What is a Barangay?

  Barangay originated from the word “balangay”, a kind of sailboat that originally brought settlers of Malay stock from Borneo to the Philippines. It is known as the oldest watercraft found in the Philippines, carbon dated to 320 AD. In the early Filipino settlements, the real social unit in the Philippine society is the barangay. … More What is a Barangay?

The Coming of Islam in the Philippines

Islam was referred to as mohammedanism when I was growing up in the Philippines. There were several religious sects in the country and one of them was mohammedanism, not Islam. Mohammedans (Muslims) practiced mohammedanism. Most of the muslims lived in Mindanao and Sulu Archipelago. Spaniards called them moros because of their perceived resemblance to the … More The Coming of Islam in the Philippines

Philippine PreHispanic Relations With Neighboring Countries

    The Philippines was ruled by various Asian empires during its early history. Trade with Indonesia, Borneo, mainland Southeast Asia, Japan, Persia and India developed shortly after the Ice Age and many merchants made the Philippines their base. Between 1500 BC and 1440 AD, the Philippines traded with several Asian empires and from 200 … More Philippine PreHispanic Relations With Neighboring Countries

Battle of Bankusay Channel and Macabebe

Bankusay refers to the Bankusay creek located off the north shore of Manila Bay. It was here where the bloody Battle of Bankusay took place in 1571, a battle which would immortalize the heroism and extraordinary courage of a young warrior whose name continues to elude the Filipino consciousness. While several Filipino patriots sacrificed their … More Battle of Bankusay Channel and Macabebe

Wang Wanggao in search of Limahong

The Viceroy of Fokien, having heard of Limahong’s daring exploits, had commissioned a ship of war to discover the whereabouts of Limahong, his imperial master’s old enemy. Wang Wanggao, known in Spanish sources as Omocon, who was commissioned to capture Limahong dead or alive, arrived in Philippine waters and encountered the Spanish soldiers in Bolinao, … More Wang Wanggao in search of Limahong

Ati-Atihan Festival – The Philippines’ Mardi Gras

  In 1212, as legend has it, 10 Bornean datu (chiefs), fleeing the collapse of the once-mighty Srivijayan empire, sailed northwards with their followers and landed on the island of Panay. At that time, Panay was widely populated by Negritos. The Bornean Malays, although superior fighters and better armed than the Negritos, chose not to … More Ati-Atihan Festival – The Philippines’ Mardi Gras