Gaddang people

Written by craig. Posted in Gaddang


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total population
30,000 (estimate)
Regions with significant populations
(Cagayan ValleyCordillera Administrative Region)
Christianity (Predominantly Roman Catholic, with a minority of Protestants)
Related ethnic groups
IbanagItawisIlokano, other Filipino people

The Gad­dang people are a lin­guis­ti­cally iden­ti­fied eth­nic group of re­lated fam­i­lies shar­ing lengthy res­i­dence in the wa­ter­shed of the Ca­gayan River in North­ern LuzonPhilip­pinesGad­dang speak­ers are re­ported to num­ber around 30,000, plus an­other 6,000ge­net­i­cally re­lated Ga'dang speak­ers whose vo­cab­u­lary is more than 80% identical.

These two groups are often de­picted in his­toric and cul­tural lit­er­a­ture as a sin­gle pop­u­la­tion; dis­tinc­tions be­tween (a) the Chris­tian­ized "low­lan­ders" and (b) thenon-Chris­t­ian res­i­dents in the moun­tains ap­pear to be ig­nored by many sources. There are both in­trigu­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties and un­rec­on­ciled dif­fer­ences in his­tory, lo­ca­tion, lifestyle and be­liefs be­tween these two re­lated populations.



The Gaddang homelands


The Ca­gayan Val­ley is cut off from the rest of Luzon by ranges of high, rugged moun­tains to both the east and west, which meet at Balete Pass in the south near Baguio City, ge­o­graph­i­cally withinBenguet. Mary Chris­tine Abriza re­ports "The Gad­dang are found in north­ern Nueva Viz­caya, es­pe­cially Bay­ombongSolano, and Bagabag on the west­ern bank of the Magat River, and San­ti­agoAn­gadananCauayan, and Reina Mer­cedes on the Ca­gayan River for Chris­tianed groups; and west­ern Is­abela, along the edges of Kalinga and Bon­toc, in the towns of An­tatetDalig, and the bar­rios of Gamuand Tu­mauini for the non-Chris­t­ian com­mu­ni­ties. The 1960 cen­sus re­ports that there were 25,000 Gad­dang, and that 10% or about 2,500 of these were non-Christian." There is a barangay named Gad­dang in Aparri (for­merly Faru).

The evidence is that Gad­dang have oc­cu­pied this vast pro­tected val­ley, in prox­im­ity to Ibanag,ItawesYogadIsneg, Malaweg, Bugkalot and Aeta peo­ples for many hun­dreds of years; all these Ca­gayan Val­ley peo­ples share lin­guis­tic and cul­tural sim­i­lar­i­ties, as well as much com­mon history.


 The Cagayan River and its tributaries on Luzon, Philippines. Gaddang homelands are in the lower-left quadrant.
The Cagayan River and its tributarieson LuzonPhilippines. Gaddang homelands are in the lower-left quadrant.

Be­tween 200 B.C. and 300 A.D., col­o­niz­ing ex­pe­di­tions ofIndo-Malay peo­ples ar­rived along the north­ern coasts of Luzon. They found the Ca­gayan River wa­ter­shed sparsely oc­cu­pied by long-es­tab­lished Negrito Atta (Aeta) peo­ples, while the hills were al­ready pop­u­lated by the more-re­cently ar­rivedIg­orot (thought to orig­i­nate from Tai­wan as late as 500 B.C ). Un­like ei­ther the Aeta hunter/gath­ers and Ig­orot ter­race-agri­cul­tur­ists, the Indo-Malay colonists prac­ticed swid­den farm­ing, and de­vel­oped suc­cess­ful lit­toral and ri­par­ian so­ci­eties as well; all economies which de­mand low pop­u­la­tion density.

When­ever there were pop­u­la­tion in­creases fol­low­ing eco­nomic suc­cess or con­tin­ued in-mi­gra­tion, these Indo-Malays were forced to move. Over many gen­er­a­tions they spread in­land along the Ca­gayan River and its trib­u­taries. As Gad­dang oc­cupy lands fur­ther away from the mouth of the river than most Indo-Malay groups, they may be con­sid­ered likely to have been among the ear­li­est to arrive.

The Indo-Malay ar­rived in sep­a­rate small groups dur­ing this half-mil­len­nium, un­doubt­edly speak­ing dif­fer­ent di­alects, while over time dis­tance pro­moted lin­guis­tic dif­fer­ences. Still, de­scen­dants of this 500-year-long mi­gra­tion share el­e­ments of lan­guage, ge­net­ics, prac­tices, and be­liefs. Over the last cen­tury eth­nol­o­gists have recorded ver­sions of a shared "epic" de­pict­ing de­scrib­ing the ar­rival of the he­roes Biwag and Malana (in some ver­sions from Suma­tra ), their ad­ven­tures with magic croc­o­diles and de­pic­tions of river­side life, among all the Ca­gayan Val­ley pop­u­la­tions. Other cul­tural sim­i­lar­i­ties in­clude fa­mil­ial col­lec­tivism, dearth of en­dog­a­mous prac­tices, and marked in­dif­fer­ence to con­ser­va­tion of as­sets. These be­hav­iors tend to fos­ter a high in­di­vid­ual sur­vival rate, but do rel­a­tively lit­tle to main­tain cul­tural continuity.

Historic records


Spanish occupation

The Gad­dang enter writ­ten his­tory in 1608 when the Do­mini­can order founded the mis­sion of St. Fer­di­nand in the Gad­dang com­mu­nity of Abu­atan, Bolo (now Ban­gag, Ila­gan City), nearly forty years after ini­tial Span­ish set­tle­ment in the Ca­gayan re­gion (but only 100 miles away). 1621 saw the Gad­dang (or Irray) Re­volt, led by Fe­lipe Catabay and Gabriel Dayag. The Gad­dang Re­volt may have been spurred by the im­po­si­tion of trib­ute, like Ma­g­a­lat's re­bel­lion in Tugue­garo a gen­er­a­tion earlier.

Records say the res­i­dents burned their vil­lage and the church, then re­moved to the foothills west of the Mallig River. A gen­er­a­tion later, Gad­dang re­turnees at the in­vi­ta­tion of Fray Pedro De Santo Tomas re-es­tab­lished the Bolo com­mu­nity, al­though it was now on the op­po­site side of the Ca­gayan river from the orig­i­nal vil­lage. The Gad­dang Re­volt ef­fec­tively ended with the first mass that was held by the Agus­tini­ans on 12 April 1739 in Bay­ombong, Nueva Viz­caya, the sup­posed fi­nal-strong­hold of the Gaddangs.

We may pre­sume this began the dis­tinc­tion be­tween the "Chris­tian­ized" and "non-Chris­t­ian" Gad­dang. The Bolo-area Gad­dang sought refuge with the moun­tain tribes who had con­sis­tently re­fused to aban­don tra­di­tional be­liefs and prac­tices for Catholi­cism. The Ig­orots had killed Fa­ther Es­te­ban Marin in 1601 and had sub­se­quently waged a guer­rilla resistance after Cap­tain Mateo de Aranada burned their vil­lages in re­sponse. It is likely the moun­tain tribes ac­cepted the Gad­dang as al­lies against the Span­ish; al­though the Gad­dang re­fused to grow rice in ter­races, the moun­taineers taught the Gad­dang to build homes in the trees (and pos­si­bly to par­tic­i­pate in head-hunt­ing). Many Gad­dang even­tu­ally re­turned to the val­ley, how­ever, and ac­cepted Spain and the Church in order to re­claim their for­mer lifestyle.

The Catholic Church con­tin­ued to force­fully pros­e­ly­tize in the Ca­gayan Val­ley, reach­ing the fur­thest 'up­hill' point at Ar­i­tao (Ituy) by 1609. The Ituy mis­sion ini­tially bap­tized Isi­nay and Ilon­got, but by the 1630's ser­vices were being held in Bay­ombong. The Span­ish ad­min­is­tra­tion of Gov­er­nor Das­mari­nas dur­ing this pe­riod sent sev­eral ex­pe­di­tions into the upper Magat val­ley to de­ter­mine the value of the area's nat­ural re­sources. The 1747 cen­sus of the mis­sion of Paniqui in­cluded 470 res­i­dents of Bay­ombong and 213 from Bagabag, all said to be Gad­dang or Yogad. The sub­stan­tial size of this Magat Val­ley Gad­dang pop­u­la­tion - more than 170 kilo­me­ters from pre­sent day Ila­gan City - may argue for a set­tle­ment that ex­isted con­sid­er­ably longer than the 120+ years since the Irray re­volt. The Gad­dang are men­tioned in Span­ish records again in con­nec­tion with the late-1700s re­bel­lion of Dabo against the royal to­bacco mo­nop­oly; Ila­gan City was by then the to­bacco in­dus­try's fi­nanc­ing and ware­hous­ing cen­ter for the Valley.

Fi­nally, royal re­form and re-or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Ca­gayan gov­ern­ment and econ­omy began in 1839 with the cre­ation of Nueva Viz­caya province. In 1865, Is­abela province was cre­ated from parts of Ca­gayan and Nueva Viz­caya. The new ad­min­is­tra­tions opened Ca­gayan Val­ley lands to large-scale agri­cul­tural con­cerns funded by Span­ish, Chi­nese, and wealthy Cen­tral Luzon in­vestors, and at­tracted work­ers from all over Luzon. Today, de­scen­dants of those 19th-cen­tury im­mi­grants (no­tably theIlokano) out­num­ber the de­scen­dants of the Ca­gayan Val­ley's abo­rig­i­nal Gad­dang, Ibanag,and Yogad peo­ples by nearly seven-to-one.

American occupation

An early of­fi­cial ref­er­ence to the Gad­dang dur­ing the Amer­i­can Oc­cu­pa­tion di­rects the reader to "Igorot". The writer dis­cusses these "non-Chris­t­ian" moun­tain tribes:"Under the Ig­orot we may rec­og­nize var­i­ous sub­group des­ig­na­tions, such as Gad­dang, Da­dayag, or May­oyao. These groups are not sep­a­rated by tribal or­ga­ni­za­tion... since tribal or­ga­ni­za­tion does not exist among these peo­ple. but they are di­vided solely by slight dif­fer­ences of dialect."

He also cat­a­logues pop­u­la­tions of the Ca­gayan low­lands, and says: "Ilokano have also mi­grated still fur­ther south into the se­cluded val­ley of the upper Magat, which con­sti­tutes the beau­ti­ful but iso­lated province of Nueva Viz­caya. The bulk of the pop­u­la­tion here, how­ever, dif­fers very de­cid­edly from nearly all of the Chris­t­ian pop­u­la­tion of the rest of the Arch­i­pel­ago. It is made up of con­verts from two of the moun­tain Ig­orot tribes, who still have nu­mer­ous pagan rep­re­sen­ta­tive in this province and Is­abela. These are the Isanay and Gad­dang. In 1632 the Spaniards es­tab­lished a mis­sion in this val­ley, named Ituy and led to the es­tab­lish­ment of Ar­i­taoDupax, and Bam­bang, in­hab­ited by the Chris­tian­ized Isnay, and of Bay­ombong, Bagabag, and Ibung, in­hab­ited by the Chris­tian­ized Gad­dang. The pop­u­la­tion, how­ever, has not greatly mul­ti­plied, the re­main­der of the Chris­tian­ized pop­u­la­tion being made up of Ilo­cano im­mi­grants"

When the U.S. took the Philip­pines from the Span­ish in 1899, they in­sti­tuted what Pres­i­dent McKin­ley termed a "be­nign administration". Gov­er­nance by the mil­i­tary en­er­get­i­cally pro­moted im­prove­ments, many of which re­main rel­e­vant today. The Army built roads, bridges, hos­pi­tals, and pub­lic build­ings, im­proved ir­ri­ga­tion and farm pro­duc­tion, con­structed and staffed schools on the U.S. model, and in­vited mis­sion­ary or­ga­ni­za­tions to es­tab­lish colleges.

Most im­por­tant, these im­prove­ments af­fected the en­tire country, not just pri­mar­ily the en­vi­rons of the cap­i­tal. The in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments made great changes in the lives of the "Chris­tian­ized" Gad­dang in Nueva Viz­caya and Is­abela, al­though they still had a much smaller ef­fect on the Gad­dang in the mountains.

In 1908, the Moun­tain Province ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­trict was formed, in­cor­po­rat­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity ofNa­tonin, and its barangay (now the mu­nic­i­pal­ity) of Paracelis on the upper reaches of the Mallig River, as well the Ifu­gao mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Al­fonso Lista up hill from San Mateo, Is­abela. These areas were the home of the Ga'dang-speak­ing Irray and Bali­won peo­ples, men­tioned in the early Cen­sus as "non-Chris­t­ian" Gad­dang. A par­tic­u­lar ef­fort of the new province's ad­min­is­tra­tion was the sup­pres­sion of head-hunting.

In 1901, the U. S. Army began to re­cruit counter-in­sur­gency troops in the Philip­pines. A num­ber of Gad­dang took ad­van­tage of this op­por­tu­nity, and joined the Philip­pine Scouts through the late 1930s. The Scouts were de­ployed at the Bat­tle of Bataan, so most were not in their home­lands dur­ing the Japan­ese Oc­cu­pa­tion. One Gad­dang 26th Cav­alry pri­vate, Jose P. Tugab, is said to have fought in Bataan, es­caped to China on a Japan­ese ship, was with Chi­ang Kai-shek at Chunk­ing and US/Anzac forces in New Guinea, and re­turned to help free his own Philip­pine home.

Japanese occupation

On De­cem­ber 10, 1941, el­e­ments of the Japan­ese 14th Army landed at Aparri, Ca­gayan and marched in­land to take Tugueguarao. The hap­less reg­u­lar Philip­pine Army (PA) units sur­ren­dered or fled. The main Japan­ese force pro­ceeded to Ilo­cos Norte along the coast. They also de­ployed troops through­out the Ca­gayan Val­ley to ad­min­is­ter the agri­cul­tur­ally-rich area to fa­cil­i­tate Japan­ese ex­pro­pri­a­tion of the food sup­plies. By the end of 1942 food and other com­modi­ties had be­come scarce for the na­tive residents.

Philip­pine Army es­capees hid in the moun­tains or val­ley vil­lages. Many be­came ir­reg­u­lars in small-scale guer­rilla ac­tions against the Japan­ese. In 1942, Amer­i­cans Lt.​Col. Mar­tin Moses, & Lt.​Col. Arthur Noble re­mained at large. They at­tempted to or­ga­nize a co-or­di­nated North­ern Luzon guer­rilla ac­tion in mid-Oc­to­ber. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions failed, and the at­tacks were unsuccessful.

The Japan­ese oc­cu­py­ing forces in the Ca­gayan Val­ley took this ac­tiv­ity se­ri­ously. They im­ported thou­sands of troops fresh from the cap­ture of Manila and bat­tle of Bataan, and crushed the re­sis­tance in a fierce and in­dis­crim­i­nate man­ner. "The lead­ers were killed or cap­tured, civil­ians were robbed, tor­tured, and mas­sa­cred, their towns and bar­rios were destroyed".

Still, in the midst of these hard times for North Luzon, many in­di­vid­ual Japan­ese sought to be­friend Fil­ipino res­i­dents, and mar­ried local women. The Manila gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Lau­rel, with many of the Philip­pines' wealthy fam­i­lies, en­cour­aged col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Japanese.

Un­sur­ren­dered Amer­i­can Capt. Rus­sell Vol­ck­mann re-or­ga­nized the guer­rilla re­sis­tance into the United States Army Forces in the Philip­pines, North Luzon (USA-FIP NL), with a focus on gath­er­ing in­tel­li­gence. In the val­leys, his na­tive forces (which in­cluded a num­ber of Gad­dang) were more ef­fec­tive at this new task, al­though they ran great risks, and pro­vided Gen­eral MacArthur with im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about Japan­ese troop dispositions.

In 1945, the re­sis­tance also co­or­di­nated their ac­tiv­i­ties with Amer­i­can in­va­sion plans. Fight­ing in the Ca­gayan Val­ley in which North­ern Luzon gueril­las had a rec­og­nized im­pact in­cluded the bat­tle of Balete Pass (now Dal­ton Pass) that opened the main drive down the Magat val­ley, the de­struc­tion bridges on the Bagabag-Bon­toc Road - which cut off sup­ply for Gen­eral Ya­mashita's forces in the moun­tains - and the drive from Cer­vantes to Mankayan which helped re­duce the Japan­ese final strong­hold at Kiangan.


The Com­mon­wealth of the Philip­pines was es­tab­lished as an in­de­pen­dent na­tion by the Treaty of Manila on July 4, 1946.

The pop­u­la­tion of the Philip­pines at in­de­pen­dence was fewer than 18 mil­lion. By 2014, the Philip­pine Cen­sus is ex­pected to reach 100 mil­lion, and is fore­cast to be 200 mil­lion in the next forty years,even after los­ing large num­bers of Fil­ipino per­ma­nent em­i­grants to other coun­tries. The pop­u­la­tion change has had two ef­fects on the low­land Gad­dang: (a) enor­mous num­bers of peo­ple from other parts of the coun­try have re­lo­cated to the rel­a­tively un­crowded Magat/Ca­gayan valleys over­whelm­ing the orig­i­nal pop­u­la­tion and re­gional re­sources to ac­com­mo­date and in­te­grate them; while (b) many ed­u­cated Gad­dang have em­i­grated and be­come per­ma­nent res­i­dents of the US (es­pe­cially in Cal­i­for­nia, Wash­ing­ton, and the Mid­west), Canada, and other coun­tries in South-East Asia.

In Oc­to­ber 1997, the na­tional leg­is­la­ture passed the In­dige­nous Peo­ples' Rights Act; the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on In­dige­nous Peo­ples (NCIP) rec­og­nizes the Gad­dang as one of the pro­tected groups.Ini­tially there was un­cer­tainty about which peo­ples were included, how­ever in May 2014 the Gad­dang were rec­og­nized as "an in­dige­nous peo­ple with po­lit­i­cal struc­ture" with a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pre­sented by NCIP com­mis­sioner Leonor Quintayo. Start­ing in 2014 the process of 'de­lin­eation and ti­tling the an­ces­tral do­mains" will be un­der­taken; the claims are ex­pected to "cover parts of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Bam­bang, Bay­ombong, Bagabag, Solano, Diadi, Que­zon and Villaverde".




Al­though con­sis­tently iden­ti­fy­ing the Gad­dang as a dis­tinct group, his­toric sources have done a poor job of ethnog­ra­phy. Early Span­ish records make lit­tle men­tion of cus­toms of the Ibanagic and Igad­dan­gic peo­ples, being al­most en­tirely con­cerned by events and Gov­ern­ment/Church ef­forts at re­plac­ing the cul­ture with a colo­nial model. In the 1901 Philip­pine Com­mis­sion Re­port states: "From Nueva Viz­caya the towns make the com­mon state­ment that there are no pa­pers pre­served which re­late to the pe­riod of the Span­ish gov­ern­ment, as they were all de­stroyed by the rev­o­lu­tion­ary government." Amer­i­can oc­cu­pa­tion records are more de­scrip­tive and avail­able, but the cor­re­spon­dents were also pur­su­ing an agenda for change and con­se­quently per­formed only cur­sory dis­cov­ery of ex­ist­ing be­hav­iors and his­toric customs.

Highlands culture

Many pop­u­lar writ­ers on cul­ture are en­am­oured of the more-ex­otic high­lands Gad­dang cul­ture, and pay lit­tle at­ten­tion to the more-nu­mer­ous "as­sim­i­lated" Chris­tian­ized families. This fol­lows the ini­tial Amer­i­can as­sump­tion that the low­land Gad­dang orig­i­nated with the high­lands groups who were sub­se­quently Chris­tian­ized and then set­tled in es­tab­lished val­ley com­mu­ni­ties. Many of the writ­ers also seem to dis­tin­guish these res­i­dents of Ifu­gao and Apayo from other moun­tain tribes pri­mar­ily by their dress customs. This has not been the case with Pro­fes­sor of An­thro­pol­ogy Ben J. Wal­lace (Ded­man Col­lege, South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity) who has lived among and writ­ten ex­ten­sively about high­land Gad­dang since the 1960s.

Both men and women lead and par­tic­i­pate in re­li­gious and so­cial rituals. Some tra­di­tional high­lands Gad­dang men prac­tice a rit­ual sim­i­lar to pot­latch in order to bring pres­tige to their family.

Economy & occupation

There does not seem to have been a Ca­gayan Val­ley ana­logue of the wealthy Cen­tral Luzon landowner class until the agri­cul­tural ex­pan­sion of the late nine­teenth cen­tury; most of those wealthy Fil­ipinos were of Ilokano or Chi­nese an­ces­try. Pre­sent-day Gad­dang don't keep a mem­ory of a de­pen­dent-class (al­though the strong tra­di­tion of bring­ing un­for­tu­nate rel­a­tives into a house­hold places a rec­i­p­ro­cal geas on ben­e­fi­cia­ries to "earn their keep"). Records do show many Gad­dang names as land and busi­ness owners.

The Catholic church also of­fered ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties. Gad­dang res­i­dents of Bay­ombong andBagabag en­thu­si­as­ti­cally availed them­selves of the ex­panded ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in the early 20th cen­tury, pro­duc­ing a num­ber of doc­tors, lawyers, teach­ers, en­gi­neers and other pro­fes­sion­als by the mid-1930s. A num­ber also en­listed in the U.S. mil­i­tary ser­vice as a ca­reer (the U.S. Army Philip­pine Scouts being con­sid­ered far su­pe­rior to the Philip­pine Army).

Status of women

Among low­lands Gad­dang, women reg­u­larly own and in­herit prop­erty, they run busi­nesses, pur­sue ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment, and often serve in pub­lic elected lead­er­ship roles. Well-known and celebrated writer Edith Lopez Tiempo was born in Bay­ombong of Gad­dang de­scent. As men­tioned above, there ap­pear to be no pre­vail­ing rules of ex­ogamy or en­dogamy which af­fect women's sta­tus or treat­ment. Both men and women ac­quire sta­tus by mar­riage, but there are ac­cept­able path­ways to pres­tige for sin­gle women in the Church, gov­ern­ment, and business.


As has been doc­u­mented with other Indo-Malay peoples, Gad­dang kin re­la­tion­ships are highly ram­i­fied and rec­og­nize a va­ri­ety of pres­tige mark­ers based on both per­sonal ac­com­plish­ment and oblig­a­tion (fre­quently tran­scend­ing generations).

Funerary practice

Mod­ern Chris­t­ian Gad­dang are most com­monly en­tombed in a pub­lic or pri­vate ceme­tery, fol­low­ing a Mass cel­e­bra­tion and a pro­ces­sion (with a band). A wake is held for sev­eral days, al­low­ing fam­ily mem­bers and friends travel-time to view the corpse. Mum­mi­fi­ca­tion is not usu­ally practiced.


The Gad­dang lan­guage is re­lated to Ibanag, Yogad, Itawis, Malaueg and others. It is dis­tinct in that it fea­tures phonemes (the "f","v","z" and "j" sounds) not pre­sent in many neigh­bor­ing Philip­pine lan­guages. There are also no­table dif­fer­ences from other lan­guages in the dis­tinc­tion be­tween "r" and "l", and the "f" sound is a voice­less bi­l­abial frica­tive, and not the for­ti­fied "p" sound com­mon in many Philip­pine lan­guages (but not much closer to the Eng­lish voice­less labio­den­tal frica­tive). The Span­ish-de­rived "J" sound (not the "j") has be­come a plo­sive. Gad­dang is note­wor­thy for com­mon use of dou­bled con­so­nants (eg: Gad-dang in­stead of Ga-dang).

Gad­dang is de­clen­sion­ally, con­ju­ga­tion­ally and mor­pho­log­i­cally ag­glu­ti­na­tive, and is char­ac­ter­ized by a dearth of po­si­tional/di­rec­tional ad­po­si­tional ad­junct words. Tem­po­ral ref­er­ences are usu­ally ac­com­plished using ag­glu­ti­nated nouns or verbs.

Folk traditions

Three hun­dred years of Span­ish cul­tural dom­i­na­tion have ef­fec­tively erad­i­cated any use­ful pre-colo­nial artis­tic or mu­si­cal legacy of the low­land Ca­gayan peo­ples, in­clud­ing the Gad­dang. Al­though the arts of the Cordiller­ans and the is­landers south of Luzon are well-re­searched, even sixty years of strong na­tional and aca­d­e­mic in­ter­est has failed to un­cover tan­gi­ble pre-Span­ish Ca­gayan val­ley tra­di­tions in music, plas­tic, or per­form­ing arts. That un­der­stood, there does exist con­sid­er­able doc­u­men­ta­tion of Gad­dang in­ter­est and par­tic­i­pa­tion in Lu­zon-wide colo­nial tra­di­tions, such as pan­dango si ilawcumparsasa, and pasyon.

(The ar­ti­cle's au­thor draws on nearly 40 years of close ex­pe­ri­ence with Ma­gat-val­ley Gad­dang for the fol­low­ing:) Most Gad­dang seem fond of rid­dles and puns, and keep their di­alect alive with tra­di­tional songs (in­clud­ing many ha­rana com­posed in the early parts of the 20th cen­tury). Sto­ries of ghosts and witch­craft are also pop­u­lar, with the tellers most often re­lat­ing them as if these were events in which they them­selves had participated.

Fi­nally, the Chris­t­ian Gad­dang re­tain a strong tra­di­tional be­lief in ill­ness with a su­per­nat­ural ori­gin, and some fam­i­lies prac­tice heal­ing tra­di­tions which were doc­u­mented by Fa­ther God­frey Lam­brecht, CICM, in San­ti­ago dur­ing the 1950s.


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