Sunday, May 4, 2014

Yakan Cultural Survival

The Yakan tribe is located on the Basilan Island, like the rest of the Philippines, has an economy reliant on 

the export of primary products. Timber has been a traditional source of revenue. At one time lumber 

mills supplied both North American and Asian markets. Basilan is an attractive source of 

highly sought Philippine timber. Moreover, Basilan’s forests can be naturally replenished 

because the Sulu Archipelago is outside the typhoon belt and is therefore not susceptible 

to the devastating environmental degradation which is evident in the denuded northern 

islands.36 Yet security concerns have driven away foreign investors and the revenues 

from timber exports are negligible. Rubber was also an important export in the past and 

an impetus to create rubber plantation farms during the colonial era. Copra, made from 

dried coconut meat, continues to be sold as a cash crop marketed within the country and 

as an export. There is plentiful grazing land and also a potential for owing to 

several large waterfalls on the island. The seas around the island are rich in aquatic 

resources including tuna and sardines. 

Field Museum. Heaney, Lawrence. “The Causes and Effects of Deforestation.” 2007.

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