T'boli | South Cotabato

General Information

The Municipality of Tboli came into existence on March 5, 1974 by virtue of President Decree No. 407 with Kematu designated as the seat of its government prior to the creation of Tboli, the municipality formed part of eight (8) municipalities of the province of the South Cotabato namely: Banga, Kiamba, Maasim, Polomolok, Surallah, Maitum, General Santos and Tupi.

The area is predominantly inhabited by the different natives like Tagabilis, Blaan, Ubo, Maguindanao, Manubo Blit, Tiruray and Manubo Sdaf who later organized their own Tribal Datus.

Early before World War II, the American led by Captain Edwards went to the mountainous area of the Upper Sinolon. Upon arrival to one of the settlements, the natives fled from their house leaving behind a teenage boy: Captain Edwards then, brought the native boy with him when he returned in Upi and named him Piang Edwards. Piang Edwards grew up and obtain his education in Upi. He later went back and began ruling various of Tboli Settlements whom, he was made the Datu Leader because of the education he gained under Captain Edwards where, he had also learned because of the education gained under Captain Edwards where, he had learned several languages.

The first known Public School was established at Upper Sinolon in front of the house of Datu Piang Edwards in 1949. This school was under the District of Banga, wherein, Paustino Montero was the first teacher. A year after, additional school was constructed at Sitio Kematu, Barrio Sinolon, Banga, South Cotabato. Due to the need for educational services, Datu Piang Edwards had later donated 3.75 hectares intended for the school site. Thus, formal and complete elementary education was finally introduced to Tboli. In 1953, two (2) American Missionaries from the Summer Institute of Linguistic (SIL) in the person of Vivian Fersberg and Alice Maryott, came to serve the cultural communities in this area. They studied the language and culture of Tboli in particular, so as to facilitate the delivery of serious such as: conduct literacy classes and train mother tongue teachers, preparation of primers and books in vernacular, publication to textbooks in the Tboli dialects, translate the Holy Scriptures and other literature and participate in other community services projects. The ensuring decades witnessed the institution of a government entity called Presidential Assistance on National Minorities (PANAMIN) created on August 10, 1967 with all intent to alleviate the socio-economic and cultural condition of the natives. The program was initially launched on September 1968 at Kematu thereby establishing a settlement project consisting of thirty (30) Tagabili Families. The project involves Educational Services, Medical Assistance, Improvement of Farming Technologies, Community Development, Introduction of Electric and Water Facilities, Construction of Settlement, Farm to Market Roads and Promotion of Recreational Activities. Given these progresses, people move into the settlement until it reached 227 families who, later on were permanently settled in their respective home lots.

On June 9, 1970, Presidential Proclamation No. 697 reserved 5,224 hectares for the people living in the peripheral areas and surrounding hills of the settlement project. Subsequently, Presidential Proclamation No. 995 dated April 6, 1972 enunciated the rain forest reservation of 19,247 hectares for the Tasadays, the most recent discovered tribe alleged to be the remnants of pre-historic men. These people inhabit the caves and the top of huge tree and local villagers professed that Tasadays have a more backward way of life. The desire of Tribal Councils to attain a municipality of their own was endorsed by the Christian inhabitants the local and provincial government hence the creation of the municipality of Tboli. The word Tboli derived from the word “TAO BELIL” which means Man living in the Hill. The regular barrios of Tboli upon its creation were Sinolon, Edwards, Halilan, Laconon, Lamcade, Maculan, Lamdalag, New Dumangas, Lamsalome, Lambangan and Ned. The first appointed Municipal Officials who took oath on March 16, 1974 before Hon. Sergio B. Morales, Provincial Governor of South Cotabato.