Utilization of macrofungi by indigenous communities in the Philippines
Angel M. Mahino1 , Mark Harwel Rifo1 , Charles Jasper E. Salle1 , Mheljor A. General1, Jonathan Jaime G. Guerrero2
1Bicol University College of Science, Legazpi City, Philippines
2University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine, Manila, Philippines
The indigenous people in the Philippines is approximately 14 to 17 million out of the country’s 110 million population. Mushrooms are one of the main resources of the indigenous communities and are used for different purposes. The ethnomycological scene in the Philippines is currently not highlighted and limited research is being undertaken to document such unique culture and practice. Knowledge regarding the use of mushrooms or locally known as “halamang singaw” can expand opportunities for research into medicine and food sustainability. The study used a systematic review to see if these ethnolinguistic groups used distinct varieties of mushrooms. A thorough literature search revealed that at least 19 studies relate to Philippines ethnomycology. A total of 93 mushrooms were found from the literature and 62 species were identified up to its species level, 10 were cited as local names and 21 species were unidentified. Of these, 75 species were used as food, 13 and 10 species were used as medicine and for other purposes, respectively. Mushrooms utilized by the indigenous communities are not just exclusive to one purpose. Some species such as Auricularia polytricha were used in both food and medicine. Mycena sp. was the most versatile as it was used for food, medicine and others (light source). Gaps and challenges were noted: the lack of studies, forest decline and the lack of experts to name a few. This study recommends a more comprehensive approach in the study of fungal diversity, and to include such in biodiversity conservation policies.