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Copper Inscription: A Historical View

Here's an interesting artifact that is in no way related to other ancient Filipino artifacts we know today. Hector Santos, a Filipino History enthusiast, mentioned that this black copper piece of metal later known as the "The Laguna Copperplate Inscription" was accidentally unearthed in 1989 by a man who is dredging sands alongside the shore of Lumbang River where it emptied into Laguna de Ba'y.

As to how it is being passed down until it was brought to the National Museum of the Philippines is intriguing. Let's just put it as a history.
Almost all of our artifacts containing incantations,poems,chants or what have you where burned down to ashes by this Spanish friars thinking that they are evil inspired. Unfortunately, we only have a handful of these artifacts that's preserve now.

We've lost a significant contact with our brothers in SE Asia primarily because of the impact of Spanish colonization where nothing was left for us to be really identified as "Filipino".

Original transcription by Hector Santos and translation by Antoon Postma:

Line 1:

swasti shaka warshatita 822 waisakha masa ding jyotisha. chaturthi krishnapaksha so-

Hail! In the Saka-year 822; the month of March-April; according to the astronomer: the 4th day of the dark half of the moon; on

Line 2:
mawara sana tatkala dayang angkatan lawan dengannya sanak barngaran si bukah

Monday. At that time, Lady Angkatan together with her relative, Bukah by name,

Line 3:
anakda dang hwan namwaran di bari waradana wi shuddhapat(t)ra ulih sang pamegat senapati di tundu-

the child of His Honor Namwran, was given, as a special favor, a document of full acquittal, by the Chief and Commander of Tundun,

Line 4:
n barja(di) dang hwan nayaka tuhan pailah jayadewa. di krama dang hwan namwaran dengan dang kaya-

the former Leader of Pailah, Jayadewah. To the effect that His Honor Namwran, through the Honorable Scribe

Line 5:
stha shuddha nu di parlappas hutangda wale(da)nda kati 1 suwarna 8 di hadapan dang hwan nayaka tuhan pu-

was totally cleared of a debt to the amount of 1 kati and 8 suwarna (weight of gold), in the presence of His Honor the Leader of Puliran,

Line 6:
liran ka sumuran. dang hwan nayaka tuhan pailah barjadi ganashakti. dang hwan nayaka tu-

Kasumuran; His Honor the Leader of Pailah, namely: Ganasakti; (and) His Honor the Leader

Line 7:
han binwangan barjadi bishruta tathapi sadanda sanak kaparawis ulih sang pamegat de-

of Binwangan, namely: Bisruta. And (His Honor Namwran) with his whole family, on orders by the Chief of Dewata,

Line 8:
wata [ba]rjadi sang pamegat medang dari bhaktinda di parhulun sang pamegat. ya makanya sadanya anak

representing the Chief of Mdang, because of his loyalty as a subject (slave?) of the Chief, therefore all the descendants

Line 9:
chuchu dang hwan namwaran shuddha ya kaparawis di hutangda dang hwan namwaran di sang pamegat dewata. ini gerang

of His Honor Namwran have been cleared of the whole debt that His Honor owed the Chief of Dewata. This (document) is (issued) in case

Line 10:
syat syapanta ha pashchat ding ari kamudyan ada gerang urang barujara welung lappas hutangda dang hwa ...

there is someone, whosoever, some time in the future, who will state that the debt is not yet acquitted of His Honor...


jane said…
ang hirap naman intidhin. it's looks very ancient and one of a kind talaga.
AMAZING!!! I really thought that we lost every historical artifact to the Spaniards through their colonization! I am really amazed right now.
john day said…
actually, almost all of our artifacts/documents/relics containing incantations/poems/chants or what have you were burned down to ashes by this spanish friars thinking that they are evil inspired.

In fact, our Tagalog language has it's own writing system that was also abolished by these friars by replacing romanized form of Tagalog.
Unfortunately, we only have a handful of these artifacts that's preserve now.

It's very disheartening to know that we live in SE Asia but our culture has been alienated with the culture of our SEAsian brothers.
o nga e! argh... y they have to do that! (I know y, but thinking about it makes me mad. grrr... ) hehehe ^.~
john day said…
i share the sentiments too, hehe. that's how history taught us and we have to deal with it. look at the thais, the viets, japs, malaysians etc. far better than ours in terms of national identity (i'm not being pitiful) but that's reality.
john day said…
Do I sound like a mind with a colonial mentality? either way, I am not. I'm proud to be PINOY!!..hehe

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