AS IF TO REMIND the writer in me that the world of Isinays is indeed a wonderful one, a half-forgotten topic pertaining to Isinay country and its people pops up now and then and, like a long-unseen bird that from out of nowhere perches by my window, it gets my undivided attention.
One such “did you know” topic is the fact that the part of Nueva Vizcaya that has been and still is known to be Isinay territory used to be called Ituy.
I don't know why, but I suddenly posted it as sort of a tajtaje (just for fun, not serious) question in the Isinay Friends and Isinay Global Association groups in Facebook.
Unfortunately, there were no takers. Or probably the challenge was not interesting enough.
Anyway, it was my fellow forester Romy Acosta (of Vista Hills, Bayombong) who first mentioned to me this historical tidbit on Ituy. I think it was a couple of years back during a break in a senior foresters’ meeting at the conference room of the DENR Bureau of Forest Development in which he was Director.
Perhaps I had deadlines to meet. Or that I was doing something very urgent. For it developed that I didn’t pursue Director Acosta's lead on Ituy and just took the discovery as an object of curiosity to add to my coconut’s collection of sundry trivia.
About two weeks ago, however, the rainy weather made our internet as well as cable TV connections in the house erratic. So what better thing to do than curl up in bed and catch up on my readings.
Thank the rains. It was because of them that I was able to leaf through a book that had been gathering dust in my "junk files" for many years now but which I didn't know had Ituy on its pages.
The book is William Henry Scott's 370-page The Discovery of the Igorots: Spanish Contacts with the Pagans of Northern Luzon (published in 1974 by New Day Publishers, Quezon City).
Dr. Scott has served as Principal of St. Mary's Sagada, has published extensively on the Igorots, and is considered by many as the foremost scholar on the Cordillera region.
I may be putting my researcher's head on the chopping board here, but I believe his book may be used as major reference on Ituy. In fact, its Index lists some 23 pages where Ituy is mentioned or discussed.
It was from the book that I got enlightened on the "Paniqui" being referred to in other literature on Nueva Vizcaya and the Cordillera.
Before this, I was wondering how the combined forces of Spanish soldiers and Isinay volunteers mentioned in the August 1810-August 1811 Isinay diaries of Juan Mallo (included in Ernesto Constantino's 561-page Isinay Texts and Translations) were able to walk from Dupax and Aritao to "Paniqui" overnight when the Paniqui that I know is more than a hundred kilometers away in Tarlac.
Anyway, Scott's footnote on Page 85 of his book says: Paniqui was the name given the Gaddang-speaking Mission centered on Bagabag downstream from the Isinay-speaking Mission of Ituy.
In case one is interested in going to the book's original sources, among Dr. Scott's references were:
- Manuel del Rio, Relacion de los Sucesos de la Mision de Ituy (Mexico, 1739)
- Bernardo Ustariz, "Relacion impresa de los Sucesos y Progresos de la Mision de Santa Cruz de Paniqui y Ituy," AUST Libro de Becerros, No. 37, fol. 222 (1745)
- Vicente de Salazar, "Relacion de la Conquista de Pituy por la Tropa de Cagayanes Año de 1748 (APSR, MS, Filipinas, Vol. 113, fol. 195).
Here are excerpts from the Introduction of Dr. Scott's book:
If the Spaniards had drawn a map of their new colony in the 16th century, (the) Cordillera territory would have appeared as part of the provinces of Cagayan, Pangasinan and Ilocos... and an unconquered area called Ituy in the upper Magat valley around the present municipality of Aritao. Mountaineers trading gold in Pangasinan and Ituy were called Ygolotes -- later to be spelled Igorrotes -- but mountaineers farther north on the Ilocos coast were called by the ordinary term applied to mountain dwellers all over the archipelago -- tingues or tinguianes (from the Malay word tingi for 'high, elevated'), except in Pampanga where they were called Zambales....
In the Cagayan valley the need for such a term did not arise because the more gentle eastern slope of the Cordillera presented no sudden mountain wall, so the Spaniards simply called the Kalingas and Apayaos infieles (pagans) as they called the Ibanags and Gaddangs of the Cagayan valley itself. But when they went up the Apayao River, they called the mountaineers there by another native name, Mandayas (literally, 'those up above'). Then when they made expeditions into the Baguio gold mines in 1620 and Kayan in 1668, they called the people there Igorots, too, and when they built a fort at Bagabag in 1752 against Ifugao attack from the west, they called them Igorots or, occasionally, Tinguians. (pages 1-2)
In Chapter 1 (The Search for Igorot Gold: 1575-1625), Dr. Scott again mentioned of a place named Ituy and insinuated that it was a gold-rich area:
Reports of wealthy communities in the headwaters of the Pampanga and Cagayan Rivers inspired further Spanish exploration in that direction, and about 1585 Governor Santiago de Vera sent out a prestigious local chieftain from Candaba, Dionisio Capolo, at the head of 100 native troops. Capolo reached the Caraballo, consulted his allies there, decided to proceed no farther into hostile territory, and returned to join a secret conspiracy against the Spaniards led by the Lakandula family of Tondo.
When the plot failed, he was sentenced to eight years' exile from the Manila jurisdiction, but successfully appealed to a higher court for a reduction of the sentence to four years, and then devoted the rest of his life to loyal service to the Spanish government. Don Dionisio was especially useful to the Spaniards in a series of expeditions across the Caraballo and down the entire Cagayan River Valley sent out by the energetic Governors Gomez and Luis Perez Dasmariñas, father and son, in the 1590s.
The Governor himself attributed the pacific results of the expeditions -- the first extracted tribute in the form of gold jewelry from dozens of villages without the loss of a single life on either side -- to the presence of missionary chaplains, but Dionisio Capolo's presence is the more likely explanation. He already had contacts with these people, more than once entertained recalcitrant captive chieftains in his house in Manila, often travelled into the same regions almost alone, and in the early 17th century was the favored go-between when leaders from this area sought Spanish intervention in their local conflicts. He almost lost his own life in one of these expeditions when he guided a detachment up from the Aritao area into what is now the municipality of Kayapa in 1595, searching for Igorot mines. (pages 11-12)
As for internet sources on Ituy, my Google-search led me to one http://www.cbcponline.net/jurisdictions/bayombong.html which carries the following:
The first Christian mission established in Nueva Vizcaya was that of Ituy in 1609. This sitio or barrio could have been anywhere between what is now the province of Cagayan in the north, and the mountains bordering Nueva Ecija in the south, because as the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, the entire Cagayan Valley, now Region II, was simply one province called Cagayan.
The faith spread over the region through the efforts of the Augustinian and Dominican missionaries who came from areas now called Cagayan and Pangasinan. By 1717, Father Alejandro Cacho went on mission trips to Ituy, and slowly picked up once again whatever threads of Christianity had been left by the earlier missionaries. Within twenty years, with the help of the Augustinians, Father Cacho was able to baptize many Isinays and Ilongots, original inhabitants of the place, and build cogon chapels in some eight settlements in the Marag Valley.
Over the years the settlements grew in number. Bujay, now the town of Aritao, and Dupax already had their resident priests. In 1739, Holy Mass was celebrated in Bayombong for the first time. The parishes of Bayombong, Bagabag and Dupax were established in 1741, and that of Solano soon after.
In April of 1841 the province of Nueva Vizcaya was born, created as a politico-military province by royal decree from Spain. The original line dividing the valley into two – Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya provinces – ran between Tumauini and Ilagan (now the capital of Isabela). The name Nueva Vizcaya came from that of a province in Spain called Vizcaya. The capital was the town of Camarag (now Echague in Isabela).
In 1856, the province of Isabela was created, deriving half of its land from Cagayan, and half from Nueva Vizcaya. With this new partition, Bayombong became the new capital of Nueva Vizcaya.
EH, IIVA on abeveyoyan an Isinay, if these bits and pieces are not interesting parts of Isinay history for you, uria^ amta mu anden sutsur ri ajayjayan yuwar.