Women's role and reproductive health among the Pala'wan tribe

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Social Science

Subject Categories

Health Information Technology


College of Liberal Arts


Behavioral Sciences

Thesis Adviser

Cristina A. Rodriguez

Defense Panel Chair

Ma. Elena Chiong Javier

Defense Panel Member

Jesusa M. Marco
Pilar R. Jimenez


This study described selected Pala'wan women's view regarding their roles at home, at work and at the community as well as their reproductive health. Data were obtained from Barangay Pangobilian, Brooke's Point in the province of Palawan. Purposive sampling was done to identify respondents in the study. In depth interviews were completed with six Pala'wan women and two focus group discussions (FGDs) with seven and five participants, respectively, were also conducted. Interview guide was used for the interviews and a discussion guide for the FGD. Results showed that women included in the study are between the ages of 19 to 49. All the women engaged in agriculture and most of them never had a formal schooling. Most of the women tend to marry early from the age 11 to 23, and get pregnant after one to four years after marriage. They have about one to eight children who are still living but the number of pregnancies ranges from one to ten. These women considered themselves domestic. Women do most household chores but the heavy labor was assigned to the male members of the family. Division of labor is apparent in the field. Women helped their husband in the field but only engage in light activities. The women considered themselves healthy, occasionally experiencing common illness cough and colds that they attribute to sudden change in weather conditions. Home treatment varies, depending on the location of the residence of these women. Those living near the center prefer self-medications with over-the-counter drugs, while those living at the periphery resorts to homemade herbal remedies.

These women adhere to beliefs and practices associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these are taboos, are food and activity-related, and are practiced by these women to prevent miscarriage and ensure safe and easy delivery of the baby. These women took extra precautions during pregnancy but none of them consulted the midwives or health workers during pregnancy. The local traditional birth attendant 'partera' was only called on the onset of labor. All the women delivered at home. Post-partum care was also given by the 'partera', comprising of herbal bath and abdominal massage. Pattern of health-seeking behavior vary among the women. Those living near the center opted to utilize the formal health system before consulting the local traditional healer, while those women living at the periphery consults the local healers first and it symptoms still persist, they consult the health providers at the nearest health station and ask for medications.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

86 numb. leaves ; 28 cm.


Women--Health and hygiene; Women--Social conditions; Palawan (Philippine people); Women's health services; Public health; Medical care

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