámaso de Lario (ed.). Re-shaping the World: Philip II of Spain and His Time. Ateneo University Press. pp. 13–33. ISBN 978-971-550-556-7.
  45. ^ M.c. Halili (2004). Philippine History' 2004 Ed.-halili. Rex Bookstore, Inc. ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9.
  46. ^ Zaide 1939, p. 113

Further reading edit

External links edit