Igorot Family Reunions and Cultural Celebrations

Family Reunions

Family reunions are alive everywhere these days.  Meaning the planned getting together can be yearly, biennially or any other options the family and clans choose.

Ever since there were reunions of families but it’s not organized, it’s just random.  When a relative wants to visit their relatives to other provinces they’ll just go without any prior information. These days it is being planned and scheduled, calendared for everyone to look for in the future.

Part of the planning on the part of individuals and families is saving for their transportation expenses, cost of meals and other things needed during the fellowship.

They never leave the place without any imprint of memories through pictures and videos being posted on Facebook and Instagram. There is no time and event that cannot reach the different parts of the world. Relatives from abroad will never miss their relatives because of available images and videos that they can see and having the assurance that everyone is well in their own domains.

The Original Instruments of Kankanaey

This video brings us one particular Igorot Tribe among the several groups. This tribe is called “Kankanaey”, it has a distinct characteristic when it comes to original cultural instruments.  The all-wood instruments called, “tallak” is composed of four different sizes which each brings a unique and different sound rhythm. This is their original instruments that produce a piece of harmonic music for their dancing for both Thanksgiving and other occasional cultural celebrations. This has been replaced by the modern instruments made of bronze, iron rods and wood that play the same role in rhythmic harmony. 

Please watch the video wherein you will see the modern instruments that replaced the all-wood ones.


The Kankanaey

The Igorot Tribes are Kankanaey, Ibaloi, Kalanguya. The Kankanaey-Igorot are found mainly in Benguet, and Mountain Provinces but they can be found also in the different parts of the Philippines and in abroad. This is because they need to sustain their families and there is not enough employment in the Philippines.

For additional information, you can have a reading and understand who are the kanakanaey and other Igorot tribes, Click here.

Igorot Family Reunion with Cultural Celebrations-kankanaey youth in costumes

The Sulibao

Igorot Family Reunion with Cultural Celebrations-sulibao

The Gong or Gangsa in Tagalog

Igorot Family Reunion with Cultural Celebrations-gong


12 thoughts on “Igorot Family Reunions and Cultural Celebrations”

  1. This is a wonderful way to have a family reunion and I can’t think of a better way. This also shows and described a way we can maintain our cultures so the younger ones can learn and continue with the trend after we moved on. Great work putting this together and posting it, keep up the good work. 

    • I’m so happy Ayodeji you exactly put it in clear my point. I regret very much that I cannot even do our cultural dance even playing the instruments and that’s what I neglected to learn.

      You are right it must be imparted more often and expose the younger generations and let them learn and take part in it. An instrument, hymns, songs, and dances are our identity that should be transferred from generation to generation.

      Thank you for your comment and appreciation.

  2. I’m from Nigeria, where most families have their reunions attached to holiday seasons. Which are majorly, Christmas, new year and Easter holidays. The Christmas, New year and Easter reunions work for most families because, they get holiday leaves from their work places without applying for it. 

    That’s for most of Nigeria. But, the festivals that bring families together in my tribe, the Igbo tribe, are the New Yam Festival and August meeting. These are always held in August and most of the time, families have to take leave from their work places to attend. 

    The Igbo tribe has a rich musical culture, where musical instruments such as tom toms, gongs, Chaka Chakas, idu, ogene etc are used to make music and danced to by the traditional dancers. 

    • I’m pleased to know about your tribe. I think we all belong to the indigenous culture which we are proud of. The use of instruments is a gift from the Almighty which other cultures don’t have.

      Yes, even in the Philippines mostly family reunions fall on Christmas to New Year and Holy Week, while others do it on barangay fiesta. However, our clan does it in the summertime.

      Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

  3. Hi there.

    This is actually emotional. I really appreciate the fact that you took your time to write such beautiful pieces like this. I have always been a fan of reunion because it is the best way to see our long-time loved ones. This Kankanaey tribe is what I have never seen before. The sound and their rhythm are actually lovely. I really love the Igorot family reunion 

    • Thank you, Kehinde for loving my culture.  I wish you can come to the Philippines and have a fellowship with us. We are humble people although our tribe has been derided and looked upon as uncivilized it’s evolving and rising from shyness, inferiority complex and gaining its hold on the principle that all people are equal in the eyes of the creator.

      I hope you will come again and share more of your culture.

  4. I found your article quite interesting and it brought home to me how people all over the world are different but actually there are many ways in which we are similar. I am learning about the Kankanaey people for the first time and with a peep at other information, many of your beliefs and your hymns are the same as ours in Jamaica. Yes, organised reunions bring value to our understanding of who we are and how we connect. Thank you for the information

    • You are right JJ. I have just read Wikipedia when I was searching about our origin as Kankanaey and I was shocked that our roots come from other countries. 

      This is what Wikipedia has researched: 

      Recent DNA studies show that the Kankanaey along with the Atayal people of Taiwan were most probably among the original ancestors of the Lapita people and modern Polynesians.[2][3] They might even reflect a better genetic match to the original Austronesian mariners than the aboriginal Taiwanese, as the latter was influenced by more recent migrations to Taiwan, whereas the Kankanaey are thought to have remained an isolated relict population.[4]

      Thank you for reading and learning who we are as people from the other side of the world.

  5. Family reunions really are a treasured part of life…but unfortunately, the older we get…the less frequent they become (as you rightly pointed out for different reasons). 

    This was a really interesting read on Igorot Tribe life, in particular the Kankanaey people. How old is this tribe? How long does their history stretch back?

    • Thank you, Chris, for reading and having an interest in the Igorot Tribe. I don’t know how old our tribe is since I’m only starting to have an interest in research.  However, you can have a clearer understanding by reading the information on this link Kankanaey People.

      What I’m up into is our distinction from other Kankanaey folks especially in the dialect and the instruments we use.

  6. Hello. I am currently planning a family reunion which will involve a lot of my long lost uncles and nephews. This video shows me what an ideal family reunion should look like and I admit to be envious of the bond between them and I wish that mine is as vibrant as this. Great job

    • If you have time exploit the opportunity because this is where you will know your roots and your relatives. If you wish to know all about your clan’s health conditions it would be great to have such knowledge to have the right health adjustment and cautions. 


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