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Various mountain region people occupy the region between the Ilocos coastal plain and the Cagayan Valley. This region is composed of Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province and Kalinga-Apayaw. It has a total area of 143,181. sq...km. Rainfall is adequate with the dry season lasting for only three months.
Due to lack of arable land, the people of this region cultivated the slopes which today are considered one of the eight wonders of the world. The principle agricultural products of the community are rice, camote, vegetables, strawberries and coffee.
The people's culture is quite different from that of the lowland communities. About 20% are pagans, and the rest, Christians. Several linguistics-cultural groups exist as a result of difficulties in transportation and communication. Some of them are the Ibalois and the Kankanays of Benguet and southern Mountain Province, who are generally considered the most sophisticated Mountain Region people because they are most exposed to lowland life.
The Bontocs are proud, fierce and war-like. That they are of this nature is due to the fact that they had long been deprived of their chief occupation-hunting.
The Bontoc are superstitious. They believe that suffering is a result of their poor harvest of camote, their favorite crop. To have a bountiful harvest thereby alleviating suffering they perform a ritual called bagbato.
ABOUT THEIR CLOTHING'S
Another ritual known among the Bontoc is the ulog. T5his is a ritual for the unmarried women in a place called ulog where they receive male visitors and suitors.
The Bontoc have unwritten laws which they obey strictly. To the Bontocs, fighting and telling lies are punishable acts. They also respect ownership.
The Bontocs of Northern Luzon have various musical instruments: a Jew's harp made of bamboo or brass, a primitive Malay bamboo flute called abafii, and the gangsa, an instrument struck with a skin- covered drumstick.
The famous rice terraces show Ifugao ingenuity and engineering skill.
The Ifugao male wears loincloth, a narrow strip of coarse fibers; the female uses a wider piece of cloth wrapped around the waist down to the knees, and wears ornaments of all sorts.
The Ifugao houses are made of wood with a cogon grass roof. Whenever an Ifugao goes out of the house, he carries his spear.
The Ifugao has a high sence of dignity. He will do anything to preserve his family's honor and dignity. The Ifugao code of conduct requires that children should love, respect and obey his parents and elders. An Ifugao is forbidden to create trouble, commit murder or practice adultery. Like the Bontocs, he is punished whenever he lies or insult others.
Like other mountain people, the Ifugaos perform may ritual, many are sacrificial rites. They offer prayers and sacrifices to the gods who take care of their fortune.
The Kalingas tattoo their bodies as a sign of bravery and courage. Even a woman's face is ornate with tattoos. Women wear the tapis; men , the bahag. Old people indulge in tabacco smoking.
To the Kalingas, prestige can be achieved through oratorical ability and head hunting. It was customary before for a Kalinga whose son or parent died to hurt for an enemy's head so that he can atone for his son's or parent's life. By talking the life of an enemy the spirit of the dead is pleased and would not bring misfortune to the living.
South of Kalinga is a province know as Kalinga- Apayao where the Apayaos live in houses made of molave or ipil. The roof is made of layers of a kind of grass, called runo. A few things can be found in the house such as a stove serving as a night lamp as well in one of the corners, a mat, a jar for jewelry, baskets and cooking utensils.
Apayao art is expressed in their metal implements. Like the Kalingas, A payaos tattoo their bodies as a status symbol. Beaded amulets are worn on their hands and feet to protect them from illness.
The Apayaos are good-nature people. They do services for others without expecting anything is return. The Apayaos therefore have great respect for one who uses his wealth to benefit others
Baguio is considered as Igorot land by foreigners. Noted for its scenic spots, a visit to the Philippines is incomplete without a Baguio tour.
The Igorots of yesteryears wore G-strings. They felt comfortable with their bare and their bellies sticking out. They lived on root crops grown in their clearings, and on the wild pigs, deers and fowls in the forest.
The elderly Igorots once went to town with their kayabang filled with the townspeople. They stayed overnight in the town and returned to their distant hills the following day after marketing for their needs.
The Igorots like the Ifugao have colorful thanksgiving feats called canao on occasions such as the birth of a child, a wedding, a good harvest, and early recovery from sickness.
Head-hunting was done to avenge the death of a kin or tribesman. This custom however, is least practiced now.