Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kulaman Burial Jars in Laan Magazine

Another important thing that happened last year is that the burial jars of Kulaman Plateau was featured in the maiden issue of Laan, a regional travel and advertising magazine, and the article, of course, was written by this blogger.

The magazine generously gave my article a whole spread and half a page, and copies of the magazine were distributed in government agencies and business establishments, and tucked in the seats of the Executive Class units of Yellow Bus Line, a la Smile magazine of Cebu Pacific airline.

I wasn’t able to attend the launch, so I don’t have my own copy of Laan, and I don’t have my own photos of the article. But below are the cover page and the contributors’ page, which I grabbed from the Facebook account of the magazine. My special thanks to Louie Pacardo, the managing editor and a fellow blogger, for asking me to contribute.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Kulaman Burial Jars in Tau SOX Festival


I’m back, after almost a year of not touching this blog. (My “latest” posts, dated half a year ago, had been prescheduled.) I can’t promise to blog regularly again, but I will post important updates.

I’ve been preoccupied with a lot of other matters, especially literary activities. Other local writers and I, I’m proud to say, have done many things, most of which were firsts. We formed writers associations, albeit informal for now. We created Cotabato Literary Journal, a monthly online publication. And we organized several poetry readings and writing seminars. I was also diagnosed with a mental illness, and I’m still on medication up to now. (But don’t worry, I’ve gotten so much better.)

As to the updates I must share with you, let me start with Tau SOX: Festival of the First Peoples, organized last year by the regional office of the Department of Tourism. The one-week event aimed to highlight SOX (short for SOCCSKSARGEN) as a land where early men (tau) lived. The organizers invited me to give a talk on the limestone burial jars of Kulaman Plateau, in a forum that also included a talk on the clay burial jars of Maitum and a talk on the burial practices of Tedurays.

I wasn’t able to take good photos and extensive notes of the event, so if you want to know more about it, check out the news article on NDBC and the post by local blogger Hajar Kabalu. Truth be told, I had a very small audience, even if the venue was the activity center of a mall. It was past lunchtime when it was my turn to speak, and most attendees had gone somewhere else. Nonetheless, I believe the right people stayed and listened, and I’m glad for the opportunity to spread more awareness of Kulaman burial jars.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Kitab Articles IX, X, XI Tribal Defense and Others

Article IX. Tribal Defense

The Agubalang or Alek is the highest warrior of the Dulangan Manobos. In the past, the Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu and the datus call the warriors of the tribe or the aleks to guard and protect the land that they had inherited from their ancestors. The strongest and bravest is selected as the leader of the warriors. If outsiders come and do something evil to the tribal community, not everyone will fight and attack. The warriors defend the territory against invaders.

The Sabandal is the servant who carries messages and information to the datus of the tribe. Listening and following the chieftain of the tribe is his duty. He keeps watch against people who might do evil and grab the territory of the Dulangan Manobos. He shall not make plans without the knowledge of the leaders and datus of the tribe.

They used these weapons in the past in guarding the territory of the Dulangan Manobos:

(1) Bunot–For self-defense, also used by a hunter
(2) Dedose–A gun used for defense
(3) Busog–For catching monkeys, wild pigs and for defense
(4) Lueb–Container for arrows
(5) Plegkasin–So that the aim of the arrow is accurate
(6) Sundang–Used when there’s an enemy or for dowry
(7) Bangkong–Used for dowry and for self-defense
(8) Tabas–Defense against enemies
(9) Blatik–For catching wild pigs, defense against enemies
(10) Bagtang–For defense and catching wild pigs and deer
(11) Sugeyang–For defense against enemies, placed in the path
(12) Segfu–For defense and capturing game
(13) Bakil–Put beside the house for defense against evil people, also used for catching wild pigs
(14) Kelawet–Used by a hunter for catching game in the forest
(15) Kelo–Used for swidden farming and for defense
(16) Salungsong–Used by a woman so that her crop will be clean
(17) Senufit–Used by a farmer and for defense
(18) Ugfit–A sharp bolo, used for defense and preparing betel quid
(19) Kebel–Defense for oneself to be bulletproof
(20) Ulof–Used for the enemy to lose consciousness
(21) Batiya–Used when afflicted by a disease and for defense
(22) Senembol–Sharp and made of reed
(23) Duka Fehido-hido–Used so that your enemy will have mercy on you
(24) Butol/Anting-Anting–For self-defense
(25) Seleb–Bullet used for defending the land of the tribe
(26) Agsa–Used for cutting huge trees
(27) Buwas–Used to defend yourself against evil people who want to kill you
(28) Lawet–May cause death when used even in just a tiny cut
(29) Kelasag–Used so that you will not be hit by a bullet or anything
(30) Felangit–Used for horse fights so that the opponent will be weak
(31) Gesa–For catching birds and defense
(32) Dugfang–Arrow
(33) Legfok–For catching birds
(34) Bekoko–Made-of-bamboo arrow

Section 1. Strategy and Tactics [This section and the articles below have headings but no contents.—Blogger]

Article X. General Provision
Seat of Governance: Legodon, Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat
Flag (Description/Meaning)
Seal/Logo
Anthem of the Dulangan Manobo

Article XI. Effectivity

(This post is a part of a series on Kitab, the customary law of the Dulangan Manobos. See my introductory post for the list of posts containing all the sections of the law. You may also see the original Filipino version on Scribd.)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Kitab Article VIII Sections 3 and 4 Rituals and Justice

Article VIII. Tribal Justice System

Section 3. Rituals
The ritual (Suguy-Suguy)–The highest level of communication with God, this is performed during gatherings of Dulangan Manobos. Forgiveness is asked from the owner of water, nature, forest, cave and river, and the spirits of ancestors are invoked. We the Dulangan Manobos believe that the spirits of our ancestors are always around guiding the tribe.
(1) Langa–On his way to the forest, a person asks God for help to have a successful hunt or catch as well as planting.
(2) Datah–A piece of the catch should be left for nature so that the next hunt and catch will be successful again.
(3) Dongow–If a person is lost in the forest, the dongow is performed by laying across a tree. This is an indication whether the person is still alive or already dead. [I’m not sure of my translation of this part.—Blogger]
(4) Batiya–A chant of the tribe to ward off danger

Section 4. Justice and Justice System
The practices of the Dulangan Manobo in implementing their laws are inherited from their ancestors. The datus seek the help of the Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu to resolve the problems in the community. Process:
(1) The suspect is judged by the datus. A metal is put on fire and when it is hot, the suspect is made to hold it. If his hand is not burned, it means that the accusation against him is not true.
(2) The datu proclaims [or determines?] the guilt of the suspect.
(3) If there is a suspect, pour water on a towel. If the water does not drip, it means that he is not guilty. The accuser shall give one horse as a penalty for the accused has been put in shame in front of people and his dignity has been marred.
(4) A transgression should be subjected to the law and be judged so that the problem will not get worse.
(5) A person who committed a crime should be apprehended and brought before the chieftain-judges.
(6) Payment should be made for the crime to appease the person on the side of truth.
(7) Datus should judge and impose penalties for both petty and serious crimes so that the wrongful act is remitted.
(8) The perpetrator and the party on the side of justice should exchange an oath by breaking a rattan in two as a symbol of reconciliation.

(This post is a part of a series on Kitab, the customary law of the Dulangan Manobos. See my introductory post for the list of posts containing all the sections of the law. You may also see the original Filipino version on Scribd.)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kitab Article VIII Sections 1 and 2 Law and Penalty for Murder

Article VIII. Tribal Justice System

Section 1. The Kitab is the law that the tribe follows and is implemented in the community to resolve problems. The datus or the Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu resolves the problems. The victim and suspect are summoned to know the root of the matter.
(1) Antang–The highest process attended by the Ulu-ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu, the Ngipin Ulu, or the datus, who lead in the resolution of the problem so that the matter between two parties does not get worse
(2) Ukit–The process used by the Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu, the Ngipin Ulu, or the datu in fixing the problems of the tribe
(3) Kukum–The datu resolves the law of the tribe
(4) Kukuman–A method that is a policy implemented by the leaders of the tribe
(5) Temulu–The people are taught well how to live properly in the locality.
(6) Tegodon–The negotiators narrate the problems and experiences of both parties.
(7) Uledin–Laws of the chieftain implemented in the community of Dulangan Manobos
(8) Seitisay Wayeg–If both sides seem to have enough defenses, water is poured on a headscarf to know which party is at fault. The accuser and the suspect hold the scarf. If the water drips, it means that the accusation is true and the suspect should be killed. If the water does not drip, the accuser should be killed.
(9) Inedof Fotow–The datu assigns a person to heat a metal. When the metal is hot, call the suspect and make him hold the hot metal. If his palm is burned, it means he is guilty and he should be killed. If his palm is not burned, kill the accuser.

Section 2. Punishment for Murder
(1) The datu first asks the victim and the suspect to know everything about the crime. This also depends on the murdered person, datu or ordinary person.
(2) The datu asks the parents of the victim if they want payment.
(3) Bangon–The family of the victim and the murderer face each other in the presence of the datu. If both parties agree that the murderer shall pay seven animals to the family of the dead, both parties shall drink water. This signifies that the two sides are in good terms again.
(4) Tuyot Depanog–A payment of one valuable item or two horses should be made so that the soul of the victim will return.

(This post is a part of a series on Kitab, the customary law of the Dulangan Manobos. See my introductory post for the list of posts containing all the sections of the law. You may also see the original Filipino version on Scribd.)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Kitab Article VII Structure of Governance and Composition

A. Glal – Tribal Titles [This article doesn’t have a Section B.—Blogger]

Section 1. Glal (Tribal Title)
(1) Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu–He is the highest chief, respected, recognized by the whole tribe and good in resolving various problems in the community of Dulangan Manobos.
(2) Ngipen Ulu–In the absence of the Ulu-ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu, he leads in resolving matters or problems along with the datu of the locality.
(3) Datu–He has the power and capability to find solutions to problems. He is also respected and recognized as a lawyer to uphold the law by implementing the policies of the tribe.
(4) Lukes–Adviser to the whole community
(5) Tegepalut–He is the secretary of the leaders of the community if there are problems [I can’t understand the remaining phrase.]
(6) Booy Labi–This is a woman that is a princess and respected. She also knows how to resolve problems in the community.
(7) Ulu-Ulu Sedoy Bata–The leader of the youth of the tribe
(8) Tegebeyahan–Keeper of the wealth of the tribe
(9) Tegetepeng–This person keeps track of the properties of the Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu of the tribe or of the datu of the community.
(10) Agubalang or Alek–Protector of the ancestral domain or territory to ward off bad elements
(11) Sabandal–Servant of the Pig-ulukan, messenger of datus and members of the community
(12) Bleyan–Healer of the tribe given power to communicate with God through dreams

Section 2. Installation of Leaders
(1) The Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu should be chosen by the people of the community themselves based on his capability to give good advice to the youth, women and even to other people.
(2) The datu should know how to resolve problems and is respected by the majority.
(3) The selection of the datu or booy who will lead the place is based on the person’s capacity and capability to dispense justice. No election is conducted. The selection is based on the number of followers.
(4) Leadership position in the Dulangan Manobo tribe may be inherited if the children of chieftains have the capability to resolve problems in the tribe.
(5) A trusted follower can be a datu or leader if he has the capability and power to manage the Manobo tribe.
(6) The Ulu-Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu, the datu, or the booy may be removed from power if he does not treat well his followers in the community. The followers shall decide the process of removal from power.

(This post is a part of a series on Kitab, the customary law of the Dulangan Manobos. See my introductory post for the list of posts containing all the sections of the law. You may also see the original Filipino version on Scribd.)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kitab Article VI Sections 8 and 9 Leaders and Followers

Article VI. Rights and Responsibilities

Section 8. On Leadership (Beliefs and Being a Leader)
(1) The Ulu Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu should know how to execute the law, judge, and create laws and should be respected and followed by people.
(2) A slave or an ordinary member of the tribe may become a datu if he knows how to lead people.
(3) He takes care of his land so that his followers will have a place to dwell in.
(4) He does not speak harshly to his fellow datus and to the people of the community.
(5) He’s a good person, understanding, helpful, and knows how to give advice to his followers.
(6) He upholds the law and issues judgments that are just and righteous.
(7) He creates laws that are feared and liked by the people.
(8) The people believes and obeys his word.
(9) The head or leader must come from a clan that has royal blood.
(10) His decisions are respected to fight for the human rights of the community.
(11) The datu is the keeper of the people in the community so he executes the law.
(12) The datu is the keeper of the ancestral domain so that others will not grab it.
(13) He is ready to die for the welfare of the tribe.
(14) He is the adviser of the tribe to attain peace.
(15) He leads in resolving problems and conflicts.
(16) He knows how to protect the properties of his followers.
(17) He metes out appropriate sanctions to whoever violates the law.
(18) He treats people equally when executing the laws of the tribe.
(19) He manages the livelihood of his followers.
(20) The Ulu Ulu or Pig-ulukan Datu may be removed from power if he does not treat his followers well.
(21) A leader of a community may be removed from power if he does not treat his followers well.
(22) Even if a person has committed a sin, the leader should lead him to the right path so that he will not lose hope and his good behavior will return.

Section 9. On Responsibilities of Followers
(1) They should respect the recognized leader of the community.
(2) They have the right to make their own decisions in accordance with the laws of the tribe.
(3) They have the right to voice their opinions and feelings.
(4) They should follow the right decision of the leader.
(5) They have the right to remove the leader from power through the right process and for sufficient reason.

(This post is a part of a series on Kitab, the customary law of the Dulangan Manobos. See my introductory post for the list of posts containing all the sections of the law. You may also see the original Filipino version on Scribd.)