MY IGOROTNESS

I was commenting on Bill's Igorots in EDSA 1 and noticed that I am going off topic so I just cut the rest of my comment and pasted it here and now I am forced to expand it a bit. I would like to ask any reader if they ever saw an elementary school textbook where Igorots were pictured as little black people with frizzy hairs and thick lips and flat nose.

Last time I was down South (in Zamboanga del Norte to be exact), my husband and I went to this church where I was given an opportunity to talk about what I do. Being the proud Igorota that I am, I started off by saying, "If you haven't yet seen a pure-blooded Igorot, before you is one." Can you imagine what response I got? Laughter. I was startled for a moment there so I decided to talk about other things. I finished my little speech and Mr. MC took the podium. He thanked me for visiting them but here's what made me flabbegasted! He said: "And thank you for that nice joke! " There I was telling the truth about my ethnic origin and there my fellow Filipinos thinking that I was kidding. "You can't be an Igorot. I have seen Igorots in Pampanga and they don't look anything like you!" The MC added.

In Manila, my husband again introduced me to a relative of his. He said proudly, "Asawa ko po, si ____, Igorota yan!" The relative said, "Ay, Igorota ka? Mabuti at di ka mukhang Igorota!" I was really offended!

In another instance, when my ex-boyfriend (kase husband ko na) informed his family in a letter that he proposed marriage to an Igorota, his mother said, "Nakuh! Sigurado ka na ba diyan? Ano ang height? Bakit sa dinamidami naman ng tao diyan sa Luzon eh Igorot pa?!" When my husband's siblings learned that their brother is going to marry an Igorota, they laughed at him. They wanted very badly to see a picture of this Igorot girl. But to make the story short, I went with my fiance to Mindanao and you can't just imagine the shocked faces I saw. They were actually expecting to see someone who is less than 5ft tall, with shiny black skin, kinky hair and all that. After they saw me, they said I can't be an Igorota; and their evidence was that I don't look anything like the Igorot that their teachers showed them in their textbook back in their elementary days.

I don't have anything against the appearance of our Agta/Ayta brothers/sisters (actually, I think they are beautiful in their own right) but it gets irritating when people force on you something that you are not and they won't even believe you even if you say otherwise. All that to say that it is sad how even our fellow Filipinos can be so ignorant about us, perceiving us in a skin that is not ours! Ahh mistaken identities! And I will bet that 80% of the population in Mindanao believes that Igorots look like Pygmies, or worst, Igorots are Pygmies, and all because of that textbook that has an "Igorot" person in bahag, trying to catch fish with his spear.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Har har har... Maliit naman ako pero di naman ako kulot. Pero, I agree, mas magaganda pa ang mga Aeta. Wala pa silang problems sa skin cancer. Ay, ano ba itong pinagsasabi ko.
Seriously, wala na tayong pakialam sa mga taong makikitid ang pang-unawa. Basta, magaganda tayo! Nyahahaha...

Fongakhan
torogi mama said…
If it was my cousin, that said he is an igorot in front of those people, they would have believed him because he fits their concept of an Igorot! LOL!! Kidding aside, our country might be small but ironically some ethnicity/ tribes are still ignorant or misinformed about other etnicities...Got to your blog thru someone else's.
kayni said…
Yes, I've seen textbooks that features Igorots to be darker and shorter. I agree with torogi mama - this is due to ignorance and miseducation. But, I thought that these days, other Filipinos should be aware that an Igorot is an Igorot. I'm an Igorot, and I know how Ita's look like. Other's just don't take the time to learn about their fellow "kailyan."
FerriCardia said…
hi fongakhan,
owenen! whatever you say! ehehehe

Hi Torogi mama,
thank you for dropping by, and please come again :) What you said is true. so gandang Aeta pala yung pinsan mo? hehehe

Hello sis Kayni,
I absolutely agree w/ you. Sometimes people are satisfied with the stereotypes that they have heard from someone, not bothering to make sure if an info is true/real or not, and sadly feeling ko tayong mga Igorots ang one of the most na nabibiktima... hayyyy, iba na talaga ang sikatt!!! hehehe
Anonymous said…
What can I say? I am proud to be an Igorot! Kaya kung may nagpapakilala sa akin sinasabi ko na Igorot ako but they don't believe me. Deadma lang, so I say "Yeah, I am." It's really sad that people stickt o what they had heard and seen before and not really believing when they an Igorot face to face...haaay. Ngekz ano ba pinagsasabi ko dito..basta 'Igorotak uray enya mapaspasamak!"wehehe...(parang nagrarally?)...

FBI
JMom said…
Hi gandang igorota, I enjoyed reading your posts. I can so relate with this one. I guess it is only human nature that we find differences in each other to make ourselves feel better. No matter, we are beautiful no matter where we come from.

What bothers me is when someone makes a comment about their 'igorot' side coming out. As if igorots represent that side which is violent and uncouth.

kainis, ngem napinpintas pay met latta dagiti igorota :)
FerriCardia said…
thanks jmom! I'm glad may nakakarelate at may nag-eenjoy sa mga lipad-isip. :)

Sa totoo lang! gandang igorota talaga is maganda! hehehe

Thanks and come again! :)

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