Writing the History of Non-literate Peoples: The Case of Ayta in Bataan

Copyright © 2009 by Chester B Cabalza. All Rights Reserved.

One of the challenges faced by any researcher of history is writing the history of societies that do not have any writing tradition at all. This is the case of some hunting-gathering societies, examples of which are the various Negrito groups found in Southeast Asia: the Andamese in Andaman islands; Tapiro, Aiome and Ekari in central hilltribes of New Guinea; Semang in Malaya; Mamanwa in Mindanao; Batak in Palawan; Ati in Panay and Negros; Agta and Dumagat in Northeast Luzon; and the Ayta in West-Central Luzon.

What are the sources in writing the history of this ethnic group? What if there are gaps in written documents about them by foreign missionaries or colonizers or ethnographies of anthropologists?

This paper attempts to answer the aforementioned queries by narrating many accounts gathered by the authors in their way of reconstructing the local history of the Ayta in Bataan.

Objective of the Study

This research is one of results of the experiences by University of the Philippines’ (UP) Pahinungód or Volunteers in writing the local history of an Ayta community in Bataan. Based from this fieldwork, the researchers would want to share various methods they used in data gathering of unwritten sources to form initial local chronology of events with an aim at reconstructing Ayta’s ethnohistory.

Place of Study

The research was done in an Ayta settlement found at Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Province of Bataan.

Research Methodology

To begin with the study, the researchers stayed for one month in the community along with the Ayta of Bangkal. The immersion in Bangkal started from 29 April – 28 May 1998.

In this case, these are the following research methodologies used by the researchers:

1. Data gathering of related literatures about the Ayta of Bataan;
2. Observation on the lives of families and the Ayta community;
3. Interview of elder members of the Ayta, particularly the traditional leaders and local healers;
4. Documentation of local histories and legends;
5. Documentation of the genealogies of families in the community; and
6. Investigation of the structures found in their place to verify periodization

The Ayta Settlement in Bataan

The Ayta of Bataan is related to the nomadic Negrito groups found in the mountains of Bataan-Zambales. In Bataan, small Ayta settlements are scattered in almost all towns: Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Orion, Limay, Mariveles, Bagac and Morong (see Table 1.0 on the List of Ayta Communities in Bataan and their Approximate Number of Households). Almost this entire indigenous group in Bataan surrounds the Bataan Natural Park (BNP); 23,688 hectares of protected lands cover the mountainous domains of the following towns such as Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Bagac and Morong. Few of the known peaks in BNP are Natib, Napundol, Bataan Peak, Silanganan, Nagpali, and Santa Rosa. Mount Natib is the highest mountain in the place that has a height of 1,253 meters below sea level.

BNP is one of the 10 protected areas in the country under the Conservation of Priority Protected Areas (CPPAP), a project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by the Philippine Government, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas, Inc. (NIPA). The BNP was chosen into the project because of high biodiversity found in its domain. Some of the endemic animal species that are seen in the area include the following endangered birds, like Luzon bleeding heart pigeon, green-faced parrotfinched, and Philippine hawk eagle; endangered bats called bayakan; the decreasing population of wild pigs (Sus philippinensis), deer (Servus marianus), monitor lizards (Varanus salvator) and frogs that are called pasinga found only in Luzon. Also part of the endemic plants in the rainforests is trees with moss, bamboos (Bambusa sp.); bamboo shoots (Schizostachyum lumampao); and the deteriorating numbers of rattan.

The mother tongue of the Ayta in Bataan is Magbeken. Aside from the Ayta of Dinalupihan and Hermosa who are more akin to the Ayta in Zambales, they can also speak the Sambal dialect. On the other hand, they use the Tagalog language to communicate with the non-Ayta.

The Bangkal Tribe

Abucay is located in western part of Bataan and 119 kilometers away from Manila. Abucay is surrounded by nearby towns of Balanga, the capital city of Bataan province; Samal, Morong and Bagac. The western part of the town is nearest to Manila.

Our area of study is located in Bangkal, a mountainous barangay found in Abucay. Nearest to its western barangay is Mount Nagpali; in the eastern side is Barangay Mabatang; while in the north is Barangay Palili. Bangkal is 14 kilometers away from Barangay Calaguiman, Samal where one can ride a jeep going to Bangkal.

The barangay has a size of 1,887 square kilometers. Eighty hectares of the total land area is used for residential while the rest is used for agriculture and horticulture. The rivers and streams found near Yamot, Abo-Abo, and Pagsawan are used for irrigation system of ricefields.

In Bangkal can be found the Bataan State College (BSC). There is also a satellite office of the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of BNP. Behind the college can be found the community of the Ayta. And among the Magbeken Ayta, Bangkal has the largest population, i.e., 99 households in 1994.

Concept of History of the Ayta

Just like what we said in the beginning, there are many challenges that need to be confronted with in reconstructing history of the Ayta. There are scarce resources about the Ayta of Bataan. There are no ethnographies written by anthropologists about them. Studies made by some anthropologists, like Fox (1952) and Shimizu (1989) focused among the Ayta in Zambales, who also speak Sambal. Because of the language barrier, there are no direct contact between the Ayta in Bataan and Zambales.

Writings of foreigners are also problematic, just like the chronicles of the Spanish missionaries and other foreign travelers, because they usually refer “Negrito” as a generic term and not specifying the group of Negrito they belong to and not elaborating where do they come from. In fact, there were some missionaries who used general observations about the Negrito that are debunked today. For instance, Padre Antonio de Mozo (in Rahmann, 1963:142) in 1763 wrote that there was only one language spoken by the Negrito in the entire archipelago. Even the anthropologists, H. Otley Beyer (1917:180) thought that there was indeed one language among the Ayta groups in Bataan, Zambales, Pampanga and Tarlac.

All of the pygmies in the southern portion of Zambales range with whom I am familiar – including the Negritos of Bataan, the Negritos in Floridablanca and Fort Stotsenburg areas of Pampanga, and the Negritos in the Bamban area of Tarlac.

Besides, there are other eccentric opinions by the foreigners. For example, in 1744, Padre Juan Francisco de San Antonio (in Rahmann, 1963:142) stated that the Negritos were barbaric and uncivilized.

If we base the oral tradition of the Ayta, there seems to be problems, too. First, elderly Ayta do not have concept of dates based from the calendar. They are not aware when they were born. They do not know their ages. They do not know who is older between two senior individuals that are not blood related.

But they have broader concept of dating events if compared with ordinary periods. According to Shimizu (1999: 16-19) about his research on the Ayta of Pinatubo in Pampanga, there are five periods that they are familiar with: 1) onay-pana-on (early period); 2) pana-on nin Kastila (Spanish period); 3) pana-on nin pistaym (peacetime period) before the Second World War; 4) pana-on nin gera (period of war) during WWII; and 5) hapaeg (contemporary period). They do not have concepts of dividing years in those above-mentioned periods and there are time sequences that are vague, like the early period and the Spanish period.

One of the problems is the short span of recollection about the generations of families. Based from the genealogy done by the authors in bridging the gap of genealogies among the Ayta in Bangkal, informants only recall the names of their grandfather or grandmother. Hence, the same fate Rai (1982) experienced with the Agta of Isabela when he studied their group.

Albeit there are many flaws confronted by the researchers, but the volunteers still tried to surpass all of the hurdles by experimenting other possible sources in data gathering.

Early Period (Onay-Pana-on)

According to the Ayta history before the Spaniards came, folklore was the primary source of history. Emeraldo Maluni, 25 years old, recounted this legend.

In the early period, there were two distinct Ayta tribes: the tribe in Zambales headed by Apo Malyari; and another tribe in Mariveles. One time, the Ayta of Zambales attacked the Ayta of Mariveles and enslaved them. One of the slaves is Alipon, who later fell in love to the daughter of Apo Malyari and they eloped in Morong. Upon learning this, once again, Apo Malyari commanded his men to attack Morong and a war was fought between the two tribes in a place known as Girian (now Giniyan, Morong).

And later the war between the two factions ended. Alipon and Apo Malyari’s daughter became unwed husband and wife and they had many children. Apo Alipon was already old when outsiders came over their place which they called ‘Moro’. These people differ from the Ayta, having straight hairs. The Moro befriended Apo Alipon and made a pact with his people. But Apo Alipon loathed the ways of the Moro. Because of this rift, the Ayta and the Moro fought wars. The Ayta used their bows and arrows to oust the foreigners. Since then, the conflict between the “kinky” and “straight” is not yet pacified.

Hawil and Daray were two of the children of Apo Alipon. One of his grandsons was named Tayaon. And his grandchildren were scattered all throughout Bataan. Before he died, all his family members were reunited in Kanawan, Morong.

It was a daunting task to give exact dates based from the narrated legend, although, this might had happened in1578, the year when a Franciscan missionary, Padre Sebastian de Baesa, arrived in Bataan. One of the evidences was having the Moro in Bataan at that time which the Spanish friar encountered in the place, the one in Morong (DECS Bataan, 1987). It is observed that “Moro” was used in the legend since the Spaniards referred that name to the Muslims in the Philippines.

Muslims that time were also visible around the city of Manila. Loarca observed (in DECS Bataan, 1987:16) that he encountered 3,500 Muslims working in the farms of Pampanga.

There is a basis to the division of the Ayta of Bataan-Zambales into two groups, that is prevalent today – those who speak the Sambal language that are found in the north, and those who speak the Magbeken that are found in the south. The legend which the Ayta of Zambales refers to can be found in Mount Pinatubo because many Ayta of Pinatubo deem that the active volcano was the home of Apo Malyari, a folk hero. Even the enslavement of Bataan's Ayta in the 19th century was documented by Mallat (1983 [org.1846]: 126).

Spanish Period (Pana-on nin Kastila)

In the Spanish period, the primary source of data was the written documents about the province of Bataan, in general, and the town of Abucay, specifically. Nevertheless, only few literatures mention the presence of the Ayta in Bataan. The researchers could not gather sufficient data about the Spanish period from the Ayta in Bangkal, because the oldest member in the settlement is Guillermo Cayetano, was born only in 1921. It could be the case that the Spanish conquistadors did not totally colonize the Ayta. According to one document, the Spaniards evaded to travel in the lands of the Ayta because they feared their tribes (DECS Bataan, 1987:15).

One of the sources that mention the Ayta of Bataan was written by Domingo Perez in 1860 (in Shimizu, 1989:11) stating that few of the Ayta in Bataan worked for the Sambal as foragers and loggers.

There is a gap in the periodization when a French ethnographer named Jean Mallat (1983 [org.1846]: 126) recounted that there was indeed “Negrito” in Bataan. According to him:

The almost inaccessible lairs of these wild mountains are inhabited by a great number of those small Negroes called Negritoes whom we spoke about earlier; sometimes they are chased out of their homes, taken prisoners, the youngest among them being chosen to be raised by inhabitants in their homes until the age of reason, in the meantime being used for diverse chores, after which they are set free. One of our friends owned one which he gave to us; he was called Panchote, was not lacking in intelligence and was most of all mischievous.

Peacetime (Pana-on in Pistaym)

It is observed that there is no American period among the Ayta instead they called it peacetime. This was the period when the Americans gathered all the Ayta and delegated a protected area for them. The documents used by the authors in this period is a combination of both written and oral data based from the recollection of the oldest living Ayta in the settlement. The primary documents and maps of their protected area were presented to us, solely owned by the Ayta themselves, to present facts that the protected area was indeed delegated to them.

The oldest document that mentions the presence of Bataan’s Ayta was in 1900 when an article entitled, “The Tribes Of the Philippines”, written by Sixto Lopez for the New England Anti-Imperialist League. Lopez stated in the article that various names were referred to the Negrito groups in the Philippines, but the Negrito in Bataan had “kinky” hairs that differ them from other Negrito groups (Lopez, 1900).

Documented in the census on 2 March 1903, were 1,162 non-Christian population spread throughout Bataan. Part of them was the Ayta in zone Bunga, Barrio Mabatan in Abucay. But prior to the census, Mabatan was a separate town from Abucay. The place that is now known as Bangkal, was only a forested barrio of Mabatan before and very few Ayta resided in that place compared with Bunga. Bangkal and Bunga are two types of trees endemic in those places before.

In 1916, Beyer (1917) mentioned about the presence of Negrito in Bataan but the groups he may have encountered spoke the Botolan-Sambal dialects.

From May 1917 to June 1918, the Bureau of Lands of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources commissioned a survey on the potential domains of Abucay to seek the extent of the declared protected area for the Ayta. The model used by the Americans before for non-Christian groups in the Philippines and the same reservation policy they implemented for the indigenous peoples in the United States.

In 24 December 1927, Acting Governor General Eugene A. Gilmore signed a Proclamation No. 139 forming a Negrito Reservation from 238,498 hectares of land in Mabatan and 72.2769 hectares of land in Bunga at Barrio Salian. They also established Negrito Reservation in Pag-asa, Orani (28 July 1930), Tubo-Tubo and Dinalupihan (23 June 1943). And to different parts of the Philippines, thus implementing the government’s declaration on policy of reservation areas. For instance, in the island of Negros, they established a reservation area in 1932 for the “pagans” at the foot of Mount Kanlaon (Gatumbato, 1997) and a separate stream reservation area for the Negrito at Magahat in Bukidnon, south of the island (Oracion, 1964).

In 1930s, most of the Ayta in Abucay were found in Bunga but some also settled in Bangkal. A sedimentary community can be found near forested Bangkal based from the study of Bureau of Lands. In Pagsawan River, the Americans constructed dikes that the Ayta later called it as “tabon”, the source for their drinking water, located in a vast hacienda owned by an American, near the valleys of Abucay.

Period of War (Pana-on Gera)

There are more written documents about Bataan, including Abucay, during the Second World War. But what is ironic here is that there are no writings about the roles played by the Ayta during the war. To whom did they commit allegiance? Were they active and did they join the war during that tumultuous period?

Based from our interviews to the Ayta who lived before 1940, we have learned that the Ayta that time played very significant roles during the war.

When the Japanese forces first attacked Bataan in 1941, the Ayta feared the bombings, they escaped and saved themselves to the lairs of forested Mount Nagpali. Inside the eerie jungle, they practiced horticulture of root crops and edible plants and vegetables through (gahak) slash and burn.

In 10 January 1942, occurred the dogfights between American and Japanese airforces in the skies of Abucay. The Ayta witnessed this aerial event from the forest. After two days, the Allied Power withdrew from Abucay-Morong Line and in January 22, Mount Natib fell under the Japanese forces from the hands of Filipino and American soldiers.

The Japanese soldiers constructed a road near Bangkal. From then on, the Ayta retreated to the mountains of Tanoto, Balanga. Leonora Gulisan, 76 years old, recounted this story:

Because many of us, the indigenous people, were born in the forests that time, we moved fast and speedy. The Japanese could not chase us. But the Tagalogs were chased out. We saw how they were punished and persecuted. But the Ayta can run as fast as they could to the highest peaks. During the Japanese period, we ate all kinds of edible root crops. That’s how we survived (Dacanay, w.P., 2).

In 9 August 1942, Major Edward King surrendered Bataan. But some Filipino and American soldiers did not surrender and instead hid in the jungle. The Ayta adopted them. The Ayta fed and took care of them because they were knowledgeable of the medicinal plants found in the forests. They healed wounds of the soldiers and other diseases like malaria, using medicinal plants.

Guillermo Cayetano, aged 80 years old, the oldest living Ayta in Bangkal, also narrated that he adopted two American and a Filipino soldiers. Apparently, the two Americans were commanding officers with ranks of major and colonel but he could not recall their names. And the Filipino soldier was Agustin Paguirigan.

Narciso Gulisan, aged 76 years old, recounted that his father took care of a Filipino soldier named Berto and an American soldier named Cald in 1944. Their brigade was moving towards Mariveles but they retreated to the mountains where the Ayta encountered them. They fed the two soldiers with root crops and honey for almost one year. It was only one night when he saw Berto went down to the town of Orion to see a cabaret. The Japanese saw and killed him. Cald was left under the care of the Ayta. They communicated with him in simple English through Narciso’s brother-in-law, Bihin, who knew how to speak English because he attended elementary school. They thought that Cald was already 25 years old that time, and had a good rapport with them. He went down to Abucay only when the Japanese left the town.

When the Japanese troops retreated after they learned about the return of the Allies in 1945, the Japanese left plenty of mortars and other military paraphernalia in the mountains. One of the places where the Japanese junked their arms was in Puro-Puro, Balanga in the valleys of Mount Natib because of their sudden retreat. Because the Japanese left many helmets here, the Ayta called this place Mahelmet. In the place, can also be found underground passages constructed by the Japanese. It was here where the father of Narciso Gulisan, found a gun. One time, when the wives of the Ayta harvested root crops in the forest, Narciso was tasked to guard the band from passing Japanese soldiers. A troop of Japanese soldiers suddenly passed by and one soldier fired a gun to the women but nobody was shot. But Narciso fired also a gun and shot one soldier. Then the Ayta ran in different directions.

When the Japanese were defeated in 1945, they also fled to the mountains. The Ayta were deputized to capture those hiding Japanese soldiers. Narciso was also appointed on this kind of duty. Together with nine other non-Ayta teenagers, they searched Barangay Salian to find defeated enemies. They shot a nude Japanese soldier while stealing a water buffalo and food. The fugitive threw a grenade to them but nobody was hurt. They chased the Japanese soldier until they fetched and tied him. They brought the soldier in the capital of Abucay to present him to the Allied Forces.

Another incident was when Narciso and his comrades found another Japanese soldier wandering in the farm. The soldier was half-naked. They trapped him but he fought back. After they tied him, the Filipino and American teenagers brought him to Abucay.

Contemporary Period (Hapaeg)

The Ayta of Bangkal has now enormous recollection about events after the war. But what is lacking that they should have recalled events by also remembering the dates.

To make the chronology of events, researchers learned from the Ayta important events in Bangkal as far as what they could recall. But it should be the case that the sequence of events must not come from only one informant.

Some of the events that were recounted by the Ayta, like disasters, which the researchers can verify by consulting agencies, related to calamities like PAG-ASA and Manila Observatory. For example, the story of Rodolfo Tamondog, 48 years old, about the sudden darkness when he was still young was verified as a total eclipse that occurred on 26-30 June 1964. And other geo-physical changes told by the Ayta like earthquake that happened in 1990 and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

There are some structures in Bangkal that can be considered as a good source in dating events. For instance, in a concrete dike for irrigation carved the year when it was built in Pagsawan River and written, “Irrigation System A.D. 1957” that confirmed the irrigation development project initiated by the Americans in 1957. The dates on the graves of the dead Ayta in Bangkal cemetery starting from 1972 to present can therefore be inferred that in was only in 1972 that the Ayta settled in Bangkal before they were relocated from Bunga.

The complete relocation of the Ayta settlement from Bunga to Bangkal was an important event in the recent history of the Ayta during this contemporary period. This order was implemented under the Marcos administration by the Presidential Assistant for National Minorities (PANANIM). However, this order aimed to improve the lives of the Ayta because of their proximity to Bataan National Agricultural School (BNAS; but now called BSC), established in 1960s and approved by the Congress. The present location of BNAS was formerly part of the larger reservation area but became separate when the government commissioned another survey in the vast area on July-August 1961.

With the order from Imelda Marcos, concrete houses were constructed for the Ayta of Bangkal. But later on the houses faltered because of weak foundation. Because of this, the Ayta fled the houses and settled again in houses made of bamboo and cogon.

Since their transfer to Bangkal rapid changes occurred in Ayta’s culture. PANANIM appointed a “mayor” to lead the Ayta but the leader was not a member of the tribe. In 1978, Bangkal was separated from Barangay Mabatang (formerly Mabatan) and made it an independent barangay. They elected a Barangay Captain, but again, the series of leadership came from non-Ayta group who lived in the place.

In 1991, the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) arrived in Bangkal and implemented development projects and health services. Various government programs of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) also entered in the settlement.

After the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on July 1991, Bangkal became a center of relocation for victims of the calamity. 70 non-Ayta families from Zambales evacuated to the place. But they returned to Zambales in 1994 through an initiative of a politician in Zambales running for a post during the barangay election. Only one family, the Flores family, decided to stay in Bangkal.

In February 1996, the Office for Northern Cultural Communities (ONCC) established the Bangkal Tribal Council headed by Rogelio Parrera.

There are more events that happened in Bangkal. This would not all be written in the paper (see Annex 1 on the Chronology of Events of the Ayta in Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan).

Added to these events is the abrupt acculturation of the Ayta. The Ayta youth do no longer know today indigenous songs of their tribe. Only the elderly can dance the bakulaw (monkey dance). Dacanay observed (w.p.:4) that the Ayta youth are more familiar with the “sakala” dance (Boom Shack-ala).

According to Emiliano Gulisan-Caragay, an elder woman Ayta, who does not recall her age now, the Ayta do not celebrate the native marriage anymore. Nobody now practice the giving of dowry. There are no longer challenges given to male Ayta who usually courts female Ayta. There is a significant number of marriage between Ayta and non-Ayta, i.e., 18.83% of the total married couples in Bangkal (PASu, 1997). Bangkal has the most number of Ayta and non-Ayta marriage among all of the Ayta communities in Bataan.

Even the belief of the Ayta to animism is slowly deteriorating. Most of them are now converted to Roman Catholicism and some families are members of Born Again (Nielsen, 1996:19).


It was shown in the research that the Pahinungód or volunteers could still mine data and document the ethnohistory of Bataan’s Ayta even though the community does not have a tradition of writing. There are some unwritten documents that can be used in writing history. It should only be the case that researchers must be creative in their methodologies to gather important facts for the research.

Results of the research done within the Ayta settlement in Bangkal led to the chronology of local events in documenting local history of the place. Obviously, there are more questions than answers and there are plans to fill in these gaps. It is hoped that this paper will pave the way for other scholars to pursue similar researches in ethnohistory and its related fields.


Chronology of Events in the History of the Ayta in Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan

Early 1500s – The Pinatubo Ayta attacked the Magbeken Ayta in Mariveles that resulted to the enslavement of some captured enemies. This was followed by a war between the two tribes in Giniyan, Morong

End of 1500s – The Ayta and the Moro fought wars.

1578 – Padre Sebastian de Baesa, a Franciscan missionary, arrived in Bataan.

1578 September – The Dominican friars established the town of Abucay.

1588 June 10 – The Dominican friars built the parochial church of Abucay.

1647 – The Dutch colonizers headed by Admiral Gertzen massacred 200 Kapangpangan (people of Pampanga) in Abucay after their failed attempt to capture Cavite.

1667 – Orion was separated from the town of Abucay.

1680 – Some Ayta of Bataan worked as foragers and loggers for Sambal foresters.

1681 – Bataan was separated from Pampanga and declared it as a province by Governor-General Pedro Manuel Arndia.

1682 - A French ethnographer named Jean Mallat wrote that he found the Negrito in “the almost inaccessible lairs of these wild mountains” of Bataan. Apparently, some captured young Negrito were raised as slaves or helpers. Approximately there were around 5,700 population of Abucay that time and 1,140 came from the Negrito tribes.

1870 April – The church in Abucay was burned.

1870 December – Padre Meliton financed the construction of bell tower in Abucay.

1900 – Sixto Lopez wrote that ‘kinky’ Negrito were found in Bataan.

1902 – The formerly town of Mabatan became a barrio of Abucay.

1903 March 2 – According to the census, there were around 1,621 non-Christians scattered in the province of Bataan.

1916 – H. Otley Beyer stated in his “Population of the Philippine Islands” the presence of the Negrito in Bataan.

1918 May - End of the survey by the Bureau of Lands in Abucay.
1921 (?) – Guillermo Cayetano was born (aka Apo Alak).

1922 – Leonora Gulisan was born in Balanga (aka Orang).

1924 - Ernesto Cayetano was born in Bunga.

1927 December 24 – Acting Governor-General Eugene A. Gilmore signed the Proclamation No. 139 that declared 238,498 hectares of land in Barrio Mabatang and 72.2769 hectares of land in zone Bunga of Mabatang in Barrio Salian, Abucay as Negrito Reservation.

1930s – Declaration of protected area based from the classification of Bureau of Lands.

1930 July 28 – The Ayta communities in Pag-asa, Orani which covers 698,770 square kilometers of land were declared part of the Negrito Reservation.

1934 June 23 – Tubo-Tubo, Dinalupihan, which covers 14,135 square kilometers of land, were declared part of the Negrito Reservation.

1941 – The Japanese forces attacked Bataan.

- The Ayta fled to the jungles and they practiced horticulture secretly to feed their hungry stomachs during the war.

1942 – The Japanese soldiers constructed a road near Bangkal.

1942 January 10 – The Axis Japanese troops and Allied Forces fought war in Abucay.

- The Ayta witnessed the aerial dogfights of Japanese and American airforces in the forests.

1942 January 12 – The Allies surrendered in Abucay-Morong Line.

1942 January 22 – Mount Natib fell under the hands of the Japanese Imperialist Power from the Allied Power. The Ayta fled and hid in the jungles of Tanoto, Balanga.

1942-44 – The Ayta adopted Filipino and American soldiers who sought refuge in the jungle. The fed them with various root crops and honey. They healed their wounds and took care of them from diseases like malaria.

1945 – Nicolas Gulisan shot a Japanese soldier after the enemies fired a gun to women Ayta while they were harvesting root crops which he guarded that time.

- Narciso Gulisan together with his comrades captured two Japanese soldiers in two different incidents in Barrio Salian.

- The Japanese troops left many of their armors and military paraphernalia like helmets in a place the Ayta now call as ‘Mahelmet’ in Puro-Puro in the valley on Mount Natib; here can also be found the underground passages built by the Japanese.

1947 May – Rogelio Parrera was in born in Bunga.

1949 March 12 – Mario Gulisan was born in Bunga.

1950s – A road was constructed near Bangkal for the loggers.

1954 October – Rodencia Parrera was born in Bangkal.

1955 June 20 – There was a total eclipse in Luzon that resulted to almost an hour darkness in Abucay. The elderly Ayta wept believing that it was a bad omen.

1957 – The government cemented a dike for an irrigation project in Pagsawan River. The Ayta of Bangkal calls this place as Tabon.

1961 March – The Commission on National Integration (CNI) governed the Negrito Reservation.

1961 March 16 – The Bureau of Lands surveyed the 18.1321 hectares of protected area for the Ayta. A part of the property was allotted for the building of the Bataan National Agricultural School (BNAS) as approved by the Congress.

1964 July 26-30 - Typhoon Dading heavily struck Luzon. Mario Gulisan did not finish his Grade 2 in elementary school because of a great flood in the capital of Abucay.

1970s – Around 5,000 hectares of land leased by the government to the Manila Seedling Bank.

1972 – President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. The Presidential Assistant on National Minorities (PANANIM) transferred the Ayta to Bangkal from Bunga. Imelda Marcos ordered the construction of concrete houses and a school for the Ayta in Bangkal. Nevertheless, the Ayta disliked settling in those houses because of weak foundation.

1972-74 – Fernando Tamondong, a non-Ayta, appointed by the PANANIM, acted as a “mayor” for the Ayta in Bangkal.

1973 - CNI prepared the titling of lands for the Ayta under Lot No. 3252, IR-258 Abucay CAD 122 that covers the 924,301 square kilometers of land.

1974 February 13 – CNI approved the titling of lands for the Ayta under Lot No. 3252, IR-258 Abucay CAD 122 under Section 5 of the Republic Act 1888, based from the mandate of RA 38528 (sic) RA 2872.

1974-78 – Ernesto Dangke, a non-Ayta, was appointed as “mayor” of the Ayta in Bangkal.

1978 – Abucay and Bangkal became separate barangays.

1978-79 – Cesar Atienza, a non-Ayta, became an elected Barangay Captain of Bangkal.

1979 – The government constructed a four-rooms school for the Ayta in Bangkal.

1980s – Rogelio Parrera traveled for the first time to Manila. When he was in Manila we feared to become a victim of hold up. He fondly observed elevators and escalators in the city.

1983 - C.F. Smit, Provost Marshall of American Administration in Subic Bay Naval Base forbidden the Ayta to roam around in public places and in golf courses. He demanded that the Ayta be brought back to the jungle.

1984 – Fernando Caragay became the first chairperson of the Kabataang Barangay (KB) in Bangkal Chapter.

1987 – Rodolfo Villamor, Jr. and his wife migrated to Bangkal from Nueva Ecija.

1988 – The National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) became an initial part of the Bataan National Park (BNP) under RA 7856.

- Jane Lucban was elected as the new chairperson of Kabataang Barangay.

1990 - According to the NSO census, there were 79 households in Bangkal with a total population of 355. Thirty-three hectares of land in Bangkal was used for plantation of mango trees.

1991 June – The Ayta felt a strong magnitude of earthquake while they planted mango trees for the reforestation project of the Provincial Government of Bataan (PGB).

- The population of Bangkal increased due to the new comers of PGB’s project.

- One of the new comers was Florante Ligayo (Edgar) from Baggao, Cagayan.

1991 July 12 – Mount Pinatubo erupted; Bangkal was covered by darkness and it rained with dust.

- 70 families evacuated to Bangkal from the disaster-stricken area of Zambales.

1991 October 24-25 – A seminar participated by the Ayta coming from different parts of Central Luzon resulting to the establishment of the Central Luzon Ayta Adhoc Council (CLAAC). But the Ayta of Bangkal was not part of the initiative.

1992 – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) founded the Apo Lakay, an organization for the Ayta of Bangkal.

1992 May 20-25 – Conducted the first General Assembly of the Central Luzon Ayta Adhoc Council (CLAAC) in Bucao, Botolan, Zambales. Again, the Ayta of Bangkal did not participate in the said event.

1993 – DAR endowed the Apo Lakay with Php 50,000 money bank for the implementation of livelihood programs in the barangay. They used the Php 6,000 for credit project and the rest for irrigation projects.

1994 – 69 families went back to Zambales after they were evacuated to Bangkal. This was an initiative of a politician running for barangay office that time.

1995 - According to the Bataan NGO Consortium (BNC), there were 99 households in Bangkal.

1996 February – According to the census of Office of Northern Cultural Communities (ONCC), there were 75 households of Ayta in Bangkal with a total population of 449.

1996 February – The Bangkal Tribal Council was established through the initiative of ONCC. Rogelio Parrera became the first Tribal Chieftain.

1996 April-May – Trine Schnell Nielsen surveyed about the Ayta’s perception of Bataan Natural Park.

1997 April – A church of Born Again was established in Bangkal.

- Chieftain Parrera testified in Congress regarding the deforestation of the mountains against the logging operation of Tree Foundation near Bangkal.

Early 1998 – The quarters of Tree Foundation was burned.

1998 April-May – Three researchers from the University of the Philippines Pahinungód or Volunteers made a study on the ethnohistory of the Ayta.


Published and Unpublished Books

Agrazada, Jennifer Grace and Iris M. Samson
1998 Ang mga Pagbabagong Dinanas ng mga Ita at ang Eleksyon. Unpublished. Research on Anthropology 141. Quezon City: University of the Philippines.

Barroto, Calixto Jr. L. and Marvin N. Benaning
1978 “Pinatubo Negrito (Revisited),” Field Report Series No. 5, Quezon City: Philippine Center for Advanced Studies Museum.

Beyer, H. Otley
1917 Population of the Philippine Islands in 1916 (Poblacion de las Islas Filipinas en 1916). Manila: Philippine Education Co., Inc.

Central Luzon Ayta Association
1992 Pagbuklurin ang Lahat ng Ayta sa Gitnang Luson: Buuin at Itaguyod ang Ayta Agenda. Documents on the First General Assembly of the Ayta in Central Luzon Association, 20-25 May 1992, Bucao, Botolan, Zambales.

Dacanay, Randy N.
w.p.Learning: The Heart of Community Development. Unpublished manuscript. 14 pp.

De Morga, Antonio
1991 Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas. Manila: Historical Institute [orig. 1960]

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas, Inc. (NIPA)
1994 Conservation of Priority Protected Areas Project: Biodiversity
Conservation and Sustainable Development. Quezon City: CPPAP-PCU.

Fox, Robert
1952 “The Pinatubo Negritos: Their Useful Plants and Material Culture,”
Philippine Journal of Science 81 (3-4): 173-419.

Gatumbato, Errol
1997 The Bukidnon of Mount Kanlaon. Unpublished manuscript. 2 pp.

Lopez, Sixto
1900 “The Tribes in the Philippines,” Boston: New England Anti-Imperialist
League. In Jim Zwick (pat), Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935. http://www.aacinet.net/fjzwick/culturexts/sl_tribe.html.

Lupong Pangkasaysayan, DECS Bataan
1987 Bataan: Isang Balik-tanaw Hanggang 1941. Balanga, DECS.

Mallat, Jean
1983 The Philippines: History, Geography, Customs, Agriculture, [orig:1846] Industry and Commerce of the Spanish Colonies in Oceania. Manila: National Historical Institute.

National Statistics Office
1980 Census and Population Households: Bataan. Manila: NSO.
1990 Census and Population Households: Bataan. Manila: NSO.
1995 Census and Population Households: Bataan. Manila: NSO.

Nielsen, Trine Schnell
1996 Perception and Practices of a Group of Aetas Towards Bataan National Park. Unpublished research.

Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology
Komiks. Quezon City: NORDECO.

Oracion, Timoteo S.
1964 The Southeastern Negros Bukidnon Territory and People. The Philippines Geographical Journal 8 (January-June): 12-20.

Protected Areas Superintendent (PASu) Office
1997 Selected Population Profiles of Three Indigenous Filipino Communities: Bangkal, Kanawan, Pag-asa Aetas Reservations. Unpublished research. Abucay: Bataan Natural Protected Areas Superintendent Office.

Rahmann, Rudolf, SVD
1963 The Negritos of the Philippines and the Early Spanish Missionaries, Studia Instituti Anthropos 18.

Rai, Navin K.
1982 From Forest to Field: A Study of Philippine Negrito Foragers in Transition. Unpublished PhD. Dissertation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.

Santos, Sandra Jill, Miriam Campos and May Manalo
A Case Study of the Socio-political Structure of the Kanway Aetas.
Unpublished research for Anthropology 141. Quezon City: University of the Phil.

Service, Elman R.
1966 The Hunters. Engelwood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Shimizu, Hiromu
1989 Pinatubo Aytas: Continuity and Change. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila Press.

1992 After the Eruption: Pinatubo Aetas at the Crisis of their Survival. Tokyo: Foundation for Human Rights Asia.

Simbulan, Roland G.
1983 The Bases for Our Insecurity: A Study of the US Military Bases in the
Philippines. Manila: BALAI Fellowship, Inc.

Interview with Informants

Atienza Rodel
Ayta, male, 20 years old, a councilor of Sangguniang Kabataan, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Cayetano, Guillermo “Apo Alak”
Ayta, male, about 80 years old, husband, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Gulisan Joseph
Ayta, male, 25 years old, husband, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan

Gulisan, Leonora “Orang”
Ayta, female, around 75 years old, wife, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Gulisan-Caragay, Emiliana “Meang”
Ayta, female, does not know her age, separated, traditional healer, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Ligayo, Florante “Edgardo”
Ilocano, male, 24 years old, husband, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Maluni, Esmeraldo
Ayta, male, 24 years old, husband, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay,

Parrera, Benigno “Bening”
Ayta, male, around 50 years old, husband, Ayta representative to the
Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB) of Bataan National Park (BNP), resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Parrera, Rodencio “Roding”
Ayta, male, 50 years old, husband, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan

Parrera, Rogelio “Rohing”
Ayta, male, 51 years old, husband, chief of Bangkal Tribal Council, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Tamondog, Rodolfo
Ayta, male, 48 years old, husband, councilor of Bangkal Tribal Council, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.

Villamor, Rodolfo Jr.
Tagalog, male, 34 years old, husband, farmer, resident of Barangay Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan.