This journal serves as Tominaman’s contribution to the growing literature on Maranao folklore. In particular, the writer presents a study on the Tonongs, the famous Lake Lanao Waterlore, discussing its origins, nature, and meaning. As a backdrop, it is believed that tonongs are originally human beings, who, after hurting feelings in society, plunged themselves to the lake or river as their outlet. These human beings later become tonongs and permanently live in the water. Tominaman tells stories about prominent tonongs and the practices pursued in relation to them. The writer also explains how tonongs have traditionally become part of the lives of Maranaos and how some customs and rituals were formulated with respect to tonongs. However, these beliefs and folklore are affected by the changing world, especially by education and technology. Tominaman reveals, in contrast, that many attempts condemning the belief system on tonongs, using both religion and education, have not succeeded. In view of this, despite Islamization and modernization, belief in tonongs remains an integral part of Maranao life. Maranaos continue to accept and recognize the existence of tonongs even though it is condemned in their religion. Thus, the belief system on tonongs should be understood in the context of cultural institutions, as it remains a distinguishing characteristic of their identities as Maranaos. In sum, Tominaman’s study only proves how some cultural identities and religious beliefs have merged and survived through time, despite the many threats that attempt to eliminate them.
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