Subanon Folk Literature Essay

SUBANON (The People of the River) The Subanon, also called the “Subanu,” “Subano,” “Subanen” are the biggest group of lumad or non Muslim indigenous cultural community on the island of Mindanao. The word is derived from word soba or suba, a word common in Sulu, Visayas, and Mindanao, which means “river,” and the suffix “-nun” or “-non” which indicates a locality or place of origin. Thus, “Subanon” means “a person or people of the river”; more specifically, “from up the river,” since they are usually differentiated from the coastal and plain inhabitants of Zamboanga Peninsula.

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Blumentritt mentioned the “Subanos” in his accounts, referring to them as “a hethean people of malay extraction who occupy the entire peninsula of Sibuguey (West of Mindanao) with the exception of a single strip on the south coast” (Finley 1913: 2). Finley recording his impressions of the Subanon at the beginning of American occupation of southern Philippines in 1990s, cited published records of early Spanish chroniclers, notably the writings of Fr.

Francisco Combes in 1667, to argue that the Subanon were the aborigines of western Mindanao. The researcher is residing in Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay.

She is a Subanen herself. Thus, her study focuses on the collected riddles from Subanen, some of their ceremonies and rituals such as Binah, Bhalai and Dhaga, and also some of Subanons’ learned magic in making a chicken motionless and getting rid of flying termites which disturb them while eating at night. Please take note that some of the data were not documented because the interviewed Subanons wished to be off-cam during the interview. The researcher would also like to apologize since most of the videos are lost because of the unpredictable event xperienced during the transferring of files and the Flash drive went crazy. But rest assured the data are gathered through one on one interview with Timuay Libon Myrna Sumpo- Guilayan and Timuay Labi Dominador Panas-Sumpo of Datu Panas, Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay. Map of Zamboanga Peninsula that shows the location of Subanons. Map of Zamboanga Sibugay that shows the Municipality of Buug. The researcher would also like to inform the readers that some of the Subanon words cannot be translated into English since the meaning will change. Subanons have erms that they do not know the English equivalent. Consequently, the Timuays suggested just not to translate these terms yet give explanations or illustrations so that it could be understood by non- Subanon speaking people. “Ghatuk” The Subanon Riddles Researcher found out that Subanon are fond of making use of Ghatuk or riddles as past-time activity most especially at night. This fun and intellectual activity is done not just by the mature Subanons but also by the younger ones. Here are some of the riddles collected from Timuay Libon Myrna “Tingganas” Sumpo-Guilayan. “Ghatuk” “Riddles” “…thok mo…andun hini,” says Boh Libon Myrna before the riddle) 1. Bah gabih manug, Bah sisilem manihk. ?Khulambo 1) In the evening it goes down, In the morning it goes up. Kapag gabi’y pumapanaog Kapag Umaga’y pumapanhik. ?Mosquito net (Kulambo) 2. Ditu bhehe-en pa phetapis Ba miselag na mi dlebas ?Talong 2) When young she’s dressed When old is undressed. Nang bata pa’y nagtatapis Nang lumaki na’y naghuhubad. ?Eggplant (talong) 3. Khena dlibon, khena dlai Phedlaho bhelengasen. ?Sedlayan 3) Not a woman, not a man But wears wonderfully on the land. Di babae, di lalaki Nagdadamit ng kay ganda-ganda. Sampayan (Laundry wire) 4. Bhelengas libon, pekhanen-nen E dlawasen. ?Dlansuk 4) A Beautiful lady, eats Her self. Kay gandang dalaga, kinakain ang katawan niya ?Candle ( kandila) 5. Theguman yapu mu dak meta Mu lesehen mu. ?Dlelutehen 5) Grandpa’s little box. When you’ll see It, you’ll snatch it. Baol na maliit ni lolo, Makita mo la’y Dinudukot mo na. ?KATAGBAK (Katagbak is a fruit commonly found in the mountainous area of Buug. ) 6. Phebeshay, phebshay De-eron e thenae-nen. ?Ghagung 6) Shouts without intestine. Sumisigaw ay wala namang bituka. ?gong (A Subanon musical instrument. ) 7.

Shehayan tu bhuwid, Megatus duwa pulo e dligiren. 7) The vehicle in the mountain Has a hundred and twenty tires. Sasakyan sa bukiri’y ?Dleyangay Isang daan at dalawampu ang gulong ?Millepede 8. Di a mendek ri ginaen Mendeha ri bhataen. ?Themus ghegi 8) You’re not afraid of the mother You’re afraid of the daughter. Sa ina’y di ka natatakot Ngunit ang anak ay kinatatakutan. ?Cogon (kugon) 9. Tiguman gambit-timbit Mipenu tae belabaw. ?Kepaya 9) My wallet in hand Full of rat’s waste. Pitakang binibibitbit Napupuno ng tae ng daga. ?Papaya 10. Bata mo mensan mu ra Phehanay. ?Ghulunan 10) Your beloved child

Is fed just once. Anak mong mahal Minsan lang kung pakainin. ?Pillow (Unan) 11. Bhata- bata buwaya Ginalad dlunghan thulan. ?Dila 11) A crocodile’s child Surrounded by bones. Anak ng buwaya Napapaligiran ng Buto. ?Tongue (Dila) This is a picture of Boh Libon Myrna “Tingganas” Sumpo-Guilayan taken before the first conducted interview on December 29, 2009 at 9:00 a. m. She is a kind-hearted, pious and bubbly Subanen woman from the Datu Panas Clan of Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay. She is now 68 years old. She was married to a man from the same tribe, her cousin, Monto Guilayan. She willingly shared her knowledge bout the tribe and never feared to face the camera during the interview. She also shared her ideas and knowledge based on her experiences on Subanen wedding and some of the rituals as well as the magic to be done to get rid of flying termites and to keep a chicken motionless. In addition, she also shared the story of Hito turned into a handsome prince who married the pitiful adapted Subanon Lady, and the story of Ghotong Muha Buo (the Subanon version of Monkey and the Turtle). PAMATAREN MAHATENDENG DI BALAE (THE FORMAL WAY OF SUBANON WEDDING) Timuay Libon Tingganas and Timuay Labi Dominador Panas-Sumpo

These pieces of information about the ways or steps and rituals on Subanon wedding ceremonies and death are taken from Timuay Libon Tingganas and Timuay Labi Domin. The date and time of interviews conducted between the two Timuays are separate because of time availability of the interviewees. However, the Timuays were very cooperative and understanding, most especially that the interviewer knows so little about Subanon language. Below are pieces of information. Phamataren dig Balae (Incorporated data from the two INTERVIEWEES) Questions: 1. Andun mah e pamatarun di Subanon da magdlai?

Muha matay? (What are the rules or ways of Subanon marriage and death? ) Timuay Canay Ansalay and Luis Taray said (12/28/09 at 9:45 a. m. ) “Hiyanta Subanon su Dlibun bu dlai ba maduway subay medaga lupa bu megbegay petanaw ditu pidlibunan. Mendyare sumumpat su guhum nu pidlibunan dahus medaga lupa elan, metubos ditu peshahen guhum su pidlibunan ba dun ba e samaya nilan ditu bata nilan. Metubos ditu taluen nu pidlibunan subay pasibaen e balay nilan, dahus su dlibun subay pamahayan elan ati metang de sabang e bulan e blai, matubos patuwagen su dlibun bu dlai panghuren elan.

Su dlai dun e gunungen salataw dellaga megwit taguman, salataw begutaw megwit phes putusen gempula su subangen. Su dlai menundyapi tulapok manerong. Dahus ba mesisilem na su dlai dahus tu gunungen dlai mangay ritu tubig megwit pinod, mendyare ba meta tu guhum su dlai papanugen su dlibun, subay huwiten tu dlai su dlibun, ganat ditu paselun elan, magbuwat elan tu pun gasi magaban minum, tubos dagaen elan. Mandyare su guhum dlai masagepa bato patuk, salembagon, salumaya kilala dlepak kamais bu bulawan, endigan tu dlai tu bato bu patuk su dlebun din dapit bebang nu dlai.

Magendeg elan ditu besuk guhek pelusen nilan tumubang elan ditu silangan, metubos dagaen elan. ” As added and simplified by Boh Myrna, 1. “Kita mga Subanon, ang bae ug laki ug maminyo na, kinahanglan muagi ug DAGA LUPA. Kini ginabuhat nga ritwal kung pananglit naburos daan ang bae. Kining daga lupa usa karitual kung asa magsabot ang pamilya sa babayeng naburos na kung unsa ilang gusto nga ihatag sa lakin- an sa ila. Kini Ginabuhat arun mahupyaw or mawala ang kasuko o kaguol sa pamilya sa baye. ” 2. “Magsabot sila nga paninduton ang balay sa bayin-an. ” 3. “I-schedule dayun ang kasal. ” 4. Sa adlaw sa kasal, ang baye, ilisan ug nindut hasta ang laki, magsuot ug kwintas ug uban pa. ” 5. “Ang laki, mag-dala ug abay. Ang mga abay kinahanglan, isa ka dalaga ug usa pud ka-ulitawo. Dili pwede ang minyu. Ang ulitawo magdala ug sundang, iputos ug pula nga panyo. ” 6. “Pagkahuman magkita na ang baye ug laki. Magsalo sila. Mao na ni ang signal nga kasal na sila. ” 7. “Inig kabuntag, muuna ug adto ug tabay ang bae. Naa ra ghapun ang timuay ani para musignal ug kanus-a munaog ang laki para siya napud ang muadto sa tabay. ” 8. “Ang laki magdala ug Phinod o kawayan. Pag magtagbo na sa dalan ang bae ug aki, kinahanglan nga makuhitan sa lalaki ang babaye ug mudagan ang bae kinahanglan iyang apason ug kuhiton. ” 9. “Pag muabot na ang laki sa balay, magsalo napud sila sa kan-anan, muinom ug panggasi, usa ka baso matag usa. ” 10. “Dagaun dayun sila. ” QUESTION: Anen mah ig Daga hini muha uma Timuay jud ig magwit run? What is Daga and who conducts this activity? By Timuay Labi Dominador Sumpo (12/29/09 at 2:43 p. m. ) “Ig daga hini, subay Timuay ig magwit dun. Bu Timuay e kinilala muha nirespeto rig mga Subanon. Dig Daga, Pinumen nasap elan gasi. Muha tumubang tu Timuay. Hini Timuay.

Luwaan sila sa Timuay sa gasi dayun ila ning ipahid sa haligi. Hini para pasalamat tug diwata ryan ta. Buot pasabot nga tanan ila gubuhat ila gihalad ngadto sa diwata o Ginoo. Pagkahuman maglumpipi ilan. O mag-indian sit. Tubos, mubangon sila ug mghatag napud ug tambag pinaagi sa Bhebat (Chant) sa Timuay. ” The researcher witnessed the Daga (the ritual after Balae). The Timuay made use of Chicken’s blood placed in a plate, a native Subanon necklace, and some grass. The Timuay made a chant which the researcher found to be so deep in terms of the language used that even the natives cannot fully understand.

They say this is the gift of the Timuay. However, the researcher was not able to ask the Timuay because it is not formal (since it is a formal event). However, the researcher had the chance to ask Timuay Labi Dominador Sumpo some questions about the Daga during the same day of the interview. QUESTION: Andun ma e hibalan dig mga batang ginamit rig daga? What do the things used by the Timuay signify or symbolize? Timuay Dominador: dun e mga simbolo ig mga batang hini. Ang Bulawan o kwintas, ig simbolo nin ya, ang pagpuyo sa magtiayun pareha sa bulawan o kwintas nga agsidlak-sidlak. Ganahan o Liliyagen ig mga gataw ri hasidlah hen, preha sa batasan sa magtiayon nga ganahan ang mga tawo. Mura bag, Dalaygun sila, ila kinaiya mayo. Mahimo silang sunduganan sa mga tawo. Ang salumaya o mayana sa bisaya pa simbolo nga maghinay-hinay sa paglambo ilang pamuyo, hin ba mahayay ilang pamuyo. Ang salimbangon, kun ikaw kagikan sa kaliwat nga mga buluyagon, ikaw ang magpalambo sa inyung pangalan. Yaa e magwat ri klaiwat nyu. ” “Phemetaren di Gholek” As stated by Boh Myrna Guilayan, 1. “Bahin de gholek, kunuhay usa kaektarya ako uma, dahag o magsugod agarak, manangaw o pa ghendaw bapiya. Ghendaw bapiya hin mahibal-an kung ang bulan bapiya pud. Bha ig bulan gilhem ganum milhem hin gapiya pagarak. ” 2. “Ihetan ig bani oh, maglingin oh titinga garahan oh dayun ig mga bani oh, ditto batangay liningin oh. Ini tinawag pamanian. ” 3. “Mitubos hini, pagulehin na e daga lupa. Kining daga lupa buhaton para maayo ang ani o tubo sa pananum. Kinahanglan magbuno baboy, ig baboy hini ditto bunuay ri liningin. ” 4. “Angalen ig baboy. Duhen minsan dig kilig e baboy, ba gumabek, pasagaran na. Endun minatay e baboy dito na bunuen para lutuen. 5. “Tulan e baboy dayun phan di gataw. ” 6. “Matuboh na e palay, sipan mo. Ba magbunga, batihan mo, Gulehen pinipi. ” 7. Patawag nasap Timuay buh magulek ritwal. Matubos, dalain-daw, malap ah pinipi sala lampay, sigwagen di tibuok balay. Hini dasuen nin, tinawag manginlagong. “MAGIC” This is from Boh Myrna Guilayan. To keep a chicken motionless, here are the steps to do it: 1. Secure a chicken, put it on the ground, and put your hands on its chest. And say this, “Ohlid-ohlid, ohlid Di ah pahkholeg-olheg Malabuan ha langit Muha malapuwan ha lupa. ’

Dakupon, Ihayang ug hamil mo e gidib ri manok, uyug-uyugon. Ug muingon, “Ohlid-ohlid, ohlid Di ah pahkholeg-olheg Malabuan ha langit Muha malapuwan ha lupa. ’ 2. Release the chicken. It would not move unless you will touch or move it yourself. “Sahmapay di mo hamilhen, di magbwat ig manok. ” Another interesting magic is on how to get rid of winged-termites. In the olden times when Subanon people have no access on electricity yet, they rely on woods for cooking, and on gas-lamps. At night, when they have, dinner winged-termites disturb them since they keep on flying wherever there is a light.

To get rid of these disturbing insects, boh Myrna shared some magic. The steps on how to do it are as follows: Notice: Only the youngest child should do it. 1. Secure a lighted candle or any lighted material (firewood, or any material producing light or fire). 2. Bring the lighted material outside the door. It should be that the distance of the one doing it, is not so far from the door). 3. Turn the material or make 7 clockwise rounds out of it. Immediately after the 7th round, throw it and say, “Landog mo e gaputi Libon. ” (Go and follow the white lady. )

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