"There was a language barrier but the mere fact that I am witnessing a portion of their culture has made me think that these people are simply unique and blessed!"

Being able to witness a small portion of the cultural beauty of the Ammutan Tribe is already enough to give me chills and fascination. It made me think how meager my exposure is to the indigenous people (IP) of our country; and how little my knowledge is about the original Filipinos (pre-colonial natives, also called as Austronesians, a general term for this original Pacific islanders. "Filipino" is coined after the Spanish regime's King Philip). I have been preoccupied so much with lowland living, and lately, city lifestyle which has changed my view to how should I look the Philippines as a nation.

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra

A young generation of the Ammutan Tribe, to continue the legacy


Then upon seeing and experiencing a dose of the culture of the 4 Tinguian sub-tribes of Abra, my point of view changed instantly. Actually there are 12 sub-tribes, I have seen 4 of them  as of this writing. But for now, I want to take it slow and feature one tribe at a time. Of course, I am on my way of seeing and experiencing more of this Indigenous People and hoping to see all the 12 Tinguian sub-tribes.

With this experience, it would be safe to say that the Philippines is already a thriving civilization before the Westerners came to colonize our beautiful country. We have our own identity as a nation and this is evident by the culture and traditions of our mountain tribes being uninfluenced much by the Westerners.
Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra

Smile of an Ammutan Girl


Ammutan Tribe is said to be the descendants of a certain man called Ammut. But now, the Ammutan tribe is called as Muyadan tribe. Ammutan Tribe a.k.a. Muyadan Tribe inhabit the town of Manabo in Abra.

In a barangay called Catacdegan (subdivided into Catacdegan Viejo and Nuevo), members of the Ammutan tribes (and some non-Ammutan people) gathered to celebrate an occasion.

Suddenly, male kids in G-strings and girls in their Tinguian clothes came. Then they danced their traditional Tadek with pride. The music playing sounds familiar but the words... the words were not. It was sung in their Ammutan dialect. There was a language barrier but the mere fact that I am witnessing a portion of their culture has made me think that these people are simply unique and blessed! They can understand my language but I can't understand theirs. They continued their tribal dancing that served as a cultural feast before my eyes.

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Kids in G-String

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Following the beat

Pretty Ammutan Girl

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Young boys of the tribe

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Love and Pride

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Beautiful gesture

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Colorful Itneg Clothes and Accessories

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

In sync

Ammutan Tribe | Manabo, Abra, Philippines

Ammutan/Muyadan kids


As I am making a research more about these Tinguian tribes, I found out that they are considered as pagans, in a Christian point of view. These pagans worship the nature, have rituals and traditions that give honor to the elements of nature.

But as I witness the Ammutan tribes, it was not an absolute paganistic tribe maybe because some members of the tribe have gained exposure to the outside world of Christianity.

As they danced, I was hearing a familiar music at the background that I used to sing when I was a kid (and until now) in our church. The song tells about the great love of Jesus Christ to all children in the world whatever race and nation they belong.

But the music playing has different words. It was studio-recorded in their tribal dialect. I can't understand the words but at least, as a Christian, I am looking forward that paganistic rites and rituals can be modified to a Christian point of view without sacrificing their intangible cultural heritage. It's complicated because most tribal rituals and rites are mainly an-anito-worship. So, the introduction of the gospel would mean stopping nature-worship, hence their traditions. But of course, as I witness the Ammutan tribes of Manabo, they can embrace Christianity without leaving the good traditions of their tribal bloodline.

...to the tune of a kiddie song, "Jesus Loves the Little Children" 

tadek... tadek... tadek...

Proud kid of the Ammutan Tribe


Our society is too complex, and our opinions too. So whatever race or tribe we belong, we need to respect each other. In the long run, the world can be a better place to live if there is unity in diversity.
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You are reading the Part 1 of my Manabo #TownExploration Series


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | 

Map of Manabo, Abra | Courtesy of Wikipedia
Tags: Ammutan Tribe | Muyadan Tribe | Tribes of Manabo, Abra | Cordillera Tribes | 

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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

Post A Comment:

8 comments:

  1. I didn't know such tribes exist in the Philippines. My Sibika at Kultura and HEKASI teacher will surely spank me, not knowing this.

    Bro I suggest once you had finished meeting all the 12 sub tribes have it documented as an ebook or book it self so for our future generations to see it.

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  2. Sky Summer | Cool! we have the same line of thinking. And sadly, our curriculum in the Philippines does not include teaching the children about these indigenous people. ;0

    Yes, hopefully i will be able to meet the 12, much work to be done pa, hehe.

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  3. There are still more things I need to know about my own country. Great post about this tribe.

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  4. Joshua Berida | Indeed Joshua, there are a lot more of things to learn and discover in our country. Thanks :)

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  5. Iba talga ang ganda ng Abra bro- culturally diverse. Sana maayos na talaga ang issue ng peace and order at ma boast and tourism. Given the precious time ito ang nasa top list ko.
    thanks for sharing bro!keep it up

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  6. Traveling Morion | I am positive bro magiging maayos na ang Abra soon given that the people will learn to vote wisely for this coming election. Thanks for dropping a line bro! :)

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  7. I like your blog. It is one of the best Ilocano blogs I've browsed through. Keep it up! Bareng makitak to met dagita a lugar diay Abra.

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  8. mom | Wow! Thanks for the kind words :) Comments like this inspire me more to continue blogging. Hehe. Wen, makapan kanto. Adu ti mayat nga lugar ditoy Ilocano republic :)

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