Born Primitive in the PhilippinesBook - 1975
In an account that reads like an ethnographical novel, this journal of a five-year period in the life of a Buhid teenager provides a unique view of primitive life in the Philippines.
Bag-etan, today twenty-two years old, living in the Siangi river area of Mindoro Island, and not entirely removed from the G-string culture he reveals in this extraordinary account, first met Severino N. Luna, the narrator of this story, in 1968, when he was about fifteen. From countless conversations, personal friendships with the Mangyans, and careful study extending over a quarter of a century, Mr. Luna derived this life history and cultural story of Bag-etan.
The boy is just entering adolescence when we meet him. He has recently escaped enslavement and has been adopted by the chief of the Mangyan settlement. We come to know his friends and the girls to whom he is attracted; with him we attend feasts and funerals, build huts and prepare planting areas, harvest crops and snare wild animals. His story gives us a firsthand knowledge of community law, the forms of punishment and reward, and the superstitions that govern every act of these fascinating primitives.
This is a book about people so remote and so primitive that it will startle and amaze the average reader. Students of ethnology will find here a unique instance of acculturation. And general readers interested in strange places and people will find this book delightful as well as fascinating.