Pre-Colonial Philippines

The inland seas, rivers and lakes abounded in marine life.

Our forefathers knew a great deal in shipbuilding. They obtained timber from the virgin forests (lumbering) and made small fast sailing boats called barangays and virreys and large vessels called tapaques, caracaos, and lapis. (Figure to the right- boat found in Butuan, Mindanao.)

Handicrafts, such as earthen pottery (figure below), weaving and blacksmithing were well developed. Mining was an important industry. The people were skillful artisans in jewels and gold. They also knew metalwork as seen in the manufacture of their tools and weapons. They also spun and wove cloths out of abaca, cotton, maguey, banana, piAa, medriAaque and from silk imported from China.

Other minor industries were the manufacture of wine, the gathering of edible birds and basket-making.

Commerce. Our forefathers engaged in domestic and foreign trade. Barangay traded with barangay, island with island. The foreign trade was carried extensively with the neighboring countries of China, Japan, Siam (now Thailand), Borneo, Cambodia, India, Malacca, Java, Sumatra and others. The peoples of the Philippines exported, among other things, betel nuts, pea



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