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Summary:
Unhistorical Data
There are some narratives that have been previously accepted in Philippine History as facts but later were found out to be historical errors.
Maragtas
It is the story about ten Malay datu from Borneo who settled into the Philippine Islands. According to the Maragtas at around 1250 A.D., ten Bornean Datu left their kingdom in search of new homes across the sea to escape the merciless rule of Sultan Makatunaw.
Led by Datu Puti, the Borneans landed in the island of Panay and bought the lowlands from the Ati king named Marikudo in exchange of the gold saduk (native hat) and a long gold necklace for Queen Maningwantiwan (Maniwangtiwan). After the land sale and pact of friendship, the Atis went to the hills. The Malay Datus settled in lowlands.
Datus Puti, Balensusa, and Dumangsil sailed northward to Luzon and landed in the region around Lake Bonbon (Taal).There they built their settlements. Dumangsil and Balensusa’s families occupied other neighboring regions now known as Laguna and the Bicol Peninsula. Datu Puti left Borneo after he knew that his men were leading peaceful lives.
The other seven Datu stayed in Panay. They divided the island into three districts. Hantik (now Antique) was under Datu Sumakwel. Datu Paiburong ruled Irong-irong (now Ilo-ilo). DatuBangkaya governed Aklan (now Aklan and Capiz).
Led by Datu Sumakwel, a political confederation of Barangays (Madya-as) was formed for purposes of protection and close family relations. The story as told by Fr. Francisco Santaren, further describes the expansion of the Malay settlers to other parts of the archipelago.
The legal code written by Datu Sumakwel as known as the Maragtas code was previously known as the oldest known written body of laws in the Philippines.
The Maragtas is a work by Pedro Alcantara Monteclaro titled (in English translation) History of Panay from the first inhabitants and the Bornean immigrants, from which they descended, to the arrival of the Spaniards. The work is in mixed Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a languages in Iloilo in 1907. It is an original work based on written and oral sources available to the author.

Code of Kalantiaw
Previously regarded as the second oldest legal code in the Philippines was the code of Kalantiaw. This code was said to be a set of ancient laws promulgated in 1433 by Datu Bendara Kalantiaw (Spanish spelling, Calantiao) of Aklan, the third Muslim ruler of Panay.
The code itself was contained in one of the Chapters of the Las Antiguas Leyendas de la isla de Negros (Ancient Legends of Negros Island) written by Fr. Jose Maria Pavon, a Spanish secular prienst who became a parish priest of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental in 1838-1839. Jose E. Marco of Negros Occidental discovered the alleged Pavon manuscripts and presented it to Dr. James Robertson, Director of the Philippine Library and Museum in 1914. According to Marco’s confession, he obtained two manuscript volumes from someone who had stolen them from the Himamaylan convent during the revolution.
Director Robertson had the Pavon manuscript published in its English translation in 1917. The Philippine Studies Program of the University of Chicago reprinted the translation in 1957. Eventually, the Fiipino historians and textbook writers acknowledged the authenticity of the Pavon manuscripts without any doubt.
Criticisms
William Henry Scott made the study of the prehistoric source materials for the study of Philippine History, the subject of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Sto. Tomas. He defended his paper before a panel of well-known historians on June 16, 1968. The panelists include Teodoro Agoncillo, Gregorio Zaide, Mercedes Grau Santamaira, Nicolas Zafra, and Father Horacio de la Costa, SJ.
The research of Scott showed that Maragtas is not a prehispanic document but a book written by Pedro Monteclaro, a local historian of Panay. Monteclaro’s publisher in 1907, noted that this Maragtas should not be considered as facts. The publisher pointed out that many of the authors data do not tally with what we hear from the old men. The author wrote that two of his manuscripts were rotten and hardly legible. There is no tradition of recording history nor legal decision in Panay during the Pre-colonial times.
In the unprecedented doctoral study of Scott, he concluded that the Pavon Manuscripts were not genuine and the Code of Kalantiaw was a hoax. He presented his serious objections to this fake historical code. They are as follows:
There no evidence that Fr. Pavon, the alleged author of the manuscript was ever in the Philippines in 1838, or parish Priest of the town in 183. The discoverer of the alleged manuscript, Jose E. Marco, was involved in the sale of other fake historical documents.
The contents of the manuscript are of dubious value. For example, the author prays for the preservation of the King of Spain in 1838 and dedicates a book to him in 1839, but Spain had no King between 1833-1874.
The author also stated that the month of November was called a bad monthfor it brought air laded with putrified microbes of evil fevers. It was only in 1850’s that Louis Pasteur discovered the theory of infectious germs.
The Kalantiaw Code contained many strange edicts that contradict the character of the Filipino. For example, the code prescribed death penalty for the crime of trespassing on the datu’s house, but imposed only a year of slavery for stealing his wife.
Barangay System and Its Customary Laws
The Government
Before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the Philippines in the 16th century, the Barangays were well-organized independent villages - and in some cases, cosmopolitan sovereign principalities, which functioned much like a city-state. The Barangay was the dominant organizational pattern among indigenous communities in the Philippine archipelago. The name barangay originated from balangay, a Malay word meaning "sailboat".
The community called barangay was the basic unit of government. It consisted of 30 to 100 families. Each barangay was independent and was ruled by a chieftain (Datu). It was the primary duty of the chieftain to rule and govern his people justly and to promote their welfare.
The chieftain was powerful and exercisedthe powers of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Sometimes, alliances were concluded between barangays for mutual protection against a common enemy. An alliance was sealed through a ritual called sanduguan or blood compact.
Social Classes
Datu/ Rajah – ruling class
Maharlika – the aristocracy; desecendants of mixed marriages between a ruling dynasty and one out of power
Timawa – common class; enjoyed their rights to a portion of the barangay land.
Alipin – dependents; lowest class
Aliping Namamahay – had his own house and family; served his masters by planting and harvesting his master’s crops
Aliping Sagigilid – had no house of his own, he lived with his master and could not marry without the latter’s consent; some of them were captives in battles
Economic Life
Ancient Filipinos practiced agriculture e.g. kaingin system, tillage system
Aside from agriculture, ancient Filipinos engaged in industries such as fishing, mining, shipbuilding, poultry and livestock raising, logging, pottery and weaving.
No currency was used in trading. Goods were bought and sold through the barter system called baligya.
Women’s position in Society
Filipino women, before the arrival of the Spaniards enjoyed high position in society. As a custom, women were the equal of men in ancient Filipino society.
Marriage Customs
In most cases, a woman of one class married into the same class. Courtship was long and difficult. A man served the parents of the girl for years. The man was required to give a dowry (bigay-kaya)
How a Law was Made
The chieftain called the council of elders to give their opinion. If the elders approved the the proposed law, the chieftain orders the town cryer, umalohokan to announce to the community the approval of the law.

Deciding Cases
The trial of a case was usually done in public. The witnesses usually took an oath to prove their honesty (May I die here and now if I do not tell the truth). The man who had more witnesses was usually judged to be the winner.
The trial by Ordeal
In the case of the theft; suspects had to dip their hands into a pot of boiling water
Another form was to hold lighted candles; the suspect whose candle died out first was the guilty party.
Clothing
Male – Kangan, bahag, putong, barefoot
Female – tapis, barefoot
Houses
Made of nipa and bamboo wood
System of Writing
Our ancestors possessed a system of writing called called a syllabary (baybayin or alibata)
3 – vowels 14 – consonants
Music and Dance

Filipinos are considered born musicians.
Musical instruments included kudyapi, kulintang, bansic, etc.

Religious beliefs

Ancient Filipinos believed in one Supreme Being called Bathala
They also worshipped minor deities e.g. Sidapa – god of death, Lalahon – goddess of Harvest

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