Friday, October 06, 2006

The Contrary View

History of the Muslims in the Philippines
2nd Edition, By Salah Jubair

2- The Contrary View

Up to 1953, Beyer's Wave Migration Theory remained unquestioned. Subsequently, however, most prehistorians surmised that there were only two movements of peoples into the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific to explain the present populations. The first, occuring more than 6,000 years ago, was that of the Australoids, that included the Australian aborigines, the Ainus, the Dravidians - the population of the Vedda of Sri Lanka - and, debatably, the Melanesians, Negritos and Papuans. Generally, this group is characterized by dark skin pigmentation. The second wave, presumably from five or six thousand years ago, composed the Southern Mongoloids or what are commonly known as the "brown race." They are also called Austronesians, because their descendants speak languages belonging to that group. The Austronesian language family, also known as Malayo-Polynesian, has a variety of more than six hundred languages that spread from Madagascar in the coast of Africa to Easter Island near South America.

Additional research on the subject in the last forty years casts doubt on the Beyer's assumption. Geologists, archaeologists, linguists, and prehistorians, in their respective fields, all disagree in one or some of his theory. The main objection to his work is that it was flawed by inadequate evidence, dubious methodology and pure speculation.

One of those who dissented was Dr. Fritjof Voss, a German scientist, who studied the geology of the Philippines. He said the Philippines was never a part of mainland Asia as proven in 1964-67 when a scientific study was made on the thickness of the earth's crust. It was discovered that the 35-kilometer thick crust below China does not stretch to the Philippines. On the contrary, the Philippines sits along a great earth fault line reaching downward to deep trenches underneath.

In 1975, a young Filipino anthropologist, F. Landa Jocano, also criticized Beyer's theory, particularly on the issue of the Negritos as the first inhabitants of the Philippines. He argued that the fossil remains of ancient men whom Beyer tagged Negritos could in no way be conclusively identified as such. He even charged Western colonizers of deliberately fragmenting the population into ethnic groups to advance their colonial interests.'

Newer theories may arise in the future in the attempt to explain this Philippine phenomenon, but seen in the practical side of the lives of the people their value is negligible. For theories, in essence, are largely speculations, or at best, analyses of relation of facts to one another and, therefore, are yet to be proven or confirmed by further studies. What may be heretical today may be revered tomorrow, or vice versa.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Crossing the Bridge

History of the Muslims in the Philippines
2nd Edition, By Salah Jubair

1- Crossing the Bridge

It was widely believed forty years ago that people came to the Philippines in several migratory waves through land bridges that once linked the present islands of this country with mainland Asia. They walked dry-shod into this archipelago with their beasts of burden over these land bridges at a time, which pre-historians referred to as the Pleistocene or Great Ice Age. During this period, the waters of the ocean stood 156 feet below the present levels, thereby allowing many necks of land to protrude above the surface and form land masses or bridges which enabled the first man to cross into what would later be called the Philippines.

Centuries after this period the great flood took place. The polar ice thaw increased the volume of ocean waters, causing them to rise to the present levels. Subsequently, all the land bridges were inundated and disappeared from view, and all succeeding migrations were made possible only by the use of boats.

The wave migration theory was first advanced by Spanish friars who speculated on the origins of the Filipinos and the Moros. However, in some of their writings they were inclined to consider the latter as a separate race. In 1882, Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian Filipinist, also subscribed to this theory that there were three waves of Malay migrants who came to our islands. But it was Prof. H. Otley Beyer, at one time head of the Anthropology Department at the University of the Philippines, who made this theory very popular and accepted for several decades. Beyer's long years of archaeological research dwelt on retrieving facts of past cultures in the islands mainly from artefacts, bones and other remains. His findings shed light on the cultural, political, economic existence and even the beliefs of peoples.

It was admitted, therefore, as a scholarly theory that there were three waves of migration of peoples towards the archipelago, including Mindanao and Sulu, each wave comprising several or scattered minor movements. The theory held that the first to arrive via the land bridges were the aborigines or first inhabitants. Estimated to have come as early as 21,000 or 22,000 years ago, they were dark-skinned, kinky-haired, short-statured, and primitive in styles. Among this group was the "Java Man," who came first, and was followed by the "little people": Negritos or ''Aetas,'' Australoid Sakai, and Proto-Malays.

Among the next group, after the Great Ice Age, from 3,000 BC onward, were people of the Indonesian stock, who came in two migratory waves by sea from South Asia and settled in the country. They came by dugout canoes or plank-built boats. These Indonesians, taller in height and lighter in skin, introduced bronze and the rice terraces.

The third migrants, who came centuries after the Indonesians, were the brown-skinned, medium-height Malays. They were expert navigators, potters, weavers, blacksmiths and bold adventurers. Most of the Filipinos and Moros today are descended from this group. However, in the case of the latter, it is believed that they first came to Mindanao and Sulu not later than the first century before Prophet Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


History of the Muslims in the Philippines
2nd Edition, By Salah Jubair


A nation is reborn in the Moro. Though centuries older than the Filipino nation in the North, it is long-lost in the debris and fame of the past. It last reasserted its identity decades after the entry of America. But it was not to claim past glory, rather, it was to unshackle the gory image put on it by colonialism.

Alas! This was a monumental error; for the name Moro symbolizes national identity, power and belief in one true God.

Today this error is being set right. Under the banner of Islam the Moro nation or what the MILF calls Bangsamoro is trying to make history repeat its laurels and feats for its honor - and even more, to reconstruct and build a vibrant, dynamic and progressive homeland for everyone to live happily ever after.

This book on the Moros is not presumed to be exhaustive and scholarly. It is not history either. The following pages constitute an attempt to explain the hows and whys the Moros became strangers to the land they had nurtured for centuries - and which they are now trying to liberate - with their "blood, seat and tears."

Much has been written about this nation, but invariably all those, with due respect to where respect is due, are little lacking in vision necessary in order to feel and grasp the totality of the situation in our homeland. it is this author's firm conviction that only someone involved body and spirit in the present struggle could really portray our people's sentiments and aspirations. Outsiders may indulge in endless speculations from their respective postures or conduct tiresome researches but in all likelihood will perforce fail to paint a complete perspectives of this nation and its struggle. Paradoxically enough, the extent and intensity of a revolution, nay a jihad, can be felt and described much vividly by none save those who are in the thick of it or perchance those inspired by it.

This book is written with the earnest hope to inform the unprejudiced readers about the crisis that had overtaken our people and our homeland. Without sustained efforts to expose the crimes of the Manila government against our people and, no doubt, also against humanity, the world might only connive at its tyranny, embolden its inhuman policies and perpetuate its brutality.

That the Moro is a nation under endless tyranny is a premise that his book tries to narrate and explain - and hopefully will prove.

The original title of this book in the first edition is Bangsamoro: A Nation Under Endless Tyranny. In this edition, I dropped the word for brevity and more importantly to do away with the technical confusion arising out of it. Bangsamoro is literally translated into "Moro nation" and therefore to retain it is redundant. The readers may notice in the course of reading this book that the author uses only he word Bangsamoro as it was used by the MILF, MNLF or any group.

This work would not have been made possible without the valuable assistance of Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, Ondel Meling, Dr. Esmael Disoma, Malik A. Mantawil, Manda Kalim, Esmael Abdula, Alfaro Alilaya, Yusuf Abdullah, Abdulwahab Guialal, Boy Alano, Al Mukhlis and other persons, whose identities right now cannot be disclosed for some guarded reasons. To them, I owe my special indebtedness.

To Atty. Lanang Ali for reviewing the manuscipt and offering some advice, especially on legal matters.

I am obliged to render my personal thanks to Dr. Alunan C. Glang for his warm support and moral encouragement.

I would like to express my unending gratitude to Abu Maarouph for all his professional, moral and material support in the making of this book. I will never forget.

In conclusion, I say "thank you" to all of them.