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Namayan [Sapa / Maysapan / Nasapan]

Namayan reached its peak around the year 1175. The ancient Namayan, alternately referred to as Sapa, Maysapan or Nasapan after its capital which goes by those names, was one of three major "kingdoms" that dominated the area around the upper portion of the Pasig River and the coast of Laguna Lake in the Philippines before the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. Namayan is said to be the oldest of the three kingdoms, pre-dating the kingdoms of Tondo and Maynila.

The name of the city of Pasay, they say, came from the wail of a broken-hearted swain. Jose and Paz were in love with each other and were intent on a life together. But in those days their love was forbidden. Jose's father was one of many tenants of the hacienda of the father of Paz. Jose was ordered to stay away from Paz. Couldn't take the misery and misfortune, Paz died. At her funeral the elite came to mourn and pray. Jose stood at a distance, and when everybody left, dug a tunnel into the earth to be with her. Once joined, he let out a sharp and anguished cry "Paz-ay!" In sorrow and regret, the parents of Paz named their hacienda Paz-ay. In time the whole town came to be called Pasay. Historians have another explanation to the origin of name of the city. It is said that the Pasay was then thick with pasaw, a plant with an exotic aroma. It was said that a Spanish botanist, Antonio Pineda, frequented a place called Basal in the vicinity of San Rafael to gather pasaw.

There are other explanations to the nature of the name of Pasay but the most one given most weight is that it was named after a princess of the Namayan Kingdom, Dayang-dayang Pasay. The Namayan kingdom is the confederation of barangays which began to peak in 1175. It stretches from Manila Bay to Laguna de Bai. Dayang-dayang Pasay inherited the lands now comprising the territories of Culi-culi, Pasay and Baclaran. The royal capital of the kingdom was built in Sapa, known today as Santa Ana. The natives brought their products to the capital of Namayan. Trading flourished during the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. Merchants from the China, Moluccas, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, India, Siam, and Cambodia came to trade with the natives.

The city government of Makati confers today the Gawad Lakan Tagkan, the citys highest award of merit. The award was named after Lakan Tagkan, the pre-colonial ruler of the vast kingdom of Namayan in which Makati used to belong.

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Page last modified: 29-03-2012 19:03:03 ZULU