the largest native population of the Philippines, inhabiting the islands in the central part of the Philippine Archipelago. Population, approximately 14.5 million (1967, estimate), including more than 200,000 people living outside of the Philippines, mainly in Indonesia. The Visayan language is related to the northern group of Indonesian languages. Most of the Visayans are Catholic. Their chief occupation is farming (rice), with some fishing. Some scholars see a connection between the name for the Visayan people and the name of the ancient kingdom of Srivijaya. During the existence of this kingdom (mid-seventh century to late 13th century A.D.) a number of Indonesian tribes that had mi-grated from the island of Kalimantan (Borneo) assimilated part of the aboriginal population of the Philippines, thus beginning the formation of the Visayan people.
REFERENCESNarody lugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966.
Beyer, H. O. Population of the Philippine Islands in 1916. Manila, 1917.