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In the years leading up to 1000 CE, there were already several maritime societies existing in the islands but there was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine archipelago.Instead, the region was dotted by numerous semi-autonomous barangays (settlements ranging is size from villages to city-states) under the sovereignty of competing thalassocracies ruled by datus, rajahs or sultans or by upland agricultural societies ruled by "petty plutocrats".The lack of the letter "F" in the pre-1987 Philippine alphabet, Abakada, had caused the letter "F" to be substituted with "P".

Although they were partly related to the nobility, the maharlikas were technically less free than the timawas because they could not leave a datu’s service without first hosting a large public feast and paying the datu between 6 and 18 pesos in gold – a large sum in those days.The modern Filipino identity, with its Austronesian roots, was developed in conjunction with Spanish, Chinese and American influences.The Philippines was a Spanish colony for 333 years, setting a foundation for contemporary Filipino culture.Mongoloid is the term which anthropologists applied to the ethnic group which migrated to Southeast Asia during the Holocene period and evolved into the Austronesian people (associated with the Haplogroup O1 (Y-DNA) genetic marker), a group of Malayo-Polynesian-speaking people including those from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Malagasy, the non-Chinese Taiwan Aboriginals.Fluctuations in ancient shorelines between 150,000 BC and 17,000 BC connected the Malay Archipelago region with Maritime Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Gray at the University of California, Los Angeles published in the journal Science, suggests that the population expansion of Austronesian peoples was triggered by rising sea levels of the Sunda shelf at the end of the last ice age.

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