Banguingui people

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For the municipality of the same name, see Banguingui, Sulu.
Total population
84,000 [1]
Regions with significant populations
ARMM, Zamboanga Peninsula
Banguingui language, Zamboangueño Chavacano, Cebuano, Filipino, English
Predominantly Islam
Related ethnic groups
other Sama-Bajau people, other Moros, Lumad, Visayans,
other Filipino peoples,
other Austronesian peoples

Banguingui, also known as Sama Banguingui, Sama Bangingi’, Bangingi, and Samal Banguingui, is a distinct ethno-linguistic group dispersed throughout the Greater Sulu Archipelago and southern and western coastal regions of the Zamboanga Peninsula in Mindanao, Philippines. They are one of the ethnic groups usually collectively known as the Sama-Bajau peoples.


The Banguingui are not officially recognized by law either in the Philippines or in the neighboring Malaysian state of Sabah. This can be attributed to their natural ability to culturally assimilate and their acceptance in either Tausug, Sama and Yakan societies.[citation needed] The Banguingui are part of the wider Moro ethnic group, who constitute the sixth largest Filipino ethnic group.[citation needed]

The Banguingui language has both written and oral traditions. Its written language is in Jawi script and is fast becoming a dying tradition. Oral traditions are handed down by the kamattoahan (elders) to the kaanakan or anak baha-u (new generations).

The Banguingui build and manage formidable kuta (forts) throughout the Sulu Archipelago as well as vinta or bangka-bangka boats that roam the Sulu-Sulawesi region. At the height of the Sulu Sultanate, the Banguingui forms the bulk of the Sultan's navy, leading retaliatory raids against Spanish controlled outposts in Mindanao, the Visayas and as far as Luzon to the north.[2]

Notable Banguingui[edit]

  • Maas Alidji – a mariner in the service of the Sultan who gain fame during a battle in Brunei Bay.
  • Maas Arolas Tulawie – one time governor of the Province of Sulu and patriarch of the Tulawie Clan. His descendants include some of the political leaders in the province. Their bailiwick is the Municipality of Talipao in the eastern region of Jolo Island.
  • Imam Jai Dionga – First cousin of Maas Arolas Tulawie and headman (i.e. barrio captain) of Buan Island in the Province of Tawi-Tawi for more than three decades. He is well respected by Tausug, Bajau and Sama alike. He was one time Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Balimbing (now Panglima Sugala).
  • Panglima Alip - Progenitor of the Tulawies of Sulu and Diongas of Tawi-Tawi, was overlord of Tongkil in the 19th century reporting directly to the Sultan of Sulu.

See also[edit]