Gold was intertwined with the lives of our pre-colonial ancestors that even death could not break this bond. As with many other cultures around the globe, our pre-colonial ancestors practiced putting precious items alongside the deceased to safeguard its pleasant journey to the afterlife. The most exquisite gold ornaments and precious jewelry were found inside the coffins of the wealthy. The face and orifices of the dead were covered with highly valuable gold, with more of it placed inside the mouth, to ward off malevolent spirits from possessing the body. The most lavish orifice covers were excavated in Butuan and dated from around the 10th to 13th centuries. They are embellished with fringed or notched perforations and intricately curved appendages. Other ornaments such as the gold earrings pictured were also placed beside the dead to ensure its continued prosperity in the afterlife. Also referred to as grave goods, they symbolize the complexity of the pre-colonial Filipinos’ culture and the social identities among groups and individuals. As equally important to its purpose of serving the deceased, gold ornaments served as symbols of societal status and power in the pre-colonial Philippines. When the Spanish colonizers set foot on Las Islas Filipinas, they immediately caught sight of the gold jewelry that ornamented the bodies of both men and women. Among the most common were ear ornaments or split hoops such as the ones pictured dated from around the 10th to 13th centuries. According to Martin I. Tinio, Jr., the pre-colonial natives wore these ornaments by slipping the earlobe into the slit and then inserting them into the wide opening made into the lobe. There were cases where earlobes had openings with a diameter of more than an inch to permit the insertion of larger golden ear ornaments that symbolized prestige in the pre-colonial Philippines. The Boxer Codex is a 16th-century Spanish manuscript that provides one of the earliest descriptions of the natives of the Philippines at the time of the early Spanish contact. One of its texts describes multiple holes in the earlobes where “men and women place many… gold ornaments made very exquisitely, as they have among them many gold artisans for this purpose who work on filigree… Some look like roses, and these are worn only by women and are called pomaras. Others are like round rings worn by men and women who call them panicas. Some wear three or four pairs of such rings in their ears, which they can do because they have so many holes.” As supplemented by Spanish historian and Jesuit missionary Francisco Ignacio Alcina in his Historia de las islas e indios de Bisayas, Visayan women wore large gold plugs called pamarang (pomaras in the Boxer Codex) in the lowest holes of their ears. The native men wore large slit hoops called panica/panika. These were described by Alcina as “finger-thick gold rings fastened like a letter O'' to the lowest earlobe. Both the pomaras and the panica are illustrated in the Boxer Codex.