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Cover Page
Indigenous Peoples/Cultural Communities
II. Brief Introduction

The population data regarding the indigenous peoples in the country vary
according to who has conducted the research. The Episcopal Commission
on Tribal Filipinos (ECTF) distinguishes approximately 40 ethno-linguistic
groups with a population of about 6.5 to 7.5 million (10-11% of the
countrys population in 1995). The National Council of Churches in the
Philippines (NCCP) estimates some 60 such groups. The National
Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) identifies 95 distinct tribes,
which includes the Islamic or Muslim groups, in 14 regions of the country
with an estimated population between 12-15 million members (17-22% of
the total population in 1995).

The indigenous peoples in the Philippines continued to live in their relatively

isolated, self-sufficient communities, at the time when most lowland
communities had already been integrated into a single colony under Spain
in the 1700s and 1800s. They were able to preserve the culture and
traditions of their ethnos or tribe as reflected in their communal views
on land, their cooperative work exchanges, their communal rituals, their
songs, dances, and folklore. Instead of hierarchical governments, each of
these communities had its own council of elders who customarily settled
clan or tribal wars to restore peace and unity.

But with the long years of colonial rule in the Philippines, from the 1700s
to the early 1900s, and the influx of migrants into indigenous peoples
territories, many influences have been introduced that gradually changed
the indigenous way of life Indigenous communities at present are still
characterized by these phenomena but are definitely no longer in their pure
and natural state, showing varying degrees of influence from outside

The Aeta or Agta, are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated
mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered to be Negritos,
who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such as a
small stature, small frame, curly to kinky afro- like textured hair with a higher
frequency of naturally lighter hair color (blondism) relative to the general
population, small nose, and dark brown eyes. They are thought to be among
the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, preceding the Austronesian
The Aeta were included in the group of people termed "Negrito" during Spanish
colonial rules as Negritos. Various Aeta groups in northern Luzon are known
as "Pugut" or "Pugot," a name designated by their Ilocano-speaking neighbors,
and which is the colloquial term for those with darker complexions. In Ilocano,
the word also means "goblin" or "forest spirit." Most Negritos of northern Luzon
consider these terms offensive.
Mangyan is the generic name for the eight indigenous groups found in the
Philippine island of Mindoro, each with its own tribal name, language, and
customs. The total population may be around 100,000, but no official statistics
are available because of the difficulties of counting remote and reclusive tribal
groups, many of which have no contact with the outside world. The ethnic
groups from north to south of the island are: Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan,
Tawbuid (called Batangan by lowlanders on the west of the island), Buhid,
Hanunoo. An additional group on the south coast is labelled Ratagnon. They
appear to be intermarried with lowlanders. The group known on the east of
Mindoro as Bangon may be a subgroup of Tawbuid, as they speak the western
dialect of that language. They also have an alphabet which is called the
Mangyan are mainly subsistence agriculturalists, planting a variety of sweet
potato, upland (dry cultivation) rice, and taro. They also trap small animals
and wild pig. Many who live in close contact with lowland Filipinos sell cash
crops such as bananas and ginger. Their languages are mutually unintelligible,
though they share some vocabulary. Tawbuid and Buhid are closely related,
and are unusual among Philippine languages in having an /f/ phoneme.
Tawbuid is divided into eastern and western dialects. Western Tawbuid may
be the only Philippine language to have no glottal phonemes, having neither
/h/ or //. They use Hanuno script to write. Their traditional religious world
view is animistic. Around 10% have embraced Christianity, both Roman
Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism. New Testaments have been
published in six of the languages.
Ifugao is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera
Administrative Region in Luzon. Covering a total land area of 262,820
hectares, the province of Ifugao is located in a mountainous region
characterized by rugged terrain, river valleys, and massive forests. Its capital
is Lagawe and borders Benguet to the west, Mountain Province to the north,
Isabela to the east, and Nueva Vizcaya to the south. It is named after the
term "i-pugo" which means "i" (from/people) and "pugo" (hill), thus it means
people of the hill. The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and Banaue
Rice Terraces are the main tourist attractions in the province. These 2000-
year-old terraces were carved into the mountains, without the aid of
machinery, they used their "bare" hands to provide level steps where the
natives can plant rice. In 1995, they were declared as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site.
The Province of Kalinga (Ilokano: Probinsya ti Kalinga), (Tagalog: Lalawigan
ng Kalinga, Tagalog ]), pronunciation: [kli is a landlocked province of the
Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Tabuk
and borders Mountain Province to the south, Abra to the west, Isabela to the
east, Cagayan to the northeast, and Apayao to the north. Prior to 1995, Kalinga
and Apayao used to be a single province named Kalinga- Apayao, until they
were split into two to better service the needs of individual native tribes in the
The Ivatans are a Filipino ethnolinguistic group predominant in the Batanes
Islands of the Philippines. The origins of the Ivatans remained untraced among
scholars, although evidences suggest that they are Christians who lived in the
islands between northern Luzon and Taiwan. Ivatans were free before they
were colonized by the Spaniards. The culture of the Ivatans is partly influenced
by the environmental condition of Batanes. Unlike the old- type nipa huts
common in the Philippines, Ivatans have adopted their now-famous stone
houses made of limestone, designed to protect against the hostile climate.
The Ilongots (or Ibilao) are a tribe who inhabit the southern Sierra Madre
(Philippines) and Caraballo Mountains, on the east side of Luzon Island in the
Philippines, primarily in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija and
along the mountain border between the provinces of Quirino and Aurora. An
alternative name of this tribe and its language is "Bugkalot". Presently, there
are about 2,500 Ilongots. The Ilongots tend to inhabit areas close to rivers, as
they provide a foodsource and a means for transportation. Their language is
the Ilongot language, currently spoken by about 50,000 people

III. Content

A. Definition of Concepts
Indigenous People/ ICCs- refers to a group of people or
homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription
by others, who have continuously lived as organized community
on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have,
under claim of ownership, since time immemorial, occupied was
possessed and utilized such territory.
- Refer those having a historical continuity with pre-invasion
and pre-colonial society that developed on their territories,
consider themselves distinct from other sectors of society now
prevailing in those territories, or parts of them.
- Refer to a group of people sharing common bonds of language,
customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits.
Indigenous peoples communities can be found in the interiors
of Luzon, Mindanao, and some islands of Visayas.

B. Description of Client System/sectors

C. Social Work Activities in the Settings/Roles and Responsibility
D. Example of Agencies
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is the
agency of the national government of the Philippines that is responsible
for protecting the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines.
The commission is composed of seven commissioners. It is attached to
the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.
E. Synthesis
IV. Insights
V. References
History of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the