The Subanen means river – dweller, from the word “suba”, river common to several Philippines dialect, including Sulu and Bisaya. “Nun” or “Non” is an adjective prefix indicating origin and habitation. The term applied to the tribe because its members are net with in going up the rivers from the coast, in distinction to the Moros and Christians at Zamboanga or Sibugay Peninsula which extends westwards like a long, misshapen finger from the main body of the island of Mindanao and the point Kipit crooks sharply southward, pointing at Basilan and furnishing the northern terminus to the natural route between Borneo, together with the Malayan world beyond it and the Philippines over the closely strung island of the Sulu archipelago.
DISCRIPTION OF SUBANERN PEOPLE
• Average height
• Brown complexion
• Slender bodies
• Round faces
• They love to wear red and back dresses with long sleeves
The early subanen who believed in the best gods and goodness called”Diwata” like other Filipinos, they believe in life after death. That was why celebrated the beklug, a thanksgiving activity. Their supreme duty was called Megbabaya and host of other duties include environmental spirits. They also believed in a god of agriculture, called Memenua who resided in trees and rocks; and the goddess of the water called Mauma. The Subanen also believed in giants who were carnivals and were called Carhos’ and Menylaw. When ever a Subanen was in distress, he usually called on a god called Donegok with a deer like appearance consider the savior of all problems.