Early Filipinos

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Early Filipinos

Early Filipinos were not in their feastings to eat and drink to excess, although they certainly drank a great deal more than they ate. On such occasions their doors were open to all who wished to come and drink with them. No matter how drunk he departs from a feast or how late at night, ever failed to find his own house. If there is need of weighing the price in silver or gold, he does it with such steadiness that his hand never trembles nor misses the exact point of balance.
The costume and dress of inhabitants of Luzon before the Spaniards enter the country. They dressed well. Their taste ran to bright blues and reds, gold chains round the neck and burnished bangles on wrist and ankle. This suggests that among early Filipinos the arts of weaving and dyeing were fairly well developed, while craftsmanship in the precious metals had reached a surprisingly high level of virtuosity. Industry, however, was chiefly of the household type, with each village and clan community producing most of what it needed. And yet, we cannot altogether rule out the existence of production for the market.
While we are still pretty much in the dark with regard to the purely domestic trade of the early Filipinos, we are somewhat better informed as to their foreign trade. Certainly, the Chinese carried on trade with the islands from a very early period. The pottery being unearthed by archaeologists in Southern Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan and elsewhere provides striking confirmation of the evidence from Chinese historical sources. These suggests that by the thirteenth century Chinese merchant ships were calling regularly at Palawan and the Calamaines group, and that fair trading practices had been established by common consent. The trade in the north of the archipelago seems to have been most active and extensive at Ma-i, which is commonly identified as the island of…...

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