The Talaandig

Talaandigs

The Talaandigs are one of the indigenous groups in the province of Bukidnon, who has continued to preserve and promote its indigenous customs, beliefs and practices despite the strong influx modernization and change. This groups is found in barangays and municipalities surrounding the mountain of Kitanglad specifically in the towns of Lantapan and Talakag (Talamdan, 2001).

The belief on the existence of the highest God called Magbabaya and the spirits who guard and protect nature is minfested in the social, economic and political aspects of the life of the Talandig. Thus, when the Talaandig establishes a farm, he performs the Talabugta and Ibabasuk rituals, after harvest, he performs the Pamamahandi for the thanksgiving, for the recognition of the superior leadership, he performs the Panagulambung, when he goes hunting, the Punaliket and palayag, and for a higher form of socio-economic and political activity, the Talaandig performs the Kaliga ceremony.

The belief of the Talaandig on the existence of gods and spirits is also reflected in the protection of the house. These include Dadagunan hu Suguy who guards the laws of the house: Anilaw ha Sumagda who guards the door, Sinyuda Kahibunan who keeps the hall, Diwata ha Mailib who records the activity of peole inside the house and Diwata Pinatanlay who guards the house at the ridge of the roof.

According to Tajonera (2003) marriage is the most significant basis of Talaandig kinship. Before arranging marriage, the consanguinity and affinity relationships of contracting parties are determined as basis for settling the appropriate customary laws and procedures. During marriage, counseling is established as guideline to preserve relationship. This is carried out in the observance of the Bayluwa custom where each of the couple is instructed to tell problems related to their relationships as husband and wife only to their parent-in-laws. This custom provides smooth relationship with-in-laws who have the parental authority to discipline their own children.

In Talaandig kinship terms, a father is called Amay; a mother, Inay; a brother, suled; a sister, atubay. Uncle is called Aba or Abang. An aunt is called Ida or Idang. Apu is a general term grandparent. Parent-in-laws are called Ugang. A son-in-law is called Maamong while a daughter in law is called Lagambay.

The Talaandig learning system is embodied in various forms of oral tradition. This tradition includes the narratives called Nanangen, epic called Ulaging, poetic songs called sala and songs called Idangdang. Limbay are particular songs about animals.

The long historical narrative Talaandig is called Gugud. It is considered sacred because it relates to the existence of the gods and spirits at the time of creation. A Talandig story to recall is called Batbat while a reference story is called Sampitan while a brain twister or riddle of the Talandig is called Antuka.

The Talaandig has two methods of healing illness. One is through a religious ceremony. Another is through the application of traditional herbal medicine.

The Talaandig are known to be dwellers of the steep places. They are the people of the slopes (andig). These IPs who ascribed themselves as Talaandig are mostly found in Lantapan and Talakag.

Both the Talaandig and Higaonon indigenous communities claimed Mt. Kitanglad as their sacred "temple" and ancestral home. They believed that the forest was the source of life because it served all of their needs: wild animals for food; medicinal plants to cure illnesses; timber for house construction; and rattan to make baskets and other crafts. They chose an area within the forest as hunting reserve. The wild animals were allowed to propagate and multiply. Hunters were selective and conservative in numbers of animals that they killed.

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