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Ambahan: Home | Mangyan Heritage Center

Ambahan: Home

To give a sample of all the various aspects of the home life within a Mangyan settlement would be next to impossible. However, an attempt to draw a general outline will be undertaken here. Two great themes can be considered of importance in the life-cycle of a Mangyan: 1) His struggle for life in and around his house, to keep hunger and sickness away; and, 2) His unbelievable ability to relax, be happy and unconcerned, often by escaping from his immediate surroundings.

What does a Mangyan home look like? His house is not as important as a house is to his countrymen of modern culture. A Mangyan will be the first to admit that his house is of poor construction and just a temporary dwelling.

Ambahan 102
Hanunuo-Mangyan English Filipino
Handwritten version of ambahan 102

This the forest Mangyan said:
"What I have to tell you, sir,
I've been thinking of for long:
Your existence is not bad
In the lowlands where you live.
There the houses that you have
Are built with beams of the best
Like your floors all made of wood.
But we to the mountains born
Who have lived here for so long,
Our houses are not like that.
Our floor is of bamboo built,
Our roof made of cogon grass,
All of it is tied with vines.
But to that I have to add.
Don't forget that we can live
Very near the water source
Where the birds all come to drink.
A cool, shady place to be."

Sabi ng isang Mangyan:
Ang wika ko'y pakinggan
Ito ngang kaisipan—
Mabuti ang 'yong lagay
Ikaw, taga-kapatagan
Kaya taga-baybayan
Tabla ay ilang-ilang
Nagsahig nang mainam
Kaming taga-burulan
Kaya nasa burulan
aming kabihasnan
Sahig ay patpatan
Kugon lang ang bubungan
May taling baling-uway
Datapwa't 'to'y pakinggan
H'wag naman kalimutan
Ibon sa may igiban
Bukal itong inuman
Na kay lilim kung tingnan!

After all, life is hard and a Mangyan has to spend most of his time eking out a subsistence for himself, so the house itself is of little importance.

Ambahan 103
Hanunuo-Mangyan English Filipino
Handwritten version of ambahan 103

Your condition is quite good
and your house is beautiful.
The walls made of banban leaves,
still enforced with bamboo poles.
But we, living out-of-doors,
we, the mountains dwellers up,
if we did not have to search
for some food to stay alive,
we could also be so wise,
we could also find these ways!
But the only thing we find,
is a sago palm for food!

Dampa mo'y kainaman
Bahay n'yo pong gandahan
May dingding na banban
Patukurang kawayan
Kaming nasa bakuran
Kaming taga-burulan
Di dapat paghanapan
Di dapat panghinaan
Wala pong karupukan
Di dapat manghinayang
Dahil masisilayan
Yaong buling gandahan!

Even if the construction is nice and strong, the day will come that the house will be torn apart by the ripping blasts of wind.

Ambahan 105
Hanunuo-Mangyan English Filipino
Handwritten version of ambahan 105

Climbing vine with the long leaves,
leaves symmetrical and fine,
how very nice looks your stem!
But, they say, you'll be blown down
by the tempest from the shore!

Hoy, uway na lambaan
Malamba ang dahon man
Ang puno'y kainaman—
Kung nasa daraanan
Bagyo'y galing 'patagan!