The eastern part of Mountain Province is a famous place because of the gigantic Banaue rice terraces considered as one of the wonders of the world.
When a traveler goes these parts, he will see scattered villages along his way. Thatched cottages of the villagers are built all along the green slopes of the mountain sides and beside them flow the tributaries of the Chico River, bordering the villages with whirling, silvery glow. One of these villages is Bayyo.
A long, long time ago, there lived a couple named Lumawig and Bugan who claimed to have descended from immortals. They had their abode in the deep cave found in the village of Kimmalongi in the midst of the thickly forested Kalawitan mountains. These mountains are situated in the southern part of Bayyo across the river.
Life has been especially hard for this family. Day in and day out, they had to struggle and fight against the different forces of nature.
One day when Lumawig went hunting, he discovered a little valley with clear water flowing down from the hillside. He called the place Lubeng. Lumawig then decided to move his family to this place. As years went on, the family grew into a prosperous clan but this prosperity was shortlived. A terrible and disastrous plague broke out and killed almost all the inhabitants. Afraid that this dying tribe might be entirely wiped out, Lumawig’s family and the few survivors fled east of Lubeng and settled down at the slope of the mountain of Ambayyowan.
The years went on and the little group of people who fled from the plague prospered, and once more there grew up a new group of people comprising the little barrio of Bayyo that it is nowadays.
Then came the era of improvement for the Mountain Province. Roads were built everywhere. One among these was the road connecting Bontoc and Kiangan. It was during these times that the builders of this road changed the legendary name of Ambayyowan to Bayyo, for short.
Reyes, Soledad. “How Bayyo Got Its Name.” In Folk Tales of Mountain Province: Retold for Children-Grade V. 1st ed. Baguio City: n.p., 1960, 25-26.
This folk tale was produced by Area - - A during a Division Curriculum Workshop held in Baguio City, Philippines on February 9-17, 1960. The workshop’s theme was “Enriching the Curriculum Through the Development of Local Materials.”
“Division” in Division Curriculum Workshop refers to a schools division of the Department of the Education. It could have been then the “Mountain Province Schools Division.” (YBelen,8December2014)