Wednesday, March 5, 2008


earlier, me and my officemates were fooling and dancing around to kill time. then suddenly, somebody in the crowd reacted that the guy who was dancing next to me dances like an igorot with a tail. my sharp ears couldn't really pass nor miss such comment. in a way i felt offended because of her insensitivity towards cordilleran. but still i tried letting it pass and consider her own personal bakcground or probably her misconceptions about them. but nerves just spur out from me that moment, when she began spreading her hanky and started dancing the dance foolishly. i was really on the edge of smirking at her.

honestly, i really felt disgusted with what i saw. but the thing that i made me felt bad was that moment, where the only thing i could do was to sit there and just inform them that i would go back to work. i just couldn't go hysterical because they might deemed that i am over reacting on the situation.

then i just realized that you should also consider the person who is the source of such remarks. for you could never expect a person to know all of these grounds that is triggering this bomb inside. thus, i decided to write something about such grounds.


it really gets into my nerves whenever i hear this word. i am no cordilleran nor happens to have any ethnic roots. but i could say that like most people who happens to have live somewhere where there is a rich ethnic pool, i have gained great respect and love to the native culture.

some misconceptions about the term igorot.

the term was coined by the spaniards during the colonial period as a connotative identification towards cordillerans that means head hunters, to raise fear and conflict among the nearby ilocanos of the north. this was used as an effective mean to widen up their colonial terrirtory by making filipinos to raise war against their fellow filipinos without the colonizers doing anything, divide et impera, as the roman empire used to call it.

during that time, the cordillerans, aside from the moros of mindanao, are among the only people who weren't colonize during the spanish period. nonetheless, as time passed by, eventually the word was pretty much accepted by them as well. but still cordilleran is the more politically correct term to identify them rather than igorot.

igorot does not only refer to one ethnic group. the cordillerans is composed of various ethnic groups (not tribes because in the case of the philippines, technically, we don't have one) composed of the kankana-ey, ibaloi, batak, ifugaos, apayaos, etc.

igorots don't happen to have tails as most lowlander folks perceived them to have. regardless, if it was meant as a joke. they are no lesser no more than us.

igorots are not savages. there culture are actually impressive because they were able to cope with modernity and at the same time preserve their culture.

igorots are no carnival show actors that should be exoticized because they are wearing "bahags". it is their native attire and its not something that they wear just to display there body. our attires shouldn't justify the respect that we are ought to have or give. not like what MMDA displays, magbihis ng tama para igalang ng kapwa.


Anino said...

Wanderer, hindi naman ako mahilig gumamit ng internet.

Pati mga mangyan ay sinasabihang may buntot din!

wanderingcommuter said...

kungsabagay. pero contextualized naman ito pero pwede rin as a whole!

Marocharim said...

damn, those tomatokick talks really got you thinking!

onT: i am a Cordilleran (my paternal grandmother is from Mankayan, i was born and raised in baguio). "Igorot," when used in a derogatory sense, irritates me and my people. for one, couldn't they just say that you're from Kiangan or you're from Paracelis or from Apayao or you're Ibaloi or you're Kankana-ey?

i happen to represent that misrepresented bunch of Cordi peoples. is it so wrong to be proud of our heritage just because our traditional dances and costumes strike people as "funny?" or that our history is printed out on postcards and sold to HEKASI students for their projects?

really, erik, even i'm offended by "ka-igorotan, lumalaban," in our common roots as activists. i don't know about others.

we deserve more respect as a culture and as a people than being mere cultural clowns. agyamanac cinca, erik.

wanderingcommuter said...

of course, marks. sorry i wasn't able to catch up with you guys last night. were you able to meet up?

Marocharim said...

Update: Che texted me. Sabi niya *and i hope na masusunod* she'll be here saturday. i'm on offset sa sabado, 8-5. kita kits, txt txt

JOSH said...

Respetohan lang dapat, remember d golden rule in dealing with others.

Actually, d ethnic groups of d mountain province are amazing. buti they dont freeze wearing only their weaved cloth? :)

Bino/Geno said...

Wow I didn't know that. But seriously, I would have reacted violently. Haha.

Wil said...

I feel sorry for that lady who made such an ignorant comment.

thanks for visiting my blog, btw.

Abou said...

salamat at na enlightened ako about this.

jericho said...

agbiag ti kordilyera! i love cordi and cordi people. i asked a friend once to explain to me the socio-cultural and political landscape of cordillera. I didn't get half of what she said. but I did say agbiag afterwards. malapit na Cordi Day!

davenport said...

"our attires shouldn't justify the respect that we are ought to have or give. not like what MMDA displays, magbihis ng tama para igalang ng kapwa."

-but respect do come in clothes. people do judge the book by its cover whether he is a conformist or a hellion ready to overthrow the world. there's nothing wrong with the MMDA display yata.

well practically that is always the case everyday.

(note: walang kinilaman dito ang igorot thingy po)

-- --

i learn something today. cheers!

take care.

wanderingcommuter said...

josh: you'll love the culture. no wonder they have retained their rich culture. additional trivia: did you know that the term hotdog actually came from them? interesting...hehehe.

bino: ako rin eh. buti na lang medyo diplomatic ako. hehehe!

wil: she actually apologized later on. but she taught i was a cordilleran and was surprised when i said i am not.

abou: anytime, abou!

jericho: oo nga pala! naku, inaabangan ang cordi day. masaya!
what was the half that you have learned about them? malay mo mabigay ko yung other half.

davenport: yes you might be correct. but this is always in context. in addition, i think, as cliche as it may sound, respect is always rooted skin or clothe deep (if i can coin the term). hehehe...

chase / chubz said...

they have tails? well, that story didn't reach here.
well, in fact i have heard no jokes about these beautiful ethnic group here.

i didn't really that some people make fun of them.

Bugan said...

hi! this is an interesting post (and the replies to it as well)to read . i am an igorot and i'm glad to know that although you're not from cordi, you are sensitive to other pinoys' insensitivity to igorots. i hope more kababayans would have your attitude:-) cheers!

Anonymous said...

i'm an igorot and i don't mind people call me "igorot". i'm proud of my heritage. i prefer this term as well as "cordilleran" because it encompasses unity among the tribes rather than terming in as ibaloi or ifontok or ikalinga (stating it individually) etc.. if any of us be offended by other people's remarks i think we should correct them immediately. we can't blame them because they are ignorant of the culture, when we explain..they would surely understand. i encounter such lowlanders everyday in school..i correct them of their comments, and they'll understand and give a sort of respect :) --c420r

a line is a dot that went running... said...

i am a full blooded igorot, born and raised in the heart of mountain province... i speak almost all the local dialects in the Cordillera... i dont mind being called IGOROT... they are just merely saying i am from the mountain and so i really am from the mountain... nothing bad with the word igorot to me... its my ethnic origin, its my heritage and i'm proud of it...

-baguio's bad boy

a line is a dot that went running... said...

...its so funny coz even here in Hawaii when i identified to them that i am an igorot one laughed and said, "so U the one they say U jump out the bushes and U get tail?" thats his exact words... i just smiled and told him... "look at me cuzz, do U see one?"...

Anonymous said...

Kindly search and read "The Lewiston Daily Sun" - Feb. 23, 1942