Monday, November 06, 2006

Laguna Copperplate Inscription and the Route to Paracale

The Pila Historical Society is actively working on a different interpretation of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription found in Lumban River in 1989. The Pila Historical Society is collaborating with Antoon Postma and other scholars on a new interpretation of the LCI that may further unlock its secret. The society firmly believes that the placenames in Bulacan as suggested by Antoon Postma are nowhere as significant in Philippine prehistory as those in Laguna especially the town of Pila (Santiago, 2003). The group believes that Paila which was mentioned twice in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the present town of Pila. Antoon Postma wrote in one of his correspondence to the society that Paila or Payla is a diphthong and can not develop into Pila as recommended. The society noted and informed Antoon Postma of the development of several tagalog words namely: baywang to bewang, baynat to binat, kailan to kelan, mayroon to meron, taynga or tainga to tenga. The dipthong ai became e or i.

Puliran is not the Bulacan town of Pulilan but the Laguna de Bay. According to the Philippines’ oldest printed dictionary, Pulilan is the old name of Laguna de Bay (San Buenaventura, 1613, page 383). Kasumuran is not a name of a person. According to Antoon Postma, the root word of kasumuran is sumur which means source of water. Puliran Kasumuran thus means Laguna de Bay water source. Puliran Kasumuran most probably is the region from Nagcarlan (Laguna) to Mauban (Quezon). As a testament to the vast amount of water of the Kasumuran region, the first two hydroelectric power plants of the Philippines were constructed in the same region. The Botocan Hydroelectric Power Plant and Caliraya Hydroelectric Power Plant were built before World War II and provided electricity to Manila and surrounding areas up to the present. The famous Pagsanjan and Botocan Falls are also within the Puliran Kasumuran region.

Binwangan is not the nameplace in Obando but Binawangan, Capalonga, Camarines Norte, the town next to Paracale, the source of gold of the Tagalogs. Capalonga and Paracale were listed in early Spanish chronicles as part of the Tagalog region (Blair and Robertson, 1903-1909). The Laguna Copperplate Inscription which was dated 900 AD defined the boundaries of the Tagalog region from Tondo to Capalonga, Camarines Norte. The same region occupied by the Tagalogs six hundred years later when the Spaniards conquered Luzon. It is interesting to note that Juan de Salcedo used the same route to capture the gold mines of Paracale (Blair and Robertson, 1903-1909). Perhaps the people who wrote the Laguna Copperplate Insciption are related to the Indios Mutilaos found by the Spaniards during the conquest of Pila and the Puliran Kasumuran region and were conceded (repartimiento) to Juan Lopez de Goyaz and Llorente Machado in 1572 (Nuchera, 1994).

In October 3, 1997, J. G. de Casparis wrote to Antoon Postma and suggested that the word dikrama in line 4 of the LCI means marriage. He also wrote that it is a solemn word for “to marry” in new Javanese and in Old Javanese under krama and panakramen meaning “to join in matrimony.” The Laguna Copperplate Inscription could have documented the marriage and love story of Jayadewa and Namwaran.

He also suggested in his 1994 letter that ganasakti is not a name of a person but a function. He noted that the term literally means “strong in counting” or “who acts as an accountant”. Bisruta is also not a name but a person who is famous or learned. Pila Historical Society recommends additional archaeological studies in Pinagbayanan and surrounding areas, Kasumuran region and Binawangan, Capalonga, Camarines Norte in light of the recent Laguna Copperplate Inscription findings.

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