CITY OF BAGUIO, Historical Data Part III - Philippine Historical Data CITY OF BAGUIO, Historical Data Part III - Philippine Historical Data

CITY OF BAGUIO, Historical Data Part III

City of Baguio



About these Historical Data

[p. 15]


1. Population

Baguio's population is 29,262 according to the latest census in 1948. This includes 1,383 alien residents, the Chinese having the greatest number, Americans ranking second.

Below is the data of the alien residents of Baguio:


[p. 16]

20. Stateless ---------------------------- 1
Total ........ 1,383
It is also interesting to note that although Baguio is small, it is made up of several peoples of different dialects [more correctly, languages] coming from nearly all parts of the Philippines. Some of them are Ilocanos, Tagalogs, Visayans, Pampangueños, Pangasinans, the different tribes, etc.

II. Different Tribes

The name "Igorots" is applied generally to the natives of the Mountain Province. There are many different tribes and sub-tribes among the Igorots and the loyalty to their own tribe and sub-tribe is very strong. There has long existed and still exists, to a lesser degree under government repression, inter-tribal warring and head-hunting. Natives of the Mountain Province, although they have distinguishing features, belong to the brown race. The Igorots are like the Christians and better enlightened Filipinos in feature, build, and general traits. Centuries of isolation may have brought different traditions and customs, but that they are distinctly Filipino in race cannot be denied.

a. Benguets

The Igorots living in Baguio and Trinidad are Ibaloi or Inibaloi, resembling much the Pangasinan in customs and dialect. The Ibaloi and Kankanay occupy the sub-province of Benguet,

[p. 17]

but the latter differ from the former, showing more of the traits of the Ilocanos.

The Ibaloi build small houses, squat on the ground, and usually bank [unsure word, partly unreadable] about them and put on a heavy thatch of cogon grass because their lands lie in the rainbelt where the first object is to establish a warm, dry retreat.

They normally dress in g-strings, shirts, and blankets. The women dress in tapis and jacket. The Ibaloi considers himself a superior person and the Kankanay concedes it.

The Ibaloi is known as the most peaceful Igorot. Long before the coming of the Americans, he abandoned headhunting, supplanting the ceremony with the "Bendian" dance where they show their passion for killing by sticking their spears into the heart of a fern tree.

The Ibaloi is an industrial soul. He cultivates his rice fields, his camote patches, keeps pigs and chickens, and is the best miner among the Filipinos. His love for the shining yellow metal and his ability to find it goes back to the dawn of history.

b. Other People

At present, a part of the people of Baguio is made up of persons coming from different parts of the islands. We have the Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Visayans, Pampangueños, Pangasinans, and foreigners. Some of these people have intermarried with the different tribes of this place.

[p. 18]

III. Customs and Traditions

a. Courtship

Love is there, but it is not placed before public notice, romance beats in the breast of every Igorot, but the individual feels that it is much more beautiful when suppressed and turned down.

On some sunny afternoon, a visitor may notice a group of girls and boys going to the shade of a big tree in a community. The boys would squat and sing love songs while the girls stand quietly and listen. These songs express the longings, the hopes and dreams of the singers. It is the language of the heart expressed in music.

The Kankana-ey have a dance called Day-eng where the girls hold hands together, dancing in an inner circle, while the boys hold hands in the same manner, dancing in the outer circle. They sing love songs moving in a circular way going to the right, then changing the movement to the left.

The most romantic song that comes to our notice is, perhaps, the Iddandang — sung on a swing.

The boy and girl usually sit on two separate swings tied to branches of a tree. The boy would sing:

Iddadang ya iddadang
Maluakian nan fanfungan
Simmadut ni asawam
Sabiennen alian

[p. 19]

Swinging, swinging,
Your pipe is breaking;
Your husband tired getting,
To me you are coming.
The girl answers:
Iddadang ya iddadang,
[unreadable word] di ayagam,
Anoy si asawan
Cawat nan bab-asang
Ay umeyda [unreadable word] iddadang
Sinan pom di batang.
Swinging, swinging,
Call me your wife;
Charming are girls
They go swinging
Under the pine tree.
This is often started by a young gallant [boy] singing to a young maiden as well as by grown men seeking a bride. The young maiden may not have a husband, but the Igorot's way, which is typical Malayan, of expressing himself is never direct. Romance is more suggestive.

[p. 20]

One thing that can be said about the Igorot girl is that she is just as forward as the boy, if not more. The Igorot maiden is an independent soul. From childhood, she has been brought up to do hard work, and she feels just as important as the man. She does not hunt for heads, but she works in the field just as hard as any man, if not harder, and she knows she can live without depending on any male.

The gangga brass gong — commonly used in cañao dances, is hardly used in romantic exploits. The Kankana-ey use the "abistong," an instrument resembling a Jew's harp, which produces music through or [a] combination of the vibrating tongue or strings on the instrument and the wind blown into it by the player.

There is also the "diw-as," an instrument played like [a] harmonica. It is made up of five reeds placed together with holes along the middle. The reeds differ in length, producing three major tones and two minors. Beautiful music can be produced from this instrument by our expert player.

The Igorot also has a nose flute — commonly used all over the province — which is played in a serenade or when he wants to entertain himself with music. It is a pipe in the real sense of the word with the exception that the player breathes into it through his nose — often stuffing one of his nostrils to produce [a] better sound.

An explanation made by a very well educated native why

[p. 21]

romance does not play a prominent part in the life of the Igorots is that the natives of the Mountain Province are always busy eking out an existence from the soil, and when evening comes and they follow the trail back home, they are tired and weary.

The girls, as soon as they are able to take care of themselves, live in the olog. This is their own home, they just join their parents during the day when they help with the work or during meal times. But the "olog" is their quarters.

This small hut is windowless, has a small door through which one has to squeeze himself. There is a platform intended for beds where planks of board about a foot wide raised at the head are placed. One plank serves as a bed for one girl. No pillows are used.

Here, the young Romeos make their nightly visits beginning at the witching hour of eight. A woman who receives a man not her husband outside of the "olog" is considered an outcast and immoral. But in the "olog," a girl can entertain a man to the extent of trial marriage.

Perpetuation of the race plays a great part in the life of the Igorots. The man who has the most children is the proudest man in the community.

When a girl becomes an expectant mother, her sweetheart is certain to marry her. In fact, she becomes so popular that men

[p. 22]

fight for the [probably meant "her"] hand. Court records show many a misunderstanding on the part of boys who fight to marry a girl after she shows signs of motherhood.

The Igorots are a moral people. Although their morality may not be measured in the same manner as that of a Christian, he keeps one wife, does not bother another person's wife and is greatly devoted to his own family. When no offspring comes after five years of union, a husband may divorce his wife or a wife her husband. There is hardly a case found when a husband abandons his wife when there are children.

Contract marriage existed, but it was never popular. It was resorted to when two families were friendly or rich so that they didn't want their children to marry outside of their own circle. In some cases when there was a land disputed and the disputants could not agree, often the village patriarch would order — if one of the disputants had a daughter and the other had a son — marriage of the children so that the dispute could be ended.

The Igorot woman is just as independent as the man. When her husband gives an indication of leaving her because she cannot have any children, she starts to divider her belongings, take her half and declares the marriage dissolved. The Igorot girl works just as hard as the man. She works on the road and can carry heavy loads, perhaps even better than her warrior brother.

[p. 23]

The man knows this, and although there is a strain of chivalry in his heart, he is ready to collect for what he has spent during the marriage ceremony, when the wife he has left behind, remarries.

b. The Igorot Cañao

The Igorot clings to his traditional celebration called in the native language "Ca≡ao," several days [of] feasting, dancing, and incantations. Without the cañao, Igorot life would be drab. It is a part of the Igorot rituals. It is a thanksgiving to the Igorot where carabaos, cows, and pigs in great number are killed and there is also "tapoy," Igorot rice wine. This lasts for days and every group of the tribe is represented where they eat and dance, sing, or weep with the "mambulong," [a] priestess or medicine woman, as she calls all the spirits of the ancestors of the celebrant back to the home of their fortunate descendants. The "solibao" (drum grade of hollow truck [trunk?] of a tree) and the accompaniment of the gongs to the music which resembles the music of Indians was danced and heard all over the neighborhood when an Igorot holds a cañao. The solibao is played where the incantations — prayers, crying, and singing are going on before the Igorot partakes of a feast.

Sioco Cariño, a wealthy Igorot, held a cañao at his big home. When asked for an explanation as to what the purpose of the cañao was, Mr. Cariño said:

"With us ignorant people, when we have some improvements

[p. 24]

in life, we remember the spirits of our ancestors, our anitos. We hold a feast or thanksgiving, feeding all the people of the tribe, to show the spirits that we are grateful and that they should not worry about us, for through their help, fortune has sailed on us."

Mr. Cariños house was then opened to anybody. On the court, in the large halls, the Igorot danced the cañao. A girl moved around passing a cup in which she pours drinks. As she makes her round, she comes back again to give the guests another drink. She brings different drinks as she makes her rounds.

The ritual room is decorated with clean new folded blankets hung on the walls in front of the mambulong. After the celebration, the mambulong shakes the blankets, and if the grain of rice, a straw, or small portion of food falls from the fold, it is believed that [the] prayers of the living were heard.

The mambulong then joins the drinking and continues to drink until she becomes intoxicated, making her cry more real to the anitos for thanksgiving. Those attending also cry so the room is flooded with tears with everyone gasping for breath. Singing follows this, the incantation goes on with the accompaniment of the drums beaten in the same monotonous tum-te-tum. This goes on as long as there are anitos to be remembered.

c. Origin of Head Hunting

The origin of headhunting among the Igorots remains a matter of conjecture. Folklore stories have been composed by the Igorots themselves, who tried to delve into the mystery of the origin of


Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the City of Baguio, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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