A place called Lubo cradled the first people of Balili. The name change to Balili is credited to a weed that grew in persistent abundance in the fields of the people then. Their ancestor, Banagaw, came from Alab to settle in Lubo to be near to his fields.
Two years later, Diwayan, also from Alab, and his wife Danao from Ankileng joined him. Their growing population caused them to move from Lubo to a wider settlement area. They built Ato Nalusban, located today in Sitio Naguab. Further growth of the community saw the addition of Ato Suysuya, and Ato Temwagan.
If Diwayan and Danao never met, things would have been different. But as the story of old has it, one fateful day, Diwayan and two other men from Alab went to harvest the crops in their fields in Duplog near their tribe’s enemy zone of Ankileng. Diwayan hadn’t had breakfast that day and in his extreme hunger, he risked to the territory of Ankileng and saw Danao working in a cames field in Tiganeng. Danao, who never saw Diwayan before, thought he was going to kill her. Diwayan assured her immediately that he was just hungry and was wondering if she still has food left in her agawin to spare for him. Since Danao hadn’t eaten yet, she offered that they eat together. Nobody today knows what happened exactly but when they finished, they left the farm together. From a distance Diwayan’s companions were wondering why he didn’t even give an explanation as to why he went to Ankileng.
Upon reaching Danao’s house, Danao’s father asked her why she was bringing a man from an enemy tribe. She answered that Diwayan had proposed marriage to her and she accepted. After dinner, her father went to the ato, as it was the custom for men to gather there at night. The old men asked about Danao’s visitor, aware that he was from an enemy tribe. They suggested that they kill Diwayan. But Danao’s father admonished them saying that it was inayan since his daughter was getting married with Diwayan. The old men then said that if such was the case, Danao and Diwayan should leave and return to Alab, as their presence in the community would interfere with the ichew.
The following morning,Danao and Diwayan left Ankileng.
When they arrived at Tampugo, a mountain overlooking Alab, Diwayan instructed Danao to follow him in the evening. He would leave the gauwan as a sign at the door of his house and by this he would know where to go. The elders of the Ato Bangyaw, which was below Diwayan’s house, noticed the newcomer and after inquiring, found out that she was from Ankileng. There was a suggestion that she be killed for the similar reason that she was from an enemy tribe. But after finding out that she was to be married with Diwayan and that they were both sent away from Ankileng, the people realized it was also inayan that she be killed. The elders decided that since the couple would also be interfering with ichew, it would be best if they joined Diwayan’s Ikit Banagaw in Lubo. Tumenga da isdi ta nu kayuwen nan Alab nan Ankileng et waday dumagasan nan i-Alab, et nu kayuwen nan Ankileng nan Alab, waday dumagasan nan i-Ankileng.
While other tribes would have accounts of tribal exploits with other tribes, Balili would maintain a friendly peaceful existence.
Another historical figure during the Spanish times whose legacy is still remembered tody was a man named Mangay-at. With Dal-amen of Alab and Pangpangdew of Ankileng, they drew the boundaries of their respective areas during their times. This would include the establishment of the marker bearing Lepanto-Bontoc in Palinga-ao, which would later be destroyed and changed.
The Japanese occupation left a mark on the history of this community. A story recounts the Japanese coming to conduct a “sarbey” of the area. After some time, American and Japanese troops found themselves face to face in Balili. With the intervention of the anitos who woudn’t favor wars, the guns of Americans would not fire and neither the Japanese. The soldiers took their battle elsewhere, sparing the population of Balili from casualties.
The years that ensued saw peace once again. Community events continue to evolve around the agricultural cycle. To name one, the tengao which last 3-4 days happens after harvest of the dagon rice variety. Year in and year out, the traditions that have been passed from the first settlers of Balili are still being practiced to greater degree.
***Reference- TAWID: Celebrating 100 Years of Bontoc Township Experience
Punong Barangay: Henry L. Atiwag
- Pilar D. Calabias
- Mario B. Bonbon
- Felix P. Langcao
- Felix C. Awing
- Lilia D. Bagangan
- Ricky P. Wanas
- Cleto L. Chacapna, Sr.
IPMR : Gabriel Boyagao, Jr.
SK Chairperson: Leophin A. Gayec
Barangay Secretary: Errolin P. Awingan
Barangay Treasurer: Estifania A. Buyagao