Bugkalot Tribe

According to ancestral stories, the indigenous Igongot ( later renamed to Bugkalot) were forestry and river dependant people, who were hunters, fishermen and gatherers. The Igongot  traveled south from Palanan across Southern Isabela, making their way to the eastern part of Nueva Vizcaya (which used to be part of Quirino) long before the Spaniards arrived in the 1800’s. The Igongot also migrated from Nueva Vizcaya to Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.

It is likely they originated from Indonesia and Malaysia, and settled south of Sierra Madre and the Caraballo mountains. They turned away from headhunting in the 1960’s due to the influence of christian missionaries and the government.  Mr.Renato Rosaldo, an anthropology university student claimed the Igongot practiced headhunting to impress their intended wives, by leaving a head at her family home doorway. His theory is not supportable and opposes what is known. The Indonesian and Malaysian Indigenous people did practice head hunting as a form of violence, retribution and retaliation. Headhunting was used to scare away other nomadic people, who would encroach on their domains in search of food, water and food. 

It is more than likely that headhunting was practiced by the Igongot in the Philippines, during inter tribal fighting, retribution and to scare away trespassing nomadic tribes. The Igongot stopped headhunting after the strong influence of Christian missionaries, up to and before the late 1960’s at which time, they formed a peace agreement with the government. Therefacter, the Igongot changed their name to the ‘Bugkalot’. As their good fame and reputation for environmental management grew, legal and illegal logging industries emerged on the Bugkalot Ancestral; Domain, denuding large land areas. Logging did however, provide meagre employment and other forms of food production / farming opportunities. Other indigenous people from different provinces migrated to the Bugkalot provinces in search of work and improved lifestyles. The Ancestral Domain population then expanded. 

The Bugkalot Confederation of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Aurora Provinces Inc. is a well managed organization, caring for and managing the affairs of the Bugkalot. The Confederation was founded in 1967 with its head office located in Brgy. Ponggo, Nagtipunan, Quirino Province, under the Chairmanship of Chieftain Rosario K. Camma. Chieftain Camma is respected by all Bugkalot, and he shares a vision of Indigenous empowerment, education, socioeconomic development and equal opportunities for men and women alike. He understands the ‘Western business culture‘ and is excited to lead the Bugkalot into a new era of Protected Farming and Food Production.  Chieftain Camma is a man of vision and will. His priority is Indigenous led Climate Change Adaptation to modern farming technology and food production systems, to eliminate Food Insecurity now and for all future generations.

His approach to the Sustainable Development Goals is underpinned by his unfettered commitment for the greater good not only of the Indigenous Peoples and poor landowner farmers, but for the greater good of all future generations in all countries.

Chieftain Rosario Camma; A man of vision.

CPRSX and its Filipino management team have spent 3 years with the Bugkalot and the confederation’s board members, preparing them for Climate Change Adaptation and the commercial opportunities that follow. The pictures below, are a an assortment of CPRSX’s training and information sessions with the Bugkalot and other tribes.

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