The Tagbanua soul

The Tagbanua soul

A Tagbanua is believed to have six souls in all. A "true soul" called kiyarulwa, and five secondary souls called the payu. The kiyarulwa is a gift of Mangindusa to a child emerging from the mother's womb, while the other souls appear only during the lambay ritual for the child upon reaching one month or two. Lambay is any ceremony, which is directly addressed to Mangindusa. These other souls are found at the extremities of the hands and feet, and on top of the head. When a person dies the kiyarulwa wanders to four possible destinations. If the cause of death is epidemic or sickness, then the soul will go to the Kiyabusan, they become known as the salakap. If a person from poisoning or violence the souls goes to inhabit the Dibuwat. Those who died because their souls were caught by the environmental or evil spirits - their soul will transform into biyaladbad and will inhabit the environment. If a person dies of natural death, the souls travels to Basad, the underworld, and becomes the tiladmanin.

  • When a Tagbanua dies, his or her soul remains on earth for seven days, until the kapupusan or rites for the dead are finished. For seven days, the soul lingers on in the grave at daytime, but returns to its former house at night to observe the behavior of those left behind.


In the its journey to the underworld, the soul encounters several places. These include:

  • Kalabagang - the sacred river where souls meets Taliyakad
  • Balugu - the vine bridge

In Basad, the spirits of the dead live a life that mirrors exactly that of the living. But everything is the reverse of what happens in the world of living. As the sun rises on earth, it goes down in Basad or planting time on earth is harvest time in Basad.

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