Ancient Relations with China

From scanty records that have come down to the present, it is known that the Philippines had some commercial relations with the neighboring countries, particularly with China. Trade relations with the latter started in the 9th century when some Arab traders who were barred from the Central China coast found an alternative route starting from Malacca and passing through Borneo, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

Goods from Southeast Asia and the Western world were carried by the Arab traders to the Philippines through the southern route. Philippine goods, on the other hand, were brought by Arab ships to the Chinese mainland through the port of Canton.
During the rule of the Sung Dynasty (960-1127) in China, Chinese goods began to flow in a continuous stream into the Philippines. Chinese colonies were founded in the coastal towns of the archipelago. During the Ming period (1368-1644), other colonies were established in the hinterland.