Barangays and Empires (not RTL)

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty

Not related to RTL, but a personal project involving an alternate history of the Filipino Pre-Colonial Era.

Page made with Wannabee's permission

The history of the Philippines between 800 and 1685 begins with the arrival of the Sri-Vijayan Expedition to Luson in 800 and ends with the dissolution of the Lakanate of Lusong in 1685 by the Spanish Empire and the beginning of Spanish Colonization. During this historical time period, the Philippine archipelago was home to numerous city-states, kingdoms, and sultanates and was a part of the theorised Indosphere and Sinosphere.

Sources of precolonial history include archeological findings, oral traditions, records from contact with the Song Dynasty, the Bruneian Empire, Japan, and Muslim traders, the genealogical records of Muslim rulers, accounts written by Spanish chroniclers in the 16th and 17th century, and cultural patterns which at the time had not yet been replaced through European influence.

The late Pre-history of the Philippines

Since at least the 3rd century, the indigenous peoples were in contact with other Southeast Asian and East Asian nations. The fragmented ethnic groups known as the Sinaunas established numerous city-states formed by the assimilation of several small political units known as barangay each headed by a chief (still in use among non-Hispanic Filipino ethnic groups) and answerable to a king. When the Sa Hayun Period ended, these barangays merged into different Chiefdoms, Kingdoms and Thalassocracies, and the arrival of Hinduism and Buddhism in the islands in the 5th Century promoted the unifications further. By the year 600, numerous prosperous centers of trade had emerged, including the Chiefdoms of Zabag in Pampanga and Wakwak in Appari, the Barangays of Tundun and Tangway which flourished alongside Manila Bay, Siyalo in modern day Cebu, Dewata in Butuan, and finally Sanfotsi in Pangasinan. Most of these polities would continue to act independent from one another and would participate in inter-island trades with one another, that was until the late 9th century when a Sri-Vijayan Expedition led by a Sri-Vijayan admiral named Namwaran reached the islands. This event is universally considered by most scholars to mark the end of the Prehistorical period of the Philippines.

The Sri-Vijayan Era

The Arrival and Reign of Namwaran

Local tagalog oral tradition state that when Namwaran arrived by sea, the people met him on the shore and requested his aid, as the region was in a period of chaos as its king has became corrupt and has been terrorizing their subjects with violence and heavy taxes. Namwaran agreed to the request and went to the king to negotiate, but the latter refused and ordered them to leave his land or face death. Namwaran responded by returning to his ships, waited until the next morning, and came back with an army from his fleet and asked the King to abdicate his throne or face combat. The King chose the latter and requested that he duel Namwaran himself, to which he agreed and killed the King in combat. With their tyrant gone, the people of Tundun rejoiced and chose Namwaran as their new ruler. The admiral initially disagreed to the offer, stating that he must go back to Sumatra first and inform his Rajah about their situation. After a year of absence, Namwaran returned back to the Bay and claimed his throne, which marked the beginning of a new era of prosperity in the region.

While the exact date of Namwaran's arrival on Luzon is disputed, most academics agree to Namwaran may have arrived between 870 and 885. Indian cartographers referred to Luzon as "Panyupayana", which means "The lands surrounded by water", a name that the Sri-Vijayans would eventually use to refer to most of the Philippine Islands by the 11th Century. Another disputed fact is whether or not Namwaran landed in Tundun, or the Barangay of Ba-I within the southern coast of the Laguna Lake, as at that time the Pasig River was large enough for ships to enter the lake. Whatever the case, Namwaran's reign as the Datu of the Tundun ushered a brand new age of culture and prosperity for the Sinaunas of Central Luzon, as well as being the official arrival of Hinduism and Buddhism on the islands, as well as writing scripts such as Sanskrit, which would eventually evolve into the Tagalog Baybayin.

Under Namwaran's reign, Sri-Vijayan influence in Luzon would eventually expand out of Tundun and eventually throughout most of the archipelago, from Gulf of Lingayen to the northern coasts of Butuan. This was shown via the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, an important document from the year 935 that showed Namwaran's influence reaching as far as the polity of Dewata, the predecessor to the Butuan Rajahnate.