Ethnic groups are defined by the shared cultural heritage, ancestry, myths or origin, history, and language they cherish. This is manifested by symbolic systems such as religion, rituals, cuisine, way of dressing and physical appearance.
Organized living made this kinship group reconize a leader called a datu, and a native priestess referred to as catalonan (among the Tagalogs) or babaylan (among the Bisayans). There was trading with the Chinese men before the coming of the spaniards. The work of Chao- Ju-Kua dated 1225 AD marks the first official documentation of trades between Philippines and South China. Native good which were bartered to Chinese consisted of yellow wax, cotton, pearls, tortoise shell, and medicinal betel nut. In exchange of these items, the Filipinos got from the Chinese items like porcelain ware, trade metals, iron tripod vessels, black lead, variegated glass beads, and iron needles. There was metalsmithing technology as attested by the presence of ironsmithing materials that were used to turn iron into tools and implements.