INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTS
from the Mt. Apo KBA
These are publications that summarize the cultural profile of the communities. Each community published a primer containing their history, practices, and their conservation philosophy. These were developed and written jointly with the community through their elders, leaders, and/or Indigenous community organization.
This Culture-based Conservation Field Guide was developed for researchers as well as conservation and community development practitioners working with Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) and local, non-indigenous communities. It is based on the PEF’s approach that uses a Culture-based Conservation (CBC) framework as a conceptual guide.
The guide is based on best practices documented in the literature combined with the collective experiences of its contributors. The guide prescribes practices at the smallest geo-political unit whose boundaries coincide with the area where the authority of its leaders or decision-makers (e.g. council of elders and/or barangay leaders) is acknowledged and recognized.
Featuring the communities' Conservation Philosophy
The Indigenous Obu Manuvu nation was cared for and nourished by the forests. As the occupants of the few remaining forests at Mt. Apo, they offer their lives and sincerest cultural ways in protecting nature and natural resources. The environment is our life. The forest is the home of our culture and faith; for them, it is the seat of survival. The Pusaka is a long-standing practice of sanctifying items, animals, and lands — all that are considered valuable to community life and history.
The Gomanan is a forge that is central to the culture and traditions of the Bagobo-Tagabawa. To produce the basic materials that the Bagobo-Tagabawa needs in everyday living, a Gomanan must be created with the guidance and tutelage of Manama. The materials require five elements essential to the culture of the Bagobo-Tagabawa and to the larger ecological context. A Gomanan is more than just an instrument. It represents a way of life and cosmology that is unique to the Bagobo-Tagabawa of Mt. Apo.
Empaen is a collective term for all the resources found within our ancestral domain. Guimanon, on the other hand, means “hope”. Together, Empaen Guimanon refer to all the natural resources we have inside the ancestral domain as natural treasures that brings hope for a better life to all Bagobo Tagabawa residents of the present and the future. These precious resources include plants and animals that we utilize as food, and traditional medicines that can be found in the forests.
We have a history of socio-cultural relationships with the eagles which we want to sustain and nurture. The eagle symbolizes the traits we like in a leader (fearless, self-sacrifice, and foresight). The eagle provides one basis for segregating sacred and protected places within our ancestral domain.
The term limlimuwan is from the Monuvu’n Tinonanon indigenous language that means an item is sacred, valuable, unique, and should not be neglected, wasted, damaged, and sold. The Limlimuwan covers the whole ancestral domain; mountains, rivers, caves, lakes, graveyards, sprouts, and other things involved in the history of the elders, community, and territory.
Diverse plants and animals are found inside our ancestral domain. We value these natural resources as they are part of our lives. They are essential to our survival. Now, we want to protect this biodiversity for the next generations. We do not want that our children and our grandchildren to see these valuable resources only in pictures.
The Obo Monovu culture is thriving amidst the modern inﬂuences, especially to the younger generations. However, the Elders and Leaders of the community are striving to keep their culture alive. The traditional ecological knowledge of the indigenous community as well as the history of their traditional landmarks are indispensable treasures that help their present policies and laws protect their territory. To the Obo Monuvu, the forests and waters are the beginning and reason of their survival as it serves as their market-- where their needs are provided by nature. The time that these resources are no longer available is the time that their culture also ceases to exist because of its deep connection to the tribe.
In the foothills of the Mt. Apo Natural Park lies the ancestral domain of the Obo Monuvu, who resides in Barangays Manobo, Manobisa, Don Panaca, Imamaling, and Amabel of Magpet, North Cotabato. The indigenous cultural community manages a total of 13, 525.6 hectares of ancestral domain, consisting of production and community protected areas. Their ancestral domain is a part of the Mt. Apo Key Biodiversity Area, a home to biodiverse species, both flora and fauna.
The Obo Monuvu is an indigenous cultural community that resides at the foothills of Mt. Apo. Like other indigenous communities living along the Mt. Apo range, they regard Apo Sandawa as a sacred mountain where their ancestors prayed from a long time ago. It has been inculcated in their culture that Mt. Apo is an important part of their history as Obo Monuvu. Here, we look at Obo Monuvu communities living in ancestral domains in the Municipality of Magpet, three of which comprise or form part of Barangays Manobo, Imamaling, and Don Panaca.
The forests of Barangay Sibulan are home to the great Philippine eagle with a total of nine (9) nesting sites recorded. Its territories exhibit greater faunal and floral abundance, that include critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable species. This remarkable richness led to its declaration as an ecologically critical habitat, as it shelters various species and therefore a call to its conservation.