Being called “BALONG!” Very Ilocano. Very Meaningful.

Today, as I read some comments, I came across comments (1 , 2) made by Manong Luis Beltran, originally from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, who have been living abroad for 30 years now! I honestly feel how “homesick” he is, but more than that, what touched my being is when he called me “Balong!” In Ilocos, “Balong” is a term used by older people to call younger boys, just like “Manong” to refer to older men.

When Luis referred to me as “Balong,” I was immediately transported back to my childhood and in seconds, I felt the warmth of being called “Balong,” once more! I remember my Mom and Dad calling me by that name, and in most cases, I felt loved, cared for, and protected from any harm. It is more of a term of endearment to me, rather than a mere reference to being younger boy.

It is on this note that I am making this entry not only to pay tribute to Manong Luis Beltran, who called me “Balong” after a very long time, but to all “Balong’s” not only in Ilocos but everywhere. I am posting here some images of “Balong’s”, who someday, will become “Manong’s,” like me and Luis.

So, the next time you see a younger boy, call him BALONG!!!

It’s playtime!!!

two boys playing

four boys playing

children playing

two boys

boy pulling shorts


Gallery | This entry was posted in A. ILOCOS, Biag (Life of Ilocano's), Ladawan (Photos) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Being called “BALONG!” Very Ilocano. Very Meaningful.

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  10. Perlita says:

    The Ilocanos in Hawaii, at least the ones I grew up used with the term of endearment for young man or son in a general term blood line or not is barook. Not sure of the spelling. I was not able to find it in Carl R. Galvez Rubino, Ph.D. “Ilocano Dictionary and Phrasebook” I have a son, and often I call him barook. Same phonic sounds as the Hebrew word, baruch, meaning blessed. Wikipedia said the name barok comes from a comic strip story meaning mountain man?

    • Perlita says:

      An example when I was a child the elders would say, barook umaika ditoy. With my son I say, barook, come here. He is half white. I am not around any Ilocano speakers in my area of California. I do love to hear the Ilocano language in song or in ordinary conversations I eaves drop on.

  11. Ana Jamora says:

    Hi, I am Filipino but with strong Spanish influences. I just gave birth to a baby boy & my future MIL already calls him balong. I have nothing against the name but i just don’t like it. Will she take it offensively if I asked her not to call him balong? Besides, she already calls her youngest son balong, can it just stop there?

  12. mark says:


    i’m inviting you to ilocano forum

    have a nice day kabsat

  13. Can somebody share their choices of possible Ilokano first names? I think “Sirmata” is appropriate for baby girl, “Salaknib” for boy. How about Cordillera for baby boy?

  14. carlo says:

    i named my self in college Balong, “Long” 4 short, kinda smart ass that time of my life even Kris Aquino amazed to it when i joined pilipinas
    Game knb? ,n-e-ways thanks!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Du pen ngaji

  16. I read about “balong” thah is habitat for fish in the water from the river, asking from Mr Hary Soemoyo in his novel “Geger Wong ndekep Macan”, see yuo, thank you…

  17. balonglong says:

    My name is balonglong. The name is very endearing. My papa and mama are calling me by that name, as well as my siblings and friends. My girlfriend loves me because of my name which, according to her, means lovable! Whew!

  18. balong says:

    im proud a ilocano!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. balong says:

    my name is hiphop hello lors baog

  20. balong says:

    my name is hiphop hello lors baog

  21. balong says:

    aanhin ko pa si balong kung mamatitira ay talong

  22. gerald says:

    i am looking for the word Balong to my computer to confirm the meaning that was i was thinking a young boy, to my surprise i got the answer to this website and im so happy coz they call me balong when i was a little kid.
    i am a proud ilokano from pangasinan and eventhough i am living here in texas i call my daughter naning which is a young girl in ilokano.
    its nice to see the ilokono customs and tradition being practice wherever u are…

  23. Ilocos says:

    I remember I used to be called “balong” when I was young. This word to me connotes innocence and playfulness as a kid.

  24. balasang ko says:

    Also, my kill is from pasuquin. My middle name is “Rumbaoa” 🙂 pls email me at if you can tell me more about my ancestry ! Or if you know of that last name 🙂

  25. balasang ko says:

    I’m half ilocana but I love the dialect and culture so much! I also love being called balasang 🙂

  26. balong says:

    i am a balong too..
    proud ilocano!

  27. Dr. Gil says:

    I am glad that the real ilocano word balong is still appreciated by many.
    I myself call my only son Balong, and my daughter neng.
    As you all mentioned, they are endearing words that connote sense of care, acceptance, protection and nurturance from loving parents. The terms used in the Ilocano language are truly emphatic and carry a deeper message than any other languages.
    It’s so nice to be in contact with kailukuan. Nasayat iti dumap-aw iti daytoy nga dapawayan.

  28. sha says:

    doing nothing at work led me here :).
    i am a very proud Ilocana
    reading this post makes me smile
    its true that the word ” balong” is a term of endearment
    i usually call my kid nephew balong
    just because i love him so much
    everytime i call him balong, it gives me the sense
    that i would be protecting him forever.

    and when my dad calls me ” balasang ko”
    i really feel his love..

    terms of endearment only Ilocanos can proudly say!!!!!

  29. chowmarco says:

    hello there guys!..I’m surprise to get in this site, a big smile to it… XD.. I am balong too!.. my dad is from panggasinan and proudly ilocano.. hehehe… but sad to say only my dad dont call me that way, instead my dad calls me as rafael, its because to prevent confusion between me my and my older brother.. but it is realy great to be called balong… d(º_º)b

  30. leonel says:

    i am a balong too..
    proud ilocano!

  31. del says:

    You made me smile. My mom, who passed away in 2003, used to call me balong. My sister’s best friend still remembers how warm she felt to be called balasang by my mom. Our words and our voice are so precious here in the States where our culture loses so much meaning just to be identified with other Filipinoes. Thank you for writing this blog, manong.

  32. Crystal says:

    Hallo. I am really new to this. I am part Ilocono, German, Danish, Irish, English and Navite American. I came here to learn more about the Ilocono way of life, since I repeatedly getting told by other Filipinos as being strange, and there’s something wrong with me.

    I want to know are Iloconos different from other Filipinos? I have been raised in a German family so I act very German, and not so much Filipino. Because my mother was not always in my life. She passed way when I was nine years old.

    I have tried to learn about Filipinos, but I do not get alone with other Filipinos, because they don’t understand me and I don’t understand them. And ones I have met always question me with why? Such as: “Why do you do that? You are a Filipino, you should act more Filipino. Why do you speak your mind? Why are you so loud? (And they are refering to when I have fun time with friends.) And when I tell them I am Iiocono ja they give me this ugly annoyed look and a lot of them won’t even talk to me when I say I am Ilocono. And the only ones that I get alone with me are the ones who are like me.

    To me I thought a Filipino was hard working people, who enjoy the simple life and loves life and likes to have fun and be loud. Like my mother.

    But the ones I meet are sooooooooooooooo hung up with what God says, and what they think a Filipino should act, like they shouldn’t speak their minds and blah blah blah or what they think is right.”

    I even tried learning Tagalog (Which I don’t like the sound of this diclect. I think Ilocono sounds a lot better.) They always tell me that I say it wrong, because I have Ilocono accent and that’s the only way I know how to speak Tagalog.

    If anyone would like to E-mail me and tell about me the Ilocono way of life.

    I can speak English or German, just do not write in Filipino, because I only understand it when I hear it. I don’t know how to read it.

  33. brVince says:

    Indeed! it’s really great to be called Balong, I am Balong, too 🙂

  34. Luis Beltran says:

    My manners, I am sorry.. Torn, thanks for the tribute… I really appreciate it..Have many questions to ask you because I once have a teacher in high school with your namesake and from your town (probably you are related) but too personal to inquire in this forum. I hope your e-mail address will be in place pretty soon..

    And to Kortina, Ading, I live here in California..Adda ka gayam dita Canada ey.. Let me guess – Vancouver??

  35. kortina kortina says:

    I think “balong’ is very endearing.It’s like the diminutive of “barok” – which is an address of endearment for bigger boys-like balasitang is to balasang,barito to baro.

    By the way,Manong Luis-ayan mo ditoy? Adda ak idtoy Canada…balong! he he he!

  36. Luis Beltran says:

    Hello Torn,
    I owe you an explanation lest an apology for calling you “Balong”. I do not in any way look down upon anybody when I use the word balong. For me, it is a term of endearment my late Dad and my uncles/aunties, lolos/lolas call us. For me, it is a validation of love and ever closer to people I call “Balong”, my nephews, sons of very dear friends. In the same token, I call nieces, daughters of dear friends, “Balasang ko” .

    Sorry to hear your loss. Am glad you are alright and not harmed. Your loss wil be replace over time.. life is not..

    I tried to e-mail you but somehow I got message that says default mail client is not properly installed..

    If you somehow get to this side of the world, pls drop me a line so I can show you around the area if Kortina Kortina will not beat me to it.. you got my e-mail address..
    My work takes a lot of my time so pls excuse me if I cannot respond you in time..

  37. cyrus says:

    I don’t recall being called balong althoug I am familiar with the word. I was indeed, called something else: BAROK (nakatangtangken ng barok hahaha).

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