He was a leader in the struggle against the Chico River Project started in 1974 which intended to build dams that would have affected the lives of about 100,000. About 1,400 sq. kms of Kalinga homes, rice terraces, orchards, communal forests and sacred burial grounds would have been inundated to generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity which the Marcos technocrats said were needed by the country. The Cordillera people led the struggle against the project.

On April 24, 1980 state security forces killed one of its well-known leaders, Macliing Dulag, hoping to stop the opposition to the project. But the struggle went on, and the Marcos martial law government was eventually forced to abandon the project. A people united was victorious. But like all extrajudicial killings up to this time nobody has been punished and jailed for the crime.

ALAY KAY MACLIING DULAG is a song from the album PAGBABALIK NG MUSIKERO by Nonilon V. Queano. All the songs in this album were written by Nonilon Queaño, a professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and award-winning playwright and poet. He also did the vocals for most of the songs. Musical arrangements by Karl Ramirez and featuring special performances by soprano Rica L. Nepomuceno and classical guitarist Nobel Queaño. Ganda ng arrangement and musical background, Karl Ramirez

This is a great song, one of the best of its kind, and I never tire of listening to it especially because one recalls all the many martyrs who have died for the great cause of national liberation. It provides inspiration to continue and contribute to an undertaking that is beyond one's immediate personal concerns. Thank you, Noni!
                                                                                          ---- Arkibong Bayan


Click the link below to play the music video:


You can play and download the clear high quality audio file here:


From the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Archives
DULAG, Macli'ing

Macliing Dulag was a respected elder who successfully led his community and the Cordillera ethnic people in opposing a dam project of the Marcos regime that would have inundated ricefields, homes, communal forests and sacred burial grounds.

Macliing was a little-known village pangat serving his mountainside village of Bugnay in the 1960s. Pangats are village elders in Kalinga, chosen by the community to lead because of the courage and wisdom they had shown in the past.

Macliing was a rice farmer, and also had a weekday job as road maintenance worker for the Bureau of Public Highways.

In 1974, the newly-installed Marcos dictatorship sought to implement a 1,000-hydroelectric power project along Chico River. The project involved the construction of four dams that would have inundated 1,400 sq. kms. of Kalinga homes, rice terraces, orchards, and graveyards. The lives of as many as 100,000 living in villages along the river, including Macliing’s Bugnay, would have been affected by the project.

Macliing became a strong and articulate leader in this struggle, which pitted small nearly powerless communities in the Cordilleras against the full powers of the martial law regime. Kalinga and Bontoc leaders were offered bribes, harassed, even imprisoned by the martial law regime but they, including Macliing, stayed firm in their opposition.

The ethinic Kalinga and Bontoc communities, and lowlanders who sympathized with their cause, argued that national development should never be achieved at such extreme sacrifice.

"You ask if we own the land. You mock us. Where is your title? Where are the documents to prove that you own the land? Title. Documents. Proof. Such arrogance of owning land when you are owned by it. How can you own that which outlives you? Only the people own the land because only the people live forever. To claim a place is the birthright of everyone. The lowly animals claim their place, how much more of human beings. They are born to live," spoke Macliing, when asked about land titles and documents.

Resistance to the dam project helped unify what was once a divided Cordillera region. Macliing and other Cordillera leaders initiated a series of tribal pacts, which helped cement this unity and create a very broad anti‑dam front. Macliing became the recognized spokesperson for the anti-dam opposition, for although virtually unschooled, Macliing saw life sharply:

“If you (government) in your search for the good life destroy life, we question it. We say those who need electric lights are not thinking of us who are bound to be destroyed. Or will the need for electric power be a reason for our death? "

Macliing was assassinated on April 24, 1980. A group of government soldiers raided his house and killed him with a rain of bullets. His assassination, however, solidified the opposition to the dam, which had won sympathizers from all over the country and even outside the country. His assassins were eventually convicted.

Even the World Bank, which would have funded the dam construction, withdrew from the project, forcing the government to back out of it at last.

Birth: 1930
Death: April 24, 1980
Place of Death: Bugnay, Kalinga Apayao




For your copy olf the special album, contact Prof. Queaño at his Facebook account below:

or his son Nobel at this Facebook account below: