PRESIDENT Digong in some of his speeches would sometimes refer to what happened when Ferdinand Marcos was president. “Maharlika” reminds us of Marcos and his “Bagong Lipunan”. “Maharlika” was also the name of the guerilla unit with Macoy as the leader.
There was a movie that was filmed in the Philippines during the time of Marcos featuring Paul Burke, Farley Granger and the actress here is Dovie Beams. The role of Marcos was played by Burke ... an American actor playing the role of a Filipino. Dovie played the role of Evelyn, a daughter of President Manuel Quezon.
One night in 1968, Dovie met Ferdie, the real financier of “Maharlika”. Dovie said she was 21 but she was really 38. As alleged, Marcos landed on Dovie and earned him a name “sexual athlete” according to journalist Stanley Karnow. To make the story short, Imelda discovered the scandal. The shooting was long but the movie was not shown in the Philippines, the only Christian nation in Asia.
“Maharlika” could be Malay or Sankrit in origin ... “nobly created or great nation”. Could it be a substitute for “Las Islas Filipinas”? Historians believed that in our precolonial political organization in society, there could have been the nobles who were said to have occupied the highest place in society. They could be the tribal chieftains and their respective families. Next, we have the freemen who did not belong to the chieftain’s family.
The third group was the dependents who occupied the lowest place in precolonial society. This could not be the real scenario in all the islands considering that there was no unified state then, only independent chiefdoms and tribes.
This group of nobility could be the “Maharlika” and their dependents were slaves, the “alipin”. There could be “aliping namamahay” who served the “maharlikas” during planting and harvesting seasons and performed other related tasks. After the work, they went back to their families.
The “aliping sagigilid” had no property, lived with their masters, and could not even marry without the consent of the “maharlika”. Good masters could grant them liberty for good work in war and peace. They could become freemen. We call it as social mobility.
It is perceived (history or mere legend) that in 1433, Datu Kalantiaw wrote a collection of laws, “The Code of Kalantiaw”. The code was strictly enforced for the precolonial classes. Of course, Kalantiaw belonged to the “maharlika” class. We also have the “Story of the Ten Borneans” who landed in Irong-irong (the beach of San Joaquin).
Some foreign historians do not believe on this. Arlene Alunan, the tourism officer of San Joaquin, said that she is the great, great grandchild of Datu Puti. She is of noble blood, a “maharlika”. With all these, can we be “Maharlikans” living in the Federal Republic of Maharlika? The choice is yours.