HomeTin-awvol. 2 no. 1 (2018)

The T’boli Tribe from the Backdrop of Tourism Development in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato: Some Unheard Voices

Renato Jr. B. Dela Cruz



The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of the T’boli tribe amidst the booming tourism in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato in the light of economic, social, and cultural aspect of their lives. This research aimed to give a voice to the unheard T’boli tribes with respect to the tourism development on their municipality. Moreover, it also aimed to discover the insights to be shared and to enlighten policy developers, lawmakers, the tourism industry and academe in general. With 17 T’boli tribe members, in-depth interview and focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted. In the context of the participants’ experiences amidst tourism development, five themes emerged. These themes were environmental and ancestral land degradation, security threat, cultural alienation and loss of social control and identity, exploitation and resentment, and economic benefits. In coping with the challenges, themes such as move on with daily life, protect the culture, hold on to their land, and be keener and discriminating, emerged. The participants reflected that they needed to fight cultural alienation, support in combating exploitation and promotion of their tribe for tourism purposes, and make their lives easier.