The Tribal Philosophical Thoughts of the Higaunon of Iligan City, Philippines

Artchil C. Daug, Ashera Dyan T. Neri


Studies on tribal philosophical thoughts are rare or non-existent in a Philippine society that included over a hundred tribes. This study brings into mainstream Philippine philosophy the thoughts of the Higaunon tribe regarding space and time, being and the self, ethics, and epistemology. Descriptive qualitative method was employed in this study. Higaunon stories from their culture and past were gathered through interviews with authoritative tribal leaders and shamans. Analysis was substantiated through community immersion and regular interaction with the tribal leaders so that structures of their thoughts can be revealed and considered as philosophical. The study found that the Higaunon consider space and nature as equally important as human beings, and duration instead of time prevails in their stories. Their “being” is found in the will of the Magbabaya, their one God. Their concept of “self” works under a tripartite structure that enables the learning of the past to be manifested in the projection of a future and in decision-making in the present. Decision-making is connected to their ethics, which essence is called Ginagawa, the source of love, compassion and judgment. The individual judges present circumstances and acts on them in the exercise of themselves as weighing scales referred as Gantangan. In terms of leadership, the Datu becomes Batasan Adansil, the exercise of Gantangan through tribal leadership. Epistemology is taken from human engagements and is kept within tradition by the Baylan. The study concludes that tribal philosophical thoughts are indeed viable and the Higaunon is a good example of it.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n9p74

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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