MANGYAN is a collective term used to refer to eight different ethnolinguistic groups living in the mountainous areas of Mindoro, the country’s seventh largest island. The Mangyan are the original inhabitants of Mindoro. Documented accounts show that as early as the 13th century, the Mangyan had contact with people from far-flung parts of the Asiatic continent and possibly Europe.

MarinoChinese dynastic accounts, like Chao Ju-Kua’s 13th century account and the 1349 work of Wang Ta-Yuan, had definite references to the island of Mindoro. These accounts tell of “well-established native settlements which were not without knowledge of the outside world.” Chinese ceramics and other archaeological finds in the island believed to “range in data from the 10th to the 15th centuries” serve as proof of a pre-Historic Mindoro culture.

Mostly written on bamboo slats using chiseled wood, Ambahan is the Mangyan’s indigenous poetry written in their own writing system. This poetic literary form is believed to be 3,000 years old. According to the Mangyan Heritage Center, of the four tribes who have retained their own syllabary, two of them are Mangyan tribes: the Buhid and Hanunuo. This means that despite colonization and the introduction of the Roman alphabet, the Mangyan have been writing the way they originally did for centuries.

In 1997, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) declared the Mangyan endangered scripts as National Cultural Treasures. In 1999, the Mangyan syllabary was inscribed in Unesco’s Memory of the World Register.

Selected from Marino: Hanunuo Mangyan Music and Chanted Poetry which was recorded through the initiative of Grace Nono‘s Tao Music, these chanted poetry wrap up PCIJ’s Literature and Literacy series.

Listen to the Ambahan.

Mangyan
Length: 00:01:28
File size: 1.3 MB
Language: Minangyan
Performed by Baryus Gawid, a Hanunuo Pandaniwan (medicine man and religious medium)

Hope
Length: 00:01:29
File size: 1.3 MB
Language: Minangyan
Performed by Ulyaw Bat-ang

Contentment
Length: 00:00:59
File size: 932 KB
Language: Minangyan
Performed by Ulyaw Bat-ang

See Tagalog and English translations below.

Urokay
Baryus

Minangyan

ko nag-ayan od ya
sa akong mga kakilala
ugma ako’y may mga kasama
halin sa ibang bansa
pa iwan kami diya
kami kung makauli
odto sa among isla
kami mga taga Mindorinya
Mindorinya
kami nga tanan
mga katutubo sa una
ad yos kaluba si pangdan

Tagalog

Ako ay pumunta dito sa inyo
sa aking mga kaibigan
Ako’y isang katutubong Mangyan
galing sa Mindoro Oriental
Paano kami ngayon ay nandito pa
Aywan lang kung kami makababalik pa
Pauwi na kami sa aming bayan
kami’y mga Mindorinyo
Lahat kami
mga katutubo sa una
Kami ang nauna sa dayuhan

English

I have come to your place
to be among friends
I am a Mangyan
from Mindoro Oriental
How shall we fare, we are still here
I do not know if we can still return
We will be going back to our village
We are from Mindoro
We have been part of the land
from the very beginning
We were here before any
foreigner came

Ambahan
Ulyaw

Minangyan

mag kunku si Oglipan
Ma-ay Ma-ay tawagan
no kantam di nag-amban
timbang hapoyo uban
subung huknuy lukmayan
katpong bay indaginan
bagay daga tigawnan
bonggo pagkarignungan
nakan bay bantakunman
nag sumbali tikagnan
linindo parawanan.
Magkunkuno ti apoparay
katpong bay indaginan
tulus ye kangmagbay-an
daga pudo ti gawnan
bonggo pagkarignungan

Tagalog

Ang sabi ni Oglipan,
Maay, kaibigan,
ang ating pagkakaisa
tulad ng pinagbigkis na tali
parang pinagdugtong na baging
Sa panahon ngayon
baka sa lupang pinagdamutan
ay gumanda pa ang palay
kaya siguro gano’n
ay may patubig doon
dinatnan ng malakas na ulan.

Ang sabi ng grasya,
sa panahon ngayon
ayos na ang katuwaan
magkakatulad ang lupa
baka gumanda pa ang palay

English

Oglipan said,
Maay, my friend,
our union
is like two ends of cloth joined and plaited
like a vine entwined
These days,
even on barren land
the grain might still grow.
That is why
the field is fertilized
and is visited by strong rains.

According to the Grace we live by,
in these times
things are pleasant.
Everything on the land is fair;
there is hope that the grain will grow well.

Ambahan
Ulyaw

Minangyan

No tagin duman diman
inda kang nanaytayan
sa kawayan tambangan
padiye manaikwan
tangdayan humignupwan
unhunun sab arawman
amindang sa Nagbangan
waliwali nug gamtan
dapat bay una kunman
dapat bay ibayaan
kang tangday alusiman
paindong paugsadman
kangdimanpagdalinan
udsumangdansiginan
apwan siwalodiman.

Tagalog

Sa aking pag-iisip
itong aking katabi
sa kawayan naggaling
Hindi na masama
lantayan ay matahimik
Aanhin pa mamaya
ang kahoy sa Nagbangan
magkabilaan ang ugat
Kahit na gano’n
pabayaan mo na lang
aking unan na kahoy
Pabundok o pababa
kanya ding tinitingnan
walang magsasabing masama
Ang may-ari ay mabuti rin.

English

I think
my companion
must have sprung from the bamboo.
It is not a bad thing
to be completely content.
For what do we need the trees in Nagbangan?
Their roots grow in separate directions.
Despite that,
let me have
my pillow made of tree bark.
Going up or down the mountain
the view is the same
Who can say anything against
the owner of the land? He or she
must not be a bad person
after all.

1 Response to Mangyan poetry: Truly indigenous, proudly Filipino

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deila

October 13th, 2014 at 8:15 pm

dapat mag-kakaRhyme .. sa english :/

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