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Early Filipino Culture and Way of Life

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Geneva Faustino

on 17 October 2015

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Transcript of Early Filipino Culture and Way of Life

The Cultural Life of our Filipino Ancestors
The First Group of Malays who landed in the Philippines had their own culture. They led quietly and orderly lives and had their own system knowledge. These natives built small communities by the rivers, seashores and inland waters, and were easy to adapt their life to the new environment.
Many historians and scientists believe that the first inhabitants of the Philippine islands emerged during the Pleistocene period.
Migration Theory
The first migrants were what Beyer called the
The Dawnmen resembled
Java Man, Peking Man
, and
other Asian Home sapiens
who existed about 250,000 years ago.
This phase can also be called the
"Paleolithic Age"
Jocano’s Theory
Renowned Filipino anthropologist
Felipe Landa Jocano
disputes Beyer’s belief that Filipinos descended from Negritoes and Malays who migrated to the Philippines thousands of years ago.
Thus, the study for the
"Neolithic Age"
came into view.
Roles of Datu or Rajah
The Early Filipinos
The cultural way of life of the early Filipino ancestors were composed into two:

Political Order
Economical Customs
They are what we call...
Law Enforcer
and a
Land Administrator
Chief Warrior in times of war with the neighboring
They stood as the defender of the weak and innocent.
Stood as a Judge
Social Order
Society divided into three classes...
Timawa or Freemen
Alipin or Slaves
I. Political Order
Is composed of:
The Barangay
Social Order
Modes of Dressing
Early Filipino Culture and Way of Life
The Barangay
Barangay, a term of Malay origin which means "Banca" or "boat".
A barangay was composed of 25 to100 families.
The head chief was called a
, who wielded vast powers over his continuants.
Our ancient laws were products of our customs that had been handed down from generation to generation. These laws were strictly implemented,There were also written laws like the
Code of Kalintiaw
Our early ancestors had their own beliefs regarding home, the world in general and life after death. Early Filipinos also worship different Gods. They are as follows...
. Ruler of heaven and earth
Spirits of Departed Ancestors
. They were considered as their redeemers and mediators.
. They preside rituals and ceremonies commonly in regards of communicating with the Spirits of the Earth.
Our ancestors used to live in

. They were made up of bamboo, woods and palm leaves. A house also had basements or cellars were animals were kept. Ladders in every home were also made of bamboo.
Modes of Dressing
are commonly used by filipinos to enhance their physical appearance and clothes are commonly made up of cotton, silk and plant fibers...
- colarless and short sleeved jacket worn by men
- a cloth wrapped around the waist and between legs
- a piece of cloth around the head
- can be a blouse or tunics mostly worn by women
- a light blanket wrapped around by women. Most commonly a maharlika
The First “Filipinos”
There are two theories on where the inhabitants (first Filipinos) came from namely:

Beyer’s “Migration Theory”
Jocano’s “Evolution Theory”
Thank You
Listening !

In the beginning, the position of datu was inherited by the eldest son or daughter. Eventually, it went to anyone with the following qualities...
Love for the country or
Alipin or Slaves are composed of third class and divided into two...
Aliping Namamalay
. They are servants to a Datu and Timawa and have the right to own property.
Aliping Saguigilid
. Enjoyed no freedom and were considered property of their masters for the rest of their lives.
is also one of the popular ornament of the body. It symbolizes strength and bravery. For men, it served as a war record for the number of man he killed in a fair fight.
II. Economical Customs
Is composed of:
Courtship and Marriage
Burial Customs
Courtship and Marriage
It is an aspect of life regarded seriously by our ancestors. The choice of a partner is based on a parent's wishes...
Burial Customs
The burial way of the dead underwent careful preparation in different tribes...

- a type of pre-colonial tribal coffin topped with two figures in a banca or boat. The front figure is the deceased man while the rear figure holding a steering paddle is the

- a burial way of wrapping the deceased child with the mother's clothes before hanging them with a rope/string on a large tree branch

- is an adult burial custom for hanging corpse. The dead are placed in a coffin and hung from mountain cliffs.
Tree Trunk Burial
- in this method dying person is to choose a tree beforehand, thus when he/she dies, the deceased's corpse is then entombed vertically inside the hollowed-out tree trunk.
Wrapped Corpse Burial
- is a common for the datu or rajah. They were wrapped with fine cotton cloth before burying them near the riverbanks or seashores. Banana leaves are common wrapping material used for freemen or timawas.


- in this burial, when the babaylan or tribal witch dies, the deceased is layed down on a bamboo made boat in a fine noble attire surrounded by flowers before sending it throughout sea.
A man must first give a dowry to a girl's family before he may ask for her hand in marriage
He must also first serve in the house of the girl he wishes to marry before they can proceed to marriage and start living on their own
In terms of Marriage Ceremony is simple. The
, the tribe witch, performs the ceremony which was witnessed by the relatives of the bride and groom. Celebrations after the wedding were also a common practice.
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