Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual in Palawan - Philippines
The town proper of Aborlan in Palawan is host to the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual held every month of December on a full moon. Aborlan is a small municipality that has the mountains and the Sulu Sea surrounding it. It has about 19 barangays and a population of no more than 30,000 people. To get to Aborlan to see the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual which is about 75 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa, one can either hop on a bus or ride a jeepney which departs from the capital city daily. The ride should be about 2 hours. If one is booked at a hotel in Aborlan, transportation becomes much easier because the hotel picks up its guests upon their arrival at the Puerto Princesa Airport.
What to See There
Aborlan thrives on agriculture and because of the mountainous terrain and the fact that it is surrounded by the Sulu Sea, there are many things to see and do here aside from the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual. Going to the beach is an option and there are many resorts in the area that allow day trippers to enjoy its facilities so engaging in a marine sport is very possible. One can also go hiking or trekking, or drop by at the Western Philippines University, Palawans only agricultural college and take a look at their exhibits and small museum.
The Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual is said top have dual purpose. This festival is thanksgiving for the many blessings that Palawan and its inhabitants receive while the other purpose is to seek the help of the gods in healing the sick. The Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual originated from the indigenous group Tagbanua and their ceremony includes traditional dances while wearing their costumes and body paint and singing in their dialect. It is held in December on a full moon because this is the time believed to be the most effective when it comes to healing and when the good spirits are strongest.
To view or participate at the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual should cost nothing and one can feel free to snap pictures of the events that transpire during this festival. The Tagbanua are willing to have visitors join them during the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual since it is a belief that the more people participate during the ceremony, the louder their thanks becomes and therefore more pleasing to the gods. Really, the only expense that the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual entails is the transportation from Puerto Princesa City to Aborlan.