More Fun Stuff: Bagbagto

This is a song I learned from my high school Practical Arts teacher. I don’t know what teachers call the subject these days but during our time, Practical Arts is where we learn stuff like carpentry and gardening. I’m not quite sure how this song relates to either carpentry or gardening but I’m glad our teacher taught it to us. I appreciated him then but I have a much higher appreciation for him now.

I’m also not quite sure if the song means something. I think it’s just a play on words and the words themselves might not mean anything. I say “might” because I don’t know all the Cordillera languages and “Bagbagto” just might mean something in Ifugao or Ibaloi or Kalanguya or Isneg.

I also don’t know what this song is for. (Ha ha, for someone who wants to present Igorot culture to the world, I’m totally clueless on this one.) I can’t recall if our teacher explained it to us but I’m not a good listener at times. Anyway, the song goes like this.

Bagbagto, bagbagtolambik
Tolambik, tolambawikan

Bawikan, bawikallanay

Kallanay, kallanapunay

Napunay, napunayagta

Ayagta, ayagtakumpa

Takumpa, takumpayyaaw
Payyaaw, payya-astibaw

Astibaw, astiballangaw

Ballangaw, ballangawistan
Gawistan, gawistannabu
Tannabu, tannabugaoy

Bugaoy, bugapappayos

Pappayos, pappajutiken

Jutiken, jutikameg-eng

Kameg-eng, kameg-iyungas

Iyungas, iyu assa-as

Assa-as, assa-as binyas

I think there are different versions of “Bagbagto”. In fact the last lines above may not be correct but that is how my faulty memory remembers them. The idea is to go back to the beginning but I can’t remember the words that should lead us back to “Bagbagto”. Anyone who knows the right words out there?

31 Comments
  1. Hi, Bill!

    I’m so surprised that you remember the lyrics (and their spelling, too) very well; a proof that your memory is not faulty.

    I wonder where I can get the meaning of this song. Some said that the tongue of the said song is already extinct. Other than an Ifugao’s children’s chant (obviously because the lyrics are mnemonically arranged so that they’re easy to remember) about stone-throwing, I’m very curious about its meaning, ‘coz it surely reflects the culture of the Ifugaos in general.

    By the way, this song is beautifully (and challengingly, hehehe) arranged for the choir by Sir Nilo Alcala and it’s the contest piece of this year’s Voices in Harmony 2008 high school choir competition.

    And Practical Arts is known nowadays as Technology and Livelihood Education.

    Thank you very much, Bill.

  2. WeLL THAts GREAt!_At LEASt YOUv’e StiLL reMeMbER IT!jeJE!_But AS I reMEMber iT, IT kinDA GOES thIS wAY…

    Bagbgato,Bagbagto lambik
    Tulambik, tulambawikan
    Bawikan, bawikalanay
    Kalanay, Kalana Punay
    Napunay, napunayagta
    Nayagta, nayagta kumpa
    Takumpa, takumpayaaw
    Payaaw, Payaaw timbaw
    Atimbaw, Atimgawistan
    Gawistan, Gawistanabu
    Tanabu, tanabugaay
    Bugaay, Bugaay madum

    _jejE!JusT gUEssiN_I JUst reMEmBEr iT tHAT wAY!nGeeKS!jeje!

  3. Thank you for this! I totally praise your good memory! I needed this for homework and am still trying to find 2 more songs: Pipiyogo and Dayakos. Anyway, thanks again!

  4. Bagbagto, bagbagto lambik
    To lambik, to lamba wikan
    Bawikan, bawi ka lanay
    Ka lanay, kalanay kalanay punay
    Napunay, napunayagta
    nayagta, nayag takumpa
    Takumpa, takum payao
    Payao, payao timbao
    Atimbaw, atimgawistan
    Gawistan, gawista nabu
    Tanabu, tanabugaay
    Bugaay, bugaay madum
    Bagbagto, bagbagto lambik
    To lambik, to lamba wikan
    Bawikan, bawi ka lanay
    Ka lanay, kalanay kalanay punay

    That’s probably what I know 😉
    Thanks for putting that up!

  5. The “real bagbagto” as I’ve witnessed during my primary studies at All Saints Mission in Bontoc was menacing at best. Teenagers from the Samoki side of the Chico River and the other teenage warriors on the Bontoc side were zinging river rocks to each other. The distance between the warring pricks was at least 100 yards, maybe less. Your only defense was to have an eagle eye to monitor where those river rocks are coming from and dance around sideways/backwards in order not to be hit.
    Believe this was a yearly ritual.

  6. I was just toying on the first three lines on a song my mother sang when I was a baby, 1941. She was not Ifugao, she probably heard it from some friends or help. I was amazed there was a real song elsewhere.
    Bless the computer and not all lullabyes are Brahms.

  7. -THANK YOU!!!! ^^ BUT….WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF BAGBAGTO???

    -I REALLY NEED THAT ..BY THE WAY THANK YOU..

  8. I remember singing “bagbagtu” in highschool during a cheering competition. It was taught to us by a teacher who had Igorot roots. We had fun singing it although we didn’t have a clue of what it meant 🙂

  9. It’s very nice…is there a description of the pentik manok..? I need to know about that song….thank u so much!!!

  10. Bagbagto was a song taught to us in either the first or second grade. My teacher taught us the song and I had no idea what it meant except it originated in the Ifugao region. I went to a public school in the southern Tarlac province. After more than 40 years, I still remember some of the words. Thanks for writing them here.

  11. Bagbagto, bagbagtolambik
    Tolambik, tolambawikan
    Bawikan, bawikallanay
    Kallanay, kallanapunay
    Napunay, napunayagta
    Ayagta, ayagtakumpa
    Takumpa, takumpayyaaw
    Payyaaw, payya-astibaw
    Astibaw, astiballangaw
    Ballangaw, ballangawistan
    Gawistan, gawistannabu
    Tannabu, tannabugaoy
    Bugaoy, bugapappayos
    Pappayos, pappajutiken
    Jutiken, jutikameg-eng
    Kameg-eng, kameg-iyungas
    Iyungas, iyu assa-as
    Assa-as, assa-as binyas

  12. Bagbagto, bagbagtolambik
    Tolambik, tolambawikan
    Bawikan, bawikallanay
    Kallanay, kallanapunay
    Napunay, napunayagta
    Ayagta, ayagtakumpa
    Takumpa, takumpayyaaw
    Payyaaw, payya-astibaw
    Astibaw, astiballangaw
    Ballangaw, ballangawistan
    Gawistan, gawistannabu
    Tannabu, tannabugaoy
    Bugaoy, bugapappayos
    Pappayos, pappajutiken
    Jutiken, jutikameg-eng
    Kameg-eng, kameg-iyungas
    Iyungas, iyu assa-as
    Assa-as, assa-as binyas

  13. Bagbgato,Bagbagto lambik
    Tulambik, tulambawikan
    Bawikan, bawikalanay
    Kalanay, Kalana Punay
    Napunay, napunayagta
    Nayagta, nayagta kumpa
    Takumpa, takumpayaaw
    Payaaw, Payaaw timbaw
    Atimbaw, Atimgawistan
    Gawistan, Gawistanabu
    Tanabu, tanabugaay
    Bugaay, Bugaay madum

  14. @Traveller1312: It’s unlikely Bagbagto originated in Ifugao, most likely Bontoc, Mountain Province. You must have an Igorot teacher then, it’s hard to imagine it being taught in the primary grades.

  15. this is a kananaey song i think, my mother used to sing this if we go to Farm or what we call Uma,because she believe work will be done faster when you make a song and make you relax. And this song was thought
    by their mother too.

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