Kimberly Charm Terrago
Cheline Antonette Flores
Diane Nica Formeloza
The process towards fragmentation was encouraged by a number of factors: First, The character of geographic environment naturally induced isolation and differentiation or budding off populations; second, the absence of unifying and controlling systems allowed the process to move undeterred. These are trends by the end of the Iron Age despite the particularization of populations along longer ethno-linguistic patterns, continued further to sub-particularize the inhabitants. It would not be until after the 13th or 14th century that new external forces appeared in certain parts of archipelago, subjecting the immediate areas to a centrifugal process towards new and larger consolidation.
The Moros is one of such islam forces whose beginnings in archipelago was traced by Najeeb M. Saleeby to about 1380 A.D. The establishment or spread of Islamic roots in Maguindanao, The ancient base of the cotabato people, around the lake region of Lanao, and as far as the mouth of the pasig in Luzon set in motion three inter-related processes of Islamization. The Indios, As such emerged upon the advent of Spanish culture which was spread throughout the archipelago by means of the sword as well as the cross, but which succeeded only in creating a foothold in some of the ethnic groups. Generally, the settlements that were hispanized or Christianized were lowland populations within the direct route or perimeter of Spanish military influence. The Infieles, These communities were called collectively by Spanish sources as the Infieles (pagans). Why they succeeded could be related to several factors and circumstances. In relation to the Muslim factor, the upland societies did not experience the threat to their identities and cultures as they did in relation to the Spanish.
II. The Moros
Moro people are a population of indigenous Muslims in the Philippines, forming the largest non-Christian group in the country, and comprising about 5% of the total Philippine population.
B. Islamization and Rise of Moro Communities
The plight of the Moro or Muslim Filipinos is a controversial phenomenon in Philippine history. No other Philippine ethno linguistic group has been studied as extensively as the Moros. In 1280 AD, Islam arrived in Mindanao through Arab merchants and Islamic missionaries. It was the same period that Muslim mystics and teachers arrived in Southeast Asia (Majul, 1999). The spread of Islamic roots in Maguindanao, the ancient base of the Cotabato people, around the lake region of Lanao, and as far as the mouth of Pasig in Luzon, set in motion three interrelated processes of Islamization (Tan, 1987). First is the fundamental foundation of ingraining the concept of the ummah in the consciousness of the people. The ummah refers to the community of believers who are bound solely by spiritual ties regardless of sex, status, color or residence. This ummah consciousness placed the Muslim South in the territorial world of Islam. To a large extent, the sultanate as a system derived its historic influence from this consciousness vis-à-vis datuship or rajaship whose importance was confined to kinship and jurisdiction. However, it must be noted that the effect of the ummah on popular consciousness and culture resulted not in the social transformation of the Muslim communities in orthodox Islamic societies. Rather, it led to the development of a folk-Islamic tradition - a blend of Islam and indigenous local ethnic traditions. This harmonious mixture manifests not only in the socio-cultural aspect but also in the political life of the people (Tan, 1987, 2004).
Second, the political process was embodied in both the structure and functions of the “sultanate” which helped shape and consolidate...