Subanen Blog

Shurat Subanen - Ancient Subanen System of Writing

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.

 


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9 Comments

Reply Rico D. Recoleto
7:46 AM on December 11, 2014 
Its good to know these things about our past. We are from the eastern side of Mt. Malindang (Langaran River) now Plaridel, Misamis Occidental.
Reply mary fe sagga otic
1:24 AM on December 12, 2014 
huhuhu...lisod jud kaayo nang gahi akung kamot sinuon...gusto jud ko makabalo...
Reply Louie
5:34 AM on December 12, 2014 
Rico D. Recoleto says...
Its good to know these things about our past. We are from the eastern side of Mt. Malindang (Langaran River) now Plaridel, Misamis Occidental.


I descended from my Malindang Subanen ancestors. Thimuay Paolo "Alok/Aloc' Plata was the chieftain of a land area comprising Tabid, Hinagdong to Pulangyuta of Sapangdalaga according to my father and uncle. My great grandmother Aliya Dahunan (could be adoptive surname because in some of my uncle's statement, Aliya and her two other brothers may have taken their surnames from their mother) was the lady of Malindang, she grew up in Dimaluna. Aliya once took her clan to fight some Visayan tribes who were trying to squat the land, they were all poisoned by a traitor relative in some place in Mt. Malindang and her body was never recovered. Plaridel was claimed by my uncle as part of our ancestors homeland.
Reply Louie
5:35 AM on December 12, 2014 
mary fe sagga otic says...
huhuhu...lisod jud kaayo nang gahi akung kamot sinuon...gusto jud ko makabalo...


check the sample words, you can understand the techniques.
Reply Jim
3:01 AM on March 28, 2015 
Naa complete writings sa subanen? gusto ko makabalo even bisaya ko for my children lang. at least as a father makahatag pud ko ug history, writings, language para itudlo sa akong mga anak. My wife is also subanen from Datu Amaren Clan of Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay. If ever naa booklet or books pwede mo buy or maka copy? just let me know if ever pwede. 09167016063 is my mobile number.
Reply Louie
8:39 AM on March 28, 2015 
Jim says...
Naa complete writings sa subanen? gusto ko makabalo even bisaya ko for my children lang. at least as a father makahatag pud ko ug history, writings, language para itudlo sa akong mga anak. My wife is also subanen from Datu Amaren Clan of Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay. If ever naa booklet or books pwede mo buy or maka copy? just let me know if ever pwede. 09167016063 is my mobile number.


Hi sir Jim,
We are slowly applying Shurat Subanen or for me it is "Thenog" because the scripts conforms according to sound and not necessarily from spelling with the application of "Virama", it is not Bybayin. I will be questioned as how it turned out not Baybayin because all scripts of our country are Baybayin. Baybayin is according to how the words being written according to virama (if virama is applied to determine its vowel) which is spelled out. Thou we also use virama but in the case of some word, spelling is pronounced with different sound therefore it should be spelled out according to sound and not by spelling.
Reply Loel Dalan
4:57 AM on April 17, 2015 
naa ba moy pdf format bahin ani unsaon pagsulat? pwede mangayo sa link?
Reply Polonaise
10:30 AM on July 31, 2015 
Very interesting. Much, much better than that overrated Tagalog language.

Really hoped it will be taught to schools to prevent extinction.
Reply Louie
12:55 PM on August 2, 2015 
Rico D. Recoleto says...
Its good to know these things about our past. We are from the eastern side of Mt. Malindang (Langaran River) now Plaridel, Misamis Occidental.

Part of me came from Plaridel. It was said that we came connected with the Katipuneros. Plaridel was a place where they were all met for their independence fight.