Tablay and Banua of Young Tagbanua Calamianen in Northern Palawan: Narrating the Tablay of the Banua, Mapping the Banua of the Tablay


This study recognizes the tablay, an oral literature of young Tagbanua Calamianen in Taytay, Northern Palawan, as one form of communication. While it is considered an “old” form of literature and communication, the study also asserts that the tablay is contemporary text that narrates and describes historic and current events, people, and places, and sentiments about these events, people, and places. The social significance of the Tagbanua tablay gains prominence in the context of competing representations mediated by contemporary media forms, such as newspapers, magazines, tourism brochures, and the Internet, and conflicting claims over the landscapes and sea scapes upon which the Tagbanua Calamianen depend for their subsistence. The tablay is also a social practice. The tablay, in this regard, is the fishing voyage of the Tagbanua Calamianen, particularly to its youth. They mark through the tablay the territorial scope of their banua (community). The voyage serves as a spatial testament of the Tagbanua Calamianen’s assertion of their rights over their banua, which has become the object of development projects by the state and capital.