All The WOW News in Cordillera

Friday, February 5, 2021

Hashtag #i_am_a_proud_igorot: The Igorots have once again shown their unity amidst adversities.

Background Images Courtesy to proud Igorots 

Cordillera - With FB being flooded by posts of Igorots who are living in various corners of the world and who are proudly waving their ethnicities,  one could not be prouder of his/ her own lineage. In the posts are a kaleidoscope of colors from various woven apparel, worn not only by men and women of Igorot descent, but also by  brethren who have embraced our rich cultural heritage or those who have come to appreciate the uniqueness and intricate designs of our products. 

With our actions, together, we are now educating our countrymen who for some reasons have failed to know that Igorots are very much like their counterparts in other regions when it comes to physical attributes. 

Indeed, it is quite pitiful that at this age, many are still wallowing in their ignorance of the bodily make up of their Filipino brothers. But sadder still is that learning materials were entrusted to people within the educational system and whose orientation is obviously founded on myths. Education, indeed, is a lifelong journey - we need to step up in the crafting of learning materials. (Whatever happened to consultants?)

In his letter to DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones dated February 4, 2021, Congressman Maximo Y. Dalog,  Jr. strongly expressed the people of Mountain Province's adverse reactions caused by derogatory terms or demeaning allusions about Igorots. Subsequently,  he requested for the immediate investigation of said learning materials and for DepEd to employ corrective measures. 

"Igorots had long been discriminated because of erroneous information about our people, identity and culture. We want to put an end to this. We wish you could help us," Cong. Dalog stated in his letter. 

"Our group, Autonomy Advocates, is working with the RDC and DepEd for the correction of erroneous teaching materials and modules.   CAR has produced outstanding Igorots in sports, beauty pageants, arts, and in other fields," Atty. Amador P. Batay-an, former NCIP Regional Director, said.

And the concerted efforts bore fruit.

But despite the indignation and the frustrations felt as a consequence of such display of ignorance and misinformation, the ever-resourceful Igorots unknowingly turned this sad experience into an advantage. With the beautiful variegated woven apparel and other Indigenous products we have shown, we are promoting our local industries/ indigenous products. This undeliberate promotion will be most helpful to our local weaving and sewing industry and to our OTOP hubs. At this time when income is at its lowest, we are more inspired to promote our products via social media. The latest DepEd experience is telling us to do more...we need to tell the world that Igorots are also producers and entrepreneurs as well. We need to tell that we have quality coffee bean products, peanut butter, muscovado sugar, fruit wines, vinegar and even food items that are readily accessible online - donuts, fried chicken, cakes, Hainanese steamed chicken, pasta delicacies, it, we have them in town, ready to be delivered at one's convenience. The Igorot has come a long way.

But more than just the economic contribution, we are teaching the world a lesson on the truth about the proud Igorot existence and ancestry...not just in looks but also in all other aspects. Let the Igorot be a teacher of history on indigeneity or of the indigenous people of the Cordillera. We have to admit that even at this time, people still stick to that old adage, "To see is to believe." So,  now, we are showing them. The Igorot is by nature humble with her/ his achievements and physical attributes but give her/him a reason to stand up and she/ he will in all her/his glory.

Furthermore,  we  use this present situation as an avenue to educate others on how the Igorots have made their marks in various fields not only in the Philippines but in many parts of the world.  The Igorots are at par with their counterparts, at any given time and place. The Igorot is one of the most versatile creation. She/ he, too, is multi-lingual and adapts well to any environment.

And more importantly, still, we have  come to really appreciate and love our own culture. While we have embraced other cultures,  we never forgot our own rich heritage and are now more than ever prouder to shout to the world that we are Igorots, who just like any other person on earth, were made in God's image and not the wrongly perceived people that some poor souls repeatedly bash on social media and write about in books. Obviously, they have not crossed paths with Igorots.

source || Novy Del Rosario Afidchao



Unknown said...

I see the the Department of Education leadership has issued an apology. That's a small step in the right direction. There's still a long way to go to rid the society's perception and wrong beliefs of the IPs in the Philippines especially the Igorots. Such ignorance permeates the social, economic, and political make up of the Philippines. We cannot and we will not allow our lowland brothers and sisters to define us.

Unknown said...

Kung mkapagsalita po kayo parang lahat ng mga taga lowlander hinuhusgahan kayo. Isipin din ninyo kung saan nyo benibenta mga vegies nyo mga products nyo. At kung may nanghuhusga man sa inyo. Bka 2-3 lang sa 100 na taga lowland. So sa tema ng pananalita mo mababait lahat mga Igorot.

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