So Manga Pananaroon Sa Ranaw: Reflections of Meranaw Culture and Worldview

Proverbs, Meranaw, Pananaroon, Semiotics, Signs, Cultural Semiotics, Intertextuality


  • Mohammad Abdul Hamid Alawi Bantog
    Alumnus, English Department, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mindanao State University, Marawi City, Mindanao, Philippines
  • Hasmina Domato Sarip-Macarambon Associate Professor, English Department, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mindanao State University, Marawi City, Mindanao, Philippines
February 27, 2021


This study was undertaken to analyze the Meranaw pananaroon and discover, through the signs incorporated in them, what they express and reveal of the Meranaw people’s worldview, culture, and character. Sample pananaroons were classified and described according to context in the culture, that is, situations for which they are designed or meant to be used, based on appropriateness or fittingness and relevance. They were next subjected to semiotic and intertextual analysis, with cultural semiotics as the approach, focusing on how the signs are utilized for meaning-making, and what these reveal of the Meranaws as individuals and as a socio-cultural group. Focal concerns in the study were the Meranaw worldview, culture, and character. The study established that the pananaroon, the Meranaw word for the English proverb, adage, aphorism, and other gnomic sayings or utterances and homespun generalizations about life, are employed not only for rhetoric but purposes such as emphasis on a central message, conveyance of indirection and subtlety to avoid offense, allusion, self-deprecation or show of humility/self-effacement, irony, scorn (kapangilat), overstatement (hyperbole) and understatement. From the analyses of select pananaroon, through the lenses of the natural and cultural signs that conveyed them, the foundational ideals and overarching worldview that Meranaws value regardless of context and situation were also drawn: patience and prudence, avoidance of acting or deciding on impulse; belief in calculated boldness and arduous journeys; finding procrastination or vacillation as a fault; allowance and forgiveness for falling short of one’s expectations; humility; awareness of one’s station, revealing an ingrained and internalized class system; sensitivity, and; an overarching wish for clearness, harmony, order and peace (rinaw) in all things. The depths that the results this study reached not only strengthens semiotic analysis as a viable approach to proverb and linguistic/folklore studies, but also opens up new avenues or paths for fresh inquiry on Meranaw pananaroon, oral tradition, and folklore, and culture in general.