The eight indigenous tribes of Mindoro have known no other home since prehistory, although their ancestors probably migrated from Indonesia. (The seventh-largest island in the Philippines, Mindoro is part of the MIMAROPA Region and is divided into two provinces, Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.) The tribes, which are referred to by the general term "Mangyan," comprise the Alangan, Bangon, Buhid, Hanunoo, Iraya, Ratagnon, Tadyawan, and Tawbuid. The Mangyan population in the Philippines is over 100,000, and the great majority have grown roots in Mindoro.
Buhids have a language and an indigenous Brahmic script that is closely related to Baybayin. In fact, the Buhid script is included in the Unicode font listing as Block Buhid. Mangyans write their language using this script, which is divided into eastern and western dialects; Buhids use knives to write on bamboo slivers and record their lyrical poetry called ambahan or urukay. Instruments such as guitars, fiddles, flutes, and Jew’s harps are used as accompaniment when an ambahan is performed.
Buhids are known for growing rice and root crops, such as garlic. The term Buhid means “mountain dwellers.”