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Pre-Colonial Culture

During the early period thousand years ago, the early Filipinos were composed of different
groups that came from different parts of Asia.

With different groups, they form their own community, system of education and religious belief.

They group into different communities called barangays composed of 30 to 2,000 individuals
and they construct their shelters in different areas according to their lifestyle and source of

Usually, they lived along the seashores, rivers, streams, forests, fertile land areas and caves.

They used the things in their surroundings for their source of living.

People living along the seashore hunt prey with their spears and used boats to easy transport of
goods from one place to another.

People living in large land areas cultivates the land with grains and crops, and livestock to
sustain their hunger.

Filipinos have a collection of different beliefs and cultural mores anchored in the idea that the
world is inhabited by spirits and supernatural entities both good and bad, and that respect must
be accorded to them through worship.

These nature spirits are known as "diwatas", related to Hindu Devatas.

Some worship specific deities, such as the Tagalog supreme deity, Bathala, and his children
Adlaw, Mayari, and Tala, or the Visayan deity Kan-Laon

Magic, chants and prayers are often key features.

Its practitioners were highly respected (in the community, as they were healers, midwives,
shamans, witches and warlocks, priest and priestess, tribal historians and wizened elders that
provided the spiritual and traditional life of the community.

In the Visayan regions, shamanistic and animistic beliefs in witchcraft and mythical creatures
like aswang (vampires), duwende (dwarves), and bakonawa (a gigantic sea serpent).

Ways in Which Indigenous Culture Survived


done by Maranaos, Tausugs of Mindanao and Ifugaos and Bontocs of Mountain Province.

done by Mangyans, Bukidnons, Isnegs and Bagobos.

Pre-Colonial Literature

The oral literature of the precolonial Filipinos bore the marks of the community.

The subject was invariably the common experience of the people constituting the village-food-
gathering, creature and objects of nature, work in the home, field, forest or sea, caring for
children, etc.

This is evident in the most common forms of oral literature like the riddle, the proverbs and the
song, which always seem to assume that the audience is familiar with the situations, activities
and objects mentioned during expressing a thought or emotion.

The most appreciated riddles of ancient Philippines are those that are rhymed and having equal
number of syllables in each line, making them classifiable under the early poetry of this country.

Riddles were existent in all languages and dialects of the ancestors of the Filipinos and cover
practically all the experiences of life in these times.

Almost all the important events in the life of the ancient peoples of this country related to some
religious observance and the rites and ceremonies always some poetry recited, chanted, or

Early activities literature is written and inscribed in bamboo. Palm leaves and bark of trees with
the use of knife and styli.

The early Filipinos used the writing system Alibata or Babybayin in order to write their literary

Most Filipino literature are handed down orally from one generation to another.

Drama as a literary from had not yet begun to evolve among the early Filipinos. Philippine
theater at this stage consisted largely in its simplest form, of mimetic dances imitating natural
cycles and work activities.

Prose narratives in prehistoric Philippines consisted largely or myths, hero tales, fables and

Their function was to explain natural phenomena, past events, and contemporary beliefs to
make the environment less fearsome by making it more comprehensible and, in more instances,
to make idle hours less tedious by filling them with humor and fantasy.

There is a great wealth of mythical and legendary lore that belongs to this period, but preserved
mostly by word of mouth, with few written down by interested parties who happen upon them.
Forms of Oral Literature


Riddles and Proverbs which contains metaphor.

Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by Pedro Sanclucar and Juan de Noceda, collection of early
riddles and proverbs directly obtained from the people during the Spanish time.


Most pre-colonial poetry were monoriming and heptasyllabic.

Examples are Ambahan of Hamunoo Mangyans and Tanaga


Tagalogs has 16 species of songs for different occasions.



Taught people of their membership to the community


Used to give praise to the divinities


Consisted of origin myths, hero tales, fables and legends


Explain natural phenomena, past events and contemporary beliefs.

Make idle hours less boring.


as a literary form had not yet begun to evolve.

Theater consisted of religious rituals presided over by a priest or priestess and participated in by
the community. One example of this rituals is the Cb'along.

Cb'along is part of a wedding rite, involving the propitiation of the evil spirits who might bring
harm upon the couple.

The rite centers around the goddess Bugan.

The Philippine drama would have taken form the dance-drama found in other Asian countries.

During this era, the name Manuel E. Arsenio is one of most recognized names.
He surveyed these "ethnoepics," and he was able to describe 13 epics found among pagan

It includes 2 Christian Filipinos; and four among Muslim Filipinos.


Narratives of sustained length.

Based on oral tradition.

Revolving around supernatural events or heroic deeds.

In form of verse. Either sung or chanted.

With a certain seriousness of purpose, embodying or validating the beliefs, customs, ideals or
life values of the people.

Examples of Folk Epics

Lam Ang




Tungkung Langit and Alunsina



A popular deity of the Suludnon people of Panay. He is their version of the creator who made
the world out of primordial chaos. In other Visayan pantheons, Tungkung Langit was a lesser
deity and brother of Panlinugon, god of earthquakes.


A prominent goddess in the Suludnon peoples Pantheon of Gods. Alunsina, also called Laon-
Sina is the virgin goddess of the eastern skies and the wife of Tungkung Langit (Pillar of
Heaven). In a Panay version of the Creation Myth Alunsinas name has been translated as the
Unmarried One, The One from Foreign skies and One who is Foreign.

Relevance to the Pre-Colonial Times

That people from that generation believes in myths and legends.

They believe that everything around us, from the things we see and use every day, to the variety
of food we eat and natural landscapes we admire, have emerge from somewhere at one point
They made this kind of literature, so the kids from their generation and the future generation
will learn something out of it.

It also reflects the culture and old beliefs of the people.

Moral Lesson of the Story

Jealousy is the root of all evil and can destroy anything.

Love is weakest when there is more doubt than trust.

If you love someone, have faith in them and dont think bad things that will affect your

More importantly, never make permanent decisions on temporary feelings.

Dont let your anger and rage consume your true emotions because maybe you will regret your



Orphan Girl - she was very beautiful, with straight eyebrows, and very skillful in all womanly
arts, such weaving.

Widow's Son - killed the Manamat and the Gunluh.

Manamat - came to devour the orphan girl.

Sultan - sent a representative to the chief to ask the orphan girl's hand for his son.

Shareef - said that it was not right to kill the widow's son.

Huge Spider - pointed out the direction to the orphan girl.

Beautiful Woman - warned the orphan girl.

Makayag - he offered to give up his independence and acknowledge the widow's son as his lord.

Relevance to the Pre-Colonial Times

Form of government, the Sultan or Datu have the rights to rule his community.

The relationship of the ruler to his subjects was very simple back then; In return for his
protection, the people pay tribute and serve him both in times of war and peace.

Moral Lesson of the Story

It is not right to kill.

If you love someone you should do the right thing to win the love without hurting some people.
Even if you have the power you should use it in the good way.

If you do well to others, it will also be replaced with something good.

The Monkey and the Turtle




Tatbtuko (Bird)


Red-Tailed Lizard

Relevance to the Pre-Colonial Times

People from that generation have a brilliant idea of using animals as the main characters for
their stories to attract kids into reading and understanding them.

They hunt wild animals for a living by using the things in their surroundings and making them

Moral Lesson of the Story

You should value and treasure your family and friends.

Dont let greediness consume you, dont abuse the goodness of others.

Dont do something that will hurt somebody and the people around it. Be contented for what
you have.

How the Angels Built Lake Lanao


Archangel Diabarail - Gabriel to the Christians, Angel

Allah - Lord of Muslims

Sohara Vice of Allah

Angels from The Seven regions beneath the Earth and The Seven Regions beneath the Sky

Angin Taupan, Angin Besar, Angin Darat, and Angin Sarsar (four winds of the world)
Relevance to the Pre-Colonial Times

People believes in Gods and Saints. Allah is the known God.

Allah and some angels were mentioned in the story.

Moral Lesson of the Story

Be responsible enough on the things or work you should do.

Think of others not only yourself.

Tuwaang Attends a Wedding


Tuwaang the protagonist of the story

Maiden of Monawan the heroine of the story

Young Man of Sakadna the antagonist of the story

Gungutan bird companion of Tuwaang

Relevance to the Pre-Colonial Times

The eating of nga-nga, which was the habit of old men and women, it can be compared to

Impossible and unbelievable things take place like flying on the lightning, a talking bird, and
being absorbed into the land and tumbling upon Hades.

Moral Lesson of the Story

Be brave to face any challenges.

Fight for your deepest desire.

Prevail the equality among peoples different classes in society.

Group 1:

Leader: Sebastian Andrey S. Baas


Ronan Dela Cruz Rina Aranas Joy Ceraos Mark Sollano

Nicole Doctolero Christine Roque Sharmaela Habla Aika Parungao

Erick Ferrer Jeric Angana Sarah Manuel Krisha Mique