Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mangyan Exhibit at Davao Museum

The Davao Museum is hosting a Mangyan exhibit for the whole month of September. Featured are examples of Mangyan script and poetry, craftwork, and artifacts.

The Mangyan are the indigenous peoples of Mindoro. Mangyan is actually the generic term for the tribes living in the area, eight groups in all. They are notable for their syllabic script which predates the arrival of the Spanish by at least 300 years.

The oldest written artifact found in the Philippines was a copper plate with Mangyan script discovered in Laguna in 1989.

I attended the opening of the exhibit last Thursday, thanks to an invite from my fellow Davao Reader Chi. It felt a little odd to be rubbing elbows with the alta sociedad of Davao, and me in my everyday work clothes. But what the hey, right?

Anya Postma, daughter of Dutch archaeologist Anton Postma, was the special guest at the opening. She recited Mangyan poetry and taught the guests how to write their names in Mangyan script.

Some words about her father: Anton Postma is the acknowledged authority on the Mangyan, having spent several years of research in the area. He went back to the Netherlands once, then returned to Mindoro for good. Anya was born in Mindoro and lived there her whole life.

This map shows the distribution of the tribal areas in Mindoro.

Mangyan musical instruments.

Weaving occupies a special place in Mangyan culture. Only married women are allowed to weave, and when they do so, they weave using a special back plate which connects them to the loom. This makes them one with their work.

An example of Mangyan poetry. All Mangyans participate in this art form. Of the specimens I read, what they had in common were nature motifs with themes of arrival, departure, friendship, love, and day-to-day activities.

There is a Mangyan web site,, which goes into more detail about Mangyan culture. But, of course, a visit to the museum to see the exhibit would enhance your experience. Catch it while it's there.

Davao Museum is at the Zonta Bldg., Insular Village Phase I, Lanang, Davao City. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 9:00am - 5:00pm.


  1. Hi Dom,

    I should have send you this note by mail but since I don't know your email add I am taking advantage of this one.

    I'm Mr. Maugan Mosaid, a Muslim from Cotabato City. I chanced upon your blogsite while I was browsing the net for some kind of research. I am a novice blogger and if you won't mind I have some querries related to blogging. I know you are a pro blogger and these querries are so easy for you to answer.

    1. What is the name of the template you are using?
    2. How do you cut your postings on the main page as it appears like this (read more..)?
    3. How do you make several pages with titles that appear on top of the header like in your case, they are: body exhibit, Davao Mindanao, The Marco Polo, etc.?

    By the way, since I came across your blog I have become one of your regular readers.

    I hope for your kind response on these querries.

    Thank you very much.

    With my best wishes,



  2. Hi, Mau,

    Ramadan mubarak!

    I don't actually qualify as a pro-blogger because I don't rake in the big bucks like some other folks. I just do this for fun. ;-)

    But anyway, some answers to your questions:

    1) This current template is something I customized myself. If you want, I can email you the file.

    2) Please see Some surgery on the template is required but it shouldn't be too difficult to do.

    3) Those are actually Google Text ads. Go to your blog's Page Elements tab of your Layout control. Then add a widget, specifically, an HTML/Javascript widget. In my case, that's just the Google ads code.

    I hope this helps!

  3. Dom,

    Thank you for the prompt reply and Ramadhan wishes.

    That would be very kind of you to email me the template file. I will really appreciate that.

    May your blogging prospers from posterity to prosperity.

  4. Hi, Mau: you can download the template from this site:

  5. hello dom! chi here! thanks for blogging about the exhibit. can i repost this in my multiply? or i'll link it :D

  6. Go ahead, Chi. Just post a link back to the site.


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