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Groups in
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Nathalie, a Grade 7 student, went for a vacation with her parents in Batanes. She
had witnessed there the spectacular and amazing view of the place which is so
breathtaking. The ship they rode dances with the big waves in the ocean. Nathalie
exclaimed, Truly, it is more fun in the Philippines. Her mother added, This will be a
vacation worth remembering.
When they arrived in Basco, the capital town of Batanes they were mesmerized
by the sturdy stone houses built long time ago and withstand numerous typhoons which
struck the place. People there were all accommodating and readily show their sweet
smile. Nathalie asked, Daddy, people here are indeed joyful and have big hearts, but
why are they wearing headdress which seems so heavy? Nathalie, people here are
called Ivatan and the headdresses are called vakul to protect them from too much cold
or heat. Daddy replied. Aaaaahhhh, I think Ivatans are part of the tribal groups of our
country, Nathalie said. The family went to beautiful beaches and had an awesome
vacation in Batanes.
From this short story, we read about the Ivatans which inhabited the
northernmost part of Luzon. They are one of the ethnic groups comprising our country.
Philippines, as an archipelago have numerous tribal groups which have their own
culture and traditions which make them unique from the other. In this module, you will
be able to:

identify the different tribal groups coming from Luzon, Visayas and
draw a graphic organizer to illustrate the tribal groups with their
corresponding distinct culture and traditions such as in clothing, houses,
religion and its lifestyle;
give importance on patriotism and nationalism of every Filipino citizen

These tribal groups though diversely different in terms of languages and dialects
spoken, traditions and culture being lived we are still unified by being simply a Filipino.
The different tribal groups from Luzon are the Ivatan from Batanes, Kankanaey
from Mountain Province, Kalinga from Kalinga Province, Ifugao from Ifugao Province,
Aeta from Zambales. Their way of live, culture and traditions will be further discussed in
the succeeding pages.
Inhabiting the Batanes, a chain of small islands at the northernmost point of the
Philippines, were the Ivatans. Of the island chains, only three islands were inhabited:
Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang. The Ivatans of today are considered to be the
Christianized surviving group of the ancient people who once inhabited all the islands of
Luzon and Taiwan. The ancients spoke a language, Chirin nu Ibatan, or simply Ivatan;
an Austronesian language spoken exclusively in the Batanes Islands was characterized
by the dominant use of the letter v, as in valuga, vakul, and vanuwa. In addition, each
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Ivatan dialect was unique to a specifc island; the Northern dialect spoken in Basco, the
capitol; Itbayat in Itbayat Island; and Southern Sabtang in Sabtang Island.
Culturally, the Ivatans have been influenced by the climate of Batanes often
times, exposed to high risks of agricultural disruption, they adopted strategies that
ensured their survival. Due to the frequency of typhoons and drought, they planted root
crops that were more resilient to the destructive forces of the environment; these
include yam, sweet potato, taro, garlic, ginger, and onion. In addition, the Ivatans
possessed a unique skill to predict weather, namely thru the study of animal behavior,
sky color, wind, and clouds. For example, upon seeing their livestock take shelter, they
too sought shelter. Although abundant exclusively in the months of March to May, the
Ivatans also depend on the flying fish, dibang, and dolphinfish, aravu, that are present
on the shores of Batanes. Unique to their culture is their stone houses adopted from
the Spaniards and made of limestone; the walls were as thick as one-meter and able to
withstand the terminal passage of typhoons in the Philippines. The roofs, on the other
hand, retained the traditional thick-fabrication of cogon grass designed to weather the
buffeting winds. The vakul, a traditional headgear designed to shield the wearer from
the sun and rain, is another cultural feature unique to the Ivatans.


Like most Igorot ethnic groups, the Kankanaey built sloping terraces to maximize farm
space in the rugged terrain of the Cordillera Administrative Region Cordillera.
Two famous institutions of the Kankanaey of Mountain Province are the dap-ay, the
men's dormitory and civic center, and the ebgan, the girls' dormitory where courtship
between young men and women took place. The Bontoc Igorot in Sagada and some
nearby pueblos, as Takong and Agawa, the o-lg is said to be called f-gan.
The Kankanaey differ in the way they dress. The women soft-speaking Kankanaey's
dress has a color combination of black, white and red. The design of the upper attire is
a criss-crossed style of black, white and red colors. The skirt or tapis is a combination of
stripes of black, white and red.
The women hard-speaking Kankanaey's dress is composed of mainly red and black
with a little white styles, as for the skirt or tapis which is mostly
called bakget and gateng. The men wore a g-string as it is called but it is mainly known
as wanes for the Kanakaneys of Besao and Sagada. The design of the wanes may vary
according to social status or municipality.

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The Kankanaey's major dances include tayaw, pattong,as Igorot wedding dance, and
balangbang. The tayaw is a community dance that is usually done in weddings; it may
be also danced by the Ibaloi people but has a different style. Pattong is also a
community dance from Mountain Province which every municipality has its own style.
Balangbang is the modernized word for the word Pattong. There are also some other
dances that the Kankanaeys dance, such as the sakkuting, pinanyuan (wedding dance)
and bogi-bogi (courtship dance). Kankanaey houses are built like the other Igorot
houses, which reflect their social status.

Esteemed as the strong people of the Cordilleras, Kalingans, simultaneously,
profoundly cherish family and kinship. A Kalinga household consists of a nuclear family
and sometimes, an aged grandparent; generally speaking, they show great respect
towards elders and, are clannish. Thus, the household, extended household of the
kinship circle, and territorial region are significant units of Kalinga society. Historically,
they attained leadership and respect through headhunting, along with other skills at
which an individual excelled. Consequently, neighbors and invaders alike feared them
due to their reputations as headhunters. The name Kalinga believed to have originated
from the Gaddang and Ibanag languages, means headhunter.
They settled on the leveled or terraced areas on the slopes of steep mountains near
rivers and streams with free, clear, running water through the Chico, Pasig, Tanduan
rivers with wide plateaus and floodplains, as well as, large portions of open grasslands.
As a result, principal sources of livelihood among the Kalinga is the payaw (ricefields)
and the uma (swidden farm). Aside from food production, cattle are pastured in the
fields and poultry raised in the backyard. Small fish (ugadiw), shell, and marine life are
gathered from rivers. Traditional hunting continued to be practiced and by men only, in
the forest using spears, indigenous traps or rifles for wild pigs, deer and wild fowl. Fruit
trees, coconut, coffee, and bananas are grown while sugarcane is planted and made
into basi (wine). Other economic-driven activities among the Kalinga are cloth and
basket weaving, blacksmithing, and pottery; they're renowned for their intricate handwoven textiles and magnificent, colorful beaded jewelry.
Kalinga society may be stratified into lawa or kapus (poor) and the baknang
(wealthy). Among the signs of prestige and wealth are possessions of several ricefields,
working animals, heirlooms like china plates and jars, agate head/necklaces and brass
gongs. Moreover, the identification of the self with the kinship circle could be such that
whatever an individual does is the responsibility of the group; likewise, whatever
threatens the security of the group must be opposed by the individual. Therefore, many
villages or ili, in Kalinga are located in strategic areas where the villagers can be
forewarned of intruders, or where the surrounding terrain is rugged and form a natural
defense against tribal wars. Tribal wars happen when a bodong peace pact (system)
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was either broken or violated. Essentially, the bodong is the most meritorious and
efficient Kalinga institution; it is a peace pact/treaty between two tribes, wherein the
Pagta or laws on intertribal relations are established. The bodong also represents the
Magna Carta of the Kalinga.
The Aeta (pronounced as eye-ta,), Agta or Ayta are an indigenous people who
live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered
to be Negritos, who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such
as a small stature, small frame, curly to kinky afro-like textured hair with a higher
frequency of naturally lighter hair color (blondism) relative to the general population,
small nose, and dark brown eyes. They are thought to be among the earliest inhabitants
of the Philippines, preceding the Austronesian migrations.
The Aeta were included in the group of people termed Negrito during Spanish
colonial rule as Negritos. Various Aeta groups in northern Luzon are known as Pugut
or Pugot, a name designated by their Ilocano-speaking neighbors, and which is the
colloquial term for those with darker complexions. In Ilocano, the word also means
goblin or forest spirit.
The Ifugao call themselves as i-pugao or "inhabitants of the known earth"; other
variations of the name are Ifugaw, Ipugao, and Yfugao. They live primarily in the
province of Ifugao in Central Cordillera, in Northern Luzon. The name is supposed to
have come from ipugo which means "from the hill." The Amganad Ifugao (Ifugaw)
populate the central part of Ifugao Province and has two dialects: Burnay and Banaue.
Additionally, their name is synonymous with the famous man-made Banaue Rice
Terraces in northern Luzon, which had once been hailed the "eighth wonder of the
world", and attributed to their engineering knowledge and agricultural terracing.
Historically, Ifugao was one of the places in the Archipelago least influenced by the
Spaniards, even though they did venture into Ifugao territory; the Spaniards were
unable to transform their culture and values. Anthropologists have regarded the Ifugao
as possibly the oldest residents of the highlands; their origin attributed to Indonesian
migration, dating back as early as 800-500 BC.
Agricultural terracing is their principal means of livelihood along with farming.
Their social status is measured by the number of rice field granaries, family heirlooms,
gold earrings, carabaos (water buffaloes), as well as, prestige conferred through time
and tradition. The more affluent, known as kadangyan were usually generous by nature,
giving rice to poor neighbors in time of food shortage(s) and/or hardship(s).
Furthermore, their culture was known for their legal system, using one of the world's
most extensive oral legal traditions specifying the offense depending on the use of

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custom law; trial by elders (influenced in part by public opinion); or trial by ordeal. The
wealthy were subjected to greater fines than the poor.
Untouched by the influences of Spanish colonialism, Ifugao culture value kinship,
family ties, religious and cultural beliefs. They're unique among all ethnic groups in the
mountain province, not only for their interesting customs and traditions but also for their
narrative literature such as the hudhud, an epic dealing with hero ancestors sung in a
poetic manner. Another feature unique to the Ifugao is their woodcarving art, most
notably the carved granary guardians bului and the prestige bench of the upper class,
the hagabi. Their textiles renowned for their sheer beauty, colorful blankets and clothing
woven on looms. Houses were well-built, characterized by as a square with wooden
floors, windowless walls, and pyramidal thatch roofs. Elevated from the ground by four
sturdy tree trunks, they feature removable staircases that were hoisted up at night to
prevent entry by enemies and/or wild animals. Lastly, their attire remain traditional for
male Ifugaos, donning the wanno or g-string; there are six types of wanno which are
used depending on the occasion or the man's social status. Ifugao women, on the
contrary, wear tapis, a wraparound skirt; there are five kinds of skirts worn, depending
on the occasion and/or status of the woman.

In the Visayan Region, the Waray found in Samar, Leyte and Biliran and Ilonggo
found in Western Visayas Region, Panay Island and Negros Occidental are the
dominant ethnic groups.
The Waray people are a subgroup of the Visayan people whose primary
the Waray-Waray
language (also
an Austronesian language native to the islands of Samar, Leyte and Biliran, which
together comprise theEastern Visayas Region of the Philippines. Waray people inhabit
the whole island of Samar where they are called Samareos/Samarnons, the northern
part of the island of Leyte where they are called Leyteos, and the island of Biliran. On
Leyte Island, the Waray people occupy the northern part of the island, separated from
the Cebuano language-speaking Leyteos by a mountain range in the middle of the
On the island of Biliran, Waray-Waray-speaking people live on the eastern part of
the island facing the island of Samar; their Waray-Waray dialect is commonly referred to
as Biliranon. On the island of Ticao, which belongs to the province of Masbate in
the Bicol Region, Waray-Waray-speaking people live on most parts of the island; they
are commonly referred to as Ticaonon. However, the Ticaonon have more affinity with
the Masbateo-speaking people of Masbate, being their province-mates. The Bicolano
languagehas more common vocabulary with the Waray-Waray language than with other
Visayan languages (i.e. Cebuano or Ilonggo).
The Ilonggos are concentrated in the Western Visayas Region, particularly in
Panay Island (Iloilo, Capiz, etc.) and Negros Occidental. They are also found in some
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areas of Mindanao. The word Ilonggo normally refers to a person, whose language is
Hiligaynon. The term Hiligaynon originated from Yligueynes, which means people of
the coast.
The Ilonggo population is mostly Catholic, but old pagan traditions are nevertheless still
applied, sometimes combined with Christianity. The best example is the practice of
bathing a statue of the Santo Nino (Child Jesus) for good luck or to bring rain.
Ilonggos have a sterling reputation of being affectionate, friendly, and happy.

In the Mindanao Region, more tribal groups are can be found such as Badjao in
Tawi Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga del Sur, Tausug in Jolo, Tboli in South Cotabato,
Subanen in Zamboanga Peninsula and Bagobo in Southern Mindanao.


Widely known as the Sea Gypsies of the Sulu and Celebes Seas, the Badjao
are scattered along the coastal areas of Tawi Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, and some coastal
municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur in the ARMM. Amongst themselves, they're known
as Sama Laus (Sea Sama) and are found living on houseboats where they make their
livelihood solely on the sea as expert fishermen, deep sea divers, and navigators. They
come to shore to barter their harvests for farmed produce such as fruits and cassava,
as well as, replenish their supplies and/or make repairs to their houseboats. Unique to
their cultural rituals is the concept of life and their relationship to the sea: For example,
as a childbirth ritual, a newly born infant is thrown into the sea and members of the clan
dive to save the newborn. Other traditions such as marriages are prearranged by the
parents for their sons and daughters; the process similar to other ethnic groups, in that,
a dowry is often presented to the parents of the woman a man wishes to marry. And,
only the Badjao leader can consecrate a marriage. Therefore a leader is chosen based
on individual inherent virtues, wisdom, and inate ability to attract
Sadly, due to the ongoing conflict in the region between revolutionary Muslim
groups and the government, many Badjao have migrated to Sabah in Malaysia and
Sulawesi and Kalimantan in Indonesia. As a result, they now comprise the secondlargest ethnic group in Sabah, despite the fact that many of them are illegal immigrants.
There, the Badjao speak nearly (10) languages of the Sama-Bajau subgroup of the
Western Malayo-polynesian language family.
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The dominant ethnic group in the Sulu archipelago because of their political and
religious institutions, the Tausug occupy Jolo, Indanan, Siasi, and Patikul in Sulu
(ARMM). There are also scattered settlements in Zamboanga del Sur and Cotabato,
and all the way to Malaysia, which has an estimated Tausug population of more than
Tausug is a combination of tau (person) and suug (the old name of Jolo Island). The
present generation of Tausugs are believed to be descended from the different ethnic
groups that had migrated to the Sulu archipelago.
The Tausug language is adopted from the vocabulary of Tagimaha, in whose
locality the Sultan of Sulu lived and established Buansa, the capital of the Sultunate.
They have two dialects: parianum and gimbahanun. Parianum is spoken by the people
living along the coasts of Jolo and gimbahanun, by those living in the interior part.

The Maranao inhabit Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur in Mindanao. The name
Maranao translates to mean People of the Lake, after their traditional territory in the
area surrounding Lake Lanao in the Bukidnon-Lanao Plateau.
According to the early written genealogical documents salsila, this term generally
referred to the native people living around Lake Lanao. The lake area is the home-range
of the Maranao which is located in North Central Mindanao, approximately 135 sq. miles
in area and is situated 2,300 feet above sea level. They are one of the largest Islamic
groups in the Philippines, with the core areas being Marawi City, Lumba-a-bayabao, and
The Maranao are a splinter group of the Maguindanao who took up Islam;
families tracing their religious origins to Sharif Kabunsuan, who introduced the religion
to the region. Communities are clustered around a mosque and a torogan, a royal
house belonging to the preeminent economic household in the area. Aside from exotic
textiles, metalwork, and woodcraft, the torogan structure is the most significant and
spectacular example of Filipino secular architecture. As a people, the Maranao are
widely distributed and contribute significantly to the market and trade industry. For
instance, the awang (dugout boat) used principally in Lake Lanao is both unique and
extremely ornate. Textiles, on the other hand, symbolize the socio-economic rank of the
wearer through the intricacies of the design motifs woven into the fabric, as well as, the
richness of the colors used.

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One of southern Mindanaos indigenous people, the Tboli are concentrated in

Kiamba, Maitum, and Surallah in South Cotabato. As settlers from other Philippine
islands arrived, the Tboli gradually withdrew to the mountain slopes and lived in
scattered villages. Their cultural heartland lies in the highland lake complex: Sebu,
Selutan, and Lahit Lakes. Tboli, Blaan, and Tiruray belong to a single language group
and are distinct from the other languages of Mindanao.
Tboli employ slash-and-burn farming in planting corn, upland rice, vegetables,
and root crops. The bulk of their produce is for household consumption, but some of it is
used in bartering for other household necessities. They are famous for several things,
among them: (1) numerous crafts, such as the casting in brass of human and animal
figures, bells, and metal boxes; (2) elaborate traditional dresses, especially their
ceremonial and festival attire, which is made from tie-dyed woven abaca cloth called
tinalak; and (3) vivacious dances and music.

The Subanen are native to the Zamboanga Peninsula in the western part of the
large southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
They were originally found along the river banks or "suba" but now reside
primarily in the mountains because of continuous invasions of Muslim groups as well as
migrations of Cebuano speakers in the coastal areas of the Zamboanga Peninsula.
The groups that traditionally remained animist call themselves "Subanen", or
"Subanon" in the area closer to Zamboanga City. Other groups who are linguistically
members of the Subanen language subgroup but adopted Islam call themselves
"Kolibugan" in western areas and Kalibugan in the central area. Although claims are
often made that the Kolibugan/Kalibugan are ethnically mixed with Sama, Badjaw,
Tausug, or Maguindanaon, there is no evidence supporting this, and linguistically, the
languages of the Islamic members of the Subanen subgroup are virtually identical with
the language of the neighboring non-Islamic group, except that the Islamic groups have
a larger amount of Arabic vocabulary that refers to aspects of life that deal with religious
The Bagobo constitute one of the largest groups among the indigenous peoples of
southern Mindanao. They are composed of three (3) sub-groups, namely the
TAGABAWA, the CLATA or GUIANGAN and the UBO. Although they belong to one
socio-linguistic group, BAGOBO, they also differ in some ways, such as the dialects,
dance steps, costumes and their color preferences to mention a few. They are referred
to as ethnic because they are the people whose distinctive identity is rooted in history.
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From the beginning and up to the present, the Bagobo are the predominant inhabitants
of the vast areas extending from the west coast of Davao Gulf to the high reaches of
Davaos famous and significant mountain ranges of Mt. Apo or Apo Sandawa to the
tribal people.

Activity I
Direction: Encircle the letter of the correct answer.
1. What do you call the ethnic group inhabiting Lanao Del Sur and Lanao del Norte
in Mindanao which is called People of the Lake?
a. Tboli

b. Maranao

c. Subanen

d. Tausug

2. Which of the following is known to be the strong people of the Cordilleras?

a. Aeta

b. Ifugao

c. Kalinga

d. Igorot

3. Inhabiting the Batanes, a chain of small islands at the northernmost point of the
Philippines are the _________________.
a. Ivatan

b. Ifugao

c. Aeta

d. Igorot

Identification. Give what is being describe.

4. __________________

are widely known as the Sea Gypsies of the Sulu and

Celebes Seas, the Badjao are scattered along the coastal areas of Tawi Tawi,
Sulu, Basilan, and some coastal municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur in the

5. __________________

were included in the group of people termed Negrito

during Spanish colonial rule as Negritos.

B. Draw a graphic organizer to illustrate the tribal groups with their corresponding
distinct culture and traditions such as clothing, houses, religion and its lifestyle.

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