The Mundo clan of Borbon, Cebu: Proud descendants of Lapulapu
This is in reference to the speech of Sen. Bong Go during the 500th-year celebration of the Victory at Mactan. I am reacting to this as a native Cebuano, especially since my ancestors—people of the islands of Zubu and Matan (as described by Pigafetta)—were not Muslims but ancestor-worshipping pintados (tattooed people). The revisionist (invented history) speech by Go was attributed to a certain “Abraham Idjirani,” which is totally disturbing because, based on Ambeth Ocampo’s column (“An eyewitness account of the Battle of Mactan,” 4/30/21), Idjirani was an engineer and not a historian.
We the “Mundo” (unlike the common last name Del Mundo) of Borbon, 72 kilometers north of Cebu City, are one of the Bisdak (Bisayang Daku—pure Bisaya) who proudly trace our roots to Cilapulapu (as described by Pigafetta). My grandfather and his cousins told us that they were the third generation to have used our last name Mundo. That makes me a fifth-generation Mundo, after being forced to adopt Spanish-sounding names on order of governor general Narciso Claveria in 1849.
The Mundo of Borbon were not original settlers of the town. Oral history passed from my grandfather indicated that his grandfather took refuge in Borbon after running away from Mactan, called “Opon” in the early 17th century, due to Spanish prosecution, and settled in a remote valley in the town called “Barucan.” It was not even listed in maps and was known only to few locals, reachable by several hours of walking through a difficult trail that became connected with a barangay road only a few years back while the rest of the civilized world was already abuzz about 5G internet connection.
My grandfather and my father’s religion was listed as Roman Catholic, but they were not practicing Catholics. I personally witnessed my grandfather (and his relative) do ancestor worship practices in the hinterlands of Borbon—a ritual called “langgores” (I can’t find any Filipino or English equivalent), which involved offering boiled black pig with no salt (similar to the Igorot in the Cordillera) to the “kalag” (Cebuano for soul) on certain occasions such as during the harvest of corn and tabaco which was my grandfather’s main agricultural produce (before the industrialization of Cebu in the early 1980s), the blessing of new house, a significant family accomplishment such as college graduation, or the death of a relative. The practice of langgores is rarely done in my part of Zubu (Sugbu) now and within our family gatherings, especially since several of my cousins (fifth-generation Mundo) have become Roman Catholic priests and nuns, and I myself have become a practicing Roman Catholic believer.
Although the love for pork has been replaced with lechon among our clan, the oral storytelling passed from generation to generation proves that we are not Tausug. But we share some traits with our Tausug countrymen—we fight to defend our honor and culture.
P. ERVIN MUNDO, PhD
University of the Philippines Open University
Los Baños, Laguna
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