The Bago

UPDATE 2012 & 2014:
The following articles about the Bago were submitted by Ferdinand Ammang Anno. They provide an interesting insight into the history of the Bago and its culture:
Of Sintatako, Tongtongan, Begnas and Papatayan Toward an indigenous spirituality for the struggle: A Bago Perspective by Ferdinand Ammang Anno

BAGO ORIGINS – The Tale of Two Sapo by Ferdinand Anno

There is a an extensive essay on the Bago (site has expired) found on the internet by Mr. Vic Buaquen who delivered the speech at the the Third Bago Congress in San Emilio, Ilocos Sur on April 23, 2003.

Many of the residents of Sagunto and the surrounding barangays are descendants of The Bago. The Bago tribe is, after some controversy (read Mr. Buaquen’s essay), confirmed as one of the indiginous peoples of the Philippines by the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Mr. Buaquen defines the Bago as:

…the most reliable definition of the Bago is what we Bagos know ourselves to be and not the definition of historians, academicians and scholars. The simple fact that many of us are still clamoring for a definition of the Bago should clearly show that historians, academicians and scholars have failed us in this regard. The only acceptable definition of the Bago today is self-ascription of the Bagos themselves. While we are aware of our identity as far as we can remember and now having a legal basis for its confirmation in the IPRA, we still seem to want it formally laid down. And I hereby propose a seed definition for a more comprehensive one that could be done later. This definition is culled from our own deliberations in previous congresses as well as other Bago sources which should be sufficient to distinguish us from all the other ethnic groups and indigenous peoples of the Philippines. And, it is: The Bago are hilltribe dwellers in the border regions between Ilocos and Cordillera mountains who are the offspring of intermarriages as well as product of trade between mountain tribes of the Cordillera and the Iloko of the lowlands. They have evolved their own distinct culture and dialect, which distinguish them from their neighboring tribes and other adjacent ethnic groups.
~ excerpt from The Bago by Mr. Vic Buaquen

Here is an interesting presentation about the Bago found on Prezi:


Bago Trivia on the Web: 2014 update:Many of the previous links on this page have expired, unfortunately, so they have been removed.I will renew the online research and post more resources here as I come across them.



This map, showing the “Igorot Territory”, was borrowed from the Bago National Cultural Society of the Philippines website (website has also expired). According to this site, the greater part of the territory is the home and origin of the bago.
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64 thoughts on “The Bago

  1. igorot Diaspora

    agyamanak iti nalawag a sungbat Dr. Anno. mabalin kadi kakabsat nga bumulod kadagiti Libro maipanggep iti BAGO? siasino kadi kadakayo ti mabalin a mangpabulod kanyak? tawagannak kadi ditoy a numero… 09155502909, panga asi yo kakabsat ket kasapulak la unay iti Thesis ko.

  2. lelicia Sidoro Apiit

    Ti makunkuna a bago ket dagiti tao a produkto ti naglalaok a tribo a kas kadagiti ifugao, kankanaey, ibaloi, ilokano ken daduma pay but in general bago is an igorot. kas kanyak ni tatang ko ket ilokano-kankanaey taga del pilar ilocos sur ket ni nanang ko ket tuwali (ifugao) taga lagawe ifugao ngem bagbag-o ti awag da kadakami.

    1. Ferdinand Anno

      Wen Apo Lelicia. No surotentayo diay naisuratko, naggapuka idiay kunkunatayo nga ‘Settlement Bago’ ken ‘Diaspora Bago’ – idi nga dagidiay Kankanaey+Itneg=Bago a naggapu idiay Angaqui-to-Nagtbalaan ket bimmabada a nagwaras kadagiti nadumaduma a luglugar iti sakaanan ti Cordillera ket nakias-asawada kadagiti Itneg/Tingguian, Kankanaey, Iballoi, Kalinga, ken kas nakunayon – Ifugao ken Kalanguya.

    2. deodato

      Sorry madame but I believe that the Bago tribe is not a main product of inter-marriages of the local ethnics but a distinct tribe that settled in the mountainous part of the lowlands abutting the cordillera ranges; this tribe now intermarriages with the neighboring locale ethnics just like your parents’ inter-marriage. The Bago tribe has its distinct ethnic dance, the pinnanyuan, and playing the gongs which is very distinct from the gongs style of the Kalinga, Mountain Province, Kankanaey and Iballoy. This unique tribal dance and gongs of the Bago could not be a product of a tribal people that brought with them their own dance and gongs style; and then invent their own. The Ifugaos have their own dance and playing their gongs; and have this as a tribe not evolving from inter marriages, So, by analogy, just like the Bag-os could also have their own culture because they evolved from a distinct tribe. Only later they inter marriages with their ethnic neighbours.

  3. juris

    if that is ur claim, bago therefore is not a distinct group, it is a by product of intermarriages contradictory to the claim of some BAGOs that it is a group distinct from any other ethnic group, thus IS IT SAFE TO SAY… AWAN NGARUD TI ORIGINAL NGA BAGO..

    1. Ferdinand Anno

      Salibad (Rogelio) school of thought re Bago origins argues for that (wave migration theory) but cursory linguistic-anthropological observation would point to the Bago’s affinity with one or two (but not beyond two) of major Cordillera ethnic groups. NGEM ADDA APO ITI ORIGINAL BAGO. Isu daytoy diay sasaoen ti oral tradition nga ‘Angaki Bago.’ It was in Angaki or around that region where the Bago, as a new nation, originated. It is however not accurate to simply say ‘the Bago emerges from intermarriages between Ilokanos and Igorots’ since the ‘Angaki sojourn’ was a pure inter-y-golot affair. The Ilokano came into the picture most probably during the ‘settlement (first dispersal) and the ‘diaspora’ (second dispersal)phases- and the ‘Ilokanization’ phase of Bago national formation. Nowhere is it also suggested in oral tradition that other ethnic groups beyond the Aplae/Applai and the Itnegs were involved. Our contacts with Kalingas, Ibalois, Kalanguyas, and others came during the second dispersal – when Bagos started migrating to Kalinga, Apayao, Quirino Province, Nueva Viscaya, Aurora, etc

      1. Teofilo damoco

        nagpintas a lagipen ken sublian nga adalen ti pakasaritaana ti puli…I’m a Kankanaey and I am so much connected with the Bagos as we were originally inlfuenced by them…Say the Bagos bridged us to the Ilokanos so that we can easily interact with them…Going back then, ti naipasegepsep kadatayo idi ubing tayo ket bagos are the by-product of intermarriages of Ilokanos and indigenous tribes…ngem padpadasek nga ad-adalen ti tradision ket addan sa talaga nagdudumaanda which posed that BAGO is really a distinct tribe which I want to find out more

        1. uly

          naimbag nga aldaw yo amin… apay paggsasao ti bago nga tribu ket iloko??? no kasta ilocano da? wennu bilingual?? wen ti tribu nga bago… baro nga tribu?? wennu igolot da??

          1. deodato

            Igorot or Ygulot da apo. In chavacano, the hispanic ygulot means from the mountain or “i-mountain” or like saying ysagada. The “L”,of the word Ygulot, by regional defect, change to “r’ just like the Ifugaos who have difficulty in pronouncing the”L” twisting to “r”. So the Ygulot eventually pronounce as Ygurot or Igorot.Do you agree apo?

      2. deodato

        No ania ti naggapuan koma dagiti Igorot iti Bontoc ken dagiti Benguet ket kasdiay met laeng ti naggapuan ken nangrugian dagiti Bago. Saan da nga timpuar kas tribu a kas naurnong nga annak dagiti naga assawa nga nagduduma nga tribu. No apay ketdi nga mapanunot nga kasta ti timpuaran ti Bago. Gapu ngata ta makuna nga igorot ngem agsao met iti ilokano wenno sao dagiti igorot iti cordillera kas panag-sao dagiti -Bontoc wenno kankanaey. ngem no denggem ti pinag-ilokano dagiti Bago agsao nga kas ilokano ngem adu ti sao na nga saan nga ilokano. ket kasta met no agasao ti kasla igorot ngem adu ti balikas na nga saan nga igorot. ngem nangnangruna ti amin adda tokar ti gangsa dagiti bago ken panaka sala na nga awan kapadpadana kadagiti tokar ti igorot iti Cordillera. Kaniak awan dakes na no saan tayo nga makuna a indigenous nga tattao basta kadatayo nga tribu, datayo ket maysa nga naisalumina nga Tribu iti kabanbantayan ti Ilocos. Baka datayo gayam ti ilokano nga aggangsa wenno igorot nga agasao iti ilokano.

  4. deodato

    What I part way with the given definition of Bago is the phrase “offspring of intermarriages” because this seems to me implies that the Bago evolved as agrupation of people that intermarries. What makes me consider that the Bago is originally a bonds of people with common culture and practices is that they have a distinct native dance(pinnanyuaan), and way of playing the gongs which has no similarities with the dance and gong plays of the Bontocs, kakanaeys or Ibaloys which, by the way, have similarities in their play of the gongs and how they dance with it. However, could It be that a multi cultural group due to intermarriages, devices their own way of playing gongs and dance as identity, and also their own vocabulary although they speak the same or very similar with that of the upland igorots or the lowland Ilocanos.I believe that there were originally distinct group of people or igorots that settled in the mountainous part of the Ilocos region abutting the old Mountain Province; and these people or igorots intermarries with their neighboring indigenous tribes as well as with the ilocanos and other lowland ethnic groups. Their offsprings became Bago as one of their parent is a Bago.The bago bloodline is the connection. On the other hand, offspring of non-Bago could become one as a Bago by personal ascription if it wanted to be a Bago by tribal identification because such offspring was born and raised in the bago land that it can only identify itself with the Bagos than with tribes of its parents.


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