Custom and Culture


The Manobo Dulangan does not normally wear their tribal costumes and adornments regularly.  On special occasions Manoba Dulangan wears brass bracelet locally known as ligtiSaya or Skirt (most often malong), long sleeved figure hugging V-neckline blouse called kawal, basak colorful bead necklaces and singkil or anklets. Fotok is for the man’s chewing.

Some bethel nut chewing women sling on their shoulders a small rectangular shaped cloth bag, called solok which contains ingredients for bethel nut chewing.

The Manobo Dulangan has similar cloth bags called fuyot which are usually blue in color and larger than women’s solok. It is ever present within their reach because during land preparation, the Manobo dulangan will tie it around his head for easier access.

The Manobo Dulangan has several rows of earrings called tunggal which may even reach the upper most of earlobes. Many of the recently appointed Datus have stopped wearing these adornments because of influence of non -ips who observe this as unusual sight. The older Datus wear their hair long and tied into a bun while the younger generations have shorter hair.

Many of the adult Manobo Dulangan males pluck their eyebrows to make them appear thin and in straight line.  This may appear to be one aspect of their vanity.

Sa Manobo- Dulangan enda agdaw di sa kegamit da sa guwaen ligo-ligo. Amuk meuma sa kesetoponoy/Limod, sa baye’t Menubo gamiten di sa nagdi Ligo-ligo iling sa ligti, lubing, kawal, betikel owoy sa sigkil, agule potok dema sa diya maama.

Sa medoo baye, duen sa nagda solok egsegelayen sa dalem di medoo mamaen. Agule sa maama puyot sa nagda egbaba sebaen sa dalem di medoo mamaen ma.


The Dulangan Manobo believes in Nemula as the supreme God who created all creatures within the universe.  They also believe in elemental beings that may be characterized as good and evil. Effi are good and are the owners of the forests while, the Babae Pongalubing, the Babaeng Boglukos, the kabingebinge, the Busaw are evil in nature. The elemental beings inhabit the earth while Nemula inhabits in the high heavens. Nemula and the elemental beings communicate with mortals through dreams, however, some members of the community, called Bleyan, are gifted with power to communicate with the gods and they are also the healer of the community. They also believe in Tulos as one of their gods like Nemula.

Like other Indigenous Cultural Communities, the Manobo Dulangan believes in the existence of the soul and the life after death. They believe that the good souls pass through a narrow path guarded by deity called Booy Baya who guides the soul to a place of eternal happiness while bad souls will pass through a wider path guarded by Datu Mapangangading, the equivalent of Satan, who guides the soul to an evil place called Bop Mlow.

Egoh anay enda daa sa baye di sa tegetunggal lapeg ma sa medoo maama egtunggal ma sa guwaen tunggal ini pelegkang di isik taman dakel. Egoh di medoo di sa genelal datu migsabo miggamit siini ka sa tigesa bulbul enda egketuuwan da eghahaa. Eoh muna agdaw sa medoo maama tegepetaes da sa baye’t – ulo da omen di pakulen da. Inigoh di enda di mepoyo   de,

Owoy enda daa iya di, sa Manobo- Dulangan tegekelewing dama ani kumepion saa sa kehaa kenagda owoy mekilala pineukit daya.

Sa guwaen Manobo-Dulangan, egpituu duma diya si Nemula ka si Nemula sa tegebael langun taman diya sinukob I langit. Owoy egpituu dama diya sa guwaen mepion owoy medaet. Egpituu dama duen sa epe tudok/tana owoy sa ponggonglobing, kebenge-benge, busaw, metaes pakol iya sa egkememendangan.

Ka siini medoo egpituuwen tapay dade duen kagda I egoh I nemula kagdi melugay made diya sa langit. Si nemula owoy sa egkemadangan/satanas egkesetiig da ataw ka egkesiginalu da peniukit daa diya sa teginip, ugaed sa duma iya sa eg ikagiyan da tegebeliyan ini sa sebaen ukit enda tegepigtuu diya si nemula ka iya ma sa sebaen tegebulong pineukit daa diya sa egpigtuuwen da o eghaawen da. Sa tegebeliyan egpigtuu diya sa guwaen tulas ka iya sa egpenemulawen da.

Duen ma sa ICC’s/IP’s, egpigtuu diya sa guwaen ikeduwa hagtay amuk sa eg ikagi da sa lawa daa sa nematay uged sa sugoy tapay doo nahagtay, sa etaw tegabael mipion iya sa mehagtay enga duen taman, ugaed sa egbael sala/ medaet iya sa mangay lanaw apoy.Sa guwaen “Baya” iya sa igtulo dalan mangay dutu sa kepeonon, agule si datu mapangabing- ketepeng I satan iya sa tegetulo dalan mangay lanaw apoy sak guwaen da Bop Mlow.


One distinctive feature of the adult Manobo Dulangan is the ever present tattoo embedded on parts of their bodies. The most noticeable are those on the wrists or on their legs. Other favorite parts for body tattoos are waist and around their nipples. The tattoo may form a mark or design in accordance with the tattoo artists’ conception, ranging from connecting squares or rectangles to more elaborate ones. It serves as an indication of their noble aspirations of keeping on the right path in their journey of life to which will lead them to a place called Baya, which is equivalent to heaven.

Sa guwaen epol, ini eghauwen daa diya sa medoo lukes maama owoy lukes baye, Ini mehaa diya sa puso-lesen owoy diya soso o kagda da. Ka sa epol sa sebaen egpehaa sa sukat sa sebaen etaw epe epol.


The earliest known beliefs among the Manobo Dulangan were observed seriously by every clan. When a wild dove (alimukon) sounds before one decides to travel, it is believe to be a sign that something untoward event will occur along the way.

Sneezing by one who is planning to travel was considered also a bad omen.

The appearances of rainbow were also taken as bad signs.

When a crow rest on a Manobo Dulangan’s roof, the house will be vacated for fear of death of a member of the household.

When one falls from the floor while the house is under construction, the family must leave for good leaving the maturing crops behind.

When a hen eats its eggs, though it continues to lay more, the family vacates their gifts and their house permanently due to fear for the life and limb of their children.

Sa medoo Menubu- Dulangan duen sa guwaen Lemuken, Upama kuna uminapaw ka mangay dutu mediyu enged do, agule sak egoh ko eglegkang petow polo eg ikagi sa lemuken/alimokon. Amuk hediya enda mebaluy ka umipanaw ka dutu sa meheawan ko diya dalan.

Iling ma sa belegtu amuk sa eg- ipanawan ko, enda mebaluy di umipanaw ka amuk duen sa belegtu.

 BIRTH (Sasang goh di inanak)

The arrival of new baby is welcomed with joy and gifts. The father presents his tamok or gifts and is followed by the presentation of tamok by the grandparents from the mother side. Usually, roasted chicken is served. Tamok comes in the form of clothing, musical instruments, money and/or animals.

MARRIAGE (Kesesewaay)

Courting is not practiced by Manobo men. Some parents’ makes arrangements for future marriage of their children but there are common cases where a man appears before the parents of a young woman and informs about his intention to marry. If proposal is accepted through Sunggod (dowry), the weeding is arranged. The Datu may intervene in cases were sunggod is insufficient.More often he will guarantee the insufficiency. Among the objects asked assunggod are carabao,horse, sword (kampilan)agong, clothing, and others which are solicited by the brides’ parents. Usually, the relatives of the proposing party contribute in order to meet the sunggod. The Pakaan Manok or weeding rites begin as soon as everything is readying the given time.

The solemnizing officers are either the Bleyan or the Datu. With the Bleyan getting less recognition, the more common solemnizing officer is the Datu.

During the wedding ceremony a mat is spread in the center of the room. Two pillows are set in each side of the mat for the bride and the groom to sit facing each other. Two plates of food are placed in the center of the mat and groom gets a little quantity of food from the plate and offers it to the bride to eat. Then the bride does her turn of offering some amount of food to the groom. Finally, the solemnizing officer lightly holds their heads and let their foreheads touch a number of times to signify their union. With that, the marriage ceremony is over.

Sa melaud ende melingga di sa kenogon. Uged sa kesesewaay sa medoo menubo, ini peneukit diya sa antang – antang sa munamuna mesetiig sa lukes sa maama owoy sa lukes sabaye. Metiigan made daya amuk pila sa ligo/sunggod egpigeneyen sa epe baye. Metiigan ma di daya sa ngengan di ihated sa baye dutu kena I meama do. Sa guwaen kehated sab aye iya made sa kawing baalan, daya made hauwen sa medoo sunggod; iling sa kuda, kalabaw, selagi, segasong owoy duen pa sa liyu, iling, sa ligo, tamok ataw ka medoo saput o timbak ma. Amuk meuma de sa kawing ini simbahan da sa manok ka iya sa sumpa.di .

Sa mebaluy kumawing Iya sa Bleyan ataw ka datu iya sa sumetegkuk sa ukit kekawing ini bekahan sa ikam dutu bilik sa maama umin di dumalem dama kulagbu. Umin de duen sa duwa gelampay neba itena diya sa ikam binekah, ubos daya sa maama kumuwa sa tukees neba umin di isungit di diya baye. Ubos daya sab aye dema sa kumuwa sa tukees neba isungit di ma diya sa maama tanda egoh di nesesebaan da, Umin di sa Datu setegkuken di kagda, neubos sa setegkuk ubos de sa kawing.

LIVELIHOOD (Kahagtayan/Galbek)

Swidden farming or Egalbek in Manobo is the farming system employed by the Manobo Dulangan Indigenous cultural Communities. For fifteen (15) days, farming areas are left open until felled trees dry up. The land preparation activities would normally take place in the month of March. The appearance of the orions belt in April signifies a good month for planting, hence, this month is the usual planting season of the tribe.

As with other Indigenous People in various parts of Mindanao, the Manobo Dulangan believe that before planting (Ighemula) is done a blood of a chicken or a pig should be spilled within the farm area to ensure good harvest.

The traditional crops of the tribe are native corn, upland rice, banana, fruit trees, camote, and a few varieties of vegetables. After harvest a new area is opened to allow the former farming areas to rejuvenate. Other forms of forest livelihood are hunting wild games/animals, gathering rattan,wild fruits and bethel nuts and herbal plants for medications.

Nowadays the Manobo Dulangans gradually adopted the new technologies of farming through technical assistance to the office of the Municipal Agriculturist and NGOs to improve their farm output. Their current crops are coffee, banana, rice, corn, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and other root crops. Because of the current demand of other industrial products, the tribe are now planting rubber seedling thru the technical and financial assistance of the Department of Agriculture.

Ini denu diya sa kahagtayan o kegalbek sa medoo Menubo muna muna tumiba, kumulot diya sa loeb sepulo owoy lima agdaw (15 days), umin di angat – angat di ma taman egoh di kumegangu sa medoo pinilay kayo bago ine temtemen. 

Ubos tumemtem, angatan di ma sa bulan Marso ka iya sa sasang kehemula ugaed bulan Abril mebaluy ma ka iya ma sa sasang kehemula taman Marso

Duen ma sa liyo Menubo Mindanao, amuk ubos da de eghemula sumumbali da manok ataw ka baboy ani kummipeon sa bunga sa hinemula da.

Sa ighemulaen taka sa menubo, kelang, palay, saging, katila kayo, katila owoy medoo kelasit balangan tinabel.

Egoh anay, sa medoo muna-lukes da sumepe owoy kumetu,  humali da dema dutu sebaen inged do,dutu da dama tumiba, agule, pasambi de kani sa medoo liyu etaw, iling ka sa liyu bulbul, agule pila agdaw kagda di polo sa epe di imbes kita medoo menubo.

Inigoh di, sa tribo Menubo duen de sa iggamitsa medoo bulong ebigay sa gobyerno plegkang diya gobyerno owoy sa NGO ani mebaluy sa hinimula, iling sa kape, saging,palay, kelang, lugasing owoy duen pa liyo igbegay da.

Agule,dana duma sa medoo, magto iketiigan, melo mat eghemula made guma (rubber) dana sa tukees bulig pelegkang DA.

BURIAL OF THE DEAD (Denu kalebeng sa Nematay)

Cadavers of the Dulangan Manobo are laid inside a dug – out a hallowed tree trunk called Lefla and are pasted around with camote tops and ashes to prevent the foul smell from leaking out.  These are stored in a corner of their huts for future burial which may be scheduled after several weeks, months or even years.  The burial of the dead may also be made to coincide with burial of other dead members of the family or of the community.  So it is possible to have a dozen or more caskets to be buried at the same time and the same grave. As such, several activities may be held which includes dancing, playing of Indigenous musical instruments and singing (doyuy).

The celebration may last for a week or a month depending on the wishes of the deceased relatives and the reputation or status in life of the deceased in the community. Burial may takes place, if according to the Manobo Dulangan, egkelikuan de fedu ta, which means, “if our hearts gets healed/returns again”. It took ten years before Datu Lagubang was buried.

Egoh anay amuk dusa nematay dalemen sa nematay – ini dalemen da sa Lungon – pilayen sa amayan kayo’t lifla omin di tepiyen tiwada owoy tusungon ma di , ubos dahiya dalemen sa nematay ubos daya setagkeben omin di tenaan sa medoo tugbong katela ani enda hadeken sa ngadeg sa nematay dalem. 

Ubos dalemen sa lungon, ini enda pa ilebeng di, ini damagen dap ataman pila ka semana, pila gebulan ataw ka pistawan pawa bago ilebeng owoy enda daa sambilan di, kundi duen ma sa taga – dumuyoy, umadal taka umatang owoy sumala pa daya.

Sa kapista sa nematay, kalabanan egtena da diya katapusan semana  ataw ka katapusan bulan ma. Ugaed, amuk duen dema sa egpitiigtiig ataw ka sa kaunutan umikagi guwaen di, enda pa elibeng di, enda pa mebaluy di sa pista, haliin ta sa sambilan duta liyu inged do.

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