Religion in pre-colonial Philippines

The nature of religion in the pre-colonial Philippines is often unclear. Religions present include animism, indigenous religious beliefs and mythologies such as Anito and influences from Hinduism and Buddhism. The earliest pieces of evidence that exist are archaeological finds including Hindu–Buddhist gold statues. The earliest written evidence comes from the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, dated to around 900 CE, which uses the Buddhist–Hindu lunar calendar. With the arrival of Islam in the 14th century, the older religions gradually disappeared, and after the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism, became the dominant religion. However, some of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines continue to practice animism today, and many of the traditions in Anito have survived in the form of Folk Catholicism.


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