Our Town: Bakun, Benguet

Let’s start a photo series on the different Cordillera towns. This first installment features Bakun, Benguet. And like Bilbo Baggins let’s say “Mountains, Gandalf, mountains.” Or something like that.

Bakun has a population of 12,836 of mostly Kankanaeys and Bagos. More information at the municipal government’s website.

UPDATE: I think this deserves to be in the main page and not just in the comments section.

QUESTION: Pardon my ignorance but what are Bagos?

MY ANSWER: According to conventional wisdom, which is now being challenged, Bagos are the children of Igorots (particularly Kankanaeys) who went to the lowlands (i.e., the boundary towns) and intermarried with the locals.

However, there is a belief (and a contention) among Bagos that they are a distinct indigenous Igorot subgroup and that they are not Ilocano/Igorot mestizos. We hope that a Bago reader can help us clarify the matter. I am inclined to go for what a group defines itself for the simple reason that one knows one’s self best. Congressman Domogan yata is a Bago, but I’m not really sure.

RELATED POST: Move Over Sagada and Banaue, Here Comes Balbalasang; Laylaya, Besao: A Volunteer Speaks From the Boondocks. PHOTO CREDITS: Arcibald for the photo of the kids peering into the room and The Texins Mountaineering Society for all the other pictures.

14 Comments
  1. Nice pics.. :) I particularly like the one where people are looking through a window. It looks very Igorot-like.

    Pardon my ignorance but what are Bagos?

  2. According to conventional wisdom, which is now being challenged, Bagos are Igorots (particularly Kankanaeys) who went to the lowlands (especially the boundary towns) and intermarried with the locals.

    However, there is a belief (and a contention) among Bagos that they are a distinct indigenous Igorot subgroup and that they are not Ilocano/Igorot mestizos. We hope that a Bago reader can help us clarify the matter. I am inclined to go for what a group defines itself for the simple reason that one knows one’s self best.

    Congressman Domogan yata is a Bago, but I’m not really sure.

  3. wow, i never expected my pic to be posted here. thanks.

    just came back from poblacion, bakun (my third time there in 2 years) this holy week. i was doing a bit of research more on bakun and came across this. will be posting in my blog more on my holy week stay in bakun, and rarely heard-of local bakun tales that were told to me in good spirits by the remarkable people there.

    i left a part of myself there, and will surely come back to nourish it.

  4. Hi Arcibald,
    Thanks for visiting and for your comment. And thanks for your photos too. You take great pictures ha. Looking forward to your blog entries on Bakun. I hope I can visit the town in the future :-) Thanks again.

  5. Hi Omom,
    Wow. That was really informative and very helpful in clarifying who our Bago siblings are. Thanks for that link. I will add it to this blog’s links.

  6. hmm, nice pictures! never expected bakun to be that beautiful especially the peak and hanging bridge. hehe.

  7. I appreciate it very much comments from visitors who come and visit my hometown. Those pictures featured here are only few of the natural beauties of the Bakun environs…

  8. really nice to know people appreciate our place. thank you so much.. i have a lot of personal photos of my hometown if ever anybody is interested.

  9. .Like other municipalities in Benguet, Bakun has a lot to offer. With its fascinating destinations, to its wonderful people, a rich heritage and cultural values lie along with it. .Undiscovered beauties should be unleashed in there and the ways to make it possible lies on the hands of those who believe in the beauty of Bakun of which I’m proud to be one.^^ THANK YOU!

  10. Hello! I’m currently a PhD student taking Philippine Studies. I’m taking an interest in your pictures as I am currently working on a study about culture change in Bakun. Would it be possible to contact you to ask for more information about your knowledge of the place or perhaps if you can give me some contacts who I can also talk to? Thanks so much, any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

  11. I was in Bakun in 1974 and it was one of the most beautiful places that I’ve been to. I endured the 18 kilometer hike, the waterfalls, hanging bridges, the surrounding mountains and the genteel people. There were no roads then. The road ends in Ampusungan sawmill camp where you start the hike from. The festive atmosphere where the people were playing ball with just the light from the full moon.
    I’ve always wondered what’s become to Bakun since. It was my Shangrila.

  12. We are planning to climb the mountains in Bakun.Can you help us with the logistics and guide ? who do we need to contact to make arrangements ? Thank you very much …

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