Skip to main content »

Bontoc Elders perform "Manengtey" ritual as protection against COVID-19

Elders in Bontoc have performed a traditional ritual called "manengtey" to protect their community against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 |  3 min read

Joei Padaen shared her experience as she witnessed a traditional ritual performed by the Bontoc Elders called "Manengtey".

What is Manengtey for?

Before the ritual, Joei asked one of the elders what the ritual was about and the elder simply replied:

"Ta iwalo tako isnan intutungcho, ta nan covid adi na apektaran nan ili tako ay Fontok."

The statement can be roughly translated to:

"We pray to the ONE above, that this covid (coronavirus disease 2019) will not affect our community, Bontoc."

Yes, the Igorots are folk-Christians, they still believe in a supreme deity they call Intutungcho (the one above), also referred to as the "Kabunian". Which also may pertain to the same god.

The Manengtey Ritual

Uncle Changat, one of the respected elders in Bontoc Ili and the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Bontoc said that they will perform the "Manengtey" ritual.

In this ritual, a native chicken is butchered and what's more interesting is that the elders examine the chicken's internal organs, to find out whether it carries good omen or not.

Butchering the chicken...

Accordingly, it turned out "ekheb" (assumingly, a sign of good omen).

This was then cooked with "inasin" (salted meat).

"Inasin" (salted meat), popularly known as "Etag"

While the meat is being cooked, Uncle Changat gathered some twigs of a certain tree which he referred to as "tikem".

He then tied these twigs to the entrance of the Municipal building symbolizing "Tengaw" or a declaration that the entire community would be subject to a rest day. The rest day will be effective tomorrow.

He then went back to the "ato" and chant a lot of prayers together with some other elders, including the Mayor.

After the chicken meat was cooked, the men then gathered together at the "ato" and partook what has been cooked.

This ritual according to him was also performed in the Barangays of Samoki and Bontoc Ili earlier.


Yes, this means that the whole community is under a one day break.

During this time, the bones of animals would be placed under the fire at the "ato" where they performed the ritual to keep the fire burning in the belief that the fumes would prevent any disease that might enter the community. This is called "Paang".

On the same day, "Mangamang" is also observed where some men and women continue to guard all entrances and exit points in the community.

During this time of rest, no one is allowed to go out to tend ("mamuknag") to their farms or rice fields because it is believed to bring bad luck to the community.

Additional Notes

  • If a deceased person was brought back home to the community during this "tengaw" period, and when the cause of death is such as in an accident or homicide, or any unnatural cause of death, "ma-apilo" or the ritual must be performed again.
  • In other tribes in the Mountain Province that perform similar ritual. During the "tengaw", no one should make loud noises as this can lead to bad luck.

Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.

Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.

Comments (1)

Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under COVID-19 Updates — or jump to a random article!

COVID-19 Updates Surprise me

Phemarie Focasan: Igorota is Asia's Grandest Live Stream Competition 1st Runner-up

Phemarie Focasan, an Igorota from Bontoc, Mountain Province, is Yippi Asia's Grandest Live Stream Competition First Runner-up.

Oct 17, 2020 · 2 min read

Travel Alert: Bontoc-Baguio Road Not Passable - Safety Advisory | March 2024

As of March 06, 2024, the Bontoc-Baguio Road is closed due to a forest fire. Travelers must detour via Sagada-Balili for safety.

Mar 6 · 2 min read

Two Honest Bontoc Students Return P50,000 Cash to Rightful Owner

Witness the honest actions of two Bontoc students upholding Igorot values, returning P50,000 cash to its rightful owner.

Mar 5 · 5 min read

Bontoc, Mountain Province: Culture, Heritage, Beauty

Discover Bontoc in the Mountain Province, a hub of culture, heritage, and breathtaking landscapes. Plan your visit to this Philippine gem!

Sep 14, 2023 · 2 min read

This Wise Family in Bontoc Built Their House Upon a Rock

A family in Bontoc, Mountain Province has built an incredible house on a rock. The house is safe, sustainable, and stunningly beautiful.

Jul 31, 2023 · 3 min read

UK Covid Variant Detected in Bontoc, Mountain Province

BREAKING NEWS: 12 cases of UK coronavirus variant detected in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Jan 22, 2021 · 1 min read

4-year-old positive for COVID-19 from Mankayan smuggled to Bontoc

A 4-year-old patient who tested positive for COVID-19 was allegedly smuggled from an isolation facility in Mankayan and taken home to Bontoc.

Dec 8, 2020 · 1 min read

Bontoc Jar Burials: The Remains of an Ancient Tribe

It's not just skeletons in jars, it is also a figment of an ancient tribe's history, culture, and mysteries unsolved

Mar 14 · 2 min read

Og-Ogfo in Action: A Miraculous Rescue in Bontoc

Witness the triumph of Og-Ogfo as Igorot communities collaborate in Allan Fagsao's rescue. A testament to mutual aid and resilience.

Jan 8 · 3 min read

Strengthening kinship ties thru binnadang or ug-ugbo

170 half-cavan sacks of rice were distributed by the Otucan Clan to the residents of Barangay Can-eo, Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Apr 27, 2020 · 2 min read