Topographical map comprising part of the Province of Ilocos Sur, where the 2nd and 3rd Districts of Tinguian and Igorot Peoples are situated (Undated)
The map with no date says that this is a topographic map of Ilocos Sur province and the second and third military districts in the area, which are inhabited by the Tinguianes and Ygollotes. Both of these indigenous peoples are considered the non-Christian communities of the Ilocos region.
The symbols indicated in Notas (map legend) inform readers the locations of Christian towns in Abra and Ilocos Sur, respectively. Likewise, converted Tinguian and Igorot communities are indicated. Areas still with pagan inhabitants are placed under the jurisdiction of the 2nd and 3rd Military Districts. Fuertes or military strongholds and road directions are also placed accordingly.
While the map did not include the year when it was done, a researcher may deduce that this was done in the late 1840s. Before the end of the Spanish regime, many areas from Abra to the mountain province were divided into several comandancias politico-militar or military districts. Abra became a military district early in 1846. Fort General Martinez at Bucay, as indicated in the map, was the capital of Abra then. Along the Rio Grande de Abra are Bangued and Bucay. Other military districts were eventually established in neighboring areas.
In 1818, the former Ilocos region was divided into two provinces, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Shown in the map are some of the oldest lowland and coastal towns in Ilocos Sur. Noted are Bantay, Candon, Santa Lucia and Vigan, which is designated as the cabecera or capital.
The two indigenous communities described in the map are the Tingguian and the Igorot. The former group is known as the Itneg people or people living near the Tineg River. Tineg River can be seen in the upper right section of the map. Many Tingguians have migrated to the northern part of Abra province. On the other hand, the Igorot is identified as the people of the mountain. To this day, many of them still live in the interior parts of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
While the Spaniards tried to convert as many pagans to Christianity, they failed miserably. American protestant missionaries were more successful and many mountain folks have become Christians. Due to the teachings offered by pioneer American teachers, many people of the mountains can converse well in English today.
Abra officially became a province in 1917. Mountain towns under military districts before are now part of the Cordillera Administrative Regions (CAR), an autonomous region protecting the indigenous communities in the mountain province.
Manalo, Ino, ed. Conscripción: Imagining and Inscribing the Ilocano World. Manila, National Archives of the Philippines, 2014.
Pedro Reyes, et al. Pictorial History of the Philippines. Quezon City, Capitol Publishing House, 1953.
Scott, William Henry. The Discovery of the Igorots: Spanish Contacts with the Pagans of Northern Luzon. Quezon City, New Day Publishers, 1974.