HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 52 no. 1 (2006)

The Philippine Panday: From the Historical Past to the Ethnographic Present

Honey Libertine R. Achanzar-labor

Discipline: History



In his study on the concept of the babaylan, Zeus Salazar states that the traditional social and economic structure of the Philippines revolved around three central figures: the datu, the panday, and the babaylan, each with a specific function in society, be it military, economic, religious, and curative, or technological. Although I agree with his conjecture that the panday (the focus of this study) encompassed the technological aspect of Philippine society, studies indicate that despite the distinction in roles, the boundaries of specialization in traditional Philippine society were much more fluid.


There is still a need, though, to expound further on the role of the Philippines panday as the expert in matters technological and in the production of material culture. Noticeably, although Salazar’s discourse on the datu and the babaylan is extensive and well elaborated upon, only one paragraph was devoted to the panday. Clearly, the coverage and extent of the role of the panday in the production of material culture, the significance of this role in Philippine socio-cultural and political history, and how this role has been incorporated in the life of the townsfolk are matters that need to be considered and studied.