Likhang Puso

the mangyan community

The Mangyan community is the collective term for the eight indigenous groups located predominantly in Mindoro, but also in Romblon, Albay, Negros and Palawan. These eight indigenous groups are: Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan, Tau-buid, Bangon, Buhid, Hanunuo, and Ratagnon. Each of these indigenous groups have their own unique customs, language and culture.

The northern tribes (Iraya, Alangan and Tadyawan) live simpler compared to the southern tribes (Tau-buid, Bangon, Buhid, Hanuno, and Ratagnon) who are more modern as proven by their writing system, pottery, and weaving. Collectively, the Mangyans are known to be peaceful people compared to other tribes in the Philippines. This has been theorized to have been caused by their systems of values which rewards peaceful behavior.

The Mangyans have incredibly rich and varied cultural heritage. Some examples would be the Ambahan and Urukay. These are the different rhythmic poetic expressions of the Mangyans verbally passed down from generation to generation. The Mangyans also create designs called Pakudos, a simple symmetrical design which utilizes lines and spaces. Mangyans are also remarkably adept at weaving. Woven bags, baskets, and accessories are just some of the many beautiful woven creations of the Mangyans.

In particular, Likhang Puso focuses on the Hanuno tribe located in Oriental Mindoro. The Hanunuo tribe can be distinguished through their rutay (clothing). Male members of the Hanunuo tribe wear a ba-ag (loin cloth) and a balukas (shirt), while females wear a ramit (skirt) and a lambung (blouse). Many of these clothing items are embroidered with Pakudos designs. The Hanuno tribe also use an alphabet called Hanuno script which consists of 18 characters. The Hanuno script was traditionally carved on bamboo for love letters or Ambahan.

The Mangyan community has incredible culture and traditions that deserve to be shared with a greater audience. Likhang Puso aims to bring more exposure to this culture and cultivate a wider appreciation for the Mangyan community among Filipinos.