The Subanens sticks to their ancient polytheistic religion. Witchdoctors or Shamans plays an important role in their community.
Magbabaya- worship of the creator. Gmegayep- faith in their religion. Megbaton- belief in high heaven. Somodiot- appeal to their god through prayers. Gbalyan- reverence to their priests (shamans). Masidokan- observance of religious ceremonies. Gboklog- dancing rite on the platform. Buya- parental courtship. Kinlosing- post- harvest ceremony. Panlimwasan- preliminary feast for a bigger one. Timuay- respecting the group leader.
Ken Gbugo- thanksgiving feast. Banghay-banghay- feast in honor of the dead. Gboleman- marital ceremoy. Sampay- wearing of belt. Linggi- wearing of arm and leg bracelet/s. Getahel- wearing of necklace/s. Glita- wearing of earrings. Sising- wearing of ring/s. Gboklug- celebrating expensive feasts. Pengasi- drinking Subanen wine.
The practice of buya (parentally-arranged marriage) The marriage is always celebrated in the woman’s house. The Gbalyan (priest) and Datu officiates the wedding. The groom’s right hand and foot are placed over the bride’s right hand and foot, indicating that the groom has power over hisbride. Killing of the white chicken and showering its blood to the couple’s hands and feet, symbolizes purity. Drinking of Pangasi in a porcelain bowl.
Extended Family- parents allow their married children to stay with them until they are ready to be independent. Polygamy Hereditary Succession1. Datu2. Timuay Period of Conception- most delicate period for the couple. ALL the best is given. Baptism or daga - the child is placed in the middle of the house together with the priest.
Pangalitawo (pahng-ah-lee-tah-woh)- is a courtship dance, which typically performed during harvest time and other social gatherings. The female holds shredded banana leaves in each hand, while the male wields a kalasay, a type of shield. Dumadel (dooh-mah-dehl) - a festival dance performed by the Subanons with palaspas (fronds of the buri plant) to celebrate a good harvest.