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Over 2000 years BC ago, the longest marine migration of people in the world started. The Neolithic people from Southeast Asia riding on outrigger canoes began a series of eastward voyages to the Pacific. They carried with them the Malayo-Polynesian language that we know today. The Philippines alone has over 100 dialects belonging to this language family.

The much earlier indigenous Filipinos probably came through the land bridge somewhere in Palawan . This was during the time when foot travel was possible to the Asian mainland and this theory was supported by the presence of elephants in Sumatra. These giant pachyderms could have not been possibly transported by sea.

These ancient mariners learned from their observations of the current of the wind and wave started chasing where the sun rises. Some drifted as far north (probably because of tropical hurricanes) of the Philippines in Formosa where you can see traces of the Malay language among the mountain people. The clans settled and formed Barangay alone the coast line ready to make the next voyage. They were governed by Barangay ashore and afloat because these ocean-going canoes were also called "Barangay." The rest leap- frogged to the various islands toward the fabled eastern Eastern Island where they fatefully met their end.

My observation of the language connections...


Hilaga is the Tagalog term for north. It can be seen as more evidence of early Tagalogs' keen observation of his natural world. HILAGA is formed from"hil" and"ga" The distinct word "hila" means to pull and the syllable "ga" basically means to stop or rest. The word hila explicitly illustrates another observation made by early Tagalog which this time pertains to the science of dynamics, in the field now known as Kinetics. Broken down into"hi" (actually h-i which basically means move-not) and la which means travel, "hila" pictures the action of moving even without exerting any effort. With the suffix "ga" which means to stop, "hilaga" then refers to being pulled then stopping or coming to rest.

Even before the invention of magnetic compass about 5,000 years ago, ancient men knew that lodestones or metals possessing magnetism, iron filings and iron particles in molten rocks tend to point to the North, which in a sense, are being pulled and then coming to rest pointing in that direction. Ancient Tagalog must have surely observed this phenomenon of lodestones pointing to the North that he applied the term Hilaga to that particular direction. Pilipino Encyclopedia source:mr&ms


We wonder sometimes how words originated. The word (country) Japan (Nippon) is a Chinese word for the Land of the Rising Sun or Land in the East relative to the Chinese mainland location. In Tagalog, East is silangan meaning the direction where the sun rises. This is from the root word silang meaning also born or coming from.


The late William Henry Scott, historian and author of many books, once wrote that the Visayan sailors of Pre-Hispanic times knew of the mariners' compass. they called it padaluman, the place of the needle. observation: the Ilokano for west is laud, which is the same word as the Malay/Tagalog laut meaning sea (and i'm sure it has the same meaning in other Philippine languages). that's interesting to me because the sea is to the west Of the ilokos. The etymology is clear: the early ilokanos knew that no matter where they were in their region, if they kept going west, sooner or later they'd find the sea. amianan: north. the direction where the amihan, north wind blows. (i'm sure it's the northeast monsoon, which blows around Christmas and brings the cold from Japan and eastern Siberia that is meant here although there is another Ilokano term for the monsoon Itself.) abagatan: south. the direction where the habagat wind blows from. i've only seen this word in the line, "lalo na kung hipan ng hanging habagat." what's that song? libis ng nayon. daya: east. the root word is related to Indonesian jaya, as in Irian Jaya,

the Indonesian province on the island of New Guinea. Scott wrote that daya in languages all around the Malay archipelago (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei) meant high. again, ilokano geography seems to have influenced how the word evolved. East of ilocos are the mountains of the cordillera (if one classifies the Malaya mountain range a few miles inland as hills). So daya seems to signify the high place.


Language is the character and soul of the people. Our ancestors conquered the sea way before the Western navigators. They were the Nomads of the Pacific and the Moros were the Vikings of the south seas. With their natural instinct, acquired knowledge, and legend of the sea they surfed the span of the largest and deepest ocean of the world on the barangay equipped with the latent sail (probably Arabian influence). They made the Malayo-polynesian the largest language family in the world during the long amphibious journey. Had they not failed in the Easter Islands, they may have discovered America long before Columbus in 1492. The descendants of these gallant seafarers rode the Spanish Galleon trade ship and found thier ways in southern California and some settled in the Bayous of Lousiana called St. Malo in the early 18th century. Nestor Palugod Enriquez

*Nestor Palugod Enriquez,
*Tagalog "Hilaga" direction provided by Jojo Cruz
*Ilocano directions by Victor Saymo

Last updated on 95/08/14 22:36:08 EDT.