The Glorious Tagbanua Tribe

The Tagbanua Tribe, also known as the “people of the village,” have a rich and fascinating history in Palawan, Philippines. Discover the beautiful Island with Green gecko Expeditions during their special Coron to El Nido boat Tour.

The Tagbanua people are considered one of the oldest tribes in the world. Their history dates back 22,000 to 24,000 years ago. They are believed to be descendants of the Tabon Man, who were the original inhabitants of the Philippines. Their physical characteristics include dark chocolate brown skin, slim builds, and straight black hair.

The Tagbanua inhabit the central and Northern portion of Palawan Island and Coron, spanning both the eastern and western coastlines.
The majority of the Tagbanua population resides in the extensive lowlands to the east of the island’s mountain range

The Tagbanua mainly subside on slash-and-burn agriculture, cultivating crops such as dry corn, rice, millet, taro, sweet potato, and cassava.
They are also extensive fishermen as well as engaging in wild boar hunting, armed with spears and accompanied by dogs. Buffalos serve as transport and a meat source, while other cattle and pigs are also raised as a food source. Chickens are raised both for its meat and eggs as well as for cockfighting.

Tagbanua tribe houses

Traditional Tagbanua houses are raised on stilts, typically 1.5 to 2 meters off the ground. These houses usually consist of a single room, constructed using bamboo, rattan, and palm fronds for the floor, walls, and gabled roof.

These houses are built with lightweight materials, allowing the occupants to dismantle and carry the roofs and walls when needed. Ritually speaking,
houses were burned upon the death of an occupant.

The Tagbanua society comprises autonomous villages led by an ethnic elder leader known as the Masikampu or Apong Deculo. Ginu are community leaders who rule based on their extensive knowledge of customary law and possession of supernaturally powerful heirlooms. These Villages are part of the national system of local administration or LGU. The social order distinguishes between “high blood,” “low blood,” and, in the past, slaves called Uripen.

The Tagbanua believe in ancestral spirits and prepare offerings for historic rituals. Many have converted to Catholicism and Protestantism.
Pregnant women observe numerous behavioral and dietary taboos. The pregnant woman keep various plants in the houses for protection against witches or evil spirits. Pasigem (riddles) and ugtulen (folk tales) serve as both entertainment and essential lessons to teach children social norms and history. Traditional attire includes loincloths for men and colorful sarongs for women. The Female hair is kept long and in a chignon, and earrings and pearl chains are occasionally worn by women.

The Tagbanua on Palawan use the pre-Hispanic alphabet, which was once used by the Tagalogs and other Filipino Dialects. Many Tagbanua also speak the languages of neighboring communities, as well as the national language, Tagalog.

When you take the ultimate island adventure, the 3 day boat trip between Coron to El Nido with Green Gecko Expeditions, you will meet these indigenous people and get to know about their amazing customs. So come join Green Gecko Hostel Coron to El Nido expeditions now.

Tagbanua Tribe Coron Palawan