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Alangan | Mangyan Heritage Center

Alangan

Photo of an Alangan-Mangyan woman in traditional attire
An Alangan-Mangyan woman in traditional attire

The Alangan Mangyans live in the municipalities of Naujan, Baco, San Teodoro, and Victoria in Oriental Mindoro, and in the municipality of Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro.

The name Alangan was derived from the name of a river and mountain slopes in the upper Alangan Valley [Leykamm, 1979].

The women traditionally wear a skirt called lingeb. This is made of long strips of woven nito (forest vines), and is wound around the abdomen. This is worn together with the g-string called abayen. The upper covering is called ulango, made from the leaf of the wild buri palm. Sometimes a red kerchief called limbutong is worn over the ulango. The men wear g-strings with fringes in front.

The Alangan Mangyans practise swidden farming, which consists of eleven stages. Two of them are the firebreak-making (agait) and the fallowing (agpagamas). A firebreak is made so the fire will not go beyond the swidden site where the vegetation is thoroughly dry and ready for burning. Two years after clearing, cultivation of the swidden is normally ceased and the site is allowed to revert back to forest [Quiaoit, 1997].

Betel nut chewing is also noted among the Alangans, like all other Mangyan tribes. This they chew with great fervor from morning to night, saying that they don't feel hunger as long as they chew betel nut [Leykamm, 1979]. Nonetheless, betel chewing has a social dimension. Exchange of betel chew ingredients signifies social acceptance.