The Subanuns are the first settlers of the Zamboanga peninsula. Because they live near the river ("suba"), they are called river dwellers or Suba-nuns. The family is patriarchal while the village is led by a chief called Timuay. He acts as the village judge and is concerned with all communal matters.
Marriage is similar to that of other tribes: dowry, use of a go-between, feasting called Buklog and the rice rituals. The officiating person is the Misala-getaw who is a respected male leader in the area. The most important part is the witnessing of the rice ritual by the groom and bride. Polygamy is limited to the affluent. Divorce is permitted and decided by the village chiefs. In such cases, the dowry must be returned if the bride is at fault.
In late pregnancy, a special hut called "ghosina" is erected for the expectant mother. Charma is hung above and under the hut to ward off evil spirits. After delivery, the mother lies close to a hot fire for several days in the belief that this will dry up the womb.
The Subanuns and Kolibugans practice swidden agriculture (slash and burn) on the mountain slopes, cultivating upland rice, corn, root crops, and the like. They have a subsistence economy and are in need of technical skills, capital and market access.
The Subanun villages are ruled by village chiefs who dispense justice, divorce, and settle issues and disputes.
The Subanuns believe that all humans have souls. The dead are usually buried within the same day, before sundown. They believe that souls roam the earth unless certain rituals are made to make it go to heaven or to appease some spirit in the other world. The ritual is usually a feast (polohog for the less well-off, and buklog for the more affluent. The burial party however must bathe before the feast begins.
The Kolibugan on the other hand embraced Islam and are mostly found on the island of Olutanga, off the coast of Zamboanga del Sur. "Kolibugan" is a Sama-Tausug slang for half-breed, because the tribe was former Subanuns who intermarried with Sama and Tausugs and embraced Islam. However, they retain the Subanun dialect.
Open doors are education, radio and community development.
* That adequate funding be supplied to Christian ministries who are engaged in education, radio, primary health care, community and livelihood development.
* That adequate long term support be given to church planters for sustained church development in the remote areas.
|Profile Source: Asia Missions (AMNET)|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2016-06-12|
|People Name General||Subanon, Western Kalibugan|
|People Name in Country||Subanon, Western Kalibugan|
|Population in Philippines||138,000|
|Progress Scale||5 ●|
|GSEC||5 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Alternate Names||Calibugan, Kalibugan, Kolibugan, Malayal, Siocon, Subanon|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Mindanao, Zamboanga del Norte Province facing Sulu sea, from Labason town to southern border, mostly inland, on western slopes, Zamboanga Peninsula; Zamboanga Sibugay Province, Ipil, Rosseler T Lim, and Tungawan municipalities, eastern slopes of peninsula. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Mindanao, Zamboanga del Norte Province facing Sulu sea, from Labason town to southern border, mostly inland, on western slopes, Zamboanga Peninsula; Zamboanga Sibugay Province, Ipil, Rosseler T Lim, and Tungawan municipalities, eastern slopes of peninsula.. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language||Subanon, Western|
|Language Code||suc Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
|People Groups||Speaking Subanon, Western|
Primary Language: Subanon, Western
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1996)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum of Bible Agencies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Subanon, Western|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: Kitab Bogu Pasad taluʼ nog Mikpongon|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent *|
|Christianity (Evangelical 19.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|