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Help Preserve the Art of Mangyan Scripts – A Philippine National Cultural Treasure

Mangyan refers to an indigenous Philippine ethnic group living on Mindoro Island since the 10th century A.D. Among the most remarkable aspects of their rich culture is the writing system known as “Mangyan Scripts” that remains in use by the Hanunuo and Buhid Mangyan in southeastern Mindoro. The Scripts are among the last surviving examples of a writing system that was once used in the Pre-Hispanic Philippines.

With the use of a knife, the Hanunuo and Buhid Mangyan people carved their ambahan poetry including messages and letters in Mangyan Scripts on bamboo slats, tubes and plants. Written in heptasyllabic verse, ambahans are reflections of everyday thoughts and feelings on life, courtship, marriage and death. At gatherings, the Mangyans articulated ambahans through chanting. These scripts have been declared a Philippine National Cultural Treasure and part of the UNESCO Memory of the World registry of world cultural heritage.

The preservation of Mangyan literary culture faces real challenges in the modern age. Lack of awareness and appreciation of the culture threaten the Mangyan legacy. In April 2000, a group of technical experts and volunteers led by its president Lolita Delgado Fansler, formed the Mangyan Heritage Center, a non-profit organization established in Mindoro to preserve and promote Mangyan culture.

In collaboration with the Mangyan Heritage Center and Sentro Rizal Washington DC, the US-Philippines Society invites you to attend the

“Philippine Mangyan Heritage:
A Book Presentation and Poetry Reading of Pre-Hispanic Literature”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
5:30 PM – Registration
(Click here to Register)

Venue: Old Chancery
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines
1617 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Thank you for your support.

BAMBOO WHISPERS Poetry of the Mangyan

Mangyan Handicrafts

Teaching of the Surat Mangyan and Ambahan, Photo by Mangyan Heritage Center


Teaching of the Surat Mangyan and Ambahan, Photo by Mangyan Heritage Center

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