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Old 5th July 2008, 08:56 PM   #11
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 521

From an article in the Inquirer on Arroyo's visit to New Dehli

Arroyo cites ancient Philippines-India ties

By Michael Lim Ubac
First Posted 01:54am (Mla time) 10/06/2007

Indian cultural influence reached the Philippines indirectly via two great Indo-Malayan empires which traded with the Philippines. The Sriwijaya Empire (7th to 13th centuries) based in Palembang, Sumatra, was a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism. The Majapahit Empire (1293 to 1527) was Hindu, and centered in Java in what is now Indonesia. Indian hegemony over Southeast Asia ended with the decline of the Majapahit in the 14th century and the rise of Islam.

Scholars believe that Indian cultural influence on Filipino culture has been underestimated. It extended through the indigenous religions, epic folk literature, myths, social customs, arts, crafts, traditional dress and Sanskrit roots of pre-Hispanic script and numerous contemporary words.

And as far as spice routes the Philippines were on the cloves route.

Cloves from Maluku and the southern Philippines went north to South China and Indochina and then south again along the coast to the Strait of Malacca. From there the cloves went to India spice markets and points further west. This north-south direction of commerce through the Philippines has recently been recognized by UNESCO as part of the ancient maritime spice route.from
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