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Showing posts with label Subanen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Subanen. Show all posts

Pas'ungko Festival

Pas'ungko Festival

 Pas'ungko Festival

Pas'ungko Festival highlights Subanen folklore and literature

Subanen cultural heritage is alive and thriving in the entire Subanen territory of Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) one which it is the Pas'ungko S'g Mis Occ Festival, a highlight of the province's 89th anniversary celebration, and a thanksgiving celebration for the abundance of blessings among the Subanen people.

The Pas'ungko street dance competition promotes cultural sensitivity through its carefully crafted presentations which were reported to be studied exhaustively before being rendered into artful performances.

Each of the 11 competing contingents showed accurate representation of the Subanen tribe, from their traditional attires that tell of the tribe's rich history and culture, to their symbolic rituals and vibrant folk literature.

Echoing the advocacy of preserving the identity and culture of indigenous people, and organizing events for the public so that they may witness and be reminded of their ancestors' legacy.

"This celebration is not only an invitation for now, we should work harder so that our future generation may enjoy what we have this moment. Let this be our gift to them in the future."

His Majesty Rajah Gendao is thankful to the Philippine' Department of Tourism (DOT) for promoting the awareness about the Subanen Culture in Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) to the entire Philippines and in the world. His majesty is also thankful to the Misamis Occidental Government, the organizers, the participants and most of all the People who visited and enjoyed the festival which is celebrated every month of November.

The Fire Piston and It's Origin in Europe

Fire Piston

European Version of Fire Piston. image:

In previous accounts of the ingenious fire-making device usually known as the fire piston, anthropologists and historians of technology alike have paid special attention to those specimens of the instrument which have been found in use in the countries in Southeast Asia over the last hundred years. Intriguing possibility that the device was invented in that region quite independently of European influences and possible long before 8960’s when it appears to have been first observed there by European travelers.

Fire piston was invented in the areasof  "Dipag" and Sembuangan now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan”. Read more here

Fire Piston / Luthang gapuyan

Primitive / Original Asian version of Fire Piston - image:

Consequently they have tended to regard the fire piston’s appearance in Europe in the early years of the nineteenth century as the result either of a separate, thought rather less interesting, process of invention in the West or alternatively, of direct importation from those parts of Asia particularly from the Philippines where the device was already commonly used. Although such accounts have been valuable, if only in preserving the fire piston from neglect, they have conveyed a view of the instrument’s history which is not only incomplete (by virtue of their scant treatment of the European version of the instrument) but which is also supported by inadequate evidence on certain important points. – Robert Fox

Dr. Robert Fox, lecturer in the history of Science at the university of Lancaster, is the authoer of forthcoming book on the caloric theory of gases.

Read other source: Facebook Videos

Chemistry and Science Explanation of Luthang Gapuyan or Fire Piston


Fire piston was invented in "Dipag" now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan”.

Scientific Explanation of Fire Piston


Problem 2: What is the number that goes into C3?

Problem 3: What is the weight of air in the 16 liter tank (N2)?

Problem 4: What is the formula that goes into N2?

Problem 5: If you wanted to figure the total weight of the tank at 3500 psi, what cell do you change?

Problem 6: If the temperature was 92°F instead of 77°F, what would the new formula in I3 become?

Problem 7: What cells need to be updated to do that?

Problem 8: What is the final pressure in mm of mercury (mm of Hg)?

Problem 9: What is the formula that goes in L2?

Problem 10: What would be the final pressure if the end volume was 0.7mL?

Problem 11: What is the pressure now after some of the cotton burns (L2)?

Problem 12: What is the pressure of L2 in atmospheres?

The volume of the air in the fire piston cylinder starts at 10.0 mL and then is squeezed to 1.0 mL. The temperature started as 25°C (room temp) and ended up at 600.°C. The pressure before being squeezed was 740mm of mercury (Note 760mm Hg is 1 atmosphere). We want the final pressure. If temperature had remained the same, this would be easy. The volume went down to 1/10 its original size, which would make the pressure be 10 times larger (740mm x 10=7,400mm mercury). However, the temperature changed, so it's more complicated. We can start with PV=nRT; however, there are two conditions. One at the beginning and one at the end. So we need two PV=nRT formulas. Let P1V1=n1RT1 be the values before it was compressed. Then P2V2=n2RT2 would be the values after compression and becoming hot. Since R is constant, it is the same in both equations. We can exploit that fact. Let's solve both equations for R. In the first R=P1V1/n1T1, and the second is R=P2V2/n2T2. Since both are equal to R, they are equal to each other. So, P1V1/n1T1=P2V2/n2T2. Since the moles of the gas didn't change, n1=n2, we can multiply both sides by n1, which would cancel out both n1 and n2. Our equation now reads:


We know all of these values except for P2 (final pressure). So lets solve for P2 by dividing both sides by V2 and multiplying both sides by T2. We now get

P1V1T2/(T1V2)=P2, which can also be written as P1x V1x T2 /T1 /V2=P2. This looks like a good job for a spreadsheet. Since there's no R in the formula, we don't need pressure measured in atmospheres or volume in liters, but we do have to use Kelvin. So 273 gets added to the Celsius degrees.

The pressure in the fire piston will go up at the point the tender attached to the bottom of the pistion catches fire. (I used a piece from a cotton ball in my fire piston). When the cotton burns, it will consume the oxygen but will produce carbon dioxide and water vapor and higher temperatures. So the pressure should go up due to more gases and higher temperature.

Cotton is cellulose, which has the formula of

(C6H12O5)n. The "n" means it is a long chain of these glucose molecules. But we can treat it like it was burning C6H12O5. Here's the balanced equation.

2C6H12O5+13O2 --> 12CO2 + 12H2O

We can't ignore the nitrogen gas, which is 5 times the number of oxygen molecules (5 x 13=65). So we can add that to the reaction.

2C6H12O5 +13O2 + 65N2--> 12CO2 + 12H2O + 65N2

Looking at this we see that we start with 78 moles (12+65) of gases and end with 84 moles (12+12+65) of gases. Also, the burning will increase the temperature. The yellow flame indicates a temperature around 3,000 Kelvin.

This problem is similar to the last one but the intitial conditions are the final conditions in the above problem.

That was P2V2=n2RT2

After the flame heats up the air and creates the extra gases, the condition is different. Let's use P3V3=n3RT3 for the new final condition.

Like before we can solve for R on both and set them equal to each other. This looks like the last time we did it:


This time the moles are changing, but the volume is the same. So we need to keep the moles (n2 and n3) but we can drop the volumes. That simplifies it to:


Solving for the final pressure (P3) by multiplying both sides by n3 and T3 gives us:

P2n3T3/n2T2 = P3

Even though we don't know the exact number of moles, we do know the ratio of moles, which works fine when you have one divided by the other. So the 78 moles for n2 and the 85 moles for n3 that we got from the balanced equation works fine.

We can check the units to see if they cancel and we can check the logic. In the above spreadsheet we see that we have 85 moles over 78 moles. So that's 85/78, which will make the pressure larger as expected. We see the temperature ratio of 3000 over 873 or 3000/873, which will also make the pressure larger. So these fractions are doing what we expect should happen to the pressure which is to become larger when there's more moles and higher temperatures. Read more at Chemistry land

Canadian mining firm admits wrongdoings to Gukom State of Subanon Territories in Mindanao

 Gukom sog Pito ko Dolungan (Gukom of the Seven Rivers Region)

After years of violating the human rights and customary laws of the Subanon Territory, TVI Resource Development, Inc. (TVIRDI)  a Canadian firm later then admitted to its wrongdoings in a cleaning Ceremony led by the Subanon's traditional judicial authority in Gokom State.

TVIRDI, a subsidiary of the Canadian mining firm TVI Pacific, began exploiting the resources within Mount Canatuan in 1994. However, the company never obtained the Subanon's consent to occupy the sacred mountain, which is located within the ancestral domain lands in the Subanon Territoreis, Philippines province of Zamboanga del Norte. The Subanon Authority led by Honorable Timuay Jose Boy Anoy refused to give his consent to TVIRDI, because Mount Canatuan is sacred mountain to our ancestors.

Over the years, the Subanon did everything in power to protect the mountain; but with the Philippine government being a major investor in the mine, our efforts always fell through.

In 2007, with no other options in sight, the Subanon authority in Gukom State decided to turn to the own Traditional judicial authority for help. The Traditional authority, known to the Subanon here as the Gukom sog Pito ko Dolungan (Gukom of the Seven Rivers Region), agreed to step in.

After months of deliberation, the Gukom found that TVIRDI was guilty of violating human rights and Subanon customary law. The verdict mentioned, in part: TVI's refusal to recognize Timuay (traditional leader) Jose "Boy" Anoy as the traditional leader of the Subanon in the area; damages they caused to personal property and the environment, the physical abuse of certain individuals; and their failure to obtain the Subanon's free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

The verdict required TVIRDI to take part in a mandatory cleansing ceremony and pay fines to the Subanon for their actions.

Initially, the company would have no part of it; but, "In August 2009, after a series of consultations, Honorable Timuay Boy Anoy was formally installed by the Gukom as the legitimate Timuay in the titled ancestral domain in Canatuan. During the event, TVIRD also publicly declared their recognition of Timuay Anoy's leadership and declared its willingness to discuss ways of resolving their conflict with Timuay Anoy and his Council" the Gukom state, in a May 18 Press Release. "The act paved the way for further negotiations of the other penalties."

Two years later, on May 17, 2011, TVIRDI took part in that Ceremony.

During the Ceremony, the company finally acknowledged that Mount Canatuan is a sacred site and admitted that they were wrong for desecrating it. They also admitted to their other misdeeds and agreed to pay the fines as stipulated by the Gukom.

"Since TVIRDI admitted its fault and presented themselves to Honorable Timuay Boy Anoy whose authority they violated, the imposed penalty could be negotiated to an agreed minimum amount," explained Timuay Fernando Mudai. The fine was presented by a TVIRDI representative before the formal opening of the Boklug Ceremony.

Some may view the Ceremony--and indeed, TVIRDI's admission---as little more than a symbolic gesture; however, as Mines and Communities points out, "For the legitimate leaders who have struggled for recognition (and lost much in the process because of their anti-mining stance), this event is more than symbolic. The submission by TVI to tribal justice marks a victory in overcoming the huge imbalance of power faced by tribal people like the Subanon when confronting such companies."

The victory is of the rarest kind, given how Canadian mining companies incessantly claim they're accountable only to themselves.

That said, with the ceremony now over, TVI has to prove that it means it. Mines and Communities suggests that "TVI should back up its apparent new-found respect for the Subanon, by assuring that the Canatuan mine is closed according to best international practice and by agreeing not to mine on the lands of other Subanon peoples without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent."

Subanen tribal council, slain Basilan mayor named “Peace Weaver” awardees

Delia Bisquera-Biel received the posthumous award for her husband, Mayor Luis R. Biel II of Isabela City who was gunned down in March last year, while Subanon Timuay Noval Lambo received the award on behalf of the Gukom Sog Pito Kodulungan (Council of Seven Rivers) on December 2 at the Garden Orchid Hotel here.

Biel was mayor when Basilan’s capital town became a city in 1998. The Peace Advocates Zamboanga’ awards committee conferred on him the award, though posthumously, in recognition of his  “boundless compassion, noble vision and just peace for the people Basilan.”

“In the eight years since his first election in 1998, Mayor Biel built a city hospital, government complex, public markets, two bus terminals, schools, day care and feeding centers for children, multi-purpose and barangay halls, roads for farmers, cultural centers for his Muslim constituents as well as Christians, health units, and many more,” the citation read.

“He created livelihood assistance programs for the poor, farmers, fishermen, rebel returnees and women for them to enjoy economic security and human dignity. He initiated and encouraged inter-cultural dialogue and interfaith programs amongst his Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters,” it added.

The committee also noted how Biel “proudly promoted the new city as a tourism destination mainly for its people’s rich and unique cultural diversity.”

Biel’s family managed a transportation business in Basilan with hundreds units of buses and passenger jitneys plying different routes reaching even far-flung areas. Before becoming the city’s chief executive, Biel also held different elective posts in the island.

The entire city mourned his death as “it meant a loss of a father and loss of a builder of Isabela,”  Biel’s wife, Delia, said in accepting the award.

“He was a simple man but with big heart for Isabela City and for Isabeleños. He gave the contentment and peace to the heart (of Basilan people),” she said as she accepted the recognition before the award’s committee from Peace Advocates Zamboanga and the local interfaith group called Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace.

“His death, though, is not in vain, for men and women of goodwill continue to remember, honor and love him.  Truly, the blood of this martyr will water our meadows of hope for a long, long time,” the citation read.

The Gukom Sog Pito Kodulungan (Gukom), Subanon council of seven rivers in the Zamboanga Peninsula is composed of some 30 timuays (chieftains) of various tribal communities, whose total present population is approximately 300,000, mostly living in the highlands of the southern part of the peninsula.

The awards committee cited the Gukom’s mission of reviving and consolidating the traditional form of leadership and governance in their efforts to federate their widely dispersed (Subanon) villages.

The committee also honored Gukom’s role as facilitator, mediator or arbiter in communal conflicts among its tribesmen.

“As such, it is an authentic modern-day peacemaker who utilizes time-honored, traditional ethnic norms of conflict management and resolution.   Its continuing successes are reinforcing the Subanons’ sense of indigenous identity and pride, thereby empowering them to achieve their many hopes and dreams,” the citation stated.

Gukom, through the support of other civil society groups, also served as its people’s vanguard in their quest for better social and economic well-being.

“Indeed, this awarding occasion is considered as the most memorable event in the history of our Subanon people,” said Gukom chieftain Timuay Noval Lambo in his acceptance address.

Aside from it being the first award they received, the Timuay said, it also recognized Subanon people despite  “our being the most marginalized tribe in our present society.”

He assured that Subanon had been and will remain peace-loving citizen in this region.

“Peace-building has been observed faithfully and religiously by our Subanon people up to the present time. Where there is peace, the Subanons are there,” he stated in response to the common goal of the award.

Fr. Angel Calvo, PAZ president and chair of the awards committee said the recognition is given annually to individuals or groups who demonstrated consistent effort and works in promoting peace and development in different areas and fields and their communities.

Previous awardees include fomer Zamboanga Archbishop Carmelo Morelos, the late Muslim leader Professor Amilussin Jumaani, community worker James Alih Abdul and Miriam Suacito, Tausug women rights advocate Piang Albar, former Basilan Bishops Romulo dela Cruz and Jose Ma. Querexeta and Fr. Rhoel Gallardo.

The Peace Weaver Award is also part of the annual activity calendared for the weeklong celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace. This year’s celebration started on November 29 and ends on December 05. (Nung Aljani/MindaNews)

Subanons hold three rallies to demand ancestral domain titles ZamboEcoZone

The claim has been opposed by the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (ZamboEcozone) because it said the area was granted to the agency under a presidential proclamation issued in 1997. Because of ZamboEcozone’s opposition, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has stopped the processing of the Subanons’ claim until the conflict shall have been resolved, NCIP executive director Rosalina Bistoryong said in a recent memorandum to the local agency’s office.
The Subanons were joined by some Muslim and Christian residents living in the three barangays to express their support for the tribesmen’s demand.
With most of them wearing their native costumes, the protesters first stopped at the ZamboEcozone office in San Ramon and afterwards proceeded to the NICP office to voice their sentiments to the officials of the two government organizations. The city government has also conveyed last month to NCIP its opposition to the same claim.
But several timuays interviewed by Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) said under the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA), the estimated 2,500 Subanon families who now occupy the upland areas in the three barangays should be granted the ancestral domain title since they possess a native title to the land. The IPRA, which was enacted in 1997, says that natives whose ancestors have occupied a land even before the pre-Spanish regime possess a native title to the area. The same law says that any land that is covered by a native title may be considered as public land.
Rural-Urban Missionaries (RUM) executive director Priscilla Saladaga, whose non-government organization has been assisting the Subanons prepare the documents related to the claim, said pre-historic archeological artifacts, the families’ ancient genealogies, the extant Subanon names given to mountains, rivers, trees and other landmarks plus other existing evidences support the “native title” claim of the families. RUM is a local Church-based civil society group operating only in Western Mindanao with a special apostolate for the indigenous peoples.
The Subanons in Labuan filed their initial petition for the same land in the same year of 1997 when the IPRA law was enacted by Congress, the timuays said. But complicated procedures and requirements have hindered the processing of the claim, Saladaga said.
NCIP Zamboanga sub-office head Engr. Humphrey Hamoy told PAZ that his office also supports the Subanons’ demand. He said the opposition by ZamboEcozone should not stop his office from proceeding with the perimeter survey that is the next step in determining the validity of the claim.
Most of the Subanon families cultivate the upland areas as kaingin farmers, growing various crops they sell in the city. Anthropological records in government archives show that their ancestors started inhabiting the Zamboaga Peninsula as early as 1,500 years ago.
NCIP has issued ancestral domain titles to other Subanon communities in Zamboaga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces, Engr. Hamoy said. Rey-Luis Banagudos/PAZ Press Release

(Verb Samples) (Subanen – English Translation)

Sample Verbs
to bite - mongugdit
to blow -mongoyup
to breathe - guminawa
to burn - mondoksul
to burn -mondoksul
to buy - sumaloy
to chew- momaqan
to choose - momiliq
to climb - monek
to come - mangoy
to cook -misabu, mogapoy
to count - mogitung
to cry - moksogow
to cut, hack -mogbul
to die, be dead- patoy
to dig - mongokot
to dream - toginopan
to drink- minum
to eat - kuman
to fall - modogdag
to fear - mondok
to fly - lumayug
to hear - mokinongog
to hide moglogabong
to hold - kumokom
to hunt - moktiqit
to kill - bunuqon
to know, be knowledgeable - sunan
to laugh - mokotawa
to plant - momula
to pound, beat - mogbayu
to say - moktaluq
to scratch - mokatol, mongokot
to see - moktongow
to sew - sumobot
to sit - mogingkod
to sleep - motulug
to sniff, smell - sumopu
to spit - dumulaq
to squeeze - kosolon
to stab, pierce - pokpakon
to stand - mogindog
to steal - mogdakow
to suck - sumoksop
to swim - lumangoy
to think - pikil
to throw - pilakon
to tie up, fasten- ikotan
to turn - motilong
to vomit - kutaq
to walk - ompanow
to work - moginang
to yawn - logab


Note: You may share your Subanen version based on your locality. (Subanen tuboy, Subanen Sibugay, Subanen Sindangan, Subanen Misamis etc.)

Subanen Greetings (Morning, Noon and Nighttime) with English Translation

Subanen greetings

Day Time / Morning time Greetings
* Molongas gendao
* Ombais gendao
* Gempya gendao
* Piag gendaw
* Molongas gendao sog glam niu - daytime greeting spoken to a group of people
* Ombais gendao sog glam niu - daytime greeting spoken to a group of people
* Gempya nog gendao sog glam niu - daytime greeting spoken to a group of people
Late morning and early afternoon Greetings
* Molongas sisolom - late morning and early afternoon greeting
* Bais sisolom - late morning and early afternoon greeting
* Ombais sisolom - late morning and early afternoon greeting
* Gempya sisolom - late morning and early afternoon greeting
* Piag sisolom - late morning and early afternoon greeting
Noontime Greetings
* Molongas tasendo
* Ombais tasondo
* Gempya tasondo
* Piag tasondo
late Afternoon and early evening greetings
* Molongas lalabong
* Ombais lalabong
* Gompya delabong
* Piag delabong
Evening Greetings
* Molongas gobi
* Ombais gobi
* Gompya gobi
* Piag gobi
Ayen ka pasungo? - greeting to a person going somewhere, "where are you going?"
Ayen ka tido? - welcome greeting to a person arriving, "where are you coming from?"
Note: in Subanen alphabet, there is no "w" and is often replaced with "io" or "o" 

First ZANORTE Buklog Festival

The Buklog is a major conglomeration of several other rituals such as PENGAMU, a thanksgiving rite for fulfilled wishes; SAMAYA, for the recovery of ill health; and PELENTU, a sacred ceremony for the spirits of the dead.
The Buklog is also a culmination of other rituals performed within the year. Among these equally solemn traditions are the PELIS, a ritual commencing agricultural tasks in the field; BAKTI, a beautiful ceremony of bringing home young rice grain and made into Lebek (popularly known as Pinipig), as an anticipation for a bountiful harvest; PESINGKU, the thanksgiving rite for good harvest and where baptism rituals (Kenubata) are occasionally concurred; GAMPANG, a major thanksgiving ritual for good health, harmonious living, peace and order, is also done to prevent the coming of evil as symbolized by encircling a line around a specific area.
The Buklog proper is the grand ceremony preceded by extensive consultations among the tribal (Datu/Timuay/Bai) and religious (Balyan) leaders from different Subanen communities. A tribal convention participated in by concerned Subanen members is also necessary for the final decision on dates and venue of the festival.
The construction of a BUKLOGAN is based on the metaphysics of the number eight (8), regarded by Subanens as the most significant number to convey stability, security and strength. The different parts of the entire structural set up are also systematically arranged in octaves.
The ideal Buklogan has eight main posts made of hard round timber and has an eight-feet equidistance in between posts, covering a total ground area of 256 square feet. With the height of 16 feet, the flooring lattice support is made up of 32 pliable round sticks with eight pieces laid equidistant in between posts. This year's grand Buklog Festival in Mandih was made possible through the support of the Provincial Government under Governor Rolando E. Yebes.
Every Subanen (and even non-Subanen for that matter) can only wish for a sustainability of this significant religious-cultural tradition in the future.
Provincial Accountant Bai Marivic Carpitanos, who is also the president of the Subanen Federated Clan expressed the significance of the Buklog Festival as a big boost to all Subanon communities. For Bai Marivic, it is an upliftment of the rich Subanen culture and tradition being threatened by culturally biased modernization and an equally lack of educational mechanism towards a positive socio-cultural awareness.

The First Discovery of "Luthang Gapuyan" ( Fire Piston ) and its history over 1500 years ago

Fire Piston luthang gapuyan

Anlangan 17 years old boy accidentally invented the first "Fire Piston" locally named “Luthang Gapuyan” over 1500 years ago

The history of the “luthang gapuyan” or fire piston was not known by many but used by thousands. 

The discovery of luthang gapuyan or fire piston and significant invention in the world history was purely accidental.

Fire piston was accidentally discovered and invented in Semboangan Island in '"Dipag" to be particular  now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan” according to the generation to generation story.

Anlangan a 17 year old Subanen boy was described as curious, funny and playful boy who was fun of making a bamboo toy magazine and accidentally discovered a fire created from his invention when making a hardwood as replacement of a bamboo materials. According to a tale passed from generations to generation, it was one afternoon when Anlangan was given tasked by his parents to burn the portion of the mountain for their new kaingin (slashed and burn) in preparation of the coming Panuig or planting season. Anlangan was on his way when the rain suddenly fall so he returned home and decided to just stay under their house playing his “luthang” or bamboo magazine with his younger brother while waiting for the rain to stop. His bamboo magazine's barrel  exploded was broken so he became curious of making another 1 out of the hard wood to prevent from breaking. 

He was using a hard wood in making a barrel for his planned wooden toy magazine and bored it to form a barrel. Before the hole reached to the other end, he was using another hard wooden stick in polishing the inner part of the hole. While polishing the inner hole using the other hardwood, he just realized after pushing in then pushing out, a smoke came out and formed a fire. 

So instead of making luthang, out of the hard wood he then carved the wood into smaller toy and tied it with a rope made of abaca then wore it and informed his father about his invention then his family was the first creation in the world who used the luthang gapuyan or fire piston for their kaingin or slash and burn farming.

Luthang gapuyan then become a common toy for the subanen tribes and used as product for trading with the visiting traders from Cebu, Sulu and the invention spread all over the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia to Europe.

Fire piston luthang gapuyan

A southeast Asian native old woman is using Luthang Gapuyan (Fire piston)

The Ancestors of the Malays, Indonesian & Filipinos; The groups of ancient people who settled in the Philippines (timeline)

The Ancestors fo the Filipino and Malays

 Ancestors of Filipinos, Indonesians and Malays

The groups of ancient people in the now called Philippines (timeline)

  • First Settlers: Homo Luzonensis - the ancestors of Negritos - 67,000 years ago
  • Second Group: Austronesian - 5,000 to 1,500 B.C.
  • Third Group: Indones (Ancient Indonesian) First batch - 4,200 B.C.
  • Fourth Group: Indones (Ancient Indonesian) second batch - 1,500 B.C.
  • Fifth Group: Malay - 300 to 200 B.C.

Most Philippine citizens, the non-natives or non-Lumads are counted as among the people from Mongolian origin through the massive Austronesian expansion to the region that eventually dominates over the other settlers. Although the Austronesians which are from the mixed of Mongolian race dominated over the other tribes and the other migrants, both and all Filipinos today are still closely related due to intermarriages making them as mixed race and "blooded" by the Chinese, Japanese, and Malaysians. 

The Austronesian-Malay race dominated the Philippines Islands during the 300 to 200 B.C. in their northward migration but it could not twist the fact that before their settlement,  there are already earlier groups of people who came and settled in the ancient island nation now called “The Philippines”.

The Ancestors fo the Filipino and Malays Timeline

Timeline: Ancient time, first settlers, populating the Philippines and important world events 

The First settlers of the Island Nation Philippines

There are evidences unearthed from Callao cave and concluded on 2019 that an early hominin settled in the Island of Luzon since 50,000 to 67,000 years ago. They were called "Ubag" or the cave people which is scientifically called  "Homo Luzonensis" a hominin who settled in Luzon Island with remains excavated from Callao cave; the first settlers of the island nation since as early as 50,000 to 67,000 years ago based on the carbon dating assessment of the excavated remains.  

The Homo Luzonensis from Callao cave of the island of Luzon are said to be the ancestors of the Negritos who were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. The Negritos are the ancestors of the Lumads or natives that includes Aeta of Luzon Island, Ati and Tumandok of Panay Island, Agta of Sierra Madre and Mamanwa of Mindanao Island. 

The unearthed evidences of the Homo Luzonensis slowly filled out the the genetic gap of the origin of the shorter and darker skin people in Southeast Asia which are not closely related to the pygmies of Africa. 

The Negritos were also migrating and continuously moving southward  due to their livelihood of hunting animals for food then eventually reached and occupied the islands of Borneo, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Southern Thailand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India making them as the early inhabitants of most part of Southeast Asia.

The wave of Austronesian Southward and Eastward migration

After more than 62,000 years of the first settlement in the Philippines of the Negritos that have also settled the other islands of Southeast Asia; the Austronesians who's origin were from the Mongolian people who are mixed of blood of Chinese, and Japanese that settled Taiwan (Formosa) started their migration southward to the islands now called the Philippines around 5000 B.C. Ancient first wave of Austronesians that expanding southward are the second group of people that settled the island nation Philippines next to the Negritos of Homo Luzonensis. The encounter of both races have caused the livelihood and cultural assimilation including intermarriages of both races. 

Within 5,000 to 1,500 B.C., Austronesian mass expansion continues leaving their influences to the paces they occupied and continue moving both south and eastward occupying Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Visayas, Mindanao, Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Vietnam, Southern Thailand, Myanmar, Islands in Indian Ocean and even reaching to Madagascar. While other Austronesian groups who were already in the Philippine Islands were continuously expanding towards the eastern direction going to the islands in the Pacific; Palau, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Islands, Fiji, most of the islands in the pacific, and until New Zealand.

Northward & Reverse Migration of the Indones (Ancient Indonesian)

During 4,200 B.C. or around 800 years of Austronesian southward migration, a reverse migration of the mixed blooded Austronesian from Borneo, Indonesia and Malaysia took place. They are the Indo-Austronesians group locally called Indones

While the big wave of Austronesian expansion continues to the southwest, the other big groups of Indones (the ancient Indonesian) people who have settled in Borneo, Malaysia and Indonesia started a reverse northward migration. They were the first batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) who are mixed blooded called Indo- Austronesian race who then occupied the islands in Mindanao merging with the early Austronesians and Negritos. These group of Indones(Ancient Indonesian) are characterized by slender body figure, fair-complexioned, sharp and thin-faced and deep-set eyes but their noses are fine. They are more modern in comparison to the Negritos and the early Austronesians. They built houses with holes in the ground or on top of the trees. They know how to shoot, fish, to farm,  eat and cook their meals. 

They occupied the coastal areas of Mindanao and intermarriages occurred with the Negritos and the early Austronesians who settled the islands.  The first batch of the group of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) is the third group of ancient people that settled in Mindanao Island. These Indones (Ancient Indonesian) were merging with the early Austronesians and Negritos and become the ancestors of the now called Lumads in Mindanao Island that includes the Subanen people. 

Second batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian)

During 1,500 B.C., another group of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) mass migration occurred. They are called as the second batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) that migrated eastward direction who were originated in the Indo-China and Central Asian Peninsula, then settled on the Luzon coast. Their lives are better than the previous group. 

It is believed that they created the Ladder Banawe Stairs in Ifugao which is famous now as "Banaue Rice Terraces". They are the ancestors of the Lumads in Ifugao and Benguet.

This group were having different characteristic and features than the first wave of Indones (Ancient Indonesian) migrants. The second batch is shorter in height, larger in built, darker in complexion, well-pronounced jaws, broad rectangular face, large facial features and firmly set eyes. 

Their different features from the first batch is presumed to be an effect of genetic mutation due to environmental factors as science explained that every 1000 years of settling in a certain location, a genetic mutation would occur that could result into changing of color, looks, build, body features, etc to adapt the environment and their way of living. This second batch of people are the fourth group of people that settled the Philippines and merging with the existing Negritos, early Austronesians, and the first batch of Indones (Ancient Indonesian)


Malays migrated in a big group northward during the 300 to 200 B.C. This big group of migrants moved northward from Indonesia, Malaysia and  Borneo to Sulu, Palawan and Mindoro Islands then merged with the Negritos, the early Austronesians and the Indones then eventually settled most of the islands in Visayas, Luzon, Panay, and Bohol. They became the most dominant group of migrants and eventually outnumbered the previous groups.

Malay is the fifth group of people that migrated to the Philippines that mostly settled in the coastal areas of Sulu, Southern Mindanao, Visayas islands and Luzon. 

Malay group are the ancestors of the people in the Visayas such as; the BisayaCebuano including IlonggoWaray and Boholano; the people of Luzon including the TagalogIlokanoBikolanoKampampangan, and Panggasinense and the groups in Mindanao; the Maguindanao and  Maranao  that settled in the southern part of Mindanao and the Tausug, and Yakan tribe that settled in Sulu Islands.

Most of the Malay people in the Philippines are believed to be from the biggest tribes of Borneo that left in a group and moved northward then settled the Islands in the Philippines during 300 to 200 B.C.

The History of Subanen since the Neolithic Era or the Stone Age

 Subanen People and History

Subanen Goernment Hierarchy

Subanen people settled Mindanao Islands since more than 4,200 B.C. as it is proven by the archeologist through artifacts unearthed within the Ancient Subanen territory as shown in the map. 

Subanen people are among the now 20 lumads (Indegenous people IPs) that first settled of the islands in Mindanao and were the majority of all the lumads in the Island. According to the generation to generation narrated history, Subanen was the mother tribe of the Higaonon, Bukidnon, kamiging, Manobo, Matigsalug, Talaandig, Tigwahanon, and Umayamnon tribes but were separated into different tribal group specially the tribes that settled in the areas near the Odiongan and Gahub rivers in Gingoog and the people that lives near the Pulangi river of Bukidnon to North Cotabato where the Pulangi river flows.

As the Subanen people encountered with the other exploring group of tribes that outnumbered them even inside their vast areas of control, they would easily blend with the other friendly tribes and intermarriages often occurred and forming a new community of tribe resulting to the evolution of the other tribal group in the surrounding and neighboring  areas. 

The people would always prefer to live near the water (river) for easy access of the basic necessity of living and originally lived in the low lying areas. However, due to disturbances from other aggressive migrant groups such as the Tausug, Yakan tribes and and migrations of Cebuanos to the coastal areas in the Subanen territory it caused further pushed the Subanen people into the interior.

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.

War and weapons 

Like the other tribes, Subanen are sometimes aggressive and skilled warriors who are willing to fight in any battles or wars when they saw the high chances of winning or otherwise they would avoid fighting face to face and leave the enemies around but slowly infiltrating them using the soft weapon. 

There are two types of weapons which are mastered by the Subanen people; the hard and soft weapons. The hard weapons refers to the weapons often used by men in fighting with their enemies such as the steel spears and bamboo spears, single edge swords or kampilan, scythe, and bolos while soft weapons are mostly mastered by women fighters but sometimes warriors would use hard and soft weapons altogether in fighting. 

Soft weapons are often referred to the called magical poison. It is called magical because it work like a magic which could not be seen by the naked eyes because it is done with full of concealment. The called magical weapon or magical poison are extracted from the very toxic plants that could only be found in the forest of southeast Asian region particularly in Mindanao Island. The poison of those plants are proven by the experts that it could really weaken or even kill the enemies when inhaled, eaten, or even if it touches the skin or if it entered in the very tiny pores of the skin. The soft weapon are very tiny or pulverized skimmed toxins extracted from the very poisonous plants that could be transmitted and be carried by just light and wind and attacks is done in a very concealed or hidden way that the enemy could not even notice it. It is done through just seeing them in the eyes, touching them, through wind direction or directly added to the food or drinks of any enemy. However, Subanen people are generally peaceful in nature and would always value peace and talks over war and battles.

Continuous migration of different tribes from different direction to the Subanen territory severely destroyed the Subanen culture as people’s nature to either migrate to other places to avoid conflicts with the new majority migrants or acclimate and blend with them that even try to hide their identity to merge with the majority that following generations could no  longer be familiar with the culture that would not able to speak the Subanen language.

Ancient times Subanen territory 

The names of the ancient places in the ancient Subanen territory.

History of Mindanao and the Subanen Rulers

Subanen people settled Zamboanga Peninsula during 4,200 B.C. The couple Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang was the rich and powerful ruler that settled Zamboanga Peninsula during 4,000 B.C. They  have 7 children; 5 sons and 2 daughters that ruled with them. Along with Datu M'ndanao, his younger brother Datu M'guindanao was also living with him during his younger aged but later left  heading to Southeast to find his wife and settled in the now called Maguindanao then establish his rule in the area. 

Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang was blessed with successful sons that ruled several areas of the Island now called Mindanao Island.

Datu G'motan (Gomotan), the 3rd son of Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang ruled the Southern part of Samboangan the now called Zamboanga Peninsula. He ruled the Areas of Zamboanga Del Sur and married to Bai S'bugay then ruled the entire areas now called Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Datu N'wang (Nawang) was the fourth son who was described as skinny and slender brilliant minded  Datu and a trading minded person. He ruled Samboangan now called Zamboanga. He developed the area into a trading and barter capital of the Island. During his rule, his youngest brother Basilan was with him in his rule then later also grown to be a Datu that ruled Basilan Island.

Datu T'ngkilan (Tangkilan) was the second son of Datu M'ndanao and Bai M'lindang. He ruled the Northeastern part of Samboangan now called Zamboanga del Norte and married to Bai Indangan then he settled and grow the territory of his wife now called Sindangan.

The eldest and the most brave and powerful in the family was Datu Mis'samis. He ruled the areas in Malindang, Lanao, Iligan,  Cagayan de Oro (Himologan) Camiguin and Gingoog (Gingoyon). According to the history, Bai M'lindang the mother of Datu Mis'samis was buried in the feet of the mountain now called Mount Malindang.

Since the ancient times, Subanen people are occupying the following 7 territories that symbolizes the 7 rays of sun;

  1. Basilan Island
  2. Camiguin Island
  3. Lanao del Norte
  4. Misamis Occidental
  5. Misamis Oriental
  6. Zamboanga del Norte
  7. Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay (del Sur and Sibugay united as 1 governorate)
Around 4,000 BC Subanen people in Zamboanga further expanded its occupancy to the uninhabited  Basilan and were the first inhabitant in the island. Due to its proximity to the ancient barter trading center in Zamboanga, and the fertile land of the island, they doubled their effort in their farming production to produce more agricultural products as their main goods for trading but was suddenly stopped when the Yakan tribe from south Borneo arrived to the island in a very huge number then overturned their rule.  

One of the most un-notable incidents of migration was happened in Basilan on 300 to 200 BCE or 4000 years of occupancy of the Subanen people in Basilan when the Yakan people from south Borneo migrated to the island in big groups and outnumbered the Subanen people who settled in the island then overturned their control. Such infamous incidence had extremely destroyed the Subanen culture and peaceful occupancy in the Island of Basilan resulting for them to either migrate to Zamboanga or forced to marry the migrants and adapt the new culture. 

Livelihood, Seasons and Meteorology 

Subanen people are into trading business as influenced by the Chinese traders who often visited the territory for trading most particularly In O'samis, Indangan and  Samboangan barter and trading centers of the territory since the ancient times but majority of the people are producing their own goods for trading from farming activities. 

The people have mastered the relationship between natural phenomena and the agricultural cycle is well established in the folk knowledge of the Subanen Sindangan group. They study wind patterns, looking out for tell-tale signs of imminent weather changes. Based on the native methods of meteorology, the Subanen identify three distinct seasons within the agricultural cycle: pendupi, from June to September, characterized by winds blowing from the southwest; miyan, from December to January, a time of winds and northeast monsoon rains; and pemeres, from March to April, the hot and dry season. 

The Subanen also reckon agricultural time by the stars, notably the constellation Orion. The appearance of this star group signals the time for the clearing of a new swidden. The monthly rotation of the stars is a guide for the swidden cycle during the first months of the year. 

People also studied the relationship between the pet cat to the movement of the moon and when to know if it is high tide or low tide. For the people who settled in the inner land, they use the pet cat as an indicator of when to go down to go fishing during low tide. The eyes of the pet cat is also used as indicator when is the right time to do planting variety of crops. For leafy vegetables, they are planted during high tide while root crops such as casava, sweert potato or camote, gabi, ubi, bisol or taro are planted during low tide. When the eyes of the cat showed bigger dark color then it indicates low tide and it's time to plant root crops but when the eyes of the cat shows smaller dark color then it means high tide and its time to plant leafy vegetables.

The ancestors practiced dry agriculture, and knowledge of pottery making. The Subanen are mainly agriculturists for goods as trading and consumption who practice three types of cultivation. Along the coastal area, wet agriculture with plow and carabao is the method of producing their staple rice. Beyond the coasts, both wet and dry agriculture are also practiced. Swidden farming is the norm in the interior, particularly the uplands. Along the coasts, coconuts are raised aside from rice. Further inland, corn becomes an additional crop aside from the first two. Apart from the principal crops raised—which are mountain rice and corn—the root crops camote, cassava, pastilan, bisol, gabi (taro), and ubi (yam) are also grown. These are roasted, boiled, or made into preserves and sweets. In some places, tobacco is planted. The people supplement their income and their food supply by fishing, hunting, and gathering of forest products. The extra rice they can produce, plus the wax, resin, and rattan they can gather from the forest are brought to the coastal stores and traded for cloth, blades, axes, betel boxes, ornaments, Chinese jars, porcelain, and gongs.

Political System

Subanen Government Hierarchy
Adapting the ruling National Government; the Subanen Political Structure headed by Rajah as the highest ruler, also in accordance to RA 8371

Subanen people practice the peaceful un-contesting monarchy system with ruler is not appointed or voted to rule but based on his willingness to rule, his wisdom, education and experiences, his leadership and capability to govern, to finance and to manage his people under his government. Rajah is the highest ruler of the Subanen tribe who's role is to organize and unite the Datu's and Tim'uays in the entire territory.

Subanen society is patriarchal, with the family as the basic governmental unit but a village is headed by Tim'uay, while the bigger areas is headed by Datu that ruled several Tim'uays under is leadership and the people recognized "Rajah" as the territory leader or the Supreme ruler, the center of leadership that united the people.

An elder Tim'uay who grown and trained many new young Tim'uays as new leaders and successors to rule their respective villages could level up to the rank as "Datu" through a process of enthronement done by his followers and his ruled Tim'uays. However, his rank to level up as "Datu" would depend also on his willingness to accept higher title as it would also rely on his status in life and his capability to manage the financial needs and to govern for his ruled Tim'uays and villages otherwise he could retain his ranks as the elder Tim'uay holding the authority same as the Datu and rule as the highest council of elders in his ruled villages. Young and trained Tim'uays would also become a member of the council as Gukom members. 

Datu was the highest ruler of the ancient Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) but because of the influence of the Indian empire, the ruler name Rajah or Raja was adapted then become the highest leader that ruled  the Subanen People. There are several Rajahs of the Subanen people who rose to power from different areas during pre-colonial era particularly in the following notable places:
  • Rajah G'motan (Gomotan), the Ruler of Zamboanga Del Sur and Sibugay 
  • Rajah N'wang (Nawang) ruled Samboangan, now called or Zamboanga
  • Rajah of Mis'samis, the warrior and skilled Rajah that ruled the people in the area of M'lanao, Iligan to Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog and Camiguin.
  • Rajah Datu T'ngkilan(Tangkilan) of Sindangan ruled of Dip'ag now called Dipolog
  • Rajah Basilan the ruler of Basilan Island
In spite of having several ruling Rajahs in different areas of Subanen territory they do not have history of severe conflict as they believed in equality, mutual and power respect,  no interference,  and no contesting of power. Subanen believe that all and each and every Subanen are relatives and family that should live with equality. Subanen believe of "Commonwealth" that no one should own the land or territory but all the people within so people could roam anywhere inside the controlled land of Subanen people and farm or earn a living and establish or build their own community to rule. 

With all those ruling Rajah and Datu, all were ended into perished due to the invasion of the Spaniards that tried to kill the language, the culture and beliefs that forced the people to move to the middle of the Jungle to survive for many centuries though some Subanen merged and blended with the Spaniards. One of the successors from the Rajah Datu Tangkilan of Sindangan whom ancestors from several generations were able to blend with the Spaniards' foreign culture and continue practicing the Subanen culture discretely handling  their history to generations to generations and were able to slowly re-established the untold history of the rule of the Subanen People in its land. 

The descendant of the Rajah datu Tangkilan in Sindangan who carried the history of their rule slowly re-established the Subanen People's Kingdom (SPK) and rose to rule from his family as Rajah (Datu) G'ndao (Gendao) that aimed to re-organized, re-structure and re-unite all the people of the Subanen Territory.