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Theories on the Origin of the Philippines

The Ice Age Theory

During the Ice Age, glaciers stored portions of the water on the earth in the form of ice. This ice formation caused a drop in the world’s ocean levels. During this period, the Philippine archipelago was part of the continental landmass of Asia. Scholars believed that land bridges connected the Philippines to Asia.

When the Ice Age ended about 10,000 years ago, the ice formation melted and the ocean levels rose. The land connections to Southeast Asia became flooded. The flooding submerged the land bridges and created the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos. Since then, these islands had been populated by migrating people who traveled by boats. The migrants came mainly from Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. However, there were also migrants from the costs of Indochina and, to a lesser extent, from China and Taiwan.

The Bottom-of-the-Sea Theory

In 1976, Dr. Fritjof Voss, a German scientist, challenged the Ice Age theory. According to him, the Philippines was never a part of mainland Asia. Dr. Voss claimed that the Philippine islands were located directly above a fault in the earth’s crust. Powerful earthquakes pushed up the landmass from the ocean floor and the Philippine islands rose from the bottom of the ocean.

The Volcanic Eruption Theory

Another version on the origin of the Philippines is the volcanic eruption theory. Dr. Bailey Willis, a geologist, concluded that the Philippines was a result of the eruptions of submarine volcanoes along the western side of the Pacific basin. These eruptions caused magma and lava to pile up, forming the Philippine isles.

The Lost-Continent Theory

A group of geographers believed that the Philippines constitute the remains of a lost continent during prehistoric times. This continent had sunk below the ocean waters. However, a few portions of land – which now make up the Philippines – were left above water.
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