While Tawi-Tawi is starting to become a place frequented by tourists, Tabawan is a small island in Tawi-Tawi that is off the beaten path.  Here the cultures and traditions of the Sama people have been maintained to a high degree along with their livelihood and autonomy.  Professor Jose S. Buenconsejo goes off the beaten path in order to come back with a seven-minute documentary that films in both Bongao and Tabawan.  The name of his documentary is the “Seven Dances of Life” and it has been nominated for the 2018 Gawad Urian award for documentaries.   In the video you can view old and young dancing the famed igal Tabawan.  There are glimpses of Tabawan recorded here such as a wedding and interviews inside the Langgal Tabawan.  The Langgal Tabawan is an old mosque that was formerly featured on the Philippines 1,000 peso coin. It is built by the methods prescribed by the Sama ancestors.  Featured in the video is Kauman Sama Online’s editor, Tawi-Tawi provincial librarian, Sir Omarjan Jahuran a native of Tabawan and Professor Mucha Arquiza from MSU Tawi-Tawi and advocate for the Sama people.  You and I have yet to visit the island of Tabawan so take 7 minutes and visit the island with the help of the documentary “Seven Dances of Life” by Jose S. Buenconsejo:

Kauman Sama Online has a few of our own videos and pictures from Tabawan. Here is video taken by Sir Omarjan of the Sama practice of Tulak Balaꞌ:

FB Albums from Tabawan:
Pattaꞌ min Tabawan
Sama Artifacts

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