Monday, November 1, 2010

The Tribe's Guwas (Ranks' vested)

The Sultan sa Kaudan of Maguindanao vested Manog with the guwa (rank vested on a person by authority of the Sultan) of Datu Barendong. Manog was also given the authority to create the following guwa when he got home: Datu Diowan Palawan Gagga Arid sa Pinto sa Subangan (meaning he was given the law or the key to the orient; that is, a boundary was created between Maguindanao and was created between Maguindanao and Davao Oriental's authority to govern its own affairs); Rajamuda (Businessman), Marajalayla (Right hand of the Sultan), Sarilin, Datukos (elders' leader) and Tumanggong  (Liason Officer); Datuwata (youths' leader), Datu Kalli (mediator) and Cuwano. These guwa or ranks which would be created by Manog in Summog would give him the assistance needed in running the affairs of Davao Oriental.

Manog - A Man with Great Strength

When the group of Manog landed Maguindanao, the Sultan sa Kaudan sent Manog a horse to ride on. In reality, it was a wild horse to test his prowess. The Sultan expected him to be thrown off the horse and trampled upon, But Manog seized the horse's bridle in such a firm grip that he tamed its wild spirit. The second test consisted of cutting down the mangay-yi tree inside the corral. The mangay-yi had a bark resembling that of the anahaw tree but inside, was solid steel as bi as man's leg. But Manog vaulted through the air and struck at the mangay-yi once with his kampilan. The alubalang saw that with one stroke of his kampilan, Manog produced eight cuts on the mangay-yi; then Manog shook the tree and seven pieces fell to the ground. Because of these feats, Manog became known as Mabaguer a Mama meaning a Man of Great Strength. Then the Sultan invited Manog to a feast. When he took a glass of water to wash his hands, the glass shattered. then he started to eat, and the same thing happened to the plate holding the rice. Manog addressed the Sultan, saying, when theses things happened to the utensils used at table, it could only warn him one thing, to guard against betrayal. After they have eaten, Manog related the tarcela of his lineage. He came to the part where Panisi married Salipada Macalang from Maguindanao, son of Sharif Kabungsuwan and Putri Tunina Kurani Kuning.It jolted the Sultan to hear this. Filled with remorse at his reception of the man, the Sultan stood up and embraced Manog. They were reconciled through that marriage of Macalang to Panisi. When they finally got back home, the brothers Saugong, Rahmat and Damunda consulted among themselves and decided to give their sister's hand to Datu Barendong or Manog in marriage. So theyr were married but had no child. His brothers-in-laws served under Datu Barendong as Sarilin, Datukos and Tumanggong. Thus, Manog did not go back to Caraga but instead, resided and ruled in Summog until his death. His burial ground is in Piyagbusan, Lupon on an elevated area at that point where Tagugpo River separated its course from Summog River.

The Kaagans of Summog (Lupon, Davao Oriental) and the Sultan sa Kaudan of Maguindanao

Meanwhile in Summog (Lupon, Davao Oriental), there lived three brothers - Saugong, Rahmat and Damunda and their sister Aynon. Summog maintained trade relations with the people of Maguindanao. The Sultan sa Kaudan of Maguindanao traded bronze artifacts with the people of Summog. But the Sultan's men came to collect the payment for the Sultan's goods, most of the people could not pay up because of a recent drought and a poor harvest. But the Sultan was firm and told his alubalang (forces) to bring back to Maguindanao the people indebted him. When the first boatload of Summog debtors sailed for Maguindanao, the people of Summog, in desperation, sent a messenger to Manog of Caraga to help them in their predicament. He told the messenger to go home and build him a big house in seven days. he himself would follow later. Manog arrived in Summog at night. The next day, the alubalang from Maguindanao returned. When their boat came nearer, they struck their agong so the Summog people would have already gathered together ready for them when they disembarked. But Manog stopped the people from staging a welcome. In a little while, the alubalang ;landed and angrily confronted the people. Then Manog sprung out of the room of the newly built house and landed on the balcony in front of the alubalang. The house crashed down with the force of his fall. The alubalang were in consternation. Manog demanded the reason for thier coming. The alubalang said they have come to get the people who could not pay their debts to the Sultan. Then Manog told them to go back to the Sultan and tell him that he, Manog, would not allow the people of Summog to be taken to Maguindanao. When they got home, the alubalang reported to the Sultan that Manog had sent his challenge and would fight in any form of combat to release the people of Summog from their debts. Next day, the alubalang were sent back to Summog to fetch Manog. He told them to go back and expect him in a month's time. He would still have to build a binaoy (large outrigger canoe) for their trip. When Manog was ready to sail, the brothers Saugong, Rahmat and Damunda and their men went with him. Each was armed with his kampilan or kris.

Manog of Caraga, Davao Oriental

When Pampang grew up, he settled in Caraga. He was called also Manog because of his great strength. One day, he took some round timbers and stood these upright on the ground. To this day, his descendants chip off pieces of theses timbers to be burned during a Diwata Ritual for the sick, invoking his name for help. Manog married a woman from Hijo and their union bore for them a baby girl.

7 Banos of Mamuyapoy (Tarragona, Davao Oriental)

Mamuyapoy, Tarragona, Davao Oriental is a place where the seven Banos and their seven wives lived. The Banos are strange beings - half human and half spirit with great strength. SamaU was in a desperate mood and was looking for trouble. He swaggered over to where the Banos lived and rashly entered the place unbidden. Whenever a wife of the Banos passed him, he made an indecent gesture. He had done this to all six wives when the seventh wife passed, he did the same thing to her. Now, her banos husband was ill-tempered and found SamaU's effrontery too much to bear, so they fought. The seventh Banos wrestled with SamaU, each one struggling to overpower the other. They fell down once and scrambled up to grapple again. They were both thrown to the ground a second time, and were not able to get up. Their strength were spent. Maag saw the protagonists and came down riding on a yellow musaa. Reaching the prostrate wrestlers on the ground, she fanned them seven times with the musaa. they finally stirred and got up. Then she asked SamaU to make peace with the Banos, and they themselves went back home reconciled. Maag gave birth to her second child, a girl named Panisi.

Maag and SamaU begot PangPang

In time, they begot a son named PangPang. The boy had seven knee joints. He grew up to be three meters in height and with a superhuman strength. One day, SamaU went game hunting and brought home some birds. He laid these on top of of her loom. Maag, bent in her work, had not noticed it. As she worked, the dead birds suddenly fell on her lap. this startled Maag but strangely, she laughed and could not stop until SamaU saw that her teeth were like sesame seeds. Suddenly, lightnings flashed, the rains poured and the earth shook. It happened exactly as SamaU was forewarned before their marriage if ever Maag should laugh. When SamaU went hunting again, Maag complained to Baul-loy that her husband made her laugh when he knew too well that it was forbidden. So, she was hurt and would go up (to heaven). But she was leaving seven yapugans and seven sets of different colored attire for SamaU. As for their child, young PangPang was left to Baul-loy's care. Maag asked the older woman to sing to PangPang her lullaby when it cried and place it at a distance from the walls so she can easily view him from her place in heaven. When SamaU arrived home, Maag had already left. He learned of her hurt feelings from Baul-loy. SamaU immediately went to his room sulking and did not get up for seven days and seven nights. When he finally got up, he part took of a yapugan and changed into the red attire Maag left him. then he left to go to Mamuyapoy.

SamaU's Courtship

By this time, the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines and their galleons ply the waters of Mindanao. Their route passed Butuan doing brisk trade with the natives. It so happened that one of these Spanish galleons needed repairs for its mast. They had to make do with a bamboo pole from Butuan. In a few days, it was ready to sail again. As the ship neared Caraga, a strange thing happened. The bamboo pole split open and out came a mysterious young man named SamaU. Unaware of what happened to the bamboo pole, the Spaniards wondered how SamaU came to be among them in the ship. But as the ship neared the sabang (the spot where Mayo River entered the sea), SamaU disappeared as mysteriously as he came. SmaU was following the Mayo River's course upstream, when at one point, he found a limao fruit floating in the river, caught in a tangle of a woman's hair, seven yards long. As he picked it up to take a closer look, he felt the strand of hair snap off his hand. Nearing Ul-loy's home, he heard the sound of the loom as Maag worked. The sound suddenly stopped as Maag discovered knots in the strips of weaving materials that may cause the thread to beak off. Instead of repairing the loom, Maag stood up. Baul-loy wondered where she was going and asked her. The young lady said a visitor was coming and she was going to her room. She explained to the older woman that she felt a strand of her hair pulled off by its roots when someone picked up the limao fruit in the river. SamaU proceeded to Ul-loy's home and was welcomed. Baul-loy offered him a yapugan to chew. A yapugan is a portion of the betel nut mixed with a little lye and wrapped in a buyo leaf to be chewed. It was the custom of the times that a young man who is interested in a certain young lady comes to her house and asks her for yapugan. Once the lady heeds his request and offers him a yapugan, it can only mean she had accepted his love. Then marriage is discussed. Baul-loy's offer of the yapugan to SamaU was a mere gesture of courtesy, as she was married and old enough to be his mother. She offered him six yapugans in all, nut each time SamaU courteously refused. Then the guest spoke up. He said he was requesting the seventh yapugan if the young lady of the house should favor him with it. Baul-loy replied by saying that nobody else lived in the house except she and her husband. But SamaU did not believe her remembering the limao fruit entangled with a woman's hair. At last Maag came out of her room. She came to him with seventh yapugan in her hand which it pleased the young man. SamaU expressed her desire to marry Maag. He met no obstacles. She only warned him that she was forbidden to laugh, since this would cause a storm and an earthquake. So that if he were to marry her, he should guard against anything that will make her laugh.

The Alimokon Egg

There once lived a man called Ul-loy and his wife Baul-loy by the river near the maabong trees. They were charged with the responsibility of guarding the Kaagan and Mandayan boundary as marked off by the maabong trees. One day, Baul-loy was gathering the day's wash when she espied an alimokon bird's egg. She relished alimokon eggs cooked in nearly done steaming pot of rice, so she brought this one home. When she reached her home, she placed the egg in a basket in her room, while attending to her other household chores. Distracted, she forgot to cook the alimokon egg. When she remembered the egg says later, an amazing thing happened. The alimokon egg hatched twins, but they were not alimokons. The twins were a male snake named Agwaon and a female child named Maag. As the twins grew older, Agwason derived great enjoyment in playing sipa with the children. Eventually, the snake grew to an enormous size. Agwason's playmates also grew up, but gradually, they avoided Agwason. They told him that they were busy with more important things so they did not have time to play sipa anymore. Sensing Agwason being saddened by this turn of events, Ul-loy told Agwasion that the other children are shying away from him not because of loss of interest in the game of sipa but more so because they were afraid of the snake's enormous size. Agwason replied that it was time for it to (to heaven). But Agwason would leave its twin sister Maag behind. Before leaving, Agwason told Ul-loy that in times of adversities and sickness, his descendants have only to perform a Diwata Ritual invoking Agwason's name and it will give them succor. As Maag grew to maidenhood, she mastered the art of weaving and made many beautiful woven fabrics.

The Kaagans of Baoy (now Mati, Davao Oriental)

Long before the Spaniards came to Baoy (now Mati, Davao Oriental,) where Mayo River made its progress to the sea, there lived men who were blessed by nature and communed with its mysteries. Along this river called Mayo, stood two lush maabong tree grows as tall as a mango tree with lush foliage and white bark. It is used in the treatment of a variety of diseases, from stomach aches, rheumatism to allergies. Even at that time, maabong trees were scarce and were taken care of. On one side of these maabong trees, facing the hilly areas, stoo a limao tree (native pomelo). The leaves of the limao tree, crushed and extracted of its juices, is used by the native women to beautify their hair. A yellow musaa (kerchief) is tied to a branch of the maabong tree facing the coastal areas. This yellow musaa signifies that the coastal region belonged to the Kaagan tribe. (yellow is the color 'of Kaagan royalty.) A red musaa hangs on the other maabong tree. This means that the area from this maabong tree up to the hilly areas belonged to the Mandaya tribe. Under the shade of this maabong tree, the Mandayas enact their Diwata Rituals for healing. The Diwata Ritual is performed in times of grave illness. The hardened resin of the camangyan tree is placed over the live coal embers, filling the air with smoke and the sweet scent of camanyan. The Abyan (spirit medium) then invokes the names of dead forefathers of the sick person. Suddenly, the Abyan seems possessed and acts strangely. In a little while, the Abyan recovers from his trance and with a clarity of vision, he discerns the cause of and the cure for the disease. When it is a case of the sick person being forgetful of his obligations to the dead, then he is required to perform these duties to remember and placate deceased relations who in turn aid him towards recovery.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What does KAAGAN mean?

Kaagan came from the word "kaag" which means "to inform," "to secure," "to warn," or "secrecy." It is a native word of the tribe used by its tribe men earlier when they have to inform their tribesmen about something to happen. The Kaagan Tribe is one of the early settlers of Southern Philippines when Davao was not yet divided into three provinces which was named as Davao del Norte (Northern), Davao Oriental (Eastern) and Davao del Sur (Southern). Kaagans lived along the riverbanks of Mayo River, Mati, Davao Oriental; Summog (Sumlog), Lupon, Davao Oriental; Mamuyapoy, Tarragona, Davao Oriental; Bingcungan; Hijo and Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province. The tribe was under the Sultanate of Maguindanao. There were three established governance before named the Sultanate of Sulu, Sultanate of Maguindanao and the Sultanate of Brunei. When the Americans came to the Philippines, the Kaagans were known as "Moros" or little brave people of the East. They were known of their kamaysugan (braveness). Yellow is the tribe's royalty color.