The List, Part 10: More Igorot Achievers


1. Flying General: Brig. Gen. Pedro Baban (Philippine Military Academy, Class l940) of La-Trinidad, Benguet is the first Igorot/Ibaloi to hold the rank of a general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He also holds the distinction as the first Igorot pilot; he joined the Philippine Army Air Corp upon graduation from the PMA. General Baban is a World War II veteran who saw action in the liberation of Benguet. Source: Cordillera Online. Read more about General Baban here.

2. Mr. Philippines: Bodybuilder Fernando Faroden of Sadanga, Mt. Province was crowned Mr. Philippines in 2003. He was also the winner in the Musclemania Philippines contest in 2001. Seems like Sammy Ayochok has inspired lots of Igorots to take up bodybuilding and they appear to be doing really well in competitions. Nothing beats the Igorot physique no? Source: Sunstar

3. Peace negotiator: Silvestre Afable is the government’s chief peace negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Afable hails from Baguio City and is of Ibaloi/Kankanaey/Japanese ancestry. We hope that he helps us find a just and lasting peace in Mindanao. Read more about Afable here and here.

4-7. Winning unicyclists: Angie Guinid of Lagawe, Ifugao bagged two silvers and a bronze medal during the 11th Unicycling World Championships held in Beijing, China. She was reportedly dressed in Ifugao attire in one of her medal-winning performances. For the 12th Championships, Guinid headed the Philippine team to Seattle, USA and coached an Ifugao team (Alayka Guinid, Terry Butuagan and Dylan Guinid) which won a bronze medal. Angie is the President and co-founder of the Filipino Unicycling Network (FUN – Philippines). More about Angie and Ifugao unicyclists here and here.

8-10. Medal winning skills: For Ceasar Magalong and Espirita Balao-as of Balbalan, Kalinga and Ventura Ambong of Pinukpuk, Kalinga disability is not an obstacle to success. The three brought home gold medals from the 2005 Abilympics National Skills Competition. Magalong topped the tailoring category, Balao-as won her gold for dressmaking, while Ambong was the best in the electronics category. All three are self-employed and have gained expertise in their respective fields. Source here.

11. Progressive voice in the Catholic Church: Retired Bishop Francisco Claver of Bontoc, Mt. Province is a prophetic voice within the Catholic Church and is a leading advocate for peace, social justice, and non-violence. He was appointed as the first Bishop of the Prelature (now Diocese) of Malaybalay in Bukidnon in 1969. From 1995 to 2004, he served as Bishop of the Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe. You can read an article about Bishop Claver and other progressive Catholic bishops here. And here’s a paper he wrote on the encounter between the Gospel and the values of indigenous peoples.

12. Doctor to the barrios: Dr. Felixberto B. Ayahao of Kiangan, Ifugao received the prestigious Jose Rizal Memorial Award from the Philippine Medical Association for “going back to the mountains to serve his own people.” After he passed the medical board exam, he volunteered to work without pay as a rural doctor in far-flung barrios of Lagawe. He is now teaching in Baguio City. Source:

13. Poet: Jocelyn Noe is a nurse by profession but she also excels in poetry. In fact, she won awards for her poems which, not surprisingly, have a distinctly Igorot feel and color. Outskirts Press recently published her book of poems, Serendipity. Jocelyn is from Mt. Province but is now based in Florida, U.S. Read more about Jocelyn here.

14. Organizer: Rex Botengan led the formation of the biennial Igorot International Consultation (IIC) and the Igorot Global Organization (IGO). Both the IIC and the IGO have been in the forefront in presenting a positive Igorot image to the world. A memorial was built in Botengan’s honor in the Parish of Holy Trinity and St. Benedict, a Filipino Episcopal congregation in California. More about Botengan here.

Previous posts on Igorot achievers: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9. And an explanation can be found here.

11 thoughts on “The List, Part 10: More Igorot Achievers”

  1. Why are we not including in our list Cheryl Daytec-Yangot? She is the first and only Igorot woman to received the Ten Outstanding Students (or Young Men?) of the Philippines award. She is from Besao, Mt. Province. She was the guest speaker during our gathering of BIBAK young people and her biodata is very impressive. She graduated with high honors in all academic levels. Now,she is a lawyer and she is doing well in serving the people. She is my former professor in the law school and she is very intelligent and well love and well known. she is very proud to be Igorot. If you have been following up the nursing controversy, she is the brave lawyer who is standing up for the rights of the examinees.

  2. Hi Harold,
    Thanks for the tip. I wondered last month about the Ten Outstanding Students (and Young Men as well), kaya lang wala akong mahanap na sources on the web. Kaya salamat for telling us about Cheryl. We will definitely include her in our next installment.

    I also didnt realize that she is one of the good guys in this nursing scandal. Have not been watching the news kasi. She is doing a great job. If only PRC listened to her and the Baguio students from the very start, hindi sana lumaki ang problema.

    Btw, do you have a blog or a link that I should visit? I am using Blogger Beta and its link is apparently not working.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for visiting my blog – Kayni’s Meanderings. As for Sophie’s Choice, I heard that it was made into a movie. This was prior to the musical version. There could be a book version as well.

    Take care.


  4. Hi Kayni,
    Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the tip about the movie. Hope to get a vcd/dvd somehow.

    Ingat din (Take care too).


  5. Whattalist! I personally met (actually interpreted for him) Bishop Claver during a Worldview Workshop in Bataan. What a great man! And yes, his book did great leaps re the inculturation and contextualization of Christianity.

  6. Hi Ironheart,
    You’re right. He is great. Hope he passes on his wisdom to more church workers. Btw, I liked your post re: the cultural presentation controversy. Keep it up 🙂

  7. Check on the life of Mr. Damaso Bangaoet, Sr. I believe he can also qualify as an Igorot achiever and hi life story will be an inspiration.

  8. Hi Anon,
    Thanks for the tip. I will do as you suggested 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and hope you will continue to visit us in the future.

  9. I’m very proud to be one of the Igorot Achievers…tnx for posting it…

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