ETHNIC ORIGIN OF THE PEOPLE
The first inhabitants of the province were the Apayaos, Igorots, Itnegs and Tinggians. Invasions by groups with superior weapons and a number of men drove these natives into the mountains wherein they still thrive until today. People from the neighboring provinces as well as from other countries reach the province through business activities or trading. Intermarriage was also a factor for the growing number of Tagalogs, Visayanos, Bicolanos, Pampagueños, Chinese and Bombays.
Source: 2007 (National Commission on Indigenous People Based on Tribal Council’s Census 2007, Ilocos Norte Provincial Office)
Source: 2000 Census of Population and Housing (National Statistics Office)
ETHNIC SONGS AND DANCES
Ilocos Norte has various native dances which mostly depict the customs, beliefs and practices of an Ilocano. Its native songs are expressions of the characteristics, aspirations and occupations of its music-loving and industrious people. “Ilocos Norte – Gem of the Northern Plains,” authored by Ernesto Ma. Cadiz, Bella C. Curameng and Mary Editha Y. Dy enumerates and describes the worth mentioning dances and songs of the province:
“Osi-osi” portrays the traditional ways of courtship. “Binigan-bigat” (Every Morning) is a courtship dance depicting a boy who is in love with a girl from whom he asks pity. “Sileledda-ang” (Grief-stricken or Laden with Sorrow) is a courtship dance showing the lover’s fondness for each other. “Manang Biday”, another courtship dance usually performed by young people. “Sabunganay” (Banana Blossom) symbolizes a young lady who is still too young to be courted and “Pandanggo Laoagueña” is a courtship dance performed by the young and old.”
“Vintareña” maybe performed by one to any number of pairs in any social gathering such as baptismal, wedding, birthday or thanksgiving parties. “Kuratsa Pasuquiña” is a dance during birthday parties and festivities. Depicting merriment are La Jota Zapatilla, Barbarukong (Breast Out), La Jota Laoagueña and Kuratsa Paoayeña which are also presented during social gatherings. Another dance shown during wedding and baptismal celebrations are “Sagamantica” and “Arikenken”. “Chotis Dingreña” is a dance for the elite and is performed during social functions. “Pandanggo” is one of the favorite dances of the old people. “Guling-Guling” is a dance for Ash Wednesday. “Tambora” is usually shown on the Eve of Christmas.
“Ilocana a Nasudi (Chaste Ilocana), a dance depicting a chaste and virtuous Ilocana, may be performed by four pairs, while Surtido Norte (Assorted Dances from the North) is a combination of different Ilocano dance steps manifesting thrift as a trait of the people.”
“In Rabong (Bamboo Shoot), a dance glorifying the bamboo shoot as a delicacy of the Ilocanos, the participants sing the lyrics themselves. Some occupational dances are Asin and Dinaklisan, salt-making and fishing, respectively, are two occupations of the people living near the seacoast; Agabel, which represents cloth weaving, and Agdamili, which shows the rustic life of those in the pottery industry.”
“Some of the songs have been collected and analyzed for their educational values. Ayat ti Ina (Love of a Mother) expresses how a mother loves and takes care of her child. The narrative song, Napateg a Bin-i (cherished Seed), utilizes metaphor in comparing a woman to a ’bin-i’ or seed. Pamulinawen (Hardened Heart) is the most popular Ilocano love song which equates the heart of a girl, who does not heed the pleading of her lover, to a hardened flint. Duayya ni Ayat (Love’s Lullaby) expresses a man’s tender loving care for his ladylove to be careful in changing her mind and choosing another man. Siasin ti Agayat Kenka (Who is in love with you?) expresses an insistent love. No Duaduaem Pay (If You Still Doubt) gives the idea that the lover feels that his loved one doubts him, so he asks for understanding and also reiterates his love. Teng-nga ti Rabii (Midnight) tells of a lover who sees the image of his loved one in the middle of the night and is awakened by her voice. A patriotic song, Dinak Kad Dildillawen (Do not Criticize Me), conveys service to love of country, while Kasasaad ti Kinabalasang (The life of a Maiden) is an advice for the young maidens to consider carefully their plans of getting married, because marriage is a risky venture. Agdamdamili (Pot Making) is an occupational song, while Kanaganan is a birthday song.”
Widely spoken by the people of Ilocos Norte is Iloko, one of the major dialects in the country and which is proudly used by every Ilocano as for as the foreign countries. The dialect serves as index of determining the place of residence of an Ilocano because intonation varies from town to town. One can pinpoint a person’s origin by just listening to the way he/she talks, because intonation varies from town to town.
Source: 2000 Population Census (National Statistics Office)