Batak

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

The Batak, also called Tinitianes, are one of about 70 indigenous peoples of the Philippines. They are located in the northeastern portions of Palawan, a relatively large island in the southwest of the archipelago. There are only about 500 Batak remaining.

The Batak are considered by anthropologists to be closely related to the Ayta of Central Luzon. Still, there is some debate as ...

to whether the Batak are related to the other groups of the Philippines or actually to other, physically similar groups in Indonesia or as far away as the Andaman islands.

Batak have for centuries combined a hunting-gathering lifestyle with seeding of useful food plants, kaingin, a slash and burn farming method, and trading. It is believed that they may have had trading relations with Chinese merchants as early as 500 AD.

The Batak were once a nomadic people, but have since, at the behest of the government, settled in small villages. Still, they often go on gathering trips into the forest for a few days at a time, an activity which has both economic and spiritual value for them.

Some, called "Panyeon", are generally suspicious of humans but are tolerant of them, as long as people don't abuse or waste the resources of the forest. Other spirits, called "Diwata" are generally benevolent. All are capricious. Batak make regular offerings to these spirits, and Shamans undergo spiritual possession in order to communicate with the spirits and heal the sick.

Rapid depopulation, restricted forest access, sedentary living, and incursion by immigrants has devastated the group culturally. Today, very few Batak marry other Batak but tend to marry from other neighboring groups. The pattern has been than the children of these marriages tend to not follow Batak cultural ways, and today "pure" Batak are rare.

As a result Batak are being absorbed into a more diffuse group of upland indigenous peoples who are slowing losing their tribal identities, and with it their unique spirituality and culture; there is even some debate as to whether or not they still exist as a distinct ethnic entity.

Batak People Tinitianes News

  • Indigenous Peoples Tribal Games Held In Roxas Palawan

    With the theme "Mahalin mo, Kultura mo, Galing mo, Ipakita mo " an Indigenous People (IP) 'Tribal Games' in the province was held on Friday, February 24, 2017 at People's Park, Roxas, Palawan.

    Different indigenous games were prepared by the organizers for the IPs, including kadang-kadang, pagbayo ng palsy, archery, supok, spear throwing, akyat yantok, relay, and cultural dance contest. The participants hail from the various ethnic and indigenous groups of Roxas, namely the Batak, Tagbanua, Tandulanen, Agutaynen, Cuyonenen and Cagayanen groups. Collectively, the said groups are also organize ...

  • Batak Community Patronizes Merits Store In Roxas Palawan

    The concept of a 'merits store' where students can exchange 'study points' for school supplies and other products gains more traction in the province as a community of the indigenous group Batak in Sitio Tagnipa, Barangay Tinitian Roxas, Palawan shows more patronage for the project. Launched in 2003 by a religious school focusing on Indigenous People (IP), the 'Merits Store' in Roxas, which was conceptualized to encourage students to appreciate the hard work needed in acquiring valuables, has been officially adopted by the Department Education and is now converted into Balaya Paadalan Kat Katu ...

  • Palawans Wildlife Receives Protection In Philippines Largest Critical Habitat Designation

    One of the world's most critical and irreplaceable areas for unique and threatened wildlife—in addition to the home to the last 200 – 300 members of the indigenous Batak tribe—has received the largest critical habitat designation in the Philippines.

    The newly declared Cleopatra's Needle Critical Habitat, which protects more than 100,000 acres of forest on the lush island of Palawan, is the culmination of a three-year project led by the Centre for Sustainability, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, City Environment and Natural Resources Office of Puerto Princesa and the Batak ...

  • Palawans Indigenous Tribe Batak

    Batak tradition continues.
    Batak, the most endangered indigenous tribe of Palawan living in the northern part of Puerto Princesa City and Roxas, Palawan numbering to around 500 and less than a hundred are still clinging to their cultural traditions. They are nomadic people living beside a river where natural resources are still abundant for a period of time and transfer to another. They roam around and along the rivers of Mauyon, Babuyan, Tanabag, Tagnaya, Langogan, and Caramay.

    The head of the tribe Pa'dao at around 90 years old is afraid of losing their heritage. Continuous influx of mig ...

  • Palawan Batak Indigenous Tribe Ritual

    First day of a 13 days ritual of the Batak tribe of Palawan along Tagnaya River, Barangay Conception, Puerto Princesa City.

  • Batak Of The Philippines

    Billy Bob decided to journey to The Philippines, where he made his way to Palawan island. Locals told him Palawan is the territory of patriots, with beautiful harbors.

    He heard about a community of Batak tribe, which made him curious, so he went to investigate. From a place called Sitio Tanabang, Billy Bob found a young man named Pedro to guide him. He said the Batak are mountain people so they hiked 2 hours to the central Batak village called Kalakwasan.

    Billy Bob greeted the village headman and was invited to stay with a family named Sibido. The Batak people here are traditionally anim ...