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?
Related books:
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

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39 Replies to “Negritos or Malays: Who are the original inhabitants of the Philippines?”

  1. That’s called the “Beyer Wave” theory which posits that the Philippines was colonized by successive “waves” of immigrants from Indonesia and Malaysia. It was proposed by Henry Beyer in 1947, and has become part of grade school and high school “Sibika at Kultura” textbooks ever since. Yet this theory has been pretty much debunked in the 60s and 70s.

    While there are competing theories on how the Philippines was populated, I lean towards Peter Bellwood’s Austronesian migration theory (referenced in the Inquirer article above, as well as in Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs and Steel). Landa Jocano and Wilhelm Solheim are two other well respected historians of the Philippines who have come up with their own theories on how the islands got populated.

  2. i am malay from malaysian peninsula, with ancestors from sumatra, indonesia. I just want to say that it is wrong, and actually insulting, if one says that malays and negritoes are the same people. we are NOT. in malaysia, negritoes are known as the “orang asli” or the aboriginals.

    just like the history of people from thailand, vietnam, laos, cambodia, myanmar, etc… malays in malaysia came from yunnan, china. we are not negritoes. to say that some of us inter-marry the negritoes perhaps because the negritoes converted to islam or perhaps in some odd cases because love is blind; is one thing. But to say that malays are totally originated from negritoes is wrong.

    Just like the modern filipinos, we malays are rich in culture, religion, technology, literacy and we are civilised. We have more manners as compared to negritoes.Just like filipinos have more manners as compared to aboriginals.

    This reply is not to bash the negritoes, I have respect for all races and all humans are created equal by God. However, I just want to make it clear that there is a distinction (a very clear one at that) between a malay and a negrito.

    I am aware that the word malay itself is very wide and thus is subjected to abuse of the meaning. A malay can mean anything from the people in peninsular malaysia, to southern thai people to the whole thai people, to vietnamese to myanmar to laos to cambodians to jakarta people to brunei to filipino people.

    To some, javanese is an exclusive ethnic, yet to others, javanese is malay too. Some scholars specify malays to be only of a particular place, yet others categorise the whole of south east asia as malay archipelago.

    Thus, perhaps some “malays” may appear very negrito or indeed are negrito by default. But due to cultural interaction, they call themselves malays. But just because some “malays” are negritoes does not mean it is the same for other or for the majority of malays in the malay archipelago. Likewise, just because some filipinos look negrito or has negrito blood, does not mean all of the filipino people are negritoes.

    Just like the filipinos, malays are accepted as the “brown chinese” or brown people with slanting eyes. The same has not been expressed to negritoes.

    Saying a malay is a negrito is like saying a filipino or a vietnamese or a thai is a negrito. It’s wrong.

    Thank you for listening.

  3. I’m sorry but your “rant” reeks of racial undertones. Does the idea that we may have descended from Negritos offend your Malay-first chauvinism? It’s like European whites who were up in arms when it was proposed that the current Caucasian stocks may have originated quite recently (only to several thousand years ago) from Black Africans. It’s only skin color and superficial physical traits that separates caucasians from africans, and malays from negritos. We’re all human beings underneath.

  4. First off, I don’t think anything in the initial article equated the Malays with the Negritos. What it says is that the Negritos are the original inhabitants of the territories we now call Malaysia and the Philippines. The evidence for this is quite strong, and the term ‘orang asli’ certainly alludes to that fact. So, certainly, the Malays are not Negritos, but that has never been the point of the article to begin with.


    –> Just like the modern filipinos, we malays are rich in culture, religion, technology, literacy and we are civilised. We have more manners as compared to negritoes.Just like filipinos have more manners as compared to aboriginals.

    I find this statement extremely offensive and indicative of the author’s own ignorance about what it means to be ‘civilised’. technology, religion and literacy do not a culture make. You’ll find that the negritos that populate the northern states of Malaysia have a rich culture, with their own distinct sets of belief systems, customs and behaviour. They are adept with harnessing the resources of the jungle for subsitence and shelter, all while having a well-documented reputation for being competent linguists, shifting between Malay, Thai, their own tongue and the tongues of the other aboriginal tribes without difficulty. In comparison, we ‘civilised’ peoples have difficulty juggling two languages. The negritos of Malaysia also have an unbelievably low crime rate – that certainly puts us ‘civilised’ peoples to shame. Certainly your comment about negritos lacking manners and culture is unfounded and uneducated.

  5. I need to visit these places for I am excited to know blacks populated such a vast areas of world. I often wondered how in the hell did black folks get to these places. I am so proud to be a negrito person in this world. We are the original and all descend from us. From Nigeria to south africa to egypt to austrailia to malaysia the negrito has populated the earth!

  6. I agree totally with what Danny & noelbynature have stated. I am abit confused as to what the Malay man was trying to say. In one breath saying that the Negrito people have no manners & then in the next breath saying that we are all created equal by God. If we are created equal by God then all of our mannerisms would also be equal. What is acceptable in one particular tribe is not acceptable in another tribe & so forth. Who are we to determine what good manners are? No person on this planet is created perfect. God never mentioned anything about creating perfect people, only that we are all equal. We are all human beings & deserve to be treated as such. No-one is higher or lower than the other & whoever believes otherwise are extremely bigoted, biased & prejudiced. That is my belief, thank-you.

  7. finally, a person that will hold a conversation with more than one verb…
    i enjoyed your diatribe. you spoke of things that should be known to all, yet so few see a truth. as each of us traveled around the world and enhabited new lands it was the ultimate winner who determined language and customs…
    we have walked in one anothers footsteps for more than 100,000 years. the dream time is a thing passed on father to son. the religious belief will be put to the test when a solar eclipse passes over india. millions will lock themselves in their homes. afraid of the dream time. the world will continue… peace out

  8. keep up the blogging I am half caste and live in the uk but married a thai lady – any way yes we all did come from Africa circa 100-60 000 ya – lighter colours are only to get vitamin b as you move north -what is required is information not ignorance – god as someone refereed to above does not exist only evolution mindless and undirectional – so get real and accept the facts how do you think the negroid type got to papua new guieane fly ? they had to walk through asia of course- the mongol people developed from the negroid type in asia ie china /mongolia location then moved south to dispalce the negroid type from indochina thus splitting the negroid type in africa from those in the eastern pacific

  9. The “Negrito” has links with other groups under this umbrella name?, i hear Negrito’s have links with andaman islanders, the negrito stock from off the coast of India. The negrito’s got here somehow, and seeing as their are the Aeta (agta, ayta, whatever region) in the Philippines, and then different groups in Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua, India, Even parts of Thailand. Suggests they had gotten around somehow! Amazing. Their are even suggestions that a great coastal migration from Africa to current day Asia occurred, i wouldn’t be surprised. The Austronesians (Malay if you will, or Malayo-Polynesian) likewise had an amazing journey, spread out among the pacific.

    In my opinion i follow the Austronesian theory, the new evidence is just overwhelming. I lean much more towards that .. But i strongly feel the Aeta to be the traditional indigenous population of the Philippines.


  10. The article was interesting, but didn’t offer anything new. Hasn’t it already been known for several decades that the Negritos were the first inhabitants of the Philippines, and the rest of Southeast Asia??? It’s also been clear to me that the Malay stock is genetically different from the Negrito stock. Even the average Filipino knows that. As for the person who said that Malays have more manners as compared to Negritos, we should be more respectful and open-minded about other people’s cultures. It’s easy to judge other people’s cultures and say they have less manners. There are many different kinds of manners. We should not just look at our good manners, and look at the bad manners of others.

  11. I think a Filipino archeologist once pointed out that it is not actually known for certain what color or skin or type of hair that the most ancient people of the Philippines had. It may that Austronesians looked like the Negritos. Aren’t indigenous Australians considered to be Austronesian? Also Dravidian type of person from India? However such people are tall with straight hair despite dark skin Maybe there were different kinds of very dark people migrating through the SE Asia world in ancient times.

  12. Just to clarify a point: I think it’s important to point out at this time that the term Austronesian refers to a linguistic group (as with Dravidian, I think), and so it’s probable that at least some negrito populations here adopted Austronesian languages. Our knowledge of negritos as the earliest inhabitants of Southeast Asia come from skeletal evidence – and those skeletons most closely resemble the negrito populations of Southeast Asia and the aborigines of Australia today.

  13. In my opinion we are all Africans. All racial types come from the AFRICAN. So why fuss and fight over Malay versus Negritos.
    Negritos are closer to African so they are naturally the first!!

    The KOI SAN in south africa look very very similiar to all South East Asians so this argument goes no where!!

  14. The so-called Negritos are the direct-descendants of Africa’s Homo sapiens. The s/c Negritos (Seed People) of southwest Asia, India, Andaman Islands, southern Thailand, northern Malaysia, the Philippines, other parts of S.E.Asia, West Papua New Guinea, other parts of Melanesia, northern Australia are the first Africans outside of Africa (humanity’s mother continent). The so-called Malays are the direct-descendants of the so-called Negritos and so-called Mongoloid people. Importantly, every race on the planet Earth have a genetic DNA that is traced back to a little African woman. Thank you for reading!

  15. Wow. I live in las vegas and have friends and my kids have friends that are filpino. I am puerto rican and it is funny to read these posts. In my island the original inhabitants were taino indians then the spaniards came with their ships and their slaves (negritos) and created what is known as puerto ricans, i am sure there is some dutch in there somewhere. The question is were the negritos (african) or were they black in skin color? many filipinos are dark in comparison to the spaniards. its hard to imagine that africans were in the philipines before taiwanese blood was introduced. I have yet to see any african features in my filipino brothers and sisters. The only only introduction of africans would come from the spaniard’s who brought them as slaves. The spaniards raped, murdered and decimated many cultures including the Taino indians of puerto rico just like the negritos of the philipines. bastards.

  16. The last comment is of questionable ignorance relating the history of Puerto Rico with that of Philippines. (No offense but they should know better before they say anything) Any way I don’t necessarily subscribe to the idea that all men where from Africa originally even though I have enough African ancestry. Our Theories of the origins of man are evolving and not absolute. So new(or old) information may shed new light on the subject. And to finalize the designation is based on the illusion that we are only these corporeal shells we call the human body. If we truly take science into account then we must also make room for what does not include what appears the dogma of mainstream so called scientific hearsay I.E.
    1. All humans originated in Africa.
    2. Evolution theory solely placed on physical attributes but not the metaphysical cause beyond those. I.E. you are only this human body with no relation to anyone or anything else in the universe or creation or what possibly lies beyond. Also including that we are the only inhabitable planet or entities with communicable intelligence.
    3. That Human existence on this planet is limited to a mere 100,000 years or so and that of civilized humans even more so. This limits the idea of the possibility that humans have been migrating across the globe for hundreds or thousands of millennia and that possibly far in the forgotten pre-colonist history of places like the Philippines is when the Negritos may have came there. But we have been ingrained by colonial wisdom that this cannot be especially of the Africans which by logic where primitives of no accomplishments fit only for saviourship from savagery and simple matters of servitude. Which ultimately translates to some as free land and free labour. The colonial ideaology is to impress, sometimes by any means, upon others that they are first and superior in everything, religion, science, culture etc, and those to be colonized have little or nothing to offer.

    In my opinion most of these scientific dogmas where and are theories propagated by colonist and where born ultimately from the need to usurp human property and intellectual rights often denigrating and smothering the wisdom of others intended to be colonized or enslaved. I could summon a variety of logical reasons for it has been done to almost all native people on planet earth! But this is generally overlooked and would require a lengthy essay that cannot be done here. We are trying to narrow a vast and complicated subject to fit within the grasp of our local myopic view like trying to fit the universe in a nutshell which is just is not humanly possible. If it where we would have created the universe as a by product of our minds and bodies. And not the other way around our bodies and minds as by products of universal elements. I challenge anyone to assert that they have done more than simply parrot the words of the official anonymous or generally accepted superficial sources. And I ask does that satisfy one who is truly looking for an answer?

  17. Wow wonderful forum here… the puertorican response did confuse history of the blacks brought to the american continent with the ancient black population of south east asia and australia… one element I would like to introject in the discussion is the Island of Madagascar wich is off the coast of the african continent and where a malayor austronesian language is spoken … offering a perfect linguistic tie ( besides the racial) between africa and large parts of south east asia

  18. Of course having said that, it would also be interesting to know weather it was people of southeast asia that travelled to Madagascar or viceversa… I haven’t found any theory on that … It would also be interesting to know if there are further linguistic ties behion the island of Madagascar and into any of the local continental languages of Africa

  19. The indigenous people of the philipins, malaysia and indonesia; we are all MALAYS. We should strive for a malay unification as one county under the name of MAPHILINDO…

  20. I am a Malay from the northern tip of peninsular malaysia close to the border of Thailand..in my local dialect, i would say “nyiok” for cocunut…when I met this person from Baguio of Luzon island, Filipina, I got surprised when she told me that in her local dialect, they also use “nyok” for cocunut. Whereas, in our standard malay language (national language)in Malaysia; the cocunut is “kelapa” which is similar with Javanese of Indonesia. Ironically, the Indonesian language (national language of Indonesia) is using “Nyior” for cocunut.

    Now, I am the firm believer that the Malay as a race is “generic” that could represent the indigenious people of Filipina (Tagalog, Ilakano, visyas, tausug etc), Indonesian (javanese, sundanese, minang, achech, balinese etc, Malaysia (kedah, kelantan, trengganu etc), borneo island (Dusun, Dayak, Iban, Murut, Melanau etc, the native of Taiwan, the Maoris of NZ, the people of Tahiti, Fiji etc, the malagasy of Madagaskar……..

    It is similar with the CHINESE also which is generic..the chinese are comprise of various clan/sub-etchnic namely cantonese, hakka, han, fuchow, teochew, hokkien, manchu etc. If they speak in their own dialect, i am willing to cut my finger that they could not understand each other. That is why they are striving for mandarin language as a unification language among the chinese people all over the world including Singapore. Therefore, the CHINESE itself as a race is generic. It is just an example.

    The first Presidend of Indonesia namely Sukarno is Javanese. However, he realized that in order to unite the people of the Malay Archipelago (Malaysia, Filipina, Borneo, Singapore, southern Thailand, Irian Jaya, Sulawesi, Timur2; he must adopted the Malay language (Bahasa Indonesia) as the national language of Indonesia. Unfortunately, the same move was not adopted by the first President of Filipina namely Macapagal who is Tagalog clan, who had declared that the Tagalog became the national language of the Filipina. That is the missing part between the Filipinos with the rest of their malay brothers and sister from Malaysia and Indonesia.

    If we can UNITE ourselves as one MALAY race and one MALAY language; definitely the language itself would become one of the 3 largest languages in the WORLD.

  21. It makes more sense Malay. I believe those who are darker brown in either Philippines or Malaysia has a more of this Negrito DNA compared to those who have yellowish skin.

  22. I see a lot of wishful thinking and denial here. While I can’t say that any race is superior to others, the differences between them is undeniable, and goes much deeper than skin color. It’s common knowledge that temperament, physical ability, intelligence, and countless other traits are dependent upon breeding in animals, but every one sticks their head in the sand when this is brought up regarding humans. Every one repeats the ridiculous mantra “The only difference between races is the color of their skin!” There are many variations & sub-variations, and countless examples of racial interbreeding, but the differences are there. Don’t be afraid of the truth, just accept it.

    I found this sight looking for information on Philippine Negritos, whom I find very interesting. I’ve personally observed them, and found most of them to be very primitive, with a very basic hunter-gatherer existence. Many of them trade with asian-type Filipinos (non-negrito)and foreigners (Europeans & Americans), but live in their primitive camps. They don’t seem to have the technology or the intellectual capacity to travel long distances by boat. So, the big question is: how did they come to populate distant islands in the Pacific? The Andaman Islanders and a whole host of other similar populations of African-looking hunter-gatherer peoples live on Pacific islands far from the mainland. There are may theories, but very little hard data and research. I hope some scientific types study these people before they become extinct or absorbed into other populations.

  23. I think what needs to be done, is read up on blackbirding. Then we will get an good idea on race in the south pacific

  24. The Negritoes is one of THREE groups of aborigines in Malaysia. Only the Negritoes is said to have origins from Africa as can be seen quite clearly by their features, dark skin , curly hair and wide noses. As I got to meet them up close I noticed that they are simple people and not at all sophisticated. They are not adept ( currently ) at solving sophisticated issues such as farming, business even holding on to a marriage institution. They had been in a ‘ time capsule’ longer than everybody else and in Malaysia they are just recently opening up.They have basic survival knowledge and able to find food in the jungle. Many are having difficulty adjusting to modern life and this have led many ,especially the young to indulge in drugs, gum sniffing , alcohol abuse and free sex which incidentally has always been practiced.You will notice that many recent babies have very light skin. The more sophisticated of the aborigines or Orang Asli are the Senois and the Proto Malays who have more knowledge in Jungle Flora and Fauna matters.Thus the Negritoes may have come from Africa but the others could have originated from Ancient Taiwan or could have originated from the Malay Archipelago and moved outwards instead because the Malays are a distinct race generic to South East Asia.

  25. There’s actually two different definitions for “Malay”. There are the ethnic Malays, those who speak the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu, in Indonesia known as “Bahasa Indonesia”).  They live in most of Malaysia, Indonesia, with minority populations in Thailand. Arguably, Filipinos are also ethnic Malays by blood but due to difference in language and religion, Filipinos aren’t typically considered as true ethnic Malays because they don’t speak Malay and the majority of Filipinos are Catholics (by definition, a Malay is a Muslim and there is no such thing as a “Bahasa Filipina” or anything). The OTHER meaning for “Malay” can refer to the Malay race, which is the “Austronesian” people. This isn’t only referring to Malaysians or Indonesians, but also to Thais, Vietnamese, Samoans and Madagasis as well because they are Austronesians and Filipinos are DEFINATELY in this group. The concept of Malay race, was given by Johann Friedrch Blumenbach who is a German scientist. Some sources say that Filipinos are ethnic Malays, some sources say that Filipinos and Malays are only related and aren’t the same thing. Our ancient script, Baybayin and our ancient languages were related to those in Sumatra and Java and the Sunda Islands.

    Indonesian people also seem to be a little darker and browner than Filipinos and Malaysians, than the typical brown Asian. I don’t know whether anyone else notices this. Remember one of Obama’s look alikes is Indonesian!  

    Do I think Filipinos are ethnic Malays? Yes I do. The only reason why there is NO SUCH thing as “Bahasa Filipina” is because the Dutch and British didn’t care about forcing the Malays in Borneo and Sumatra to speak their language so their culture was nearly untouches. Spain and later on Japan, brutally destroyed us.                        

  26. But a lot of this post is true. Many Filipinos, thought that they came from Indonesia or Malaysia. They still teach it in Filipino schools, and they even teach that Filipinos are ethnic Malays, which is again; a disputed topic. The old fact was that, Malays from Indonesia and Malaysia sailed and came north and inhabited the Philippines and created the people we come to know as “Filipinos” and this is why many Filipinos consider themselves as ethnic Malays. However, new findings now show it’s the other way around. That, a group from southern China migrated to Taiwan and then to the Philippines and then later to Malaysia and Indonesia. So there was really no such thing as “Malays”, however there was supposively a Chinese kingdom called “Malayu”. They reached the Philippines and became Filipinos, then to Borneo where they became Malays. So instead, Filipinos aren’t ethnic Malay or “Malaysian/Indonesian” by decent but rather Malaysians/Indonesians in Borneo and Sulawesi are Filipino by descent. Gotta remember not all Malaysians and Indonesians are Malays. About 30% of Malaysians are Indians, more than 50% of Indonesians are Javanese not Malay. Ethnic Malays also have some Indian in them, this I don’t know why. I’ve seen many ethinc Malays, their facial features and body builds look much more typical to Indian and Pakistanis than the typical Malay.

    So, either way is a good reason for calling Filipinos ethnic Malays. We share a lot of similiarities with Indonesian and Malaysian culture, but too much differences. Malay and Filipino do have a lot of cognates and loanwords, but they have too much false cognates and they aren’t the same language either, Filipino is a form of Tagalog not Malay. Indonesian is a form of Malay. Also, most Filipinos bear English and Spanish names (due to Spanish and American colonization), and have lost touch with the Malay naming system.

  27. Quit it with this “Malay Unity” dogma! We are part of the Malay race (Austronesian), but there are MANY things that does NOT MAKE Filipinos ethnic Malays! (Malay Race [Austronesian] and Ethnic Malays are DIFFERENT THINGS).

    There is NO SUCH THING AS “Bahasa Philippines” or “Bahasa Filipina” or even “Bahasa Pilipinas”, because we DO NOT speak Malay! I could give a damn about religion, by definition a Malay is a Muslim and I belive that is BS as well for anyone can be any religion and still be a Malay. But still, many Filipinos don’t even have Malay names but Spanish and English. The Filipino and Malay languages have too much false-cognates to be “Malay unity”. Filipino is a form of Tagalog, not Malay. However, the Bruneien, Malaysian and Indonesian languages are forms of Malay, not Filipino!

    Filipinos are of the Malay race…but not ethnic Malays! Malay race not only means Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines and Malaysia but also the Oceanic regions and Madagascar because they are in the region we call “AUSTRONESIA”.

    So quit it with this “Ethnic Malay Unity”! If there WAS A “Bahasa Filipino” then yes….wed be ethnic Malays with a sprinkle of Chinese, Arabic and Spanish.


  28. mother nature reveals all things … let those who have eyes see… isis… all of humanity originates from the darkness of its mothers womb … light is darknes … if u doubt this try what white people …like  myself i may add… call sunbathing . its amazeing to read how much u hate ur self and ancestors … i would like to point out to u that the bushmen of africa speak the oldest known language on this planet … i invite u to have a look for ur self … i have no doubt that u wil notice the distinct facial and body similarities
    like unto ur self.. in closing … human features… if im right… most of us were born head first … and spanked on our ass…so that we would cry out and take a deep gulp of  oxygen … that races thru vital organs at warp speed towards …”IT…”  THE MOST HIGH … KING OF KINGS … CREATOR OF ALL THINGS …THE KINGDOM … OR THE KING DOME OF GOD … YES MY FRIENDS … THE BRAIN… oh yeh i forgot ..let me thank the creator for my big nose … the more oxygen the better the brain works…  oh yeh people …if u would  tilt  ur massive dark heads back and look up towards the heavens … preferably at night..u… will see that the universe is black all 24hrs of the day …so as it is above ..so shall it be below.  in conclusion i would like to make a small wager… that most women and men that read this … think ur powerfull and sexy when you my friends are wearing black!   …. its been nice   chatting with u ..but i gotta get the hell out hear… peace!!    

  29. Negritos are the first actually. On language, malayo polynesian seems to have originated in taiwan but recent genetic studies proved that genetic diversification and hence population migration originated south and moved up north to taiwan.

    On the question of who were the original filipino, there was none. Filipino is a modern term that developed during the 18th century. The filipino nation is a recent creation made from the amalgation of previous nations. We can therefore say that the filipino consciousness developed in concert with and among the various ethnolinguistic groups of the philippines.

    However if you were asking about what was the first state/nation to exist in the territory now called the philippines, then we can say that the bisaya (from southern tagalog down to brunei), the pampangeno (the kingdom of tondo) ma’i (mindoro) and other notable kingdoms would have qualified as nation states. 

    The biggest would probably be the Bisaya (sri vijayans). People in the visayas (regardless of being cebuano, hiligaynon or kiniray.a) would consider themselves as bisaya first and filipino second. These means that even before filipino nationalism developed, there were already large scale nation-states (with national identities) These original nation states include the bisaya malayo that occupied brunei up to the visayan islands. Negritos and lumad previously occupied most of mindanao, the visayas and luzon.The bisaya considered themselves foreign colonizers and saw themselves as a seperate ethnolinguistic group (i.e. citizens of sri vijaya w/c was melayu) at its height, sri vijaya counted barunay (brunei) and solot (sulu) as part of its territories. It is from brunei and sulu that the colonizing bisaya originated, they first purchased the shores of aninipay (Panay), the bisaya valued seashores being a maritime culture. They also spread north to batangas and southern tagalog (this time by open warfare against the pampangeno/tondo kingdoms). In time, the conquering bisaya became the dominant group (became the ruling castes) and their dominant culture subsumed the original lumad and negrito culture previously present on their conquered territories. 

    It is helpful to note that at the time of spanish conquest, the most stratified societiy’s were the bisaya with social stratification having barely begun among the tagalog. This implies a higher degree of political and social specialization of the south as compared to the north. It is also helpful to note that the bisaya has retained many of the political concepts and practices of Sri vijaya such as the banua (wanua – political admininistrative term), the post of bendahara, and even the mandala type of relationship among the rulers vis a vis the Confederation of Madya-as. The mandala system and its subsequent breakdown enabled the spanish to divide and conquer the bisaya. It is said that Rajah Humabon befriended Magellan because he wanted to use magellans superior firepower (at this time the conquest of mulukas was already known to the bisaya) to cow rajah lapulapu into submission. The conflict stemmed from lapu lapu’s refusal to respect Humabon’s seniority and lapu lapu’s subsequest deference to Sulu. This means that strife between the bisaya was more of court and political maneuverings for influence  among the royal houses rather than warfare between separate nation states.  History among the bisaya (as well as the sri vijayan) was oral and the concept of the bisaya as a nation as well as their affinity to sri vijaya has survived in the cultural psyche of the visayan up to this day. 

    The visayan language continuum and the bisaya (hiligaynon, tausug, waray, karay.a, sugbuanon) is currently the ethnolignuistic group in the philippines with about 50 mil speakers. The melayu through there bisaya descendants are therefore a dominant group in the philippines even if not all filipinos are of melayu descent. 

    On language, the current Philippine language is based on tagalog (also classified linguistically as bisaya but is very close to pampangeno due to proximity). A move that has long been criticized by bisaya (especially the sugbuanon). Basa (pronounced as bah-sah) is the term for reading and language, and understanding (sahbot in sugbuanon). Who knew it could have been basa pilipino instead of wikang pilipino if bisaya was the basis. 

  30. many filipinos are malay and not all malaysians are malay. from your fellow malaysian ”
    I am a Malay from the northern tip of peninsular malaysia close to the border of Thailand..in my local dialect, i would say “nyiok” for cocunut…when I met this person from Baguio of Luzon island, Filipina, I got surprised when she told me that in her local dialect, they also use “nyok” for cocunut. Whereas, in our standard malay language (national language)in Malaysia; the cocunut is “kelapa” which is similar with Javanese of Indonesia. Ironically, the Indonesian language (national language of Indonesia) is using “Nyior” for cocunut.”this shows that even modern bahasa malaysia is very far from the old melayu language. This means that malaysians, filipinos and indonesians can’t claim exclusive rights to the melayu heritage. a few hundred years of colonization can change the language lot. p.s. in bisaya  coconut is niyog, in tagalog (filipino) it’s called buko (tagalog is not melayu so there’s no argument there). If we then say that the melayu word for coconut is niyog then does this mean that only the people in the tip of peninsular malaysia and the bisaya can be considered as melayu? Malaysians are confused about melayu (the ethnic group), malayo polynesian (which the race) and malay (which is their nationality). melayu are the people of the kingdom of melayu (in peninsular malaysia near kedah) and their descendantss i.e. sri vijaya and the sri vijayans, malayo polynesian was a european racial concept, malay is a nationalistic concept. You are malaysian but may not even be melayu, you maybe lumad (orang asli) and still be malay by virtue of your color and nationality (not of your tribe or blood.i.e melayu). 

    At the end of the day, I agree with you. It would be pointless to dream about ethnic malay unity when half of the population of malaysia, indonesia and philippines are not even melayu but of other tribes. This would be a racist concept especially if we examine our unity and our worth based not on individual  but on racial and ethnic stereotypes. But I do however hope that the name melayu is not misused as a rallying cry for racial superiority. I hope it is not used to deprive others of equal opportunities in life just because they are not melayu. Melayu (merayu) means (far or steadily accelerating in my language) and I hope the term distances itself from racism and ideas of racial superiority.

  31. Yes yes. Malays came from an origin in Taiwan to the Philippines. Do not believe anybody saying that “Malays..came from Indonesia and Malaysia and sailed up to the Philippines and occupied and inhabited the islands”. There is one term I can describe for this, “BOGUS”! They still teach it in Philippine schools. Malays are basically Filipino by descent. Filipinos are NOT Indonesian/Malaysian by descent.

  32. Truth – truth be told, you are not as smart as the negrito. There is no need for hard data or research, but some common sense. The negrito could only have got to those islands by boat, or they were really great swimmers. What you call ‘primitive’ living means that at least a negrito child can make a fire and gather food, while your so called ‘modern’ or western child would probably die from starvation from watching too much TV. 

    Just because you know how to use the internet, doesn’t make you smarter than those living a more basic life style. I come from Polynesia where we still practice the old ways and traditions on our home island, very much like the negrito, and I can tell you, they are very much smarter than you and I sitting at our laptops. What you call ‘primitive’ communities are far more production and supportive of their extended family and community than you can ever imagine. It takes more than merely ‘observing’ to understand what people are really about.

  33. well frank, africans were and you need to look through out the so called black race. their features are not just wide nose thick lips. on the continent of africa you find different shapes in heads, eyes, nose, etc. and your spainairds get their color from africans, as a matter of fact the moors (blacks) ruled the area called spain, where they went in cleaned the area, built castles and irrigation systems, taught these guys only to have them turn on us. this is symbolic of the running of the bulls. at a point in time those of fair skin futher north in europe called spain, italy, etc. africa. this is due to the inbreeding. it’s funning how most races want just accept the fact that the black race was all over the globe, they took african maps that showed the mapping of the continents, they had navigated the globe before their recessive gene had come on the scene. we can stop all this what this person look like crap. it’s the blood that gives a better insight, dna that links the human race to a african female. oh, sorry guys, it was she before he. the ancients knew this, science proves this. and no one steps outside the box and ask what about the missing link. part mammal(monkey), reptile, and ????? maybe this link will come back and reveal the history of this planet, the in habitant and who or what our true selves are.

  34. Guys, I believed that all the comments above were all imaginary history. for your own fact information there’s no such Filipino or philippines, only philippines got its birth and name after king Felippe of Spain conquered the several Island, now known called Luzon, bisayas & mindanao.and the peoples of Luzon and Bisayas surrendered to Spain and converted to Christianity and accepted the country name Philippines from wrote word (Felipe) King Feleppe. So filipinos stop arguing the history of our country because only it reminds the cowardliness of the peoples of Luzon & Bisaya otherwise if they don’t surrendered there will be no name philippines. we native of mindanao never surrendered to American, Spain and japanese, that is why we still called Bilaan, Tiruray & other native of the land. Our clans fought side by side with the muslim (Moros) in mindanao in depending our island from aggressor. Mindanao never been under american, spain and Japanese and originally not a part of the Philippines, because the peoples here in Mindnao not surrendered with King Felippe. So end the wrong history of the Philippines, and don’t implicate malaysia and Indonesia and other countries with your false history. Talking about negretos and Aetas, actually they are not originally negretos but they look alike but they are orinally inhavitants of the Island which is no name that time, before King felippe reached to these Islands.

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