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AP in English: Pinagmulan ng Pagkakabuo ng Pilipinas Batay sa Teorya, Mitolohiya, at Relihiyon

An English version of the Araling Panlipunan lesson "Pinagmulan ng Pagkakabuo ng Pilipinas Batay sa Teorya, Mitolohiya, at Relihiyon" complete with a quick summary and review questions. Based on DepEd AP modules.


  • Quick Summary — what this lesson is all about, in our own words
  • Araling Panlipunan in English — the lesson Pinagmulan ng Pagkakabuo ng Pilipinas Batay sa Teorya, Mitolohiya, at Relihiyon, based on the DepEd module, but in English
  • Review — sample test questions to help you remember what you’ve learned

Quick Summary

This short lesson is about how the Philippines came to be. There’s a separate lesson that covers the origins of the people who first populated the Philippines. This lesson is specifically about the land of the Philippines.

There are a lot of stories and theories about the origin of the Philippines but what you need to remember is that there are three types of explanations: theory, mythology, and religion.

Let’s start with the easiest and shortest explanation first: that of religion.

Basically, religion says that God created the whole word, and that of course includes the Philippines. And that’s it. God made the Philippines.

The next shortest type of explanation is that of mythology.

The Philippines has a lot of ethnic groups – for example, the Ifugao, the Tausug, the Bisaya, the Tagalog – and practically every ethnic group has its own creation myth. The creation stories involve things like giants and birds and even…dead skin. (Yep, dead skin. Which is actually a lot less icky than the one involving pee. Gah.) In the DepEd lesson that we’ve translated to English below, three creation myths are mentioned: one starring three giants, another one simply about a claw, and…the dead skin one.

Finally, there are the scientific explanations: the theories.

Before we go into those, just remember that, obviously, there wasn’t something like a video crew documenting the creation of the world. We don’t have eyewitness accounts, and so our scientists have had to figure out how the world came to be based on their observations, discoveries, things they’ve dug up, and techniques like radiometric dating and DNA sequencing. As more things are discovered, and better technology is developed, our scientific theories evolve. And they will continue to evolve! The science we study in school today is not the exact same science our parents learned decades ago, and our kids and grandkids will surely be learning about different things as well. So the theories that you’re learning now are just our best explanations based on the things we know so far.

Also, another thing to keep in mind is that while these are different theories, with different names, they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive. It’s not like if one theory is correct, then the others are wrong. These theories can complement each other; all of them may have actually occurred, just at different points in time. Got it?

Okay, then. The scientific theories about the formation of the Philippines are as follows:

  • Continental drift and tectonic plates – This theory basically says that the islands of the Philippines are chips off a supercontinent that existed millions of years ago called Pangaea. Over time, that enormous land mass broke up and drifted apart, until we have the land masses that we have today.
  • Volcanic origin – This theory basically says that undersea volcanoes erupted and gave rise to the Philippine islands.
  • Land bridges – This theory basically says that the Philippines used to be connected to mainland Asia by land bridges but then the sea levels rose and the land bridges disappeared.

(By the way, sorry for repeatedly saying “this theory basically says that.” It’s just that the more basic things are, the easier they seem to be to understand.)

This will all probably seem more interesting to you if you didn’t have to learn it for school. If you do want to read more about it, you can Google the geologic origins of the Philippines.

One last term you have to know: continental shelf. The DepEd lesson gives its own definition, but here are some definitions of “continental shelf” that are easier to understand (plus a bit of extra info):

  • the water-covered edge of a continent
  • the area of the bottom of the ocean near the coast of a continent, where the sea is not very deep
  • “A continental shelf is the edge of a continent that lies under the ocean. Continents are the seven main divisions of land on Earth. A continental shelf extends from the coastline of a continent to a drop-off point called the shelf break. From the break, the shelf descends toward the deep ocean floor in what is called the continental slope.” (National Geographic)

Araling Panlipunan in English (Lesson Based on DepEd Module)

There are different types of explanations regarding how the Philippines was formed: theory, mythology, and religion.

Teorya (Theory)

A theory is an explanation about a phenomenon or event that is considered as correct or accurate and can be used as a principle of explanation or prediction.

  • In his Continental Drift theory, Alfred Wegener proposed the existence of a large land mass called Pangaea 240 million years ago.
  • Related to this is the belief that there are large, thick chunks of land called tectonic plates. Rotation and movement of heat in the asthenosphere (mantle) under the tectonic plates cause the tectonic plates to move away from, forward, and sideways to each other (palayo, pasulong, at pagilid).
  • According to Bailey Willis in his Teorya ng Bulkanismo (Theory of Volcanism) or Pacific Theory, the Philippines was formed by the eruption of volcanoes under the ocean.
  • The Teoryang Tulay na Lupa (Land Bridges Theory) says that the Philippines used to be part of the continental shelf of Southeast Asia, and that land bridges connected the islands to each other. The lower parts of the land bridges then sank when the ice melted and the water level rose 250,000 years ago. (Continental shelf – mga tipak ng lupa sa ilalim ng katubigang nakakabit sa mga kontinente – submarine land masses attached to continents)

Mitolohiya (Mythology)

Mythology refers to elaborate stories (sali-salimuot na kuwento) whose purpose is to explain the symbol of the essential framework of life.

  • According to mythology, there were three giants who fought with stones and handfuls of earth. They fell into the sea and thus formed the Philippine archipelago.
  • The Bagobo people believe that the Philippines was created by the god Melu from the dirt and dead skin from his body.
  • Meanwhile, the Manobo believe that the world was made from the claws of their god.

Relihiyon (Religion)

In religious beliefs, a powerful God created the whole world, including the Philippines.

Further Reading


Sample test questions to help you remember what you've learned. Our goal here is for you to LEARN, pressure! Feel free to go back to the text if there's something that you've forgotten. However, if you'd like a printable version of these questions so you can really test your memory, you can download the PDF worksheet here:

1. This is the name of the large landmass that existed 240 million years ago.

a. Asthenosphere

b. Continent

c. Pangea

d. Tectonics

2. This is the theory that says the Philippines came from large chunks of land that broke apart several hundred million years ago.

a. Teorya ng Tulay na Lupa (Land Bridges Theory)

b. Teorya ng Bulkanismo (Theory of Volcanism or Pacific Theory)

c. Continental Drift Theory (Teorya ng Continental Drift)

d. Tectonic Plates Theory

3. This is the theory that says that the Philippines used to be an extension of Southeast Asia.

a. Teorya ng Continental Drift (Continental Drift Theory)

b. Teorya ng Tulay na Lupa (Land Bridges Theory)

c. Teorya ng Ebolusyon (Theory of Evolution)

d. Teorya ng Bulkanismo (Theory of Volcanism or Pacific Theory)

4. According to this theory, the lands of the Philippines were formed from the eruption of volcanoes under the ocean.

a. Teorya ng Tulay na Lupa (Land Bridges Theory)

b. Teorya ng Ebolusyon (Theory of Evolution)

c. Teorya ng Continental Drift (Continental Drift Theory)

d. Teorya ng Bulkanismo (Theory of Volcanism or Pacific Theory)

5. He proposed the theory that the earth’s surface was formed from a supercontinent.

a. Alfred Einstein

b. Alfred Wegener

c. Bailey Willis

d. Charles Darwin

6. Which of the following refers to an intricate story whose purpose is to explain the symbol of the important structures of life?

a. Mythology

b. Religion

c. Situation

d. Theory

7. According to religious belief, man was created by a powerful being called _________.

a. Fire

b. God

c. Air

d. Water

8. They believe that the Philippines is from the womb of their god Melu.

a. Badjao

b. Bagobo

c. Igorot

d. Manobo

9. Which American scientist proposed the Pacific Theory?

a. Alfred D. Wegener

b. Bailey Willis

c. Henry Otley Beyer

d. Robert Fox

10. These are submarine land masses attached to continents.

a. Continental shelf

b. Fossilized materials

c. Tectonic slate

d. Volcanic materials

Araling Panlipunan in English