Social Studies 5
MAJOR ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF EARLY FILIPINOS
Before the coming of the Spaniards in 16th century, economic activities were already taking place in the islands. The Pre-Hispanic settlers of the archipelago were economically self-sufficient. In addition, native products reached neighboring countries like Cambodia, China, India, Japan, and Borneo.
It is believed that the Banaue rice terraces may have been built starting 10,000 B.C. which proves the early Filipinos’ skills in agriculture. Agriculture was the main source of livelihood in the pre colonial Philippines. There was an abundance of sugar cane, coconut, rice, cotton, hemp, and many species of fruits and vegetables.
The daily food consisted of rice, which is considered as the ‘daily mainstay for the entire country’, together with boiled fish pork or meat of wild buffalo or carabao. Because of the abundance of coconut and nipa palms, the pre colonial Filipinos fermented the sap of these palms and drank it as liquor. They recognized the existence of private and public property. Cultivated lands were owned by private individuals while mountainsides and less fertile lands belong to the public. These private lands were acquired by occupation, purchase, or inheritance.
Due to the country’s long coastline and bodies of water, the early settlers always had an abundant catch of fishes, crustaceans, shrimps and shells. They used three-pointed spears, cages and fishnets in fishing. They used only large mesh nets in fishing which protected the young. The Tausugs, Samals , and Badjaos were pearl divers and they hunted for the eggs of sea turtles.
SHIPBUILDING and SEAFARING
When the Spaniards arrived, they found the early Filipinos’ ship to be of excellent quality. They also learned that the Filipinos, specifically the Visayans, used a compass similar to that found among the Chinese and the people of Borneo.... [continues]
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