term "sandugo" means "kapatid" and as generations pass it evolves into
a shorter term "dugoy" or in a kanto term "'tol"
Occidental Mindoro is the western part of the island of Mindoro, south of Batangas. It is bounded on the north by the Calavite Passage, on the east by Oriental Mindoro, on the west by ApoEast Pass, and on the south by the Mindoro Strait.
Occidental Mindoro consists of high rolling mountains in the east. To the west are coastal plains where the towns are situated. Numerous rivers flow from these mountain ranges: Pagbahan and amburao-Matamayor in the north, Mompong and Amnay in the center, and Caguray and Busuanga in the south. The climate is dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. The province lies in the path of destructive typhoons.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Mindoro, formerly called Mait, was known to Chinese traders even before the coming of the Spanish. In 15 70, the Spanish began to explore the island and named it "Mina de Oro" (mineof gold) after finding some of the precious metal, though no major gold discoveries were ever made. Missionaries became active around Ilin Island off the southern tip, Lubang Island off the northern tip,and Mamburao. Moro raids later forced them to abandon these places. In 1754, the Muslims established strongholds in Mamburao and Balete (near Sablayan). From there, they launched raids against nearby settlements. An expedition sent by Governor Simon de Anda put an end to these raids.
In the early years, Mindoro was administered as part of Bonbon, now Batangas.Early in the 17th century, the island was separated from Bonbon and orga- nized into a corregimiento. In 1902 the island of Lubang, which was formerly a part of Cavite, was annexed to Mindoro. In the same year Mindoro and Lubang were annexed to Marinduque when the latter became a regular province. Mindoro became a regular province in 1921. On June 13, 1950, under Republic Act No. 505, Mindoro was divided into two provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.
The plains of Occidental Mindoro are inhabited by the
Tagalogs and the remote
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Occidental Mindoro is basically an agricultural province. The principal products are rice, coconut, peanut, and abaca. The inhabitants are also engaged in cattle and poultry raising, logging, and fishing. The waters on the west coast comprise one of the most important fishing grounds in the country. Hunting along the banks of the Busuanga River can yield deer, wild boars, and tamaraw.
Mangyan Roots and History
For two decades, Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro has been the venue of one of the country’s most colorful celebrations – the Sanduguan Festival. Every November 15, the main thoroughfares in the city are closed to vehicles to give way to the dancing parade. Various groups of students from different levels re-enact the first barter trade through dance interpretations. They garb themselves in catchy costumes that are made from materials found in their hometown, such as calamansi and bananas. Tourists come in scores to join this yearly event.
Mangyans were the first to inhabit the island of Mindoro. Comprising 10% of the whole Mindoro population, the Mangyans are composed of twelve tribes, each with its own language, culture, and way of life. There are the Iraya, Batangan, Buid, Hanuno'o, Alangan, Ratagnon, Tagaydan (or Tadyawan), Bangon, Pula, Buhid, Nauhan, and Furuan.
For centuries, they lived peacefully along the coastal areas of Oriental Mindoro, where they fished for a living. That was until migrants from nearby islands settled on the island. To avoid disputes, the mild-mannered and peace-loving people gave up their land, moved to the mountains, and came down only for food and other necessities.
Sadly, they have been treated as second class citizens
like other indigenous people in the world -- for years often exploited,
neglected, and discriminated against by lowlanders. They have experienced
being misjudged as uneducated and uncivilized people. They often struggle
with poverty. They survive by farming root crops and fruits, which is the
only livelihood they know.
A typical Mangyan house
In some areas of Mindoro, there are Mangyan community
whose people lives a better life in concrete houses, dresses like civilized
people in lowlands, owned rice and corn plantation and even have vehicles.
mangyan mother with her kids
The Mangyans were the only inhabitants of Mindoro before they were driven from the coasts into the mountainous areas by invading Tagalogs. They are a mixture of Austronesians, proto-Malays, Indian settlers and Malays. They once populated the whole island including the coasts. Since 150 years they have by and by been driven to the mountainous areas of the island by invading Tagalog settlers. Today their settlements can be found mainly in central cordillera and in secluded areas of Oriental Mindoro. There are now about 50,000 Mangyans living in Oriental Mindoro. The term Mangyan is a generic name for the diverse groups inhabiting the mountains and foothills. Individually, the groups identify themselves by other names.
"Mangyan" is a collective name of uncertain origin for
several tribes of which the main groups are:
Some Mangyans in remote areas have conserved their traditional lifestyle - hunting with bows and arrows and gathering food. The majority though practices small-scale and self-supporting agriculture and exchange of products. Tagalog planters employ them for "dirty work" such as cleaning the plantations from unwanted plants or even converting forests into plantations - which contributes to further reduction of their habitats.
The Hanunoo tribe seems to be less affected by influences of the Tagalog speaking population - maybe also because their settlements in the mountains are located in an area dominated by the New People's Army guerilla.
Their way of living
During Christmas season, they go down to lowlands with some of their handicrafts to sell of exchange for anything such as clothes, foods and others.
A mangyan is very much willing
and happy to give their live chicken in exchange for a can of sardines.
For them, sardines is a very special food.
Few years ago, the government passed a law declaring some mountains of Mindoro a National Park and Prohibits the hunting of the Tamaraws....
... the Mangyans
became angry because they felt ignored and instead (animals)
Tamaraws were given more importance. They said "Buti pa ang hayop,
may batas para sila ay pangalagaan samantalang kami ay balewala"
Hanuno Mangyans can be found within the territorical jurisdiction of the towns of Mansalay and San Pedro (Bulalacao) along the periphery of Southeastern Mindoro. Their population is approximately 66,132.
Hanuno means "true," "real"
or "genuine." According to Conklin, when he asked the what kind of Mangyans
they were, the Mangyans' answers to his queries were nothing else but their
claim to be true, real and genuine Mangyans. True enough because among
the Mangyans they have remained faithful to the traditions of their ancestors.
A traditional Mangyan 'milling machine'
Being more stationary than the other Mangyans, their houses are more permanent structures made out of light materials, elevated up to four or five feet from the ground, supported by bamboo posts or sturdy forest lumber and roofed with nipa materials or cogon grass. The whole house is one big room used for sleeping, eating, workroom, etc.
Majority of the Hanuno men still cling to the age-old custom of using the G-string, but those who have intermarried with the lowlanders substituted G-string with short pants. The women cover themselves with a rectangular pieces of the cloth with both and sewn them together which serve as skirt. They both wear an upper garment, a long sleeved, tight-fitting shirt called the balukas for men and lambong for women. For everyday use, they have a short sleeved one that they call subon for both sexes. They us a woven belt called nito and wear beaded band around their necks and arms.
Hanunuo possess a system
of writing which is a descendant of the ancientSnaskrit
alphabet. In the Mangyans syllabary, there are eighteen characters, three
of which are vowels and the other fifteen characters are written combine
those vowels. For writing materials, they use the siyaw or a bolo-shaped
kinife for inscribing and the bamboo, either split or whole, for paper.
Social life among the Hanunuos revolves around the family. Mangyan girls marry at an early age. During courtship, a young man convinces the girl of his intention through the use of ambahan. In between the recitations, he plays his subing, a three-star guitar. Marriage plans are done by both parents including the dowry. The actual wedding is short, the greater part consists of admonitions, and advises dispensed by a magdadniw a kind of minister.
Relation of the individual to the community is one dominated by the spirit of cooperation and togetherness. They have no written laws. Their elders verbally in the form of counsel or advice have handed down whatever they have in the form of laws to them. In some cases, when troubles arise, the disputants settle their differences in the presence of an elder, the judge who decides the matter. Justice is then meted out to the offended parties. Different offenses are given different punishment.
Hanunuos have two burial occasions. The first takes place soon after death. The second after a year or two years when the bones have to be exhumed. They believe in a Supreme Being called Maha na Makaako who watches over them and love them. They also believe that their Supreme Being has a son called Presidents who executes his father's command. They also believe in evil spirits and in immortality.
According to the Iraya customs
and traditions, the family is considered as the basic unit of production
and consumption. Their kindred system is traced to both the father and
mother's links which their system refer to us guruan. The nuclear family
is referred to us talnakan wherein their already exists a social order.
The eldest takes the place of the parents during their absence and is one
considered the second parent. He/She is likewise considered the intermediar
between the parents and the younger siblings.
A Mangyan wearing a G-string and a t-shirt.
Among the Iraya, leadership is provided by the puon-balayan, in the local group referred to as sanguraan composed of closely related families. Moral and legal problems are referred to the puon-balayan for decision. Any criminal act or offense done is corrected with the use of either the pangaw or tige. Pangaw is the Iraya's version of the detention cell. Tige on the other hand is a punishment wherein the suspects of a particular offense are called and are ordered to immerse their right hand in a pot of boiling water to pick up the white stone at the bottom of the pot. Anyone of the susupects whose right hand gets burned is considered to be the guilty party. It is believed that the innocent parties will not get burned in this particular test because Apo Iraya will protect them from harm.
Like all the other Mangyan communities, the Ratagnon are engaged in swidden agriculture. Their villages are not formally developed and settlements of four to five houses per settlements are located apart from each other. A typical Ratagnon house is made of indigenous materials - mostly of wood, bamboo, and nipa.
Some of the male members of the Ratagnon community still wear their traditional dress which consists of a loincloth as a lower garment. The women wear woven cotton used as wrap-around matched with an upper garment made of handwoven nito just enough to cover the breasts.