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Subanen, Tuboy in Philippines

Subanen, Tuboy

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Subanen, Tuboy in Philippines map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
101,000 Subanen, Northern Ethnic Religions 2.00 % 0.20 % No   

Subanen, Tuboy in Philippines

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Introduction / History
The Tuboy Subanon live on the island of Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines. They generally live in scattered farm settlements in the forested, mountainous interior of the Zamboanga Peninsula. The Tuboy Subanon are a small branch of the Subanon ethnic group and speak various Subanon dialects.

The history of the Subanon is obscure until the 1600s, when they are mentioned in the writings of Spanish Jesuit missionaries. Prior to the twentieth century, their only contact with the outside world was with Muslim merchants who lived along the coast of the peninsula. The Muslims exploited them economically, setting the pattern for Subanon relations to this day.

Since World War II, Christian and Muslim ethnic groups of the Philippines have often clashed. The Subanon, who are polytheists (believe in many gods), have been caught in the crossfire, victimized by one side, then the other.

What are their lives like?
All of the Tuboy Subanon are farmers who practice slash and burn agriculture. This is a type of farming in which a section of forest is cut down, the debris is burned, and various crops are planted on the clearing. Every year a new field is cleared. After one or two years of use, the field must lie fallow for up to 15 years. The Subanon also raise various types of livestock, including pigs, chickens, cattle, and water buffaloes.

Rice is by far the most important crop, although various other grains are raised. If there is any extra rice, it is sold at a lowland market for cash, which is needed to purchase clothing, utensils, and tools.

Subanon houses usually have some distance between them. Their homes are typically rectangular, raised on stilts, and have thatched roofs. They are generally situated on hillsides or ridges that overlook the family fields. Every three or four years the Subanon move to a new location to clear more forest for fields.

Unlike most of the world's peoples, the Tuboy Subanon have virtually no division of labor based on sex. Men and women work in the fields together, and men cook and care for the children when necessary. They have little social stratification. Everyone is on an equal level in Subanon society because everyone has the same occupation and has almost the same economic level and lifestyle.

The Subanon permit polygamy (multiple wives), but nearly all marriages involve only one man and one woman. Families usually arrange marriages, and the groom's family is expected to pay a bride price. Occasionally, the groom will work for the bride's family for a few years rather than paying a full bride price.

What are their beliefs?
In sharp contrast to the surrounding peoples who have adopted Christianity or Islam, the Tuboy 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 religion. The people depend on the shamans to hear and understand the wishes of the gods and ancestral spirits.

What are their needs?
The Tuboy Subanon have long been exploited and victimized by their neighbors, binding them to a history of servitude and poverty. Their physical needs are great, but their spiritual needs are even greater. Most have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel message.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the Philippines.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Tuboy Subanon.
* Pray that God will give the Tuboy Subanon believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of the Philippines through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a strong and growing Tuboy Subanon church for the glory of His name!
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

View Subanen, Tuboy in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-06-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-06-20
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Country: Philippines
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Mindanao, Zamboanga del Norte Province, Sergio Osmeña and Mutia municipalities; inland from Dipolog and Dapitan cities; Misamis Occidental Province, Northern Subanen: Jose Dalman (Linasan), Katipunan, La Libertad, Manukan (Linay and Pangandaw), Pinan, Polanco, President Manuel Roxas, Rizal (Disoy) Siayan (Dumugok), and Sibutad.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Subanen, Tuboy
People Name General: Subanen, Tuboy
Alternate People Names:
Northern Subanon
ROP3 Code: 110239
Joshua Project People ID: 15612
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 101,000
Population all Countries: 101,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Filipino, Tribal
People Name General: Subanen, Tuboy
Ethnic Code: MSY44x
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Subanen, Northern
Language Code (ISO): stb    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Cebuano (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity2.00 %(Evangelical: 0.20 %)
Ethnic Religions98.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant30.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic70.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2011
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Subanen, Northern
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Subanen, Tuboy in Philippines

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Filipino, Tribal     Asia, Southeast    
      Subanen, Tuboy Philippines    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Subanen, Tuboy in Philippines          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Subanen, Northern  
    All Religions                              

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