Hanuno Mangyans can be found within the territorical jurisdiction of the towns of Mansalay and San Pedro (Bulalacao) along the periphery of Southeastern Mindoro. Their population is approximately 66, 132 (0SCC. 1987)
Hanuno means "true," "real" or "genuine." According to Conklin, when he asked the what kind of Mangyans they were, the Mangyans' answers to his queries were nothing else but their claim to be true, real and genuine Mangyans. True enough because among the Mangyans they have remained faithful to the traditions of their ancestors.
The Hanunuos are fairly tall in structure, and their bodies are slim and well proportioned. They have oblique eyes, flat nose, prominent cheekbone, flat forehead, and olive skin. Men have their custom of sporting a long braided hair in the upper part of their head with the rest of their hair cut short, if not shaved. Women hang up their hair behind their heads, sometimes held in place by a beaded band, which serves as ornament. Their hair is long and wavy. They have a small, even set of teeth caused by their common practice of filing their teeth while young. (Emeterio de la Paz, 1968).
Being more stationary than the other Mangyans, their houses are more permanent structures made out of light materials, elevated up to four or five feet from the ground, supported by bamboo posts or sturdy forest lumber and roofed with nipa materials or cogon grass. The whole house is one big room used for sleeping, eating, workroom, etc.
Majority of the Hanuno men still cling to the age-old custom of using the G-string, but those who have intermarried with the lowlanders substituted G-string with short pants. The women cover themselves with a rectangular pieces of the cloth with both and sewn them together which serve as skirt. They both wear an upper garment, a long sleeved, tight-fitting shirt called the balukas for men and lambong for women. For everyday use, they have a short sleeved one that they call subon for both sexes. They us a woven belt called nito and wear beaded band around their necks and arms.
Hanunuo possess a system of writing which is a descendant of the ancient Snaskrit alphabet. In the Mangyans syllabary, there are eighteen characters, three of which are vowels and the other fifteen characters are written combine those vowels. For writing materials, they use the siyaw or a bolo-shaped kinife for inscribing and the bamboo, either split or whole, for paper.
During merrymaking, the musical joust is the participated in both sexes. Gitgit, Kudyapi, Kinaban, all string instruments are usually played by men while those played by women are the lantuy (a bamboo flute), taghup or tanghup (a whistle made out of bamboo). Like the music, the ambahan (a poem of lines of seven syllables) has found its place as a tool for courting women.
Social life among the Hanunuos revolves around the family. Mangyan girls marry at an early age. During courtship, a young man convinces the girl of his intention through the use of ambahan. In between the recitations, he plays his subing, a three-star guitar. Marriage plans are done by both parents including the dowry. The actual wedding is short, the greater part consists of admonitions, and advises dispensed by a magdadniw a kind of minister.
Relation of the individual to the community is one dominated by the spirit of cooperation and togetherness. They have no written laws. Their elders verbally in the form of counsel or advice have handed down whatever they have in the form of laws to them. In some cases, when troubles arise, the disputants settle their differences in the presence of an elder, the judge who decides the matter. Justice is then meted out to the offended parties. Different offenses are given different punishment.
Hanunuos have two burial occasions. The first takes place soon after death. The second after a year or two years when the bones have to be exhumed. They believe in a Supreme Being called Maha na Makaako who watches over them and love them. They also believe that their Supreme Being has a son called Presidents who executes his father's command. They also believe in evil spirits and in immortality.
The term iraya is said to mean "man" or "human being." The Iraya are the Mangyans of Mindoro who occupy the northwestern part of Mindoro Island. The estimated population of the Iraya-Mangyan is 10, 689 distributed around 141 settlements in the Municipalities of Abra de Ilog, Mamburao and Paluan (OSCC, IV, 1993).
According to the Iraya customs and traditions, the family is considered as the basic unit of production and consumption. Their kindred system is traced to both the father and mother's links which their system refer to us guruan.
The nuclear family is referred to us talnakan wherein their already exists a social order. The eldest takes the place of the parents during their absence and is one considered the second parent. He/She is likewise considered the intermediar between the parents and the younger siblings.
Among the Iraya, leadership is provided by the puon-balayan, in the local group referred to as sanguraan composed of closely related families. Moral and legal problems are referred to the puon-balayan for decision. Any criminal act or offense done is corrected with the use of either the pangaw or tige. Pangaw is the Iraya's version of the detention cell. Tige on the other hand is a punishment wherein the suspects of a particular offense are called and are ordered to immerse their right hand in a pot of boiling water to pick up the white stone at the bottom of the pot. Anyone of the susupects whose right hand gets burned is considered to be the guilty party. It is believed that the innocent parties will not get burned in this particular test because Apo Iraya will protect them from harm.
The Ratagnon who are sometimes called the Latagnon or Datagnon occupy the southernmost tip of the Mindoro Island facing the Sulu Sea. The Ratagnon of the Occidental Mindoro has an estimated population of 17, 562 scattered in around 200 Ratagnon settlements (OSCC IV, 1993).
Like all the other Mangyan communities, the Ratagnon are engaged in swidden agriculture. Their villages are not formally developed and settlements of four to five houses per settlements are located apart from each other. A typical Ratagnon house is made of indigenous materials - mostly of wood, bamboo, and nipa.
Some of the male members of the Ratagnon community still wear their traditional dress which consists of a loincloth as a lower garment. The women wear woven cotton used as wrap-around matched with an upper garment made of handwoven nito just enough to cover the breasts.