Interacting with Indigenous People in Kalinga


As am encoding this article, I am reminiscing our Development Communication (DevCom our major subject) way back college days.

 Our Professor grouped us into two (The Aurora Province and Kalinga group). We were about  to tackle development in such remote areas and mingle with indigenous people.

 We were seven in the group. I have a classmate (became my close friend)whose hometown is Tabuk, Kalinga. It would be easier for us to reach there with the help of my friend. We voted her as our leader, because she’s familiar in that place.

 From Baguio to Tabuk took about 12hours. It’s a long trip via land based riding passenger bus. In Philippine history Kalinga and Apayao is considered as one province. I am not elaborating how these two provinces gained independence. You might be confused regarding Kalinga Apayao.

 As we reached the hometown of one of my group mates, we rest for a day. Brainstorming how and what shall we do the following day. The day after, we packed our things going to Pinukpuk, Kalinga

 It’s full of hassle and at the same time I enjoyed our trip. It’s a rocky long winding road. Drivers were so careful passing through that road because one mistake only your life will be in danger to  that steep ravine.

 As we were traveling, we can see that this place needs improvement. No hospitals (unless you’ll going to travel for how many hours to reach the main highway), less electrical post, few school buildings, and one church.

 As we arrived in Pinukpuk, they welcomed us with open arms and wide smiles. We introduced ourselves as graduating students for handling this kind of assignment.

 It took as five days exploring and interviewing people around. We also mingled with some of the indigenous people of Kalinga.

 We found out that Kalinga derived from Ibanag and Gaddang word means “highland/ headhunter”. This indicates how people are wild and how they embrace cannibalism.

 The elder whom we interviewed said, that it was long time ago since headhunting was stopped. For Igorots (people living in CAR Region such as in Kalinga) being a warrior, headhunting connotes bravery and heroic act.

 While all ears are listening, my eyes keep on moving and glancing to my group mates. Yes, at first we were scared. How would you be brave enough if you are entering a province of headhunters?

 After that conversation, as we go home to rest, I and my group mates still discussing about headhunting. After that encounter, we visited near places and interact once again with the people living there.

 Before our last day in Pinukpuk, the resident treat us a very decent meal. They cooked for us and really it’s delicious. They prepared “Pinikpikan”, another recipe aside from “TINOLA, ADOBO, etc.

 Pinikpikan, is prepared by beating a live chicken with stick prior to cooking.  The usual butchering of chicken is,  we’re going to cut the neck and let the chicken bleed.

 But in preparing “Pinikpikan” the beating bruises the chicken bringing blood to its surface which is said to improve flavor and palatability after cooking.

 I am so amazed how they do that. And the taste is real good enough beyond satisfaction.

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 Some photos attached from the page of Baguio City and Kalinga province.

  Upon downloading these photos, I wasn’t able to share our own photos during our DevComm days in Kalinga.

 It was seven years ago since we stepped in the province of Kalinga. It was memorable interaction among the  Igorots residing there.

 Maybe the Town and “Barangay” we visited way back seven years, was now an improved and developed place to dwell for the next generation.

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2 comments on “Interacting with Indigenous People in Kalinga

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