From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
The timawa refers to the intermediate social class of the precolonial Philippines. Commonly translated as "freeman", people belonging to this social class had their own followers, properties, land to till, and were not required to pay tributes during harvesting season. However, they were bound to serve the datu.
If an alipin was a goldsmith, and had saved enough gold, could free him or herself and become a timawa by paying a certain amount to his or her master.
- Arcilla, Jose S. Kasaysayan Vol. II - The Spanish Conquest. Philippines: Asia Publishing Company Limited, 1998.