The Balangaos are sometimes referred to as (Balangaw, Balangad, Bontoc, Baliwen, Boliwons). They are predominantly found in the Eastern Mountain Province in the central Cordillera mountain ranges specifically in the towns of Barlig, Natonin and parts of Paracelis.
According to historians, when the Gaddangs of Cagayan revolted and lost against Spanish colonizers, the Gaddangs fled to the mountains and established their settlements there. The present Balangao/Boliwon ethnolinguistic group or tribe are a result of the intermarriages and cultural blending for centuries between the tribes and the original inhabitants of the mountain slopes and river banks where the Ifugaos, Kalingas and Bontocs lived.
The Balangaos main source of income is farming. Hunting is also be considered as part of their survival skills since there are still a lot of areas that are considered as virgin forests. They occasionally hunt wild games in forests. They are also into weaving and blacksmithing. They make quality bamboo and rattan crafts.
They produce two rice crops a year in their terraces, supplementing this with slash-and-burn root crop agriculture, and some gathering. In most aspects a part of the general Cordillera culture, they most closely resemble the Kalinga, with whom they deal on a frequent basis, and this contact is strongly reflected in their architecture. Men and women live in separate dormitories.
The Balangao dialect has dominant "ch", "r," and "f" sounds. They have similarities in characteristics and physical features with their neighboring tribes but not in their beliefs, rituals, songs and dances.