Records of a journey in 1990
Songs & Stories
War & Peace in Kalinga
Journey 1 - Gang-gang's Palpaliwat
Journey 2 - Tanudan
Journey 3 - Gold & NPAs
Image Gallery
Common Page


In 1990 Kalinga culture was still largely oral. It seemed as if there wasn't a mountain or bend in a river that didn't have a story explaining its shape or how it got its name. People chanted accounts of journeys as they hiked. In the villages, when the sun set and the work was done, the Kalinga drank, chatted, sang and listened to elders tell stories about the village forefathers, customs, wars and the making of the Kalinga landscape. In a land without TV, books and, very often, a light to read by, what else would you do?


These are a few examples of Kalinga stories, told by old men in Kalinga from Lubo.

Sibjacao the Head-hunter & How Lubo got its name

My sister's rice

How Sleeping Beauty mountain got its name
Ullalim are traditionally epic stories that are chanted or sung to a structure of 7 syllables per line. They tend to be about myths or histories of place. The Ullalim of Sapao gives an account of the American colonial governor  Walter Hale’s time in Kalinga. Sapao was his Kalinga nick-name.

Ullalim of Sapao - Audio    
Ullalim of Sapao - Transcript 

Are songs, made up on the spot, giving an account of the situation at the time, e.g. 'here we all are, getting exhausted climbing over this mountain. We're all very much looking forward to lunch and arriving in Dacalan. Maybe when we get there Laila will find a husband, because she's 28 and not even married. And Ben it's better that you find a wife in our village of Bugnay. After all you've got so much money' etc.  


Palpaliwats are a form of verse, in which performers boast of their bravery and head-hunting prowess. See the page on Palpaliwats.


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