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 Pre-Spanish Period

Pre Spanish settlements

Like any pre Spanish Filipino settlement, the present Cantilan area consisted of insignifically populated barangays. The settlements of Ilihan, Dinayhugan, Calagda-an and Palasao could be the only places that were well populated like Sibayuto and Buntalid of today. The remaining barangays of CanSantao, Sam-ang, Maslog and Alamyo were peopled too. Presently, however, people sparsely live there and get attached to their farms.

Some physical evidences that these places were settled by groups of people a long time ago are the shards of potteries, stonewares and ceramics found lately. These archeological items were dug and retrieved by the present antique collectors and their agents and treasure hunters. Together with these findings were iron nails, arrowtips and iron spearheads, which were, panned by gold panniers along the Maslog, Alamyo and Dinayhugan rivers. Even the areas along the old cemeteries in Cantilan yielded iron tips and spears that presumably belonged to the 17th or 18th century.

Artifacts found

Early in the 1970's, the Cantilan "antique" diggings yielded undetermined quantities and qualities of Ming Celadons of dishes, bowls, jars, jarlets, spouts and other items. These items mostly belonged to the types, which were manufactured from 1368-1644 in China on the basis of the Asian Arts Catalogues. The diggings were not scientific hence, the difficulty of tracing the volume and quality of the excavated items both unbroken and broken.

The artifacts of buff earthenwares and unglazed blue and white porcelains fitted the description and illustration in the Asian Arts Cataloque carrying the 14th to the 15th century items made in Chekiang, China.

Calagdan and Calagan

Calagdan, when noted by the recollect friars of Tandag in 1622 is an intriguing aspect in the history of Cantilan. What the recollects wrote as calagdan is the present calagda-an, a barangay of cantilan, which is adjacent to Palasao, another barangay that was written down by the spaniards as Parasao. And which was apportioned to Garci Sierras Chacon on January 25, 1571 as an encomienda.

If Calagdan and Calagda-an are the same, the possibility is not remote that Calagdan and Calagan are one and the same barangay and, if they are not, then this is another historical divergence like the misidentification of Pigafetta, Colambu and Siaui. It is to be noted that Colambu had been recently pointed as the painted king, a possible Manobo of Cantilan's Calagdan or Calagdaan. The Manobos of today call the mosquito net colambu like the tagalogs while the lowlanders call it moskitero. Is not the word "colambu" a Cantilan Manobos' terminology from the past centuries that lasted today?

If historians and scholars follow with their research on colambu aspect alone, they might still find some treasures of new data that originate from present cantilan. With complete facilities and with the aid of some foreign researches, they might be able to connect the periods with varied facts and lead them to assume, establish and identify cantilan's position with the rest of the national identities beginning with Calagdan and Calaganto Rajah Colambu.

Caraga and Colambu

Prior to the coming of Magellan to the Philippines, the Cantilangnons must have been scattered but customarily clustered in small units called gamoros, a barangay way of settling. they might have adopted the tribal celldivision in every settlement regardless of size with its own chieftain.

On March 18, 1521, some Filipinos from butuan discovered the presence of three big ships in Homonhon. And on March 29, 1521, Raja Colambu saw the cisitoes from the three ships, one of who was Hernando Magallanes, the ships head. On the same date, it was reported that Colambu's brother, Rajah Siago also joined to see Magellan. Siago was said to have claimed that he lived in Caraga. They were known to be persons of the present Surigao provinces.

Translations of original works sometimes differed. In the account of Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler, he mentioned of Siaui, not Siago, as the other king who visited Limasawa where Magellan moved from Homonhon but Pigaffeta did not note Colambu as coming from Calagdan.

First Cantilangnons

The Manobos were the only traceable large native settlers of Cantilan. They compose the dominant group of the two mountain dwellers at present. They could be the direct descendants of the Shri-Visayans. The were the Cantilangonos with the panotub or tugtog (tattooes) on the pricipal parts of their bodies like their arms, legs, breasts and backs. This is so because the other parts of the body could not endure the pain of the pricking needles, sharpened bamboo sticks and thorns of vines and trees, which were used in tattooing. These were used before the advent of metal needles.

Political Structures of Cantilan in 1583

Laws of the Indies were the organic laws. Law II, title 15 of book 2 governed the political life of the Philippines. Manila became the seat of the government and the pacified communities became towns. But Cantilan although already pacified was a region of late development like the province of Caraga because of its distance to the central government in Manila.

Pre-Spanish Period | Spanish Period | Modern History | Carcanmadcarlan's History

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