HomeISU-Cabagan Journal of Researchvol. 22 no. 1 (2013)

Ethnobiology and Alternative Medicine of the Ybanag Minority in Northern Isabela, Cagayan Valley, Philippines

Jane G. Cabauatan

Discipline: Natural Sciences



Research interest and activities in the areas of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine have increased tremendously in the last decade. The basic approach of this study combined both the elements of social and biological methodologies. Findings revealed that Ybanag minority has better acceptance on the utilization of plants and animals (ethnobiology) to support their basic needs in their socio-economic activities while their cultural heritage are kept protected and respected. Regardless of their differences in socio-economic status, age, cultural and experiential background, their individual attitude is consistently favorable to their practice. Considering this group to occupy the largest areas in Region 02, the utilization of about 673 different indigenous plants and animals for rituals, beliefs, medicine, food, burial customs and other miscellaneous uses was extensively practiced with the highest fidelity index of between 76-100 percent. The continuous utilization of these biological resources is the only way they can conserve and protect their whole entity of ancestral domain, from birth to death. Their accessibility to the wild made them survive and depend mostly for their subsistence and other major and miscellaneous activities, and even considered them the protector of the wild. Hence, the attention to participate in any project or measures that could help them in their sustenance, in a manner that they too could help in the restoration of the natural environment is necessary. With these results, an appropriate system of management for biological resources necessitates these accumulated data for long term management and sustainability, a better principle to reconnect the people to the natural world.