HomeLEAPS: Miriam College Faculty Research Journalvol. 33 no. 1 (2010)

Pagbu of the Dumagats of Southern Sierra Madre

Rizalino A. David

Discipline: Cultural Studies, Sports Science



This qualitative research confirmed the existence of a dying indigenous competitive game called Pagbu, a unique way of fighting by the Dumagat tribe of the Southern Sierra Madre. Only Dumagat males were allowed to learn and participate. Pagbu was not intentionally created for self-defense, but rather, as a form of recreation performed by Dumagat elders during celebrations. Its origin is unknown but in all probability, it started a long time ago. Compared with other fighting arts, Pagbu techniques are simple and basic that it would only take mere observation to learn. There are no structured ways of teaching it. Anyone can teach Pagbu and there is no particular venue to harness acquired techniques. It is potentially dangerous like other throwing fighting arts. Its push down and downward throw can injure the spinal column and the head that can result in serious injuries. The knowledge and skills of Pagbu is transmitted only within the family circle, from father to child, elder to siblings, or sometimes from uncle to nephew.