Cagayan has a prehistoric civilization with rich and diverse culture. According to archeologists, the earliest man in the Philippines probably lived in Cagayan thousands of years ago. Evidences to this effect are now convincing beyond scientific doubt to consider it as an incontestable fact.
From available evidences, the Atta or Negrito – a short dark-skinned nomad – was the first man in Cagayan. They were later moved to the uplands by the Indo-Malays who eventually became the Ybanag, Ytawit, Yogad, Gaddang, Yraya and Malaweg – the natives of Cagayan – who actually came from one ethnicity. These are the people found by the Spaniards in the different villages along the rivers all over Cagayan. The Spaniards rightly judged that these various villagers came from single racial stock and decided to make the Ybanag Tongue the lingua franca, both civilly and ecclesiastically for the entire people of Cagayan which they called collectively as the Cagayanes which later was transliterated to become Cagayanos. Source
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