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Origin Of The Word BISAYA

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by , 11-30-2011 at 04:31 PM (9515 Views)
Several theories were put forward by several researchers regarding the origin of the word Bisaya:

  1. Beyer H.O. in 1926, Hester E.D. in 1954 and Harrison in 1956 suggested that the name may have come from the empire of Sri Vijaya (Sonza, 1972). However, in 1960, Eugene Vestraelen (a Professor of Linguistics at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City) cautioned that linguistic derivation of VIJAYA would not be BISAYA but BIDAYA or BIRAYA.
  2. In 1960, John Carol suggested that the name originated from a culture hero named Sri Visaya. Derek Headly (1950) recorded that Bornean Bisaya legend which says that the Sultan of Brunei, upon seeing the beautiful land of Bisaya, exclaimed Bisai-yah! meaning How beautiful!
  3. Suhaili A. Shatar (1961) recorded from Sultan Tunku Laksamana Ishak Ismail Jalil bin Sultan OKK Setia Pahlawan Awang Kassim, the word Bisaya came from the sentence of ‘Mabisa Iyo’ which means ‘that guy looks so great and handsome’. Later the pronunciation change into ‘bisa iya’. In the end, comes the word ‘bisaya’.
  4. Sonza (1972) asked the question, " Did the Bisayas of the Philippines originate from the Borneo? So did anthropologists and historians for many years.
  5. Even the Visaya in Philippines did not considered themselves as the indigenous. They believe that the migration of the Bisaya people from borneo was the one who helped them to protect their lives. ‘Si lapu-lapu’ was the person who responsible of the revolution in Visaya island. It was believe that ‘Si lapu-lapu’ was sent by the Borneo Rulers at that time to free the people of Visaya Island from their cruel king. Lapu-Lapu was the king of Mactan, an island in the Visayas, Philippines, who is known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted Spanish colonization. He is the Philippines first national hero. He also can call as 'Datu Lapu-Lapu'. Lapu-lapu is the word from grouper fish in the Philippines. Datu or datto is the title for chieftains and monarchs in the Philippines.
  6. On April 27, 1521, When Ferdinand Magellan "discovered" the Philippines and landed in Cebu, he ordered Filipinos to honour the king of Spain. Warriors of Lapu-Lapu refused his demand, defeated and killed Ferdinand Magellan at the Battle of Mactan.
  7. In 1970, there were more than 10 millions Bisayas estimated to live in the Philippines compared to about 14 thousand in Sabah and 3312 in Sarawak.
3nZ0y, tamseku and Crinkles11 like this.


  1. tamseku's Avatar
    nice info...
  2. machinecult's Avatar


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