With the coming to Mindanao of the Spaniards in the 16th century, the Subanon were pushed farther in to the forests to join their fellowmen who had already settled in it. The Spanish occupation of several places along the coast of Mindanao Island, made the Subanon feel safe in their forest sanctuaries. The Christianized Filipinos who reached Mindanao during the Spanish period and permanently resettled near Spanish garrisons, made it difficult for them to return to the shore. Besides the Spaniards and the Filipinos, the constant attacks by the raiders from Cotabato and Sulu on Christian settlements and Spanish garrisons, added greatly to their fear forcing them to the interior. The few shoreline settlements of the Subanon were also subjected to attacks by the Moro raiders. One example is the shoreline settlement of Lobongan that is now known as Katipunan in Zamboanga del Norte. It was attacked by Datu Bantilan of Sulu and totally depopulated it of Subanon inhabitants. In Lanao, the Subanon introduced some of their cultures such as the marigay (maliga), a small hut decorated with several gifts and stylized by the Maranao natives as a part of the dowry paraded around. Another legacy of the Subanon is the sari manok that is common even today in Zamboanga del Sur. It is actually the head of a chicken on a stick place on the veranda of the maligay. It is made as the symbolic bird of the Maranao. Religious Beliefs
In sharp contrast to the surrounding peoples who have adopted Christianity or Islam, the Subanon cling to their ancient polytheistic religion. They believe that man shares the universe with a variety of gods, spirits, demons, and ghosts. These supernatural forces are said to have the ability to harm humans. However, humans supposedly have the power to harm them as well. At various times of the year, the Subanon give offerings of rice, meat, and wine to the gods and ancestral spirits. Witch doctors, or shamans, play a large role in Subanon...
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