Ethnic Groups of the Philippines

Tawbuid, Western

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.

Tawbuids are pipe smokers, and children start smoking at an early age. A loincloth is standard wear for both men and women. In some areas, women wrap a knee-length cloth around their back bra-string while men are dressed in cloth.

Also known as Batangan Taubuid and Fanawbuid, the Western Tawbuid are found in Sablayan and Calintaan in Occidental Mindoro, and Bongabong in Oriental Mindoro. Western Tawbuid is believed to be the only Philippine language without glottal phonemes, having neither /h/ or /?/. It is also spoken by the Bangon Mangyans. A recent survey placed the number of Western Tawbuid speakers at more than 6,000.