By Randy T. Nobleza, Ph.D.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro – apart from the Heritage museum in Calapan there is a complimentary heritage and cultural center. This is not only to cater the bulk of visitors from oriental Mindoro primarily from Batangas and elsewhere via Calpan and some from Puerto de galera. Mansalay is not a duplicate or amalgam of that of Calapan, there are different and distinct features. Indeed, considering the distance and travel time, for one the museum is much accessible but it should not deter the visitor to reach the heritage and cultural center.
There is a cork map representing the indigenous communities where there are Mangyan settlements from Mindoro. The eight “tribes” are rendered visible in the eastern part of the province, hence the location of the heritage and cultural center in Mansalay. Almost lost but not quite with the numerous jokes about Mindoro’s natives, salient indigenous knowledge, systems and practices. It was only recently, that the said municipality have conducted cultural mapping. It was indeed a threat to have the actual mappers, coordinator and culture bearer very proud of showcasing their output.
Though not known as monumental and having built heritage, with the giant nito and ramit textile of all shapes, colors and size are enough proof of creativity and imagination of the Mangyan. The site itself is breathtaking on top of picturesque landscape. There is an enormous room for appreciating both manmade and god-given beauty. The climb might be steep, the travel time an awful long but it is indeed worth it.
To top it all, is our Culture bearer as tour guide, Eping Mayot offered a simple token with matching ambahan straight from the heart. Not only because of the esteemed work of bapa Antoon Postma, Ginaw Bilog and Mangyan Heritage Center, the heritage and cultural center in Mansalay depicts the island life and folkways not only during indigenous peoples month but year round as long there are friends and strangers who have appreciation for culture and heritage.