What was life like in the Philippines before its discovery on March 16, 1521, or is it March 17? Who discovered Pigafetta’s failure to register their fleet’s passage across the International Dateline before reaching Cebu? Was he the chronicler that committed this error of omission? Does it really matter?
When Ferdinand Magellan and his crew reached the shores of the place they named Islas de San Lazaro, did they even know there were 7,107 islands considered as one country? I’m sure the natives didn’t even realize they had an archipelago for a nation–they probably were just group of islands to them. They even spoke different dialects that did not help in unifying the different tribal groups. Should you wonder then that Magellan encountered warring tribes? Remember then that the ancient time was so far way from the modern technology we have now. Think hard and envision how travel and communication worked in a place as fragmented as what we now know as one nation of Filipinos…if this notion even existed then.
People that came to trade with them thought the one or two islands they have seen were already what comprised the entire country. Magellan’s ‘Las Islas Filipinas’ (or is it Felipinas or Felipenas?) may had only been the surrounding islands of Samar-Leyte-Cebu areas. The Panay Island may had been discovered by another group who had named Ilo-ilo from Ilong-Ilong as the island resembled a nose to them. How much of this is a legend or reality depends on the documentation you encountered and you perceived as reliable.
We have no solid written history before the Spaniards came. Despite some semblance of literacy present at in that era, it was enough for them to have the necessary communication as probably just means of day-to-day survival…akin to the jungle survival we have to let others know I’d-been-here kind of thing, or I have extra ‘kamote’ (sweet yam) from my garden and help yourself if you are a hungry traveler. They had only bamboos and leaves for materials used…how long could they last?
Strategically speaking, Chinese may had landed in Mindoro and called it Ma’i, which simply means ‘south of China’ and at some point discovered the bigger island they called ‘Lui Sung’ and what is now known as Luzon. By the same token, some Europeans may have landed in some smaller islands that were not even documented.
In the course of your research you will come across information that would somehow satisfy the gaps in our history classes. Have fun with whatever could peak your curiosity, but let the fire of love keep burning in your heart…thus, read the easy: A Korean and the Philippines
If you walk down the streets of anywhere you are in the Philippines, remember what many scholars and historians wrote about our country, but be proud that among the ordinary Filipinos eking their own living–we still have the time to help each other for the love of our country…Philippines or otherwise: We are one!
Note: See my other post here: Different Names of the Philippines.
Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com