HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 55 no. 1 (2009)

Literary Commonalities Among the Peoples of the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao

Calbi A. Asain

Discipline: History



Among us Filipinos, the peoples of the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao deserve to be dubbed as the unconquered ones. They have preserved their ways of life and challenged the colonizers, either by defending their highland strongholds on the part of the former, or by waging wars against their oppressors by the latter. As a result, their cultures and societies have generally remained indigenous up to now.


These major cultural communities living in Luzon and Mindanao, respectively, may be many miles apart, but they are connected by certain commonalities in their folklores, specifically in their oral literature. Such commonalities are particularly apparent in their epics, although these could also be possibly reflected in the other literary forms of both groups.


This paper discusses the common features or attributes of the selected epics as popular sources of entertainment as well as enlightenment in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao. They would be viewed from a cultural and social perspective as products or documents of a particular culture and society.


It is assumed that these epics share similar characteristics or qualities, coming as they do from two major ethnic groups in the country well-known for their resistance to foreign colonizers and influences.