Ethnic Groups of the Philippines


The eight indigenous tribes of Mindoro have known no other home since prehistory, although their ancestors probably migrated from Indonesia. (The seventh-largest island in the Philippines, Mindoro is part of the MIMAROPA Region and is divided into two provinces, Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.) The tribes, which are referred to by the general term "Mangyan," comprise the Alangan, Bangon, Buhid, Hanunoo, Iraya, Ratagnon, Tadyawan, and Tawbuid. The Mangyan population in the Philippines is over 100,000, and the great majority have grown roots in Mindoro.

The Bangon live mostly along Binagaw River and in the municipalities of Bansud, Bongabong, and Gloria. They were once considered a subgroup of the Tawbuid because they speak the “western” dialect of that language. The Tawbuid and Buhid languages are closely related, and are unusual among Philippine languages in that the /f/ phoneme is used. In 1996, the Bangon were accepted as one of the major Mangyan tribes, as their customs, language, and writing system are different.


Mangyan Heritage Center,