Comics series on Bukidnon tribe out

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/21 May) – In a marked departure from their mainly oral tradition, the Bukidnon-Daraghuyan tribe has published a series of four comics depicting their history and culture.

Titled “tribal comics series,” the illustrated materials will be used in the Daraghuyan Tribal School of Living Traditions, Datu Dumapal Benecio Docenos told MindaNews.

The datu said the school has 13 balignaos or teachers.

“We have to put it out to help bridge what the elders and the young people know. Even some of our elders need to learn from one another and the youth,” he added.

Datu Dumapal said they have no more qualms putting part of their tradition in print to help their own people and outsiders understand their culture. But he pointed out that they consulted their elders on the move as it used to be discouraged.

“But we are now ready. We are glad of the opportunity that our life, culture, situation will be known,” he added.

All of the four stories were written in Binukid but have English translation.

The first volume in the series is on Batbatanun hu Limbagan (Bukidnon tale of creation) as told by Datu Dumapal and one of his brothers, Datu Pagalungan Ignacio Docenos. The story tells the creation of space and the universe up to the creation of the first man and woman and their children. It noted the good relationship between the humans and the creation around them.

Datu Dumapal, 69, is the eldest in the Docenos clan. He is a hunter, ritualist, judge or arbiter, blacksmith, artist and teacher. He is also the tribe’s engineer who was responsible for the design of the Mt. Kitanglad Cultural Heritage Center.

The 17-page volume used 21 images illustrated by Datu Dumapal, Jonel and Gerard Docenos, Ariel and Arlan Omarol, and volunteer-artist Bong dela Torre. The images used a mix of pencil, water color, and soil paintings.

The second volume in the series is on Kag-asawa ha Batasan Hu Tribu Ha Bukidnon Ta Kitanglad or “Traditional Marriage practices of the Bukidnon Tribe in Mt. Kitanglad.”

The volume was written in Binukid by Bae Inatlawan Adelina Tarino and Datu Dumapal. Bae Inatlawan, 51, is the head claimant of the tribe’s Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title. A baylan or shaman, she is known as a cultural expert for her knowledge on healing, indigenous spirituality, and mediation skills.

It was through Bae Inatlawan that they established the tribe’s Bukidnon Inhandig Tribal School, presently the Daraghuyan Tribal School. Ariel L.

Omarol, 18, provided the 12 images used across the 14 pages of the volume.

Omarol is a member of the Daraghuyan Tribal Youth who is known for his drawings, drums, and dancing skills.

The third and fourth volumes were told and drawn by Bae Precyl Gamay, Bae Malugdang, Careliza Omarol, Bae Lourdes Ruiz, Bae Mangunguyamo Julia Cacay, and Nanay Conching Homaynon, who are all members of the Daraghuyan Tribal Women Organization.

The third volume consists of 14 pages and focuses on Kapangalima hu Tagkabugat daw hu Bata Ta Gutuk or Maternal and Child Care.

Bae Mangunguyamo told MindaNews last week that they were inspired to agree to write down their practices on maternal and child care after attending a seminar on population and development.

The fourth volume is on Gapangalima daw kagpa-aragi hu Bata or Responsible Parenthood. It has 10 pages.

Ma. Easterluna Canoy, director of the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs, which works with the tribe, said the project was funded by the Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD). (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)