DEL ROSARIO, Lorraine Joyce M.


History 3-H
September 18, 2016

Lumad Spirituality
From the Website of Dabawenyong Lumad
A Commentary/Reflection Paper
“The Philippines is known for its ethnic and indigenous groups, all of which complete and give life to the
Filipino identity, setting us apart from already diverse Southeast Asian culture.”
Upon hearing about Mindanao, one of the first things that pop onto peoples’ mind is that Islam
dominate this country’s frontier at the South. True enough, a large population of our Muslim brothers and
sisters are Mindanaoans. Many of them are migrates from the two other distinct islands of the country,
Luzon and Visayas which in contrary has more Catholics, though as they reached the land, they have
adjusted themselves with Mindanao more favorably. For decades now, the Philippine government
encouraged settlers from other parts of the country to migrate to Mindanao, now a Promised Land (Tan,
The Lumads are a group of indigenous people in Mindanao who became precarious because of
the many issues laid upon them, particularly in the year 2015, and because Mindanao is so rich in natural
resources. I first heard about Lumads because of stories about the Lumad killings that erupted, rumbled
the soft spots of the Filipino nation and sent various human rights groups clamoring for justice, knocking
on the former president’s door to ask for some kind of explanation—or even reassurance—that help is
indeed reaching the Lumad ethnic tribes. Upon learning about them, I found out that Lumad is actually a
Filipino-Bisaya term meaning "native" or "indigenous," and is the self-ascription and collective identity
of the non-Islamized peoples who are said to be the original habitants of the island of Mindanao
(Villareal, 2016). It is amazing how they have not been colonized, and they have still retained their novel
religion or spiritual belief. To add to this, their number is quite large. They compose 17 IPs in Mindanao
(Tan, 2015).
Though Lumads are faced with various social issues, they remain firm with their beliefs and
traditions especially with that of the spiritual aspect. Since the Lumad groups are a minority in the
southern Philippines, distinct from the majority Moro Islam people of Mindanao, they have their own
spiritual beliefs which are different from the rest of the people of Mindanao. Although, Islam is the
primary religion in Mindanao, and Catholicism is the predominant in the country, the religion of Lumads
retains a type of spiritual beliefs like that of other natives in the Philippines – full of rituals and rich in
moral lessons, but it remains distinct from the rest.
A website entitled Dabawenyong Lumad discuss the culture of the Lumads, shares portraits of
their lives in action, and translates it to the rest of the world. A particular section in the site is attention
and eye-catching. It serves as an eye-opener about the spiritual beliefs of Lumads in their culture.
Though, I was given a hint that it is neither Catholic nor Islam, and is somewhat similar to the beliefs of
other IPs, as I read further the article and interpret the pictures, it is more to ritual and practices. It seem
like, it has been their ways of life.
As the starting statement of the website Dabawenyong Lumad claims, Lumad spirituality is very
deep. It starts early, being practiced and observed by the young people, by children in particular, upon
learning from the adults and elders. Then, this is expected to be passed onto each succeeding generation.
In order to honed a particular trait, it must start with the young so as they can carry them throughout life.
I’ve learned that respect is of utmost importance within their culture. The elders teach the young to

Both Catholics and Islam also has a god which they honor and serve. or else. Furthermore. the counterpart of the bad god. revenge will come as a havoc. probably why such issues about them sprouted. though in the modern times. Similarly. It is also completed by offerings of to appease the creator usually in the form of animals being slaughtered. Just like them. The Lumads fight back to rightfully protect and defend their lands and source of livelihood. but is also accepted in practice on occasions of a house blessing. fruits. there are still some who believe in this and it does not only signify to ask for blessings.respect three things. community and customs that have been brought down from generations. garments or mat especially without his permission. This is initiated by what they call as the balian which serve like a priest to the Lumads. Nature plays a vital role in their lives because it is their primary source of needs and livelihoods. It is mentioned in the website that a t the time of Islamic rule in Mindanao. the website presented that they are being rule by Datus whom they consider sacred hence all of his possessions are sacred too. Not coincidentally. The same practice is observed within the Catholics like those written in the Old Testament where Burnt Offerings are usual. Manama is looked up to by the Lumads. Thus. Offering to them is a practice also observed by other indigenous people. they seem to identify or distinguish a certain god. Though the Lumads are non-Islamized. in space. there is an instrument called ahung that must . community and customs is a rightful attitude to show humility to those who are older and wiser. Ogassi. he will then have a successful hunt. those who have mastered the practices of the group for long. Manama is the name of their god. In these. and they themselves. The role of spirits in the lives of men serve as a guide. or cash in churches symbolizes thanksgiving of the blessings received. educating the youth is more of a community instruction and respect is the key aspect leading to the heart of this belief. (1) To respect Manama as the God creator of all things (2) to respect nature and all its forms (3) to respect the elders. and an instrument that seem to bless them with any life’s endeavor. only a few observe offering. aside from differences. they have a priest officiating religious activities. The ritual of pomaas is not limited to thanksgiving after harvest. Therefore. teaching the youth to respect the elders. The first example described was the offering of prayers and showing gratitude to Manama during the blessings or pomaas after a harvest. The value of only touching and using materialistic possessions which is yours is being reflected here thus it also gives a sign of respect to the true owner. The men in return must never provoke and disrespect the spirits. Based from literature and research. Manama is a good god. we can also see the similarities with the two dominant religions of our nation. In the second example stated. the ancestral Lumad lands are said to have the highest mining potential of all the islands and include the last remaining uncut forests on Mindanao. Offering flowers. The spiritual teachings of the Lumads as discussed by the website are plenty enough but it was compartmentalized and unified into one system. it can be noticed that hunting is still prominent within the cultures of the Lumads. kalasag. Their rich and vast culture. Because they have so far remained protected from mining and logging. When the spirits acknowledge it. the places where the Lumads live are also the country's last frontier in the hunt for natural resources. Whenever a hunter goes hunting. Same is true among us. just like the Catholics. the Bagobos had generally believed that creation is ruled by a supreme God called Manama. Belief of the spirits that reside in nature are like that of Pagan spiritual beliefs. but also for thanksgiving. so it is meant to be shared. There are lesser gods and dieties under his governance The Lumads also give importance to nature but unlike Paganism. family gathering and family celebration. Nobody is ever allowed to touch articles belonging to him such as his sword. are nothing without Manama their creator. he must make an altar at the side of the Balete tree and make an offering of food or rice for the guardian spirit to partake.

Retrieved 18 September 2016 from https://dabawenyonglumad. having known about the Lumads takes us to the humble lives of Filipinos where we can face reality. Traditions and beliefs like those of the Lumads conveys to us a great piece of artifact from the past. people and their customs help us escape reality and get lost. distinct portrait of our true identity in general. be found and know the roots that make us who we are today. Respect for them is not a belief. Symbiosis or mutualism allows each and everyone to interact and benefit with each other. learning about . The Lumads teaches the same lesson. adapt and survive to their environment. These spiritual practice of Lumads educates them to avoid touching or using belongings which are not personally theirs. Retrieved 18 September 2016 from https://globalecco. Fellow human beings must showcase empathy and sensitivity towards a more efficient and effective relationship with each other. In ordinary society. Instead of insulting and dubbing negatives against them. still has something in common which all unites us. The value for respect that they embody is truly inspiring. respect of the belongings which are not theirs or which aren’t asked for a permission. it would be better and more helpful if we just showcase our support on them. At any points looked upon.not be played without any permission too as it is being guided by a spirit. It is part of the greater practice as a Lumad. enforcing killings and damage to their properties. these practices are quite strict. Respect begets respect.wordpress. it shows disrespect and insult to laugh at other’s abnormalities because they are people too with feelings. though built with different types of groups and people. we are all Filipinos anyway. driving them away from their native lands. Though in truth. It is an amazing avenue that would promote a stronger identity for us Filipinos. or which are being guided by their spirits since they believe them. and still manage to preserve it even for the many generations that are yet to come. They too are Filipinos and we are one in building this nation. these deformities must not be laughed about because it might have been the result of many reasons that may even be outstanding and something to be proud of. G. All of us are designed perfectly by our creator and it is a disrespect of the creator if we insult His creation. As they say. they still live the same culture and beliefs. The Lumads of the Philippines: Struggling from Conflict Toward Peace globalECCO. Though. at least I thought that it teaches the Lumads discipline and again. References: (Main Website Reference) Lumad Spirituality | Dabawenyong Lumad (2012). which gives Filipinos of today a clear. They are also one with their beliefs. tt is a moral crime in the Lumads to laugh at other people’s deformities. All men are equal even if they are incomplete or with disabilities. Moreover. so that each may grow. It is informing and satisfying to learn about the spiritual beliefs of indigenous people such as the Lumads because it gives a background of their rich and vast (Other References) Villareal. that despite the many issues against them and the many IP tribes they are made of. which sets us apart from other cultures. Their unity is commendable. The Lumads developed a keen sense of respect towards many things because symbiosis is a concept that has been understood by many of them even before they were taught the word. (2016). Moreover.

Tan. Inquirere Opinion. Who are the ‘lumad’? Retrieved 18 September 2016 from http://opinion. M. (2015) .