Philippines During Pre-Colonial Times Essay Example
Philippines During Pre-Colonial Times Essay Example

Philippines During Pre-Colonial Times Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1432 words)
  • Published: November 6, 2016
  • Type: Research Paper
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The pre-colonial Philippine society has been regarded as primitive and backward from the Western point of view. Most history books, starting from elementary level, depict and portray how primeval and prehistoric early Filipino lives were. And sadly, a lot of Filipinos render this idea as true, concise, and accurate where in fact, it’s the other way around.

Early Filipinos may not speak the Spanish language from Latin and Greek roots, but they certainly have a system of writing known as the Alibata, which is derived from Malay. They may not build big ships used for expedition but they certainly construct trading ships that can withstand the rage of Monsoon wind. Lastly, they may not have known God, but they certainly believe in Bathala, the creator of all.

What makes pre-colonial Philippine so


ciety vibrant and developed is the fact that it has a system in the three main aspects of civilization, namely; 1) social class, 2) trade and agriculture, and lastly, 3) warfare and weaponry. These three ideas will be tackled in this paper.

The system of social class is very evident in the early Filipino society. In each barangay, there is a ruler who leads the community known as the Datu. His family, court officials, babaylans, and other royalties fall in the class called the Maharlikas. The freemen who live in the community are the Timawas. And lastly, the slaves, either Namamahay or Saguguilid, complete the communal hierarchy.

Similarly in the European context, the king heads the nation together with his family and other royalties. The barons, dukes, counts, lords, and church officials fall under the class, nobility. Unde

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them were the warriors who fight for the country and for the king. And lastly, the slaves, who are composed of peasants and colonies, dominate the lower class.

The resemblance of these two different contexts proves how developed social aspect was in the early Filipino times. Everyone knows exactly where to stand, who to follow, and what to do in order for the community to function and to develop. There are also rules mandated by the Datu that citizens must follow or else, punishment awaits them. There is a sense of fear and respect towards their leader that barbaric people don’t have. No doubt, pre-colonial Filipinos are not, as claimed to be, primeval.

Secondly, the system of trade and agriculture has dominated the early Filipino society. Even before the arrival of galleons, pre-colonial Filipinos participate in a vibrant and active trade-offs mostly between the Chinese, Siamese, Vietnamese, Malays, and Indians. Also, a scheme of exchange has been developed known as the barter system, where people from different countries swap a good to gain another good. Products include gold, silver, rice, ornaments, cloth, and certain types of food. Raja Soliman even orders Martin de Goiti to pay tax when the latter’s ships dock in Manila Bay.

Aside from trading, agriculture has also flourished in the early Philippine society. Even with the lack of modern technology, the Ifugaos has successfully built the renowned Banaue Rice Terraces, man-made hydraulic works, small dams, and irrigations. In terms of aquaculture, early Filipinos are known for their salambao, a type of raft with a large fishing net.

Economically speaking, the pre-colonial Filipino society has thriven and blossomed.

There is no way that this type of living can be considered as primitive. It is even said that Spaniards were amazed on how prosperous and developed it was, even with the lack of modern equipment.

Lastly, the system of warfare and weaponry in the pre-colonial times is undoubtedly impressive. Certain strategic actions are done to ensure victory against enemies. One example is ambush, wherein warriors will conduct a surprise attack on their enemies usually during forsaken hours. In this case, there is greater chance of winning and also, a bigger chance for the troupe’s survival. Manpower is a necessity during those times and thus, it must be preserved.

Also, rewards, usually in the form of tattoos, are granted to those who fought with vigor and courage. A man whose body is filled with tattoos is said to have a remarkable record in battles and combats. And women during those times are drawn to this type of man, someone who possesses bravado. This serves as reinforcement and as a result, men tend to improve their abilities and develop their skills.

Contrary to popular beliefs, early Filipino weapons are more developed and advanced as compared to their European counterpart. If Spaniards have strong, sharp-bladed, and ironized sword, pre-colonial Filipinos possess the famous large war weapon, Kampilan, which according to Pigafetta, killed Magellan in a single blow on the knee. They make their own poison too. On the other hand, Raja Soliman of Manila owns a Lantaka, a 17ft. ancient Filipino-made double-barreled canon. Compared to European canons, the Lantaka has a faster firing rate and it is said to be the basis for the

concept of Gatling gun.

With the things written above, it is certain that pre-colonial Philippine society is not primitive, backward, and underdeveloped. It is true, though, that life has been simple and plain but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it didn’t flourish and thrive. II.

The Tales of Two Enriques It has been days since Enrique Iglesias, a Spanish soldier, set foot on a place known as Cebu. The rays of the sun cover the magnificent island in orange and yellow streaks. The seashells from the coast are gushed by the waves of the sea and white, fine sands go with the flow of the current. From afar, he can see a tall coconut trees with their lush, green, and jaded color dancing with the wind. He can hear his fellow comrades sing and shout in merriment for atlast, they arrived in the east. The vast seas had been their company ever since the day they left España, about 2 years ago.

With the help of Enrique the Translator, Raja Humabon, the ruler of the kingdom befriended his captain, Ferdinand Magellan. Raja Humabon accepted them with open arms. He gave them food consists of seasoned meat, fresh fruits from the island, and native liquor.

Raja Humabon’s body is filled with gold ornaments and ink drawings known as tattoos. On his left side is Hara Amihan, a brown-skinned girl with a long black silky hair. Just like her husband, her body is also filled with gold accessories. Later on, they named her Juana after the name of King Carlos’ mom, Johanna. On the other hand, the biggest and fearful-looking guy beside Raja

Humabon was Malakas, the greatest warrior in the community. He has the most number of tattoos among his fellowmen.

“Es irónico”, Enrique the soldier thought. Here they are dressed with iron and zinc metal armors while the native of the islands are clothed with gold. The people live simply and peacefully even with the lack of modern technology. And yet they flourished and thrived.

Are they not the followers of the most powerful king in the world? Are they not the best navigators on earth? How come he feels insecure with the local people around him? He sighed. He must be missing his dear España so much. While walking along the coastline, Enrique the Soldier found a small cave. Triggered by his curiosity, he went in and he found two people talking secretly. He hid himself behind a big stone and started eavesdropping. From a far, he can see Raja Humabon’s chief warrior Malaki talking to Enrique the Translator.

Before setting sails, Magellan ordered him to learn the Malay language so he can replace Enrique the Translator if he accidentally dies. He doesn’t understand the conversation fully but he knows the thought behind it. Enrique the Translator is a traitor! They are planning to kill the Spaniards after defeating Lapu-Lapu of Mactan!

His captain must know! He stepped his foot silently, ready to leave the place. But he accidentally strode a twig. Aha! He heard Malaki shouted as he gazed at him. He was doomed! He ran as fast as he can without any hesitations. But unfortunately, Malaki and Enrique the Iglesias caught him. Without any mercy, Malaki grabbed his brown

curly hair and pulled him back. Enrique the Translator stated laughing victoriously. “Kill him!” Enrique commanded. “Viva España!” he shouted. And without any reluctance, Malaki chopped off his head in a blink of an eye. It ends. It is amazing how a small thing can change the course of history. If Enrique Iglesias the soldier has been alive, Magellan’s troop could have conquered the island known as Filipinas.

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