San Marcelino, Zambales

The Aeta or Agta, are an indigenous people who have inhabited the mountains of the Sierra Madre on the island of Luzon for 30,000 years. They are one of the last peoples to live by the sea. Agta men and women are excellent hunters and gatherers, amongst the best in the tribal world.

There are many Aeta tribes, scattered over Regions I to V in the island of Luzon Northeastern Luzon, ...

particularly Cagayan and Isabela in Cagayan Valley, are the habitations of the Central Cagayan Agtas.

Once remote, the Sierra Madre is now experiencing rapid change. Since the 1960s, farmers, loggers, mining prospectors, and many petty traders have migrated to the area. The logging industry is now penetrating the remotest areas, bringing diverse peoples into contact with Agta. Immigrants hitch rides on logging trucks reaching virgin lands with ease.

As the social environment has changed, the natural environment has been degraded. Immigrant farmers burn logged forest areas. Efforts to reforest, when they exist, are usually thwarted by subsequent burning. Given both the social and environmental changes, the resource base of the Agta is disappearing.

Aeta Agta People News

  • Sowing Seeds To Save Culture The Countryside

    Sowing Seeds To Save Culture The Countryside

    On assignment from London, I came to Manila to write about this booming city and its people.

    As a foreign business journalist, I was welcomed into high-rise buildings, exclusive lounges and fancy dinners in the cities of Makati and Taguig. It was here where I met influential businessmen and politicians the very people tasked to lead the growth of the city. I was told at length about the National Capital Regions evolving business practices, the work ethic and determination of the Filipino, as well as the bright outlook of the country.

    While the suits and skylines spoke for themselves, it ...

  • Subic Aytas Preserve Roots While Embracing The New

    Subic Aytas Preserve Roots While Embracing The New

    Members of the Ayta tribe at the Pastolan village in the hinterlands of the Subic Bay Freeport straddle the two worlds of the new and the old.

    Eager and able to adopt the lifestyle of their brethren in the lowlands, the natives now enjoy the modernity of television, cellular phones and washing machines, while retaining their connection to the mountain and jungle around them.

    The dichotomy is nowhere more apparent than during the October celebration of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month here when the Ambala Ayta tribe, along with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and some communi ...

  • Dying Traditions Of The Agta In Bicol

    Long before the coming of funeral parlors and mortuaries in Bicol, the Agta in Iriga, Camarines Sur, bury their dead according to their own age-old practices.

    The late lawyer and historian Jose Calleja Reyes, whose family once owned a hacienda at the foot of Mount Iriga, documented these practices in his book, Bicol Maharlika.

    Most of the workers at their abaca plantation in Hacienda Mamoco were Agta who worked as strippers of the fibers of the hemp.

    Once an Agta dies, some men of the tribe would leave for the forest and look for an agul (CaryotacummingiLodd), a soft species of palm t ...

  • Filipino Tribesmen In 1904 Olympic Games

    Filipino Tribesmen In 1904 Olympic Games

    The Philippines officially saw action in 1924 edition of the Modern Olympic Games for the first time in Paris where sprinter David Nepomuceno put the countrys name in the annals of once every-four-year conclave when he raced against the worlds best in the 100 and 200 meters and was eliminated in the trials.

    Only few know, however, that 20 years earlier in St. Louis, Missouri, Filipino Igorots, Moros and Aetas were recruited, along with African Pygmies, Patagonians and other indigenous people of other countries to compete in a two-day Olympic "Anthropological Days" that was part of civic ent ...

  • What Media And Bloggers Should Know About IPs

    The Philippines as a multi-cultural nation prides itself with its diverse indigenous communities that are spread throughout the archipelago. An estimate of fourteen to seventeen Million Indigenous Peoples belonging to over a hundred ethno-linguistic groups are found in these islands and a fraction of that particularly those in Luzon are the focus of a study that we undertook on cultural sensitivity.

    With the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and its mandate to preserve, develop and promote the varied arts and integrate traditional culture to create expressions that further ...

  • On Sacred Grounds And Respect For Cultural Taboos

    While bloggers and social media influencers are getting more mileage online than the traditional scribe, non-cinema cameramen and wedding photographers are also getting more creative in producing audio-visual presentations of their clients.

    One striking pictorial of a groom and bride was shot taken at a place considered sacred by the upland people of Northern Luzon. The shot of a couple in an intimate pose just below the hanging coffins of Sagadas Echo Valley was probably meant to depict and conform to the old adage till death do us part but the whole thing is simply not acceptable to all c ...