Ongangen (Wisdom): Women’s Means of Overcoming Troubles as Depicted in Maranao Folktales


This paper utilized feminist analysis to find out how women characters in the selected Maranao folktales used ongangen or wisdom to solve their problems. Specifically, this study aimed to find out (1) the roles of women as depicted in Maranao folktales; (2) their struggles; and (3) their means of maintaining balance to overcome such struggles. The analysis revealed that Maranao women played important roles in the Maranao society, especially so, if they held royal titles. They performed social functions inside their clan. However, these women still struggled against discrimination within their own societies as well as against stereotyping once they came out from the confines of their family and tribe. In the folktales, the Maranao women used ongangen to try to overcome their struggles. Doing so allowed them to keep their balance thus they were able to face their challenges more serenely and confidently. Such depiction provides another dimension to the common image of Maranao women who merely stay at home taking care of the children and being submissive to the husband.

Keywords: folktales, Maranao, Maranao women, ongangen, overcoming troubles

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