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.