The Unwritten History of The Philippines

Words by Troy Bernardo
Images by Jordan Jacinto

Back when the planet was young — the air, much denser and the water, thinner– there stood a vast continent which, today, could only be found in myths, the New Age section of bookstores, and, according to W. Scott-Elliott, the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The continent, which also went by the name Mu or the Motherland (of Mu), was believed to contain an ancient civilization, Lemuria, which existed prior to and during the time of Atlantis, some 14,000 years ago. Scott-Elliott’s book, “The Story of Atlantis and Lost Lemuria,” dated the latter to about one million-years-old; its cataclysmic sinking, 10BC.

Why the continent, which allegedly had 7 rivers, 7 mountains, and 7 Subcontinents – thus, it was also called the 7 Blessed Isles, the 7 Islands of the Blest, the Land of the Mother and the Womb of the Planet — vanished could be blamed on volcanic eruptions, plate tectonics, or simply, geological change. Though this event may seem incredibly dramatic, it isn’t that far-fetched. As recently as December 26, 2004, an earthquake triggered a series of tsunamis that killed more than 225,000 people in eleven countries.

The exact location of Lemuria is unknown. Scott-Elliott believed that it existed “largely in the Southern Pacific Ocean, between North America and Asia/Australia.” Rudolf Steiner, author of “Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of Man and Earth,” placed its location in the “south of Asia, and extended approximately from Ceylon to Madagascar, including what is today southern Asia and parts of Africa.”, a website dedicated to Lemuria, wrote that its location is linked with the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Some non-traditional historians like Prof. Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago, believe that Philippine history can be traced back to Lemuria, which occupied the Pacific and Indian oceans, encompassing the islands of Hawai’i, the Philippines, and everything in between.


Another non-traditional historian, Bong de la Torre, makes an even bolder claim. Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak on the island of Mindanao, is what was left of Lemurian civilization.

Interestingly enough, they could be right.

Before Portuguese explorer Fernão de Magalhães, a.k.a. Ferdinand Magellan, re-discovered The Philippines back in March 1521, the country was just a nameless archipelago, a collection of islands, where various tribes and communities lived. The center of trade, for example, was the Kingdom of Butuan, which was Indianized like the Kingdom of Tondo.

Mindoro, which was called Ma-i by Chinese traders, was a popular trade route. Could Mindoro’s residents have been called Ma-ian?
The island province of Siquijor was called Isla del Fuego, or Island of Fire, by the Spaniards; because, of its huge population of fireflies, according to Esteban Rodriguez, who led the Legazpi Expedition in 1565.

When the Spanish colonizers came, they created a country out of the archipelago; named it after then King Philip II, a.k.a. Philip the Prudent; and, then replaced the deeply spiritual nature of the islanders with Catholicism.

That was the gist of Philippine history according to the Spaniards.


The Lemurian Connection


According to Argonza, spiritually advanced beings populated one of Mu’s 7 Subcontinents, the one called Maharloka.

There, a deep spirituality combined with the mastery of combat made for a powerful, awakened society. The words Mahar or Maha, meaning Great, and lekha, which in Sanskrit meant Creation or Effort, after all, when combined, meant Noble Creation or The Great Land.

After the Great Flood, only the mountain tops of the 7 Blessed Isles were left in what would later be modern-day Indonesia: Borneo, Celebes, Java, New Guinea, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra.

The highest peak on the 7th Blessed Isle, Maharloka, was believed to have been called Apo, which could be found on the archipelago that would later be renamed the Philippines. This could be a reason why Filipinos have a penchant for faith healing, shamanism, superstition, and other cosmic, esoteric, mystic and spiritual pursuits. This was also probably why religion managed to firmly entrench itself in the population. We were already predisposed to the spiritual.

The symbol of Mu, also known as Sunda or the legendary Lemuria, is 8 rays radiating from a circle, which might as well be the same 8 rays that emanate from sun on the Philippine national flag today.

The Lemurian alphabet closely resembles Baybayin, the ancient Philippine alphabet.

That is the gist of our unwritten history according to non-traditional historians.

According to Argonza, an Initiate of the Brotherhood of Light, who calls himself “a sociologist, economist, development specialist by profession, while spiritual teaching (+ healing, messenger, writer),” because of Maharloka’s connection to the divine, the isle was known to be a cosmic portal, its citizens trained in the gathering of sacred knowledge, the manipulation of energies, and the passing on of divine wisdom to affect collective consciousness of the planet.”

These tasks had been passed on to the archipelago’s shamans, tribal spiritual leaders called babaylans, who were then demonized by the Roman Catholic Church, calling them aswang. Babaylans were outlawed, gathered, and sent into exile to the island of — you guessed it — Siquijor.

Siquijor, or Isla del Fuego, could’ve been a metaphor for the fires of Hell.

Not all Catholics, however, were against the highly advanced spiritual consciousness of the archipelago. When the Jesuits first came to the country back in 1581, many of them were said to have had links with the local shamans; so much so that when they were expelled after 187 years of work in the country, many Jesuits remained hidden in the mountains, leading ascetic, spiritual lives. Hiding from the law, they became reclusive hermits, which explains why the ermitanyo in popular Filipino culture, were always depicted as tall, white, bearded men.

Whatever may, or may not be, the truth about the stories above, non-traditional historians wish that these won’t get lost in a sea of barber tales. In fact, they are hopeful that the stories encourage all of us not just to question what is fed to us by history books, but more importantly, to embrace whatever memories they awaken.

1 reply
  1. lars
    lars says:

    Thanks for the write up Troy

    Enjoyed learning something as indepth as this.
    Give more insight into the truth and reality of the Philippines.

    Or as a non-native but with a Maharlikan heart, Maharlika!


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