When I was younger, I remember reading in a Filipino children’s book that the Filipinos were made up of a migratory Malay population. I didn’t think much of it then until this article came up which challenges the notion of the indigenous Filipino.
Who are the indigenous?
The Philippine Inquirer, 12 February 2008
All these years, school teachers have taught Filipino children that Filipinos belong to the Malay stock.
Now comes a language scholar, who has authored influential studies about Cordillera and other Philippine languages for almost 50 years, who says that linguistic, archaeological and anthropological findings collected through the years prove that this assertion may have been wrong.
Based on a comprehensive study of Philippine languages and dialects, Dr. Lawrence Reid, a New Zealand-born researcher emeritus of the University of Hawaii, dates the indigenous and mainstream Filipino to Taiwan about 4,500 years ago.
According to the study, populations of Negritos are believed to have existed for at least 50,000 years before the migrations of people from Taiwan. This idea of a Neolithic, out-of-Taiwan expansion is not new, so it’s a little surprising that this is considered “news”. Perhaps the news here is that the modern Philippine origin story needs to be updated?
- Archaeology of Asia (Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology) by M.T. Stark
- Man’s conquest of the Pacific: The prehistory of Southeast Asia and Oceania by P. Bellwood
- Glances: Prehistory of the Philippines by J. T. Peralta
- Bioarchaeology of Southeast Asia (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology) by M. Oxenham
- Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago by P. Bellwood