Ethnic Groups of the Philippines

Sambal, Botolan

In the past, fierce Sambal warriors frequently raided Christian settlements. They were also highly superstitious and worshiped the spirits of their ancestors. Today, the Sambal are predominantly Roman Catholic, though probably still superstitious.

The Botolan Sambal inhabit Zambales, particularly in the towns of Botolan and Cabangan. They are popularly known as the Negritos or Aetas of Luzon, who live in the mountain ranges of Zambales.

Before the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, the Botolan Sambal freely roamed the mountains and forests of Zambales. Their primary economic activities were farming, hunting, and food gathering. The eruption all but ruined their habitat, thus displacing them. Today, the Botolan Sambal live in the resettlement areas around Zambales, adapting to the modern world while striving to preserve their culture.