Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue 32, July 2013

Money, Weights and Measures in the Philippines at the turn of the Sixteenth Century

Malcolm Mintz

The early monetary system of the region, promoted by the Spanish and incorporating both Spanish and Bikol terms and values, is the basis of Section 1 which begins this paper. Examined are not only the terms, but their origin, history and relationship to terms found in the other languages of the central Philippines. Closely associated with this is the next section which discusses gold and the extensive system of weights used to determine its value and equivalences. Included here is an attempt to determine the source of relevant terms and unravel their complex relationship in a system of indigenous and borrowed values.
In Section 3 is a detailled discussion of weights and balances, their origin, type and use in commercial transactions. The system of numbers and counting forms the content of Section 4. Discussed here are the cardinal and ordinal numbers, basic calculations, and the limited set of numerical classifiers which were found, relating primarily to items of agriculture. There has been some noticeable change over time in the way numbers are counted, and an attempt is made here to explain the basis of these early systems and changes.
Linear measurement is discussed in Section 5, from smaller measurements in which parts of the body were used, to larger measurements involved in building and surveying. Also mentioned are some of the errors which might occur in trying to achieve proper measurement and the remedies needed to rectify this. The paper concludes with a section on volume measurement which was used primarily in the exchange of marketable commodities and the relationship between local and borrowed terms and systems.
1. Currency
Gold was plentiful in the Philippines at the turn of the sixteenth century. While much of it was fashioned into items of adornment it also had a use in commerce. Goods for sale were given an equivalent value in gold which enabled them to either be bought for the stated amount in gold or silver, or bartered for items with the same or similar value. It wasn't, however, until after the arrival of the Spanish that a true monetary system was introduced and began to take hold.[1]
1. Currency
(i) Spanish Terms
As might be expected, the Spanish system which was introduced used Spanish terms. The system of equivalents which developed, however, did not have strict reference only to other Spanish terms but also to Bikol terms, some of which had been used traditionally for gold. In other words, what resulted was a mixed system which had both internal and external referents. This was further complicated by equivalents which changed over time and differed from place to place.
The main unit of currency which was introduced was the reál , a silver coin with the English meaning 'royal'. This was a unit of currency which first came about in fourteenth century Castile and had an unchangeable fixed weight of 3.35 grams of silver.[2] It was this currency which was used for external commerce.
    reá l Spanish silver coin; 1 reál = 4 cuartíllo, 6 bangatíˈ, 8 kundíng, 16 alimaymáy ; 25 céntimos de peséta, 34 maravedís; 2 reál = 1 bintíng; 3 reál = 3 bahágiˈ; 4 reál = 1 salapíˈ; 8 reál = 1 péso [SP‑ ]
For internal commerce a more flexible unit was created and called the real de vellon, literally the 'bullion real',[3] which is described as part 'imaginary' and partly a mixture of silver and brass.[4] While the value of this unit was changeable, its worth agreed on for use in particular contracts and exchanges, it also had an inherent value which was that of an alloy less valuable than pure silver.
To distinguish the two types of real we begin to get in Mexico the term real fuerte 'the strong real' which refers to the pure silver real and which takes on a fixed value of 2.5 real de vellon.[5]This becomes important in the Philippines where we see references, using Bikol terms, to 'a real of lesser value'.
The real had Spanish equivalents referred to and used in the Philippines. A one quarter part of a real was referred to as a cuartillo and, therefore, 4 cuartillo was equivalent to 1 real,[6] this particular denomination being introduced in Spain in 1566.[7] The cuartillo must have referred to one quarter of both the real fuerte and the real de vellon depending of which unit was being referenced at the time (see Section 1(ii)).
    cuartíllo Spanish coin, equal to ¼ reál or 2 kundíng [MDL]
The maravedí had its beginnings in twelfth-century Spain, the name coming from the Arabic Mur b and referring to the Berber dynasty, the Almoravids, who after conquering Morocco and the western part of Algeria, annexed Spanish territory to the south of Toledo and Saragossa.[8] The maravedí went through any number of reevaluations, eventually being incorporated into the Spanish monetary system in 1475 and given the value of 1/34 of a real de vellon. One real de vellon, then is equivalent to 34 maravedí.[9]
The maravedí is not a term which appears in Lisboa, and its use in modern Bikol, where the plural form, marevedís, rendered as marábiles, is strictly historical.
    marábiles old Spanish coin worth ½ centavo [SP‑ maravedí]
The peso came into being in Spain at the end of the fifteenth century (1497) during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella[10] and circulated in the Philippines with an original value of 8 real. This was traditionally referred to as 'pieces of eight'.[11]
While the peseta wasn't introduced in Spain until 1868, replacing the peso as part of that country's monetary reform,[12] the term itself was not new. It had been used from the seventeenth century to refer to a value of 2 real and later 4 real de vellón.[13] In the Philippines, the peseta had an equivalent value of 1/5th of a peso. One peso, then, was equivalent to 5 peseta.[14] Pesétas referred to a 20 centavo coin.
Other introduced terms were the centavo which was 1/100 of a peso (1 peso = 100 centavos) and the céntimo, which was 1/100 of a peseta (1 peseta = 100 céntimos). The unit referred to as céntimos de peséta was equivalent to 1/25 real.
    péso peso, pesos; pésos pesos; monetary unit equivalent to 5 pesétas or 100 centavo; historically 1 péso = 8 reál [SP‑ ]

    céntimos de peséta Spanish Monetary unit, equal to 1/25 of a reál [MDL]

    pesétas twenty centavo coin [SP‑ peseta Spanish monetary unit]
The tostón, another Spanish unit of currency in the Philippines, and common in Southeast Asia, had its origins in Renaissance Italy as the Italian testone.[15] This had a value in the Philippines of 4 real or ½ peso. The introduction of the tostón in the Philippines comes most likely from Malacca where the Portuguese used the tostão as a unit of silver currency.[16] The common reference for the tostón in the Philippines was the salapíˈ (see Section 1(ii)).
    tostón silver coin worth 50 cents; 1 tostón = 1 salapíˈ, 4 reál or ½ péso [MDL]

1. Currency
(ii) Bikol Terms
We now leave the currency introduced with Spanish terms and turn to the some of the Bikol equivalents. What must have been the real de vellon was referred to in Bikol as saikapát or sikapát. It was defined as 'one real of lesser value' worth 1/20 peso. We can see the chain of equivalence: 1 real fuerte =2.5 real de vellon; 1 real fuerte = 1/8 peso and therefore 1 real de vellon = 1/20 peso.
The morphology of the Bikol term is interesting. Apát 'four' is preceded by sa and the prefix ika‑. Ika‑ is a numerical prefix which creates ordinal from cardinal numbers (see Section 4 (i)). Ika‑ + apát (here shortened to ikapát) means 'fourth'. The particle sa has a locative function, here meaning 'to'. The literal meaning of saikapát is then 'referring to the fourth'. Wherever this term appears, it refers to ¼ salapíˈ.[17]
    saikapát or sikapát 1 reál of 'lesser value', worth 1/20 péso; TIG‑ or MANG‑: manaikapát or manikapát one reál each [MDL]

    ika‑ numerical affix, ordinal numbers: tuló three, ikatuló third [+MDL: an ikaduwá the second; an ikatló the third; an ikapúloˈ the tenth; an ikapúloˈ kagsaróˈ the eleventh; an ikaduwáng púloˈ the twentieth]

    sa locative marker occurring before general nouns, equivalent to the English prepositions 'at', 'by', 'in', 'into', 'from', 'through', 'to', 'on', 'onto', 'upon', 'with' (among) ... [+MDL: sa lángit in the sky; sa simbáhan in the church; ... sa háwak in the body; sa kalág part of the spirit ...]
This same pattern is repeated in Tagalog, Kapampangan, Hiligaynon and Waray for the meaning 1/8 salapíˈ, equivalent to ½ real. The full form here is saikawaló.[18] Waló means 'eight'. There were various shortened forms which were in common use. For Tagalog these were sikoló[19] and saikwaló,[20] and for Kampangan, Hiligaynon and Waray sikawaló.[21] Lisboa does not include this form for Bikol.
The cuartillo, in addition to its value of ¼ real, was also equivalent to 2 kundíng. This term was probably borrowed into Bikol from Tagalog where it is had a full set of affix possibilities.[22] The entry in Lisboa's Vocabulario is far shorter and more limited, as is Mentrida's entry for Hiligaynon.[23] Bergaño for Kapampangan lists a different set of values for the kundíng which is worth 1/6 real.[24]
Kundíng is just one of many terms which has come into Bikol, most likely via Tagalog, and which Tagalog has itself borrowed from Malay. Manila was a centre of the commerce which spread out west and east across the South China Sea. It would have been influenced by these trading relationships, many with the Malay world, and would, in turn, have influenced other nearby regions of the Philippines.
Retana has an interesting discussion of the form and possible origin of kundíng.[25] The closest equivalent to kundíng is the form condín which Ferdinand Blumentritt cites in his Vocabular.[26] Retana mentions that this citation is a deliberate attempt by Blumentritt to adjust this word to both the Philippine and Chinese sound systems, the Philippine languages being the borrowers and Chinese being the supposed donor. The more common forms are condrín and contrín, forms also found as headwords in the Diccionario de la lengua española. There is one further citation by Retana, and that is to a work by R. Irureta Goyena.[27] The form cited here is conderín, and it is this form which Retana takes as the more authoritative, dismissing the others. To add to the confusion, condrín and conderín are given a weight of just over 37 centigrams and contrín, 39 centigrams. External equivalents, cited by Goyena and Feodor Jagor[28] are 1 tael or 10 mas (amás) (see Section 2).
If we look at the Malay world we find the Malay kenderi and the Minangkabau kundi refer to the biji saga, the fruits of the jequirity vine used in the weighing of gold.[29] In other words, this is the same as the Bikol bangatíˈ discussed in detail in Section 2. Winstedt attributes kenderi to a borrowing from Tamil and gives the English rendering of candareen, a form which might account for the various citations in Blumentritt, Retana and the Spanish dictionaries.[30]
    kundíng monetary unit; 1 kundíng = ½ cuartíllo, 1/8 real or 2 alimaymáy; MANG‑ or TIG‑ one kundíng each [MDL]
The Philippine monetary measure referred to as alimaymáy was worth half the value of a kundíng or 1/16 of a real. This term is also found in Tagalog[31] where the value is given as ¼ cuartillo, the same value as in Bikol, and it is possible the term was borrowed from there.
Alimaymáy is a morphologically complex entry in both Bikol and Tagalog, comprising what is probably a fossilised prefix of the form ali(N)-[32] and a root word of the form maymáy or possibly baybáy. The prefix may once have shown an implied or overt comparison to something based on the meaning of the root word. Unfortunately, the root word in this case has no independent meaning in Bikol and no relevant independent meaning in Tagalog, and the prefix is now only found fixed to specific words and no longer functions independently.
    alimaymáy monetary measure: 1 alimaymáy = ½ kundíng or 1/16 reál [MDL]
The real also had a Bikol equivalent, the bahágiˈ. There is only one form listed in Lisboa and that is 3 bahágiˈ (tulóng bahágiˈ). This appears to be the only form used in relation to the real and it is found again in Kapampangan and Tagalog[33] where Gaspar de San Agustin equates the meaning to 'three parts of a tostón'.
    bahágiˈ: tulóng bahágiˈ three reals [MDL]
Bintíng is another monetary unit in Bikol which, like the bahágiˈ, has only one meaning, and that is 'two silver reals'. Tagalog and Kapampangan also record the same meaning.[34] Ilokano also has bintíng as a vocabulary item with a value of 25 centavos, possibly current.[35] This is actually the same value of 1 bintíng in Bikol, Tagalog and Kapampangan. We can see the equivalences here: 8 real = 1 peso = 100 centavos; therefore 2 real = ¼ peso = 25 centavos.
    bintíng two reals of silver; MANG‑ to give each person two reals of silver; ‑ON to have the value of two reals of silver; halagáng bintíng a price of two reals [MDL]
The salapíˈ was a silver coin that had a value equal to that of the tostón, and that was 50 centavos. In the Bikol region, as was the case in other regions of the Philippines, it was essentially the term used in place of the tostón (see Section 1(i)).[36] Other equivalents are shown in the entry itself below. The term still retains this value in relation to the modern peso.
    salapíˈ fifty centavos, half-peso; MANG‑ to give fifty centavos to each person [MDL: silver coin worth 50 cents; 1 salapíˈ = 1 tostón, 4 reál or ½ péso; saróng salapíˈ four reals; MANG‑: manalapíˈ four reals each; MAGKA‑ to have a lot of money]
It is interesting to speculate on the origin of salapíˈ. Juan José Noceda in his Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala[37] has no headword entry for salapíˈ although the term appears in numerous examples throughout the dictionary. There is a headword entry for sálap which means 'to pay'. While it is tempting to accept sálap as the root of salapíˈ, it is not easy to explain the addition of the ‑i suffix as this is not part of the Tagalog system of affixes. There is also a question of the glottal stop ( ' ) and movement of stress from penultimate to final position. It is just as likely that sálap is a back formation and the original form is salapíˈ. Salapíˈ was not only the equivalent of the tostón, but was also used generally in Tagalog to mean 'money', thereby giving it what was probably widespread usage.
If we look at the Malay world from which so many of the terms for gold and, by extension, money originated, we find a listing in both the John Crawfurd and William Marsden dictionaries for selápis.[38] The root here is lápis which means 'fold' or 'layer'. (Stress in Malay is predictable and therefore not shown in the standard writing system. It is shown here for purposes of clarification). While this meaning can be literal, referring to folds of cloth or paper, it can also be extended to refer to numbers or amounts: tíga lápis 'three fold' or 'three times', líma lápis 'five fold' or 'five times', sepúluh lápis 'ten fold' or 'ten times', etc. Selápis is a 'single fold' or simply 'single'. How then would this appear if borrowed into the languages of the central Philippines?
In a number of Malay dialects, the final s becomes h (also see Section 2). If one of these dialects were the donor language, then selápis would be borrowed as selápih. Languages of the central Philippines have no words ending in h. This final sound could have been deleted, as will be argued in the case of tíga belás in Section 2, or could have been replaced by a glottal stop resulting in selápiˈ. The schwa (ə) in central Philippine languages would be represented by a: salápiˈ. Movement of the stress from penultimate to final position cannot be explained. As for the association of a word meaning 'single' or 'single fold' with the silver coin equivalent to the tostón this can be explained if the tostón is seen as a basic unit of currency, divisible into smaller units. This does appear to be the case; see bintíng and bahágiˈ above. Salapíˈ was probably borrowed once, by one of the Philippine languages, very possibly Tagalog, and then adopted subsequently by other languages of the region as the need for such a term arose.
The only one of the real equivalents presented in Section 1(i) which has not yet been discussed is the bangatíˈ. The reference here is to both the plant, the jequirity vine, and its seeds, but it is only the seeds which were relevant in the weighing of gold and silver. As a measure of what was probably an agreed exchange, 6 bangatíˈ was equivalent to 1 real. There is, however, another set of equivalents worth one quarter of this exchange. By weight alone, 24 bangatíˈ could be exchanged for 1 real. What we are dealing with here is probably the difference between an 'imaginary' or agreed system of exchange and that based purely on weight. In other words, the weight of 24 bangatíˈ may have been closely equivalent to the 3.35 grams of silver in 1 real. This parallels the differences between the real fuerte and the real de vellon although the equivalent values are different.
The weight of 1 bangatíˈ was clearly negligible, as can be seen in the example included in the Lisboa dictionary: Mínsan sa bangatíˈ daˈí akóng taˈdón saímo I won't even give you a bangatíˈ. Winstedt gives the weight of the biji saga, the equivalent of the Bikol bangatíˈ, at 1½ to 2 grains, making 24 bangatíˈ equivalent to between 2.3 and 3.1 grams.[39] This is not the 3.35 grams of silver we might have hoped for, although Winstedt also indicates that Troy weights differed formerly and this might account for the difference we see using modern conversion tables.
    bangatíˈ jequirity vine (typ‑ slender, annual vine, producing small, colored seeds half black and half red, used for making necklaces; Abrus precatorius) [+MDL: bangatíˈ used as weights for measuring gold and silver: 3 bangatíˈ = ½ reál; 6 bangatíˈ = 1 reál; by weight alone: 24 bangatíˈ = 1 reál; 6 bangatíˈ = ¼ reál or 1 cuartíllo; MA‑, ‑ON to buy s/t using bangatíˈ or ½ reál; MA‑, I‑ to offer an equivalent amount in bangatíˈ in exchange for s/t; MA‑, ‑AN to buy from s/o using bangatíˈ as a medium of exchange; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to sell s/t by weight measured in bangatíˈ; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to sell s/o s/t using bangatíˈ; SA: sa bangatíˈ the weight of 1 bangatíˈ: Mínsan sa bangatíˈ daˈí akóng taˈdón saímo I won't even give you a bangatíˈ]
If the bangatíˈ were to be used in commercial exchange, then there had to be some consistency in the selection of seeds to guarantee a uniformity of weight. Fruit of the jequirity vine which produced imperfect seeds (písaˈ) would be rejected, and the smaller, immature seeds (dampóton), would be left to ripen until the mature fruit (lubgás) was ready for harvest.
    písaˈ fruit of the jequirity vine (bangatíˈ) which produces imperfect seeds [MDL]

    dampót ‑ON: dampóton seeds of the jequirity vine when small; when mature the seeds are called bangatíˈ; used for weighing gold [MDL]

    lubgás MA‑ fruit of the jequirity vine (bangatíˈ) when large and full of seeds [MDL]
There are some general entries to conclude this section. Silver, the metal and, thus, the material of which the reals were made, is pírak. In modern Bikol, this may also take on the meaning of 'money' in general, although this is not common.
    pírak silver; money [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mix other metals with silver; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to alloy silver with other metals; ‑ON: pinipirák to be valued on the basis of silver)]
When a larger coin was given in payment and change was expected, the term suklíˈ was, and still is, used. This is where smaller denominations would be useful and it is possible that the mix of Spanish and Bikol terms became accepted through this type of exchange. There could be no guarantee that those one did business with would have Spanish coins if change were required and local equivalents must have developed to fill this need.
    suklíˈ change (money); MAG‑, I‑ to give s/t as change; MAG‑, ‑AN to change s/t (as a dollar bill); to give s/o change [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to change a larger denomination coin for smaller amounts; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give change for a larger denomination]
While there were weighing scales (see Section 3), it was not always the case that one was present when business transactions were being carried out. This is where experience came in, and to estimate the true weight of coins, such as the silver real, it would be held in the hand (takgóy).
    takgóy MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to hold s/t with the hand to see how much it weighs (such as silver reals worth 1/8 peso) [MDL]
Money, in the form of coins, had to be carried somewhere safe and preferably out of sight, and these could have been placed in a cloth pouch (untón) which was tied around the waist. When gold, or silver coins, were carried in such a way they were referred to as lúbok.
    untón cloth sash tied around the waist in which one tucks a dagger; cloth pouch where one carries money; MAG‑ to use such a sash or pouch; MA‑ to tie such a sash around s/o's waist [MDL]

    lúbok gold, or silver coins, which one carries secured around the waist or in a pocket; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry such gold or coins [MDL]

2. Gold
The Bikol region always had gold. This is what originally attracted the Spanish to the region. Sailing from Leyte in 1567, they called at Masbate where they discovered the gold mines that were to bring them back two years later.[40] A subsequent expedition left from Manila, crossed overland from Laguna to the Pacific coast of Luzon near Mauban, and then traveled by boat to what is now Camarines Norte, reaching the gold mines of Paracale in 1571.[41]
The Bikol term for gold, buláwan, is based on its colour, buláw. In addition to this general term, there were numerous other terms that referred to gold by its purity, weight, and variation in hue. Gold was processed into different items of adornment, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, beads, belts, rings and chains of various thicknesses and length. Terms for working and smelting gold were extensive. The concern in this chapter, however, is with how gold was used in commerce and was able to fit into a developing monetary system.
    buláwan gold [+MDL: laglág na buláwan liquefied gold; MA‑, ‑ON to appraise the value of s/t in gold; to pay for s/t with gold; MAKA‑, MA‑ to discover gold; MA‑ describing one possessing gold; PAGKA‑ the quality of the gold]

    buláw sandy colored, gold colored; blond; albino; ‑ON describing s/t with this color; MÁGIN to become blond; ‑AN gold [+MDL: having sandy colored or blond hair]
A measure of gold was referred to by the term amás, which is not a term native to Bikol. While it was most likely borrowed directly or indirectly from Malay (emas)[42] where it referred in classical literature to a unit of currency with a weight of 1/16 tael of gold[43] its origins go back to Sanskrit. The Sanskrit form, māşa, refers primarily to a type of mung bean (Phaseolus radiatus).[44] It does, however, have a number of secondary meanings including reference to a particular weight of gold. Much as in Bikol where the seeds of jequirity vine (bangatí) were used to measure the weight of gold (see Section 1(ii)) it appears as if the mung bean may also have served the same purpose in ancient India.
    amás a measure of gold, equivalent to 1/16 of a tael; a mace of gold; KA‑ a measure of 1 amás; 1 kaamás = 16 bangatíˈ; 6 kaamás = 1 tigambalá; 16 kaamás = 1 baˈsíng [MDL]
Added to the root word amás is the prefix KA‑ which could be placed before nouns when they were counted (see Section 4(iii)). This grammatical form, found in the Lisboa dictionary, and referred to in the Arte de la lengua Bicol is no longer in use in modern Bikol.[45]
    ka‑ numerical prefix used before selected nouns when counting: Pirá katáwo? How many people?; saróˈ kadúlay one water urn; duwá kahárong two households; tuló kabuláw three gánta; tuló katagáˈ three words; other words commonly taking this affix are: gahín, síring, tadyáw, etc. [MDL]
The term tael referred originally to a unit of weight which was used in trade with China. Its equivalent was the Chinese liăng or 'ounce'. It later became a basis for monetary exchange with the value of a standard weight of silver whose value itself changed with the value of this metal. The form tael is Portuguese, but the origin is the Malay tahil which referred originally to a particular weight of tin.[46]
The tael had a Bikol equivalent, and this was the baˈsíng also used in calculating the weight of gold. It, like the tael, was equivalent to 16 kaamás. The same term was also found across the Visayas, in Hiligaynon, Cebuano and Waray.[47]
    baˈsíng measure of weight equivalent to 1 tael or 16 kaamás (see amás); once used in calculating the weight of gold; ‑AN: babaˈsíngan the weight used to measure 1 tael of gold; sang baˈsíng 1 tael of gold; duwáng baˈsíng 2 taels of gold; SANG‑‑ON: to value s/t at 1 tael of gold; MANGANG‑ to have 1 tael of gold each [MDL]
We now come to tigambalá, equal to 6 kaamás, an entry which is morphologically complex. This form appears one more time in the data and that is in the entry for padúniˈ: padúniˈ sa duwá katigang balá 'a measure of gold equivalent to 12 amás', or, in other words, twice the value of 1 tigambalá.
    tigambalá a weight of 6 amás or six-sixteenths of a tael of gold; var‑ tigang balá [MDL]

    padúniˈ measure of gold; padúniˈ sa duwá katigang balá measure of gold equivalent to 12 amás; padúniˈ sa duwá kalímang amás measure of gold equivalent to 10 amás; padúniˈ sa duwá kakamandáhom measure of gold equivalent to 5 amás [MDL]
If we reexamine tigambalá in light of this comparison, we come out with the form tigang balá, which is also found elsewhere in Lisboa, although not in the main dictionary, but in the Spanish-Bikol vocabulary. The change of the velar nasal ‑ng is clearly explainable through assimilation to the following consonant. The real problem is determining the meaning of the components. There are two words here which are most likely tiga + balá and these are joined by the linker ‑ng. There is no clue to the stress placement on tiga or if it might end in a glottal stop since this consonant, an exception to the general rule, would be deleted and then accept the ‑ng linker; other words ending in a consonant would take the linker na.
If we look at the information available for Tagalog we find the entries tigambalá[48] and tigangbalá,[49] also equivalent to 6 amás. We also find tinggang balá which, in addition to meaning 6 amás, is also given the equivalent of 3 reals and 3 cuartillo (3¾ reals).[50] These are true equivalents, each referring to 37.5% of a tael; 1 tael = 10 real.
Tigambalá and tigangbalá in Tagalog are clearly the same entries as the Bikol, but this is probably not the case with tinggang balá. If we remove the linker from tinggang we come out with the entry tinggá meaning 'lead' or 'tin', and generalised in some contexts to mean 'weight'. We might speculate that tiga had no particular meaning for Tagalog speakers, and this form was reinterpreted and replaced by a word that fit the context of weight, namely tinggá. What then is the meaning of tiga and balá?
There is a possibility that both of these words are borrowings from Malay which is not only the source for amás but also a number of other gold weights introduced below. The Malay form which fits is tíga belás. This could have been borrowed as tíga beláh from any number of Malay dialects where final s is represented as h. The h would then be deleted as central Philippine languages do not have words ending in this consonant. The schwa, written as e but representing the vowel ə, also does not exist in central Philippine languages and would be represented as a. The problem with this analysis is the meaning of tíga belás which is 'thirteen'. Clearly, if this analysis is correct, it cannot refer directly to 6 amás but to some equivalent set of weights. The balabató (see below), for example, is worth ½ amás and 12 of these would be the equivalent of 6 amás. Until a relevant set of weights can be identified, this conclusion as to the origin of tigambalá must remain questionable.
We can turn now to the various entries under padúniˈ. In Bikol padúniˈ has no independent value assigned to it, but it combines with other terms to determine its value. In Tagalog[51] parúni, the same term, has an equivalent value of 10 amás and it is used for determining values between 10 and 15 amás, after which counting is made in taels. For amounts less than 10, counting is done in balabató. In Cebuano, padúni is given a different value, that of ¼ tael which equates to 4 amás.[52]
Further examining the entries under padúniˈ, we have padúniˈ sa duwá kalímang amás 'a measure of gold equivalent to 10 amás'. The meaning of this is clear as it is twice the value of limá 'five' amás. The final entry is padúniˈ sa duwá kakamandáhom 'measure of gold equivalent to 5 amás'. Kamandáhom appears once again in the data under the entry for bitínan: bitínan sa kamandáhom 'a weight of 2½ amás of gold'. The relationship between these two entries is clear as duwá kakamandahom '5 amás' is twice the value of kamandahom '2½ amás'. The reduplication of ka‑ is not significant in determining this meaning. Again, as with tiga+ng balá, it is not immediately obvious what the meaning of kamandáhom is.
I examined this term extensively over a long period of time, comparing entries in the dictionaries of various Philippine languages, as well as Malay and Indonesian, and came up with nothing. Looking further afield into some of the languages which historically impacted on the Philippines through trade, I did finally discover a possible origin.
Kamandáhom is morphologically complex. The set of two prefixes, ka‑ and man‑ is clearly Bikol; ka‑ used before nouns which are counted (see above) as well as nouns which serve as classifiers (see Section 4(iii)), and man‑ (an assimilated form of mang‑) before numbers showing distribution (see Section 4(i)) and nouns showing linear measurement (see Section 5). This leaves the root word, dáhom, which I have identified as a loan from Persian meaning 'tenth'.[53] How then is this equivalent to 2½ amás? The answer seems to lie in the meaning of the word baháy, discussed in more detail at the end of this section. Baháy in Tagalog is a weight equivalent to ½ balabató or ¼ amás. The weight of 10 baháy, then, is equivalent to 2½ amás, and this doubled brings the equivalent to 5 amás. Dáhom 'tenth' is the term which apparently stands for the unit 10 baháy.
Looking now at the set of entries under bitínan, we find that Lisboa assigns no particular meaning to the headword entry, although it is obvious from the associated entries that the meaning is 'weight'. The root word here is bítin, which means to 'hang' or 'suspend' and this must refer to the balancing of two objects to determine the weight of the object whose weight is unknown. There is confirmation of this interpretation in Hiligaynon where bitin means 'to weigh something using weights or a scale called romana' and bitinan means 'weight'[54] and in Cebuano where bitin has the same meaning.[55]
    bitín MAG‑, ‑ON to suspend or hang s/o; bitín-bítin MAG‑ to swing back and forth, as by the hands [+MDL: bítin MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to hang s/t from a thread or rope; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a thread or rope to suspend or hang s/t]
The entry bitínan sapáhaˈ refers to a weight of a sapáhaˈ which is ¼ tael or 4 amás. While Tagalog shares this meaning with Bikol, the origin of the term lies in Malay. The most common meaning of paha in Malay is 'thigh', although there is a secondary meaning of 'quarter', with sepaha meaning 'one quarter'.[56] Winstedt refers specifically to paha meaning ¼ tael.[57]
The last entry in this set is bitínan sa makasiyám, meaning 'a weight of 1½ amás of gold'. The literal meaning of this is 'nine times the weight' or 'a weight of nine times'. This is arrived at by looking at the component morphemes of makasiyám: maka‑ + siyám. Siyám means 'nine'. The prefix maka‑ in early Bikol did have the meaning of 'times'[58] and in Tagalog it was used in the same way.[59] The obvious problem is determining which set of weights we are referring to. This term clearly cannot refer directly to a weight of 1½ amás.
After examining any number of combinations and looking at all of the gold weights for Bikol and Tagalog in an attempt to determine what 'nine' might possibly refer to, I have found only one possibility: 1½ amás is just over 9% of 16 amás and, therefore, just over 9% of a tael. I doubt, however, that this is the intended reference.
    bitínan: bitínan sapáhaˈ weight of 4 amás of gold; bitínan sa kamandáhom weight of 2½ amás of gold; bitínan sa makasiyám weight of 1½ amás of gold [MDL]

    sapáhaˈ measure of gold, equivalent to ¼ tael or 4 amás [MDL] [MALAY se + paha ¼ tael]
A weight of gold equivalent to ½ tael or 8 amás was referred to in Bikol as bángi, a term which Bikol shares with Hiligaynon.[60] In Tagalog the term is tínga and in Cebuano bulán.[61] To get an equivalent of 1½ taels, the prefix KAG‑ is added. This is not the most common function of this prefix (also see Section 4 (i)). During Lisboa's time it was added to form numerals from 11 to 19, or in other words, 'teens'.[62] It basically marked a set of numbers counting upwards from ten to the next multiple of ten, or twenty. Here its function is to mark a set of weights counting upwards from one to the next multiple of one, or two.
    bángi weight equivalent to ½ tael of gold or 8 amás; ‑ON to be equivalent or equal in worth to ½ tael of gold; bangí-bángi MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to divide s/t into values of ½ tael of gold; KAG‑ the value of 1½ taels of gold [MDL]

    kag‑ numerical affix indicating 'teens': saróˈ one, kagsaróˈ or sangpúloˈ kagsaróˈ eleven; duwá two, kagduwá or sangpúloˈ kagduwá twelve; tuló three, kagtuló or sangpúloˈ kagtuló thirteen ...; [MDL]
Tagalog also had a weight of gold equivalent to 9 amás which was salapan.[63] This is also a borrowing from Malay where selapan, in turn a borrowing from Sundanese, had the meaning 'nine', a form which existed along with the far more commonly used, sembilan.[64] Lisboa does not include this term for Bikol.
For gold to be weighed, and, therefore, its value determined, it had to be measured against some standard. In Bikol the standard used was the bátoˈ. These were weights that were carried around in a little pouch (sabáy) or box and used when purchasing gold, or when buying or exchanging items for an equivalent weight in gold. In comparison to Tagalog to the north, and Hiligaynon and Cebuano to the south, as well as Malay, Bikol is unusual in that bátoˈ does not mean 'stone'. The weights referred to in the Bikol entry need not have literally been stones, although this is undoubtedly their origin.
    bátoˈ a weight used in determining the weight and value of gold; MAG‑ to carry around such weights; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to determine the value of s/t bought or sold with such weights: Magkaanó an (pag‑)bátoˈ? - Binabatóˈan nin sangbaˈsíng What is the value in gold? - One baˈsíng; Ko-anó an bátoˈ kainíng gúbing - Magabát an bátoˈ How much do these clothes cost (What is the equivalent weight in gold?) - Very expensive (A heavy weight in gold); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to indicate a price in gold using such weights; PAG‑ the weight of s/t in bátoˈ; PARA‑ one skilled in valuing s/t in bátoˈ; ‑AN: babatóˈan a pouch, or a box with a lock, somewhat like that used to hold the host, used to carry around gold weights [MDL]

    sabáy a piece of cloth, approximately 10 cm by 160 cm, with a pouch at one end, tied around the waist and used for carrying weights; MAG‑ to wear such a cloth belt; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to put on such a belt; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to put such a belt in place around s/o's waist; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to tie such a belt around s/o's waist [MDL]
So central to the system of business transactions was the weight of gold, that the term gabát, which means, generally, 'weight' and 'heavy', depending on its affixation, also took on the meaning of 'expensive' and 'valuable' during Lisboa's time.
    gabát weight; MA‑ heavy; ...; MAG‑ to grow heavy; MAGPA‑, PA‑‑ON to increase the weight of s/t; KA‑‑AN heaviness [+MDL: MA‑ magabát or magbát heavy; expensive or of great value (referring probably to an equivalent weight of gold); MA‑ ‑ON: magabáton very heavy, very valuable; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to weigh s/t or s/o down (as with extra cargo); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add extra weight or cargo; ...]
There were other weights used to determine the value of gold, not all of them standard, as we can see from the entry maragáding. If this is a morphologically complex term, comprised of a prefix mara‑ and a root gáding, then we can assign the meaning of 'ivory' to gáding, a borrowing from Malay. Mára‑ is not a prefix in Bikol, nor is it one in the languages immediately to the north and south, including Malay. It is most closely related to the Bikol prefix mala‑ which has the meaning 'somewhat like' or 'having some of the qualities of'.
    maragáding weight for gold, unequal or not in conformity to the other weights [MDL]

    gáding ivory; bracelets worn on the arm from the wrist to the elbow by the upper classes of society; MAG‑ to wear such bracelets; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to place such bracelets on s/o's arm [MDL] [MALAY]
The meaning of maragáding may have little or nothing to do with ivory. As in the example below, where malasuwáˈ is a tree with leaves resembling that of a citrus, and suwáˈ is a citrus fruit, maragáding may refer to any number of things which lend themselves to weighing that may, only marginally, relate to ivory. What is clear is that their use was considered non-standard by those accustomed to using the bátoˈ.
    mala‑ adjectival affix meaning '‑like' or '‑ish', fossilized for most uses, but still actively used with colors: putíˈ white, malaputíˈ whitish; pulá red, malapulá reddish; itóm black, malaitóm or malaˈtóm somewhat black

    malasuwáˈ tree (typ‑ with leaves resembling that of a citrus and producing a fragrant fruit used in the making of twine) [MDL]

    suwáˈ citrus, citrus fruit; MAG‑, ‑AN to squeeze the juice of citrus fruits on s/t [+MDL: suwáng mahamís orange; suwáng gáyo lemon; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to squeeze the juice of such fruits on one's food]
Gold, when weighed, may have produced only a close approximation of the amount required. To determine how much more gold was needed in a particular transaction, additional weights called luntóg were used.
    luntóg weight which is added to gold to determine how much less it weighs than required (or how much more gold needs to be added to meet the required weight); also applicable to other items in a transaction; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add such a weight to gold; to add s/t to increase the weight; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑AN to increase the weight of gold by the addition of such a weight; to increase the weight of s/t; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to place a weight on each side of the scale; ... [MDL]
Considering the nature of the gold weights used, such as seeds (see Section 1(ii)) and stones, it was not unusual for there to be frequent differences in measurement. Some items used to determine weight would be heavier and others lighter, and this would be remarked on when the occasion arose (guyód). There would also have to be some way of keeping track of the addition and subtraction of weights, for this would be the only way to determine equivalences. This was referred to as bátiˈ.
    guyód MA‑ or MAG‑ to weigh somewhat more (in comparison with other equivalent weights): Naguyód-guyód iníng bátoˈ mo digdí sa bátoˈ ko Your weights (for measuring gold) are heavier than mine [MDL]

    bátiˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to keep account of the addition or subtraction of a particular weight or amount; Daˈí babatíˈon an sangpúloˈ katákad na ibusóg You probably wouldn't even notice if I added an additional ten measures (Said to someone with extensive resources) [MDL]
While the gold weights might have been important, it was the gold which was the valuable commodity and care would have to be taken to make sure none of it was lost during the weighing process. Carelessness could result in some of the gold being knocked off the scales, to fall, not to be recovered (witík).
    witík ... [+MDL: MAKA‑, MA‑ or MAKA‑, IKA‑ to accidentally knock away a bit of gold which is being weighed, thereby losing it; ...; MA‑ or IKA‑ to fall and be lost (gold which is being weighed); ...]
Once a weight of gold had been determined, it could then be used for purchases (baháy). This referred as well to the purchase of items with silver. The term baháy had another meaning as well, that of a reddish fruit used in the weighing of gold and this was probably the origin of its more generalised use in commerce.
The reference for baháy in Cebuano is simply to a forest tree.[65] Antonio Sanchez de la Rosa gives more detail for Waray where it is described as a tree producing a flesh-coloured, non-edible fruit used decoratively in chains worn by men and medicinally, when mixed with a small amount of water, to treat boils and other swellings, a result also achieved by using the bark.[66]
While Lisboa does not give an equivalent weight for baháy the term, as mentioned above, is also found in Tagalog where it was a weight equivalent to ½ balabató or ¼ amás. It was used along with cúpang, a type of fruit, worth 1/3 amás, ságaˈ, the seeds of the jequirity vine (see Section 1(ii)), worth 1/16 amás, buláy, a type of large bean (related to the lima bean, if this is the as the same entry found in Cebuano,[67]) worth 3 ságaˈ or 3/16 amás, and pálay, a grain of unhusked rice, all of which were used for weighing gold and silver.[68]
To acquire the silver coins in circulation in the Philippines since the coming of the Spanish, gold would be used as an exchange, and this was referred to as timbáng, the term which means, most generally, 'to weigh' (see Section 3). One in possession of poorer quality gold could also use this in a transaction, exchanging two taels of inferior quality for one of a higher grade (báriˈ).
    baháy MA‑, ‑ON to buy s/t with gold or silver; MA‑, I‑ to exchange gold or silver for s/t; MA‑, ‑AN: bayhán to buy s/t from s/o with gold or silver; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to sell s/t for gold or silver; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagbayhán to sell s/t to s/o for gold or silver [MDL]

    baháy fruit (typ‑ reddish, used for weighing gold); (fig‑) Garó bahay iníng saímong matá; nagiinóm ka gayód Your eyes are as red as a baháyfruit; you must have been drinking [MDL]

    timbáng MA‑, ‑ON to buy gold with silver coins (reál, tostón); MA‑, I‑ to offer silver reals for gold; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to sell or exchange gold for silver reals [MDL]

    báriˈ MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pay two taels of poorer quality gold in place of one tael of higher quality gold to settle a debt [MDL]

3. Weights and balances
There were a number of weighing scales found in the Bikol region. For lighter items, such as gold, we have the tarayóˈ which was carried around in a small box, lungón (literally 'coffin'), in which it was stored. This is a borrowing of the Malay teraju, although Wilkinson gives its ultimate origin as the Persian tarazau.[69] In Tagalog this appears as talaróˈ. This is a basic weighing scale comprising an arm serving as a fulcrum suspended by a string and two dishes to hold the items being weighed. The dishes are referred to as dáhon, meaning 'leaf', and without further evidence to the contrary, we may assume that there was a particular leaf used for this purpose. From the entry taró-tarayóˈ, described as a climbing plant possessing rounded leaves such as that of a tarayóˈ, we can further assume that the leaves were rounded.
    tarayóˈ weighing scales, balance; dáhon nin tarayóˈ part of the tarayóˈ where one places what is to be weighed; lungón nin tarayóˈ small box used for storing the tarayóˈ [MDL] [MALAY teraju]

    taró-tarayóˈ plant (typ‑ climbing, with rounded leaves, like those of a tarayóˈ) [MDL]
The lúkoˈ was most likely was employed in the markets or by street traders as it was used in the weighing of food items such as meat, fish and salt. The leaves of the anáhaw palm were used to cradle the items being weighed, and these were presumably suspended equidistant from the centre of a stick or rod serving as a fulcrum (bantáyan). This scale and others of its type, would have been held out with the hand in preparation for weighing to ensure a free and accurate balance (tangkóg).
    lúkoˈ a balance or scale (typ‑ consisting of leaves of the anáhaw palm which are tied and used for weighing salt, meat or fish); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to tie these leaves so that they may serve as a balance; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use leaves for the purpose of weighing [MDL]

    bantáyan fulcrum of a weighing scale [MDL]

    tangkóg MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to hold a balance or scale out with the hand in preparation for weighing s/t; to weigh s/t in this way [MDL]
The katínan or kakatínan was what the Spanish referred to as the romana or the Roman steelyard balance, an instrument in which the weight is determined by moving a counter balance along a horizontal arm to find the weight of a suspended object. The verb for this action is kátin.
These derivations are close in form the weight káti, and while this relationship may be unprovable from within Bikol, similar entries in Bergaño's Kampangan Vocabulario and San Agustin's Compendio make this explicit; the weight is káti and the steelyard balance is katían.[70]
    kátin MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to weigh s/t with a steelyard balance; MA‑, ‑I or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a steelyard balance for weighing; ‑AN: katínan or KA‑‑AN: kakatínan steelyard balance, a balance consisting of a scaled arm suspended off center, a hook at the shorter end on which to hang the object being weighed, and counter balance at the larger end that can be moved to find the weight [MDL]
The entry tungkó, must have referred to the pointer on the arm of a steelyard balance which would have enabled more accurate measurement as it was moved to find the proper balance. Spring scales, in which the pointer would have been the only indication of weight, did not come into existence until the late eighteenthcentury.[71]
    tungkóˈ pointer or needle of a scale or balance [MDL]
Another term for the steelyard balance was chinánta. This is not a headword entry in the Lisboa Vocabulario, but he does make reference to it in the entry for the weight bayág. Reference is also made in the Noceda Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala. One of the definitions for pólon-pólon is 'las señales de la chinanta ó romana' (the divisions on a steelyard balance).[72]
    bayág a stone or weight added to a chinánta or romana (steelyard balance); also bayág-bayág [MDL]
The chinánta is a Spanish rendering of sinánta or sinantán found in a number of Philippine languages.[73] The Tagalog sinantán, and its derivation sinantánan, are defined as a chinánta.[74] The same is true for the Hiligaynon and Kapampangan sinántan.[75]
While the weights added to the chinánta had specific referents in Bikol, bayág, and Tagalog, batóng sinantánan, the basic weight forming part of the steelyard balance must have been 10 káti or a modern equivalent of 6.3 kilos for the chinánta is also defined as equivalent to this weight. This is found in Tagalog (sinantán).[76], Bikol (see káti below), Hiligaynon (sinántan)[77] and Kapampangan.[78] Ignacio Alcina also makes this reference for the chinánta for Cebuano.[79]
    chinánta a steelyard balance; a unit of weight: 1 chinánta = 6.3 kilos or 10 káti [MDL] [TAG sinánta]

    káti unit of weight, equivalent to one-tenth of a chinánta or 630 grams; sangkáti one káti, duwáng káti two kati [MDL] [MALAY kati]
Káti belongs to a set of weights with its origin in Malay. It is equivalent to 16 taels (tahils). The larger unit in the set is the pikul (usually referred to by the Spanish in the Philippines as pico)[80] which is equivalent to 100 katis.[81]
The general term for weighing or balancing is timbáng, although in Lisboa's time there existed more specific terms such as pátok which referred specifically to weighing things on a scale or balance.
    timbáng balanced, equal in weight; ... MAG‑ to be balanced; to be of equal weight; ... MAG‑, ‑ON to weigh s/t; MAG‑, I‑ to balance s/t with s/t else; KA‑‑AN a balance; ... [+MDL: MAG‑ to be balanced; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to equalize the weight of what is being weighed; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add a weight to bring s/t into balance; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to balance s/t on one side of a weighing scales by adding a weight to the other; ... ]

    pátok MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to weigh s/t on a scale or balance; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to weigh s/t for s/o; to weigh s/t on a particular scale; I(PAG)‑ to be a particular weight; PAG‑ the weighing of s/t; KA‑‑AN the weight; Ko-anó an kapatókan kainíng buláwan? How much does this gold weigh? [MDL]
Items which were balanced or of the same weight had their specific terms, with the verbal forms used when items of differing weights needed to be brought into balance (bantáng, sungkád). When items were out of balance, the heavier side of the scale was referred to as hiˈríg. If these imbalances were not corrected, then a person would receive less than the intended weight or amount (bugkót).
    bantáng balanced (items which are being weighed); level (a surface); MAG‑, ‑ON to bring s/t into balance by adding or removing weights; to make s/t level by lifting up the lower side; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add weights to bring s/t into balance; to place s/t beneath the lower end of a surface to make it level [MDL]

    sungkád of the same weight; MA‑, I‑ to adjust the weight of s/t in relation to s/t else; MA‑, ‑AN: sungkarán to make s/t weigh the same as s/t else; MAG‑ to weigh the same (two things); MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to see if two things are of the same weight; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to weigh s/t against the weight of s/t else; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to bring s/t into conformity with the weight of s/t else; KA‑ of the same weight [MDL]

    hiˈríg MA‑ the side of a scale which shows the heavier weight; tilted to the heavier side (a scale); MA‑ or MAG‑ to be heavier (one side of a balance or scale); to weigh more (s/t on a scale); MAPA‑, IPA‑ to add s/t to increase the weight; MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to increase the weight by adding s/t [MDL]

    bugkót MA‑ or MAG‑ to be reduced in number or amount through an error in counting, or through the use of unequal weights or measures (goods in a transaction); MA‑‑AN to receive less due to an error in counting or weighing (the person buying); to be reduced due to the use of incorrect weights (the goods being purchased) [MDL]
The general term for augmenting or increasing something is dagdág, and for reducing a quantity or amount, ínaˈ.
    dagdág MAG‑, I‑ to add or append s/t; MAG‑, ‑AN to add to s/t; to augment, increase or supplement s/t; ... PAG‑ addition, augmentation, increment, increase [MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add s/t to the weight, volume or amount of s/t given or bought; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to increase the weight, volume or amount of s/t bought; to add an extra amount to s/t]

    ínaˈ MAG‑, ‑ON to remove s/t or s/o (as from a group, line); to deduct s/t from a previous debt; MAG‑, ‑AN to deduct or s/t delete from; to diminish or decrease the number or amount of s/t; to reduce, subtract, lessen; to minus; to minimize; ... PAG‑ subtraction, reduction [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove s/t; to reduce s/t by a particular amount; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to remove s/t from; to diminish s/t; ... ]

4. Numbers and counting
Bikol, as with the other major languages of the Philippines, has a base 10 numbering system, a system in which 10 digits can represent any numerical quantity. The terms in Bikol representing these digits range from 1-10 with the term for 'ten' essentially serving as the zero (0). Counting upward from this basic set is done in groups of 10.
4. Numbers and counting
(i) Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers
During Lisboa's time, the counting of numbers began with isá 'one'. While this term has disappeared from modern Bikol, being replaced by saróˈ, its combing form is still ubiquitous. Sang‑, for example, combines with púloˈ 'tens' to give sangpúloˈ 'ten', with gatós 'hundred' to give sanggatós 'one hundred', with ríbo 'thousand' to give sangríbo 'one thousand', and so on. Assimilation of the final nasal of the prefix, sang‑ was clearly not as common during Lisboa's time, while in modern Bikol assimilation always occurs. Sangpúloˈ, for example, is always be sampúloˈ.
    isá one, used only in counting: isá, duwá, tuló; see saróˈ [MDL]

    sang‑ one, combining form (from isá + ng); sanggatós one hundred; sangríbo one thousand [+MDL: sangpúloˈ ten; sanggatós kagsangpúloˈ 110; also means 'as numerous as': sangdagáˈ as numerous as the grains of soil; sangbaybáy as numerous as the grains of sand; sangdáhon as numerous as the leaves; sangbitúˈon as numerous as the stars]
The ten digits used for counting in Bikol during Lisboa's time were: isá '1', duwá ˈ'2', tuló '3', apát '4', limá '5', anóm '6', pitó '7', waló '8', siyám '9', púloˈ '10'. 'Ten' could be represented either as púloˈ or sangpúloˈ in old Bikol, something no longer possible in the modern language. Saróˈ '1', used as a modifier in old Bikol, has replaced isá in counting and is used exclusively for the meaning 'one'. Lisboa also includes another term for 'ten', tangób, which he indicated was rarely used.
    tangób ten; syn‑ sangpúloˈ, see púloˈ [MDL]
The terms for 100, gatós, and 1,000, ríbo, are still commonly used in Bikol. Beyond this we have numbers that have essentially disappeared from the modern language. For ten thousand and one hundred thousand Lisboa records the term yúkot, and beyond this for one million, the term laksáˈ.
    gatós hundred; SANG‑: sanggatós one hundred; sanggatós na taˈón century; SANG‑‑ON to count by hundreds [+MDL: duwáng gatós two hundred; sanggatós kagsangpúloˈ one hundred and ten; MANANG‑ to give 100 each: mananggatós one hundred each; manuwanggatós two hundred each; MANANG‑, PANANG‑‑ON or SANG‑ ‑ON to price or value things by the 100s; MAKASANG‑ or MAKA‑ to do s/t 100 times; MAPAKASANG‑, PAKASANG‑‑ON or MAPAKA‑, PAKA‑‑ON to reach 100]

    ríbo thousand; sangríbo one thousand; ‑ON: riníbong thousands [+MDL: sangríbo one thousand; duwáng ríbo two thousand; MANG‑: manangríbo or manaróˈ sangríbo one thousand each; TIG‑: tigsangríbo one thousand each; ‑ON or MA‑ sangribóhon or masangríbo to increase s/t in degrees of a thousand; MANG‑, PANG‑ ‑ON: manangríbo, panangríbo to give or weigh things in units of one thousand; MAKA‑: makasangríbo or makaríbo to do s/t a thousand times; MAPAKA‑: mapakasangríbo or mapakaríbo to approach a thousand in number; PAKA‑‑ON: pakasangribóhon or pakaribóhon to bring s/t up to one thousand in number]

    yúkot ten thousand; sangyúkot ten thousand; sangyúkot na yúkot one hundred thousand [MDL]

    laksáˈ million; sanlaksáˈ or sanglaksáˈ one million [MDL] [MALAY laksa 10,000, from SANSKRIT lakşa 100,000]
While ríbo and gatós are Austronesian terms with their various forms retaining the same meaning in most of the major Philippine languages where they appear, a notable exception being Waray where ribo means 'one million',[82] laksáˈ, and possibly yúkot, are borrowings.
Laksáˈ is borrowed from Malay where its meaning is 'ten thousand', although its origin is the Sanskrit lakşa; 'one hundred thousand'.[83] Bikol is unusual in associating this term with the number 'one million' for it is defined, as in the Malay, as 10,000 in surrounding languages such as Tagalog,[84] Hiligaynon[85] and Cebuano.[86] The definition of 'ten thousand' and 'one hundred thousand' is given by Bergaño for Kampangan.[87] Yúkot, also possibly a borrowing, shares part of its meaning with Waray to the south where it is defined as both 'thousand' and 'ten thousand'.[88]
In small village-based societies such as those found in the Philippines at the arrival of the Spanish, large numbers represented, for example, in Bikol by laksáˈ and yúkot, must have really been abstractions. The need to represent and discuss such large quantities would have been rare and exceptional, assuming the occasion would ever arise. This may be the cause for the different values assigned to these terms. Language groups with more direct and renewed contact with the Malay world would have likely retained a shared meaning for numerical terms such as laksáˈ while those with possibly less contact developing new definitions, such as Bikol, or never borrowing the term at all, such as Waray.
In modern Bikol, counting above 10 is basically done using Spanish numbers, although the knowledge of how such numbers are constructed on Bikol bases is widely known, even if rarely used. The 'teens', the numbers from 11 to 19, can be formed in two ways. Most common in modern Bikol is the use of may, the particle which shows 'existence' and may translate as 'with'. During Lisboa's time this particle was used only for counting above 20 and was not used in the modern sense of enumerating 'teens'. The formation of 'teens' using may is made by adding the relevant digit to 'ten': sampúloˈ may saróˈ '11', sampúloˈ may duwá '12', sampúloˈ may tuló '13', etc. Literally these numbers mean 'ten with (or plus) one', 'ten with two', 'ten with three', etc.
The 'teens' during Lisboa's time were formed by adding the prefix KAG‑ to the relevant number (see Section 2). The affixed number could then be used alone for the relevant meaning, or it could be preceded by the number 'ten'. The formation of 'teens' using the prefix alone is possible in modern Bikol, but its use with 'ten' is not: kagsaróˈ or sangpúloˈ kagsaróˈ '11'; kagduwá or sangpúloˈ kagduwá '12', kagtuló or sangpúloˈ kagtuló '13', etc.
For counting from 20 to 90, púloˈ 'ten' is preceded by the relevant digit: duwáng púloˈ '20', tulóng púloˈ '30', apát na púloˈ '40', etc. Within each set of 10 numbers, for example, from 21-29, 31-39, 41-49, etc. two methods of expression were possible during Lisboa's time, with just the first recognisable in modern Bikol.[89] Twenty-one, 32 and 43, for example, could be expressed, respectively, as duwáng púloˈ may saróˈ '21', tulóng púloˈ may duwá '32' and apát na púloˈ may tuló '43'.
The second method of expression had a long form and a short form, both of which would be unrecognisable in the modern language: may ikatlón saróˈ / duwáng púloˈ may ikatlón saróˈ '21', may ikatlón duwá / duwáng púloˈ may ikatlón duwá '22', may ikatlón tuló / duwáng púloˈ may ikatlón tuló '23', may ikapát nin saróˈ / tulóng púloˈ may ikapát nin saróˈ '31'. These same forms are found in San Agustin.[90]
If we examine the final example above, may ikapát nin saróˈ, we are able to identify the full form of the linker, nin , which is shortened in the other examples. The full forms of the entries are, then, as follows: may ikatuló nin saróˈ / duwáng púlo may ikatuló nin saróˈ '21', may ikatuló nin duwá / duwáng púloˈ may ikatuló nin duwáˈ '22', may ikatuló nin tuló / duwáng púloˈ may ikatuló nin tuló '23', may ikaapát nin saróˈ / tulóng púloˈ may ikaapát nin saróˈ '31'.
The prefix iká‑ forms ordinal from cardinal numbers and nin showed the type of assimilation exhibited here during the time Lisboa was writing.
    ika‑ numerical affix, ordinal numbers: tuló three, ikatuló third [+MDL: an ikaduwá the second; an ikatló the third; an ikapúloˈ the tenth; an ikapúloˈ kagsaróˈ the eleventh; an ikaduwáng púloˈ the twentieth]

    nin nonsubject agent and object marker occurring before general nouns and marking those nouns as nonspecific; may also be used to express the concept 'some' ... [+MDL: also used to show possession: úlay nin Pádre what the priest said; túgon nin Diós commandments of God; súgoˈ nin Capitan basal signal of the conductor (of dance music); when following a word ending in a vowel, nin is reduced to a single nasal consonant: n, before 'd', 't' or 'n': gibóhon Diós done by God; m before 'b', 'p' or 'm': gibóhom Pádre done by the Priests; and ng before 'g', 'k' or 'h': gibóhong Capitan basal done by the conductor of dance music; gimíbong hámak for gimíbo nin hámak making a mat; also used with si as nin si to show possession by s/o or s/t previously referred to in a conversation or known by both speaker and listener, and to make nonsubject objects specific]
What then do these numbers mean? What appears to be happening is that each set of ten numbers is being counted. The first set is 1-10, the second set, 11-20, the third set 21-30, the fourth set 31-40, and so on. If we interpret these as ordinals, then we end up with something like this: may ikatuló 'there is a third (set of 10)' - nin saróˈ with 1' for the meaning '21'. This is the short form. If we look at the long form, then two methods of counting appear to combine duwáng púloˈ '20' - may ikatuló 'there is a third set of 10' - nin saróˈ 'with 1' for the meaning '21'. The long form may be a sign of transition from one system of counting to another with the form duwáng púloˈ may saróˈ '21' coming to dominate over time. Bergaño denotes a similar system of counting in Kapampangan[91] as does Gaspar de S. Agustin for Tagalog.[92]
Turning now to the ordinal numbers, these are formed by prefixing ika‑ to the cardinal number. This applies to all numbers except 'one'. For the meaning 'first' the term is ínot. An alternative, having only a literary usage, is úna, used in modern Bikol as well as during Lisboa's time, and not to be confused with the Spanish term of the same form. As with most of the terms used only in narratives and verse, this also has an origin to the south, here in Cebuano,[93] where the term for 'first' is úna.[94]
    ínot first in a series; initial; .. [+MDL: MAG‑ to be the first to drink, to start a fight; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to precede s/o else in doing s/t; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to take the first drink; to throw the first punch in fighting; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to do s/t first, before doing s/t else; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑ PAG‑‑AN to leave s/t to be done later (after doing s/t else first); to pay s/o a part of a debt; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give s/t first; MA‑, MA‑‑AN to be first; to arrive first; an naínot the first; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to stay ahead of s/o; to walk ahead of the others]

    úna (lit‑) first [+MDL: first, used only in narratives and verse for ínot]
Fractions from 11 to 19 were formed by prefixing the cardinal number with ikag‑ , a combination of the prefixes i‑ and kag‑. The sequence of affixation can be seen in the following example: saróˈ 'one', kagsaróˈ 'eleven', ikagsaróˈ 'one 11th'.
    ikag‑ numerical affix used to form fractions from 11-19: ikagsaró one 11th; ikagduwá one 12th; ikagtuló one 13th; ikagápat one 14th [MDL]
To indicate parts of a whole, the cardinal number is affixed with ka‑‑an, a prefix-suffix combination whose meaning has changed over time. Modern usage gives us a division into a specific number of parts. During Lisboa's time this affix referred to a specific numbered part. The examples in the entry below are from Lisboa. The modern examples are as follows: duwá 'two', kaduwáhan 'halves' or 'two parts'; tuló 'three', katulóhan 'thirds' or 'three parts', etc.
    ka‑‑an numerical affix indicating fractions of a whole: kasaˈrán the first part; kaduwán the second part; katloán the third part; kapatán the fourth part; kalimhán the fifth part ... [MDL]
Partial reduplication of the bases here gives the specific meaning of boats defined by the total number of rowers: kasasaˈrán a small boat for one rower; kaduduwán, katutuloán, kaapatán, kalilimhán are respectively boats for two, three, four or five rowers. Reduplication appears to be unnecessary to achieve this meaning when the full form is expressed: kalimhán na balóto a boat rowed by five oarsmen.
To indicate how many parts are to be given out or distributed, the prefix TIG‑ is used followed by a specific number. In modern Bikol the number generally undergoes one of three possible processes. None of these processes is a grammatical necessity, but each is used to create a type of distributive emphasis inherent in the meaning.
The first process is pluralisation formed by infixing ‑Vr‑ between the first consonant and vowel of the base. The V takes on the value of the first vowel in the base: tuló 'three', tigturuló 'three each'. The second process is partial reduplication referring to the reduplication of the first consonant and vowel of the base: tigtutuló 'three each'. The final process is full reduplication: tigtuló-tuló 'three each'. While examples of partial and full reduplication are found in Lisboa (we have only to see the entry above), only full reduplication, or no reduplication, is exemplified for the meaning here.
The same meaning expressed by TIG‑ could also be expressed during Lisboa's time by MANG‑: manaróˈ-saróˈ 'one each', manuló-tuló 'three each', manlimá-limá 'five each', mamitó-pitó 'seven each', and so on. A non-reduplicated number prefixed with MANG‑ gave the restricted and rather special meaning of the number of seats found on a boat. Manuwá was a boat with two seats, manatló one with three seats, and mangapát, manlimá and manganóm were boats, respectively, with four, five and six seats.
While not a prefix, the particle manggí occurs in this same position to create a rather specific meaning related to deer. It indicates how many antlers a deer has, and by knowing this, it also becomes possible to determine the age of the deer. Examples are in the following entry.
    manggí particle, placed before numbers to indicate how many antlers a deer has as well as the age; for each year of age a deer grows a set of antlers: manggí apát four antlers, two years old; manggí anóm six antlers, three years old; manggí waló eight antlers, four years old [MDL]
Numbers could also be affixed to give a variety of meanings in addition to those discussed above. The entry for limá 'five' is presented below to exemplify some of these possible meanings.
    limá five; MAG‑ to become five; MAKA‑ to have five; gibóhon limá to make it five; KAG‑ fifteen; sampúloˈ may limá fifteen; limáng púloˈ fifty; limáng púloˈ may saróˈ fifty one; IKA‑ fifth; KA‑ ‑AN fifths; TIG‑: tiglilimá five each; lilimá or limá-líma only five; limá-limá MAGPAG‑, PAG‑ ‑ON to divide s/t into five parts; to send five at a time; PAG‑‑ON to go five by five [+MDL: TIG‑ tiglimá five each; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to divide s/t into five parts; limá-limá: MANG‑: manlimá-limá five each; MAG‑ to go five at a time; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to send five at a time; MAKA‑ to do s/t five times; KA‑‑AN: kalimhán one fifth]

4. Numbers and counting
(ii) Counting
The counting of numbers was most commonly expressed in the Bikol of Lisboa's time, as well as modern Bikol, by bílang. This was the general term which was used in the counting of numbers as well as the counting of things. A more restricted term, no longer used in the modern language, but found in Lisboa, is búlay.
    bílang MAG‑, ‑ON to count, enumerate, tally or total s/t; MAG‑, I‑ to include s/t in the count, tally; MAG‑, ‑AN to give s/o a counted sum or a total amount; MAKA‑, MA‑ to be able to count; ... DAˈÍ MA‑ countless, incalculable, innumerable, myriad; PAG‑ enumeration; KA‑ ‑AN total amount, number or sum [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to count s/t]

    búlay MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to count or calculate s/t [MDL]
Counting can also be done on the fingers, although this, as expected, is only used for tallying small amounts. That this was also true during Lisboa's time can be seen from the example included in his part of the entry.
    muróˈ finger, fingers; toe, toes; MAG‑, ‑ON to count s/t on the fingers or toes; MAGHING‑, HING‑‑AN to place a finger or toe somewhere [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑ PAG‑‑ON to count s/t on the fingers; to count out a person's share on the fingers; Garó pa saná muróˈ It's like a share counted out on just the fingers (possibly indicating dissatisfaction)]
Sums could be rounded off by a final addition expressed by sagkód translating as 'with' in this context, but meaning, exclusively, during Lisboa's time, 'terminus' or 'end'. Sharing this function was pakaˈág, also translating as 'with' but coming off a base meaning 'to put' or 'place'.
    sagkód with, including; used with numbers: Sangpúloˈ sagkód kainí Ten including this; Sanggatós sagkód kaiyán One hundred with that [MDL]

    pakaˈág with, including (used with sums or numbers): limá pakaˈág kaiyán five with those; sangpúloˈ pakaˈág kainí ten including these; waló pakaˈág kaidtó eight with those [MDL]
To achieve approximations, the plural particle, mánga, was placed before the number. This is a function still used in modern Bikol, although its range of use in old Bikol was more varied.
    mánga noun plural marker, always written mga: laláki man, mga laláki men [+MDL: an mánga táwo people; an mánga ákiˈ children; also indicates 'about' or 'approximately': mánga tuló kon apát about 3 or 4; mánga sanggatós about 100; mánga saróˈ at the most, one; mánga pirá lámang just a few; mánga anó lámang just some; mánga no-arín someday, at some time: Mánga no-arín akó padudumán Someday I'll go; Mánga no-udmá akó padudumán Tomorrow or the day after I'll go]
Items could be added together, dagdág, dúgang, reduced or subtracted, ínaˈ (see Section 3) or divided. This would rarely be done in the abstract, but would relate to concrete situations such as measuring and weighing, buying or selling, or divvying up items or tasks.
    dúgang MAG‑ to increase in number or amount; MAG‑, I‑ to add or append s/t; MAG‑, ‑AN to add to s/t; to augment or increase s/t; PAG‑ addition, augmentation, increase, increment [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to increase; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add s/t; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑,PAG‑‑AN to increase s/t; to add to s/t ...]
Division was a way of separating out portions and allocating these to particular individuals. There are a variety of terms which pertain to this, all dealing only indirectly with numbers (see divide). Affixation on the number itself most directly conveyed the mathematical sense of 'division' (see limá above).
    Divide: to ..., bangáˈ; to ... s/t among, *batol, *táwo-táwo; to ... equally, pantáy, *ragas; to ... unequally, *apí; to ... in half, bangáˈ; to ... in two, duwá; to ... the harvest, pulóˈ; to ... (separate from), *umong; to ... into parts, *wahiˈ; to ... into parts, indicating which part is to go to a particular person, *butáng; to ... into pieces, bangáˈ; to ... gold or silver into small pieces, *tayamútam; to ... up coins, silver which have been split into pieces for this purpose,*taták; to ... into portions that which will later be sold or exchanged for one gánta of rice, *gatáng-gátang; to ... into small portions or parts, *diriˈít; to ... one's workload, *sangíˈ
As for the concept of multiplication, this type of abstraction could be expressed more concretely through addition, or it could be approximated through the use of the causative affix set: MAGPA‑, MAPA‑. An entry such as dakól 'much', 'many' could also be affixed in a number of ways to convey this concept.
    dakól many, much, plenty, a lot; abundant, bountiful, copious, numerous, plentiful; MAG‑ to abound; to accumulate, increase in number; MAGPA‑, PA‑‑ON to augment; to increase the number of s/t; to multiply; PAGPA‑ multiplication; KA‑ very many, much; a great number of s/t; KA‑‑AN: kadaklán a majority, a large part; kadaklán na óras often, frequently [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to grow in number or amount; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to increase the number or amount of s/t; MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to add to an existing amount or quantity; KA‑‑AN: kadaklán or PAGKA‑ abundance; a large number or amount; dakól-dakól very large, very fat; also: neither too many nor too few]
This brings us now to the questions which elicit numbers and amounts and there has been some change over time. For modern Bikol, pirá asks the question 'how many' and guráˈno the question 'how much'. During Lisboa's time only pirá was used to elicit amounts. If a financial transaction was involved, then the specific unit of currency was included in the question: Pinipiráng salapíˈ iyán gúbing? 'How much for those clothes?'. Guráno had the meaning 'how' in questions such as 'how about', 'how do you feel' and related idiomatic expressions.
    pirá how many, how much: Piráng ákiˈ si nagdumán? How many children went; MAG‑ to be how many: Mapiráng aldáw ka dumán? How many days will you be there?; MAGKA‑ how many, how much: Nagkapirá sindá How many did they get? ...; pirá-pirá TIG‑ how many for each [+MDL: Pirá katáwo? How many people?; Piráng púloˈ? How many tens?; Piráng gatós How many hundreds?; Daˈí pirá Just a bit; ‑ON to be a particular sum or amount: Pinipiráng salapíˈ iyán gúbing? How much for those clothes?; MAKA‑ to do s/t a number of times; DAˈÍ MAKA‑ to be no time at all: Makakapirá daˈí mahamán iyán It will be ready in a moment; pirá-pirá TIG‑ or MANG‑: mamirá-mirá how many each: Tigpirá-pirá kamó or Mamirá-mirá kamó? How many for each or you?]

    guráˈno how much; how (as in 'how tall', 'how far'): Guráˈno an nótebook na iní? How much is this notebook?; Guráˈno karayóˈ? How far?; Guráˈno kahalóy? How long (time)?; MANG‑ how much each: Mangguráˈno an aranghíta? - Tigbebeínte How much each are the oranges? - Twenty cents each [MDL: guráno how, what about: Guráno iyán? How is that?; Guráno daw an síring? What do you have to say about s/t like this?; Guráno an úlay niyá? How did she respond?; Daˈí guráno It's not a big deal; Daˈí lámang guráno It's not very significant; Guráno kang gumúhit? How do you feel about writing?; Guráno kang tumuklós? How do you feel about working?; Guráno ka? How are you?; Guráno iyán naghihílang? How are the sick people?]

4. Numbers and counting
(iii) Numerical Classifiers
Numerical classifiers are words placed before nouns which are counted. Examples in English are 'loaves' in 'two loaves of bread', 'pieces' in 'four pieces of meat', and 'cups' in 'three cups of coffee'. Looking closely at the Bikol of Lisboa's time, we can identify certain of these classifiers most of which are no longer used in the modern language. They are used in highly restricted contexts, mostly dealing with agriculture. It is not possible to tell from the data whether these entries are remnants of a more diversified and inclusive system, such as that found in modern Malay, or the beginnings of a system which, for some reason, ceased to develop.
The prefix ka‑ was commonly added to nouns which were counted in early Bikol (see Section 2) and this prefix was used with the majority of words serving as numerical classifiers. The largest group of classifiers referred to rice: a handful of rice stalks, sigpít, a bundle of rice stalks gathered by the handful, úpong, a bundle of rice straw, butlóng and a bundle of rice seedlings, gáwiˈ.
    sigpít a unit of measure for rice; saróng sigpít one handful of rice stalks

    úpong a handful of rice stalks; rice stalks bundled by the handful: saróˈ kaúpong one bundle of rice; duwá kaúpong two bundles of rice; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to bundle rice stalks using the handful as a measure [MDL]

    butlóng bundle of rice straw (typ‑ small, 8 or 10 being required to make up a full load) [MDL]

    gáwiˈ KA‑: saróˈ kagáwiˈ a small bundle of rice seedlings called tagbóng; Darhí akó nin limá kagáwiˈ Bring me five bundles of tagbóng [MDL]
Other agricultural items which were counted with the use of classifiers were bananas, túnod, stalks of sugarcane, tibulós, and knobs of ginger, darampáng. More general is kúmoˈ which refers to a 'handful' and presumably a handful of any set of items. The example given by Lisboa, however, is for abaca.
    túnod referring to individual bananas; duwá katúnod two bananas; tuló katúnod three bananas [MDL]

    tibulós a full stalk of sugarcane: saróˈ katibulós one stalk of sugarcane; duwá katibulós two stalks of sugarcane [MDL]

    darampáng knob of ginger, ginger root; saróˈ kadarampáng one full ginger root [MDL]

    kúmoˈ a handful: saróˈ kakúmong ábaka one handful of abaca [MDL]
Moving away from agriculture, we have bulós which was used to classify items such as cloth or large sheets of paper. The origin of this classifier is possibly the metre stick, bulós, used in weaving. Also probably related is tibulós (see above) used for counting full stalks of sugarcane. Ti‑ is a repetitive form which may have once been an active prefix, now fossilised on particular roots, and whose independent meaning is no longer retrievable.
    bulós piece of cloth for clothing; full sheet of papel de china (a type of crepe paper); saróng bulós one full piece or sheet; kabangáng bulós one half piece, sheet [MDL]

    bulós a stick one meter in length and the thick ness of a walking stick, used in the weaving of material with colored designs, such as the cloth called badyóˈ [MDL]
The layers of cogon grass (gugón), used to thatch a house, were counted by the parás and bundles of iron comprising 10 sheets each were counted by the rangkól. It is not clear from the entry what these sheets of iron were for, although a possibility is for use by a smithy to forge tools and weapons.
    parás referring to layers of cogon grass (gugón) when used to thatch a house; KA‑ a layer of gugón thatch: saróˈ kaparás one layer; duwá kaparás two layers [MDL]

    rangkól bundle comprising 10 sheets of iron; saróˈ karangkól one bundle or pack of 10 sheets of iron; duwá karangkól two bundles or packs; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to place iron sheets into such bundles [MDL]

5. Linear measurement
Linear measurement was made using the most readily available of instruments, the human body. Earlier generations of English speakers can easily relate to measurement by 'feet', and horse racing enthusiasts to measuring the height of horses by 'hands'. In Bikol there was a highly developed system of this type of linear measurement.
Starting at the ground we have dapán 'the sole of the foot' and the 'instep'. This was used for measuring things by the foot.
    dapán sole of the foot [+MDL: instep; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t with the feet; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use the feet for measuring; ‑ON: dadapánon having large feet; ... ]
The lower part of the body and the torso were used for measuring only in general terms, referring to things that might reach 'up to the knee', 'up to the waist', or 'up to the neck' or 'shoulder'. These meanings were accomplished by prefixing these parts of the body by tagá‑. An unusually long length, mainly from joint to joint, was described as mabagwás (see bagwás). Bagwás is a morphologically complex entry comprising what appears to be a root of the form gawás and a fossilised prefix of the form ba‑ carrying the meaning 'likeness' or 'similarity'.[95]
    tagá‑ prefix used before parts of the body to indicate a particular height or depth: tagá-tuhód up to the knee; tagá-tuhód ko up to my knee; tagá-pagbahágan up to the waist; tagá-líˈog up to the neck; tagá-abága reaching up to the shoulders [MDL]

    bagwás MA‑ long, referring to the distance from node to node on bamboo or sugarcane; also the distance from the ankle to the knee, from the knee to the hip and from the wrist to the elbow; MA‑ or MAG‑ to grow long in this dimension;Abóng bagwás kainí This is very long [MDL]

    gawás extra, excess to requirements; MA‑ to be extra, in excess; MA‑‑AN to be more than is re quired for s/t; to be in excess of what one needs [MDL]
The hands and arms were particularly useful in linear measurement. Stretching out the arms gave the measurement referred to as dupá. An even longer stretch could be achieved by turning the palms so that they faced back (lawí).
    dupá an arm's length; MAG‑, ‑ON to measure s/t with the arms [+MDL: MAG‑ to extend the arms; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t with the arms; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use the extended arms for measuring; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to ask s/o to extend the arms; to have s/o measure s/t with the arms]

    lawíˈ MAG‑, I‑ to stretch out the arms with the palms facing back (as if trying to make them longer); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t in this way; Pinalalawíˈ pakaraháy ni kuyán si pagdupá That person really stretches out his arms when measuring s/t [MDL]
Measurement with the arms did not have to be strictly linear as they could also be used for measuring circumference. The example in the entry likós 'circumference', makes this clear. For modern Bikol takós refers specifically to measuring the circumference with the arms, while during Lisboa's time this was a more general term with no specific mention of the arms, although this possibility remains open.
    likós circumference; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑ON to measure the circumference of s/t; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to measure the circumference with s/t: Guráˈno an likós kaiyán tagás? - Duwáng dupá an likós What is the circumference of that wooden post? - It's two arm-lengths in circumference [MDL]

    takós a measure of circumference determined by encircling an object with the arms; an armful; MAG‑, ‑ON to measure the circumference of an object in this way [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure the circumference of s/t; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t to take such a measurement]
The outstretched arms were also used to delineate rice fields to determine the particular area to be worked by day labourers or the amount to be paid to each (tupóng). In modern Bikol, this measurement is equivalent to ten arm lengths on either side of a central point. During Lisboa's time this measurement was variable, ranging from nine to 12 arm lengths. A second arm measurement which still exists in modern Bikol, although referred to as archaic, is saróng súkol, a measurement equal to fifty arms lengths on either side. The original meaning of súkol was 'measuring stick'. Other changes have also occurred over time, for this word has come to be the general term for measuring in the modern language.
    tupóng a measurement equivalent to ten arm lengths on each side; also referring to the division of rice fields, the boundaries of which are currently marked by bunds or dikes; saróng tupóng a measurement of ten arm lengths on each side; tupónes plural form of tupóng [MDL: a measurement of nine, ten and, at times, twelve arm lengths, used to measure rice fields to determine an area to be worked or the amount to be paid to day laborers based on the area worked; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to divide work up in this way; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to divide work areas up in this way; to give a particular area to a worker; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use this measurement for dividing up rice fields]

    súkol measurement, size, dimension; standard; MAG‑, ‑ON to measure s/t; to calculate, estimate or gauge s/t (size, length); ...; PANG‑ a measure, gauge; KA‑ equivalent, commensurate, proportionate; ... (arc‑) saróng súkol a measurement equal to fifty arm lengths on each side [MDL: measuring stick; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t with a rod, rope; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t against s/t else; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t as a measuring stick]
The hand together with the arm were also used extensively in determining measurement. Such measurement could be from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow (maníko, from síko 'elbow'), from the tip of the middle finger to the near shoulder (manuksók) or the far shoulder (manluyó) and from the tip of the middle finger to the chest (mangálog). These last three entries all show affixation with a prefix of the form mang‑, but the root words with a relevant meaning are not retrievable from within Bikol.
    maníko the length from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑ON to measure s/t in this way; see síko [MDL]

    manuksók the length from the tip of the middle finger to the shoulder; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑ON to measure s/t in this way [MDL]

    manluyó the length from the tip of the middle finger to the far shoulder; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t in this way [MDL]

    mangálog the length from the tip of the middle finger to the chest; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑ON to measure s/t in this way [MDL]
Staying with the hand, the finger (muróˈ) and palm (pálad) were also used to determine linear measurement. To indicate width, these were preceded by dapálan. For modern Bikol, dángaw is the width of a fully spread hand, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the small finger. For Lisboa there are two meanings for this entry, both of which differ from the modern. Dángaw is the width of a palm and dángaw nin tuldóˈ is the spread from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the forefinger.
    dapálan the width of a finger, a palm; dapálan nin saróˈ kamuróˈ the width of one finger; dapálan nin duwá kamuróˈ the width of two fingers; dapálan nin pálad the width of a palm; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t by the width of a finger (not the palm); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use the finger for measuring [MDL]

    dángaw the distance covered by the spread of the hand from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the small finger; MAG‑, ‑ON to measure s/t in this way [+MDL: palm of the hand; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑,PAG‑‑ON to calculate the length of s/t using the palm as a measure; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use the palm for measuring; MA‑ describing s/o with a wide palm; sang dángaw one palm length; duwáng dángaw two palm lengths; dángaw nin tuldóˈ the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the forefinger]
Although the body was useful in determining any number of measurements, it could not, obviously serve in this respect on all occasions. The building of a house, for example, required a different set of measures. The wood intended for use as posts would first be sorted according to general size (sáray). The height of the house, and therefore the length of the posts, would be determined by using a length of bamboo (langbóˈ). The posts would then be marked (gúro) and cut so they would be of the same height (sayáw).
    sáray MAG‑, ‑ON to put s/t away; to keep, store or stow s/t; ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to group together things of the same length, thickness or general size (as posts, stakes or bamboo which are of the same general length, thickness, straightness) ...]

    langbóˈ length of bamboo or a pole used to measure a post (harígiˈ) so that the proper size can be chosen before setting it upright; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure such a post; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a pole or length of bamboo for measuring [MDL]

    gúro MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mark off with a knife a part of s/t that is later to be cut or measured [MDL]

    sayáw MAG‑ to be equal in height; MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑ON to make two things equal in height; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to raise or lengthen s/t to make it even in height with s/t else; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to equal the height of s/t by adjusting the height of s/t else to it; KA‑ equal in height (to s/t else) [MDL]
While all efforts were made to measure things accurately (yuˈkód, tukód), errors were inevitably made. Posts of different sizes could end up placed together resulting in an uneven fit (surungkál), or one post could end up longer than another despite the best efforts at measurement (tawás) resulting in a structure which was out of kilter (luˈák).
    yuˈkód MA‑ exact, precise; perfect in every way; just right; a perfect fit; MAMA‑, MA‑‑ON or MAGMA‑, PAGMA‑‑ON to do s/t to exact or precise measurements; to do s/t with exact precision; (fig‑) si mayuˈkód na buˈót nin táwo even-tempered; a well-adjusted person [MDL]

    tukód MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make s/t to exact measurements or specifications; to do s/t exactly as required (such as adding the precise amount of water to rice when cooking); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add the precise amount (as water to rice); ... [MDL]

    surungkál unequal, uneven; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to do s/t that looks uneven or unequal; to place things of differing sizes together resulting in an uneven fit ... [MDL]

    tawás MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to be longer in comparison with s/t else; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to be longer by a particular length; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to leave or cut one thing longer than another; Putlá iyán tawás kaiyán kawáyan Cut the extra bit off the bamboo; ... [MDL]

    luˈák HING‑: hiluˈák unequal, not level; ...; MAHING‑, HING‑‑ON or MAGHING‑, PAGHING‑‑ON to measure s/t unequally; ...; also MAKAHING‑, MAHING‑ [MDL]
A deviation in linear measurement, leading to something being unusable, was referred to generally as ális. This unsuitability might arise from any deviation in a required measurement, although a reference to something being short is specifically mentioned. This was clearly the more serious error, for something which was too long could always be cut back to the correct size (hayúkong), while this was not possible with something too short.
    ális MA‑ or MAG‑ to be unsuitable due to a deviation in measurement; to be shorter than needed; ‑IMIN‑ to deviate or vary from an initial measurement; to be short in measurement: Daˈí iminális iníng súkol kaidtóng ínot This measurement does not vary from the original [MDL]

    hayúkong MA‑ or MAG‑ to grow shorter; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to shorten s/t; to reduce the length of s/t (a rope, stick); ... [MDL]
During the planning or design stages adjustments were clearly easier to make than after a structure was erected or other items were made. Measurements could be increased (áwan) or equalised in any number of required ways (súbo).
    áwan PA‑ that which is added to a measurement or calculation to make sure that it is sufficient or enough to meet requirements; MAPA‑, PA‑ ‑AN or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑ON to increase the measurement or calculation of s/t; MAPA‑, IPA‑ or MAGPA‑, IPAGPA‑ to increase a measurement or calculation by a particular amount [MDL]

    súbo MA‑, ‑ON to adjust the size of s/t; MA‑, I‑ to adjust the size of s/t (in relation to s/t else); MA‑, ‑AN to make s/t equal in size to s/t else; MAG‑ to have the same measurements; to be equal; to be of the same size; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to equalize things; to make two things the same size; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to make s/t equal or the same size (as s/t else); MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to make s/t equal to s/t else; KA‑ having the same measurements; of the same size, equal; ... [MDL]
Larger measurements, such as delineating a plot of land, were accomplished with a length of rope or rattan (lukóy). To increase the chances of accurate measurement, the rope would be straightened out between the points measured (waydóng). This would be the only way to ensure not only that the area of land was correctly allotted, but that any construction on that land could be situated correctly. For example, with a proper measurement housing posts could to be placed at equal distances on the area where a home was being constructed (sandág) and living spaces could be made as spacious or restricted as desired (híwas).
    lukóy length of rope or rattan used for measuring a plot of land; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure a plot of land in such a way; also: to measure a piece of cloth by folding it in half; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure a piece of land in a particular area or for a particular person; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a length of cord or rattan for this purpose [MDL]

    waydóng MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to straighten out a cord when measuring s/t, laying it out from point to point; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑ ‑AN to measure s/t in this way [MDL]

    sandág equal in size, or in distance from one another; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make things uniform in size, or place them at equal distances; ‑AN ruler or measuring stick [MDL]

    híwas width; MA‑ broad, wide; spacious, roomy, vast; MAG‑ to become wide; MAG‑, ‑AN to make way for s/t; MAGPA‑, PA‑‑ON to broaden or widen s/t; to make s/t more spacious [+MDL: MA‑ spacious; MA‑ or MAG‑ to stretch; to become wider; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to stretch s/t which is narrow; PAGKA‑ or KA‑‑AN width, breadth]
Measurement of the plot of land and that which was to be placed on it would also go a long way toward ensuring that any construction would be built to its required dimensions, thereby avoiding problems of proportionality if such measurement had not been made (haˈwáy).
    haˈwáy too long for its width; out of proportion to its over all size; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make s/t too long and out of proportion to its width: Kadaˈíng háros na utak iní, haˈwáy What a worthless knife this is, all out of proportion (too long and narrow) [MDL]
The centre or midpoint during Lisboa's time was referred to by different terms depending on how this was measured. The middle, measuring the width, was táhaw, a term which in modern Bikol means 'middle' no matter how it is measured. The middle, measuring the length, was tangáˈ during Lisboa's time. In modern Bikol this shares the meaning 'middle' with táhaw and also has the additional meaning of 'between' or 'in between'. A third term, tayháw, referred only to the midpoint of a lake or river, a place equidistant from both banks or shores.
    táhaw center, core ...; SA in the middle, center; intermediate; NASA among, amidst; central, median; MAG‑, I‑ to place s/t in the center; MAGPA‑ to go into the center, middle [+MDL: middle, center (measuring the width; for the middle of s/t measuring the length see tangáˈ); MAPA‑ to go into the center; MAPA‑, IPA‑ to place s/t in the center; MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to place s/t in the center of things]

    tangáˈ SA in-between, intermediate, midway; ...; MAG‑ to be in the middle; IPAG‑ to place s/t in the middle; MAGPA‑ to go into the middle; PAG‑‑AN the place in-between; intermediary [+MDL: middle, center (measuring the length; for the middle of s/t measuring the width see táhaw); sa tangáng dálan in the middle of the road; MAG‑ to be folded lengthwise down the middle; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place s/t in the middle; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place s/t in the middle of s/t; to cut s/t lengthwise down the middle; MAKA‑ to be halfway; to be half (as the volume of water in a glass): Nakakatangáˈ pa iníng túbig digdí sa tapáyan The urn is still half filled with water]

    tayháw middle, center (of a river, lake); a point equally distant from both banks or shores; MAPA‑ to go to the center or middle; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to go the middle to get s/t; MAPA‑, IPA‑ to carry s/t out to the middle of a river, lake [MDL]

6. Volume
The two measures which Lisboa used to refer to volume were the gánta and the tsúpa. These were not Bikol terms at the time, although they have become so. Gánta was a term of reference due, most likely, to its occurrence in Tagalog, the language of Manila and centre of commerce, although its ultimate origin was probably the Malay gantang.[96]
Tsúpa, also a term of reference, came from the Malay cupak where it was a measure equivalent to the volume of one-half a coconut shell. This came to be formalised as one quarter of a gantang.[97] We can see that the gánta - tsúpa equivalents are different for Bikol when compared with the Malay, but this type of difference is all too common in historical reference where equivalents changed over time and from place to place.
    gánta a measure of volume, commonly used to measure rice and other grains; also used to measure liquids; 1 gánta = 6 tsúpa or about 3 liters [TAG from MALAY gantang]

    tsúpa chupa, a measure of volume; 6 tsúpa = 1 gánta [MALAY cupak ½ coconut shell full or ¼ gantang]
The gánta and the tsúpa had equivalents in Bikol, and these were, respectively, buláw and gahín. Both of these referred to wet and dry measures and both could be used as verbs or nouns. Additionally, sukób referred to the action of measuring items out by the gahín. The gahín also existed in Tagalog where it retained the same meaning as that in Malay, ¼ gánta.[98]
    buláw container for measuring liquid, holding 1 gánta or 6 gahín; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t with such a container; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t for s/o; KA‑: saróˈ kabuláw a measure of one gánta; duwá kabuláw a measure of two gánta [MDL]

    gahín a tsúpa; 1/6 of a gánta or kabuláw (see buláw); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure out rice from a granary or other storage area or container by the gánta or tsúpa; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t as a measure for this volume; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to reduce the contents of a granary or container as various measured amounts are removed; ‑AN: gagahínan a measure of 1 tsúpa [MDL]

    sukób MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t out by the gahín or tsúpa (food such as mussels, clams, pieces of meat); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t out by the gahín or tsúpa (a large amount from which measured amounts are removed); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a particular container for measuring s/t by the gahín or tsúpa [MDL]
While there were exact equivalences for particular measures, exactness was clearly not a requirement to engage in or complete a transaction. Volume had to conform to the type of measure available. It came to depend as well on the type of agreement reached by those involved in the transaction. A tatakáran (see tákad), for example, could be a measure of rice comprising 15, 20 or 30 gánta depending on all the variables mentioned above.
    tákad measure of volume; MAG‑, ‑ON to measure rice or other items by the tákad; MAG‑, I‑ to use a particular container for measuring [+MDL: ‑AN: tatakáran a measure of rice comprising 15, 20 or 30 gánta, adjusted by those doing the measuring, or adjusted to the container available for measuring, to insure an exchange of equal amounts; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t out by the tákad; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t in this way for s/o]
The lack of a suitable container also need not have been a deterrent. Items could be scooped up by the handful (hakbót) and measured using the hands alone (káwol). Once this was done a person could guess the weight or estimate the volume by close or cursory examination (gupáˈ).
    hakbót a handful; MAG‑, ‑ON to scoop s/t up with the hands; MAG‑, ‑AN to scoop up a handful from s/t [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take a handful of s/t]

    káwol MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure out s/t with the hands when no container or proper measure is available; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use the hands for this purpose [MDL]

    gupáˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to guess or estimate the weight or volume of s/t by its bulk or size; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use one's eyes or thoughts to arrive at an estimate of weight or volume; Daˈí saróˈ kabuláw iní, didikít an gupáˈ It can't be one gánta judging from the small amount [MDL]
A volume measurement that was incorrect could be either increased or decreased (duklós) until it had reached the desired level (mungmóng) or it could be filled originally to the brim (ungbáw) and levelled off with a strickle or strike (karís). These terms referred to a volume of solids such as grains. The modern form of ungbáw is umbáw, although during Lisboa's time both forms existed and had related, though different, meanings with umbáw referring to something higher than other things around it.
    duklós MA‑ or MAG‑ to increase or diminish (the volume of s/t measured - solids such as grains, not liquids); MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to re-measure s/t to check on the volume or compare it to the original measurement [MDL]

    mungmóng MA‑ or MAG‑ ... to be filled to the desired level (a container); MAKA, MA‑ to present s/o with all one needs; MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to fill a container with the exact amount needed ... [MDL]

    umbáw filled to the brim; MAG‑ to be full to the top; MAGPA‑, PA‑‑ON to fill s/t up to the brim [MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to be higher than other things around it; ungbáw MA‑ or MAG‑ to be full to the brim, top; to increase, filling a pot (as steaming rice); (PAG‑)‑AN to be filled to the brim (as a pot with rice); MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to fill s/t to the top; MAPA‑, IPA‑ to fill a container to the brim with s/t]

    karís strickle, strike; an instrument used to level off grain in a measure; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to level off a measure of grain; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove excess grain in the process of leveling [MDL]
When a particular volume was requested or paid for, this was the amount one expected to receive and if it were not forthcoming, then it was reason for comment (álang-álang). Álang-álang is a long, complex entry, even with only the relevant parts produced below.
    álang-álang insufficient, unusable, unsuitable; referring to s/t too small, too short or less than the amount required; ... Álang-álang pa kamíng pároy We are out of rice; MA‑ to find s/t insufficient or inadequate; to believe one has been given less than what has been paid for; ‑ON to be insufficient; to appear to be less than what one has paid for or less than what one should have been given; ‑AN to be shortchanged; to receive less than required; MAG‑, PAG ‑‑ON to do s/t little by little; to buy s/t in small amounts; to say that what has been given is less than that paid for or less than that expected, or that what has been done is insufficient in size or of insufficient quantity; MAGKA‑ to be unsuitable or unusable due to being of insufficient size or quantity; ... PAGKA‑‑AN to be left without a share or portion; to be left incomplete due to an insufficient amount of supplies or supplies of insufficient size; KA‑‑AN to be left vacant or empty; MAKATAGU‑, MATAGU‑ to consider s/t wanting or insufficient; ... [MDL]
To compensate for any inadequacy in volume or amount, items could be paired (úpod) with an attempt to match items that were equal in size or weight (kasí). Failing this, items that were dissimilar would then be matched to complete a transaction (sagpóng).
    úpod pair, pairs; urúpod in pairs (many things); MA‑ or MAG‑ to be in pairs; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pair things off; to put things in pairs; MA‑, ‑AN: upóran or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagupóran to find a pair for s/t; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to pair s/t with s/t else [MDL]

    kasí MAG‑ same, equal: ... Magkasí dakúlaˈ Both are equally big; Magkasí sadáng Both are small; Magkasí síring The two are the same; Magkasí buláwan Both are gold; ... [MDL]

    sagpóng MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pair things which are smaller in size, less in number or lighter in weight so that they equal one thing greater in size or heavier in weight (such as two small pieces of fish which are placed together and given to one person and seen as equivalent to one large piece of fish given to another); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to make s/t of lesser size, number or weight equivalent to s/t greater with the addition of another item; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add an additional item to s/t which is smaller to make it equivalent to s/t which is larger or heavier ... [MDL]

7. Conclusion
The units of currency introduced into the Philippines by the Spanish had reference originally to external trading relationships and values. As the conquest of the islands spread and the Spanish administration became more comfortably entrenched, use of these currencies also spread and began to take on a more local flavour. Spanish terms soon developed Philippine equivalents which had relevance to both local and foreign trade.
Currencies such as the real were based on a particular weight of silver. Equivalences which developed in the Philippines were also based on weight, but almost exclusively on the weight of gold, traditionally abundant and highly valued as both as a medium of exchange as well as a metal of personal adornment. Long before arrival of the Spanish, areas of the Philippines had well established trading relationships with the Malay world to the south, so it is not surprising that a number of terms which came to be used were borrowed from Malay. The Bikol region, located to the south and east of the Tagalog speaking provinces, had what was probably a secondary trading relationship with Asia as the main trade routes would have been to the south and west across the South China Sea. It was Manila which had direct access to these routes, and Bikol also borrowed terms from Tagalog to supplement its financial vocabulary.
With gold so central to a system of exchange, and weight an integral part of determining equivalences, it is not unexpected that a variety of weights and weighing scales was found in the region, along with a set of terms to describe their function. The borrowing of terms from both Tagalog and Malay is clearly in evidence in Bikol, terms which were widely enough used that the Spanish employed them as general terms of reference.
The numbering system in use at the turn of the sixteenth century appears deceptively similar to that used in modern Bikol, but on closer examination differences begin to emerge. The original term for the number 'one' has fallen into disuse, leaving only its combining form behind. The formation of 'teens', the numbers 11-19, has changed with old Bikol using a form that modern speakers may only marginally recognise. The counting of the intervals from 21-29, 31-39, 41-49, and so on appeared to be in a transitional phase when Lisboa was writing with the dominant system based on a series of tens which included the 'teens' and thereby leading to expression of the numbers 21-29 as the third set of ten and not the second as it is in the modern counting system. Old Bikol also had a set of numerical classifiers, marginal though they might have been.
Linear measurement commonly relied on parts of the body; the foot, the arms, the hand in relation to the elbow and shoulder and the palm and fingers. Larger areas or longer dimensions could be measured by rattan or rope with the correct measurement marked by a knife in preparation for cutting.
A set of volume measures was useful in the buying and selling of grains and liquids. The buláw and gahín were the Bikol equivalents of the gánta and tsúpa, commonly used references borrowed from Tagalog with origins in Malay. While these were exact measurements, exactness was not always a requisite for such measurement. It could vary depending on the containers available and the agreement of those involved in the transaction. Where shortages or excesses occurred, these could easily be rectified by the addition or removal of the items being traded.
The monetary and measurement systems discussed here have long disappeared from common use. A move to national and, subsequently, international standards, has seen the rise of new terms and applications, far different from the past where standards differed, terms took on a variety of meanings, and location was frequently the significant criterion in how these standards were applied.


[1] Malcolm W. Mintz, 'Rice' in The Philippines at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century, Intersections Monograph 1, 2011, Section 7, 'Measures and Transactions', 2011, Canberra: Intersections,

[2] Tipos de monedas españolas, online: #R, accessed 15 December 2011.

[3] Manuel Torres, An exposition of the commerce of Spanish America. Philadelphia: G. Palmer, 1816, Image 30, in The Making of the Modern World, The Goldsmiths - Kress Library of Economic Literature, 1450-1850,

[4] John Hewitt, A treatise upon money, coins and exchange in regard both to theory and practice. London: H. Woodfall, Jun., 1740, Image 175, in The Making of the Modern World.

[5] Diccionario de la Lengua Española, Madrid: Real Academia Española, 1970.

[6] Diccionario de la Lengua Española.

[7] Tipos de monedas españolas, online: #C, accessed 15 December 2011.

[8] Diccionario de la Lengua Española; An Encyclopedia of World History, 1948, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 233.

[9] Tipos de monedas españolas, online: #M, accessed 15 December 2011; Manuel Torres, Image 30.

[10] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, online:, accessed 15 December 2011.

[11] John Hewitt, A treatise upon money, coins and exchange ..., Image 186.

[12] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, online:], accessed 15 December 2011.

[13] Real Casa de la Moneda, Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre,, p.8.

[14] Diccionario de la lengua española; WE Retana, Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas por el P. Joaquín Martínez de Zúñiga, Madrid. Imprenta de la viuda de M. Minuesa de los Rios, 1893, p. 552.

[15] Tipos de monedas españolas, online: #T, accessed 15 December 2011.

[16] William Henry Scott, Barangay, Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994, p. 73; also see Coin Archives, online: =100&search=Tostao, accessed 15 December 2011.

[17] William Egbert Wheeler MacKinlay, A Handbook and Grammar of the Tagalog Language. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905, p. 81; and elsewhere.

[18] Wheeler, A Handbook and Grammar of the Tagalog Language, p. 81; Juan José Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala, 1753. Reimpreso 1860, Manila: Imprenta de Ramirez y Giraudier, see saicaualó.

[19] Wheeler, A Handbook and Grammar of the Tagalog Language, p. 81; Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala, see sicoló.

[20] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala, see saicualó.

[21] Alonso de Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay, Manila: La Imprenta de D. Manuel y de Felix Dayot, 1841, see sicaualó; Antonio Sanchez de la Rosa, Diccionario español - bisaya para las provincias de Sámar y Leyte, 3rd edition, aumentado por Antonio Valeriano, 1914, Manila: Santos y Bermal see sicaualo; Diego Bergaño, Arte de la lengua Pampanga (1736), Manila: Colegio de Santo Tomás, Reimpreso 1916, p.213.

[22] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala, see conding.

[23] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay, see conding

[24] Diego Bergaño, Vocabulario de la lengua Pampanga (1732), Manila: Imprenta de Ramirez y Giraudier, Reimpreso 1860, see cunding.

[25] WE Retana, Diccionario de Filipinismos, Madrid: La Real Academia Española, 1921, p.77-78.

[26] Ferdinand Blumentritt, Vocabular einzelner Ausdrücke und Redensarten, welche dem Spanischen der philippinischen Inseln eigenthümlich sind (The vocabulary of some peculiar Philippine Spanish expressions and idioms), Leipzig, 1882, as cited in Retana, Diccionario de Filipinismos, p.77.

[27] R. Irureta Goyena, Sistema métrico decimal. Antiguo sistema de pesas, medidas y monedas de Filipinas, Manila, 1893, as cited in Retana, Diccionario de Filipinismos, p.77.

[28] Dr. Feodor Jagor, Viajes por Filipinas. Madrid: Imprenta, Esteriotipia y Galvanoplastia de Aribau y C, 1875, p. xviii.

[29] Kamus Dewan. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1994.

[30] RO Winstedt. An Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary. Singapore: Kelly & Walsh Ltd, nd.

[31] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.

[32] Mintz 'The Fossilized Affixes of Bikol', Currents in Pacific Linguistics: Papers on Austronesian Languages and Ethnolinguistics in Honor of George W. Grace, ed. Robert Blust, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics C-117, 1991, pp. 270-272.

[33] Bergaño, Arte de la lengua Pampanga, p.213.; Gaspar de San Agustin (1650-1724), Compendio del arte de la lengua Tagala, Manila: Imprenta de Amigos del Pais, 1879, p.120.

[34] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala; Bergaño, Vocabulario de la lengua Pampanga

[35] Carl RG Rubino, Ilocano Dictionary and Grammar: Ilocano-English, English-Ilocano. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2000.

[36] Fr. Andrés de San Agustin, Arte de la lengua Bicol (1647), Pueblo de Sampaloc (Manila): Convento de Nuestra Señora de Loreto, 1739, p. 15.

[37] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala

[38] John Crawfurd, A Grammar and Dictionary of the Malay Language, Vol. 2, London: Smith, Elder and Company, 1852, see lapis / salapis; William Marsden, A dictionary of the Malayan language. London: Cox and Baylis, 1812, see lapis / selapis.

[39] Winstedt. An Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, see saga, mayam.

[40] Danilo Madrid Gerona, From Epic to History: A Brief Introduction to Bicol History, Naga City, Philippines: Ateneo de Naga, 1988, p. 38.

[41] Conquest of Luzon, April 20, 1572, in Blair and Robertson, Vol 3, p. 161-162.

[42] Winstedt. An Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary.

[43] Kamus Dewan.

[44] Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 814, as cited in Pandanus Database of Plants: online:, accessed 19 December 2011.

[45] San Agustin, Arte de la lengua Bicol, p. 15.

[46] Oxford English Dictionary Online,, accessed 19 December 2011.

[47] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay, see bas‑ing; Encarnacion, Diccionario español- bisaya; de la Rosa, Diccionario español - bisaya para las provincias de Sámar y Leyte.

[48] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala; entries in the Spanish-Tagalog part of the Vocabulario are inconsistent in both form and meaning. I have referred only to the Tagalog-Spanish part.

[49] San Agustin, Compendio del arte de la lengua Tagala, p.122-123.

[50] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.

[51] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala, see paróni.

[52] Juan Feliz de la Encarnacion. Diccionario español- bisaya, Manila: Imprenta de los amigos del pais, á cargo de M. Sanchez, 1852, see padóni.

[53] Sulayman Hayyim. New Persian-English dictionary, Teheran: Librairie-imprimerie Beroukhim, 1934-1936, page 881; online version:

[54] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay.

[55] Encarnacion, Diccionario español- bisaya.

[56] Kamus Dewan.

[57] Winstedt, An Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary.

[58] San Agustin, Arte de la lengua Bicol, p.76.

[59] MacKinlay, A Handbook and Grammar of the Tagalog Language, page 78.

[60] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay.

[61] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala; Encarnacion, Diccionario español- bisaya, see bolán.

[62] also in San Agustin, Arte de la lengua Bicol, p.16.

[63] San Agustin, Compendio del arte de la lengua Tagala, p.122-123.

[64] Crawfurd, A Grammar and Dictionary of the Malay Language, see salapan; Winstedt records this form as selapan which is the more accurate spelling and one which can be found in modern Malay and Indonesian dictionaries.

[65] John U Wolff, A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan, Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines, 1971.

[66] de la Rosa, Diccionario español - bisaya para las provincias de Sámar y Leyte.

[67] Wolff, A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan.

[68] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala; San Agustin, Compendio del arte de la lengua Tagala, p.122-123.

[69] RJ Wilkinson. A Malay-English Dictionary, Mytilene, Greece: Salavopoulous & Kinderlis, 1932.

[70] Bergaño, Vocabulario de la lengua Pampanga, see cáti; San Agustin, Compendio del arte de la lengua Tagala, p.124.

[71] Wikipedia, online:, accessed 19 December 2011; and elsewhere.

[72] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.

[73] Diccionario de la lengua Española; Retana, Diccionario de Filipinismos, p. 86.

[74] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.

[75] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay; Bergaño, Vocabulario de la lengua Pampanga.

[76] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.

[77] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay.

[78] Bergaño, Vocabulario de la lengua Pampanga, see cáti.

[79] Ignacio Francisco Alcina, History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands, 1668, Volume 1, Manila: UST Publishing House, 2002, p. 249.

[80] Retana, Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas, p. 552; and elsewhere.

[81] Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1989. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[82] de la Rosa, Diccionario español - bisaya para las provincias de Sámar y Leyte.

[83], online:, accessed 26 December 2011.

[84] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.

[85] Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay.

[86] Wolff, A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan.

[87] Bergaño, Arte de la lengua Pampanga, p.205; also see note at bottom of page.

[88] de la Rosa, Diccionario español - bisaya para las provincias de Sámar y Leyte, see yocut.

[89] also see San Agustin, Arte de la lengua Bicol, p.75.

[90] San Agustin, Arte de la lengua Bicol, p.75.

[91] Bergaño, Arte de la lengua Pampanga, p.205.

[92] San Agustin, Compendio del arte de la lengua Tagala, p.115.

[93] Malcolm W Mintz. 'Anger and Verse: Two Vocabulary Subsets in Bikol'., Vical 2: Western Austronesian and Contact Languages, Papers from the 5th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, 1991, 231-44 Auckland: Linguistics Society of New Zealand.

[94] Encarnacion, Diccionario español- bisaya, see óna.

[95] Mintz, 'The Fossilized Affixes of Bikol', p. 276.

[96] Winstedt, An Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary.

[97] Winstedt, An Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, see chupa.

[98] Noceda, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.


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