Tbolis are of Proto-Malayan stock and are found in the mountain ranges of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat Provinces. Some scholars agree that an ethnic stock that may be distinguished as Proto-Malayan came early into the Philippines. The proto-Malays are thought to have come from several specific sources at different parts in the island. It has been observed that Proto-Malay are considered less Mongoloid than the Malay, and probably derived for various intermixtures in south-eastern Asia. The proto-Malay and the Malay obviously are people fairly closely related, and the chronology of their movements and the cultural heritage of their groupings are the chief basis for the distinctions now made between them. In broad terms both sets of groups at third time is either to deal merely in characteristic not fully agreed upon historical, cultural, and regional data. The Spanish made little headway with these hinterland people, who were either warlike or reclusive. For the most part, these groups remained outside the Spanish pale, and their descendants in the modern Philippines are still often referred to as “pagan people”. Historically, in southern Philippines, such elements were raided by the Muslims groups, making them even more reclusive in nature and diminishing the numbers of some groups. North of the zone of Muslim raids, small populations of Proto-Malay groups remain viable at the present time..
Tbolis – known among the lowlanders as “Tagabili”, and the same, derived from the word “Tao Belil” which means, man living in the hills in their own tongue. These occupy an area of about 750 square miles (2000 square kms.) where the southern ends of the Southwest Coast Range and the Cotabato Cordillera also known as the Tiruray Highlands merged. The center of the Tboli Culture in the Central and Southern portion of Mindanao whose points are the City of General Santos, the Province of South Cotabato and Sarangani. In the early of the 16th century, Tboli Clans who lived in the south-central portion of South Cotabato (now the municipality of Tboli ) where once scattered when the volcano erupted (Now Mt. Parker / Holon Lake as crater) from which lahar /lava almost covered its vicinities. History tells that only Mt. Temgefit ridges remained uncovered that makes an escaped place of the survivors while other groups evacuated in some far areas. The Tboli clans survive from the calamities were the parents of the new Tboli generation in the area plus other in-migrants of the late Tboli lineage began to resettle spatially by clan/s under the leadership of the Datus or village headmen and started cultivating the second growth vegetation of their homeland.