The Bukid’non-Pulangiyen is governed by a set of customs and traditions handed down to the people through generations. These customary laws are based on principles of harmony with nature and the interconnectedness of people and the environment.
Greatly interwoven in the Pulangiyen tradition is their religious beliefs. The people of Bendum believe that the spirits of their ancestors (gimukid) live in their natural surroundings–in the trees, large rocks, and bodies of water–and that both the good and bad spirits reside in the forest.
They believe that indiscriminate use or exploitation of resources would anger the gods and bring ill fortune to the community. Thus, in order to appease the spirits, the Pulangiyen would invariably perform rituals, known as pangapug or pamuhat, to request for something or to give thanks for the blessings received from nature. An example is the belief surrounding land cultivation.
In Bendum, the planting and harvesting of rice and corn is interspersed with religious rituals:
Pulangiyen land use activities includes brushing (sakum), clearing (bunglay), cutting of trees (pamilay), removal of branches (panalata), burning (bigsul), digging holes (pangedek), planting (pamula) of corn, rice, aglay, and rootcrops, ritual for protection and abundant harvest (panlindug hu migbaya hu pamulahon), weeding (panghilamun), harvest of young corn (panggangi), thanksgiving for first harvest of corn (tilagun hu kamais), harvesting of mature corn (sanggi), first rice harvest (tilagun hu hemay), thanksgiving ritual (panalangin), harvest of rice (panlegtay) and aglay (panggati), and ceremonial rite for the farm (kaliga-en).
The integration of nature and environment in the Pulangiyen belief system can also be observed in their gender roles, in the moral values they adhere to, and in the importance they place on reciprocity. For instance, if a member of the community does something considered taboo, they believe that the repercussion will come in the form of heavy rains that will destroy their crops. Similarly, roles of men and women are defined traditionally according to their tasks in the field – i.e. men do the cutting, burning, clearing and cultivation of land, while the women do the planting and harvesting.