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The Badja Essay

Introduction:

The Badjao – which literally means fisherfolk or simply fishermen – is a group of indigenous people that are usually referred to as “Sea Gypsies,” making use of small wooden boats known locally as “vinta.” In their houseboats, also known as “Lepa” and “Pelang,” they usually carry all their belongings and valuables as they travel from one place to another. According to Dr. Pendatun I. Talib, Secretary General and Founder of the National Sama-Badjao Movement, Inc., and currently director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Regional Fisheries Training Center in the Zamboanga Peninsula, the children of the Badjao people feel more at home whenever they are aboard their vintas because of their ties with the sea – having been at the sea.

Objectives:

To know the Badjao’s way of living
To know how they live in their current places
To know their basic daily routine, traditions, beliefs, and practices

Hypothesis:

If I would continue my research about the badjao’s, then I would know their way of living.

Significance of Study:

If I would continue my research and studies about this, it would: Change not only my way but also other people’s way of treating the badjao people. Change my first impression on ethnic groups like the badjaos. Let me know the way how they live and how they kept alive their culture.

Let me know the traditions, routines, practices, and beliefs of the badjao people. Conceptual Framework:

Definition of Terms:

Badjao in its origin simply means “Man of the Seas”
“Vinta”, small wooden boats known locally.
“Lepa” and “Pelang,” other term for houseboats.

The patadjung/tadjong has many uses. Among the Badjao it is large enough to fit any person and is worn by both men and women as a skirt or gown tucked at the chest level.It can serve as putung (headcover), waistband, sash, blanket, hammock, shoulder bag, cradle, pouch, hood, or pillow. A simpay (band) forms the front opening and extends to the back from a small collar. The gallang (bracelet) is the most popular ornament.

Lampblack is used to outline a rectangle on her forehead and this is emphasized by yellow ginger juice. The leleng is sung for any occasion, by anyone of any age. It is also sung for special occasions like weddings, haircuts, or circumcisions. Binoa is similarly chanted as the leleng.

Igal or pangalay, performed by the female, is the basic traditional dance movement. Pag-Omboh – A ritual that traces its origin to the Pre-Islamic times, it is observed by the people who believe that performing it is necessary to ensure a sense of well being and to preserve the harmony between the material and spirit worlds. This practice is usually done when illness/death strikes the family. This misfortune is seen as a sign of the patient having offended or displeased a spirit; Pag-Jinn – It is an opportunity for the faith healers and shamans to commune with the spirit to help sustain and enhance their healing powers. It captures the depth of animism that is an integral part of the belief system of the people; Pag-Diwata – it is characterized by intense and frenetic ritual dancing to the tune of the Agong and Kulintang; Pag Tulak Balah – It is a water ritual of symbolic cleansing;

Pagtimbang and Paggunting – The child is placed on a weighing scale traditionally made of a wooden pole with Patadjong, wherein ritual goods equal to his or her weight are placed. While the Paggunting is traditionally held to coincide with the Maulidin-Nabi, the day when the Holy Prophet Muhammad was born; Pag Tammat – One way to achieve this is through the Pangadji series of tutorials with the local guru or imam, who inculcates the importance of the Holy Qu’ran into the life of the learner; Pagkawin – A wedding begins with the Magpahanda, the formal presentation of a marriage proposal with a request for parental consent.

The Mahal (dowry) is brought to the bride’s house. The marriage is solemnized with witnesses with duwa’a (prayer), hutbah nika (counseling), and ends with “pagbatal,” or when the groom touches the forehead of the bride with his thumb; System of Pag Kubol – The body is bathed amid prayers, it is then shrouded with a new white cloth followed by the Sambahayang Mayat (prayer) to be led by an Imam. Pagkubol must take place within 24 hours of death; Putikaan – Consulting the Putikaan for the auspicious time to set out for any activity or voyages ensures success; and, Hinang-Hinang (Barang) – An Spiritual Act that causes harm to other people using some needle materials, scissors, and egg, or maybe using some other objects.


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