Pagdaloy, Flow of Life

picture of Kalinga


A Pact for Peace

A Journey to Kalinga

Historically, the Kalinga is a mixed group (Calinga, Kalingga, Kalina’), but it is now considered as a more or less homogenous group in the province of Kalinga. Subgroups of the Kalinga may also be found in the adjoining provinces of Apayao, Abra, Ilocos Sur, and Cagayan. There is a small group of people in the province of Ifugao also called Kalinga but who are not related to the central Kalinga population. The core area of the group is in the drainage areas of the Chico River and its tributaries in northern Cordillera. One of the ways in which this culture has been subgrouped is as follows: Balbalan (northern), Lubuagan (southern), and Maducayan (eastern). Another suggested subgrouping is: (1) Giad’an Balbalasang, (2) Sumadel, (3) Lubuagan, (4) Nabayugan, (5) Ablig Saligsig, (6) Kalagua, and (7) Mangali Lubo. In addition, there is a little-known highly mobile group in the Kalakad-Tupac area in east Tanudan.

The members form a mixed group of people thought to be descendants of migrants into the area from the Cagayan Valley to the east and the province of Abra to the west. There is a marked difference between the northern and southern populations due to the introduction of wet rice terracing in the south from Bontoc. An eastern grouping caused by eographic circumscription is also recognized. The society is organized into endogamous groups stemming from budong (peace pact) alliances. Because of their dress and personal ornamentations, the Kalinga have been dubbed the “Peacocks of the North.” Two distinctive features are the octagonal house in southern Kalinga, and the peace pacts that they enter into to preserve relationships between neighboring groups. Settlement areas are denser in the south.

Agriculture is also carried on in terraces, though on a smaller scale than the Ifugao and Bontoc, and field preparation is done with the use of draft animals. Rice is the principal crop. Swidden crops include beans, sweet potato, corn, sugar cane, and taro. Coffee is a popular cash crop. The Kalinga are also known for their pottery, baskets, and metal craft.

Although in the past, peace pacts had been common among the numerous ethno-linguistic groups, the budong of the Kalinga has caught the country’s imagination. Warring groups enter peace-enhancing arrangements through an elaborate procedure and the holders of each party keep token symbols from the other holders. These symbols ensure that the communities adhere to the terms of the pagta, the rules dictated by the pact.

▶ Play 영상 3. A Pact for Peace A Journey to Kalinga

This episode was first aired on Filipino television on April 18, 1996. This episode has been modified from its original format.

An animal was offered in the context of the Kalinga cultural ritual.