HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 62 no. 1 (2016)

The Jawi Texts as Indigenous Written Heritage of Muslim Filipinos

Calbi A. Asain



This paper attempts to present the Jawi texts as an indigenous written heritage of Muslim Filipinos. It seeks to describe the Jawi as a native writing system and the messages or themes that it inscribes, which are its contents. The description also covers the provenance of the texts and who wrote and owned them. This way, the Jawi documents could trigger further research or investigation by anthropological and historical enthusiasts, who could disseminate new knowledge and truth about the Muslim Filipinos not only in Muslim Mindanao but also in other parts of the country. The native documents could also enrich and enhance both local and national historiographies involving Muslim Filipinos who played and continue to play crucial roles in history just like other Filipinos did and continue to do. More importantly, this attempt hopes to expound on the significance of the Jawi texts in understanding the culture and in interpreting the history of Muslim Filipinos as one of the distinct members of the national socio-cultural system – the nation being known as a melting pot of multifarious or diverse cultural communities. The Jawi documents could even shed light on the persistence of armed conflict between government and its perceived enemies in Muslim Mindanao. For such undertaking and other reasons, the Jawi texts should be considered as a tangible and intangible heritage of Muslim Filipinos.