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  Early Contacts
with Outsiders

When the Spaniards came to Cagayan in the second half of the sixteenth century, they discovered that the natives had long been in contact with the Chinese, the Indians and the Japanese. Attesting to this are the artifacts being unearthed today which are definitely dated to pre-Hispanic times, many linguistic elements present in the speech of the people which are clearly Chinese, Indian or Japanese origin, and the presence of a Japanese fleet at the mouth of the Cagayan River in 1581. The people in that fleet must have been traders who had come with no designs of conquest, for the natives did not resent their coming to their land, although the Spaniards thought differently. Like the Portuguese, like Limahong, like the Dutch and British of later years. Tayfusu and his man has no business encroaching on a land which had already been claimed in a solemn act for the king of Spain. Be that as it may, the fact remains that before the Spaniards came to Cagayan, the natives had already been in contact with foreigners who enriched their life and culture with encrustations from their own.


from Vignettes About Cagayan and the Cagayanos
by Msgr. Domingo Mallo-Peņaflor



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