Thursday, 11 September 2008

THE IGOROT MOTHER BLOGGER

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family; Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one!" A quote by Jane Howard (1935-1996).

To educate solecism and correct the ill stigma concerning how our fellow countrymen see us, THE IGOROTS, may be impossible. A mother who belongs to "this" tribe who happens to blog, only dreams she could help educate the implications of ignorance about her people. But, what if she tries?

Native Cordillerans who're from the Northern part of the Philippines with the following Provinces: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Baguio City, Bontoc , Kalinga and Ifugao, are the IGOROTS, who often referred to as the "people from the mountains". With which in it's context is literally true, but sometimes, it is abused and used as a derogatory remark by those who doesn't really know us.

True, we are 'taong bundok'(mountain people) because our homes are situated in the mountains but that doesn't mean we're lesser humans than the people from Iloilo, or Manila, or any other parts of the Philippines. For one we don't have curly hair, not of dark complexion, almost 90 percent of literacy and English is widely spoken than our national language - Filipino.

I don't need to enumerate who is who but just like any other Filipino, many of us are professionals from doctors, to nurses, lawyers, artist etc... Some were successful in businesses that had given prestige to our country like the Narda's Handwoven Arts & Crafts among the many.

Each of our different ETHNIC GROUPS: Bontoc, Ibaloi, Ifugao, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, Kalanguya and the Kankana-ey, is rich in customs and traditions. The preservation of our culture that was not heaved by the Spanish regime is very symbolic of our ancestor's antagonism to whoever wants to strip our roots- OUR IDENTITY. Neither the American's influence did not eradicate our fashion sense of not to wearing our 'kubal/kuba'(G-strings) for men, 'tapis' for women during special occasions nor our dancing with our gongs and solibao(Igorot drum).

Head hunters? Yes, the Igorots specifically the Kalinga tribe had this practice but that was only true in the past. It had been abolished long before our parents were born.

Seeing our "kind" at the Botanical Garden and Mines View Park being paid to have photos with you as the picture of who we are as Igorots is another limited or unwitted perception. To rather see the dignity of not resorting into stealing just to put food in their mouth is more dignified. "Picture taking", their job, is more noble than wearing 'Barongs' as they comfortably sit "on" government offices corrupting people's money.

Sure, you see some beggars asking you to spare a dime while you sit at Burnham Park. An old lady in particular would even decline food if you you give him that instead of money. Again, that is not the generalization of who we are. Like any other Filipino group, there are less fortunate and your alms are their means to meet their ends.

So next time you scare your children saying, "Sige kayo, kukunin kayo ng Igorot!.."(the Igorots will get you) or when your kids are uncontrolable and you blurted out, "para kayong mga Igorot, doon kayo sa bundok!"(you're like Igorots, stay in the mountais.)... you are doing well in teaching racism, solecism, prejudism and is successful in miseducating them.

"I am an Igorot. Let me be treated as I deserve—with respect if I am good, with contempt if I am no good, irrespective of the name I carry. Let the term, Igorot, remain, and the world will use it with the correct meaning attached to it." –Jose Dulnuan

13 comments:

TruBlue

There will always be people who think they are better than the other ethnic groups. It's what I call the "darkness of Ignorance"!

I've never donned "da string" but who knows, one day me and TB3 will be the ones posing in Mines View or Botanical, hehe...fee will be expensive!

Cheers!

Sagada

Well said!

Its nice that Igorot bloggers are spreading like mushrooms. Its about time to fix the century-old stereotyping and ignorance.

Keep on blogging!

blog of the SaGaDa-iGoRoT
SaGaDa-iGoRoT.com

izma

Very well said (written), Lovelyn.

raqgold

well, i am proud of being a pinoy and i am proud of our whole race. kahit na taga bundok o taga sapa pa sila :) but it is nice reading more about the igorots, though.

rubb

yup, lots of ignoramus out there. I remember me and the kids sitting around Mines View. Some tourist were telling their kids to have their photos taken with the "igorots". Yikes for all they know the only igorots in Baguio were the ones in Mines View and Botanical Garden. They probably didn't know they were sitting next to one.

Eh someone even asked me how far Baguio was from Benguet. How do you educate. How bout some flyers or leaflets before they enter the Cordilleras. Start printing

Analyse

i didn't know that igorots encounter such racism and prejudism by our own kababayans (well, not until i read a blog which invited a lot of criticisms afterwards). but i feel you. i live in a little barrio up on a hill (not even a mountain!) and everybody in our town thinks that we're from the mountains - taga-bundok. i'd like to say that we just have to ignore those ignorants, but in fact, easier said than done, it ends up to be tiring in the end.

funny because i always tell frenchguy that french kids lack respect to the elders and i need our kids to be educated the pinoy way where elders and other people in general are well respected.. but when i read such revendications, i just realize that pinoys are really good in discrimination.. and the worst part is that we discriminate each other..

if only these ignorants know that those taga-bundoks here in europe are being envied because they could have the serenity in their own abode, far from the busy life of the cities...

lovelyn

Ciao Trublue,

True, as always hehehe... "so dark they can not see". Isunga, better not talk if they know nothing about us or any other tribe for that matter.

We will have that pose with you and TB3 regardless of how much it costs(hehehe). Abah! Blogging material ata yan (lol).
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Ciao Sagada,

Thanks!

Just got from your site. I salute you, Bill and other Kailians for your effort in promoting our "Igorotness".

Be including you on my blogroll soon, hope our Internet connection will be back to normal.
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Ciao Izma,

Thanks! Daan din ako sa site mo bukas. Got to sleep first hehehe...
_________________________________

Ciao Raq,

Anu fi! Well read people does not discriminate kaya ganyan ka no?
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Ciao Rubba,

That's a good idea! Reading materials, e yung mga i-------s naman e di nagbabasa kasi. They'd rather write raw hahaha!

Dito nga everytime we introduce ourselves, we never fail to tell them we're Igorots. Feeling Ambassador of the Cordillera para naman ma educate sila na we don't have tails.

Okey, you start printing!
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Ciao Analyse,

Exactly French Mommy! Well said/written ka rin!

Maybe we're even referring to the same blog. I actually wrote this after reading the long mudslinging of a certain blogger with the Igorots. Napuyat ako nun. Nahuli pa ako sa balita ha.

You didn't pop yet?hehehe... got to check you out later.

Tina of MyGoodFinds

Awesome post Lovelyn. Couldn't have said it better. There are still a whole lot of people who needs to be educated about Igorots.

You know what, here in the States I would rather hang out with the unpretentious taong bundok.

lovelyn

Ciao Tina,

Thanks!

It just makes you angry how other people insist on what they wrongly know. In this case, there's no excuse for ignorance when you think you can write or blog about other people. Double check before you let the world read it, that's responsibility.

Ganda

hayyy, our igorotness! :)

kaya nga ako magsasama ng Ita sa Mindanao sa December so my husband's people will believe that I am an Igorota. Halos buong mindanao yata kase, ang alam nilang Igorot ay yung mga kapatid nating Agta/Aeta/Ita. Now, I'm not discriminating, gusto ko lang makorek ang kanilang maling kaalaman! Kakapagod na rin kase minsan... :)

Cheers nga kuna ni Sir TB :)

lovelyn

Ciao Ganda,

Hehehe... you're right, kakapagod din minsan. Lets just continue educating them, pag di pa nila gets, ewan ko na kung ano tawag dun.

JM Agreda

very well said lovelyn. i am an acculturated igorot. although i have been raised in bacolod and i am a pure visayan, staying in the cordilleras and mingling with the igorots has been a very memorable experience. everyday, i learn new things about the cordillera people and now i believe that only admiration and respect should be given to them. the richness of the culture should be preserved as well. god bless you!

lovelyn

Ciao JM,

Grazie. As I've commented on your blog, such passion there for the Cordilleras and as an Igorot we thank you for learning and knowing more about us.

Will be writing a separate entry for this soon.

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