By Jaime F. Tiongson
This author wrote an e-mail to Antoon Postma and suggested that Pailah in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription is Pila, Laguna. In his reply, Antoon Postma (2005) wrote that “ai” in Pailah or Payla is a dipthong and can not develop into Pila as suggested. The list below shows that the Tagalog dipthong /ai/ can develop into /i/ or /e/ in disagreement to what he has stated. The following are examples of such development:
- Baynat (SB, 1613 page 116) to Binat (UP, 2001, page 121)
- Saynat (SB, 1613 page 367) to Sinat (UP, 2001, page 787)
- Taynga (SB, 1613, page 458) to Tenga
- Baywang (SB, 1613, page 617) to Bewang (UP, 2001, page 116)
- Mayroon to Meron (UP, 2001, page 553)
- Kailan (SB, 1613, page 60) to Kelan
- Bayki to Beke (UP, 2001, page 111)
- Kaysa to Kesa (UP, 2001, page 442)
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, Tagalog had only three vowel phonemes: /a/, /i/, and /u/. The list was later expanded to five vowels with the introduction of Spanish words. In Tagalog phonology, the dipthong /aI/ can also be pronounced [e~E~eI] and /e/ can sometimes be pronounced as [i~I] thus the development of Pailah to Pila and the rest of the words above.
Laguna Copperplate Inscription bears the date 900 A.D. (Postma, 1992). The Laguna Copperplate Inscription was written during the Emergent Filipino Period [1 to 1500 A.D.(Jocano, 1998) or 500 to 1521 A.D. (Solheim, 2002)]. Jocano (1998) defines this period as the appearance of definable political, economic, and religious organization and certain dominant patterns of culture such as burial practices, ceramic art, and social statuses. The placenames in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription namely: Tundun, Puliran, Pailah and Binwangan are the leading centers of trade, commerce as well as governance of the whole region (Francisco, 1995)
According to Wilhelm G. Solheim II (2002), there are three such concentrations of population known archaeologically to have been in place before A.D. 1000 here in the
In 1967, a team from the
In the same year, the Esso-Elizalde archaeological team supervised by Dr. Robert Fox and Mr. Avelino Legaspi of the Anthropology Division of the
The series of archaeological studies and vast amount of trade potteries recovered in Pila, Laguna led scientists and archaeologists to conclude that Pila, Laguna is an important pre-hispanic center of culture and trade. The scientific conclusion became one of the bases for declaring the town of
Historian Dr. Luciano Santiago (1997) wrote that “some scholars believe that the copper plate inscription refers instead to barangays in
Postma (1992) defines Pulilan as the area along the south east Laguna de Bay area which includes Pila. He further wrote that Pila is within the area of Pulilan and LCI clearly indicates two separate localities with each own leader. This is the reason why he chose instead Pulilan, Bulacan and Paila,
The National Historical Institute of the
According to the article of Antoon Postma in Sulat sa Tanso January/February 1996 issue, page 5, sumur in Malay and Java means “well” and in Tagalog sumur means “bukal” (bukal=pinagmumulan ng tubig, UP Diksyonaryong Filipino, 2001)
Almario, Virgilio S. ed. 2001. UP Diksiyonaryong Filipino.
Ereccion del Pueblos-Bulacan, 1764-1890. Paper creating the barrios Casay, Lawang, Tigbi and Bayabas into new town named Norzagaray, apart from Angat. Bundle no. 45, Legajo no. 129.
Francisco, Juan R. 1995. “Tenth Century Trade/Settlement Area In South East Asia: Epigraphic and Language Evidence in the
Jocano, Landa F. 1998. Filipino Prehistory.
Kuang-Jen Chang, “A Comparative study of trade ceramics as grave goods in Pila, Laguna and Calatagan, Batangas, SW Luzon, the
Postma, Antoon. 1992. “The Laguna Copperplate Inscription,” Philippine Studies 40:183-203.
Postma, Antoon, <email@example.com> “Reply to letter for Mr. Antoon Postma from the Pila Historical Society Foundation Inc”, Personal Email (11 November 2005)
San Buenaventura, Pedro de. 1613. Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala. Pila.
Solheim, Wilhelm G. 2002. The Archeology of
Tenazas, Rosa C.P. n.d. A Report on the Archeology of the Locsin-University of
Tiongson, Jaime F. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription and the Route to Paracale in “Heritage and Vigilance: The Pila Historical Society Foundation Inc. Programs for the Study and Preservation of National Historical Landmarks and Treasures,” presented at Seminar on Philippine Town and Cities: Reflections of the Past, Lessons for the Future,
Tiongson, Jaime F. 2004. The
Valdes, Cynthia O. “Archaeology in the