A theory proposed by some scholars states that the term Visayas was derived from the name of a 7th-century thalassocratic Malay Srivijaya Empire. In Sanskrit, sri (श्री) means "fortunate," "prosperous," or "happy" and vijaya (विजय) means "victorious" or "excellence". In the 12th century, parts of the Sulu Archipelago and the Visayas Islands were either subject or tributaries of the empire.
In 2005, Palawan Island was transferred to Region VI (Western Visayas) by Executive Order 429. However this planned reorganization was held in abeyance. Hence, Palawan currently remains (as of June 2013) part of Region IV-B.
Historical legends and hypotheses
Historical documents written in 1907 by Visayan historian Pedro Alcántara Monteclaro in his book Maragtas tell the story of the ten chiefs (Datus) who escaped from the tyranny of Datu Makatunaw from Borneo and came to the islands of Panay. The chiefs and followers were said to be the ancestors (from the collapsing empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit) of the Visayan people. The documents were accepted by Filipino historians and found their way into the history of the Philippines. As a result, the arrival of Bornean tribal groups in the Visayas is celebrated in the festivals of the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan and Binirayan in San José, Antique. Foreign historians such as William Scott maintains that the book contains a Visayan folk tradition. Panay boasts of the Hinilawod as its oldest and longest epic.
A contemporary theory based on a study of genetic markers in present-day populations that Austronesian people from Taiwan populated the region of Luzon and headed south to the Visayas, Borneo, Indonesia, then to Pacific islands and to the east of the Indian Ocean. The study, though, may not explain inter-island migrations, which are also possible, such as Filipinos migrating to any other Philippine provinces.
According to Visayan folk traditions, the Visayas were populated by Malays from the collapsing empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit migrating from Borneo to Mindanao and to the Visayas, while other Malays crossed to Palawan through Sabah. Other Malays were suggested to have crossed from Samar island to the Bicol region in Luzon. The theory suggests that those ancient tribal groups who passed through Palawan may have migrated to what is now the island of Luzon.
A supplementary theory was that at that period, the Malay people were moving north from Mindanao to the Visayas and to Luzon. Various groups of Europeans and Chinese also integrated with the native population during that period.
A map of the Visayas colour-coded according to the constituent regions.
Languages spoken at home primarily are of the Visayan languagescontinuum which contains several different languages sometimes identified as dialects of the same language. Major languages include Hiligaynon or Ilonggo in much of Western Visayas, Cebuano in Central Visayas, and Waray in Eastern Visayas. Other dominant languages are Aklanon, Kinaray-a and Capiznon. Filipino, the national language based on Tagalog, is widely comprehensible but seldom used. English, an official language, is more widely known and is preferred as the second language most especially among urbanized Visayans. For instance, the latter is frequently used in schools, public signs and mass media.
Look up visayas in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Sulu Sea. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Washington DC
"Executive Order No. 429". President of the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
^ "Administrative Order No. 129". President of the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
On May 23, 2005, Palawan and Puerto Princesa City were moved to Western Visayas by Executive Order No. 429. However, on August 19, 2005, President Arroyo issued Administrative Order No. 129 to hold the earlier EO 429 in abeyance pending a review. As of 2010[update], Palawan and the highly urbanized city of Puerto Princesa still remain a part of the MIMAROPA region.
Jovito S. Abellana, "Bisaya Patronymesis Sri Visjaya" (Ms., Cebuano Studies Center, ca. 1960)
Rasul, Jainal D. (2003). Agonies and Dreams: The Filipino Muslims and Other Minorities. Quezon City: CARE Minorities. pp. 77.
Dr. Robert L. Yoder, FAPC."Graciano López Jaena". Universitat Wien. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
"Venancio's Leon Kilat". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
"The Dagohoy Rebellion". Watawat.net. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
President of the Philippines. "Executive order No. 429". Office of the Press Secretary. Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
Cristian Capelli et al. (2001). "A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania" (PDF). American Journal of Human Genetics68 (2): 432–443. doi:10.1086/318205. PMC 1235276. PMID 11170891.
Scott, William Henry (1984). Prehispanic Source Materials for the study of Philippine History. New Day Publishers. ISBN 971-10-0226-4..