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Ibanag refer to people who settled along the banks of the Cagayan River and the northern coasts of Luzon. They are found in the towns of Abulog, Camalaniugan, La-lo, Amulung, Iguig,Aparri, and Tuguegarao in Cagayan. The word "Ibanag" derives from the prefix "i" which may refer to "native, resident,people of" and "bannag" which means "river".

Their language is also named Ibanag, which also serves as the lingua franca of other neighboring ethnic groups such as the Gaddang,Yogad, and a few Aeta. These groups are the inhabitants of Isabela, central part of Cagayan Valley.

The early Cagayanes lived in villages governed by an Urayan holding the executive powers, an ukom or judge and a kammaranan who made policies and regulations or the community. Their means of survival, on the other hand, depends on domestic activities such as rice planting and fishing and trading with Chinese,Indians and Japanese as well.

A traditional Ibanag custom is placing a great value on children which is considered a gift from God. Couples without children are deemed unlucky and are believed to be punished.In this relation, many beliefs and rituals of Ibanag are associated with conception. One is a ritual to free an expectant mother from sickness. It uses a lutung, a wooden container from a bark of a tree. A small piece is taken from it, pulverized, burned, and mixed with coffee. Then, this will be served to the woman on a full moon with chanting of prayers.


  • Cultural Center of the Philippines Encyclopedia.Vol. 1, Manila: 1992.(August 3,2007)

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