1995 Background Study of Romblon

Compiled by Rence Law

I.          Situational Factors

A.         MAP


1.             Show municipalities and their centers. In a key, give the population by municipality and the percentage of people who belong to the ethnic target group. Indicate major barangays.


2.             Show rivers and mountain ranges.


3.             Show locations of schools, churches, clinics / hospitals, roads, and trails.




                The province of Romblon is a group of three major and about 17 small islands located practically at the center of the Philippine Archipelago. It is surrounded by deep waters and lies on the Sibuyan Sea between the islands of Masbate to the east, Mindoro to the west, and Panay to the south.

                Seventeen municipalities with 218 barangays comprise the province of Romblon. Nine of these are in Tablas Island while three municipalities are located in Sibuyan Island. The other five municipalities are the island municipalities of Romblon, Baton, Concepcion, Corcurera and San Jose Island.


1.             Name of each municipalities in Romblon province:

                Alcantara              * Created into a municipality on March 21, 1961; taken from Looc.

                Banton                  * Jones in 1918, 1939 and 1948.


                Calatrava              * Created into a municipal district on June 5, 1968; taken from San Agustin.


                Corcuera               * Part of Banton in 1918.

                Ferrol                      * Created into a municipality on June 11, 1978; taken from Odiongan.


                Magdiwang           * Magallanes in1903; part of Cajidiocan in 1918.


                Romblon (Capital)

                San Agustin          * Badajoz in 1903, 1918, 1939 and 1948.

                San Andres           * Part of Odiongan in 1918; Despujols was renamed San Andres on June 18, 1961.

                San Fernando

                San Jose                * Created into a municipal district named Carabao Island on June 18, 1961; taken from Santa Fe;                             renamed San Jose on June 18, 1965; declared a municipality on June 23, 1969.

                Santa Fe                * Part of Looc in 1918 and  1939.

                Sta Maria


2.             Name of each Barangays in Romblon Island

  1. Agbaluto
  2. Agbudia
  3. Agnaga
  4. Agnay
  5. Agnipa
  6. Agpanabat
  7. Agtonga
  8. Alad
  9. Bagacay
  10. Barangay I (Pobacion)
  11. Barangay II (Pobacion)
  12. Barangay III (Pobacion)
  13. Barangay IV (Pobacion)
  14. Cajimos
  15. Calabogo
  16. Capaclan
  17. Cobrador (Naguso)
  18. Ginablan
  19. Guimpingan
  20. Ilauran
  21. Lamao
  22. Li-o
  23. Logbon
  24. Lonos
  25. Lunas
  26. Macalas
  27. Mapula
  28. Palje
  29. Sablayan
  30. Sawang
  31. Tambac


3.             How many sitios are there in each barangay? (For further investigation)


4.             What is the population by municipality and barangay?


        a.     Household Population by City / Municipality and its percentage to province


City / Municipality


% to Province

Romblon Island



Tablas Island


















        San Agustin



        San Andres



        Sante Fe



        Santa Maria



Sibuyan Island









        San Fernando












San Jose



Romblon Province



                (Data from 1990 Census of Population and Housing Report No. 3-73D)

        b.     Household Population by Age Group, Sex in Romblon Island.

                The population in Romblon Island--29,894 including male 14,875 and female 15,019.


Age Group

Both Sex



Under 1




































































80 & Over




All Ages





                Note: The population in Romblon Island is 29,894. (P.S. The population number is a little bit         difference from the number above 29,983 although it is from the same census report.)


        c.     Household Population by Sex, Urban-Rural in Romblon Island


                Population in urban area--7,308 including male 3,544 and  female 3,764.

                Population in rural area--22,586 including male 11,331 and  female 11,255.


Household Population

















5.             What is the ethnic group population of each municipality and barangay?

                We don’t have the data for the ethnic group population of each municipality and barangay but we have the information of the population who use Romblomanon as their mother tongue in each municipality in the Romblon province.



Population speak in Romblomanon

















































San Agustin




San Andres




San Fernando




San Jose




Santa Fe




Santa Maria









                (Figures are estimates based on a 10% sample)


6.             What is the adult population (15 years plus) of the ethnic group?

                We don’t have the data of the ethnic group but we only have the data of the total adult population. The population in the whole province is 131,170 and 17,288 in Romblon Island.




A MAP and DEMOGRAPHIC information show logistical factors which influence where the program might begin, how the program might expand, how much time will be needed to operate the program, and how large a program is needed. All this helps to define a “critical mass” of vernacular readers will be significantly fewer for a group that lives in a few concentrated homogeneous villages than for a group of the same size that lives scattered across a wide area intermingled with lowlanders.





1.             Usage the vernacular


        a.     How many speakers of the vernacular are there?

                101,231 are speaking Romblomanon in Romblon Province which is 44.47%.

                27,895 are speaking Romblomanon in Romblon Island which is  93.31%.


        b.     To what degree are they bilingual? Multilingual?

                The younger generation, they speak three languages Tagalog, Romblomanon and some English. Almost all children in school can at least speak Tagalog and Romblomanon. The older generation who have never been to school  speak only Romblomanon but those who have been well educated speak very good English and Rombloman but they are only in the minority.


        c.     What is the age range of the speakers?

                All ages.


        d.     Are there any obvious changes taking place in the use of the vernacular?


                There appears to be a trend especially among young people (approx. below 23) to adopt English and Tagalog words into their vernacular. This could be due to influence from television, radio and also to the fact that many of them have been to Manila to study.  Also the teaching medium in elementary and high schools are Tagalog and English and this seem to influence their speech. (PR)


                Younger generation use more Tagalog because they are taught in schools. English is prestigious language and by influence of cable TV, people in town speak more English as well. But there are no obvious changes taking place in the use of vernacular in villages.


2.             Dialects


        a.     What neighboring dialects are there?


                Household Population by Mother Tongue, Sex and Percentage in Romblon Island


Mother Tongue

Both Sex






















































Other Local Dialects











                In Romblon Island, the major language used is Romblomanon which includes 93.31% of the population. The second is Hiligaynon 2.93% and the third is Tagalog 1.95% and the fourth is Waray less than 0.4%. (Figures are estimates based on a 10% sample.)


        b.     What percentage of intelligibility is there between dialects?

                Romblomanon is one of central Visayan language. It is same language group with Hiligaynon. Romblomanon is very close to Hiligaynon. Besides, Romblomanon also mix with Tagalog vocabulary.


        c.     What are attitude of speakers of each dialect toward the other dialects?

                Since Romblomanon is the major dialect used in the island, the attitudes of speakers of each dialect toward the other dialects are not so significant. Except toward the national language and English. People will have the tendency to shift to Tagalog or English.


                Romblomanons seem to think that other dialects are more difficult than their own.  Some of them consider Hiligaynon as a pure form of Visayan and that their own dialect originated from Hiligaynon but has been adulterated due to it being mixed with Tagalog, Spanish and English. One church elder I know has been selling Hiligaynon Bibles to the Romblomanons. Romblomanons use Tagalog as a trade language and as a medium in communicating with outsiders.  They consider Tagalog as a more prestigious language and would use it especially when in Manila.  This is because, (as explained to me by some of them), they get laughed at and called "provincial" by those in Manila if they are heard speaking in their mother tongue.  But this does not mean that they do not like to speak in their own mother tongue. On the contrary, Romblomanon is spoken all the time among native speakers and they are always pleased when they hear a foreigner trying to speak in their tongue.  In fact, Romblomanon a very strong language.  Outsiders whether male or female who marry Romblomanons and live in Romblon province inevitably learn to speak  the language. (PR)


        d.     What are the attitudes of speakers of each language / dialect towards speakers of the other dialects?

                The speakers are respecting the foreigners very much but not significant towards speakers of the other dialects.


        e.     To what extent is the translator’s dialect a prestigious one?

                We think the translator’s dialect (Romblomanon) is a highly prestigious one among all other dialects. It is used in almost all area of their daily live.


                The answer to this question should be available from the data obtained from the questions in c. and d. To the extent that outsiders marrying the locals end up learning the language.  Also, although English and Tagalog is the so-called official language used in schools, government and other statutory boards, Romblomanon is still spoken "unofficially".  For e.g. I was in the Vice Governor's office and heard him speak Romblomanon to his staff.  His staff were also conversing in this dialect among themselves.  Even in schools, teachers use the mother tongue to explain the lessons in order to make themselves understood.  Most of the speeches I have heard have been in Romblomanon. (PR)


        f.     What percentage of the total population speak the translator’s dialect?

                99.31% in Romblon Island and 44.47% in the whole Romblon province.


3.             Literacy Rate      


                According to the Census Report the definition of literacy is : Literacy is the ability to read and write a simple message. A person is literate when he can both read and write a simple message in any language or dialect. A person who cannot both read and write a simple message is illiterate. Also, a person is consider as illiterate if he can only read and write numbers or his own name, or if a person can read but not write.

                (** This definition was different from the definition of background study guide.)


        a.     What percentage of adults (15 plus) are illiterate? How many illiterate does this represent?

                Percentage of adults are illiterate in Romblon Island is 4.58% over 17,288 adults. The number of population is 791. However, if we include the age group between 7 years old and 14 years old the number of illiterate will increase to 1,074 with 4.6% over 23,360 population.


                Percentage of illiterate adults in Romblon Island is 4.4%  Therefore the population of illiterate adults (10 plus) is 917. (PR)


        b.     How many people are semi-literate?

                If a person who has completed grade 1-4 regarded as semi-literate, the population of semi-literate is 6,339 in Romblon Island which is 21.20% of the population.


        c.     What percentage of illiterate are men (15 plus)?

                The population of men in Romblon Island are 8,535 while the number of men who are illiterate is 318, and the percentage of illiterate men is 3.73%.


                What percentage of illiterate are women (15 plus)?

                The population of women in Romblon Island are 8,753 while the number of women who are illiterate is 473, and the percentage of illiterate men is 5.40%.


                Are there significant differences between the number of men and women illiterates.

                There is no significant difference between the number of male and female illiterates, the number of illiterate women exceed the number of men by 1.67% only.


        d.     What percentage of illiterates are between 15-29 years?

                The population of  between 15-29 are 8,140.

                The population of illiterates between 15-29 illiterates are 103.

                The percentage of the illiterates between 15-29 are 1.27%.


                What percentage of illiterates are 30 and above?

                The population of 30 and above are 9,148.

                The population of illiterates of 30 and above are 688.

                The percentage of the illiterates of 30 and above are 7.52%.


                Are there significant differences between the 15-29 and the 30 and above group of illiterate?

                The percentage of illiterates of the group of 30 and above is higher 6.25%  than the group of 15-29. This is a quite significant difference.


        e.     In what language(s) do the literates read?

                1. Tagalog;

                2. English.


        f.     What percentage of illiterates want to learn to read?  

                It will be very low. Since the number of illiterates is very few. And they have no motivation to learn to read too.


4.             Literature


        a.     What literature is presently available or soon becoming available?

                No literature is presently available.

                I heard that a health booklet in Romblomanon is available but will have to verify this fact. (PR)


        b.     What percentage of families own books? In what language? How much did they pay for them?

                Not applicable.


5.             Education


        a.     Name each school and locate it on a map of the area.


        1.     There are twenty seven Primary School in the Romblon Island. Among those schools, three of them are incomplete, i.e. without complete grade 1 to 6. But in the whole Romblon province, there are 188 Primary Schools. The following is a list of the names of elementary schools in the    provincial capital of Romblon:-


  1. Agbaluto Primary School
  2. Agnaga Elementary School
  3. Agnay Primary School
  4. Agnipa Elementary School
  5. Agpanabat Elementary School
  6. Agtonga Primary School
  7. Alad Lamao Elementary School
  8. Alad Recudo Elementary School
  9. Bagacay Elementary School
  10. Cajimos Elementary School
  11. Calabogo Elementary School
  12. Cobrador Elementary School
  13. Cogon Elementary School
  14. Ginablan Elementary School
  15. Guimpingan Elementary School
  16. Ilauran Elementary School
  17. Lamao Elementary School
  18. Li-o Elementary School
  19. Logbon Elementary School
  20. Lonos Elementary School
  21. Lunas Elementary School
  22. Romblon East Central School
  23. Romblon West Central School
  24. Sablayan Elementary School
  25. San Jose Elementary School
  26. Sawang Elementary School
  27. Timla Elementary School


Note: The names of elementary schools on the other island are too numerous to name.  A list is available in my file. (PR)


        2.     There are only three High Schools in the Romblon Island and seventeen in the whole province.

                High School in capital of Romblon:-

  1. Agnipa National High School
  2. Macario Molina  Memorial High School
  3. Romblon National High School


                Public High School in Romblon province:-


                1. Concepcion National High School

                2. Looc National High School

                3. Romblon National High School (Romblon)

                4. Romblon National High School (Odiongan)

                5. Agnipa National High School

                6. Alcantara National High School

                7. Bechawan National High School

                8. Banton National High School

                9. Cajidiocan National High School

                10. Danao National High School

                11. Espana National High School

                12. Guinbirayan National High School

                13. Libertad National High School

                14. Mabini National High School

                15. Magdiwang National High School

                16. Tungonan National High School

                17. Macario Molina Mem. National High School        


                Private High School in Romblon province:-


                1. Corcuera Academy

                2. Fabella Institute

                3. Holy Rosary Academy (San Agustin)

                4. Romblon College

                5. Sibale Academy

                6. Tablas Academy

                7. Virginia Centurione Bracelli School (Odiongan)



        3.     See the chart below for the distribution of schools.




Public School

Private School



Complete 1-6 Grades

Incomplete 1-6 Grades




Elementary School

Primary School

Elementary School

Primary School



Romblon Island







Romblon Province












Public School

Private Schools

Romblon Island



Romblon Province




        b.     What is the highest grade level of each school?

                In elementary school is grade 1- 6. In high school is year 1- 4.

                I do not have specific data on each school but have the following figures: (PR)


                                                   No. of Schools                                                   Grades


                                                                16                                                           1-2/1-3

                                                                15                                                           1-5

                                                                 3                                                             1,2,5

                                                                16                                                           1-4

                                                139                                                         1-6


        c.     What percentage of the teachers are members of the ethnic target group?

                95% (PR)


        d.     What percentage of the students are members of the ethnic target group?

                90% (PR)


        e.     What percentage of the ethnic target group complete grade 4?

                No specific data for ethnic target group. But the data below may reflect part of the picture.

                The total population of household over 7 years old in Romblon Island are 23,360.

                The total population complete grade 1-4 are 6,339.

                The percentage complete grade 1-4 is 27.14%.


        f.     What percentage of the ethnic target group complete grade 6?

                No specific data for ethnic target group. But the data below may reflect part of the picture.

                The total population of household over 7 years old in Romblon Island are 23,360.

                The total population complete grade 5-6 are 7,768.

                The percentage complete grade 5-6 is 33.25%.


        g.     What percentage of the ethnic target group complete High School?

                No specific data for ethnic target group. But the data below may reflect part of the picture.

                The total population of household over 7 years old in Romblon Island are 23,360.

                The total population graduate from high school are 2,562.

                The percentage of the target group complete High school is 10.97%.


        h.     What is the actual medium of instruction?   

                Only English, Maths and Science are taught in English and the rest in Tagalog. (PR)


        i.      What effect is education having on language usage?

                Students are fluent in Tagalog and express easily with it.

                As mentioned above, it has caused English and Tagalog to be adopted into the vernacular.  However, the mother tongue is still spoken among the native speakers on an informal basis but is still prevalent in all domains. (PR)


        j.      Is there any bridge by which other-language readers can read the vernacular?



6.             Language and Identity


        a.     What language(s) do people speak?

                Romblomanon, Tagalog and English.


        b.     What language is used in reading by those who do read?

                Tagalog and English.


        c.     In what language(s) do the people prefer to read?

                For educated people, they prefer to use Tagalog and English. The youth prefer to read Tagalog.


        d.     Are there specific situation in which one language is preferred over another?

                In home, vernacular is still preferred over another. But in the public meeting, they use English and Tagalog. Only for those who are 40 or above prefer to use vernacular in all situation.

                English is the preferred language in government offices legal/court proceedings. (PR)


        e.     What is the attitude toward the vernacular on the part of the opinion leaders?

                For educated people, they prefer to use Tagalog and English. But within Protestant churches, they                                                 are using now Tagalog Bible. But some pastors said if Romblomanon Bible is available, the

                congregations will prefer to read it too.


                The educated?

                They feel that the vernacular would be more useful for the lower and less educated classes as    they presumably have difficulty or cannot understand English and Tagalog, unlike the educated who feel they can understand and speak English and Tagalog better. However, when I spoke to the Governor, he was very keen in the production of a Romblomanon dictionary. (PR)


                The existing churches?

                As most of the church leaders are outsiders, they do not see the vernacular as important especially as used in their literature.  The bishop even said that he felt most Romblomanons can understand Tagalog very well and therefore there is no need for the Bible to be translated into their mother tongue.  Church services are usually conducted in a mixture of English, Tagalog and Hiligaynon.  The wedding services that I have attended in Catholic churches have usually been conducted in Hiligaynon.  But I notice that it is in a very simple form because I was able to understand them quite well despite the fact that I have never studied Hiligaynon. (PR)




SOCIOLINGUISTIC factor tell us how people view themselves and their language in relation to other groups. This knowledge is essential in determining problem goals and what motivational activities will be required.


Literacy rate and education profiles are useful to determine at what level the program needs to begin. By comparing age differences and the literacy rate, we can tell whether illiteracy is on the decline which in turn indicates the possible length of a non-formal education program.



D.                     RELIGION FACTORS


1.             Dominant Religion(s)


        a.     What is the religious history of the area?

                At the very beginning they were animism, which includes the belief in magic, in the power of certain signs, fear of evil spirits, belief, respects for taboos, and recourse to traditional medicine men.


        b.     What is (are) the dominant religions?

                The dominant religion is Roman Catholic, but actually it is an Animism-Catholicism mixture.


        c.     If it is different from the traditional religions when was it introduced?

                The Roman Catholic was introduced by Spanish at about 1565.


        d.     What percentage of the population follows this / these religion(s)?

                The total population in Romblon province are 227,383.

                The population follows Roman Catholic are 169,998.

                The percentage is 74.76%.


                The total population in Romblon Island are 29,894.

                The population follows Roman Catholic are 27,504. Male 13,684 and female 13,820.

                The percentage is 92%.


2.             Churches and Missions


        a      What churches and missions are in the area?

                Beside the Roman Catholic Church, there are some other churches and cults but are in comparatively small in numbers.


                Some churches are existing in Romblon:- (PR)            

                                                   - Romblon Evangelical Church

                                                   - the Assemblies of God

                                                   - Seventh Day Adventist

                                                   - Jehovah' Witness

                                                   - Iglesia Ni Kristo

                                                   - the Baptist Church


        b.     How many members does each church have?

                According to the census report 1990. The figures show below:


Churches or Mission

Both Sexes







Baptist Conference of the Philippines




Bible Baptist




Born Again Christian




Christian and Missionary Alliance




Church of Jesus Christ of the Later Day Saints




Four Square Gospel Church




Iglesia ni Cristo




Jehovah’s Witness




Philippines Benevolent Missionaries Association




Seventh Day Adventist




United Church of Christ in the Philippines




Other Evangelical Churches




Other Protestants









        c.     Are they growing? If so, at what rate?

                Since the census report, there are many changes. Some new churches have already planted in                                         Romblon. One of the church is called the Romblon Christian Baptist Church. She is growing very                                      fast. One and a half years ago, a missionary couple were sent from Manila to do church planting,                                          now they have fifty members and are building a new church building in Cajimos. They are                                     planning to plant another church in Sibuyan.


                The Lighthouse Bible Baptist Mission Church have her 5th foundation anniversary. However, the growth of this church is not so great, there are still only 20 members.


                One of the biggest Protestant church named Romblon Evangelical Church has 46 years of history, who has 200 members attendants and this church also has several small sister churches in different villages. However, this church recently has a disunity happened, the pastor with a number of members left and started a new Four Square Gospel Church.


        d.     Are there believers who are not affiliated with a particular church? How many?

                Yes, however the figure is not sure.


        e.     For each existing church, give the location, frequency of meeting, and worship style.


                                Name of Church                                                  Location                Meeting                


                Aglumium Christian Fellowship                                        Palje                       ??

                Babangtan Assembly of  God                                          Babangtan            Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Sunday Schools

                Cogon Evangelical Church                                                Cogon                    Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Sunday Schools

                Calabogo Evangelical Church                                          Calabogo              Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Sunday Schools

                Four Square Gospel Church                                              Capaclan              Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Cell Groups

                                                                                                                                                Prayer Meeting

                Family And Friends Christian Fellowship                  Town Proper         ??

                Lighthouse Bible Baptist Mission Church                      Town proper         Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Sunday School

                                                                                                                                                Prayer Meeting                    

                Lupa Evangelical Church                                                  Agtongo

                Mount Zion Assemblies Of God Church                         San Andres           ??

                Palje Church                                                                         Palje                       Sunday Service

                Romblon Christian Baptist Church                                 Cajimos                 Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Sunday School

                                                                                                                                                Prayer Meeting                                                     Bible Study

                Romblon Evangelical Church                                           Capaclan              Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Prayer Meeting    

                                                                                                                                                Bible Study

                                                                                                                                                Cell Groups

                United Pentecostal Church                                                Agbuyog                Sunday Service

                                                                                                                                                Sunday Schools

                                                                                                                                                Prayer Meeting    


                More churches not listed.


        f.     Are there active teaching program?

                Sunday Schools, sometimes seminars may be conducted in the Romblon Evangelical Church.


        g.     Are there evangelism programs? What methods?

                Street evangelism is one of proper methods they use. Usually it is held in the plaza and  public places. Besides, they also door-to-door visit evangelism.


        h.     How are the leaders chosen and developed?

                Usually the leaders are the pastors, the laymen are not significant leaders. Though the laymen will facilitate the pastors in certain area, such as house-to-house visits.


        i.      What is the organizational structure of each church? How does it compare with other political structures?

                Some churches has only a pastor from other places coming to the church every Sunday to lead the Sunday Service.  It is very common in the village churches. Some churches are more structured, they have a senior pastor with other pastors and also deacons and elders.


        j.      Are any unusual doctrines taught?



        k.     Are there points of actual or possible syncretism with the traditional religion. 

                I don’t think so because most Christians are taught by the pastors that they should make a very clear cut to the Catholicism. Some Christians even are taught not to attend in the fiesta in order to not mix with those traditional religion.


3.             Attitudes


        a.     What is the attitude of church leaders to the use of vernacular Scripture?

                Most of the church pastors in town proper are not from Romblon, that is why they use Tagalog in the service and Sunday schools teaching. However, most of the congregations are from Romblon. Though they will accept to use Romblomanon in the service, but no one did that since ever, therefore they also follows the outside pastors to use Tagalog in the service. But I did share in four different churches about our ministry that we will translate the Bible in Romblomanon, they are happy to hear that. I also tried to convinced the pastors that the mother-tongue is the best for the congregations. They agreed. As long as we maintained good relationship with the pastors, they will not object you to promote vernacular in the churches.


                On the other hands, those churches in the villages, their attitude to the use of vernacular Scripture is more positive. May be the solution is to make the digote of the Bible, Tagalog and Romblomanon.


        b.     What is the attitudes of leaders toward literacy education for church members?

                Not applicable. People in church here is almost literate. Therefore the literacy education in church is not necessary.


        c.     What is their attitude toward community development as a Christian responsibility?

                The Christians do not think that community development is their major responsibility. Their responsibility is only to evangelize to people. They think CD is government responsibility. However, there is a Protestant church is Palje, the pastor is really want to help the community development. He bought a piece of land and built a very nice resort for people to use. And he is going to set up a clinic for the village people.  Moreover, he started to establish a very good deputation in front of government and people around the Palje area.


        d.     Is there a  prevalent cooperative attitude toward others? Toward SIL?


                Before we don’t about that. But recently, the pastors in Romblon tried to form a Church Pastors and Laymen Association. They set up a program trust that is to develop a Christian Community, managed physical and spiritual life and health program., linked to societal need as a whole.

                Their objectives are to initiate organization and cooperative projects for the upliftment of Romblomanon Christian community and livelihood in Romblon; to help in responding to immediate but largely neglected good life needs of the people; to develop linkages with ministries and non-ministries sectors and / or groups toward effecting a transformation in the building up one another and service of the Province.


                Also the attitude toward SIL is depend on how you build relations with them. If you are close to them, show the willing to help, then they will show cooperative attitude to you. Just recently, I asked the pastors to distribute the Romblomanon texts to the church members to proofread, and they are willing to do so.


4.             Christians

                Resultant Lifestyle of local Christians


                What have been the effects of Christian faith on:

        a.     Interpersonal relationships

                Generally speaking, Filipino are very good in interpersonal relationships. However, when people become Christians, they may have a strong rejection to Catholics. This may create tensions between the Catholics and them in term of religion standpoint differences, which also ruins the interpersonal relationship. If they don’t exaggerate the difference as most of Christian do, there will be very smooth interpersonal relationships.


        b.     Economic well being

                As I observed, the Christians in town are generally middle class people. They are economically sufficient. However, the Christians in the villages, they are comparatively poor. They are fishermen, carpenters and workers in marble plant.   


        c.     Personal peace

                Most Christians have peace through the faith in Christ, but some Christians still encountered spiritual attacks especially they lived in villages. The traditional belief that the herbalists can harm people with “kilkik”. Christians in villages also experienced this.


        d.     Justice and concern for others

                Generally speaking, Christians are more concern for others but will care the people in crisis. They may give help through prayers visits and some finance aid. But they are not doing in a high profile. I hardly see any about how Christian reacts to the injustice.                


        e.     Other relevant effects

                The Christians are usually have better lifestyle. They will abandon the drunkard, double-crossing and other bad habits.


5.             Economics of Religious Organizations


                How are they financed?

                Usually the Religious Organizations are supported by the congregations itself. However, if those churches are till young, the headquarters or the missions will support partially or fully the salary of the full-time workers. Until one day, the churches are financially independently from the sending bodies. 





1.             Describe existing professional health facilities


        a.     Government or private


        (1)   Staffing

                There are a provincial hospital located near Cajimos, with two doctors and some nurses. There are five private clinics. Also a health center in town, with one peace corp. and many health workers.


                Staff                                       Romblon Island                   Romblon Province

                Physician                                               9                                              42

                Nurses                                                    22                                           79

                Midwife                                                 6                                              69

                Dentist                                                   2                                              15

                Pharmacist                                            1                                              5

                Sanitary Inspector                               1                                              19

                Medical-technologist                          1                                              6

                Dietician                                                1                                              6

                Health educator                                   0                                              1

                Barangay Health worker                   6                                              1,263                      (PR)


        (2)   Staff native language speakers?

                Two doctors in hospital do not speak Romblomanon, one out of five private doctors does not speak good Romblomanon. The peace corp. is from the States but she is learning Romblomanon too. Others are from Romblon.


        (3)   Distance of facilities to major concentrations of targeted language group.

                Very close. The provincial hospital is only 5 minutes from town proper. The clinics are located in town proper.


        (4)   Effectiveness in terms of your subjective impressions and expressed opinions of a sampling of people.

                The effectiveness is moderate satisfied. Some people complained the effectiveness of provincial hospital, they prefer to go to private clinics if they need help.


        b.     Amenability of existing health network to work with or among language group.


        (1)   What are the problems that health providers express in bringing health care to the remoter groups?

                Not enough finance, not enough facilities, emergency cannot get immediate help from outside because too long to go the nearest hospital with sophisticated equipment. 


        (2)   What are their suggestions to SIL for ways we could help?

                Not applicable. Or the aviation service may help provided that there is an airstrip available.


        (3)   What is their pattern of response to requests for help from you or local leaders?

                Usually financial help but rare.


2.     Local leadership

        a.     Felt needs expressed by leadership and sampling of community (answers to questions like , “What is the best thing that could happen to this village?”)



        b.     What is the capability of local leadership to sponsor community health work of a more intensive nature? Is there evidence of other successful cooperative ventures?

                Not applicable.


        c.     Are there people fluent enough in English and interested in special training in health care at an SIL center?

                Not necessary. There are existing health workers and peace corp. working in Romblon.


        d.     Are there government trained barangay health workers among the language group? What kind of services do they provide? These people may be a tremendous asset to community health if they are given enough encouragement.

                They provide the basic health care to the villages; also they give immunizations to the villagers.


3.             Literature production and health education


                What is the interest level of existing institutions and individuals in vernacular health material?

                Right now, a peace corp. is trying to promote health care knowledge to the people especially in the topic of nutrition. She also plans to translate some health material into vernacular; however, she is not capable to translate the such materials; moreover she finds low interest of the health workers in using the vernacular materials.


        a.     What kinds? Pamphlets or cards for patient education (ex. birth control or tuberculosis car); Story booklets of general interest with health moral, home health care manual, health worker manual.

                Not available yet.                               


        b.     What means of promotion and distribution already exist?

                Through the health workers.


        c.     Would there be interest in community health seminary? What topics are suggested by leaders?

                Not really heard.


4.             Current health situation


        a.     What has been your health involvement so far?

                We have translated portion of “The Home Health Guide” by Dr. Steve Lynip. Part of the translation has been checked by one of the local doctor. He was appreciated if we can distribute the translated portion to the village people in form of pamphlet.




                By making monetary contributions to those whom I am acquainted with who are unable to pay for their own medicines and hospitalization. (The ideal, according to my discussions with locals, would be to work in cooperation with the barangay captain.  For example the family of the sick person should first rally help from his immediate family and relatives.  When he has exhausted this means, he approaches the barangay captain for help. The barangay captain will then solicit the help of members of the community in the barangay.  The expatriate can participate by making a small contribution.  In this way the expatriate is treated as part of the community and not just a rich benefactor. (PR)


        b.     Have there been any epidemics in your time or the recent past? What?

                In 1992, there was a cholera epidemic in which many children were killed.  Also in 1995, there was a chicken pox outbreak. (PR)


        c.     What seem to be the major endemic (sporadic, but typically present) diseases?

                Pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract infection are very common in the children.

                Cholera, gastroenteritis, beri beri, tropical ulcers, heart diseases, high blood pressure, respiratory

                diseases (PR)


        d.     Do these people receive any preventive care  from the government? (immunization, TB or malaria control measures)

                The provincial government arrange free medical clinic once a year for the poor. Usually the doctors are from the States or the local medical students, they give free minor operations to the people. The municipal government also provides some education program for the town-mates.




Profiles on RELIGIOUS and HEALTH organizations help us determine whether or not the existing facilities are meeting basic health and spiritual needs. From this information we evaluate who should be included in the program’s target group, what the program should try to accomplish, how long the program will need to function, how the program might assist existing services and how the existing services might assist the promotion program.



F.                     ECONOMIC FACTORS


1.             Land


        a.     Is land available?

                Land is very limited in town, and Romblon Island is only 127 sq.km. The center of the island is mountainous terrains with limited flat land. Yes. Different kinds of land are available.


        b.     How is it used?    

                The mountainous terrains around the town accounts for the fact that not much agriculture is engaged in. However, although such is the condition, they provide favorable conditions for coconut growing which is the chief source of income of the people before. This surrounding area I is crowned with coconuts. The island of Romblon, comparatively speaking has more coconut planted per square meter than any other island in the Philippines. During the boom years of 1946-1947 more than 17,500 tons of copra were shipped to the United States. After the marble quarries which are abundant were found, it becomes the greatest natural resources of Romblon. Nowadays, the marble industry is the chief source of income of the people.


                The land area is devoted to agriculture, woodland and forest, grassland and pastures, marble quarrying, (PR)

        c.     Has there been a history of loss of land?

                In 1853, the Spanish colonial government organized Romblon into a politico-military commandancia and made the province a dependency of Capiz. During the Philippine-American War, Romblon was captured by the Filipinos who held it until the establishment of civil rule by the Americans. The islands remained a sub-province of Capiz until 1917. In 1941- 1946, Romblon was under the Japanese occupation. It was liberated in 1947.


        d.     What obvious changes in land use have been noted as result of population growth or land loss?

                No obvious changes in the land use. The mountainous terrains around the town accounts for the fact that not much agriculture is engaged in. Due to the growth in commerce in town, people like to move to the town and make it more congested.


2.             Wealth


        a.     What is the level of wealth in the society? Some idea of the level of wealth may be elicited by asking questions about estimated gross annual income or annual production in terms of sacks of grain or other produce.

                The poverty situation in Romblon has not alleviated during the past eight years (according to the record in 1990). Based on the comparative statistics from the National Statistical Coordination Board, about 80% of the population of Romblon have income levels that are inadequate to meet their basic nutritional food requirements and other basic necessities.


        b.     Is it high enough so that most people are able to go to school?

                Since the government enforce the free elementary education, no problem for the children to attend elementary. However, some people are difficult to afford their children to attend high school and the college. The percentage of the target group complete High school is 10.97%. (1990)

                Yes. Also education up to High School level is free. (PR)


        c.     Does it appear that literate people are able to buy books?

                People in town is wealthy in enough to buy books, but the poor people is not able to books and also there are not so many literature available in Romblon.


        d.     Are some likely to volunteer to teach literacy without remuneration?



        e.     Are they affluent enough to be free to engage in community development programs?



        f.     What percentage own radios? tape recorders?

                No exact figures. But in very high percentages that people own radios. In town many household have cable TV.


        g.     Are there people in the society who are considered to be wealthy? How do they decide who is wealthy?

                People are considered to be wealthy if they have a nice house, TV set, video cassette recorder, and telephone. Also if they have business, like having a store or marble business, they are considered rich.

                Yes.  Those who own big houses, vehicles, are involved in big businesses.  Foreigners are also considered rich. (PR)


3.             Production


        a.     How is subsistence maintained?

                Trading and commercial.


        b.     What is services are exchanged?

                Exchange by money.


        c.     How is compensation for services made?

                Mutual help.


4.             Distribution


        a.     What do people buy and sell?

                People buy and sell fish, fruits, and all basic necessities.


        b.     How are saleable goods distributed and vendors / sellers compensated?



        c.     How much money and / or goods would probably be exchanged in an average household in a month?

                P1,000 to P2,000.


5.             Work cycle


        a.     How do people divide their time between work and leisure activities?

                Usually people work in day time, if they got enough for the day and then they rest. It is especially true for the fishermen. But in town, people work as office hours.


        b.     What is the daily and yearly schedule of work and leisure activities for men, women, and children?

                During fiesta and rainy seasons they will have more leisure activities. Also the Christmas and Easter and other public holidays, they will have leisure time too. Other than that people are working hard to earn their living. For fishermen, the rainy season and stormy season make them no definite work schedule of the year but mainly depends on the weather.

G.                     POLITICAL FACTORS


1.             Social Stratification


        a.     What place do ethnic group members have in the larger matrix of the area? of the nation?

                In the Romblon Island, the Sibuyan Island, and municipality San Agustin in Tablas.


        b.     Is there any discrimination against them? In what way?



        c.     Is there any oppression? Elaborate.



        d.     Describe any social hierarchy which may exist within the group?

                Many social hierarchy are existing in the group. Economically, from the rich to the poor. Political, form the governing to the governed. Educationally, from the highly educated to the illiterate. Religious, from the church leaders like the Bishop, the priests to the laymen.


2.             Political / Authority Structure


        a.     What kinds of authority structures exist? Describe each one as to who makes the decision.

                1. Governmental: In the provincewide matters, the provincial government is the one who make decision. If it is the villagewide, the barangay captains and the village officials will the decision-maker.


                2. In Church, the Bishop and the priests and other church leaders make the decision for the religious affairs.


                3.In family, the old and the one who support the family financially make decision from the rest of the family members.


        b.     Which of these represent actual authority structures?

                Since Romblon is considered as lowlander, the governmental structure represents the actual authority structure.


        c.     Are there degrees of rate of influence for each authority structure? If so, rate most to least influential. (This may be a sensitive area.)

                The following questions may be helpful:

                (1) Who has the most authority in your village/town?

                                  The traditional political leaders?

                                  The civil government leaders?

                                  The traditional religious leaders?

                                  Other religious leaders?

                (2) Who is highest in authority in your village? Next highest? next? etc. Why?


                The governor and the vice-governor are the most authority in my province. And the mayor is the most authority in my townwide affair. However, since the Catholic Church is every important among people, she can have much influence in the daily affair of the people.



        d.     What are the geographical and / or socio-cultural boundaries of each authority structure?

                Refer to a.


        e.     Are there rivalries involved between authority structures or within authority structures?



        f.     What is the attitude of leaders toward the Bible?

                The following questions may be helpful:

                (1) Do you think that the Bible is compatible with your traditional religion?

                (2) What do you think about the Bible? Do you think it will be helpful to your people? Why? Why not?


                General speaking the leaders are quite positive to the Bible because the Catholic background. I can’t see any reason for them to have negative attitude toward the Bible.


        g.     What is the attitude of leaders toward the vernacular?

                More or less neutral, since they don’t use the vernacular in their circles so much. They will neither promote or object the use of the vernacular. If we want to promote the vernacular, depends on what materials you are providing. At least the religious group are positive toward the vernacular Bible translation.


3.             The Translator (Influence)?


        a.     What place does the translator’s community have in the political situation?

                This Question may be difficult to find good answers for because of the inherent ethnocentrism of each community. It is perhaps best to ask it of officials outside who are not members of the local ethnic group.


                Not really significant. However it just happened, I am renting the house of the present vice-governor, and my partner is leasing the lot of the ex-vice-governor; both of us are related with the high government officials in some sense. If we maintain good relationship with them, possibly they will assist us in many ways, such as advises; recommendation; acknowledgment of people to join the advisory committee. Still, we are not important in the political situation in Romblon.


        b.     What place do the translator’s associates have in the political situation?

                Not significant.


4.             The SIL Presence


        a.     In the eyes of political leaders, what effect will literacy have on the local political scene?

                I cannot see any difference, since the people are high literate rate.


        b.     What effect will community development have on the local political scene?

                I heard from the vice-governor that they will appreciate if SIL can help the community development especially in the area of funding aid in the airstrip project in Romblon. They want to have an airstrip here in the Romblon Island, however, the government can only fund for one airstrip within one province which is in Tablas already. But I don’t know what effect if SIL help in other community development.


        c.     Also in the eyes of political leaders, what effect will large scale conversions have in local politics?

                I cannot see any difference, since many are Catholics already.


        d.     Through which authority structure do you think it would be best / most effective to initiate change? Why?

                I think most effective to initiate change through the government because it is more influential and affect the higher number of multitudes. Through the government we may promote vernacular material to the villagers about health education.


5.             Where do people get news from outside and in what language?

In town proper people can access to the outside world by cable TV and the rest of the people via radio.


6.             What is the attitude of the local people to government?

It appears that people are generally indifferent as to who is voted to the provincial government. People even have negative attitude to the government because of unfulfilled promises to improve the island, for examples the provincial road around the island and medical facilities.


7.             What is the attitude of the national or provincial government to this language group?

A study was made by the government which indicated Romblon was one of poorest province in the country. And they began literacy and community development program in various barangay halls.


  1. What do you think would help them to integrate better into the national scene?

One possibility is through higher education.


  1. What level of cooperation do you expect from local people?

We expect local people to help in our comprehension checks.





Any program’s success or failure is determined in a large part by how successfully the program design has meshed with the POLITICAL and ECONOMIC systems. Internal sponsorship and internal funding for a program can only be realized if we understand how the “insides” work. For example, a program of salaried workers in a community where services are normally exchanged is likely to have, at best, short lived success. Also if the field worker does not tag the correct community leaders to support a program, nothing is likely to happen.


H.                     MOTIVATION AND VALUES


1.             Felt Needs

                (1) By which segment are they expressed (i.e. old, educated, dispossessed?)

                (2) To whom are they expressed?

                (3) How are they expressed?

                (4) How strongly are they felt?

                Felt needs are difficult to elicit directly.

                The following questions may be helpful:

                If you had he means to help your community or family in any way possible, what would be the most important/necessary thing you would do for them? What next? and next? etc...

                Are there people outside your community or ethnic group who despise your group or do not treat your people well? If yes, why do you suppose they act that way?

                If the answer is other than "I don't know", ask the following:

                Do you think they are right or wrong for acting that way? Why?


        a.     What are the problems and felt needs expressed by the people?

                The most felt needs of the village people is about health education such as how to take care of infants, how to care for the sick, and how to improve the living environment. Although there are frequent visit of the health workers to villages, they feel more help from them. They also want to improve the sanitary facility, water project and other basic needs.


        b.     Is there a reasonable chance that their needs can be met?

                (1) Is there any way in which these needs might be met? How?

                (2) Who would you ask to help?


                Yes, their need can be met  if they ask the government to give more funding to develop the health and medical program. To facilitate the health center so that more people will get benefit from that.


        c.     Are there any felt needs concerning which the people are seeking outside help? (these may be most urgent)

                Yes, funding for water project, and free medical advises in villages.


        d.     Are there any areas of their lives where people see themselves disadvantaged if they are not able to read and write?

                Not applicable since the illiterate rate is as low as 4.58% of adults. 


        e.     What are the goals and aspirations for the community? The questions under “a” above may provide some answers here also.

                To translate health care manual in form of pamphlet and distribute freely to the villagers.

                To facilitate the improvement of health education in villages.


        f.     What fears do they express for the future?

                Is there anything you are afraid will happen which will harm or change your way of living?

                Yes, if the family members get sick and do not have money to buy money. They will be afraid.


2.             Aspirations


        a.     Social


        (1)   What is the ideal lifestyle?

                If any way of living were possible for you, what do you think would be the best way to live in order to           always be happy and contented? Why do you think that?

                The ideal lifestyle is the one who have shelter, have enough food for the family, have medical care. Moreover, if they have extra money to buy TV, betamax (video player) and other material luxury, then it is their ideal lifestyle.   


        (2)   What value is put on cooperation? On competition?

                Cooperation in the village but competition in the town.


        (3)   Who is the most respected: the busy man or the man of leisure?

                (a) Which is better for a person, to be always generous, cooperative, helpful, agreeing with others in the village or if he is always trying to be richer, more powerful and seem wiser than other  people?

                (b) What do you hope to have which you do not have now?

                The man of leisure.


        b.     Economic


        (1)   What are individual economic goals?

                People expect to be less poor. People want to have enough money to buy food and provide the need for the family.


        (2)   What are the community economic goals?

                No so much we can see.


        (3)   How reasonable are the chances that these goals can be met?

                (a) Do you (the individual) think that this will happen in the next 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

                (b) Do people in the community feel that these goals will be met in the next 5, 10, 15,or 20 years?


                10 years as the children grew with good education, then they can earn more and improve the better live.


        c.     Spiritual


        (1)   Is there any spiritual motivation for reading religious writings?

                (a) If religious writings were available in your language:

                                1)Would you read them? or listen to them? Why?

                                2)Would you prefer to read something else? or listen to something else? Why?                     (b) If religious writings were available in another language which you understand:

                                1)Would you read them? or listen to them? why?

                                2)Would you prefer to read something else? or listen to something else? Why?    


                People needs to motivate in order for them to read religious writings because they don’t have the felt needs. Unless you convince them that the vernacular religious writing is easier to understand than Tagalog or Illongo.


        (2)   How important are spiritual aspirations in relation to social and economic aspirations?

                (a) Which do you feel is most helpful to living?

                                1)To learn about and to obey the true God? Why?

                                2)To learn about how to live in harmony with other people?

                                3)To learn how to have better houses, fields, crops, and to earn more money?


                People may not know the important of spiritual aspirations yet. But I feel the most helpful to living is how to live in a mutual respect life; to live in harmony within the family, between neighbors, and the villagers.


        d.     Educational


        (1)   What reasons has anyone given for wanting to learn to read?

                For those who are illiterate, they will not learn to read. For those who are literate, they will have no problem to read and write the mother-tongue.


        (2)   Is there any motivation for reading or learning to read the mother tongue in particular?

                (a) Would you like to read (learn to read) in your own language? Why?


                No or not applicable.


        (3)   What reasons do people give for not wanting to learn to read and write?

                When people respond negatively to (2)(a) ask them: why not?


                No and not applicable.


        (4)   What could effectively stir motivation to learn to read?

                Not so much for those illiterate. May be if they convert, they will have a motivation to learn to read the Bible.


        (5)   What is the attitude of traditional leaders to education in general, and for adults in NFE classes?

                Ask leaders:

                (a) Do you think children should be educated? Why or Why not?

                (b) How about adults? Why or why not?

                (c) Which languages should they (children and adults) learn in school?                  

                (d) Should they be taught to read in their own language? Why or why not?


                Not really applicable.


        (6)   What is the attitude of other leaders, e.g. religious, civil, etc.?

                Ask them the same questions as in (5) above.                                                                                                 


                Not really applicable.



        (7)   What would the leaders like to see accomplished as the result of an educational program?

                Not really applicable.


        (8)   How do the leaders think that education should be acquired?

                Not really applicable.


        (9)   What desire is there to read and send letters?

                Not really applicable.


3.             What do people see as appropriate and / or effective pathways meet needs and fulfill aspirations?

                a. What do you think is the way we can:

                   (1) Meet the needs of our family?

                   (2) Meet the needs of our community?

                   (3) Have a better life?

                   (4) Become better people?

                   (5) Educate our children?

                   (6) Educate adults?                         


                I think they can meet the needs of the family through the church, they can evangelize through the use of vernacular scriptures and the Holy Spirit will change into a better life. On the other hand, I think the needs of the community can be met through the government and community development volunteer.


I.                      ACCULTURATION


1.             Would you say that this group is resistant, semi-resistant, or open to social and / or cultural change?

                Geographically, Romblon is quite isolated from the outside world because it is surrounded by waters. However, when the cable TV came into exist, people have more interaction with the outside world. This made the group from resistant to become semi-resistant to cultural change. We can observe that this group is semi-resistant because they have already change a lot from the past.


                 For the older generation, it is difficult for them to accept new things, but for younger generation they don’t mind to accept changes. We can see that as they speak.  The language used by the younger generation is mixed with Tagalog and English. Moreover, the social life is influenced by the outside world through the impact of cable TV and the tourism of the outsiders. But those deep or world view structure are still very difficult to change.


2.             Can you think of anything which may indicate how resistant or how open the group is to change?

                For instances, there are many superstitious beliefs that the old people still practice but the younger generation do not follow anymore. The old people think the pregnant woman is not supposed to take picture, it will harm the baby in the mother’s womb if they do so. But the younger generation already don’t believe that.                         


                Besides, there are some other factors:- (PR)

                                - introduction of cable TV

                                - interest in following the latest in fashions

                                - love of popular music

                                - the desire to keep up with the Joneses

                                - high interest in education, even overseas

                                - desire to adopt Tagalog and English words into the vernacular esp among the young


3.             Are there people who seem to lead the way in innovation? If there are:


        a.     Who are they?

                The younger generation who are open minded to new things and values; and also those who received higher education and those who frequently contact with the outside world.


        b.     How do you account for this?

                Younger generation encounter new things and accept them. They always act differently as the older generation. They rather accept the new concept rather than the tradition beliefs and values. So there are generation gap between them. The younger do the thing that the old do not like secretly. Or they argued with the old if they disagree with each other.


        c.     Are they Christians?

                Not really.


        d.     Is their desire for innovation general or limited to certain aspects of culture or the social system?

                They are limited to the materialism and new moral values.


        e.     Are they better educated than others?



        f.     Are they community leaders?



        g.     Are they people whose participation in traditional affairs is marginal?



        h.     How do they introduce new ideas?

                By acting out themselves.


4.             How do people react to innovations?

                Generally, many will accept the innovations.                              


5.             Who accepts change first (particular groups - types of individuals)?

                Younger, professional, educated generations.


6.             What danger do people see in accepting change?

                People thought the change will ruin the traditional beliefs and values.







MOTIVATION and VALUES and ACCULTURATION point out the direction for the program. At the highest level, program goals are determined from a knowledge of the groups’ problems and felt needs, and their motivation for reading and writing. On another level, these same insights can suggest appropriate program activities which will allow the participants immediate and tangible reward for their expectations. If we use an understanding of the groups’ attitude toward change to identify the initial target group, we can expect to be more successful in generating momentum for the program as it expands to reach other clients.


J.         IDEOLOGY


1.             Oral Tradition. (see Notes and Queries on Anthropology pp. 104-107)

                In some societies certain people are " those who Know" the traditional and mythical history of the group.  Collection of texts from these people will be of value in learning what people think about their own history.


                People have the oral tradition, there are many “anito” is passing through the next generation by oral tradition. For example, one of the “anito” is that it is bad to bathe during Friday because you easily get sick and it will take long before you can get well. This is a superstitious belief of the old people.


2.             Spirits

                Questions like:

                “When you sacrifice/pray, to whom do you sacrifice/pray?” Who else etc., A,B,C,D, may helpful?

                Also ask if any of the beings are more powerful, most powerful?

                Also “Who created A,B,C,D,?”

                A,B,C,D, are kinds of what?

                Is A helpful, always helpful, sometimes, never?

                How does A help people? B,C,etc. 

                Does A have a body?

                What does A look like?


                Most of Romblon people claimed themselves Catholics, but there are lot of syncretism with the animism. People attend the Catholic Church as well as worship the spirits e.g. kalag (spirit of dead person), malä'ot nga ispirito (bad spirits) and put charm on the body of a child for protection from the bad spirits. Or when they go to other places they will say "excuse me" to acknowledge the spirit that they are passing by their way.


                Another typical example is that people believe  padäga'  which is a practice here in Romblon specially in village, that when people build a new house they will kill a chicken with white or red feather. And put the blood into the posts which they erect. This means that if they do this, the bad spirit will not harm them when they will be staying there. It is said by the old people that this is a sacrifice offer to the bad spirit.


3.             Cosmology

                The following types of questions may be useful:

a. Tell me about the creation of the world,when the world was created what else was created?  What also? etc.

                b. Who created the world? Did he/she have help?

                c. What was the world made out of?  What is the sky made of? What is it like?  What is its shape?

                d. What is the shape of the world?

                e. Is there more than one sky?

                f. Is there more than one world?

                g. Where does all the water go which runs downstream?

                h. If the answer is the sea - Why doesn't the sea overflow?

                i Where do the clouds come from?

                j. Who is in charge of the world?

                k. Does he/she/it have help in ruling the world?

                l. How do these creatures help?

                m. What does each one do?

                n. etc.


                If people have influence from Catholic church, they believe God created the world in the beginning, who also is the creator of human beings. However, there are people who have no idea of how the world come to exist. Most of people are having a syncretism with animism that there is a spiritual world where indwell a lot of bad spirits who are powerful to harm to protect the human on earth. Those spirits are closer to the daily life of people, because they are affecting the people. If they are not pleased, they will harm the people and whom will get sick. Therefore, the Almighty God of the Bible is living uttermost but seldom concern the daily live of  people.


4.             Traditional Religion


        a.     What is the traditional religion?

                Since the animism is the traditional religion. They believe a spiritual world with bad spirits. If people get sick, therefore they will look for the help of herbalist who use herbal and religious ritual to cure the sick. People offer sacrifice to the spirits in order to please them, in return they will get well from sickness or receive protection from the spirits.


        b.     What are its tenets, including points of clash with the Gospel and points of actual or possible syncretism with Christianity?

                People believe the spiritual world is powerful. They will try to please the spirits by offering food. They will do rituals, charming and etc.  in order to protect themselves from the attack of the bad spirits.


        c.     What is its strength and degree of opposition to the Gospel?

                If they have Catholics background, usually they are not really opposing to the Bible. But if the Christian represent the Gospel in a critic way then they will experience very strong opposition. But if the Christians know to communicate Gospel in a gentle and friendly way, it is easier for the people to accept the Gospel.


        d.     What percentage of the population adheres to the traditional religious practices exclusively?

                Few only may less than 5%.


        e.     What percent of the population keeps traditional religious practices alongside of other newer religious practices?

                A relatively high percentage, about 70%.


5.             Moral Values


                Traditional religion may or may not support moral values. It is a western idea that religions beliefs will reinforce morality.  Some beliefs may coincide with moral values but many may not. Nida and Smalley in an article on Animism call it the religion without morality.


        a.     What moral rules has the community agreed on?

                Do not steal; do not kill; do not commit adultery; male and female keep in distance before married; generous, helpful.


        b.     What is the perceived source of these moral rules?

                From the family oral tradition; from the community and from social norms; from the church.


        c.     What are the results of disobedience to the rules?

                Gossip is the usual result of disobedience. If other disobedience will be settled by the barangay captains. Except those against the national laws like murder, then the offenders will be sent to police.


        d.     What is the perceived relationship between sin and shame and guilt?

                People thought sin is doing wrong against God; shame is doing wrong against people; only guilt is doing wrong against the national laws.


        e.     What constitutes the basic essence of good and bad? (e.g. 10 commandment sand golden rule, supporting kin group, cooperation, etc.)

                Generally the basic essence of good and bad is from the Bible and traditional values.

            e.g. 10 commandments and golden rule, supporting kin group cooperation, etc.




An understanding of IDEOLOGY is essential in order to present the Gospel in a culturally relevant manner which in turn is essential for acceptability and effectiveness. In fact, lack of understanding in these areas often leads to blunders and even serious offenses which result in barriers to the acceptance of the message of the Book. A more natural and idiomatic translation which is itself a strong selling point, is also a direct result of a clearer understanding of how the people view the physical and spiritual worlds.

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