The Bagobo are proud people with proto Malayan features. A strong social structure has enabled the group to blend well with the main body politic while retaining their indigenous customs, beliefs and values. While many are in economically depressed circumstances, a great number have attained a considerable degree of self-sufficiency. Most of the Bagobo have suffered dislocation from the loss of their ancestral lands and the effects of modern day insurgency.
Bagobo have ornate traditions in weaponry and other metal arts. They are noted for their skill in producing brass articles through the ancient lost-wax process. They also weave abacca cloths of earth tones and make baskets that are trimmed with beads, fibers and horse's hair.
The Tagabawa of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato, the Guiangan/ Clata of Davao City, and the Ubo of Davao del Sur and Davao City are the different Bagobo communities. Ubo is a Manobo sub-tribe found between the more isolated mountains of Southwest Cotabato in the area called Datal Tabayong and farther down Davao del Sur. They number approximately 16,975 (OSCC, 1987).
They indulge in Sweden and or slash-and-burn farming planting with rice, root crops and vegetables for food purposes. Sometimes they are food gatherers in the forest and indulge in hunting games.
Parents negotiate the marriage of their children and the family of the man must pay the dowry before the wedding is set. Polygamy is practiced provided the man is capable of paying the bride price for each wife.
The Ubo believe in a number of spirits headed by Diwata (God). Being animist, they also believe in ancestral spirits and unseen beings inhabiting the animate and inanimate objects in the environment. Every time they ask favor, they have to offer sacrifices to gain their desire.
The political leader and the Datu in the village attains his position by virtue of wealth, speaking ability and knowledge of customary law called fendan. His main responsibility includes settling disputes among members of the family, neighbors and community. Once a fine is set or imposed by the Datu, the accused has to pay it to the aggrieved party and if he cannot pay he will become servant to the one who pays for him. This practice is called dok.