Mandaya in Philippines

Photo Source:  Al Hoopes 
Map Source:  Mark Stevens
People Name: Mandaya
Country: Philippines
10/40 Window: No
Population: 285,000
World Population: 285,000
Primary Language: Mandaya
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 9.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Filipino, Tribal
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name means "the people who live upriver". They are also considered to belong to the Manobo group. They stand out among the others because of their sharp Spanish features. They are generally good looking and known to be peace-loving and honorable people. The "Christianized" portion of the Mandayas are considered to be the original "Dabawenos".

Their house is a poorly constructed one-room hut. Clothes and tools can be found hanging from the rafters. They lavishly use gold as adornments. The design depicts the people's folklore. Children are matched for marriage by their parents quite young. Men are allowed to have more than one wife but the women must have only one husband. A "bagani" (datu) with his "Likid" (advisory council) heads the tribe. An adjutant is tasked to make the announcements and summons.

Like other tribes they also rely on Kaingin/slash and burn farming for livelihood.

They are not politically cohesive and have integrated much with the non-tribal people.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They celebrate festivals to invite "diwatas" or spirits and ask for good health and healing for those who are sick. They use an assortment of bamboo musical instruments. The dead are buried with the coffin upright along with some food for the "journey".

Their religion is animistic, believing in anitos, but they consider "Magbabayo" (God) as the Supreme Being. A festival for Tagbanwa (the owner of the land) is made every harvest season for thanksgiving. A carved image of this deity can also be found in their homes. Women priestesses (Bailans) mediate during the rituals.

Missionary activity started way back in the sixteenth century by the Jesuits and Augustinian Recollects. Many Mandayas in the Caraga Region were baptized. However, observers say that even "Christianized" Mandayas still adhere to their traditional ways.

Prayer Points

That church planters receive adequate and regular support (around US$50 monthly.)
For effective community development projects that will empower the poor to afford and have access to basic services.
That livelihood enhancement programs be introduced that are economically viable and technically feasible.

Text Source:   Asia Missions (AMNET)