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The Ancestors of the Malays, Indonesian & Filipinos; The groups of ancient people who settled in the Philippines (timeline)

The Ancestors fo the Filipino and Malays

 Ancestors of Filipinos, Indonesians and Malays

The groups of ancient people in the now called Philippines (timeline)

  • First Settlers: Homo Luzonensis - the ancestors of Negritos - 67,000 years ago
  • Second Group: Austronesian - 5,000 to 1,500 B.C.
  • Third Group: Indones (Ancient Indonesian) First batch - 4,200 B.C.
  • Fourth Group: Indones (Ancient Indonesian) second batch - 1,500 B.C.
  • Fifth Group: Malay - 300 to 200 B.C.

Most Philippine citizens, the non-natives or non-Lumads are counted as among the people from Mongolian origin through the massive Austronesian expansion to the region that eventually dominates over the other settlers. Although the Austronesians which are from the mixed of Mongolian race dominated over the other tribes and the other migrants, both and all Filipinos today are still closely related due to intermarriages making them as mixed race and "blooded" by the Chinese, Japanese, and Malaysians. 

The Austronesian-Malay race dominated the Philippines Islands during the 300 to 200 B.C. in their northward migration but it could not twist the fact that before their settlement,  there are already earlier groups of people who came and settled in the ancient island nation now called “The Philippines”.

The Ancestors fo the Filipino and Malays Timeline

Timeline: Ancient time, first settlers, populating the Philippines and important world events 

The First settlers of the Island Nation Philippines

There are evidences unearthed from Callao cave and concluded on 2019 that an early hominin settled in the Island of Luzon since 50,000 to 67,000 years ago. They were called "Ubag" or the cave people which is scientifically called  "Homo Luzonensis" a hominin who settled in Luzon Island with remains excavated from Callao cave; the first settlers of the island nation since as early as 50,000 to 67,000 years ago based on the carbon dating assessment of the excavated remains.  

The Homo Luzonensis from Callao cave of the island of Luzon are said to be the ancestors of the Negritos who were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. The Negritos are the ancestors of the Lumads or natives that includes Aeta of Luzon Island, Ati and Tumandok of Panay Island, Agta of Sierra Madre and Mamanwa of Mindanao Island. 

The unearthed evidences of the Homo Luzonensis slowly filled out the the genetic gap of the origin of the shorter and darker skin people in Southeast Asia which are not closely related to the pygmies of Africa. 

The Negritos were also migrating and continuously moving southward  due to their livelihood of hunting animals for food then eventually reached and occupied the islands of Borneo, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Southern Thailand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India making them as the early inhabitants of most part of Southeast Asia.

The wave of Austronesian Southward and Eastward migration

After more than 62,000 years of the first settlement in the Philippines of the Negritos that have also settled the other islands of Southeast Asia; the Austronesians who's origin were from the Mongolian people who are mixed of blood of Chinese, and Japanese that settled Taiwan (Formosa) started their migration southward to the islands now called the Philippines around 5000 B.C. Ancient first wave of Austronesians that expanding southward are the second group of people that settled the island nation Philippines next to the Negritos of Homo Luzonensis. The encounter of both races have caused the livelihood and cultural assimilation including intermarriages of both races. 

Within 5,000 to 1,500 B.C., Austronesian mass expansion continues leaving their influences to the paces they occupied and continue moving both south and eastward occupying Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Visayas, Mindanao, Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Vietnam, Southern Thailand, Myanmar, Islands in Indian Ocean and even reaching to Madagascar. While other Austronesian groups who were already in the Philippine Islands were continuously expanding towards the eastern direction going to the islands in the Pacific; Palau, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Islands, Fiji, most of the islands in the pacific, and until New Zealand.

Northward & Reverse Migration of the Indones (Ancient Indonesian)

During 4,200 B.C. or around 800 years of Austronesian southward migration, a reverse migration of the mixed blooded Austronesian from Borneo, Indonesia and Malaysia took place. They are the Indo-Austronesians group locally called Indones

While the big wave of Austronesian expansion continues to the southwest, the other big groups of Indones (the ancient Indonesian) people who have settled in Borneo, Malaysia and Indonesia started a reverse northward migration. They were the first batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) who are mixed blooded called Indo- Austronesian race who then occupied the islands in Mindanao merging with the early Austronesians and Negritos. These group of Indones(Ancient Indonesian) are characterized by slender body figure, fair-complexioned, sharp and thin-faced and deep-set eyes but their noses are fine. They are more modern in comparison to the Negritos and the early Austronesians. They built houses with holes in the ground or on top of the trees. They know how to shoot, fish, to farm,  eat and cook their meals. 

They occupied the coastal areas of Mindanao and intermarriages occurred with the Negritos and the early Austronesians who settled the islands.  The first batch of the group of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) is the third group of ancient people that settled in Mindanao Island. These Indones (Ancient Indonesian) were merging with the early Austronesians and Negritos and become the ancestors of the now called Lumads in Mindanao Island that includes the Subanen people. 

Second batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian)

During 1,500 B.C., another group of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) mass migration occurred. They are called as the second batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) that migrated eastward direction who were originated in the Indo-China and Central Asian Peninsula, then settled on the Luzon coast. Their lives are better than the previous group. 

It is believed that they created the Ladder Banawe Stairs in Ifugao which is famous now as "Banaue Rice Terraces". They are the ancestors of the Lumads in Ifugao and Benguet.

This group were having different characteristic and features than the first wave of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) migrants. The second batch is shorter in height, larger in built, darker in complexion, well-pronounced jaws, broad rectangular face, large facial features and firmly set eyes. 

Their different features from the first batch is presumed to be an effect of genetic mutation due to environmental factors as science explained that every 1000 years of settling in a certain location, a genetic mutation would occur that could result into changing of color, looks, build, body features, etc to adapt the environment and their way of living. This second batch of people are the fourth group of people that settled the Philippines and merging with the existing Negritos, early Austronesians, and the first batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian)


Malays migrated in a big group northward during the 300 to 200 B.C. This big group of migrants moved northward from Indonesia, Malaysia and  Borneo to Sulu, Palawan and Mindoro Islands then merged with the Negritos, the early Austronesians and the Indones then eventually settled most of the islands in Visayas, Luzon, Panay, and Bohol. They became the most dominant group of migrants and eventually outnumbered the previous groups.

Malay is the fifth group of people that migrated to the Philippines that mostly settled in the coastal areas of Sulu, Southern Mindanao, Visayas islands and Luzon. 

Malay group are the ancestors of the people in the Visayas such as; the BisayaCebuano including IlonggoWaray and Boholano; the people of Luzon including the TagalogIlokanoBikolanoKampampangan, and Panggasinense and the groups in Mindanao; the Maguindanao and  Maranao  that settled in the southern part of Mindanao and the Tausug, and Yakan tribe that settled in Sulu Islands.

Most of the Malay people in the Philippines are believed to be from the biggest tribes of Borneo that left in a group and moved northward then settled the Islands in the Philippines during 300 to 200 B.C.