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In Culture, History, Philippine Issues on July 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

Philippine Prostitution in the Spanish Colonial Era in Light of Pre-Colonial Notions of Sexuality

by Hansley A. Juliano

(a joint paper with Jore Vergara in Hi 165-B, Summer 2009 under Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo)

We have a held perception that there exists in Philippine pre-colonial history a relatively peaceful society, occasionally interrupted by “inter-barangaic” wars. They believed in many gods and spirits, known today as paganism. We were a developing society then having a lot of sophistication and knowledge during our time. These include metallurgical works of gold, pottery, tools out of metals, stone and the like. With the increase in sophistication and knowledge, social stratification inevitably emerged, likely for the maintenance of an organized society back then. The main status symbol during the time was the gold ornaments stated earlier. Amidst all of this, however, our ancestors displayed a relatively primitive regard to fashion, based from how they dressed themselves merely by wearing minimal cloth, save possibly those belonging to the pre-colonial nobility depicted in the Boxer Codex.

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