Archive for the Features Category


Posted in Features on December 3, 2014 by aichannel



          The Municipality of Banayoyo was originally called the “Bacsayan”.  How it got the present name “Banayoyo” could be recounted from this story:

           Long time ago, indigenous people of Abra and Mountain Province were looking for a place to settle.  They found the place located at the western part or tail of the Cordillera Mountain.  Lately, they called this place “Bacsayan” which means a settlement area.

          As time passed, these people (Tinguian and Igorot Tribes) intermarried.  It did not take long; they formed another tribe called Itneg (not registered as of this date).  However, both tribes have different dialects.  Thus, the result of intermarriage resulted to one dialect derived from Tinguian of Abra and Igorot of Mountain Province (present dialect of the indigenous people of Banayoyo is similar to Abra and the Cordilleras) both from the “Itneg” of the newly formed tribe.  The Datu and the Panglakayen (council of elders) then made their own rules based primarily on the cultures of Abra and Cordilleras.

            In the South-eastern part of the place, there was a sturdy tree, which the town folks called “Bayoyo”.  The Datu and the Panglakayen agreed to build a “Dap-ay” (a structure where the leaders meet or gather for the settlement of problems and disputes among the members of the tribe) and “Pandek” (astore rooms for arms like Pika (Spear), Aliwa (Axe) Pana (Bow and Arrow), Kalasag (Armour) and communal kitchen wares by the tribe like Dongdong (Wok), Duyog (soup bowl made of coconut shell) and others owned by the tribe.  In this place, they also practiced the ritual called the “Begnas” a ritual of three (3) days festivity and thanksgiving to “Kabunian” (believed to be the God, Creator of Heaven and Earth), after every productive and fruitful harvest season.  The tree called “Bayoyo” is always strong and sturdy, following their belief that the tree brought luck to the whole populace.

            Due to old age, the tree died and at that time drought struck the place.  Their harvest decreased, famine and hunger were experienced by the people.  With their belief that the calamity was caused by the death of the tree, the leaders held a meeting and come up with an agreement to hold another ritual called “Sapu” (Prayer) to find out the cause of their painful and tragic experience.  However, they have discovered that their entire ordeal was due to the negligence of some tribal members in giving thanks to “Kabunian”.  In a long series of exchange of ideas to amend the sad events that they have undergone, the Datus and Council of Elders decided to change the name of the place “Bacsayan” to “Bayoyo”.  The tree somehow is a symbol of unity among all the tribal members under its wide shady branches.  It was only during the Spanish Regime that the name “Bayoyo” was changed to BANAYOYO.



Posted in Features on December 3, 2014 by aichannel

09. tagudin

Tagudin used to be the capital of Amburayan, a sub-province of the original Mountain Province.  The sub-province was composed of Lepanto, Angaki (Quirino), Suyo, Alilem, Sugpon, Santol, Sudipen, San Gabriel and Tagudin.  The government hill which is the present site of the reservoir of the Tagudin Water District was then planned to be the site of the capitol of this sub-province.  In 1818, Tagudin became a part of Ilocos Sur and thus became the threshold of Ilocos Sur in the south.

The first sundial put up by the Spaniards in the Philippines were constructed in Tagudin by Father Juan Sorolla.  Tagudin was also the landing sites of Sister Louise de Meester, foundress of the ICM congregation who gave birth to prestigious learning institutions which includes St. Therese College, Christ the King College, and Saint Louis University among others.  It was also in Tagudin where Filipino soldiers under Gen. William Brougher staged the first resistance against the south bound Japanese forces who landed in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on December 18, 1941.  The decisive Battle of Bessang Pass started in this town of Bitalag.  During the liberation in 1945, Tagudin was the site of the base hospital of the USAFIP NL that fought in Bessang Pass.

Tagudin at present has emerged as both commercial and educational center serving the upland towns of Suyo, Sugpon, Alilem and Cervantes and also the nearby towns of Sta. Cruz, Bangar and Sudipen.




Posted in Features on December 3, 2014 by aichannel


The municipality of Suyo is one of the fourteen (14) interior towns of the Province of Ilocos Sur where most of the inhabitants belong to the cultural minority groups.  It has a total land area of 124 square kilometers and is bounded on the north by Municipality of Sta. Cruz and the Municipality of Salcedo, on the east by the Municipality of Sigay and Cervantes, on the south by Alilem and on the west by the Municipality of Tagudin.  It has eight (8) barangays which were further subdivided into forty-five (45) sitios.

Crop production in the locality is estimated at 2.518 metric tons in 1995.  The leading crop is rice with Barangay Baringcucurong as the top producer.  The vase mountainous areas are planted with bananas, camote, bamboo and bolo, mango, ipil-ipil, ginger, rambutan, coffee, pineapple, cacao and tiger grass which is the material used for broom making.  Other crops produced are Virginia Tobacco, corn and vegetables.  These products are being produced in commercial scale.  The industry that is prevailing in the province is “basi making”.  Other small scale industries include vinegar making and broom making.  Commercial establishments such as sari-sari stores abound at most of the barangays in the locality.  The public market at SitioButac, Barangay Manatong which was constructed in 1989 has turned the place into a trade and commerce center where lowland traders sell their wares and buy products of the highlanders as they go back in the lowland.

As to the peace and order situation, the municipality is generally peaceful and orderly for the past period.  The presence of an effective operation of the PNP personnel and participation of the barangay leaders and tanods contributes to the prevalent peaceful situation in the area.


Posted in Features on December 3, 2014 by aichannel


During the later part of the Spanish Regime, Sugpon was a vast tract of forest land with hilly and mountainous terrain.  It was during that time that groups of people came to settle in the place.  Famous among the settlers were the Kankanaey headed by DatuLiccud and the Itneg headed by DatuGutob.

The name of the municipality was derived from the Kankanaey word MANSUGPONTAKO which pronounced by two leaders when their men had a misunderstanding as to who was the rightful owner of the wild animals killed by their dogs while hunting.  Later on based from the incident, the place was called SUGPON for easier pronunciation.

The municipality was then a part of the old Mountain Province, and among the municipalities and municipal district composing the Amburayan Congressional District.  It became a part of Ilocos Sur sometime in 1920 when the provinces in the north were reorganized.  It was a municipal district of the town of Alilem until it was re-classified as 6th class municipality in 1978.

At present the municipality has an estimated total population of 3,936 majorities of whom were the original settlers in the place while others came from nearby places due to affinity and employment.  Sugpon has a land area of 182.20 sq. kms.  It is composed of (9) barangays, three of whom are under boundary dispute with the municipalities of Bakun and Kibungan in the province of Benguet.

The dominant religions are the Roman Catholic, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the Wesleyan Church, the Iglesia ni Cristo and a few Pentecost.  The native dance is the SAYAW and SADONG.  The festivities are the CANAW, BAGAT and the town fiesta celebration.  Some artifacts are old jars of Chinese Arts which were used by the native for making rice wine and GONGS and GANZA.

Sugpon is an agricultural community and the people are small farm-owner-cultivators whose crops are rice, corn, camote (sweet potato), gabi, legumes, coffee and both the native and Virginia varieties.

Sugpon, Ilocos Sur is located 18 kilometers east of the Manila North Road bounded in the west by Sudipen, La Union, in the east by Kibungan and Bakun, Benguet, in the south by Santol and San Gabriel, La Union and in the north by Alilem, Ilocos Sur.


Posted in Features on December 3, 2014 by aichannel

03. sta. maria

The municipality of Sta. Maria was called “Purok” in early history.  Others called it “Bukang” although “Purok” could be more likely the name given to the place since this means village in iluko while “Bukang” does not refer anything in the dialect.

There are conflicting dates regarding the establishment of this town as an independent parish.  Sources available at the Rare Books and Manuscript section, Filipiniana Division of the National Archives shows that the first Augustinian mission was established in Sta. Maria in 1760 which was at that time a “Vista” of parish since 1587.  Others reveal 1765 and 1769 as the town’s foundation dates although it celebrated the 100th year of its Christianization in 1967 on the strength of a Libro de Bautimos for 1766 still preserved in the parish archives.  Sta. Maria however, was officially recognized as a ministry in 1765, but later it became once more a visita of Narvacan for lack of priest.  It finally became an independent parish in 1769 under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Asuncion in whose honor the name of the town was changed from Purok to Sta. Maria.

 The Municipality of Sta. Maria lies in the central part of the province of Ilocos Sur.  It is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Narvacan, on the east by Municipality of Pilar, Abra and Cordillera ranges, on the south by the Municipality of San Esteban, on the southeast by the Municipality of Burgos and on the west by the China Sea.


Posted in Features on December 3, 2014 by aichannel

07. sta. lucia

            The first Augustinian mission was established in the municipality in 1586, called “Ministerio de Kaog” formerly annexed to the “Ministerio de Candon”.  The first “Visita” must have been built also in that year.

            At one time, the church reconstructed by Father Pascual Barredo and Father Miguel Argulles, was the tallest in Ilocos Sur, Single Nave with a transept, a magnificent cupola and an impressive four storey bell tower.  The present church was reconstructed in 1808 and renovated in 1936.  Later in 1671, it became a regular parish under the patronage of Sta. Lucia whose feast day is celebrated on the 13th of December every year. The parish was composed of the following missions: Nagtablaan, Pias, San Tiburcio, Atabay, Caliwaquiw, Balidbid, Sorioan, Napaltat, Arangin and Corroy, all with a distance of more than half hour from the church.  It had a sitio of Catechunaras called Cubcubuot and a barrio called Ronda with more than 6,286 inhabitants.

            Its Christian inhabitants in the lowlands and various tribes of non-Christian Igorots in the mountains were farmers who planted rice, sugar cane, cotton, vegetables and fruits.  Due to irrigation coupled with persistent work under the direction of Fr. Exequiel Lanza Forta, they enjoyed two harvests of rice every year, other industries were established like weaving of cotton, salt, manufacturing, cattle raising and poultry raising. Shaped by physical limitations of their environment the inhabitants were industrious, thrifty and migratory.

            Under the Spanish Colonial Policy, the Ilocanos were ordered to cultivate tobacco, Indigo, Coffee, and Sugar.  Due to the enforcement of unjust taxation and forced labor, the Ilocanos fought the Spaniards during the Philippine Revolution.

            In 1941, thousands of Ilocanos were executed by the Japanese Army.  They experienced hunger and poverty.  The people of Sta. Lucia fled to the interior parts of the town to escape execution.  A part of the Poblacion was burned by the Japanese Army.

            After the war, the Filipino started to build the foundation of the New Republic.  The Sta. Lucians pre-occupied themselves in the New Republic opportunities for development.  They planted sugar cane, native tobacco and rice.  Other infrastructure and public facilities were put up purposely to build and develop the town.  Slowly, but steadily, the municipality and its very limited resources has been progressing quite well.  Before her is future that is both a promise and a challenge to her leaders and inhabitants.


Posted in Features on December 2, 2014 by aichannel

08. sta. cruz

            Sta. Cruz, the second southernmost town of Ilocos Sur has a colourful and bloody past.  Before the coming of the Spaniards which was about the early part of the 17th century in 1601 to be exact, there was already a little settlement built by the Ilocanos beside the Patupec River.  The river is located north of the present town.  The sturdy Ilocanos built it after a victorious battle with the Igorots who were then called “Mindayas”.  These Mindayas tried to conquer the “minlauds” as the Ilocanos were called but because of their courage and bravery, they were able to drive back the Igorots to the mountains.

            The settlements of the Ilocanos were called “Taripnong” probably because the houses were built close together and because of the strong unity.  However, after the glorious victory over the mindayas and to commemorate their great victory, they decided to change the name of their settlement from “Taripnong” to “Napinget” which means fearless and strong will or determination.

            At the coming of the Spaniards, Napinget was already flourishing community.  The people did not want to be ruled by foreigners so they took up arms against these conquerors but their number and weapons were no match to the arms of the invaders. They were defeated, so they were forced to go under the rule of the powerful Spaniards led by Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Legaspi, the conqueror of Manila.  The main purpose of the Spaniards in conquering places was to spread Christianity.

            After the defeat of the Ilocanos, the Spaniards put up a big cross on the top of the hill as a symbol of the establishment.  The Spanish was later built in this place and all around it became the present town of Sta. Cruz.  The three (3) Rajas and their followers were Christianized.  Their pagan name called “Guiyeb”, “Madayag” and “Salamban” became their Christian names.  And from that time the settlement of the Ilocanos is now called Pueblo of Sta. Cruz.



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