Monday, June 16, 2008

literary terms



The form of written language that is not organized according to the formal patterns of verse; although it will have some sort of rhythm and some devices of repetition and balance, these are not governed by a regularly sustained formal arrangement, the significant unit being the sentence rather than the line


Language sung, chanted, spoken, or written according to some pattern of recurrence that emphasizes the relationships between words on the basis of sound as well as sense: this pattern is almost always a rhythm or metre, which may be supplemented by rhyme or alliteration or both. The demands of verbal patterning usually make poetry a more condensed medium than prose or everyday speech, often involving variations in syntax, the use of special words and phrases ( poetic diction) peculiar to poets, and a more frequent and more elaborate use of figures of speech, principally metaphor and simile.


A long narrative poem celebrating the great deeds of one or more legendary heroes, in a grand ceremonious style. The hero, usually protected by or even descended from gods, performs superhuman exploits in battle or in marvellous voyages, often saving or founding a nation.

– Virgil's Aeneid (30–20 BC), Milton's Paradise Lost (1667), epics of Homer, whose Iliad and Odyssey (c. 8th century BCE) are derived from an oral tradition of recitation. The AngloSaxon poem Beowulf (8th century BCE) is a primary epic, as is the oldest surviving epic poem, the Babylonian Gilgamesh (c.3000 BCE). In the Renaissance, epic poetry (also known as ‘heroic poetry’) was regarded as the highest form of literature. Other important national epics are the Indian Mahābhārata (3rd or 4th century BCE) and the German Nibelungenlied (c.1200


A kind of story or rudimentary narrative sequence, normally traditional and anonymous, through which a given culture ratifies its social customs or accounts for the origins of human and natural phenomena, usually in supernatural or boldly imaginative terms. The term has a wide range of meanings, which can be divided roughly into ‘rationalist’ and ‘romantic’ versions: in the first, a myth is a false or unreliable story or belief


A story or group of stories handed down through popular oral tradition, usually consisting of an exaggerated or unreliable account of some actually or possibly historical person—often a saint, monarch, or popular hero. Legends are sometimes distinguished from myths in that they concern human beings rather than gods, and sometimes in that they have some sort of historical basis whereas myths do not; but these distinctions are difficult to maintain consistently.


A brief tale in verse or prose that conveys a moral lesson, usually by giving human speech and manners to animals and inanimate things (see beast fable). Fables often conclude with a moral, delivered in the form of an epigram. A very old form of story related to folklore and proverbs, the fable in Europe descends from tales attributed to Aesop, a Greek slave in the 6th century BCE: his fable of the fox and the grapes has given us the phrase ‘sour grapes’


A story passed on by word of mouth rather than by writing, and thus partly modified by successive retellings before being written down or recorded. The category includes legends, fables, jokes, tall stories, and fairy tales or Märchen. Many folktales involve mythical creatures and magical transformations. It is also a general term for any of numerous varieties of traditional narrative. The telling of stories appears to be a cultural universal, common to primitive and complex societies alike.


A short popular saying of unknown authorship, expressing some general truth or superstition: ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’ Proverbs are found in most cultures, and are often very ancient. The Hebrew scriptures include a book of Proverbs. Many poets—notably Chaucer—incorporate proverbs into their works, and others imitate their condensed form of expression: William Blake's ‘Proverbs of Hell’ in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793) are, strictly speaking, aphorisms, since they originate from a known author.


A short poem with a witty turn of thought; or a wittily condensed expression in prose. Originally a form of monumental inscription in ancient Greece, the epigram was developed into a literary form by the poets of the Hellenistic age and by the Roman poet Martial, whose Epigrams (86–102 CE) were often obscenely insulting.


Poem of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, restricted to a definite rhyme scheme. There are two prominent types: the Italian, or Patriarchal sonnet, composed of an octave and a sestet (rhyming abbaabba cdecde), and the Elizabethan, or Shakespearean, sonnet, consisting of three quatrains and a couplet (rhyming abab cdcd efef gg).


An elaborately formal lyric poem, often in the form of a lengthy ceremonious address to a person or abstract entity, always serious and elevated in tone. There are two different classical models: Pindar's Greek choral odes devoted to public praise of athletes (5th century BCE), and Horace's more privately reflective odes in Latin (c. 23–13 BCE).


A puzzlingly indirect description of some thing, person, or idea, framed in such a way as to challenge the reader to identify it. Riddles, usually in verse, are found as a popular literary form in most cultures and periods.


Sacred song or hymn. The term usually refers to the Hebrew verses in the biblical book of Psalms, traditionally (but unreliably) attributed to King David. These psalms, notably in the English translation attributed to Miles Coverdale and found in the Book of Common Prayer, have had an important place in Christian worship, in English religious poetry, and in the development of free verse. The art of singing psalms is called psalmody, while a collection of psalms is known as a psalter.


The Literary Forms in Philippine Literature

The diversity and richness of Philippine literature evolved side by side with the country's history. This can best be appreciated in the context of the country's pre-colonial cultural traditions and the socio-political histories of its colonial and contemporary traditions.

The average Filipino's unfamiliarity with his indigenous literature was largely due to what has been impressed upon him: that his country was "discovered" and, hence, Philippine "history" started only in 1521.

So successful were the efforts of colonialists to blot out the memory of the country's largely oral past that present-day Filipino writers, artists and journalists are trying to correct this inequity by recognizing the country's wealth of ethnic traditions and disseminating them in schools and in the mass media.

The rousing of nationalistic pride in the 1960s and 1970s also helped bring about this change of attitude among a new breed of Filipinos concerned about the "Filipino identity."

Pre-colonial inhabitants of our islands showcase a rich past through their folk speeches, folk songs, folk narratives and indigenous rituals and mimetic dances that affirm our ties with our Southeast Asian neighbors.

The most seminal of these folk speeches is the riddle which is tigmo in Cebuano, bugtong in Tagalog, paktakon in Ilongo and patototdon in Bicol. Central to the riddle is the talinghaga or metaphor because it "reveals subtle resemblances between two unlike objects" and one's power of observation and wit are put to the test.

The proverbs or aphorisms express norms or codes of behavior, community beliefs or they instill values by offering nuggets of wisdom in short, rhyming verse.

The extended form, tanaga, a mono-riming heptasyllabic quatrain expressing insights and lessons on life is "more emotionally charged than the terse proverb and thus has affinities with the folk lyric." Some examples are the basahanon or extended didactic sayings from Bukidnon and the daraida and daragilon from Panay.

The folk song, a form of folk lyric which expresses the hopes and aspirations, the people's lifestyles as well as their loves. These are often repetitive and sonorous, didactic and naive as in the children's songs or Ida-ida (Maguindanao), tulang pambata (Tagalog) or cansiones para abbing (Ibanag).

Other folk songs are the drinking songs sung during carousals like the tagay (Cebuano and Waray); dirges and lamentations extolling the deeds of the dead like the kanogon (Cebuano) or the Annako (Bontoc).

A type of narrative song or kissa among the Tausug of Mindanao, the parang sabil, uses for its subject matter the exploits of historical and legendary heroes. It tells of a Muslim hero who seeks death at the hands of non-Muslims.

The folk narratives, i.e. epics and folk tales are varied, exotic and magical. They explain how the world was created, how certain animals possess certain characteristics, why some places have waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains, flora or fauna and, in the case of legends, an explanation of the origins of things. Fables are about animals and these teach moral lessons.

Our country's epics are considered ethno-epics because unlike, say, Germany's Niebelunginlied, our epics are not national for they are "histories" of varied groups that consider themselves "nations."

The epics come in various names: Guman (Subanon); Darangen (Maranao); Hudhud (Ifugao); and Ulahingan (Manobo). These epics revolve around supernatural events or heroic deeds and they embody or validate the beliefs and customs and ideals of a community. These are sung or chanted to the accompaniment of indigenous musical instruments and dancing performed during harvests, weddings or funerals by chanters. The chanters who were taught by their ancestors are considered "treasures" and/or repositories of wisdom in their communities.

Examples of these epics are the Lam-ang (Ilocano); Hinilawod (Sulod); Kudaman (Palawan); Darangen (Maranao); Ulahingan (Livunganen-Arumanen Manobo); Mangovayt Buhong na Langit (The Maiden of the Buhong Sky from Tuwaang--Manobo); Ag Tobig neg Keboklagan (Subanon); and Tudbulol (T'boli).

The Spanish Colonial Tradition

While it is true that Spain subjugated the Philippines for more mundane reasons, this former European power contributed much in the shaping and recording of our literature. Religion and institutions that represented European civilization enriched the languages in the lowlands, introduced theater which we would come to know as komedya, the sinakulo, the sarswela, the playlets and the drama. Spain also brought to the country, though at a much later time, liberal ideas and an internationalism that influenced our own Filipino intellectuals and writers for them to understand the meanings of "liberty and freedom."

Literature in this period may be classified as religious prose and poetry and secular prose and poetry.

Religious lyrics written by ladino poets or those versed in both Spanish and Tagalog were included in early catechism and were used to teach Filipinos the Spanish language. Fernando Bagonbanta's "Salamat nang walang hanga/gracias de sin sempiternas" (Unending thanks) is a fine example that is found in the Memorial de la vida cristiana en lengua tagala (Guidelines for the Christian life in the Tagalog language) published in 1605.

Another form of religious lyrics are the meditative verses like the dalit appended to novenas and catechisms. It has no fixed meter nor rime scheme although a number are written in octosyllabic quatrains and have a solemn tone and spiritual subject matter.

But among the religious poetry of the day, it is the pasyon in octosyllabic quintillas that became entrenched in the Filipino's commemoration of Christ's agony and resurrection at Calvary. Gaspar Aquino de Belen's "Ang Mahal na Passion ni Jesu Christong Panginoon natin na tola" (Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Verse) put out in 1704 is the country's earliest known pasyon.

Other known pasyons chanted during the Lenten season are in Ilocano, Pangasinan, Ibanag, Cebuano, Bicol, Ilongo and Waray.

Aside from religious poetry, there were various kinds of prose narratives written to prescribe proper decorum. Like the pasyon, these prose narratives were also used for proselitization. Some forms are: dialogo (dialogue), Manual de Urbanidad (conduct book); ejemplo (exemplum) and tratado (tratado). The most well-known are Modesto de Castro's "Pagsusulatan ng Dalawang Binibini na si Urbana at si Feliza" (Correspondence between the Two Maidens Urbana and Feliza) in 1864 and Joaquin Tuason's "Ang Bagong Robinson" (The New Robinson) in 1879, an adaptation of Daniel Defoe's novel.

Secular works appeared alongside historical and economic changes, the emergence of an opulent class and the middle class who could avail of a European education. This Filipino elite could now read printed works that used to be the exclusive domain of the missionaries.

The most notable of the secular lyrics followed the conventions of a romantic tradition: the languishing but loyal lover, the elusive, often heartless beloved, the rival. The leading poets were Jose Corazon de Jesus (Huseng Sisiw) and Francisco Balagtas. Some secular poets who wrote in this same tradition were Leona Florentino, Jacinto Kawili, Isabelo de los Reyes and Rafael Gandioco.

Another popular secular poetry is the metrical romance, the awit and korido in Tagalog. The awit is set in dodecasyllabic quatrains while the korido is in octosyllabic quatrains. These are colorful tales of chivalry from European sources made for singing and chanting such as Gonzalo de Cordoba (Gonzalo of Cordoba) and Ibong Adarna (Adarna Bird). There are numerous metrical romances in Tagalog, Bicol, Ilongo, Pampango, Ilocano and in Pangasinan. The awit as a popular poetic genre reached new heights in Balagtas' "Florante at Laura" (ca. 1838-1861), the most famous of the country's metrical romances.

Again, the winds of change began to blow in 19th century Philippines. Filipino intellectuals educated in Europe called ilustrados began to write about the downside of colonization. This, coupled with the simmering calls for reforms by the masses gathered a formidable force of writers like Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, Emilio Jacinto and Andres Bonifacio.

This led to the formation of the Propaganda Movement where prose works such as the political essays and Rizal's two political novels, Noli Me Tangere and the El filibusterismo helped usher in the Philippine revolution resulting in the downfall of the Spanish regime, and, at the same time planted the seeds of a national consciousness among Filipinos.

But if Rizal's novels are political, the novel Ninay (1885) by Pedro Paterno is largely cultural and is considered the first Filipino novel. Although Paterno's Ninay gave impetus to other novelists like Jesus Balmori and Antonio M. Abad to continue writing in Spanish, this did not flourish.

Other Filipino writers published the essay and short fiction in Spanish in La Vanguardia, El Debate, Renacimiento Filipino, and Nueva Era. The more notable essayists and fictionists were Claro M. Recto, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Epifanio de los Reyes, Vicente Sotto, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Rafael Palma, Enrique Laygo (Caretas or Masks, 1925) and Balmori who mastered the prosa romantica or romantic prose.

But the introduction of English as medium of instruction in the Philippines hastened the demise of Spanish so that by the 1930s, English writing had overtaken Spanish writing. During the language's death throes, however, writing in the romantic tradition, from the awit and korido, would continue in the novels of Magdalena Jalandoni. But patriotic writing continued under the new colonialists. These appeared in the vernacular poems and modern adaptations of works during the Spanish period and which further maintained the Spanish tradition.

The American Colonial Period

A new set of colonizers brought about new changes in Philippine literature. New literary forms such as free verse [in poetry], the modern short story and the critical essay were introduced. American influence was deeply entrenched with the firm establishment of English as the medium of instruction in all schools and with literary modernism that highlighted the writer's individuality and cultivated consciousness of craft, sometimes at the expense of social consciousness.

The poet, and later, National Artist for Literature, Jose Garcia Villa used free verse and espoused the dictum, "Art for art's sake" to the chagrin of other writers more concerned with the utilitarian aspect of literature. Another maverick in poetry who used free verse and talked about illicit love in her poetry was Angela Manalang Gloria, a woman poet described as ahead of her time. Despite the threat of censorship by the new dispensation, more writers turned up "seditious works" and popular writing in the native languages bloomed through the weekly outlets like Liwayway and Bisaya.

The Balagtas tradition persisted until the poet Alejandro G. Abadilla advocated modernism in poetry. Abadilla later influenced young poets who wrote modern verses in the 1960s such as Virgilio S. Almario, Pedro I. Ricarte and Rolando S. Tinio.

While the early Filipino poets grappled with the verities of the new language, Filipinos seemed to have taken easily to the modern short story as published in the Philippines Free Press, the College Folio and Philippines Herald. Paz Marquez Benitez's "Dead Stars" published in 1925 was the first successful short story in English written by a Filipino. Later on, Arturo B. Rotor and Manuel E. Arguilla showed exceptional skills with the short story.

Alongside this development, writers in the vernaculars continued to write in the provinces. Others like Lope K. Santos, Valeriano Hernandez Peña and Patricio Mariano were writing minimal narratives similar to the early Tagalog short fiction called dali or pasingaw (sketch).

The romantic tradition was fused with American pop culture or European influences in the adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan by F. P. Boquecosa who also penned Ang Palad ni Pepe after Charles Dicken's David Copperfield even as the realist tradition was kept alive in the novels by Lope K. Santos and Faustino Aguilar, among others.

It should be noted that if there was a dearth of the Filipino novel in English, the novel in the vernaculars continued to be written and serialized in weekly magazines like Liwayway, Bisaya, Hiligaynon and Bannawag.

The essay in English became a potent medium from the 1920's to the present. Some leading essayists were journalists like Carlos P. Romulo, Jorge Bocobo, Pura Santillan Castrence, etc. who wrote formal to humorous to informal essays for the delectation by Filipinos.

Among those who wrote criticism developed during the American period were Ignacio Manlapaz, Leopoldo Yabes and I.V. Mallari. But it was Salvador P. Lopez's criticism that grabbed attention when he won the Commonwealth Literay Award for the essay in 1940 with his "Literature and Society." This essay posited that art must have substance and that Villa's adherence to "Art for Art's Sake" is decadent.

The last throes of American colonialism saw the flourishing of Philippine literature in English at the same time, with the introduction of the New Critical aesthetics, made writers pay close attention to craft and "indirectly engendered a disparaging attitude" towards vernacular writings -- a tension that would recur in the contemporary period.

The Contemporary Period

The flowering of Philippine literature in the various languages continue especially with the appearance of new publications after the Martial Law years and the resurgence of committed literature in the 1960s and the 1970s.

Filipino writers continue to write poetry, short stories, novellas, novels and essays whether these are socially committed, gender/ethnic related or are personal in intention or not.

Of course the Filipino writer has become more conscious of his art with the proliferation of writers workshops here and abroad and the bulk of literature available to him via the mass media including the internet. The various literary awards such as the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, Home Life and Panorama literary awards encourage him to compete with his peers and hope that his creative efforts will be rewarded in the long run.

With the new requirement by the Commission on Higher Education of teaching of Philippine Literature in all tertiary schools in the country emphasizing the teaching of the vernacular literature or literatures of the regions, the audience for Filipino writers is virtually assured. And, perhaps, a national literature finding its niche among the literatures of the world will not be far behind.

The variety and abundance of Philippine literature evolved even before the colonial periods. Folk tales, epics, poems and marathon chants existed in most ethnolinguistic groups that were passed on from generations to generations through word of mouth. Tales associated with the Spanish conquest also took part in the country’s rich cultural heritage. Some of these pre-colonial literary pieces showcased in traditional narratives, speeches and songs are Tigmo in Cebuano, bugtong in Tagalog, patototdon is Bicol and paktakon in Ilongo. Philippine epics and folk tales are varied and filled with magical characters. They are either narratives of mostly mythical objects, persons or certain places, or epics telling supernatural events and bravery of heroes, customs and ideologies of a community.

Below are examples of ethno-epics popularized by different ethnic groups in the country:

Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang) of the Ilocanos narrates the adventures of the prodigious epic hero, Lam-ang who exhibits extraordinary powers at an early age. At nine months he is able to go to war to look for his father’s killers. Then while in search of lady love, Ines Kannoyan, he is swallowed by a big fish, but his rooster and his friends bring him back to life.

The Agyu or Olahing of the Manobos is a three part epic that starts with the pahmara (invocation) then the kepu’unpuun ( a narration of the past) and the sengedurog (an episode complete in itself). All three parts narrate the exploits of the hero as he leads his people who have been driven out of their land to Nalandangan, a land of utopia where there are no landgrabbers and oppressors.

Sandayo, of the Subanon tells of the story of the hero with the same name, who is born through extraordinary circumstances as he fell out of the hair of his mother while she was combing it on the ninth stroke. Thence he leads his people in the fight against invaders of their land and waterways.

Aliguyon or the Hudhud of the Ifugaos tells of the adventures of Aliguyon as he battles his arch enemy, Pambukhayon among rice fields and terraces and instructs his people to be steadfast and learn the wisdom of warfare and of peacemaking during harvest seasons.

Labaw Donggon is about the passionate exploits of the son of a goddess Alunsina, by a mortal, Datu Paubari. The polygamous hero battles the huge monster Manaluntad for the hand of Abyang Ginbitinan; then he fights Sikay Padalogdog, the giant with a hundred arms to win Abyang Doronoon and confronts the lord of darkness, Saragnayan, to win Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata. Reference-NCCA

Other epics known to most Filipinos are the Ibalon of Bikol, Darangan which is a Muslim epic, the Kudaman of Palawan, the Alim of the Ifugao, Bantugan of the Maranao, the Hinilawod of Panay, the and the Tuwaang of Manobos. The Tagalogs pride their Myth of Bernardo Carpio, a folk hero said to hold the mountains of San Mateo apart with his powerful arms to prevent them from colliding.

There are shorter narratives that tell the origins of the people, the stars, the sky and the seas. A famous story that tells of the origin of man and woman is that of Sicalac (man) and Sicavay (woman) who came out of a bamboo after being pecked by a bird. This, and other stories of equal birthing of man and woman throughout the archipelago assert a woman’s equal position with a man within the tribal systems. Reference-NCCA

During the Spanish colonial period, the country have encountered transformations in their daily customs. It affected not only the country’s whole system but as well tainted the purity of their folklore traditions. And because of the western’s strong influence and forceful implication of their civilization, the locals’ forms of expression on national issues and self-consciousness were replaced through political essays, novels, poems and religious prose- a form of learning, however, that led to ultimate awakening of Filipinos regarding the unreasonable colonial rule in the country. Famous examples of these Spanish-adapted writings are the novels of Jose Rizal, El Filibusterismo and Noli Me Tangere.

Nowadays, Filipino writers have continued to patronize the intellectual influence started by Rizal but to further aim at reviving the richness of the country’s very own folk traditions and introducing it to new generations as a significant form of art.


The Lumad are a group of indigenous peoples of the Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
Lumad is a Cebuano term meaning ‘native’ or ‘indigenous’. For more than two decades it has been used to refer to the groups indigenous to Mindanao who are neither Muslim nor Christian. The term is short for katawhang Lumad (literally “indigenous peoples”), the autonym officially adopted by the delegates of the Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation (LMPF) founding assembly in June 26, 1986 at the Guadalupe Formation Center, Balindog, Kidapawan, Cotabato, Philippines. It is the self-ascription and collective identity of the un-Islamized indigenous peoples of Mindanao.

The name Lumad grew out of the political awakening among various tribes during the martial law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. It was advocated and propagated by the members and affiliates of Lumad-Mindanao, a coalition of all-Lumad local and regional organizations which formalized themselves as such in June 1986 but started in 1983 as a multi-sectoral organization. Lumad-Mindanao’s main objective was to achieve self-determination for their member-tribes, or, put more concretely, self-governance within their ancestral domain in accordance with their culture and customary laws. No other Lumad organization had had the express goal in the past.
Representative from fifteen tribes agreed in June 1986 to adopt the name; there were no delegates from the Three major groups of the T'boli, the Teduray and the Subanen.

The choice of a Cebuano word was a bit ironic but they deemed it to be most appropriate considering that the various Lumad tribes do not have any other common language except Cebuano. This is the first time that these tribes have agreed to a common name for themselves, distinct from that of the Moros and different from the migrant majority and their descendants.

There are 18 Lumad ethnolinguistic groups: Ata, Bagobo, Banwaon, B’laan, Bukidnon, Dibabawon, Higaonon, Mamanwa, Mandaya, Manguwangan, Manobo, Mansaka, Subanon, Tagakaolo, Tasaday, Tboli, Teduray, and Ubo.

According to the Lumad Development Center Inc., there are about eighteen Lumad groups in 19 provinces across the country. They comprise 12 to 13 million or 18% of the Philippine population and can be divided into 110 ethno-linguistic groups. Considered as "vulnerable groups", they live in hinterlands, forests, lowlands and coastal areas.[1]

Katawhan Lumad are the un-Islamized indigenous peoples of Mindanaw, namely: Erumanen ne Menuvu`, Matidsalug Manobo, Agusanon Manobo, Dulangan Manobo, Dabaw Manobo,Ata Manobo, B'laan, Kaulo, Banwaon, Teduray, Lambangian, Subanen, Higaunon, Dibabawon, Mangguwangan, Mansaka, Mandaya, K'lagan, T'boli, Mamanuwa, Talaandig, Tagabawa, and Ubu`, Tinenanen, Kuwemanen, K'lata and Diyangan.]

There are about twenty general hilltribes of Mindanao, all of which are of Austronesian descent.
The term Lumad excludes the Butuanons and Surigaonons, even the said 2 ethnic groups are native to Mindanao and the word tells it so because those two are Visayans and Lumad are not ethnically related to them.

The Bilaan or B'laan is an indigenous group that is concentrated in Davao del Sur and South Cotabato. They still practice indigenous rituals despite adaptation to the way of life of modern Filipinos.[2]

The Manubu tribe is different from the bagobo, because they live in the upland areas northwest, north, and northeast of Mt. Apo in interior Mindanao.
The Arumanen-Manuvu had its origin from a village settled place called Banubu near the mouth of Pulangi River.

A god named Apo Tabunawai rules the village. He is acclaimed as the “Timuay” or the convenor of the village elders. According to legends, Timuay Apo Tabunawai was a skillful forest food gatherer such of wild ubi, sago palm, various roots crops nuts and fruits.

Issues are tackled by the Council of Elders are the review and reconstitution of community policies for the coming seasons. To bring omens of good tidings, abundance and societal well-being, marriages of young people are arranged and undertaken on the post-festival evenings.

By foot and with the use of basket types of traps, the hunters bring home large fowls, fish, lizards, pythons and lesser wild games.

The villagers acknowledge that the abundance brought home from a hunt comes from the favor of Elemental Beings whose compassion is anchored upon Apo Tabunawai.


The Subanuns are the first settlers of the Zamboanga peninsula. Because they live near the river ("suba"), they are called river dwellers or Suba-nuns. The family is patriarchal while the village is led by a chief called Timuay. He acts as the village judge and is concerned with all communal matters.


The Higaonon is located on the provinces of Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental,and Rogongon, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. Their name means "people of the wilderness". Most Higaonons still have a rather traditional way of living. Farming is the most important economic activity.

Cultural groups Majority of the inhabitants of the region are of Visayan lineage. The ethnic residents include the Manobo, the Mamanwa and other tribes.

"Kamayo" literally means "You/ its Yours / Yours " when it use to conversation by the lumad / other kamayo speaking people. But "Kamayo" when refers to as a group of people / as a society in a certain place in mindanao means " A Way of Life" or Pamaaging panginabuhi-an in kamayo term.The kamayo way of life is peacefull, kind and loving people. Most of kamayo are located in the minicipality of ,Bislig, Hinatuan, Tagbina, San Agustin, Lingig and other part of Caraga region, Campostella Valley and Davao provinces.

The Mamanwa is a Negrito tribe often grouped together with the Lumad. They believe in a collection of spirits, which are governed by the supreme deity “Magbabaya”. The tribe produce excellent winnowing baskets, rattan hammocks, and other household containers.

"Mandaya" derives from "man" meaning "first," and "daya" meaning "upstream" or "upper portion of a river," and therefore means "the first people upstream". It refers to a number of groups found along the mountain ranges of Davao Oriental, as well as to their customs, language, and beliefs. The Mandaya are also found in Compostela and New Bataan in Compostela Valley Province (formerly a part of Davao del Norte Province).

By: Gwendalene Ting The term "Mansaka" derives from "man" meaning "first" and "saka" meaning "to ascend," and means "the first people to ascend the mountains or go upstream." The term most likely describes the origin of these people who are found today in Davao del Norte, specifically in the Batoto River, the Manat Valley, the Marasugan Valley, the Hijo River Valley, and the seacoasts of Kingking, Maco, Kwambog, Hijo, Tagum, Libuganon, Tuganay, Ising, and Panabo (Fuentes and De La Cruz 1980:2).

The Sangir or Sangil is located in the islands of Balut, Sarangani, and the coastal areas of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur. Their name comes from Sangihe, an archipelago located between Sulawesi and Mindanao. This was their original home but they migrated northwards.

History has better words to speak for Misamis Occidental. Its principal city was originally populated by the Subanon, a cultural group that once roamed the seas in great number, the province was an easy prey to the marauding sea pirates of Lanao whose habit was to stage lightning forays along the coastal areas in search of slaves. As the Subanon retreated deeper and deeper into the interior, the coastal areas became home to inhabitants from Bukidnon who were steadily followed by settlers from nearby Cebu and Bohol. The name Subanon, "which is derived from the word suba, "river," means a river people.

One of the smallest tribes in the Philippines, there were only 61 individuals in a census conducted in 1987. They were originally called “Linat Batang."

Up to this day, they continue to hunt and gather food, dwell in caves, use stone tools and wear garments of “curcoligo” - a kind of fern plant - along side practices acquired through long contact and exchange with neighboring people. They are socially and geographically distant, though not completely isolated. Linguistic studies show Tasadays belong under the ethno linguistic category.
The Tasaday (IPA [təˈsɑdaɪ]) were purportedly a group (cf. tribe) of about two dozen people living within the deep and mountainous rainforests of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao

The Tbolis are one of the indigenous peoples of South Mindanao. From the body of ethnographic and linguistic literature on Mindanao they are variously known as Tboli, T'boli, Tböli, Tiboli, Tibole, Tagabili, Tagabeli, and Tagabulu. They term themselves Tboli or T'boli. Their whereabouts and identity is to some extend confused in the literature; some publications present the Tboli and the Tagabili as distinct peoples; some locate the Tbolis to the vicinity of the Buluan Lake in the Cotabato Basin or in Agusan del Norte. The Tbolis, then, reside on the mountain slopes on either side of the upper Alah Valley and the coastal area of Maitum, Maasim and Kiamba. In former times, the Tbolis also inhabited the upper Alah Valley floor.


The Bagobo is a tribe that traces its origin from the people who brought Hinduism to Mindanao during the Sri Vijayan and Majapahit invasion. When the people inter-married with the locals, they formed a new society and came up with the name Bagobo.

The word “Bagobo” is derived from the root word “bago,” which means “new” or “recent” while the “obo” suffix means “grow” in the tribe’s dialect.

The Bagobos have a light brown complexion. Their hair is brown or brownish black, ranging from wavy to curly. The men have an average height of five feet and three inches, while the women’s height average is five feet.
Although their faces are wide, their cheekbones are not too prominent. Their eyes are dark and widely set, while the eye slits are slanting. The males and females deliberately shave their eyebrows to a thin line. The root of their nose is low, while the ridge is broad. Their lips are full and their chins are round.

Musical Heritage of the Mindanao Lumad groups
Most of the Mindanao Lumad groups have a musical heritage consisting of various types of Agung ensembles - ensembles composed of large hanging, suspended or held, bossed/knobbed gongs which act as drone without any accompanying melodic instrument.

Social Issues
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Lumads controlled an area which now covers 17 of Mindanao’s 24 provinces, but by the 1980 census they constituted less than 6% of the population of Mindanao and Sulu. Heavy migration to Mindanao of Visayans, spurred by government-sponsored resettlement programmes, turned the Lumads into minorities. The Bukidnon province population grew from 63,470 in 1948 to 194,368 in 1960 and 414,762 in 1970, with the proportion of indigenous Bukidnons falling from 64% to 33% to 14%.

Lumads have a traditional concept of land ownership based on what their communities consider their ancestral territories. The historian B. R. Rodil notes that ‘a territory occupied by a community is a communal private property, and community members have the right of usufruct to any piece of unoccupied land within the communal territory.’ Ancestral lands include cultivated land as well as hunting grounds, rivers, forests, uncultivated land and the mineral resources below the land.
Unlike the Moros, the Lumad groups never formed a revolutionary group to unite them in armed struggle against the Philippine government. When the migrants came, many Lumad groups retreated into the mountains and forests. However, the Moro armed groups and the Communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) have recruited Lumads to their ranks, and the armed forces have also recruited them into paramilitary organisations to fight the Moros or the NPA.

For the Lumad, securing their rights to ancestral domain is as urgent as the Moros’ quest for self-determination. However, much of their land has already been registered in the name of multinational corporations, logging companies and wealthy Filipinos, many of whom are settlers to Mindanao.
Our ancestors have passed their traditional beliefs from one generation after the other. To some indigenous tribes, traditional beliefs are the gospel truth. Through time, some of our traditional beliefs have been eclipsed by scientific principles.

Indian, Chinese, Arabian, Spanish, Mexican, and American belief systems have contributed to our own set of beliefs.

There are folk beliefs about the es of illnesses. Though some tribes believe certain maladies have a biological origin such as overeating, poor diet, excessive drinking, infections, and accidents, there are still other groups who believe that spirits and elementals can also be a cause for a number of illnesses. The belief in the supernatural is the primary reason why up to this day Filipinos have a surplus of albularyos or quack-doctors.

Traits, on the other hand, vary from one person to another and in a collective sense; it varies from one nation to another. Every country has its own set of traits. They are molded from influences from another person or from another culture. This holds true in our country, as the Americans, Spanish and other countries that made constant interactions with our fellowmen through the years have influenced us.

Because of this mix of influences, we came up with a set of traits and influences that we can call our own.