"Ipeyas nan Gawis"
Earlier than the coming of the Spaniards, no historical record could be found but the series of prayers passed generation to generation culled out from the unpublished writings of Fred Egan and Alfredo Pacyaya with annotation by Bartolome Daoas revealed that there were ancestral migrants who came from Southern China, Indo-China region who lived along the coastals or foothill region. From these prayers that use to account for certain journeys of the deities, the Super Being, the spirits or the living, the phrase, ‘Ipeyas nan gawis’, meaning ‘Share the good’ or ‘Share the light’ could have been reflective of the productive ancient trade routes of the iGanduyan (from Ganduyan referred as from Sagada) to the coast and the ancestral movements of the Northern Kankanaey Igorots as Albert Jenk described it. While those in eastern Mountain Province traded with settlers at the eastern side towards Kalinga, Cagayan, Isabela, those of western Mountain Province such as Sagada, Besao, Bauko, Tadian and others found it more accessible to journey to the west side towards the Ilocos coast just as they found them friendly and accommodating.
The ancestral trading links of Sagada and the Ilocos in a recollection of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan led by Vice Mayor Jerry Papa Ticag on July 6, 2009, corroborates the claim of historian Teodoro Agoncillo that it was in the 14th century that other countries of Asia had begun to take interest in Philippine trade. Among the Cordillera were the Chinese traders that reached even the remote villages of Ankileng. A tangible proof of the Chinese migration to Sagada are the heirlooms that are in the possession of a few individuals or are found in museums like the Ganduyan Museum right at the heart of Poblacion, Sagada. Every artifact you find in the museum tells a story of the people’s way of life long time ago.
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