Home › Vol 6, No 2 (2017): December  ›  Abstract ›  View Pdf

Subanen Rituals on Communal Gatherings in Selected Communities of Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines

Arniel M. Elmedulan Jr.1 and Haydee D. Villanueva2

Preservation of intangible cultural heritage such as rituals provides a tribe with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity. Subanen is one of the tribal groups in Mindanao, Philippines which performs different rituals. However, little is known about the rituals of Subanen living in the provinces of Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur and the challenges encountered to sustain these practices that could become a barrier in understanding the tribe's way of life and transmitting this tradition to the next generation. The purpose of this study is to describe the Subanen rituals on communal gatherings and occasions. This descriptive study utilized the qualitative research survey method through face-to-face interview with 21 Subanen key informants. The findings of the study showed that the Subanen tribe has various rituals in celebrating communal gatherings such as festivals and meetings, and occasions such as birthdays, weddings, christening, wakes, and internment. The Subanen people as a tribe are able to sustain their belief system in respecting nature and all living creatures, especially to the spirits which they also believe living among them. Although they have a strong belief and knowledge in the ritual materials to prepare and executing the rituals, they are having a hard time looking for Balians/Balyans to perform the rituals. Aside from that, they also have a problem financially since performing rituals are costly. The findings may enlighten other people about their way of life, their customary beliefs, and how they are able to preserve their culture for the next generation.

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