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Subanen Governorate in Misamis Occidental (Sindepan Mis’samis)

Governorate of Misamis Occidental (Sindepan Mis’samis)

Subanen Governorates in Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Nore, Camiguin Island

Map of the Subanen Governorate in Misamis, Lanao and Camiguin Island

Subanen Governorates in Misamis Occidental

Map of the Subanen Governorate in Misamis Occidental

History of Misamis, Lanao, and Camiguin (Be'noa Mis'samis )

Subanen people are among the biggest Lumad or indigenous people of  Mindanao that settled the Island since 4,200 B.C., or during the Neolithic period. Subanen are mixed blooded of Negrito, early Austronesians and Indo-Austronesian that could be considered as the first settlers of Mindanao Island who used advance technology and knowledge in living during such period compared to the earlier ancestors (Negrito and early Austronesian).  

Subanen are peaceful people but characterized by two flexible natures; if their number is in the majority position then they will dominate and control the areas but if they are outnumbered then they would either move or migrate to the other places to avoid any conflict or tend to blend and even acclimatized with the majority settlers. Subanen people are willing to share their land or territory and allow migrants to settled in because of the belief that "Land is owned by all not by just only one" which should be shared to all.  Having visitors or having new migrants to settled the territory does not constitute as "invasion" in Subanen law but forcibly coercing the belief and culture are equivalent to war.  

The continuous migration of different tribes and different migrants from different directions to the Subanen territory had severely destroyed the Subanen culture as people’s nature to either migrate to other places to avoid the new incoming migrants or assimilate that even tried to hide their identity to merge and blend with the majority that following generations would not be familiar anymore with the culture and could no longer speak the Subanen language.

The Eldest Ruler Datu Mis'samis 

Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin Islands were ruled by just one powerful Datu; the eldest son of Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang. Datu Mis'samis was the ruler of these territories since 4000 B.C. or during the pre colonial period where his sons succeeded his throne carrying his name as Datu Mis'samis based on the Subanen monarchy culture and practice to carry over the name of the previous ruler to the succeeding generations. 

The eldest son of the first Datu Mis'samis, Datu H'mologan (Himologan) left his father to find his wife then married to Bai H'luga (Huluga) then settled near the river named after him, the Himologan River. Datu H'mologan ruled Cagayan de Oro since late 4,500 B.C. but still under the protection of his father ruler Datu Mis'samis. Datu H'mologan also ruled the island of his second son Kami'ging now known as Camiguin Island while his first son Ging'oyon  ruled  the northern part of the territory, the now called Gingoog City.

The second son Datu La'nao also left but stayed just closer to his father then settled the now called Lanao del Norte. He  ruled the area under the protection of his father Datu Mis'samis. He then extended his rule northward then later married to Bai L'gan(Ligan) then they settled near the river now called Maria Cristina river. The name of Iligan City was derived from the name of Bai L'igan (Ligan) the wife of Datu La'nao. 

The third are twin sons of Datu Mis'samis named Datu O'samis and Datu Pan'guil. Both just lived close to thier father. Datu Pan'guil married to Bai M'randing then settled near the river closed to the tip of the bay. The bay now called Panguil bay was actually copied from the name of Datu Pang'guil while the Maranding river was named after Bai M'randing. Datu O'samis on the other hand stayed at the entrance of the bay close to the shore the now called Ozamiz City.

After the death of the first Datu Mis'samis ruler, one of his twin sons Datu O'samis ruled and toke his place as the second Datu Mis'samis and then ruled the entire places previously ruled by his father with unity together with his ruling brothers to their respective areas of control. After the death of Datu O'samis, Datu Diguan the third son of Datu Pan'guil took over the rule as the third  Datu Mis'samis as third generation. The name of Datu Mis'samis was considered sacred and was carried by the succeeding generations until the influence of Indian kingdoms in the region upgrading the rank Datu to Rajah Mis'samis. In spite of the upgraded rank due to external influence, Datu is still remain the most used by the Subanen rulers.

Imported faith and beliefs

Subanen People was never Islamized in spite of the massive propagation of Islam faith by the Tausug people during late 14 century. One reason of resistance was because Tausug was a known invaders that often kidnaped Subanen women then sold them to become slaves or make them as wives. There was already a long standing distrust to the Tausug pirates for the Subanen people to trust them in any aspects. Subanen belief is also strong and intact and also protected due to the Subanen principle to refused any indoctrination of any faith outside from the traditional practice. During the arrival of Islam in Sulu on the late 14 century, Tausug Islam missionaries tried persuading the Subanen people to convert into Islam but the principle is strong enough to resist and to refused Islam faith and any beliefs outside the Subanen practices even until the time of Spaniards when Catholicism brought in and was being introduced. 

With Datu Tangkilan the brother of Datu Mis'samis they applied same strategy to the Islam spreader. They knew that they would win the battle against the Tausug pirates Islam spreader so there were no war happened but just negotiation about the introduction and indoctrination of Islam faith that never succeeded. The territory of Datu Mis'samis was not conquered and was not forced to convert into Islam unlike the other territories outside the People's Subanen Kingdom because Datu Mis'samis territory has the biggest fortress in the entire Subanen territory. Datu Mis'samis a very powerful and brave ruler that spent so much time in preparing his warrior to protect the territory. Islam missionaries left and moved to the other places away from any Subanen Territory heading to Visayas and Luzon without gaining control in the territory of Datu M'mais. The same stand of Datu Mis'samis, Datu Tangkilan, Datu G'motan and Datu N'wang with all the Datu and all Subanen people in the entire territory, they all refused Islam faith. 

Though Islam strategy to marry the Subanen women to forcedly convert them into Islams was also a little bit effective resulting to their wives to convert into Islam and then they were called as "Libog" or kalibugan meaning a union of two different culture and different beliefs but they are only very few. During the Spanish times many Kalibugan group also left Islam faith then joined back with the Subanen traditional faith practices.

Islam faith was introduced to Visayas and even up to Luzon and Manila while Subanen territory in Mindanao remained un-conquered by Islam and stay as what they are like the from the very start. On 16th century, Catholicism was also introduced by the Spaniards that resulted into several clashes and massacre's but the surviving Subanen people were remain firmed not to accept any faith and teachings outside the traditional practices and remained also un-Christianized until some Subanen individuals who married with the catholic believer migrants from the Visayan-Cebu voluntarily adapted the Christianity beginning the mid of 19 century. 

Subanen people believes that each and every Subanen individual are from one family, close relatives or 'Sabuk'dugo" so it is very easy to unite and have a singular decision without any resistance. All Tim'uays and Datu are very respected leaders, teachers and expert in deciding matters so no one would opposed in any of their decisions as people believes in 'Follow the leaders". Subanen ever since did not encountered clashes between each other though some misunderstanding happened but it could be easily settled by the elders and the leaders. Clash of clans is not a practice of the Subanen people because the mutual respect is strictly followed and as part of the culture to believe in no competition of power and authority. Anyone who wants lead could lead and start from his own though his family as Tim'uay then move to a new place then invite new families and followers to join in to form a new community where he could grow new Tim'uays then elevate himself as Datu. Anyone also who wants to step down from power could step down then other members  from his family or followers who wants to lead could stand and take the leadership. That very strong foundation of Subanen People's unity could not be break by any means as it is still practice until the present times. 

The Biggest war in Panguil Bay, the death of Datu Mis'samis in flesh

This is the untold story to many but Datu Gendao the descendant of Datu Tangkilan left this history intact to make sure that the future generations would spell the same word as how Datu Mis'samis spelled on his last breath " Subanen will live forever"

In spite of the heavy fortress of Datu Mis'samis through his son Datu Pang'uil and known by the Subanen people as the biggest fortress in the entire Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK), they were considered un-armed compared to the guns of the Spaniards that massacred them all. It was a fight between the bolo, bamboo spears and scythe versus the guns of the Spaniards. A history that was never told for so many generations of most Subanen that survived and hide in the jungle of Zamboanga Peninsula.

Subanen Government in Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, and Camiguin Governorates

Subanen territory is under the Philippines government and systems co-exist with Subanen People's Monarchy with the republic since the Subanen did not and well not insist for independence but mutual respects of co-existence. Pursuant to RA 8371, Subanen People's government as lumad are recognized by the Republic of the Philippines.

The center of the Subanen People's government is focus on governing the Subanen People and protection of the natural resources and its territory from destruction due to human activities.

Reigning Datu

Subanen Governorates Ruler in Misamis Occidental, Misamis Orientgal, lanao del Norte and Camiguin Island

While different political setup was established by the Philippine government even inside the Subanen People's Kingdom, the Subanen rulers for the Governorate of Zamboanga del Sur would co-exist to rule the Subanen People of in the territory without any conflict.

The reigning Datu Mis'samis is not appointed by the Subanen Council or the Great His Majesty Datu but based on the interest and capability of the Subanen Datu to rule his people and  the territory. He is ruling his Timuay's and Datu's under him and the Subanen people in the entire Misamis, Lanao del norte and Camiguin Governorate. The Reigning Datu is reporting for guidance from the Subanen Council and the "Great Datu" the highest ruler of the Subanen People who established to reorganized and reunited the Subanen People . 

Misamis, Lanao and Camiguin Governorate is ruled by Datu Mis'samis. His authority is recognized by he highest ruler his Majesty Datu Gendao and his chosen name as "Datu Mis'samis"  to be his Subanen Traditional ruler's name of the Governorate. His highness Datu Mis'samis complied with the Subanen Traditional Name requirement for a ruler as required by the Subanen Culture. 

The ruler Datu Mis'samis is recognized by the highest ruler his Majesty Datu Gendao based on his experience to rule and for fighting for the rights of the Subanen People that served as  his proof  and capacity to rule based on the traditional standards of qualification for a ruler. The Process of recognition is based on the ancient practice of enthronement. See the enthronement process based on the ancient practice. His official enthronement date: _______.

His highness Datu Mis'samis is the ruler of the Governorate of Misamis, Lanao and Camiguin bearing the "4 Stars" in his emblem that symbolizes the entire governorate. His highness Datu Mis'samis is also automatically a member of the highest Council and among the council and advisers of the Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK).

Upon the recognition of his authority and in accordance with the Subanen People's culture, "Datu Mis'samis" name would be considered as "sacred Ruler's name of the Governorate of Misamis, Lanao and Camiguin forever". His descendants or appointed rulers in the future generation to replace his authority would continuously honor and use the name "Datu Mis'samis" to rule the entire governorate.  

Subanen respects the freedom of belief and the Datu  ruler of Zamboanga del Sur could be either a Traditional faith, a Muslim or a Christian follower as long as from the root of the Subanen people would be recognized by his Majesty Datu Gendao.

Honorarium & Salary of the Ruler

His highness Datu Mis'samis adapted and accepted the Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) government traditional practice of not receiving any monetary rewards for any of his services rendered. All and every services are Free of charge and purely voluntary. The heart of the service is "the passion to serve the people" without expecting any monetary rewards in return. His highness Datu Mis'samis believe that this practice is effective to avoid any unnecessary competition of power to gain riches. This is also to make sure that only capable people to rule would lead and serve the people base on his capability and to help and protect his people. His highness Datu Mis'samis conformed the policy that collecting of payments from his people as taxes or payment for his services is prohibited and is considered as a serious violation from the Subanen People's norm and a crime that could cause to expulsion and forever ban to rule the people.