potetjp potetjp at
Thu Dec 16 17:17:57 UTC 1999

In Tagalog, the term for "north" is _hi[la]ga?_, and the term for "south" is
_[ti]mog_ (cf. Mal. _timur_ "east"!).
Two other terms, with the directional prefix _i-_, are used when direction
in a town is concerned:
_iba[ba?]_ and _i[la]ya_.
    In his Tagalog-English dictionary, Leo J. ENGLISH translates Tag.
_iba[ba?]_ (p. 674) as
1) the under part
2) the lower part
3) the opposite of the uptown district
and Tag. _i[la]ya_ (p. 686) as
1) interior part of a territory
2) the upper part of a town as contrasted with _ibaba?_ the lower part; the
northern part of a place.
    Noceda & Sanlucar (1754, 1860) define  _ibaba?_ (p. 152) as "_la parte
baja del pueblo _ (the lower part of a town)" and  _ilaya_ (p. 155) as "_la
parte superior del pueblo_ (the upper part of a town)" , then (p. 610) as
"_septentrion_ (north)".)   Besides San Buenventura (1613)  translates
_aRiba del rrio [arriba del rio]_ (upstream)" (p. 77) as _ilaya_, and
"_abajo de pueblo o de rio_ (dowstream)" (p. 3) as _ibaba_.
    So the older sources and the newer one concur in establishing the
following binary constrast:
lower/downstream/south/_ibaba?_ Vs upper/upstream/north/_ilaya_.
    Now, looking at the Tagalog region in a map of Luzon, I do not see so
many rivers running from the north to the south. except in the marshy delta
of the Rio Grande de Pampanga / Pampanga River in the northern part of
Manila Bay.
    Do you think this would indicate the original location of the Tagalogs
was in this area?
    On the other hand, I don't know where chieftains' mansions were located
in traditional Tagalog society. If their preferred location was
upstream/north/_ilaya_, hence cooler and easier to protect against pirates,
this would interestingly echo, in a different register, the position of the
imperial palace in the northern half  of  Heian-Kyo/Kyoto, planned on the
Chinese model of Chang'Ang/Xi'an (my source is  COLLCUTT, Martin et al.
1988), _The cultural atlas of Japan_, Oxford: Equinox).
    In other words, have we got here a universal pattern for town planning
or is this particular to Far-Eastern Asia?

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