Presentation, Analysis
and Interpretation of Data



presents, analyzes and interpret the data gathered. The main objective is to
determine the practices of the Matigsalug tribe in maternal and childcare
practices. This chapter follows the presentation of the problems set in chapter

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Maternal and Childcare
Practices among the Matigsalug Tribe

          The maternal and
childcare practices determined the practices and actions observed in the community
in taking good care both the mother and the child.

          In Matigsalug
community especially the women in remote areas do not practice the modern techniques of
attaining maternal and child health care. The Matigsalug women follow
the culture that their tribe have done for so many years. Modern medical techniques are not the appropriate way of using the
maternal and child health care, instead they rather choose their traditional
way. According to Ramos (2012), the traditional beliefs and customs are
religious acts related to health care and, child rearing, nutrition and

          Frame 1 illustrates the
excerpts of the responses of the respondents on maternal health care during pregnancy.


Frame 1

Maternal Health care during Pregnancy

(Participant 1,2,3,4,5 and
pegkeen wey menge delemetan ne para pareisek te bate seled te getek te iney,
seini ka “kelep” “kalumenga’ ‘wey dalid te abaca”.            
(There are food and herbs
that when you eat or drink the baby inside the womb well not grow big the
kelep” “kalumenga” and “root of abaca.)
“keilangan ne kene eg inum te mge pepsi wey eg keen te pan, me malambu
ne mge pegkeen , iling te ngalap te weyig te salug, ka peit wey duma pad,
keilangan ne kene man e eg pakeenen te tinuug,
(Avoid drinking soft
drinks and avoid eating “paitan fish” in the salug river and never grilled
the fish.)       
“Minsan dakel e ka getek te iney , keilangan ne trabahu te minsan
nekey neg kehulinganan eyew kene eg dakel ka bate te gete te iney.
(Even if their
stomach is already big they still work at the farm, so that the baby will not
grow too big)



responses in Frame 1 show that their culture provides
them concrete faith to continue what was practiced by their elders.
Matigsalug women are very caring to their children and also caring for themselves.
They are very dependent on the environment’s natural resources for the reason
that the environment provides the needs of Matigsalug women. Their significant
knowledge and practices in times of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum are
still present even though there are already modern health institutions that are
available. They still stick to their traditional ways of living. As cited by
Ramos (2012) the use of indigenous knowledge and practices is more popular
particularly in the remote areas and communities where there is no health

women also prohibit on foods that they must avoid. This was supported by Andan
(2007) that in Arumanun culture, a child’s health care on the womb depends on
how the woman takes care of herself knowing that she is carrying a life. The
mother should be free from any worries and stressful activities. To assure the
baby’s good health in the womb, the choice of food is the most important factor
that the mother should carefully observe. Nutritious foods are needed for the
mother to produce milk for the baby.

          Matigsalug women worked on the farm to
assist their husband to sustain their basic needs for their family. Even if
they are pregnant they still work and support the
activities on farming like, planting, harvesting and weeding.
Unexpectedly, one of the participant said that working on the farm is another
way to exercise and regulate the size of the baby. From
the Isneg community, a woman continues her daily
chores, including pounding of rice and working in farm. Sometimes, it is in the
farm where the women give birth. Female relatives attend to a woman during
childbirth (Ethnography of the major Ethno linguistic Groups in Cordillera,
2003).The Matigsalug women are strong enough to work even if they are pregnant.
They do
not let their husband carry the entire burden to
sustain their basic needs.

The Matigsalug women believed that there are herbs that when they drink,
the baby inside the womb will not grow too big. There’s a danger when the size
of the baby is too big. The Matigsalug women used herbal medicine made from the bark of the “kelup”, “kalumenga” and “root of abaca” to regulate the size of
the baby. The mentioned medicinal herbs are boiled to produce tea which
the pregnant woman drinks regularly.  When a
woman is pregnant she observed certain taboos to ensure her welfare and that of
her child (Ethnography of the major Ethno Linguistic Groups in
Cordillera, 2003).

herbs provide the mother with strength and would not suffer too much in
delivering the baby. The elders usually advised that the mother must take the
traditional medicine so that the baby will not grow too big inside the womb.
There is the possibility that when the mother has delayed birth, the baby
inside the womb will be suffocated and may lead to death.

          Another practice of the
Matigsalug women during pregnancy is to avoid drinking soft drinks to prevent infections and to
avoid eating “paitan” or fish from
the Salug River. Aside from these foods, only meat and seasoning are not to be
taken in to regulate the size growth of the baby inside the womb. One participant
emphasized the idea of not grilling the fish for the
same reason to control the size of the baby they believed it is not good for
the expectant mother.

They believed that the herbs will help them to attain
healthy pregnancy and they would not suffer too much pain during the delivery.  They believed that the practices of their
elders were true and proven that until now it still
exists and used by the community. The Matigsalug women preserved the indigenous
knowledge of their ancestors even if they were already exposed to the modern


Maternal Practices during Delivery

          Frame 2 shows
the maternal practices during delivery done by the Matigsalug women. They are
extra careful in making the baby safe. Their responses are recorded in the

Frame 2

Maternal practices during Childbirth.



1,2,3,4,5 and 6) “Wey ke eg panggeram e ka iney, eg andam te menge  “hamit” eye wig saput te bate ne iyam pad
eg lesut”

the due comes, they prepare a piece of cloth or ( hamit) to wrap to the new
born baby)
“Ke  mananey eg lesut ka inulunan te bate, eg
angey te butilya ne due tahu ne ininit weyig wey eg paragket te getek te iney
wey ig dasek dasek”
(One way to ease the pain is putting some bottle with warm water and
put in the abdomen of the pregnant mother)
iyan eg gun a ka beled te bate, eg kebengen ka tindiisek ne kemel eyew eg
libud te inugpaan”
 (if the hands of the baby will
come out first, just pinch so that it will return in the proper position)

labor the mother experienced pain in her hips and the lower part of abdomen. As
stated by Morales (2011), when a mother was in her labor, she starts become
sweaty when the baby is about to come out. 
Certain practice done during labor is “Palina”. It is made by burning the “Gilid sa purtahan” or the edge of the
door also “Baba sa Galon” or   mouth of the bottle. Burning or “Palina” and “Paaso” or smoking in front
of the mothers reproductive organ. They believed that smoke will help make the
baby come out easily.

2 shows that most of the participants are already prepared suring the time of childbirth. Significantly
some of the participants are bringing a piece of cloth, to use as wrap of the
baby when they deliver anywhere and anytime because they are not aware
what is the exact time and date to deliver. One of the participants narrated
her experience that while
she is on the road she unexpectedly give birth and manage her own delivery.

The Matigsalug mother always prepares a piece of cloth or “Hamit” to use
in wrapping of the newborn baby. The Matigsalug mothers had no
idea when they deliver their baby that is why they are always prepared. In particular, the
Matigsalug women are always prepared on what
to do if they could deliver the baby while they are working in field.

          Through the indigenous
knowledge, they know what to do in times of emergency
when they deliver the baby and it is not in the
proper place, like when they are in the middle of field. The Matigsalug women
are taught to push down a portion of their abdomen. This act of pushing down
helps the baby to come out (Usman, 1987). The cutting of the umbilical cord is
done by using sharpened and thinned bamboo.

Another practice observed by the Matigsalug women is to put water,
contained in the bottle in the mother’s abdomen. The water in the bottle should
be warm. The purpose of doing their practice is to
ease the mother’s pain caused by delivery. This will ease the pain experience
by the mother. In other instances, the traditional midwife (mangunguyamo) performs a “tawal” or ritual prayer over a glass of
water. After the prayer, the mother who just delivered the baby drinks the
water. Another ritual is called “palat di
oban” with the purpose of ensuring normal birth or delivery (Ethno
Linguistic Group in Cordillera, 2003).

participants shared their difficult experiences like when the hand of the baby
came out first, they just pinch the hand and it goes back. One very notable
experience of one of the participants during child birth is when the hands of
the baby come out first. She just managed herself to deliver her baby safely.
The excerpt of the experience is reflected below by Teresita Alub, the key

“Kas kediey nig anak te neke un-a ka belad te bate kan himu ku in sel ey
ku ka paa ku kayi te lieg ku wey nig weil weil a eyew eg ka plastar ka bate
kayit getek ku” (Terisita Alub)”


(Letting her lay down and
put her feet on her shoulder and shake her body so that the baby inside the
womb will its natural position.)


This particular experience of the Matigsalug mother is
an indication that they have the idea on how to deliver their baby safely.


The Maternal and
Childcare Practices during Postpartum Stage

          The postpartum stage
includes the proper taking care of both the mother and the child. After child
birth the mother must regain her strength, she must eat healthy food and avoid
foods that can cause illness to her and to the baby (Bruno 1973).

Frame 3 shows the practices of Matigsalug mother’s
during the postpartum stage. It is generally shown that the mothers practiced
different beliefs. Being part of their traditions they recognize the worth of
each practice done by their ancestors. These practiced were handed down from
generation to generation. As observed, they are dependent on the food that
gives back their strength. They also practiced different kind of conception in
terms of postpartum stage.

          The Frame also shows that in postpartum period,
Matigsalug women always used their practices on what food to eat and what to
avoid. This practice helps them to regain their strength from delivery. There are
certain medicinal plants that were found in the forest. They used this as a
common herb needed by their body. The purpose why they follow this practice is
because they believe that it is very useful. It provides them the proper health
far from illness. The herbs can fight infection.      

Frame 3

Maternal practices during Postpartum

Participants 1,2,3,4,5
and 6)”Ka eg keenen eyew eg libed ka keseg te iney, iyan seini se “kasile,
binggala, sahing, wey apusew, lutya wey duma pad ne menge peg keen neg pakabehey
te keseg.
food that bring back her strength like camote, cassava, “sab’a” or native
banana, “apusew” or wild gabi and other foods that help the mother gain her
“Ke eg anak e ka
iney  keilangan ne kene eg amutan te
asin wey kene pad eg pakeenen te “budlisan” wey ” pirit” su eg behang ka
not eat soft rice with salt and also “budlisan” and “pirit” because it may
cause illness to the mother)
“wey kene pad eg
pakeenen te makehal ne menge peg keen, 
wey kene eg peinumen te maagsil ne weyig wey pipsi keilangan ne kene
pad eg keen te bawal ne peg keen neg paka bug hat te iney”
not drink soft-drinks and cold water because it may cause infections)
“Wey due  eg inumen te iney eyew eglibed ka keseg, eg
init te dalid te abaka ”
a drink that the mother strength will regain, boiled the root of abaca,)


According to
Morales, (2011) there are herbs that need to intake for healing fatigue after
childbirth. Some of the herbs used as tea are “Lawig”, “Iscobiya” or known as “sambong”.
Additionally, mothers use roots from grasses like Tuway-tuway” or “Dalomokot” which aid them to bring back their

According to them there are several
traditional plants that could be given to the mother
to gain her strength, like camote, cassava, “sab’a” or native banana, “apusew” or
wild gabi. She can also eat vegetable, chicken and eggs (Bruno 1973). A mother
who just delivered must be aware of the food that she eats to avoid illness to
the baby. The health of the baby depends on the mother on how she is careful
with her health.

Another significant food which are prohibited for mothers are the bloody fish such as
“budlisan” and “Pirit”. And also the mother is not allowed to eat soft rice
with salt, cold water, soft drinks and other unhealthy foods. As supported by
Morales (2011) a newly mother most not drink cold water within one week after
birth because they believed that a woman who drinks cold water might lose her
weight. In particular the Matigsalug women have herbs that help fight physical illness like “roots of abaca”. They
boiled its roots and drink after every meal. According to their traditions,
this herb contains a lot of traditional power or miracle.


The Maternal and Childcare Practices during
Postpartum Stage of the child.

The maternal and childcare practices determined the practices and actions
observed in the community in taking good care of the child.
These practices believed that these can help them to give extra knowledge to give their child a
good health. Frame 4 contains the answer of the participant regarding their
beliefs after child birth.



Frame 4

Maternal Practices after Child Birth.

 (Participant 1,2,3,4,5
and 6)
“Wey tukuwan te manuk
eg tuuhen wey ig sewug te keenen te bate eyew kene eg buturan”
a “batikulon” or gizzard of the chicken, then grilled and mix it to the food
of the baby)
“Te peg dihus te bate
eg kuwa te dalid te sahing ne sab-a wey ig sewug te weyig ne ig dihus te bate”
bath the baby, get some roots of sab’a (banana) and root of abaca and mix to
the water)


Based on the study of Morales (2011) after 3 months of birth, the mother
gives the baby solid food to gain weight and also gain nutrient from the food that
they eat. The Matigsalug women believe that there are several foods that the
baby could become healthy, such as sweet potato,
banana, cassava and powdered corn. On the other hand, the Matigsalug
women practicedthe grilling of the “batikulon” or gizzard of the native chicken
and mixed this on the first food of the baby. They believed that when they performed these practices the baby will never
easily have stomach pain even if they eat different kinds of food.

Moreover, they have herbs that help the baby stay strong and far from
sickness. During the first bath of the baby they mix herbs in the water like
the roots of banana “sab’a”. The sab’a helps the baby stay strong
in times of sickness. The root of abaca gives strength to go against diseases.
When a mother takes
her bath she should only use warm water with pomelo leaves without wetting her
head. After birth a mother should not be bedridden to normalize the flow of the
blood and to prevent the risk of fatigue.

objectives indicate that the Matigsalug women practice the beliefs on
postpartum stage. The Matigsalug women shared these practices to their new generation as a set of guide especially during
pregnancy, child birth and postpartum stage.


The Beliefs of Matigsalug

 Frame 5 contains the answer of the
participant regarding their beliefs related to maternal and
childcare practices.

statements were the beliefs of the Matigsalug women that are part of their
practices and the base on their experiences. In general they believed crossing
on the rope is prohibited during pregnancy time, and they should not sleep
alone. The Matigsalug women always apply their beliefs following previous teaching of their elders. Tradition knowledge was relevant
to their system in the continuous preservation of what is being done. Today,
the Matigsalug mothers always put into consideration their beliefs as the
strong foundation that will make their life more meaningful and useful.


Frame 5


Beliefs during

(Participant 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 ) “Ke
due pisi te dalan kene eg langkaran keilangan neg gen genen ka pisi”
(If there’s a rope in the road do not cross.)
“ke eg langkad te
pisi  ka eg ka beres keilangan ne eg
ileban ka pisi te eg kaberes eyew kene eg lumawihen”
(Because if you cross the rope, it may cause worm inside the womb of
the mother)
“Ke eg ka beres ka
keilangan ne kene layun eg lipereng sug saliyuwan ka bate te mareet ne
tumenud te seled te getek te iney”
(If you’re pregnant do
not sleep alone because the evil spirit will disturb the baby inside the
“ke due ikug te kasili   ig te tahu eyew eggamiten ne ig  haplas te getek te iney ke eg panggeram
eyew mahaan eg lesut ka bate”
(Using tail of eel and rub it to the abdomen of pregnant mother)


Frame 5 shows the responses of the Matigsalug parents on their
beliefs.  The Matigsalug women believed
that a pregnant
woman should not sleep alone because they believe
that the evil will disturb the baby. In relation to the study of Morales (2011)
that the expectant mother should not sleep in frontal position to avoid
the evil creators determined if the woman is pregnant. As she added that the
Matigsalug women believes on evil creatures like “wak-wak” who sucks the blood
of the baby inside the mother’s womb  and
    other bad spirits who were believed to
harm the mother and baby.

 The Matigsalug mothers are also
not allowed to walk alone in the evening without a male companion. This was
believed that supernatural beings are involved in the whole process of pregnancy
and childbirth (Ethnography of the major Ethno Linguistic Groups in Cordillera,
2003). Some responses of the participants are quite unheard. For instance, a
pregnant woman should not step over a rope because it
will cause appearance of worm inside the mother’s womb. This statement was
supported by our key informant, Terisita
Alub said that she knows if the mother is carrying a worm inside the womb,
because when she touches the abdomen of the pregnant woman it complains pain
inside the womb.

 Before the delivery occurs they use the tail
of the eel as a belt or place this on the woman’s stomach
rub down to the genital area. This process helps the woman to feel painless in
giving birth. This was said by key informant Terisita Alub.

“te ware
pad neg anak egbakes  wey ig daktet te
getek te iney ka ekug te kasili”



 The rubbing of the woman’s abdomen
with the tail of eel
(kasili) will cause easy delivery.


Beliefs after Child birth

Frame 6 contains the answer of the participant regarding their beliefs
related to maternal and childcare practices after child birth.  


Frame 6

Beliefs after Childbirth

(Participant 1,2,3,4,5 and 5)
“Eg gamit te “saliyey”
eyew eg mahulub wey eg matale ka bate”
(Using “saliyey” the baby is become talkative)
” ke eg engkeran ka
bate te baley keilangan ne eg tahuan te asin ka keulunanan te bate ka uwaan
te bate eyew kene eg daniyan te mareet ne tumenud”
(If the baby is alone in the house put salt under the swing and bolo on
the upper part of the swing to prevent bad spirit)
eg liliyan te rinda te kude ig paragket te bebe te bate eyew malehed neg
keen”  (Get  a renda of the horse and
rub to the lips of the baby)
for the baby they use ‘saliyoy”or
small bell andtail of “kasili” or eel is used a rub of pregnant mother, “renda” of horse is also used to rub in
the lips of baby.


          Accordingly, some of these
supernatural beings are evil that would cause destruction to the newly born
baby. When the mother leaves the baby alone at home, she puts salt under the
swing (duyan) and also a bolo near the pillow. These objects, salt and bolo are
believed to be protective to the child.

Another belief concerning the avoidance of evil spirit
is the putting of a cup of water and ashes beside the door of the house. This
was done by them when mothers have urgent reasons in
leaving the baby alone in the home. In few instances, they put a sign of the
cross in the baby’s forehead using charcoal. In doing this, it is believed that
the evil spirit cannot go near the baby.  

          Added to the beliefs is
the use of “saliyoy” (small bell) in order for the baby to become talkative
when he/she
grows. The mother would let the bell sound so that the babies would have the
gift. The rubbing of the baby’s lips with the “renda” of the horse will capacitate the
baby to eat all kinds of food.

The practices mentioned earlier comprise the beliefs of the Matigsalug
community in relation to maternal and childcare practices
with the assistance of the mangunguyamo.
The women share their beliefs and also the practices
to their younger generation.  In doing
this in their own simple way, their traditional practices and beliefs on
maternal and childcare are established and remain useful and functional in
their community.


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