The indigenous peoples of the Philippines consist of a large number of indigenous ethnic groups living in the country. They are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines who have managed to resist centuries of Spanish and United States colonization and in the process have retained their customs and traditions.
The Philippine government succeeded in establishing a number of protected for tribal groups. Indigenous people were expected to speak their native language, dress in their traditional tribal clothing, live in houses constructed of natural materials using traditional architectural designs and celebrate their traditional ceremonies of propitiation of spirits believed to be inhabiting their environment. They are also encouraged to re-establish their traditional authority structure in which, as in indigenous society were governed by chieftains known as Rajah and Datu.
Contact between "primitive" and "modern" ethnic groups usually resulted in weakening or destroying tribal culture without assimilating the indigenous groups into modern society. It seemed doubtful that the shift of the Philippine government policy from assimilation to cultural pluralism could reverse the process. Several Filipino tribes tends to lead to the abandonment of traditional culture because land security makes it easier for tribal members to adopt the economic process of the larger society and facilitates marriage with outsiders. In the past, the Philippine government bureaus could not preserve tribes as social museum exhibits, but with the aid of various nationwide organizations, they hoped to help the tribes adapt to modern society without completely losing their ethnic identity.
There are more than 100 highland, lowland, and coastland tribal groups in the Philippines. These include:
The Bajau (ˈbædʒɔː/, also spelled Badjao, Bajaw, Bajao, Badjau, or Badjaw), are an indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia. Bajau continue to live a seaborne lifestyle, making use of small wooden sailing vessels (such as the perahu and vinta). They are also known as Samaor Samal.
The Bajau are traditionally from the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, as well as parts of the coastal areas of Mindanao and northern Borneo. In the last fifty years, many of the Filipino Bajau have migrated to neighboring Malaysia and the northern Philippines, due to the continuing conflict in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Currently they are the second largest ethnic group in the state of Sabah, making up 13.4% of the total population. Groups of Bajau have also migrated to Sulawesi and Kalimantan in Indonesia, although figures of their exact population are unknown.
Bajau have sometimes been referred to as the Sea Gypsies, although the term has been used to encompass a number of non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Moken of the Burmese-Thai Mergui Archipelago and the Orang Laut of southeastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands of Indonesia. The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have been associated with the development of sea trade in sea cucumber (trepang).
The Regatta Lepa festival in Semporna,Sabah, Malaysia. Lepa means "boat" in the dialect of east coast Bajau. In this festival, Bajau people decorate their boats with colorful flags.
Many Bajaus of the east coast retain their seaborne lifestyle,...