Organization - Mangyan Heritage Center, Inc. (MHC)

Mangyan Heritage Center, Inc. (MHC)
Basic Information
English Mangyan Heritage Center, Inc. (MHC)
Local language
Country Philippines
Category General NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Education and Training
Established year 2001

The Mangyan Heritage Center’s vision is to establish itself as leader in celebrating and promoting indigenous Filipino culture, especially Mangyan.  Its mission is to encourage appreciation for and recognition of Mangyan indigenous culture in the modern world. MHC’s primary objectives are: to sustain and expand a library, archive, research and education center of Mangyan indigenous culture, and to make all its collection easily accessible to researchers and scholars; to help the Mangyans keep alive their rich cultural practices by conducting community-based cultural programs, and promoting their handicrafts; and to promote and raise awareness on the Mangyans through exhibits and lectures in the country and abroad.


The MHC was registered in March 2001 at the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit, non-stock, non-government organization engaged in the preservation and promotion of the Mangyan cultural heritage.  The MHC holds the distinction of being the first (and only to date)  non-government organization in Mindoro to be accredited by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), proving that it upholds the NGO standard for governance, accountability and transparency.   Likewise, the MHC is accredited by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro; and it is a member of the Association of Foundations (AF).

Like other indigenous peoples around the world, the Mangyans are looked down upon by many people.  Thus, for more than a decade now, the MHC has been raising awareness and appreciation of the Mangyans and their culture which add richness and diversity to the Philippines. This also raises the Mangyans’ pride of their heritage and their contribution to the world.

Major Activities

Mangyan is the collective name for the eight distinct indigenous peoples groups living in the central mountainous regions of the island of Mindoro, with an estimated population of over 100,000 or 10% of the total population in the island.   The Mangyan Heritage Center exists because their rich culture is something that must be kept alive, promoted and celebrated by the Mangyans, Mindoreños, Filipinos and the world.

Established in 2000, the MHC prides itself as having the biggest collection of materials on the Mangyans, in different languages, and dating back from 1571.  These include more than 2000 theses, studies, journals and news clippings, over 20,000 Mangyan poems and songs, and over 10,000 photos depicting the Mangyan lifestyle from the 1900s to the present.  The bulk of its collection came from Mr. Antoon Postma, a Dutch anthropologist, linguist and former Mangyan Mission director, who had conducted extensive documentation on the Mangyan culture, and collected numerous materials on the Mangyans the past 60 years.

Apart from the operation and maintenance of a research library in Calapan City, the MHC undertakes several programs and activities.  To keep alive the Mangyan syllabic script and poetry called Ambahan, these are being taught in selected Mangyan elementary and secondary schools by Mangyan cultural bearers.  To raise awareness on the Mangyans, the MHC holds mobile photo and artifacts exhibits in educational institutions and museums all over the country.  Cultural festivals are also held to encourage the Mangyan youth to be proud of, and keep alive, their rich cultural heritage. Numerous publications on Mangyan culture have also been published by the MHC. These are now being used as resource materials in the teaching of Mangyan culture in Mangyan schools.  The MHC also continues to publish materials on the Mangyans, including a book of their poetry in two scripts (Mangyan and Roman alphabet) and four languages (Mangyan, Filipino, English and Spanish) in 2017.

The Mangyans practice cotton weaving, basketry and beadwork.  Thus, the MHC helps promote the exquisite Mangyan handicrafts which are not just an expression of their innate artistry and skill, but also a source of income for the family.

Another project of the MHC is the digitization of all its written collections, including audio and video documentations of Mangyan culture.  Its collection of 20,000 chanted Mangyan poems (ambahan), originally recorded in cassette tapes by Postma, were digitized, and a copy is now stored at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. for long-term preservation.

The MHC maintains a website at where its online catalogue is available.  Off-site researchers can avail a copy of its collections through the document-delivery service of the library.  The MHC is also a member of Librarylink, the biggest network of academic and research libraries in the Philippines where all the Filipiniana collections of member institutions are accessible online.

Moreover, to ensure the success of all its activities and projects in Mangyan communities, the MHC involves the Mangyan peoples organizations in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the projects for the Mangyans.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Sto. Niño St. Ibaba East, 5200 Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
Tel +63 43-441-3132
E-mail |

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