ABOUT ATOK

I. PRE-SPANISH PERIOD (1400-1892)

A. Settlers

1. The Ibalois

a. Pawigue

Based on the information gathered through and supplemented by the stories of the living elders of Atok, there once lived a couple by the name of Pawigue and his wife who came from the northernmost tip of Benguet. They were Kankanais. This couple migrated to Atok about the 1500’s following the slope of the mountainside until such time that they arrived in a place now Abiang and settled in Ili. Ili was a mountainous place but there was a plain portion surrounded with big trunks of pine woods. When Pawigue and his wife settled in Ili, nobody else lived in the place except two birds namely the Oles and Martinez. These birds became their neighbors. Every time THE Oles and the Martinez conversed with each other they spoke in Ibaloi. So when Pawigue and his wife begot children they learned how to speak Ibaloi too, because of constantly hearing the conversation between the two birds in Ibaloi. It was in Ili Abiang where the site of the Ibaloi cradle of civilization flourished in Atok. Up to this time, the remains of Pawigue and his wife are still there.

Pawigue and his wife together with their children would constitute the earliest group who settled in the place and can be considered the original people being the first to settle in the area.

b. Kasdan

The first group of migrants came from Kabayan. They passed through Adaoay, Nawal went down to Kiskis then settled in Kasdan, (Kasdan was the oldest settlement of the Ibalois), then people spread to both sides of the Amburayan river. The surrounding villages comprise now what we call Naguey. The group of migrants introduced the system of rice culture and the construction of the rice terraces in Naguey which were very similar to that of Kabayan.

It was the intrepid Kasdan who discovered a place of rolling hills and abundant water supply from the river which he thought would be good for building rice terraces. Returning to Kabayan after several days of hunting, he convinced some of his neighbors to go with him to a beautiful place in the west where there was plenty of “nagnakey.” “Nagnakey” was a kind of tall and scaly grass, hard to uproot which grew in all the watered side of the hills and along the creeks and springs. His neighbors awed by the stories related by Kasdan decided to go with him. They then gathered all their families and belongings and some animals and left their crowded domicile travelling for several days before reaching the place. From the typical grass, the people named the place “Nakey” a term which was hard to pronounce. After some time the name was changed to Naguey, a name which the place still carries.

It was estimated that the first group of migrants from Kabayan led by Kasdan settled in Naguey during the early part of the 1600’s. This marked the beginning of an important chapter in the history of Atok when rice culture was introduced from Kabayan by the Ibalois who were traditionally farmers.

c. Milo

In 1660 a man from Buguias named Milo and his hunting dog went down following the mountain slope to chase a wild pig. Because of the distance he traversed and the hot weather and his thirst, he fainted while he was in a certain valley now Naguey. His hunting dog immediately went to search for the source of water. The do climbed a mountain where there was a lake. He submerged his tail and immediately went back to where Milo was. The dog place his tail over the lips of Milo and water dripped into his mouth. After a moment, Milo regained consciousness.

Milo found a “baguey” at his lips and instructed his dog to accompany him to the lake. He went to the mountain with his dog to see the source of water. Milo found out that there was plenty of baguey in the surrounding area. He named this place “baguey.”

He appreciated the place and said to himself: “This is a good place fo constructing rice terraces, the lake will be useful for irrigating the rice fields.” He immediately went back to Buguias, summoned his wife, and returned to Baguey where they settled near the lake.

Milo and his wife began constructing the fields by digging the soil with the use of two wooden poles with sharp pointed ends. They carried the soil with the use of “sakudiang” which was made of woven bamboo splits with two handles at each side. The walls of the terraces were made of stone taken from the river banks expertly positioned one on top of the other to keep them from falling. The stones were kept in place by fitting them close together and pounding on each while being added. They hauled the soil to the terraced portion and later leveled the ground. The paddy was readied for planting rice. When Milo and his wife begot children, their children improved the rice fields making them into bigger rows and called it “chimango” because it was a unique type of field. They built it end to end and side to side from the creek.

The early settlers made Milo’s terraces through the “adoyun” or bayanihan way of accomplishing a project. Here they had the “kammal.” They butchered animals like dogs, goats, pigs or even cows depending on the number of persons who composed the manpower to complete the work. The host had to prepare enough gabi, camote and tapey. It took them about two or more days to finish a paddy or terraces the size of about one third of a hectare.

d. Danao

The third group of Ibaloi migrants came from Hongduan, Tinoc in the year 1690 headed by Danao, his wife Chalmia of Buguias and five other companions. They migrated from Hongduan by way of Buguias down to Pacso, Kabayan, Nawal, Adaoay going up to Bacwey, Atok where they settled. They moved out from their place of origin due to the fact that people in the early times especially in the adjacent town of Hongduan, Ifugao were thieves. They were stealing babies and bartending these in the neighboring town of Buguias for one pig or one head of cattle depending upon the size/age of the baby. As these grew up they were used as “bague.” Secondly, they wanted to escape from the exploitation of the “bosul.” Since Danao and his wife did not want to be involved in this trouble, they moved out and settled here in Atok.

Danao and his five companions were the first who constructed the rice terraces in Bacweg and the first to introduce the planting of the palay seeds known as Kintoman which was brought by them from Hongduan. They cultured it into new variety by replanting the seeds of Kintoman.

One time, his wife Chalmia went on vacation in Amlimay. On her return route, she arrived during high noon in Naguey, Topdac. She rested beside the brook. While resting she saw two snakes mating, she proceeded on her journey. From Naguey she climbed to Atok Central. On her way, about half way to Poblacion, she saw a bird upside down from the branch of trees singing “Tigwey.” She just kept these things she saw to herself. When she arrived at her place she consulted a “mammadto” regarding the things she saw on her way. The old woman blessed her saying: “The omens you saw on your way are signs of good luck. Your children will be blessed. When they talk they will be respected by the people and they will be compassionate to their fellowmen.”

These omens which were interpreted by the seer became true. Most of the descendants of Danao and Chalmia got educated and occupied high positions in the government services.

 

2. The Kalangoyas

a. Calpo

       Calpo of Hongduan came in 1730. He was a Kalangoya. He migrated by way of Buguias down to Pacso then settled in Kabayan as a trader of pots, copper tools and utensils. He married in Kabayan a daughter of a “talao” from the “Culuz ni Chanum” named Manching. They begot one child and named him Gukey. But later on Calpo left her because she was so lazy. She did not help her husband work in the kaingin. He moved out of Kabayan passing through Nawal, Adaoay going up to Batan, to Botiao then settled in Lito-an where he married Mediao one of the prominent settlers of Lito-an. Then the couple moved to Topdac where Calpo introduced the planting and milling of sugar cane. This was the first time sugar cane and milling was ever introduced in Lito-an.

       Beside the sugar cane plantation was a brook where during night time the “talao” used to bathe. At night time, the old folks always heard noisy sounds of the brook like “Toplac! Toplac!” So they named the place Toplac from the sound heard from the brook. Later the name was changed to Topdac.

       Other Kalangoya migrants were Dacbongan whose grandfather, Kofab came from Buguias; Aventew whose grandfather was Ulangdis of Hongduan, Tinoc and Gilod from Buguias. All of these came to Atok in the early 1700’s.

b. Dacbongan

       Korab was born in Buguias in the 16th century. He migrated from Buguias to Pacso then settled in Kabayan as a hunter. Here he married a woman from this place and begot two daughters. His daughters were: Mediao who married Tabingan of Kabayan and her sister Comajes I who married Saguid of Ambroce, Kabayan. They were engaged in piggery and tended a small kaingin. There were no more wild pigs in the place so he again moved to Nawal, Batan then to Lobo. Finally, he settled in Sagpat, Kibungan as a hunter. Then, he moved to Naguey where he settled permanently until he died.

       Comajes I and Saguid had an only son, Dacbongan II who married Ubang of Abiang. Dacbongan II and Ubang had five children namely: Baleg, Chija, Felisa, Calsia and Mocmoc. Calsia married Sayong of Kapangan and Mocmoc married Bagsay of Abiang. All were involved in kaingin and piggery. Mocmoc and Bagsay had three daughters, Tongkok who was married to Sanchang of Abiang; Bayay who was married to Abat and later to Benteras of Naguey; and Sadag who was married to Angang-dia of Naguey. They had an only son Anumo of Swanching pool who married Gatipa of Pasdong. All were engaged in rice fields, piggery and panning gold.

       Anuma first saw his wife Gatipa during one of the caňaos held in “chontog” (Atok Central). While he was standing at the caňao he saw a woman dancing and he admired her beauty and fell in love with her. He asked the old folks at that caňao where this woman came from and was told that she came from Pasdong. Ten days after the caňao he went to Lito-an with some companions to propose marriage to Gatipa. But Gatipa didn’t like him to become her husband so he forced her and brought her down to Atok Central. It was in Atok Central where they held their wedding butchering two pigs.

       He performed the first biggest peshit in Chontog by butchering 25 pigs. While celebrating this caňao, strong winds blew and made the rice container which was full of meat fly around the place where the caňao was being held. The people were surprised because the meat inside the rice container did not fall. The “mambunong” of Chontog told the couple, Anuma and Gatipa that this happening presaged luck and wealth saying, “When you begot children, they will be among the leaders someday. They will be respected by the people. Wherever they may be, they will be blessed and have prosperous lives.”

c. Aventew

       Aventew is a grandson of Ulangdis. Ulangdis was born in Hongduan, Tinoc. When he grew up, he moved to Palatang, Buguias where he got married and begot eight children, all males. He settled here and worked on a small piece of kaingin just enough to grow food for them. He also had a piggery containing five pigs. The people in Palatang suspected him to be a witch. This was because he was the only one who did not perform a peshit. In Buguias there was a certain practice that existed in he 1700’s that once you are given meat from a caňao, you ought to reciprocate by also performing a peshit or caňao. Because he did not reciprocate, the people forced his family to go out from the place. He and his family including his five pigs moved out from Palatang by walking. While on their way, they met a strong typhoon. It was fortunate that there was a cave (informant does not know exact location and name) where they stayed for almost three days and two nights. The following morning after the typhoon, Ulangdis prepared their things to leave the place and continue their journey but he noticed that his children were not around so he knew that they went to see the surrounding place. He waited for them. When his children returned to the cave, one of his sons was holding a pine tree with eight roots. These roots were straight and none of these was cut off. Ulangdis told his sons to wait for him. He said, “I will go back to Palatang to show what you have found to a “mammadto.” In Palatang, the seer interpreted this saying. “Mapting eyay ay palting ni Kabunian sun sigayo ay sangka ama-an ta eyay ay mapalad kayo, maditing kayo, et uray toway yo daodawan, lalo suta anak mo, mapalad ira, et embaknang ira, et sigara pay e sakey ay mangipangulo ni ili, kamon no man asil ira kabaen ta respetaren ni to-o sigara.”

       (Interpretation: this signifies that your children and your children’s children wherever they may be will become leaders and that whenever they speak they will be respected by the people. They will be blessed and become prosperous.)

       Ulangdis returned to the place where he left his children. They proceeded walking until such time that they reached a placed called “Poul” which is now known as Tuel, Tublay. They stopped at one of the houses there owned by an old couple. The old couple welcomed them into their house and asked Ulangdis why they left their town. Ulangdis explained why and the couple pitied them and so they offered an unoccupied piece of land for the family to stay on the condition that when the piglets of Ulangdis would become big, the latter would give one to them in payment for the lot that they would occupy. Ulangdis accepted the offer. They made a small house out of cogon and then cleared kaingin for them to plant on. They also continued raising the five pigs. Many years passed and Ulangdis planned to return home to Buguias because the people had changed, becoming more peaceful. His sons by this time were already full grown adults. So they left for Buguias but the children went away again to seek greener pastures. Malaomao and Belka went to Sanil, Tucucan to hunt; Mantac went to Lob-ong to trade woven blankets; Patyag went to Kabayan to hunt; Capsula in Nueva Vizcaya to trade woven blankets; Odan and Ketongan married in Buguias and engaged in agricultural farming and Baglao married Lugyay of Buguias.

       Baglao, known as a hunter, went down to hunt wild deer in a certain place now called Abiang. On one occasion, he met a woman from this place and fell in love with her. They got married in spite of the fact that he was already married in Buguias. He settled here for some time. He traded g-strings, woven blankets and tapis in Kapangan where he heard of the story about the “balatac”, a rattle snake which killed many natives in Cuba, Kapangan. Immediately upon hearing this news, he went to ask help from a certain man named Milo in Naguey. Milo performed ”sagaosao,” where they butchered one chicken and the omen was good. They cut “saleng” wood into pieces about five inches long and threw these into the river. Milo made a prayer that the “saleng” wood would stop at wherever the “balatac” lived. While on their way to Kapangan they performed the last of the “sagaosao.” The omen gotten from the chicken they butchered was good and foresaw the snake to be asleep. They arrived in Cuba where the snake was hiding. They prepared three cast vats and started to burn the “saleng” wood. When the wood was already burning, the “balatec” cracked the two cast vats into pieces. The “balatac” died due to the spiritual power of Milo. Later the people of Cuba, Kapangan made a mutual agreement to give five “daguey.” Inside these daguey was a rope for any animal as a compensation for killing the “balatac”. But only two “daguey” were actually given. In consideration for killing the “balatac”, they made a peace pact between the Cuba and Atok people by “kaising.” Baglao went back to his family in Buguias and since that time there was no longer any information known about him

       Baglao had two sons: Aventew who was married to Chakadey of Abiang and Pusnayan who went to La Trinidad.

       Aventew had four children: Golap married in Abiang; Chayao in Buguias for his first wife and in Abiang for his second and third wives. Lagya married in Beckel and Divo-o married Tiyap of Abiang. All of his children were engaged in kaingin, pig raising and cattle raising.

       Divo-o was born in Topdac. He had two hectares of sugar plantation. In 1870, he buil a small house made of cogon for sugar mills. He made molasses out of this sugar and bartered the product with cows in La Union. He walked through Sapgangao to Tublay, then to Curus, La Trinidad to Baguio, then to La Union which took him and his four companions four days. He used the whole mountain of Calabo about 24 hectares of pasture lands because then in 1869, all the land in Atok was not owned by anybody. It was free for anyone to settle in.

       He also worked as an ironsmith. He collected destroyed cast iron from the different towns and made bolos, pots and other things which he bartered with gongs and jars from Chinese traders.

d. Gilod

       Gilod was born in Buguias. He was a hunter. He later moved to Bagtangan, Bakun because he wanted to improve his economic status. Later, he migrated from Bagtangan to Tagpaya going down to Nanginted, Botyao to search for gold but there was no native mining in this area. He moved further going up to Bokkeg where he settled and got married. He made use of the land for kaingin and piggery.

       He performed peshit of nine pigs. Gilod had eight children: Tolley and Intan, went to Anchokey, Kabayan with their families; Carias and Cahey lived in Tabeyo, Tublay with their families; Licyag married Alam-am of Bitak, Adoyunan; Dayong married Benglay of Abiang and Uclupan married Ukian of Eting, Adoyunan. All were engaged in kaingin and piggery.

 

IV. THE JAPANESE PERIOD (1941 – 1945)

In 1935, when Paoay was not yet a popular area, an American named Mr. Harold from Camp John Hay established a sawmill in Km. 47, Namegpuegan, Bongdo where he employed two Japanese civilians named Mr. Sato and Mr. Tomita assigning them as managers of his sawmill. These two Japanese civilians befriended the natives of the area, employing them as laborers in the sawmill. The people never suspected that the two Japanese men were gathering information about their place, for the two were spies of the Japanese Imperial Army.

When the natives learned of the coming war, the government started to recruit people to join the military units. All males aged eighteen above, regardless of height were conscripted. They were trained in Sagubo, Kapangan for six months by Capt. Bado Dangwa and Major Denise Molintas. The women were recruited to be cargadores of foodstuff for the guerillas.

A. Arrival of the Japanese Imperial Army

In January 1941, the first Japanese Imperial Army contingent arrived in the area. It was one battalion composed of thirty soldiers. They came from Baguio City passing via the Halsema Mountain Highway. They came to Sayangan by foot. In 1940, before the Japanese Army arrived in Baguio, there were three US army men from Camp John Hay who upon hearing the news that the Japanese were in Manila immediately took action in destroying the Halsema Mountian Highway. They started bombing the road from La Trinidad towards the north in Bontoc with the use of dynamite purposely so that the Japanese invaders will be deterred from entering the sub-provinces of the Mountain Provinces and the surrounding areas, because the conditions of Halsema Mountain Highway was rendered impassable. The Japanese Tankers and weapons carriers cannot pass the road. They must have to hike by foot.

When this Japanese battalion arrived in Sayangan, nobody of the natives residing specially along the highway was around. All of the natives left their places of domicile, since 1940 upon hearing the news that the Japanese were in Manila. They evacuated into the mountains because of fear for the Japanese soldiers.

This Japanese battalion established their garrison in Sayangan. They patrolled around Paoay where they shot three cows owned by Mrs. Susie vda. de Haight. for their food.

One Japanese soldier, who was patrolling around Km.49 near Sayangan, while walking along the road saw a woman washing camote in the creek, because he was so inhuman, he raped the woman but later, luckily set her free.

Among the evacuees were not only natives but also Chinese from the place as well as from places outside Atok. The Japanese High Command decreed that they should voluntarily surrender themselves to the Japanese authorities in Trinidad. As soon as they surrendered themselves to the Japanese authorities in Trinidad, as soon as they surrendered, they were forced to render services for the repair of the Halsema Mountain Highway.

The Japanese Imperial Army built another garrison extension in Sapiangao, km.26 with six soldiers, km.35 with six soldiers and a cannon, and made Sayangan as their headquarters with thirty soldiers and two machineguns.

Aside from these there was a highway patrol group along the Halsema Mountain Highway coming from Baguio City.

At the same year the Japanese High Command declared that all civilians who were hiding in the mountains must have to present themselves to the Japaneses Army whose main headquarters was in Sayangan. Anybody who did not comply with the order was shot to death. So the natives of the area, fearing to be killed presented themselves to the Japaneses officers. The Japanese forced them to work the road connecting Balangbang to Km. 35 to Km. 30.

They were paid P1.00 and provided with one small can of rice per day. Later on, when the people were settled, they resumed their daily activities and worked their kaingin. This was the time when there was abundant harvest of plants grown due to the Japanese order to grow plants for food. This was done so as to have constant supply of food for the Japanese. It was from 1942 until 1943 when Atok was relatively peaceful. All the civilians were free to move out to secure their food supplies.

B. Japanese Occupation

The Japanese Imperial Army took over the government on March 1 1943. They established their Japanese Puppet Government with the natives of the town as the officials but under the supervision of the Japanese High Command. Their chief municipal officials were the municipal mayor, the vice-mayor, the treasurer and the councilors.

The Japanese Imperial Army imposed a dictatorial government in which all the rights and freedom of the natives were disregarded. No election was held thereby the right to choose their officials was deprived.

The Japanese officials appointed Mr. Alfredo Bayas as the mayor of the town. There were three vice-mayors who served during the Japanese occupation. The first one, Piso, Alipio served for one year after which he was a member of the guerilla forces. Victorino Boliney took over for about six months. A native of Atok Central divulged the information that he was a member of the guerilla forces. So he was hanged publicly in the Atok Central plaza for all the people to see and to serve as a warning for all who were supportive to the guerilla movement. Mateo Sison took over until the end of the Japanese period.

1. Japanese Laws and Administration

a. The Japanese enforced the natives of the town to be members of the KALIBAPI wherein every individual had a nameplate for identification, Below the nameplate was a small Japanese flag placed at the right side of the jacket.

b. Each person must be a member of the neighborhood association where the natives were expected to be informers about guerilla movements. Anybody fount to be anti-Japanese was punished severely or tortured or brutally killed. Sometimes people who were found guilty were hanged or given no food for a number of days or even a month. Another torture method was forcing the person to drink a gallon of water or even more.

c. Enforcement of Green Revolution. People were forced to plant. They planted mostly camote because there was a lack of seeds of plants that used to be planted during the American time.

d. Enforcement of discipline. Every native of the town ought to bow to any Japanese soldier and specially officials when meeting them. Anyone who did not bow to the Japanese soldiers was slapped twice on their faces.

The mayor appointed shouldered various expenses made for the entertainment of the Japanese Imperial Forces who patrolled around the town. It was charged against his personal expenses.

C. Guerilla Activities

In 1942, Mr. Bado Dangwa and Denise Molintas organized their first guerilla movement which were the M, I, L, K, companies. The L Company operated mainly in Atok and some parts of Kapangan. The outpost commanders were Capt. Felipe Tiotio, Lt. Alfredo Alumno, Lt. Mateo Balao, Lt. Bayod, Sgt. Greg orio Kismod. Corporal Jacinto with sixty-four soldiers all in all under their command.

It was in 1943, when the natives of Atok organized themselves into “bolomen” composed of untrained but brave and courageous civilians. Their task is to safeguard the native evacuees. They were the ones who relayed messages to the guerillas. They built their outpost in Paoay with Mr. Awadi Backian as commander with thirty men, Mr. Tero Balao of Salat with thiry men and Mr. Pagal in Abiang with thirty men also.

D. Economic Conditions

Some of the natives resumed their daily activities like planting camote in their kaingin and those who still had some more potato seeds planted these. But products must be sold to anyone but to the Japanese Imperial Army alone and at a very low price. A kilo of potatoes was bought at P0.15 centavos while in Baguio it was sold for P0.50 centavos. Any of the natives who were found selling their products in Baguio were hanged for a number of days and given no food.

All the industries that flourished during the American period deteriorated under the Japanese period. The logging firm of Mr. Harold and the Molteo’s were burned. Cattle raising declined with the cows consumed by the Japanese Imperial army as well as the guerillas. Houses were burned like the Hotel owned by the Haight’s. All their animals were shot by the Japanese and eaten. All of these led to the economic dislocation of the people. When the war was over all the inhabitants of the area faced this major problem.

E. Social Cultural Conditions

All schools in Atok were closed and religion was prohibited. During the reign of the Japanese there was relative peace. Nobody was stealing and people became industrious due to their fear for the Japanese soldiers. They were threatened that if anybody was found stealing he was to be punished by cutting off his hands or beheading in the public plaza. There were no cañaos celebrated during the Japanese occupation. Some words were taught by the Japanese to the natives. “Ohayo”. “Konichiwa”, “Kumbawa” were taught to greet the soldiers.

F. Liberation

The beginning of the Liberation was in 1944, when the American soldiers returned back to the Philippines. The Japanese Imperial army retreated following the Halsema Mountain Highway. It was during this time that the guerilla forces helped to fight the enemies.

The first battle fought in Atok was in Km.47, Bongdo where the “bolomen” headed by Lt. Bayod one of the guerilla soldiers awaited the retreating forces of the Japanese coming from Baguio. This battle lasted for an hour. The “bolomen” retreated from the enemies for lack of ammunition aside from the fact that they were not trained in the techniques of operating and holding guns.

On March 1944, there were three Japanese soldiers, who escaped in Salat, Paoay. But luckily, they were seen by the “bolomen”. They killed two of them. But the other one fought one of the “bolomen”. The “boloman” was shot at his penis because he was not able to hoot first. Although he was holding a gun, he did not know how to operate it.

It was in the year 1944, that many unwholesome and evil things occurred. A woman who was working in the Kaingin was raped by three Japanese soldiers patrolling the area, after which they ate her flesh. Likewise also in Abiang they killed one “boloman” by the name of Pagal and ate his flesh. These things the retreating forces were able to do because there was extreme hunger for there was no more food to eat. They were also hemmed in already.

The last battle that was fought was in Km. 24, Caliking where there was a lot of casualties on the part of the Japanese. It was where the Japanese Imperial Army built their hide out. The first who fought with the Japanese stationed here were the 21st Infantry. All of them were wounded. Then it was taken over the 32nd Infantry division composed of American soldiers. But many of them were killed and most were wounded. They retreated and the British soldiers took over. Many Japanese soldiers were killed and they were the ones who retreated this time from the British army. This battle lasted for a month.

The last American forces who stayed and built their garrison in Sayangan and Bongdo were the engineering corps. They had fifty tankers and seventy weapon carriers and jeeps. They stayed in Sayangna up to 1946 clearing all the roads and all the ravages of war.

In 1935, there were epidemics in Atok. Dysentery, influenza and high fever plagued the people. There were many people who died due to lack of medicine. Some medicine were given by the government but was not enough to supply the whole population.

G. The early Post – Liberation

 

Agriculture

The reestablishment of the Philippine Commonwealth government was in 1946. The natives of the town elected Felipe Tiotio as the mayor of the town.

The BFI and German experts have found that the most productive way of planting potato is the single row planting method. With this method yield can go up to as much as 50 tons per hectares. This is the newest technique in planting and propagating potatoes.

The experts recommend that farmers should plant un-cut potato tubers for this will minimize transmission of a viral disease and facilitate the production of uniform sized tubers come harvest time which comes four months later. This method of planting will also make easier for farmers to cultivate and weed the fields because the seeds are planted 30 centimeters apart.

The major cropping which are now grown in the area are potatoes, cabbages, carrots and sweet peas, In Paoay alone there are about 70 farmers, some of which are harvesting 3 times while others even four times a year.

The channel of distribution of crop production is mostly in Baguio by the retailers, who owned stores, at a reasonable price but some retailers who buy double their gain. Many of the buyers come from Manila and other provinces like Pangasinan, Pampanga and others. They buy vegetables specially those coming from the Mountain trails.

The major cost of growing vegetables depends upon the extent of the site of operation. One hectare of potatoes ha an average input cost of P18, 000.00 to P24, 000.00. this amount is divided into the purchase of the following items:

1 truck of chicken manure costing P2,100.00; 15 bags of fertilizers costing P82.00 each; and 1 cartoon of chemicals, the “mazate”, P52.00. One box of chemicals last only for a month. The laborers are paid P150.00 monthly.

The production output of one hectare of potatoes is 15 tons. The salable would be 12 tons. For cabbages, one hectare produces 10,000 kilos, and a hectare planted of carrots yields 120 bags.

Large scale vegetable farmers are those who own 4-6 hectares of land. The following are large scale farmers:

1. Edward Celo

2. Mayor John Haight

3. Edward Puy-as

4. Bo. Capt. Colantes Basbas

5. Prudencio Bay-an

6. Noel Sagpatan

7. Andrew Salawad

8. Fausto Depayso

9. Tero Balao

Middle scales are farms which are 2 or 3 hectares in diameter.

 

The credit facilitates where farmers can loan are the Rural Bank, Development Bank and Phil. National Bank. These bans give out loans when the farmers have completed the ff. requirements:

a. Copy of certification title

b. Copy of tax declaration

c. Copy of deed of sale, deed of transfer, deed of donations and supporting documents.

d. Sketch of the lot.

e. Sketch of non-delinquency or receipt covering tax payments for the current year.

f. Affidavit of adjoining owners of the land stating among other things, that the owners had continuously been in possession of the land for 5 years or more. (This is true to tax declarations only).

g. Affidavit of non-tenancy (non-residential).

h. Certificate of Ministry of Agrarian Reform (for properties classified as non-residential).

i. Individual income tax returns.

These are the standardized requirements to any farmer wanting to obtain loan from the bank. If the farmer applied for a loan of about P50, 000.00, the bank will designate an appraiser to go and see the kind and the assessed value of the property. This is done in order to assure the bank that the loan the farmer is borrowing is legitimate or not. If the land only values at P20, 000.00, then the bank will also give the corresponding amount. Loans are payable in one year with a 12% interest/P100.00.

In Atok there was some organization which was established to help the farmers to get their finance like the Credit Union which was founded by Father Bernard Ged-eng and Pastor Dulnuan in January 1970. The farmers loan an average of P2, 000.00 to P3, 000.00 payable within six months. The only needed requirements were collaterals. But after three years operation, it went bankrupt due to some farmers who availed of the facilities but who did not pay their loans. Operation was turned over to the Sayangan Cooperation store which is managed by the same person but under different condition. It also extended credit facilities to the farmers but only to those who trace a share in the cooperative store.

Recently in October 1979, the Rural Bank of Atok was established managed by Mr. Carlos Buasen. This rural bank was organized by Mr. Orlando Smith, Johnny Uy and Mr. Jovito Antonio who have significant capital shares in the Bank. This bank also gives loans to farmers.

 

Major Problems of Farmers in Paoay Today and the Proposed Solutions

1. Marketing

a. There must be the establishment of marketing facilities and the installation of storage facilities;

b. The farmers must have to determine the area and volume of vegetable production. Hence, the demand and supply of vegetables production. Hence, the demand and supply of vegetables must have to be met.

c. The provisions of market information to farmers and traders. In Atok they have the MAC in which they have a two way radio to disseminate the prevailing prices of vegetables.

d. Implementation of specific marketing strategies. Like in the establishment of marketing contracts between producers and traders; Identification of institutional outlets; Diversification of market outlets; Improvements of marketing service and facilities.

2. Financing

a. Loans granted have not paid and farmers borrowers penalized by banks due to non-payment because of calamities like typhoon, frosts, hailstorm, monsoon rains and drought and extremely low prices due to inefficient marketing system and un-programmed planting.

With regard to past due to loan, President Marcos has given the restructuring program to loan farmers to pay their debt in the bank without any punishment or interest of the money borrowed.

b. Non-bankability of most farm areas.

c. Banks require too many paper requirements.

d. Rural and commercial bank loans given are not enough to buy required inputs.

e. Vegetable farming, being a high risk venture, the term of loans given by bank is considered short.

f. Misuse of loans funds and untimely release of loan proceeds.

g. Age old dependence of farmers on traders as source of financing.

h. Many farmers are heavily indebted to banks, traders as their source of credit. This is one of the biggest problems of some farmers are indebted to traders. Because of this they could not look for other buyers unless they have totally paid their debts.

The farmers get indebted because some traders advance the money that they need to buy the fertilizer, chemicals and other inputs. In return, these farmers must use their products to pay the traders and hence, instead of getting more profit they don’t.

Many farmers get into this situation because they still have unpaid loans from banks such as PNB, DPI and RB. They could no longer borrow money from these banks and had to borrow from traders and users.

Some traders only pay half of the amount due to farmers. When they buy the product, the other Hals is retained by them to ensure them that the farmers will supply them regularly with vegetables.

3. Lack of seeds to plant specially potatoes.

In Atok there is an ongoing program in which a farmer can borrow from the Bureau of Plant Industry 500 kilos of potato – seeds for planting on a hectare of land. After harvest, the farmers give back the 500 kilos that they borrowed and the rest will be sold to the BPI for P3.00 Per kilo.

Informants:

Mr. Hilario Dangayo – Officer-In-Charge, MAC

Mr. Edward Celo – Pres. Benguet/Mt. Province Seed Growers