TUNGHA TEDDY BESAHON
Gibunon, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur
"Nakatuon ako pag-limbay sa akong magulang,
sa pag-uban-uban kaniya. Gusto ko nga makatuon ang akong mga anak
aron dili mawala ang among mga kaugalingon nga mga tolonggon ug
to sing the limbay from my elder brother, with whom I always tagged
along. I also want my children to learn this so our music will
not be forgotten.
nag-bag-o na ang akong relihiyon, muatendar gihapon ako sa Kaamulan
alang sa panaghiusa ug sa akong katungdanan."
Even if my
religion has changed, I continue to attend the Kaamulan for the
sake of unity and responsibility.
ubang Higaonon nga unta dili sila magpasagad kon dili mukugi usab
sila alang sa ilang kaugmaon."
To other Higaonons,
may they not be negligent but work hard for the future.
sa nagdumala sa nasud, tan-awon ug tabangan usab kami nila aron
mu-uswag usab kami."
To the country's
leaders, we wish that you would help us, so that we, too, may
ko nga madungog kini sa uban aron makapangutana sila sa ako kung
unsa ko nga tawo ug kaliwat. Ako, usa ka Higaonon, nagpaila kaninyo
pinaagi sa akong mga awit, nga unta tabangan ako ninyo."
I would like
this to be heard by others so they will ask and come to know who
I am and who my ancestors were.
serves as Purok leader of Tagiwalay, Barangay Gibunon, Esperanza.
His roles include settling disputes, making the voices of his
constituents heard by leaders above him, explaining government
projects to his people, and working for the construction of roads
and school buildings in his area. He earns his living through
farming, rattan gathering, and tricycle driving.
PANGGA PEDRO LANDAGAN
Gibunon, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur
nako kining mga butanga sa akong ginikanan kay kanunay sila nag-awit.
Nakatuon ako paagi sa pagpaminaw sa nag-awit. Hantud karon, padayon
gihapon sa tanang panahon nga gusto."
I heard these
things from my parents because they always sang. I learned by
listening. Up to now, I sing whenever I feel like it.
ko nga matudluan ang akong mga anak aron dili sila malupigan sa
mga kabilin. Gusto ko usab nga madungog sa uban aron maila nila
nga dunay Higaonon, aron dili mayatakan ang among katungod."
I would like
to teach these to my children so that they will receive their
due inheritance. I would also want these heard by others so that
they will come to know that there is a Higaonon people, and so
that our rights will be safeguarded and not trampled upon.
makadungog, nga maangayan nila ang kinaiyahan sa Higaonon nga
To those who
hear, that they will come to appreciate the good ways of the Higaonon.
mga batan-ong Higaonon naay dili na musundog sa tradisyon. Ang
uban musundog, ang kadaghanan mubag-o. Ang eskwela, dagatnong
pamaagi. Ang maayo sa tradisyon mao ang sama sa dili pagbaligya
sa yuta, maayahay nga puluy-anan kay linaw sa lasang, pag-uma
kay tambok man nga yuta, mga awit. Ang pag-bag-o nga maayo mao
ang edukasyon, ug ang dili pagbiya sa uma-ang dili pagbalhin kada
Higaonons no longer follow tradition. The educational system reflects
the settlers' ways. What is good with our tradition is the practice
of not selling lands, peaceful living in the forests, farming
because the land is fertile, music. Innovations that we consider
beneficial include education, and the termination of nomadic ways.
became a leader first and foremost because he comes from a long
line of ininay or traditional judges. Later his people also proclaimed
him as their leader. Now he serves as barangay datu of Gibunon,
Esperanza, where he settles disputes, usually concerning land,
marriage, and crime. Farming and rattan-gathering are his chief
means of livelihood.
YADUP SALVADOR PLACIDO
Tag-oyango, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur
"Nakatuon ako sa pagtod-om sa akong mga
uyuan. Pagkatawo nako, nakapaniid na ko, natanum na sa akong huna-huna;
namat-an. Pagkabaylan nako, sugo usab sa abyan nga mag-tod-om. Bag-o
matabudan, tod-om nga duwa-duwa o naturales. Kung tabudan na, tininuod
na ang tod-om kay naa nay panghinganlan nga mga diwata ug isugilon
ang ilang mga kaagi."
to sing the tod-om from my uncles. I have observed this since
birth and it became ingrained in my mind. When I became a shaman,
I was also urged by the spirit to sing the tod-om. Before a trance,
I would do the kind of tod-om that I call "naturales"
because I sing it while in a "normal" state of mind.
Once I enter into a trance however, I switch into what I call
the "real" kind of tod-om, one that tells of the names
and stories of my spirit helpers.
karon, padayon gihapon kung dunay mga lipay-lipay. Naa usab gitudluan
aron unta dili mawala ang kinaiyahan pero unsaon kay mao na man
ang namat-an ang dagatnon nga kinaiya. Ang napanid-an nako sa
akong mga apo, murag nagbiya na gyud sila sa among kinaiyahan
kay naghari na gyud ang kinaiya sa mga dagsa. Dili na manulti
sa sinultihan namo. Ang akong pangandoy unta sa mga batan-ong
Manobo nga dili sila mubiya sa among kinaiya pero unsaon man kay
mangiskwela man, mao nga makakutlo sa dinagatnon nga kinaiya.
Ang pag-eskwela, dinagatnon."
Up to now,
I continue to sing the tod-om on happy occasions. I am also teaching
it to someone, so that our identity will not be lost. But how
can I succeed in doing this when our people are now born to settlers'
ways? What I have observed among my grandchildren is that they
seem to be moving away from our traditions because those of the
settlers' have become so dominant. They no longer speak our dialect.
My wish is that our young will not turn away from tradition but
how can this be when they go to school where they learn about
other peoples' ways? Going to school is the way of the settler.
sa mga dumagat, gisuportahan pa namo sa pagkaon. Pagkadugay na,
nakaugat na sila kay kugihan manguma ug maayo na ang ilang pamuyo,
kung kami makadangup kanila, papaliton na hinuon kami. Diha na
kami maka-tan-aw nga kung makakita ug makakaon sila ug daku-daku,
timbangon na ug ibaligya. Sa akong kagikan, bisan dili paryente
namo ang muabot, bisan dili pa oras, hatsa-hatsa kami sa pag-lung-ag.
Unya, ug manguli na, panagaan. Mao kini ang akong namat-an. Kung
kinsa ang makakuha sa baboy nga dako, tanan panghatagan; way kinilo."
When the settlers
came, we supported them with our food. Later on, when their livelihood
progressed and they became rooted in the land because they are
hardworking farmers, there would be times when we would run to
them for assistance. But instead of assisting us freely and voluntarily,
they would instead make us buy what they had. This was when we
noticed that each time they caught something big, they would weigh
it in kilos and then sell to us. Among my people, this was not
the case. When someone came to our home, even if he or she was
not a relative, even when it was not time to eat, we would rush
to prepare food to offer to our visitor. And when it was time
for that person to leave, we would also give something. This was
the custom that I was born to. Whoever caught a big boar, everyone
partook of it, nothing was ever sold in kilos.
akong mensahe sa makadungog, salamat kay interesado kamo, aron
makapasabot ako nga kung mahimo, magkahiusa ang atong mga huna-huna,
kamo ug kami, way pinihig, way gidaug-daug, way bintahaan, mag-minaayo
kita. Ang tinguha ta unta, kung mahimo pa nato, maghiusa kita,
to those who hear: thank you for being interested in this opportunity
for me to tell you that if possible, let us be united in our minds,
you and we. Let there be no one oppressed; let there be no one
taken advantage of. Let us treat each other well. May our goal
be, if only we can do it, to be united, to help one another.
ang huna-huna sa tawo. Ang huna-huna sa usa, dili maalang-alang
sa pagbalhin; dili nato madala ang huna-huna sa tanang tawo. Pero
basta lang nga magminaayuhay kita ninyo; bisan unsang pagka-ubos
namo, ayaw mig yataki; ayaw mig daug-dauga."
people think differently. One's thinking cannot be changed just
like that. We cannot impose on everyone's mind. So we should just
be good to one another. No matter how poor and downtrodden we
are, please don't trample on us, do not oppress us.
is a baylan or a traditional priest and healer. Also a veteran
arbitrator and settler of disputes, he was once conferred the
title of peacemaker. Farming is his means of livelihood.
Tag-oyango, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur
ko sa akong iyaan. Gitudluan ko niya ug kudyong. Sundog-sundugon
sab nako ang iyang tod-om ug uyaging. Ang nanay nako maka-tod-om
gihapon kung apongan."
from my aunt. She taught me how to play the lute. I also learned
the tod-om and uyaging by mimicking her. My mother, too, sang
the tod-om, but only when she was in a trance.
gitudluan nako ang akong mga apo, pero di na man makakat-on kay
kanta sa dagatnon ug Binisaya na man ang makat-unan. Ang akong
anak nga batan-on, makahibalo mag-Minanobo ug dinagatnon. Ang
gusto nako nga kung kaatubang dagatnon, magdinagatnon; kung Manobo
ang kaatubang, mag-Minanobo."
are the ones I am trying to teach, but they are no longer able
to learn as it is the songs of the settlers, the Visayans, that
they are interested in learning. My young son knows how to speak
the Manobo dialect as well as the language of the settlers. What
I wish is that when faced with a settler, one may speak the settlers'
speech but when faced with a fellow Manobo, one must speak in
gusto kamo makakat-on, salamat. Sundog-sunduga kay makakat-on
If you want
to learn, thank you. Follow and you will learn.
makadungog, makaila nga kanta kana sa Manobo. Ug dili makadungog,
unsaon man pag-ila?"
these will become aware that these are songs of the Manobo people.
Without hearing them, how can one come to that recognition?
is a farmer, mother, and wife to traditional priest/ healer Datu
Yadup whom she assists. Her Mother was herself a baylan.
FLORENCIA GOMEZ HAVANA
Panagangan, La Paz, Agusan del Sur
father, a datu, sang the tod-om and played the agung, gimbal, and
takombo. My father's third wife on the other hand, sang the limbay,
I continue to create Manobo songs and dances for school and barangay
programs as well as for church worship. I also occasionally attend
the Kahimunan to help strengthen our culture."
Manobo songs to be heard by Manobos and non-Manobos alike to make
them all used to hearing these. This will help to create a deeper
understanding and appreciation of our culture, to minimize cultural
discrimination. In the past for instance, intermarriage was discouraged
because their non-Manobo partners always discriminated against
Manobos. Each time a couple would fight, prejudices would surface.
Sakitan g'yud ko makabati. (I would really feel so hurt.) I would
always defend the Manobo party. To eradicate cultural discrimination,
one must be proud of one's tribe. One must also get formal education
and apply one's knowledge in daily life."
"As for the young, some do not wish to be identified as Manobos;
but these are only a few. Most are honored and proud to be Manobos."
for young Manobos to be educated while continuing to identify
themselves as one with our tribe."
that this project will soon be released for public use, that it
will be taught in public schools, in seminars and workshops, camps
and fellowships, and at important celebrations."
is Assistant Church Minister to her husband Rev. Jose Havana at
the Free Methodist Church of Panaganga, La Paz, Agusan del Sur.
Holder of a Master's degree in Divinity, a Bachelor's degree in
Theology, and a Bachelor of Science in Education, she once served
as Principal of the La Paz National High School and is currently
Adviser and School Registrar at the Mindanao Christian Academy.
She also served as chief translator at the Summer Institute of
Panaganga, La Paz, Agusan del Sur
"I continue to attend the Kahimunan, to help strengthen the
culture. I must be there; the only way to maintain it."
my parents were good singers and musicians."
that those who hear this will appreciate the beauty of Manobo
culture. Once the young people see that the Manobo dialect is
accepted by many, their inferiority complex will be diminished.
There are Manobos who don't speak Manobo because they think Manobos
are lagging behind in many things-skills, education, etc. Many
are not able to participate in social activities because they
think they have less training."
are two different attitudes among the Manobo youth that I observe.
There are those who wish to separate themselves from the tribe.
These are the Manobos who are not well educated, especially by
their parents. They feel that being a Manobo is being inferior,
thus, they must hide their identity. There are those, however,
who appreciate themselves as Manobos. These are the ones who are
formally trained. They are proud to be who they are because they
have the material within them to mingle with other professionals-teachers,
"My hope is that every young Manobo will plan for his/her
education, and that professional Manobos will help to educate
others on matters of livelihood."
are also Filipinos and therefore should be included in development
planning. Allow them to participate in all programs because it's
as if they are being left out. Local leaders who are not Manobos
often only choose from among their own people in making plans
project is the beginning of promoting the tribe to everyone. If
we promote ourselves, people will know our situation."
this project achieves the following: (1) the participants deliver
well; (2) our tradition becomes known; (3) young people get trained
to develop their music and find new avenues for presenting it;
(4) this activity becomes one way of preventing young people from
taking drugs because for as long as young people are in a group
and somebody leads them, they will not have any need to take drugs;
and (5) the people who will hear this will be interested in supporting
Manobos in their cultural and social development."
Havana is Minister of the Free Methodist Church of Panaganga,
La Paz, Agusan del Sur. He is a former Sangguniang Bayan member
and as Provincial Development Officer for Cultural Communities.
In his community he is a peacemaker and settler of disputes, a
negotiator with armed groups, liaison officer to government and
nongovernment agencies, guide to his people.