The most numerous of the various cultural-linguistic group inhabiting the mountains of Central Panay, Tapaz, Capiz, Lambuanao, Iloilo, Valderrama, Antique Provinces are the Sulod who are relatively unassimilated. Their estimated population is 13,814 (OSCC, 1987)
These people occupy the rugged finger-like slopes along the banks of the river in the interior and higher mountains. Because of this sandwhich-like location of their territory that the inhabitants are called by their neighbors "Sulod" which literally means closet or room. They speak the Sulod dialect with the combination
Of Kiniray-a and Lliligaynon.
The Sulod live in small descrete settlements, called by them puru, which are generally located near their kaingin or swidden. Each settlement averages five to houses. They look upon themselves as a social unit, being conscious of common interests and loyalties and having a perfectly clear idea as to which families belong the unit and which do not.
The standardhouse of the Sulod is a four-walled, one-room dwelling raised about three or four meters above the ground on bamboo or timber posts and supported on all sides by several props called sulay. The roof is mad of cogon thatch and the walls with flattened bamboo or bark of trees. Bamboo slates are the materials for flooring.
They are shifting cultivators and do not stay in one place for more than two years. Hunting is another source of substinence. They also catch fish with hook and line and fish traps. Aside from hunting and fishing, gathering vegetable products and edible fungi is a way of securing supplemetary food.
The ordinary attire of the Sulod is like that of that lowland Bisayans. The women wear jacket with long narrow sleeves, usually made of silk and cotton with harmonious color a band of red cloth is worn by women to hold up the barrrel skin. On special occasions, the women a headdress of a narrow strip of cloth with silver coins seen on it with necklaces made of vary-colored glass beads and silver coins strung together. The young men wear trouses and a shirt but some elder prefer to wear the G-string. Their headwear is an ordinary buri hat during dry season as saduk during rainy days (Jukano, p. 57)
The spear is the Sulod's most indispensable weapon which he carries in work and in travel. They have very few household utensils. Coconut shells are used for drinking cups. They do not have tables or chairs, they seat or squat on the floor to eat. The musical instruments the drum, gong, bamboo violin, bamboo flute, bamboo percussion and bamboo jew's harp. There are at least two famous dances, the binanug and kuratsa.
The group, which regulates the political, social and economic affairs of the Sulod community, is the Kahimataan. He participates in marriage arrangements, in the performances of the community rituals and, in the settlement of the family feuds, in the payment of wergild and in many other cooperative organization of the Sulod social, economic and ritual life which is beyond the capacity of the nuclear family to handle. The Baylan are either men or women whose function is to communicate with major spirits during the important seances, to interpret dreams and omens relative to the general welfare of the communities, and to handle special magico-religious performances during ceremonies. The Mirku is called upon to administer herb medicine to the sick.
BUKIDNON OF PANAY
Bukidnon are another group of mountain people in Panay. "Bukid" means mountain and "non" is the Iligaynon term usually connected to people. Their population is estimated to be 1,993.
The basis of their economic subsistence is shifting agriculture, called kaingin, supplemented by hunting, fishing and gathering.
Despite occasional contacts with the Christian lowlanders, no dramatic social and cultural changes have occurred except that the Bukidnons have adopted the lowlander way of dressing.
They retain traditional practices within their customary laws on marriage and remarriage of surviving spouse, showing the importance of socio-religious activities and kinship. Rituals and ceremonies still being practiced arose from beliefs that the relationship between the spirits of the dead continues, and that environmental spirits have influence over the affairs of men.
Leadership is assumed by the oldest man in each settlement. He also settles disputes and leads annual social and religious activities.
The Applai are indigenous people of the western Mountain Province which is composed of
the municipalities of Baseo, Sagada and parts of Sabangan, Bauko and Tadian. The word
Applai is a term popularly used by the Mountain Provinces Easterners to refer to the Mt.
Province Westerners, in the same manner that the Easterners are called
The word Applais are sometimes referred to as "kankanaeys" of Mountain
Provinces because of some similarities. Noting however, the difference in culture from
Benguet Kankanaeys, especially in ritual observance, then Congressman Alfredo Lam-En,
himself an Applai, had the "Applai" accredited as a separate tribe.
The Applais engage in a variety of economic activities all year round like wet farming,
slash and burn agriculture, camote, farming, trade and handicraft like backloom weaving,
bamboo basket weaving and pottery. They also raise fruits and vegetables in all seasons of the year. Just like in early times, they raise
domesticated animals such as chickens and dogs. Pigs are raised in their dugungan
or gongo (pigpens) which are usually built within the premises of their houses.
The Applai villages are compact settlements which are divided into sections. Every
section belongs to one dap-ay or abong. The number of dap-ay adepends on the
population of the village. The dap-ay is a place to meet and settle disputes and hold
meetings. It also serves as a center of all religious rites the amam-a (council of
elders) forms the decision making body for the dap-ay.
In the applai tribe there are only two social classes, the rich Kadangyan and the poor
Kodo. The Kadangyans attain their social status by lineage, inter-marriage or accumulated
The applai tribe has its own customs and traditions to observe during occasions like
wedding, death and other community related affairs. The old folks of good standing of the
community serve as the master of the ceremonies. They solemnize, and settle matters
pertaining to community cultural affairs. They are convened to do the ceremonies Kabunyan,
as the supreme being.
The applais are one united community sharing each others happiness and burden,
having mutual understanding among villagers, and cooperating especially in community
rituals associated with the agricultural cycle and other ritual affecting the whole