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The Philippine Cultural Heritage

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Scientist claim that is evidence to show that about 1 ½ million years ago the Philippines was a part of the mainland of Asia. Geologists believe that during the Pleistocene Period, or Ice Age, great changes occurred, resulting in the formation of the thousands of islands composing the Philippines today. Early Man Very important to scientists is the evidence of the presence of living things in the form of fossils and artifacts which have survived to the present. Fossils are remains of living things buried and embedded in rocks. Artifacts are implements and tools left by man as evidence of his presence. Specimens of these fossils and artifacts are preserved in the National Museum in Manila.

According to Dr. Robert Fox, the first man reached the Philippines during the Middle Pleistocene Period, 4 to 5 hundred years ago, F. LandaJocano found that, in association of extinct types of animals, man came to the Philippines and internalized the norms, values and taboos of his society. The most significant finding was the discovery of the Tabon Skull in 1962 by a team headed by Dr. Fox. The different archaeological data indicate that the early man could have been the contemporary of the Java Man (homo erectus) and the Peking Man (homo sapiens). The Aetas or Negritos, the first Filipinos as popularly believed, were prototypes of the modern man.

The number of the early men who reached the Philippines was very small. The first major movement of the modern man in the Philippines took place some 7, 000 to 8,000 years ago. These men can be described as a variable population of Mongoloids or Southern Mongoloids. Our ancestors, therefore, were the Homo sapiens, including the Tabon Man. Ancient Cultural Influences

Most textbooks mention “waves of migration” (Bayer, 1948) implying that a certain times in the cultural history of the Philippines, certain group of people, Indonesians and Malays, came over in boats, carrying with them certain cultural traits and technological knowledge which produced changes in way of life of the people. Jocano(1963) states that migration does not allow for social and cultural development. It implies that the migrants brought culture traits into the Islands readymade and that people accepted those traits. This theory is considered illogical. In the absence of more sufficient scientific data, these waves of migration may be accepted as hypothetical. Hence, we think of the waves of migrations as beginning with the Negritos, the Pro-Malay, the Indonesians and the Malay, and ending with the historical era. Cultural Influences Which Affected Filipino Culture

1. The languages and dialects of the Philippines develop a single prototype- the “original Indonesians”. They also develop a system of writing resembling that of India, and then it was later on traced to Malayan origin. 2. Arabs introduced cultural traits and ideas which the people absorbed and incorporated into the basic culture of their society. Islam was introduced between 1450 and 1480 when Abu Bakr arrived in Sulu and established the Mohammedan church. 3. Chinese trade later becomes dominant which eliminates the Arab trade. Chinese merchants intermarried with native women. The influence of Chinese culture pervaded the family. The greatest contribution of the Chinese is the economic aspect of life. From them may be traced the “sari-sari” store (retail syndrome) and the use of the middleman in the trade. 4. Indian influences may be observed in the Philippine Languages, art, forms, myths and rituals. PRE-WESTERN CULTURAL HERITAGE

Our cultural heritage that we adopted from the influences of different culture of our neighbors that have an interaction to our fore fathers. These influences are summarized as follows in different aspects of our culture:

A. Community Organization
Early settlements are divided into barangays with mostly 30-100 familieswithin.Barangays are headed by a Datu. Should a barangay is under the Islamic faith, he is called a Rajah.A datu can be hereditary or can be
replaced should he fail to do his duties to the barangay. If a datu/rajah is influential to other datus/rajahs, he is called a Pangulo.If a datu/rajah is also the founder of the barangay, he is called a Pinuno.

Balanghays are also used for trading.Early Filipinos have extensive knowledge of balanghay-making.
A barangay is the smallest administrative divisionin the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward. In colloquial usage, the term often refers to an inner neighborhood, a suburb or a suburban neighborhood. The word barangay originated from balanghai—a kind of boat used by a group of Austronesians that sailed and migrated to the Philippine archipelago.

B. Social Organization
Most families are big as it includes their extended families in their house.This is due to the importance of kinship and family values are of upmost importance. Women occupied a very high status, being considered the equal of men. They have equal duties in a society. *Respect to the elders

-Elders were highly respected and children were valued.

*Man’s Task*Woman’sTask
FarmingTask Weaving
Animal husbandryYarn-making
Sea or water travelAnimal husbandry
TradingPounding and cleaning (pagtatahip) of rice
Participation in war (Bagani)Cooking
Serving their husbands
C. Economic activities
The economic system relied on the barter system – exchange of one goods for another.Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. Early Filipinos were engaged in local and foreign trade especially with the Chinese traders. There were Indians and Arabs traders. Others are from Indo-China and Siam.

Filipinos usually trade these goods:
Sea turtle shells
D. Religion
Bathala is the highest deity being worship. According to Jocano, only the Anitos are allowed to be asked for something to Bathala.The worship of anitosare called Mag-aanito. Early Filipinos practice spirit and/or nature worship. They also worship the sun, moon, stars, air, and clouds.

According to Placensia, the anitos are used in festivities. This is called the Pandot and usually done at the house of the datu/rajah.Anitos are represented by sculptures and wood carvings. They are placed in the most important part of a house.They are clothed and anointed with perfumes as a sign of reverence and respect.

Katalonan – Bisaya
They are the native physicians, shamans, quasi-scientists, and even leaders of their communities.They have the ability to heal, both physical and spiritual injuries, thus they have a wide knowledge of local medicine and healing.They are also teachers and philosophers in their communities. They also serves as advisors to the datu/rajah.As shamans, they can enter in to the realms of the spirit to seek answers and guidance back to the physical world.

According to Placensia, the anitos are used in festivities. This is called the Pandot and usually done at the house of the datu/rajah.
Bulol, the Ifugaoanito, is a carved human figure considered as a god and usually kept in the house or rice granary.

*Offerings to the anitos are usually for:
a. Recovery from sickness
b. Safe journey and/or sea fare
c. Good harvest
d. Victory in battle/war
e. Successful childbirth
f. Happy marriage

E. Language
According to Spanish missionaries, writing is usually done in tree barks or bamboo. They wrote using hollowed knives or stylus. Inks used are from tree saps or plant extracts. The alphabet system in the island is called the Baybayin. It is based on phonetics.

Before the introduction of the Roman alphabet, we had “baybayin”.Father Pedro Chirino, a Jesuit historian, noted that there are differences in our early alphabet but there are close similarities. Baybayin was written on tree bark and leaves. These were highly perishable. The Tagalogs were 100% literate when it comes to baybayin.

Famous folk-epics such as Hinilawod (Sulod), Darangan (Maranao), HudhĂşd (Ifugao), Ullahingan (Manobo), and Ullalim (Kalinga) are songs. F. Agriculture
Early Filipipno had some form of wet and dry agriculture and lived in bamboo houses with roofs of thatch and palm leaves. They have their own food resources because every house has their own crops in their yards.

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables being cultivated. Early Filipinos eat sweet potatoes (kamote), beans (sitsaro), and Amaranth (kulitis) to name a few. Boiled rice is the main source of carbohydrates while fish is the
main source of protein for early Filipinos. Fruits usually eaten are banana, guava, sweetsop (atis), and native mandarin (dalandan). One of the wonders of the world made by our forefathers, the Banawe Rice Terraces feat by engineering genius. G. Society

A. Datu
B. Maharlika
C. Mandirigma / Bagani
C. Timawa
D. Alipin
is not an absolute ruler – he is a mere guardian or a representative of his barangay. That is why there are datus/rajahs that seldom become an autocrat/dictator.The advisors of the datu/rajah are called Agorangwhile his subjects are called Sakop.

According to Spanish missionaries, early laws in the Philippines are detailed and extensive. These laws are called Batasan.These laws are meant to be followed so there will be peace and order in a barangay.Most laws are pertaining to inheritance, divorce, marriage, crime and punishments, properties, family, adoption and even on lending and borrowing.The process of lawmaking is done by the datu/rajah and his advisors.

The Sumakwel Code
The Code of Sumakwel was considered among the first Filipino laws enacted before the Pre-Hispanic times. It consisted of 10 articles, mainly focusing on punishment for laziness. The Code of Kalantiaw

It contains 18 articles, which consists mainly of punishment for criminal actsranging from the traditional ones such as homicide, theft and nonpayment of debts to the bizarre and superstitious such as disrespect for revered trees or killing black cats during the new moon. *Any changes in the law will be announced by a crier called Umalahokan.

Members of the Tagalog warrior class known as maharlika had the same rights and responsibilities as the timawa, but in times of war they were bound to serve their datu in battle. They had to arm themselves at their own expense, but they did get to keep the loot they won – or stole, depending on which side of the transaction you want to look at. Although they were partly related to the nobility, the maharlikas were technically less free than the timawas because they could not leave a datu’s service without first hosting a large public feast and paying the datu between 6 and 18 pesos in gold – a large sum in those days.

Pintados – Bisaya
Their primary task is to defend their barangay and participate in war.Their primary weapons are swords (kalis), daggers (balaraw), spears (sibat), bow and arrow (pana at palaso), shields (kalasag), and even cannon.They also make use of poison from plants and from the saliva of monitor lizards (tuko).De Morga reported that a stalk of certain species of grass yield enough poison to kill many people. Timawa

The common people.Theyconstitutes the majority of a barangay. They are also considered a free person – they have all the rights in a barangay.Their task is to assist the datu/rajah, the warriors and the babaylans, and the maharlikas. They are at the lowest rank of the social class. The timawa class were free commoners of Luzon and the Visayas who could own their own land and who did not have to pay a regular tribute to amaginoo, though they would, from time to time, be obliged to work on a datu’s land and help in community projects and events. They were free to change their allegiance to another datu if they married into another community or if they decided to move.

Full-time or lifetime slaves.They live in their master’s house or huts provided for them by their masters.They have little or no rights at all. They are bound to obey and follow any orders and/or tasks from their masters. The people near the bottom of society were known by the scornful term, alipin sa gigilid. In pre-colonial times the gilid was the area behind and below the house where the toilet was located. These alipins were single men and women who worked in their master’s homes, tending the gilid, among other chores. They were completely dependent for food and shelter, but if they could make some money on the side, they were allowed to keep some of it, and if they managed to save enough, they could buy their way up to namamahay or even timawa status. If a man wanted to get married, his master would usually set him up as an aliping namamahay with his own home and a patch of land, though this was rarely done for women. AlipingNamamahay

-time slavesThey can have their own house but have limited rights.They are usually ranked as such due to debts, shortcomings, or as a punishmentThey only serve only when needed. E.g. during the planting and harvesting seasons. house-holding alipin, could hardly be called a slave at all. He was more like what we call a serf in English. A namamahay was usually an alipin who had received a piece of land from his maginoo master. In return, he was required to hand over a portion of what the land produced as a tribute and to occasionally work on his master’s land.

H. Family life
While most family has monogamous status, there are cases of polygamy in the society. This is probably due to the lack of women or by the influence of Islam.There are also reported cases of child marriage even as the child is still in their mother’s womb.Before a marriage, a man must prove to himself by rendering services to the woman’s family. That is to prove he can provide and support the needs of his future wife.

Unlike in most culture, it is the male’s family that will pay the dowry (dote).If a family has many sons; they usually divide their dowry payments equally. But usually the eldest or the favorite son gets most ofthe dowry to give. In Visayas, the dowry goes to the father of the bride. He only gives the dowry to his daughter upon childbirth.Should the couple divorce, their properties will be equally divided. Our culture indicates as high degree of civilization:

1. With high literacy
2. Society was well organized and defined
3. Social orders, regulations and codes
4. Social class was open and democratic
5. Social and moral values were well defined
6. Health practiced were satisfactory

In common with other people, acculturation has marked the history of the Philippines. * Acculturation
* Explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. * Cultural modification of an individual, group or people adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture. Our ancient cultural heritage is result of the interplay and interpenetration of diverse natural influences. To the credit of our ancestors, they borrowed the cultures of other people but improved on it as they adapted it to their daily life. They used the foreign culture to enrich the existing one each generation made its own imprint, and resulting culture is uniquely our own. Felipe Landa Jocano he is one of our leading anthropologists and a professor in the University of the Philippines stated that “each passing generation leaves part of its wisdom and experience for the succeeding generation to learn to use in adjusting itself to the changing modes of time.” CONTRIBUTION OF THE WESTERN CULTURE IN THE PHILIPPINES

Before the coming of the Spaniards, the early Filipinos had a culture of their own. And the greatest contribution of the Spaniards to the Filipino
culture is the Christianity.

* Arts and Science like pharmacy, medicine and engineering. * Literature and music
* Introduced the art of printing in the country
* Established the first university in the Philippines the UST (1911) * Castellan language

Mass Education and the Democratic way of life may be considered America’s greatest contribution to the Philippines. Aims of the American in the Philippines
* To popularize democracy
* To train the Filipinos for citizenship
* And to disseminate the English Language
In this time, the first teachers are the American soldiers and they also send the First Pensionados to America. They are the Filipino scholars that have the privileges to study abroad. They are also called the Thomasites. For this contribution of the Americans, some view this as the development of American imperialism in the Filipinos that is being trained to depend on imported products and to view anything foreign as superior to his own. And in this Filipinos developed Colonial Mentality/View. This is a very limited and narrow point of view. Senator Orly Mercado, cited a study made by Dr. Ma. Luisa C. Doronilla among school children aged 7 to 14 in an urban setting. One of the findings of that study is “Respondents regularly placed the Filipino option in second or third option when these options included other countries, notably the United States. Instead of national identity, it is the colonial mentality which remains firmly imbedded in the respondents consciousness.”

History tells us of our long struggle to attain unity among the tribes through a series of revolts and revolutions. MESTIZOS- this term was used by Spain in the beginning to apply to the inhabitants born of Spanish Parents.
Later on, these mestizos developed loyalty to the Philippines distinct from Spain and assumed the name of “Filipinos”. * FILIPINO this term means a lot more today. It means;

* Love of country
* An appreciator of everything that is beautiful in our land. * A strong feeling of belonging
* A feeling of oneness and togetherness with all our people irrespective of status, religion, or social position. The school should teach the young to take pride in their country and its culture. It must develop in the young the desire to serve and contribute to the common welfare. The young must be taught love and loyalty to the country and its people. Only then can one stand with pride and say “I AM FILIPINO”. This is kind of Filipinism that the school is called upon to teach and develop. COMPOSITION OF PHILIPPINE SOCIETY

Although the Filipino race has a common social origin, there are ethnic differences.
* Refers to the differences in religion, language, geographic, location, and ways of life plus the intensity of feeling that one group is different from another.

In the Philippines, there are about 126 basic ethnic groups and 36 major ethnic minorities with the Muslim Filipinos as the largest while non-Muslims groups represent those found in Luzon, Visayas, Palawan and Mindoro. a. Igorots

b. Negritos
c. Kalingas
d. Apayaos
e. Mangyans, etc.
Filipino Catholics comprises the majority group.
Fundamental Characteristics of Relationship between Minority and Majority groups. 1. Minorities occupy a subordinate level in society. 2. Minorities have special or cultural traits considered low in the esteem of the dominant group. 3. Minorities are self-conscious units tied together by cultural traits that their members share. 4. Membership in a minority group to which one belongs still persists even when the cultural traits of the ethnic group are no longer apparent in the person. 5. Minorities tend to marry within the ethnic group by choice or by necessity.

Very often their development has been neglected because they do not have strong influence and impact on the socio-political aspect of Philippines Society.
* the attempt to absorb them culturally so that their culture is fused with the majority *Integration
* The policy of including them in the body politic while allowing them to preserve their own local culture. Muslim Filipino Minority Group
* Islam, their religion, pervades all aspects of life.
* Islam is one of the major religions of the world
* Islam is a whole way of life.

*the Muslim parents avoided sending their children to the public schools, thus resulting in a high illiteracy rate. The Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) has allowed the Muslims to use a curriculum more relevant to their culture. The government authorized the creation of a purely Muslim Court of Justice to be manned by Muslim Judges with equivalent status to the ordinary courts of law. The underlying problem is based on the Muslims’ desire for autonomous government represented by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

The Christian majority group is divided into different subcultures represented by ethno linguistic groups. Based on the language spoken at home we have the following date; (Philippine Yearbook 1979: 119). * Cebuano- 24.4 %

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