|Posted by Louie on December 10, 2014 at 5:20 AM|
(we may not live forever but our landmarks shall never be forgotten)
Our pre-Spanish writing system has been kept by some supreme guardians or "Gbelyan Megiba" for four (4) centuries, they were Apo Guilingan, Apo Tawan-Tawan and Apo Dimacaling, in the advent of Japanese Empire, some Subanen families who were called the keepers of every Subanen clan were brought to Mt. Malindang (Subanen's most sacred mountain). Among the families, including those chosen from the Maranaw tribe, three (3) clan leaders/chiefs were again chosen to keep the sacred writings. After World War II, the chosen families returned to their communities but were saddened when they found that their lands were no longer theirs, they were displaced and settled in different places in Zamboanga Peninsula, ours has been kept away from the tribe for almost a century now, we never grew in the tribe, we were totally detached. The tribe's spirit haunt me for several times in the past until my father revealed where we came from and who we really are, I am the one and only in my clan who braved to return, I am home.
Subanen script has been forgotten when western formal education was totally introduced to our country, to Mindanao and to the Subanen domain. Our script was about to extinct just like many other traditions in the past, just like our language, just like our leaders who fought for the tribe, just like the old bearers of the Subanen script, just like those who were poisoned in the foot of Malindang when their homes were taken from them and their dreams broke into pieces, played in the wind and lost among the enchanted trees of the mountain, never was heard. The revival of tribe has come to its age and the revolution to save what are still left of the past became the hamoc to collect all the remaining treasures of the tribe, some chosen people from the new generations were given the opportunities to discover and save the colours and gifts of the past, some were given the recognition in saving the endangered language, some were given the credit for saving the remaining epics, songs, stories, legends, dances and significant prayers, some were given the formidable quest, taboo, to uncover the oldest invention of the tribe - our Shurat Subanen. Three of our mentors passed away, they were who ambitiously tried to uncover the very secret of the tribe but failed in the process. In our present time, Mrs. Janie Huminis Hapalla and me faced the challenge and dared to change the portal of the old tradition, we dared to summon the sacred rites and claim the ancient system of writing for the generations after us to learn, we open the room of the past and give way for the present to illuminate its walls, to draw the dawn of our Golden Years, and to tell the stories of those who struggled in the past for their people to live, for their rights to our homeland, for the tribe to survive. We open the door for history. After 400 years, we are serving the public with our own Shurat, Subanen Baybayin - the ancient Subanen system of writing.
This is dedicated to the noble mentors who shared some of their time and offered their lives to discover our scripts. They may have failed but their inspiration was the key to open the past world and beyond. Their footprints were the legends pointing us all towards the path to discover more.