"Subanen Sinalimba" 2012 by
The history of the Subanon
is unclear until the 1600's, when the Spanish Jesuit
missionaries mention them in their writings. There were Muslim
merchants that lived along the coast of the peninsula and they
were the only outsiders that the Tuboy Subanen had contact with.
They were exploited by the Muslims, setting the pattern
for Subanen relations to this day.
Since World War II, Christian and Muslim ethnic groups of
the Philippines have often clashed. The Subanen, who are
polytheists (believe in many gods), have suffered and been
victimized by both sides in this conflict.
The Tuboy Subanen are slash
and burn farmers.
Every year a new field is cleared. After one or two years of
use, the field must lie fallow for up to 15 years. They also
raise various types of livestock, including pigs, chickens,
cattle, and water buffaloes.
Rice is the most important crop, although various other
grains are raised. If there is any extra rice, it is sold at a
market for cash, which is needed to purchase clothing, utensils,
and tools. Their
houses usually have some distance between them. Their homes are
rectangular, have thatched roofs and are raised on stilts. Every
three or four years the Subanen move to a new location to clear
more forest for fields.
Men and women work in the fields together, and men cook
and care for the children when necessary.
Everyone is on an equal level in Subanen society because
everyone has the same occupation and has almost the same
economic level and lifestyle.
The Subanen permit polygamy (multiple wives), but most of them
have only one wife. Families usually arrange marriages, and the
groom's family is expected to pay a bride price. Occasionally,
the groom will work for the bride's family for a few years
rather than paying a full bride price.
In Mindanao, in the mountains of the Zamboanga
2% adherent and 0.20 % evangelical
They do have the Jesus film.
They need more missionaries
and Christian workers.
Pray that missionaries will go to their area and live and
work among them.
Pray that God will reveal himself to them.
Pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts to receive the
Pray that the Gospel will be presented to them in a way that
they will understand and believe.
Pray that an indigenous Tuboy Subanen Church will be
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