Ilocano people

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Tattao nga Iloko
Total population
Regions with significant populations
(Ilocos Region, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Metro Manila)
 United States
(Hawaii, California)
Ilocano, Filipino, English
Predominantly Roman Catholicism,
Aglipayan minority, Iglesia ni Cristo, Protestantism, Members Church of God International, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, Buddhism [1][2]
Related ethnic groups
Filipinos (Ibanag, Ivatan, Pangasinense, Kapampangan), Austronesian peoples

The Ilocanos (Ilokano: Tattao a Iloko) or Iloko people are the third largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group that mostly reside within the Ilocos Region in the northwestern seaboard of Luzon, Philippines. Most Ilocanos speak the Ilocano language.


The word Ilokano originates from Iloko (archaic form, Yloco), the conjugation of i- (meaning "of") and look (meaning "bay"), which means "from the bay" in Ilocano. Aside from being referred to as Ilokano, they are also identified as Samtoy, a portmanteau of the Ilocano phrase sao mi ditoy meaning "our language here" (sao mi - "our language"; ditoy - "here").

Ethnic homeland[edit]

Provinces where Ilokano people are the largest ethnic group are shown in green.

Ilocandia is the term given to the traditional homeland of the Ilokano people. From the original western strip of Northern Luzon, Ilocandia has spread throughout the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley and some parts of Central Luzon.


Ilokanos number about 9,136,000.[citation needed] A few Ilokanos living in the Cordilleras have some Cordillerano blood.


Most Ilokanos speak Ilokano, which is part of the Northern Philippine subgroup of the Austronesian family of languages. They also speak Tagalog, and English as second languages.


Most Ilokanos are Roman Catholics, while a significant number[quantify] belong to the Aglipayan Church, which originated in Ilocos Norte.[1][2][3]


Many Filipino Americans are of Ilokano descent. They make up 85% of the Filipino-American population in Hawai'i.


The Austronesian ancestors of the present-day Ilocanos came to the Philippines through bilogs, or outrigger boats during the Iron Age.

Spanish Era to the Philippine Republic[edit]

The Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo explored the northern regions of the Philippines in 1571, where he traveled to the Ilocos region (among other places), pacifying the North, and establishing several Spanish municipalities, including Villa Fernandina known as Vigan City in the present time and Tagudin.


The mounting population pressure due to the substantial population density during the mid-19th century caused the migration of the Ilokanos out of their historic homeland. By 1903, more than 290,000 Ilokanos migrated to Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, and Metro Manila. More than 180,000 moved to Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija. Almost 50,000 moved to Cagayan Valley; half of them resided in Isabela. Around 47,000 lived in Zambales and the Sultan Kudarat more than 11,000

The Ilokano Diaspora continued in 1906 when Ilokanos started to migrate to Hawaii and California. Ilokanos composed the largest number of expatriates in the United States, though most are bilingual with Tagalog. There is a significant Ilokano community in Hawai'i, in which they make up more than 85% of the Filipino population there.[4]

Later migrations brought Ilokanos to the Cordilleras, Mindoro, Palawan, and Mindanao provinces of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and South Cotabato.


Pinakbet, one of the staples of the Ilokano diet.

Ilokanos boast of a somewhat healthy diet heavy in boiled or steamed vegetables and freshwater fish, but are particularly fond of dishes flavored with [1]bagoong, fermented fish that is often used instead of salt. Ilokanos often season boiled vegetables with bagoong monamon (fermented anchovy paste) to produce pinakbet. Local specialties include the "abuos," soft white larvae of ants, and "jumping salad" or tiny, live shrimp with kalamansi juice. Another food that is popular for many Ilokanos is the Moringa or "Malunggay". It is a good condiment for meat soup(e.g. tinola) or it can be mixed with the famous "dinengdeng", a soup made of mainly vegetables with prawns "alamang". Most households grow this tree in their backyards and usually offered free for all the neighbors who may want them. Many Ilokanos from Hawai'i are fond of eating them.


One of the most well-known Ilokano literary works written in Iloco is the Biag ni Lam-ang (The Life of Lam-Ang), an epic poem about the fantastic life and escapades of an Ilokano hero named Lam-ang. "Biag ni Lam-ang" is a testament in the Iloco Literature. The Ilokano writer Elizabeth Medina is probably the most remarkable living Ilokano writer in Spanish language.

Notable Ilokanos[edit]

Philippine nationals of Ilokano ancestry[edit]

Foreign nationals of Ilokano ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ilokanos." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures. The Gale Group, Inc. 1999. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Ilocano in Philippines/Religion
  3. ^ "UCLA Language Materials Project". Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  4. ^ Uhm Center For Philippine Studies Archived 2007-08-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Mac C. Alejandre [@macalejandre] (7 July 2011). "@KarmaWins80 my father is ilocano, my mother is tagalog/ilocano. Very native. Alejandre though is portuguese italian. I wonder hw we got it" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Anne Curtis-Smith [@annecurtissmith] (15 September 2012). "@leizion she's ilocana. No I don't. I wish I could though!!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  10. ^ Ces Oreña-Drilon [@cesdrilon] (3 July 2013). "@CarisaManuel it was my dad who was Ilocano and the staple we had once a week was saluyot & labong w/ inihaw na isda" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  11. ^ Coleen Garcia [@coleengarcia] (20 June 2011). "haan ko ammo ngem ni nanang ko ilokana ☺ RT @aprilonbloom: @coleengarcia AMMUM AGILOKANO TEH?" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  12. ^ Jhong hilario [@jhongsample] (13 April 2011). ""@simply_resi: @jhongsample ano po province nyo?"-pangasinan po.ilocano :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  13. ^ bianca king [@bianca_king] (26 March 2011). "I'm ilocana. I'm cheating. I have a translator. My friend here in cebu teaches me. Heehee" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  14. ^ Doug Kramer [@DougKramer44] (6 November 2011). "@anklethan wen iloKANO ak! Ilocanong American" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  15. ^ Carlo Lacana [@Itscarlolacana] (13 February 2013). "@MaureenValerio Oo Ilocos norte ako" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  16. ^ Japoy Lizardo [@japoy_lizardo] (29 March 2013). ""@myzMycel: @japoy_lizardo ilocano ka gayam kuya Japs? O_o"- wen!! ^^" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Jane Oineza [@itsJaneOineza] (6 June 2013). ""@Missashleyjoyy: @itsJaneOineza Nalpas kamin. ilokana ka gayam. :)" - wen ah. Ni mamang ken papang ko. :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  20. ^ Bela Padilla [@padillabela] (2 November 2010). "@dealwithAYISHA no haha my lola naman is from nueva ecija so half of me is pure ilocano :) I can say nagpudot and magan tayon. Hahaha" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  21. ^ Jim [@Jimparedes] (1 July 2010). "My father s from Abra. I grew up in MLA RT @chrisduran81: @jimparedes oh you're ilocano sir, are you from San Juan, La Union?" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Richard Faulkerson© [@R_FAULKERSoN] (12 October 2015). "@ofcaldub_ILS my mom is from Sinait. :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  24. ^ Jericho Rosales [@jericho_rosales] (12 August 2013). "@jairusdevirus apologies.. Although i'm an Ilocano" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  25. ^
  26. ^,_Happy_Homebody/num/3/635
  27. ^ jose marie viceral [@vicegandako] (16 October 2011). ""@mariceldeleon: @vicegandako ilocano ka?"-opo. Taga batangas kasi tatay ko e. ☺" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  28. ^ YouTube sensation Mikey Bustos and how to be 'Pilipino' - Pinoy Abroad - GMA News Online
  29. ^ Lauren Smiley. "The Eyes of the Hurricane". SF Weekly. March 10, 2010.
  30. ^ "Ana Julaton: Her Side of the Ring". November 28, 2009.
  31. ^ "Munting Nayon News Magazine" Archived 2009-06-03 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]