Subanen -Philippine Flag unity
Showing posts with label Discovery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discovery. Show all posts

The Fire Piston and It's Origin in Europe

Fire Piston

European Version of Fire Piston. image:

In previous accounts of the ingenious fire-making device usually known as the fire piston, anthropologists and historians of technology alike have paid special attention to those specimens of the instrument which have been found in use in the countries in Southeast Asia over the last hundred years. Intriguing possibility that the device was invented in that region quite independently of European influences and possible long before 8960’s when it appears to have been first observed there by European travelers.

Fire piston was invented in the areasof  "Dipag" and Sembuangan now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan”. Read more here

Fire Piston / Luthang gapuyan

Primitive / Original Asian version of Fire Piston - image:

Consequently they have tended to regard the fire piston’s appearance in Europe in the early years of the nineteenth century as the result either of a separate, thought rather less interesting, process of invention in the West or alternatively, of direct importation from those parts of Asia particularly from the Philippines where the device was already commonly used. Although such accounts have been valuable, if only in preserving the fire piston from neglect, they have conveyed a view of the instrument’s history which is not only incomplete (by virtue of their scant treatment of the European version of the instrument) but which is also supported by inadequate evidence on certain important points. – Robert Fox

Dr. Robert Fox, lecturer in the history of Science at the university of Lancaster, is the authoer of forthcoming book on the caloric theory of gases.

Read other source: Facebook Videos

Chemistry and Science Explanation of Luthang Gapuyan or Fire Piston


Fire piston was invented in "Dipag" now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan”.

Scientific Explanation of Fire Piston


Problem 2: What is the number that goes into C3?

Problem 3: What is the weight of air in the 16 liter tank (N2)?

Problem 4: What is the formula that goes into N2?

Problem 5: If you wanted to figure the total weight of the tank at 3500 psi, what cell do you change?

Problem 6: If the temperature was 92°F instead of 77°F, what would the new formula in I3 become?

Problem 7: What cells need to be updated to do that?

Problem 8: What is the final pressure in mm of mercury (mm of Hg)?

Problem 9: What is the formula that goes in L2?

Problem 10: What would be the final pressure if the end volume was 0.7mL?

Problem 11: What is the pressure now after some of the cotton burns (L2)?

Problem 12: What is the pressure of L2 in atmospheres?

The volume of the air in the fire piston cylinder starts at 10.0 mL and then is squeezed to 1.0 mL. The temperature started as 25°C (room temp) and ended up at 600.°C. The pressure before being squeezed was 740mm of mercury (Note 760mm Hg is 1 atmosphere). We want the final pressure. If temperature had remained the same, this would be easy. The volume went down to 1/10 its original size, which would make the pressure be 10 times larger (740mm x 10=7,400mm mercury). However, the temperature changed, so it's more complicated. We can start with PV=nRT; however, there are two conditions. One at the beginning and one at the end. So we need two PV=nRT formulas. Let P1V1=n1RT1 be the values before it was compressed. Then P2V2=n2RT2 would be the values after compression and becoming hot. Since R is constant, it is the same in both equations. We can exploit that fact. Let's solve both equations for R. In the first R=P1V1/n1T1, and the second is R=P2V2/n2T2. Since both are equal to R, they are equal to each other. So, P1V1/n1T1=P2V2/n2T2. Since the moles of the gas didn't change, n1=n2, we can multiply both sides by n1, which would cancel out both n1 and n2. Our equation now reads:


We know all of these values except for P2 (final pressure). So lets solve for P2 by dividing both sides by V2 and multiplying both sides by T2. We now get

P1V1T2/(T1V2)=P2, which can also be written as P1x V1x T2 /T1 /V2=P2. This looks like a good job for a spreadsheet. Since there's no R in the formula, we don't need pressure measured in atmospheres or volume in liters, but we do have to use Kelvin. So 273 gets added to the Celsius degrees.

The pressure in the fire piston will go up at the point the tender attached to the bottom of the pistion catches fire. (I used a piece from a cotton ball in my fire piston). When the cotton burns, it will consume the oxygen but will produce carbon dioxide and water vapor and higher temperatures. So the pressure should go up due to more gases and higher temperature.

Cotton is cellulose, which has the formula of

(C6H12O5)n. The "n" means it is a long chain of these glucose molecules. But we can treat it like it was burning C6H12O5. Here's the balanced equation.

2C6H12O5+13O2 --> 12CO2 + 12H2O

We can't ignore the nitrogen gas, which is 5 times the number of oxygen molecules (5 x 13=65). So we can add that to the reaction.

2C6H12O5 +13O2 + 65N2--> 12CO2 + 12H2O + 65N2

Looking at this we see that we start with 78 moles (12+65) of gases and end with 84 moles (12+12+65) of gases. Also, the burning will increase the temperature. The yellow flame indicates a temperature around 3,000 Kelvin.

This problem is similar to the last one but the intitial conditions are the final conditions in the above problem.

That was P2V2=n2RT2

After the flame heats up the air and creates the extra gases, the condition is different. Let's use P3V3=n3RT3 for the new final condition.

Like before we can solve for R on both and set them equal to each other. This looks like the last time we did it:


This time the moles are changing, but the volume is the same. So we need to keep the moles (n2 and n3) but we can drop the volumes. That simplifies it to:


Solving for the final pressure (P3) by multiplying both sides by n3 and T3 gives us:

P2n3T3/n2T2 = P3

Even though we don't know the exact number of moles, we do know the ratio of moles, which works fine when you have one divided by the other. So the 78 moles for n2 and the 85 moles for n3 that we got from the balanced equation works fine.

We can check the units to see if they cancel and we can check the logic. In the above spreadsheet we see that we have 85 moles over 78 moles. So that's 85/78, which will make the pressure larger as expected. We see the temperature ratio of 3000 over 873 or 3000/873, which will also make the pressure larger. So these fractions are doing what we expect should happen to the pressure which is to become larger when there's more moles and higher temperatures. Read more at Chemistry land

The First Discovery of "Luthang Gapuyan" ( Fire Piston ) and its history over 1500 years ago

Fire Piston luthang gapuyan

Anlangan 17 years old boy accidentally invented the first "Fire Piston" locally named “Luthang Gapuyan” over 1500 years ago

The history of the “luthang gapuyan” or fire piston was not known by many but used by thousands. 

The discovery of luthang gapuyan or fire piston and significant invention in the world history was purely accidental.

Fire piston was accidentally discovered and invented in Semboangan Island in '"Dipag" to be particular  now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan” according to the generation to generation story.

Anlangan a 17 year old Subanen boy was described as curious, funny and playful boy who was fun of making a bamboo toy magazine and accidentally discovered a fire created from his invention when making a hardwood as replacement of a bamboo materials. According to a tale passed from generations to generation, it was one afternoon when Anlangan was given tasked by his parents to burn the portion of the mountain for their new kaingin (slashed and burn) in preparation of the coming Panuig or planting season. Anlangan was on his way when the rain suddenly fall so he returned home and decided to just stay under their house playing his “luthang” or bamboo magazine with his younger brother while waiting for the rain to stop. His bamboo magazine's barrel  exploded was broken so he became curious of making another 1 out of the hard wood to prevent from breaking. 

He was using a hard wood in making a barrel for his planned wooden toy magazine and bored it to form a barrel. Before the hole reached to the other end, he was using another hard wooden stick in polishing the inner part of the hole. While polishing the inner hole using the other hardwood, he just realized after pushing in then pushing out, a smoke came out and formed a fire. 

So instead of making luthang, out of the hard wood he then carved the wood into smaller toy and tied it with a rope made of abaca then wore it and informed his father about his invention then his family was the first creation in the world who used the luthang gapuyan or fire piston for their kaingin or slash and burn farming.

Luthang gapuyan then become a common toy for the subanen tribes and used as product for trading with the visiting traders from Cebu, Sulu and the invention spread all over the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia to Europe.

Fire piston luthang gapuyan

A southeast Asian native old woman is using Luthang Gapuyan (Fire piston)

The History of Subanen since the Neolithic Era or the Stone Age

 Subanen People and History

Subanen Goernment Hierarchy

Subanen people settled Mindanao Islands since more than 4,200 B.C. as it is proven by the archeologist through artifacts unearthed within the Ancient Subanen territory as shown in the map. 

Subanen people are among the now 20 lumads (Indegenous people IPs) that first settled of the islands in Mindanao and were the majority of all the lumads in the Island. According to the generation to generation narrated history, Subanen was the mother tribe of the Higaonon, Bukidnon, kamiging, Manobo, Matigsalug, Talaandig, Tigwahanon, and Umayamnon tribes but were separated into different tribal group specially the tribes that settled in the areas near the Odiongan and Gahub rivers in Gingoog and the people that lives near the Pulangi river of Bukidnon to North Cotabato where the Pulangi river flows.

As the Subanen people encountered with the other exploring group of tribes that outnumbered them even inside their vast areas of control, they would easily blend with the other friendly tribes and intermarriages often occurred and forming a new community of tribe resulting to the evolution of the other tribal group in the surrounding and neighboring  areas. 

The people would always prefer to live near the water (river) for easy access of the basic necessity of living and originally lived in the low lying areas. However, due to disturbances from other aggressive migrant groups such as the Tausug, Yakan tribes and and migrations of Cebuanos to the coastal areas in the Subanen territory it caused further pushed the Subanen people into the interior.

Subanen are peaceful people but characterized by two flexible natures; if their number is in the majority position then they will dominate and control the areas but if they are outnumbered then they would either move or migrate to the other places to avoid any conflict or tend to blend and even acclimatized with the majority settlers. Subanen people are willing to share their land or territory and allow migrants to settled in because of the belief that "Land is owned by all not by just only one" which should be shared to all.  Having visitors or having new migrants to settled the territory does not constitute as "invasion" in Subanen law but forcibly coercing the belief and culture are equivalent to war.  

The continuous migration of different tribes and different migrants from different directions to the Subanen territory had severely destroyed the Subanen culture as people’s nature to either migrate to other places to avoid the new incoming migrants or assimilate that even tried to hide their identity to merge and blend with the majority that following generations would not be familiar anymore with the culture and could no longer speak the Subanen language.

War and weapons 

Like the other tribes, Subanen are sometimes aggressive and skilled warriors who are willing to fight in any battles or wars when they saw the high chances of winning or otherwise they would avoid fighting face to face and leave the enemies around but slowly infiltrating them using the soft weapon. 

There are two types of weapons which are mastered by the Subanen people; the hard and soft weapons. The hard weapons refers to the weapons often used by men in fighting with their enemies such as the steel spears and bamboo spears, single edge swords or kampilan, scythe, and bolos while soft weapons are mostly mastered by women fighters but sometimes warriors would use hard and soft weapons altogether in fighting. 

Soft weapons are often referred to the called magical poison. It is called magical because it work like a magic which could not be seen by the naked eyes because it is done with full of concealment. The called magical weapon or magical poison are extracted from the very toxic plants that could only be found in the forest of southeast Asian region particularly in Mindanao Island. The poison of those plants are proven by the experts that it could really weaken or even kill the enemies when inhaled, eaten, or even if it touches the skin or if it entered in the very tiny pores of the skin. The soft weapon are very tiny or pulverized skimmed toxins extracted from the very poisonous plants that could be transmitted and be carried by just light and wind and attacks is done in a very concealed or hidden way that the enemy could not even notice it. It is done through just seeing them in the eyes, touching them, through wind direction or directly added to the food or drinks of any enemy. However, Subanen people are generally peaceful in nature and would always value peace and talks over war and battles.

Continuous migration of different tribes from different direction to the Subanen territory severely destroyed the Subanen culture as people’s nature to either migrate to other places to avoid conflicts with the new majority migrants or acclimate and blend with them that even try to hide their identity to merge with the majority that following generations could no  longer be familiar with the culture that would not able to speak the Subanen language.

Ancient times Subanen territory 

The names of the ancient places in the ancient Subanen territory.

History of Mindanao and the Subanen Rulers

Subanen people settled Zamboanga Peninsula during 4,200 B.C. The couple Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang was the rich and powerful ruler that settled Zamboanga Peninsula during 4,000 B.C. They  have 7 children; 5 sons and 2 daughters that ruled with them. Along with Datu M'ndanao, his younger brother Datu M'guindanao was also living with him during his younger aged but later left  heading to Southeast to find his wife and settled in the now called Maguindanao then establish his rule in the area. 

Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang was blessed with successful sons that ruled several areas of the Island now called Mindanao Island.

Datu G'motan (Gomotan), the 3rd son of Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang ruled the Southern part of Samboangan the now called Zamboanga Peninsula. He ruled the Areas of Zamboanga Del Sur and married to Bai S'bugay then ruled the entire areas now called Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Datu N'wang (Nawang) was the fourth son who was described as skinny and slender brilliant minded  Datu and a trading minded person. He ruled Samboangan now called Zamboanga. He developed the area into a trading and barter capital of the Island. During his rule, his youngest brother Basilan was with him in his rule then later also grown to be a Datu that ruled Basilan Island.

Datu T'ngkilan (Tangkilan) was the second son of Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang. He ruled the Northeastern part of Samboangan now called Zamboanga del Norte and married to Bai Indangan then he settled and grow the territory of his wife now called Sindangan.

The eldest and the most brave and powerful in the family was Datu Mis'samis. He ruled the areas in Malindang, Lanao, Iligan,  Cagayan de Oro (Himologan) Camiguin and Gingoog (Gingoyon). According to the history, Bai M'lindang the mother of Datu Mis'samis was buried in the feet of the mountain now called Mount Malindang.

Since the ancient times, Subanen people are occupying the following 7 territories that symbolizes the 7 rays of sun;

  1. Basilan Island
  2. Camiguin Island
  3. Lanao del Norte
  4. Misamis Occidental
  5. Misamis Oriental
  6. Zamboanga del Norte
  7. Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay (del Sur and Sibugay united as 1 governorate)
Around 4,000 BC Subanen people in Zamboanga further expanded its occupancy to the uninhabited  Basilan and were the first inhabitant in the island. Due to its proximity to the ancient barter trading center in Zamboanga, and the fertile land of the island, they doubled their effort in their farming production to produce more agricultural products as their main goods for trading but was suddenly stopped when the Yakan tribe from south Borneo arrived to the island in a very huge number then overturned their rule.  

One of the most un-notable incidents of migration was happened in Basilan on 300 to 200 BCE or 4000 years of occupancy of the Subanen people in Basilan when the Yakan people from south Borneo migrated to the island in big groups and outnumbered the Subanen people who settled in the island then overturned their control. Such infamous incidence had extremely destroyed the Subanen culture and peaceful occupancy in the Island of Basilan resulting for them to either migrate to Zamboanga or forced to marry the migrants and adapt the new culture. 

Livelihood, Seasons and Meteorology 

Subanen people are into trading business as influenced by the Chinese traders who often visited the territory for trading most particularly In O'samis, Indangan and  Samboangan barter and trading centers of the territory since the ancient times but majority of the people are producing their own goods for trading from farming activities. 

The people have mastered the relationship between natural phenomena and the agricultural cycle is well established in the folk knowledge of the Subanen Sindangan group. They study wind patterns, looking out for tell-tale signs of imminent weather changes. Based on the native methods of meteorology, the Subanen identify three distinct seasons within the agricultural cycle: pendupi, from June to September, characterized by winds blowing from the southwest; miyan, from December to January, a time of winds and northeast monsoon rains; and pemeres, from March to April, the hot and dry season. 

The Subanen also reckon agricultural time by the stars, notably the constellation Orion. The appearance of this star group signals the time for the clearing of a new swidden. The monthly rotation of the stars is a guide for the swidden cycle during the first months of the year. 

People also studied the relationship between the pet cat to the movement of the moon and when to know if it is high tide or low tide. For the people who settled in the inner land, they use the pet cat as an indicator of when to go down to go fishing during low tide. The eyes of the pet cat is also used as indicator when is the right time to do planting variety of crops. For leafy vegetables, they are planted during high tide while root crops such as casava, sweert potato or camote, gabi, ubi, bisol or taro are planted during low tide. When the eyes of the cat showed bigger dark color then it indicates low tide and it's time to plant root crops but when the eyes of the cat shows smaller dark color then it means high tide and its time to plant leafy vegetables.

The ancestors practiced dry agriculture, and knowledge of pottery making. The Subanen are mainly agriculturists for goods as trading and consumption who practice three types of cultivation. Along the coastal area, wet agriculture with plow and carabao is the method of producing their staple rice. Beyond the coasts, both wet and dry agriculture are also practiced. Swidden farming is the norm in the interior, particularly the uplands. Along the coasts, coconuts are raised aside from rice. Further inland, corn becomes an additional crop aside from the first two. Apart from the principal crops raised—which are mountain rice and corn—the root crops camote, cassava, pastilan, bisol, gabi (taro), and ubi (yam) are also grown. These are roasted, boiled, or made into preserves and sweets. In some places, tobacco is planted. The people supplement their income and their food supply by fishing, hunting, and gathering of forest products. The extra rice they can produce, plus the wax, resin, and rattan they can gather from the forest are brought to the coastal stores and traded for cloth, blades, axes, betel boxes, ornaments, Chinese jars, porcelain, and gongs.

Political System

Subanen Government Hierarchy
Adapting the ruling National Government; the Subanen Political Structure headed by Rajah as the highest ruler, also in accordance to RA 8371

Subanen people practice the peaceful un-contesting monarchy system with ruler is not appointed or voted to rule but based on his willingness to rule, his wisdom, education and experiences, his leadership and capability to govern, to finance and to manage his people under his government. Rajah is the highest ruler of the Subanen tribe who's role is to organize and unite the Datu's and Tim'uays in the entire territory.

Subanen society is patriarchal, with the family as the basic governmental unit but a village is headed by Tim'uay, while the bigger areas is headed by Datu that ruled several Tim'uays under is leadership and the people recognized "Rajah" as the territory leader or the Supreme ruler, the center of leadership that united the people.

An elder Tim'uay who grown and trained many new young Tim'uays as new leaders and successors to rule their respective villages could level up to the rank as "Datu" through a process of enthronement done by his followers and his ruled Tim'uays. However, his rank to level up as "Datu" would depend also on his willingness to accept higher title as it would also rely on his status in life and his capability to manage the financial needs and to govern for his ruled Tim'uays and villages otherwise he could retain his ranks as the elder Tim'uay holding the authority same as the Datu and rule as the highest council of elders in his ruled villages. Young and trained Tim'uays would also become a member of the council as Gukom members. 

Datu was the highest ruler of the ancient Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) but because of the influence of the Indian empire, the ruler name Rajah or Raja was adapted then become the highest leader that ruled  the Subanen People. There are several Rajahs of the Subanen people who rose to power from different areas during pre-colonial era particularly in the following notable places:
  • Rajah G'motan (Gomotan), the Ruler of Zamboanga Del Sur and Sibugay 
  • Rajah N'wang (Nawang) ruled Samboangan, now called or Zamboanga
  • Rajah of Mis'samis, the warrior and skilled Rajah that ruled the people in the area of M'lanao, Iligan to Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog and Camiguin.
  • Rajah Datu T'ngkilan(Tangkilan) of Sindangan ruled of Dip'ag now called Dipolog
  • Rajah Basilan the ruler of Basilan Island
In spite of having several ruling Rajahs in different areas of Subanen territory they do not have history of severe conflict as they believed in equality, mutual and power respect,  no interference,  and no contesting of power. Subanen believe that all and each and every Subanen are relatives and family that should live with equality. Subanen believe of "Commonwealth" that no one should own the land or territory but all the people within so people could roam anywhere inside the controlled land of Subanen people and farm or earn a living and establish or build their own community to rule. 

With all those ruling Rajah and Datu, all were ended into perished due to the invasion of the Spaniards that tried to kill the language, the culture and beliefs that forced the people to move to the middle of the Jungle to survive for many centuries though some Subanen merged and blended with the Spaniards. One of the successors from the Rajah Datu Tangkilan of Sindangan whom ancestors from several generations were able to blend with the Spaniards' foreign culture and continue practicing the Subanen culture discretely handling  their history to generations to generations and were able to slowly re-established the untold history of the rule of the Subanen People in its land. 

The descendant of the Rajah datu Tangkilan in Sindangan who carried the history of their rule slowly re-established the Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) and rose to rule from his family as Rajah (Datu) G'ndao (Gendao) that aimed to re-organized, re-structure and re-unite all the people of the Subanen Territory.