A. GENEALOGICAL DATA
1. Mythical Origin
The legendary origin of the indigenous people of Buguias began with a creation folktale. Kabunyan, the Almighty God,brought into existence the first couple, Bangan and Bugan, after the great flood. The couple lived in Mount Kalawitan, the highest mountain north of Benguet. From the mountain, the couple’s descendants came down. Some followed the Chico River downstream and settled in the northwest, at Gonogon and Bontoc. Others made their way south to Ahin, Tococan, Ambanglo, Tinoc, Awa, Palatang, Baugan, Amlimay, Man-atong, Bogey-yas, Tanggawan, Labay, Amgaleyguey, and Togtogyon (Loo) while still others went farther south to Embusey, Batan, Kabayan, and Bokod. The rest went westward to Mankayan, Bakun, and Kibungan, and from thence to Kapangan.
Other folktales are appended as Annex III-A of this chapter. The tales included the legend of Tugtugaka, a Nabalicong warrior, and Cuyapon, a beautiful fairy, who fell in love with each other and had begotten Anno. Anno’s generation flourished and peopled many villages far and wide from Benguet to Ifugao and Vizcaya. The Agno River was named after him. Another tale involved Gatan who came to earth as the representative of Lumawig (God) in order to teach, lead and protect humans. The other folktales related to “Biyew,” the source of all prayers; and the origin of mountains, lowlands, earthquakes and lightning, the story Samiklay, The first Rice in Loo Valley, The antique Jar of Buguias, The Bellian Dance, and The famous Tiking Agindang. The Annex included descriptions of rituals involved in the “Family Life Cycle” and “Death.”
2. Oral Traditions: Origin of Settlers
Oral tradition stated that the first settlers that peopled Buguias were descendants of Talgen who lived in Ambanglo, east of Bot-oan, in the 13th century. Talgen had eight (8) sons who all left in search of greener pastures. Odan, the eldest, went to Hapaw (now in Kiangan, Ifugao). The second son, Baglaw, a hunter and trader, roamed around the place and finally settled in Mangkew, at the southern part of Buguias. Mantac the third son traveled all the way to Lubon (now in Tadian, Mountain Province). Kitongan the fourth son went to Tad-ew and farmed at the mountain now known as Mount Kitongan, above Loo Valley; the fifth son, Malawmaw, settled at Sanil (Tococan). The trader Belka, sixth in the line, migrated to Bauko (now in Mountain Province) while Padyog, the seventh brother settled at Embusey (now Lutak). Capsola, the youngest, went to Benalian (now in Nueva Vizcaya).
Baglaw, Kitongan, Malawmaw and their descendants, thus, were the earliest known ancestors of the natives of the municipality. In the later part of the century, some of them gathered and settled at Patlatang and Baugan at the northern part of Buguias, where they raised vegetables and domesticated animals. They also cooked asin (salt), which they bartered in other places. They worshipped Kabunyan as God and Creator, and performed the sida (or cañao), caon (wedding), pidet/pudan and other festive rituals to invoke his blessings and graces. Among the present descendants of Kitongan are Posnget Dayawen and Pio Toyaoan of Loo.
Another oral account had it that the Buguias forebears were the early pagan Malay settlers in the Philippines who landed in the Lingayen Gulf, Pangasinan, but were driven into the hinterlands by the second wave of Malay settlers with superior arms. The people moved upward from Lingayen, following the Agno River towards the mountains and reached a place good for hunting and raising animals and crops; there, they established their abode. Others moved on to Tinoc, Ahin, Hungduan, Hapao and other parts of Ifugao – only to come back at the start of the 15th century.
There is an “unwritten” genealogy that most settlers in Buguias traced their roots to Ifugao Province. There was once a couple named Lumawig and Bangan who resided in the eastern part of the mountains that is now Ifugao. Their descendants were hunters who came to Buguias. They were Taak, Tuwaok, Agmaliw, Dagol, Balaigan and Mayengmeng, who by intermarriage became the early settlers of Buguias particularly at Gueoeng, Amlimay, Sebang, Poblacion and Loo. (It is noted that the names of these first settlers are still used by the present generation of Buguias). As they grew in number, others migrated to other places of Benguet because of a leprosy epidemic (“bulutong”). Another cause of migration was the “bongkilaw” a strange sound (like a funeral hymn) at night, which caused fear among the settlers.
If there are many Kankana-ey speaking tribes outside Buguias (i.e., in Benguet), they were believed to be blood relations who left Buguias, particularly tracing their roots in Amlimay. On the other hand, though the Kankanaeys originally peopled Buguias, social contact, migration, and trade have transformed the Buguias into a melting pot of ethnicities, languages, and customs.
In his book, “History of Buguias” (1979), Pedro Bestre stated that generally, the Indigenous People of Buguias are Kankanaey speaking. Nonetheless, the residents came from three (3) major culture groups. The Kalanguya speaking people dominate the barrios of Catlobong and Amlimay. On the other hand, the Ibalois inhabited Kabuguiasan. The Kankanaeys peopled the rest of the barrios: Baculongan, Calamagan, Abatan, Bangao, Loo, Buyacaoan, Amgaleyguey and Natubleng. A fourth culture group, although less significant and pronounced as the major groups, can be found in the heart of the municipality – Poblacion – where the dialect known as Mandec–ey predominates. This dialect carries the combination of the three major dialects, hence the residents of Poblacion can understand and can even speak any of the three other languages.
In 1978, of the total population of Buguias was 17,068, about 75% are Kankanaey, 15% Kalanguya and some 10% Ibaloi. Geographically, Kalanguya dialect is situated in the eastern part of the municipality, in the south is Ibaloi, while Kankanaey is North West and North east near eastern part of Mt. Province.
B. SOCIO-POLITICAL, CULTURAL-RELIGIOUS, AND ECONOMIC HISTORY
C. SOCIO-ECONOMIC HISTORY
D. LAND USE & MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
E. LAND OWNERSHIP SYSTEM
F. FORESTANDWATERSHED MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION
G. MARINE & WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION
H. MINERAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION [Click to Read]
I. INDIGENOUS HEALTH PRACTICES
Ailment is one great concern of the early Buguias people and they resorted to what the forest could offer and what they could raise. Buguias forest produces many edible and medicinal products such as: Degway, Lusong, ayyosip, bissolak, uyok, betnek, lalateng, Edible fungi, Lumsek, (used to kill flea, adalan, buo, gato, kombab, tablew, tameyyan) Wild animals, honey bees wild fowl, etc.
Some indigenous health care practices were dismissed to be without therapeutic effects, others are scientifically proven to have curative effects. The Table provides a list of herbal plants, used as folk ailment remedies handed from generation to generation.
Existing Herbal Plants
A: BUGUIAS FOLKLORE AND RITUALS
Few now practice these otherwise elaborate and expensive rituals. Factors such as the entry of Christianity, education, practicality, etc. have contributed in its disappearance. Others, who still cling to their animistic traditions have adopted Christian burial but perform rituals selected from the above-mentioned rituals.
List of Buguias Executive Officers, 1900 – 2005
Source: Souveneir programs of Buguias town fiesta compiled by Former Mayor Pio Toyaoan and Interviews with Mr. Emilio Palbusa, active researcher for Family Trees of Buguias; Former Mayor Pio Toyaoan, Former Councilor and IP leader Ramon Igualdo, COMELEC – CAR Regional Director – Atty. Armando Velasco.
C – Summary Socio-Political Histories of the Barangays
Abatan was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 4695 dated June 18, 1966. Today, Abatan is considered as the urban center of the municipality. Abatan started out as a stopover in on the crossroads of the Halsema Road (Baguio-Bontoc Road) and the Abatan-Mankayan-Cervantes-Tagudin Road and Abatan-Buguias-Kabayan-Gurel Road. The area surrounding the stopover was a rich hunting ground for folks of Loo and Guinaoang village. It became an important adjunct with the physical integration of the Cordillera Province into the American Colonial Government. Traders would pass through Abatan to reach the gold mines of Suyoc and Lepanto or to the vegetable bowl of Loo. Local history has it that Abatna’s first inhabitant was Galap Almora who in 1930, had a store where travelers stayed, ate and rested before continuing on their journeys.
Amgaleyguey was created under Republic Act No. 4695 on June 18, 1966. Amgaleyguey got its name from the word “Nagaleygaleygey”. This is justified by too many creeks bisected the area in a parallel formation flowing to the Agno River. The place was one of the six settlements comprising the barrio of Lut-ac. It became a separate barangay appended to the municipality of Buguias when Lut-ac was annexed into Pacso of the Municipality of Kabayan. It also covered the settlement of Natubleng before Natubleng became a separate barangay in 1971.
According to historical accounts of Buguias elders, the place Amlimay was originally called Sayyatan. This is a village on top of a high mountain along the trail at the most southern end of the town. Later during the American Regime, the name Say-yatan was changed to Amlimay in honor of the most influential headman and original family of the barrio. Amlimay is located at the southernmost barangay of Buguias, adjacent to the Municipality of Kabayan, Benguet. It is said to be the first settlement of the ancestors of Benguet people, hence, its moniker as “Home of the Forefathers” of Benguet. The alleged proof of this claim consists of the barangay’s ownership of a jar named “Tokotok”, a rare and antique artifact that was reputed to accommodate around one cavan of rice meant for fermentation into wine.
4. Baculongan Norte
Baculongan is one of the oldest barangays of Buguias created on June 18, 1966 under RA 4695 during the incumbency of Hon. Mayor Gavino Bay-an. In 1983, Baculongan was divided into Baculongan Norte and Baculongan Sur by virtue of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 711. Baculongan came from the word “Colongan”, meaning pigpen, a fence place where domesticated pigs were kept to protect from pest and from roaming around. It became “Baculongan” when the American survey team headed by Benzon referred to the place as such in 1907. Baculongan at that time had the highest number of registered voters and functioned as a courting ground of politicians aspiring for public office.
Bangao was created under Republic Act. No. 4695 dated June 18, 1966. It is located at the Northern part of the municipality where the legendary well “Cotcot Aso” is located. In the early days, Bangao was called “Elengan”, which means resting place. It was in 1950’s when a primary school was established in the area that the name “Bangao” was adopted. The new name was derived from the word “nabngao”, which means empty rice hall since the place was once known for its rice crop.
Buyacaoan was created under RA 4695 dated June 18, 1966. It is located at the western part of Buguias. Buyacaoan formerly a part of Loo District Municipality during the American Regime. Buyacaoan derived its name from the original family settlers who live in the domain, its original term “nakeyawan” meaning not fully cooked.
Calamagan derived its name from the local word “Kalamag Ka”, means walk to the other side. Dubbed as a “barangay within a barangay”, calamagan is created before the creation of Barangay Lengaoan and Barangay Sebang. It was carved out from barangay Bangao. It shares boundaries with Bangao and is accessible thru Bangao from the Halsema Road. It is the smallest barangay in terms of land area and population resources. Calamagan is home to mainly Kankanaeys engaged in vegetable farming as their primary occupation.
Barangay Catlubong was a consolidated part of Baculongan and Poblacion which was created as a barangay in 1969 by virtue of RA 3590. The first settlers speak Kalanguya and Kankanaey who originated from Lusod, Kabayan and Tinoc, Ifugao. Catlubong derived its name from the vernacular “Ketlabong”, a bamboo-like species of grass that once thrive in a small lake that once existed in sitio Lebeng.
The community is known for its promising vegetable industry. Potatoes, cabbages, and carrots are the major crops grown and produced. Moreover, locally grown medicinal plants such as “gipas” are found under the thick oak trees. Residents also practice “ikik” (bird catching) particularly at Mt. Natoo to supplement their protein requirements.
Barangay Lengaoan was formerly a part of Barangay Amgaleyguey. Lengaoan was created into a barangay under Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 919 and Ordinance No. 14 approved on October 21, 1991 and ratified by the residents on January 26, 1992. Barangay Lengaoan got its name from the vernacular “Lengaw” which mean evaporation from the earth’s surface particularly in the morning when sun rises. In this particular place too much “lengaw” is being seen every morning when the sun rises and so from that time on, the people called the place Lengawan, but spelled as Lengaoan.
Loo was formerly one (1) of the original nineteen (19) township of Benguet. It was, however, later merged with Buguias, which became a regular municipality only during the post war period with the passage of RA 4695 on June 18, 1966, Loo became a barangay. Loo derived its name from a person named “Lo-o” who lived in the heart of the place. Loo is well known as “LOO VALLEY”. The place now is becoming the educational center of the North of Benguet. This is justified by the presence of the Benguet State University – Buguias Campus, Buguias National High School – Loo Extension and the Loo Elementary School.
Natubleng was once a part of Barangay Amgaleyguey and it owes its legal existence as a separate barangay to Republic Act. No. 4695, an act creating the barangay through a barangay resolution sponsored by the former Congressman Andres Cosalan in the House of Representative. The residents ratified the act in a plebiscite called for the purpose on June 16, 1971. Natubleng was derived from the word “Natutubleng” which mean “Waste of Time” or “People in Captivity” which described just how residents passed the time narrating stories and other nonsense topics at the stores and sawmill lumberyards that the Americans established in 1938.
Poblacion was created under RA 4695 on June 18, 1966 as one of the Oldest Barangay in the Municipality. Poblacion was formerly known as Man-atong and was the erstwhile center of the municipality during the Spanish and American Occupations up to the late 1960’s. The earliest “Tinibunal” (Tribunal) was established here for tax collection and administrative purpose. The Americans opened a school in 1909, an event that solidified the barrio’s stature as Buguias “Central”. The arrival of the Japanese in 1942, however, resulted in severe setbacks, including the burning of the municipal buildings including the presidencia in 1943 by the Japanese Imperial Army. The school was finally reopened with English as the medium of instruction after the liberation. Houses and public buildings were rehabilitated through the U.S War Damage Commission. The rise of the vegetable trade in the areas along the Halsema Road, however, and the increasing importance of the Abatan junction as an Centerport reduced the focus on Buguias Central or Poblacion as the administrative and economic hub of commerce for the municipality and soon after Buguias earned the moniker as the “Vegetable bowl” of the Cordilleras, the municipal hall was rebuilt therein and administrative as well as economic activities relocated.
After ten years of the subdivision of Baculongan into Baculongan Norte and Baculongan Sur, Baculongan Sur was then subdivided into two where Barangay Sebang was created by virtue of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 112 and Provincial Ordinance No. 01 approved in February 10, 1992 and ratified on December 27, 1992.
The name of the barangay came from the word “Sebang” means a pathway of animals foraging in the forest.
Data Source - NCIP, Benguet