My grandfather, Mamerto Agan Arcala, was from Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. When most people think of Filipino people, they think of those who speak the Tagalog language. My grandfather was indigenous to Ilocos Sur, a region in the northern-most part of Philippines, just under China. Below is a snippet from the website Jane's Oceania to give you a little understanding of whom the Ilokano are.
Modern DNA evidence strongly supports the view that the Polynesian people have their origins in a small group of Austronesian speaking people in Taiwan. This web site takes a preliminary look at some of the many tribal traditional groups and provinces in the Philippines Islands with regard to their traditions, language, music and culture with particular emphasis on the apparent similarities with those of the Polynesian people.
The Ilocano or Ilokano people are the third largest Filipino ethnolinguist group. Aside from being referred to as Ilocanos, from "i"-from, and "looc"-bay, they also refer to themselves as Samtoy, from the Ilocano phrase "sao mi ditoy", meaning 'our language here.' The word "Ilocano" came from the word "Iloco" or "Yloco."
Originally indigenous to the narrow coastal strip of northwestern Luzon, the Ilocanos have migrated throughout the Philippines. There are also an important Ilocano communities in Manila, as well as the world over. Ilocanos number about 9,136,000 and are primarily of Austronesian stock. Their homeland is the closest region in the Philippines to China. Ilocanos speak the IIokano language (also called Iloko language), which is part of the Northern Philippine subgroup of the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages. The Austronesian ancestors of the present-day Ilocanos came to the Philippines through bilogs, or outrigger boats during the Iron Age.
The IIocano people are characterized as being hardworking and frugal, and they engage primarily in farming and fishing. The Ilocano culture represents very simple, sometimes spartan day-to-day living, focusing mostly on work and productivity, spending only on necessities and not on so much on ostentatious material possessions. Ilocanos also exemplify a great degree of respect and humility in their everyday dealings.
One of the most notable Ilocanos Ferdinand Marcos, 10th President of the Philippines (1965–1986).
Ilokano or Ilocano (Ilocano: Ti Pagsasao nga Iloco; also Ilocano, Iluko, Iloco, Iloco, Ylocano, and Yloco) is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines.
An Austronesian language, it is related to such languages as Indonesian, Malay, Fijian, Maori, Hawaiian, Malagasy, Samoan, Tahitian, Chamorro , Tetum, and Paiwan.