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Mga Hitabo Sa Pagpalawod: The Ethnoclimatology among Fisherfolks of Gigantes Islands, Philippines

Bon Eric Arceo Besonia, Ed.D.
Northern Iloilo State University, Estancia, Iloilo, Philippines




To understand the weather is one of the significant tasks in any fishing activity; this is to save lives and protect properties. This ethnoclimatological study explored the culture-based knowledge of fisherfolks in predicting weather conditions using nature signs and indicators, the practices upon their prognoses, and the natural phenomenon they encountered. Thirty fisherfolks from Gigantes Island, Carles, Iloilo, Philippines (11° 35′ 39′′ N, 123° 20′ 11′′ E) participated in the interview, observation, and focus group discussion. Themes were identified using Creswell’s (2012) steps for data analysis and were triangulated. Results revealed that fisherfolks use wind, clouds, mountains’ appearance, the scent of mud, and burned cogon grass to determine weather conditions. They believed that fishing is relative to weather. While venturing the sea, they encountered natural phenomena such as Pugada and typhoons, which put their lives and properties in danger. Hence, fishing in safe settings is dependent on the state of nature, which requires fundamental knowledge and practices. Thus, government and non-government organizations may uncover indigenous knowledge and practices in weather forecasting, evaluate their efficacy, and integrate them into natural disaster management systems to create a holistic program that addresses the long-term future of the fisherfolks.

Keywords: Ethnoclimatology, Fisherfolks, Indigenous Knowledge, Natural Phenomena, Practices, Weather Forecasting

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