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  From "Cagayanes"
to "Cagayanos"

Cagayan has become a melting pot. From yesterday's "Cagayanes' (Ybanag, Ytawes, Malaweg) we now have today's "Cagayanos" in whom other racial strains have been fused.

With the Spanish soldiers of Carrion there came a considerable contingent of Tagalogs, Visayans and Pampangos. There were no women with them. It takes no stretching of the imagination to conclude that this 'soldiery' had not taken the vows of celibacy and chastity. So they either married, or has liaison with, the native women, and from such unions was born the 'Cagayano' who was no longer pure 'Cagayan'. It is known that Carrion's men stayed on in the province--the Spaniards in the new city of Nueva Segovia, and the Tagalogs, Visayans and Pampangos in Bagumbayan and Linao of Aparri. To their numbers we must add the men who in succeeding years came with Chaves, Esteybar and Orduna to reinforce the local garrison.

Then came the Ilocanos in several waves. They first arrived to build the roads which the natives refused to construct, for these roads enables the Spaniards to pursue them in the mountains where they moved their line of defense each time they rose arms. To facilitate the coming of Ilocanos, they first opened the Abra-Cagayan trail across territory which now belongs to Kalinga and Apayao. At the time of the Tobacco Monopoly, the Spaniards brought in more Ilocanos for the cultivation of the crop where soil and climate were favorable to it. Up to 1880 Governor Primo de Rivera continued encouraging and promoting Ilocano immigration into Cagayan, for the natives still refused to build roads which made it easy for the Spanish soldier and tax collector to reach their hide-outs in the hills.

At the time of the revolution when new officialdom was needed to replace the Spaniards, and later on when the Americans began organizing the municipalities and new bureaucracy required trained personnel, Cagayan was found in short supply of it, so Ilocano college graduates had to be brought in. In the Colegio-Seminario of Vigan, comparable to Letran and Ateneo in Manila, the young men in Ilocos could earn a Bachillerato en Artes, whereas those of Cagayan did not have a like opportunity, and only a few of them could afford to study in Manila. If the seat of Nueva Segovia had not been moved to Vigan in 1758, the Colegio-Seminario would have opened in Lallo, and the story might have a different turn. But that as it may, the fact is that the new bureaucracy had to be filled mostly with Ilocanos, except Fathers Guzman, Masigan, Rivera, Cuntapay, Bunagan, Angangan and Callueng.

from Vignettes About Cagayan and the Cagayanos
by Msgr. Domingo Mallo-Peņaflor

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