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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies > Ub-ufok Ad Fiallig Overview > Teaching Modules > Module 1 – Tilag : Valuing Our Roots

Module 1 – Tilag : Valuing Our Roots


High up in the mountains of the Cordilleras, a rainbow named Tilag conceals her identity and chooses to live among the Ifiallig. One day, Tilag appears to a young hunter at the end of a rainbow. Smitten by her beauty, he immediately asks her hand in marriage. Soon Tilag gives birth to their children, but mysterious things started to happen. Tilag also begins to fear losing her husband because of her unusual nature. Derived from the narrative of village elder Jerson Ayongchi.



Keywords: Barlig, ancestral home, concept of home, roots, ancestors


Understanding the concept of home is important in our journey of self-discovery. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero, once said, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa kanilang pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa kanilang paroroonan. Those who do not know how to look back at where they come from will not reach their destination.” Rizal urges us to know our ancestral roots in order to reach our full potential. Do you agree with Rizal? How do you define home? This lesson will help students connect to Barlig through their own reflection of their home.

Library resources on Jose Rizal



Teachers get to know their students by having them write a poem about their home.

Instructions are found on the following link: Where I’m From”

World Map Activity: Where in the world is my home? 

1. Students locate Barlig, Mountain Province on Google Earth or world map.

2. Students search for their hometown as well as their ancestral home on Google Earth.

3. Discuss how far they are from Barlig.

4. Students read and watch videos of Barlig (Scroll down to the bottom for more information on Barlig).

Library resources on the indigenous people of the Cordilleras

5. Students compare and contrast their hometown to Barlig.

6. Students discuss Jose Rizal’s quote about home.

7. Ask students why home is important.


Have students draw a picture of their home and share with each other. The drawings can be a literal meaning of a “home” or a metaphorical “home” for those who are uncomfortable sharing about their home life.  

LESSON 2: STORYTELLING: Stories and Life Lessons from Home

Every culture values storytelling as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. It is the telling of events in words and different sounds or images. Storytellers’ make these narratives come alive through lively improvisations and embellishments. The Filipino culture is no different from cultures with a rich oral history tradition. For instance, the written word did not reach the Ifiallig (the people of Barlig) until the early 20th century. Hence, for thousands of years the traditions of the people in the region were handed down orally through generations.

Library Resources on Philippine Folklore

Did you grow up with your own stories told by your elders? What were the stories you learned from home?


  • Students gain knowledge about their cultural traditions.
  • Students share stories from home and cultural traditions with each other.
  • Students learn the value of cultural traditions by bringing their culture into the classroom.
  • The culture of minority students such as Filipinos are rarely represented in schools. Often, this leads to a sense of invisibility and may result in low self-esteem and feelings of shame. In this lesson, “Home” traditions are made visible and given importance in order to empower students.


1. Students read about storytelling in the Ifiallig culture. Alternately, the instructor discusses storytelling in the Iffialig culture while emphasizing keywords in italics.

2. Discuss the meaning of storytelling with students.  Did you grow up with your own stories told by your elders? What were the stories you learned from home? Why are these stories important.

3. Students read Tilag and watch the story on Tilag


1. Describe Tilag and her coutrship with the young hunter.

2. Discuss the division of labor in the Mountain Province (Women farm while men hunt).

3. Describe Tilag on a typical day. What does she do while her husband is out hunting?

4. If you were to rewrite the ending of the story, how would you write it and explain why?

5. What type of moral values do you think the story of Tilag is trying to impart? (Discuss the idea of shame, forgiveness, sense of community, love, parenting and preserving the honor of the family.)

6. How do you think the story reflects our modern values?

7. The Tilag Clan actually exists in Barlig. Possible homework: Look for the Tilag Clan online. Conduct research on the Tilag Clan.

8. Do you have a similar story from your own cultural tradition.