A language of Philippines

Alternate Names
Babuyan, Ibataan, Ivatan

1,240 (2007 NCIP). 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,400 (2008 SIL).


North of Luzon, Babuyan Islands, Ibatan tribe ancestral domain; administered under Cagayan Province, Calayan municipality, except for Fuga island under Aparri municipality.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


None known. Intelligibility of Itbayaten Ivatan [ivv] 64%; Basco Ivatan [ivv] 31%. Lexical similarity: 72% with Itbayaten Ivatan [ivv], 74% with Basco Ivatan [ivv] (1974–1975 SIL survey).

Language Use

Shifting to Ilocano [ilo]. All domains as well as religious services and ceremonies, and local commerce. All ages. Positive attitudes. Increasingly bilingual in Ilocano [ilo]. Code switching common between Ilocano and Ibatan (2007 SIL). Also use English [eng], Filipino [fil], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Min Nan Chinese [nan]. Used as L2 by Ilocano [ilo].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 90%. Literacy rate in L2: 80% (2007 SIL). All school-aged children are literate. Schooling is in Filipino [fil] or English [eng]. Taught in primary schools, but only if instructions not understood in English (2007 SIL). Taught in secondary schools. Grammar. NT: 1996.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Since 1978, speakers have increased from 450 to 1,220. On June 1, 2007, the Ibatan were awarded title to their island home of Babuyan Claro with all collective rights to natural resources, including 5 km of ocean around the island. The ancestral domain was established with the help of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines and based on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (2007 SIL). Christian.