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Thread: Pangasinese swords.

  1. #1

    Pangasinese swords.

    I hear swords made from Luzon are the best quality of sword made in the phillipines, and I was just wondeing how true a statement that was. I bought a sword from someone from Pangasinan, which is located in Luzon and waiting for it to ship, I wanted to learn about it and did some research on it. Apparently swords from that region (Subic bay, Pangasinan province, phillipines) were in constant use after world war II, when access to Spring steel was easy to get from abandined or useless war machinery. Hand made in a way that the moros craft their swords, these Bolos apparently were made of spring steel and oiled from anything they could find cheap, which is why some antique swords from the area are covered in a blackened film instead of a rusty reddish colour. Handles were made of either kamagong wood or carabao horn.

    I've found out a lot about swords from the exact region I purchased by sword, except for what the exact quality the swords are. My family, being from Manila don't know much about these swords, and the only swords any relative own are of cebuano or negrito origin. The pangasinese are renouned for being great quality swords, but I'm curious as to how great. Anyone have any answers or clues into the query?

    EDIT: I've found some information on filipino swords in general, I have no clue if it applies to pangasinese swords, this was written about the Haanwei CAS Iberia filipino swords.

    "Their high carbon spring steel is from the Philippines and comes from automobile springs (typically 5160), and can flex somewhat and return true. The high carbon steel used in Indian swords is similar to 1065. But, watch out! Even though many Indian, Filipino and Malaysian companies use superior steel, they put it through very poor heat-treating, which results in an inferior blade! In terms of "bang for the buck" you're getting an okay sword, but I wouldn't bet my life on an Indian, Filipino or Malaysian blade due to low-quality tempering."
    Last edited by Dave Santos; 02-01-2007 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Hi Dave,

    Welcome to the new forum.

    Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question as weapons from the Phillipines are outside my first-hand experience. Hopefully, someone will give you more help than I am able to at the moment.

    Yet I wonder if you could provide a link to the source of the quote you used. I am curious about the context of that perspective.


    Doug Mullane

  3. #3
    Hi, Doug! Thanks for the welcome.

    Sure, I can provide the source for the quote. It was from a metallurgical analysis of different types of steel. It seemed to single out indian and southeast asian swords as inferiorly heat treated. I was wondering if it applies to the sword I've purchased from Subic Bay, Pangasinan. I'm not quite sure if the sword I bought was made of recycled steel, however. How can one tell if it has? I was told that the blade that was made for me was crafted the same way that the Moros of the southern phillipines make their swords, only styled in the local luzon fashion which would be the only difference.

    anyways, here's the link:

    Metallurgical analysis for different types of steel.
    Last edited by Dave Santos; 02-02-2007 at 09:52 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Let me clarify that quote, Doug.

    That excerpt was written in 1998-1999 (possibly earlier) with specific focus on cheap mass-produced swords made in the Philippines in our modern era for export.

    I would like to make sure that the CSEA forum is used for discussing antique pieces, as this is an antique arms & armor forum.
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  5. #5
    it's very difficult to comment on your thread without seeing a good picture of your sword...but antique swords made anywhere in the Philippines were definitely made very well...especially Moro swords of the south and Pangasinan was well known to be influenced by the Chinese in regards to forging. also keep in mind that most of the early settlers of the Philippines were mostly Muslims and the technologies they brought with were of Indo/Malay methods.


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