Sagada Igorot Online

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's not as easy as I initially thought. After going through some CSS tutorials, testing these in multiple browsers, learning to put AdSense correctly, and, re-designing my website to enable fast maintenance in the future, I'm still not halfway through. But, I'm really looking forward to finally getting this over with and moving to other similar projects.

One big update though - I've registered and loaded my files so it will work with the new domain name: That's my biggest achievement so far.


In a Scooter...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

From the British Broadcasting Company's April 16 Daily Pictures,

Igorot tribesman Robert Duyugan rides his wooden scooter in a race as the Filipino town of Banaue celebrates the traditional Imbayah festival. Igorot tribesmen are renowned for their woodcarvings.


St. Theodore's Hospital

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Photo taken from Kent Sinkey's Photo Gallery

I must have spent at least 5 stays in this hospital, with the last time when I was a teenager suffering from measles. There's one particular room that I was always assigned to, and it is normally shared by 2 or 3 people. I remember how the janitor used to clean the floors using a long rod attached to a cement beam that had multiple coconut husks. The hospital, which belongs to the Mission Compound is located at the town center.

I'm happy to see that the hospital has been recently renovated and repainted. Before that happened, it was looking rundown. Each time I passed during the evening, there was one window that always gave me the creeps. It seemed as if there was always someone looking out from that window.

During peak tourist periods (Holy Week, or week between Christmas and New Year) when the hotels /inns are fully booked, the hospital along with St. Mary's School open their doors to tourists.


FBI, Full Blooded IGOROT

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Picture above is an Igorot Gentleman ca early-mid 20th century.
Masferre photograph taken from

"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

I wish I can really claim that I'm an FBI, a Full-Blooded Igorot, but I'm not. No wishful thinking there. Then again, it's not that bad. It is who I am. My paternal grandfather was half Ilocano. But, I have very little Ilocano blood left since my paternal grandmother and my mother are full-blooded Igorots. My cousins on my father's side are a different story. They have less than a fourth of that precious Igorot blooded-ness. But it doesn't matter. They claim to be as FBI as I am. And they are.


The Rock Inn and Cafe

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I learned of the Rock Inn and Cafe from Sarcasm Aside's Sagada 01 - Living Under On A Rock post. I've personally not been to this place, but I remember it to be non-existent when we used to play at the hill near Batalao. I did know of the orange orchard though, and I went to school with some of the owner's children. On my last visit to Sagada for my aunt's 40th day mass, we stopped near Rock Inn's to get a bag of oranges. Not as good as what my grandfather used to raise (biased, of course), but it was quite nice.

Kudos to this pretty blogger for a thorough review of The Rock Inn and Cafe. I really admired the following cafe picture in her blog (See above). I thought it was a very apt interior for a Sagada cafe. I should really make a round of the shops when I go back - but looking at my bank account, that's nowhere near soon.


Friday, April 11, 2008

There's a Masferre Souvenir Shop online! It's awesome. For those who didn't know, Eduardo Masferre, often dubbed as the father of Philippine photography captured images of Cordillera scenes and profiles in the mid-20th century. The image above is one of 3 pictures from's PHOTO ALBUM: EDUARDO MASFERRE: A TRIBUTE TO SAGADA.

For those who'd like to know, Masferre married a local Sagada lass and some of his children still reside in Sagada. They maintain a shop and a restaurant near the center of the town.

Going back to the online shop - its catalogue includes bags, shirts and throw pillows / cushions. I checked the Masferre Book link, which I assume is Masferre's compilation of photos, but it's not available yet.


And the Visits continue...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Breakdown of the Sagada Igorot website visitors per continent. They're mostly coming from Google Search results of "Sagada".

Recent Visitors by Location
PhilippinesSanta Lucia, Bulacan
Korea, Republic of
PhilippinesCaloocan, Quezon City
New ZealandAuckland
PhilippinesSolano, Nueva Vizcaya
PhilippinesLas Pias, Rizal
United StatesEnglewood, Colorado
PhilippinesSan Fernando, Pampanga
SwitzerlandZrich, Zurich
DenmarkIshj, Kobenhavn
AustraliaBurpengary, Queensland
IcelandReykjavk, Gullbringusysla
United StatesWasilla, Alaska
PhilippinesMakati, Rizal


Much Ado About…

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

... the website. I’m learning that to make the website relevant at this time, I needed to step back and see what I’d really want to achieve with it. Its purpose, its design, the content, even the title… a lot of things to consider. I’ve been spending too much time focusing in one aspect and not achieving anything. It would be good to come out with a good design, and see that it’s scalable as the website grows. Plus, it has to work with advertising if I plan to get something out of it.

So, back to the drawing board for me. Hope to sustain my interest on this.


Mt. Ampakaw

(View from Mt. Ampakaw. Photo courtesy of Tiff & Marge)

It was 20 years ago this month when I visited Mt. Ampakaw. My sister and I were spending some summer days with my maternal grandparents, and our cousins guided us through the hour-long trek up Sagada's highest peak. I remember the breeze and the cow dung. I thought it was strange that there were very few pine trees at the top and mostly shrubs were present. All around us were peaks of other parts of the Cordillera Mountain Range. The oldest cousin in the group scared us by narrating her dad's encounter with a "buso" (a headhunter). I'm sure it wasn't true but it still gave me the creeps.

I remember the ant-like sizes of the people at the town center as they went about their tasks. We had to hurry down in the afternoon as a thunderstorm threatened. I never went back to Mt. Ampakaw afterwards. But a half day visit left enough memories that I can share to my children, who I hope will someday do the trek up the mountain. This time, I will be their guide.


Igorot discovers instant way to enjoy brewed coffee

IMPRESSIVE. Can't wait to sip this coffee. I liked the fact though that Mr. Discoverer chose to remain anonymous. What's next? Instant wine?

"Igorot discovers instant way to enjoy brewed coffee
By Maurice Malanes
Northern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 22:44:00 04/05/2008

BAGUIO CITY—A budding Igorot entrepreneur has found out that a revolutionary business idea comes in unexpected places.

The challenge was translating the idea—a novel way for consumers to enjoy instant brewed coffee—into a profitable venture.

During a break while exhibiting antique crafts at the World Trade Center in Manila in 2005, Peter Yangki (not his real name), a former antique craft trader, and a British client, took time out to sip coffee at the center’s cafe.


Read the full article at Inquirer's Money Section


Learning Re-usable Page Components...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

... or, whatever you call them. I'm still looking for a better and easier way to maintain and add pages to the SAGADA IGOROT website without heavily using an HTML editor. (Currently, I am using Microsoft WORD and even notepad). Am looking for a way to embed some script in the code which will allow me to modify just one file, and it will cascade to all pages. Appreciate any expert advise out there.

I have finished putting on AdSense Top Banners at half of my SAGADA pages. Have a look.


Sagada history kept in a basket

Monday, April 7, 2008

WHAT? I don't get this article. My family has been a part of the Sagada community and we don't own a "takba". Takba, transfiguration of Christ, and ancestors? I'm sorry but something seemed real lost in the translation here. It had a good title though, but having read the whole thing, it left me shaking my head.

"Sagada history kept in a basket

By Roland Rabang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:25:00 04/01/2008

SAGADA, Mt. Province – Textbooks say a lot about traditions being passed on to the succeeding generation by word of mouth, but to assume that indigenous peoples have no means to record their customs other than committing these to memory may lend the process a rather simplistic view.

In Sagada, Mt. Province, where customs and traditions are steeped in symbolism and metaphor, one may find a semblance of recorded history in an unlikely object: A basket.

The takba (ritual basket), kept at the heart of every household that firmly believes in indigenous tradition, bears the life stories of local families for generations. More importantly, owning a takba affirms one’s membership in the community. ..."
Whole article can be read at INQUIRER Region's Section.


Biyaheng Pinoy's Sagada Video

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A well edited video on Sagada. It starts with photos taken at dawn, and ends with photos at dusk. In between are snapshots and clips of hanging coffins, waterfalls, pine scenic views, terraces, the church, and local life. Very beautiful. Umipa-aga.

At the end of the clip is a chocolate colored double house. That's the house I grew up - only then, it was just one house with a very well maintained lawn. The background music made me want to book a flight back home.

My understanding is that this video is a sample work by Biyaheng Pinoy's Wencel Angeles. Visit his post on the Sagada Video Collection.


Of the word IGOROT...

Here's an article I wrote more than 10 years back. It was on our website but wasn't linked from anywhere when I did my last update. Quite a lengthy read:

My Igorot name, Kamulo was given to me when my navel fell off, just as all my predecessors were given theirs. I got my paternal grandfather's Igorot name, and it was incorporated in my Christian name. I grew up fully aware of my Igorot ancestry and I took pride in that. I even remember composing an exagerrated oratorical piece and delivering it with utmost bravado when I was in sixth grade. That piece was entitled, "I am an Igorot".

'Twas therefore a strange thing when I came down to study in Manila and the word that I considered a sense of identity and pride was a cause of snickering and eyebrow raising among my peers. I didn't know how to react when, an acquaintance, having known of my Igorot identity suddenly perked up and said, "Talaga?! E bakit maputi ka?" (Really?! How come you're light- complexioned?) I can't say that I have not been warned of lowlanders' somewhat narrow perception of the word Igorot but nobody prepared me for reactions such as this one. I didn't know what to say, in fact, I never even considered myself as light complexioned.


Indeed, most Filipinos have a negative concept of the word Igorot. Sources have varied explanations as to how this came about. Frank Cimatu, in a July 1998 Philippine Daily Inquirer article tells of the Rancheria de las Igorottes which supposedly turned out as the most famous attraction of the 1887 "Exposition de las Islas Filipinas" in Madrid, Spain. In this exposition, "20 Cordillerans from different tribes built six houses of different architectural features, danced with their gongs or gangsas and slaughtered pigs supplied by the organizers". Such "Exhibition of Human Beings" apparently embarrassed our national hero, Jose Rizal and also, Antonio Luna.
In 1958, then Representative Luis Hora of the third district of the old Mountain Province introduced a bill seeking, among others, to prohibit the use of Igorot in laws books and other printed matter for as he explained in a published letter, the "misnomer Igorot" is but an invention of "ruthless Spaniards in mockery against our tribes which they failed to subjugate or conquer in their unsatiable lust and greed for colonialism... The word, "Igorot", as coined and applied by the Spaniards means a "savage, headhunting and backward tribe" of Luzon... (These people) are further described as of probable Malayan-Negrito stock since they share with the Negritos such features as dark skins, flat noses, thick lips, etc., and such cultural traits as the use of the bow, a non-Malayan weapon. This description, which was invented purposely to degrade our people, has no connection with ethnic classification of our tribes..."

Such stereotyping were not only ingrained in lowlanders minds but have affected how some Igorots have thought of themselves as well. Some years back, a person from a particular province of the CAR wrote in a letter to the Inquirer that they should not be called Igorots anymore but rather, they be called the name of their province. He stressed the point (and he did give his reasons) that only the Bontocs of Mountain Province should be called Igorots. In last year's International Igorot Convention (IIC) held in Maryland, there was a referandum on changing the biennial meet to International Cordillera Convention (ICC). At a discussion of students forming a Cordilleran organization at a state university, a student voiced out that the word Igorot is now considered as "politically incorrect" and should not in anyway be connected to the organization they are forming. Still, a group of youth born in Manila to Cordilleran parents admit to their Igorot identity to some extent --- that is, they are (in)famous of their claim that "Igorots ang parents ko!"; apparently meaning, that they themselves are not. Even the late Carlos P. Romulo (though he is not an Igorot) remarked in a book that Igorots are not Filipinos.

Sentiments such as these are however met by vigilant protestations from Igorots - the Hora bill was defeated amidst a barrage of articles, letters, and editorials; the same reaction was triggered by the letter of the person claiming that only Bontocs should be called Igorots. Romulo's comment ignited protests from Igorot student groups particularly from Baguio. IIC retained its name and as for those claiming that only their parents are Igorots, they're pitied upon by the Igorot community and perhaps, reprimanded by their own parents.

In his paper, "The Word Igorot", the late Philippine historian Dr. William Henry Scott researched extensively on the origin of the word and raised two issues: 1) Who are the Igorots and 2) Do they want to be called Igorots? He cited Doctor Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Jose Rizal's partner in forming the official Tagalog alphabet. According to de Tavera, the word Igorot comes from the root word "golot" meaning "mountain chain". The prefix i means "people of" or "dwellers in"; thus, the word Igorot would simply mean "people of the mountain" or "mountain dwellers", the same way that Ilocano means "river dwellers" coming from the root word lo-ok(river). Scott summarized that Igorot is an "indigenous Filipino word originally meaning mountaineer" and that it and was historically applied (and still is) to the people of the Cordillera region by themselves and the people around them. As for whether Cordillerans want to be called Igorots, it is perhaps columnist Jose G. Dulnuan who expressed the sentiments of many with his quote above.

As for the word Igorot gaining worldwide acceptance, Mr. Cimatu reports that Funk and Wagnals Co. defines "Igorots" as "primitive inhabitants of the mountainous regions in the Philippines living in North Central Luzon". According to the same article, a group of Igorots from Texas has asked this company to redefine its definition. Mr. Cimatu also wrote that the "Grolier International Encyclopedic Dictionary and some editions of the Webster and Random House dictionaries, do not carry the word "Igorot"." He further notes that in the Microsoft Word Finder, the word "Igorot" is not simply ignored but refers one to "ignore" as the nearest spelling.
Perhaps so, but had he tried highlighting the phrase "I'd rather be an Igorot" and invoking the Thesaurus tool, he would have found out that the latest Microsoft Word version would have displayed "I'll drink to that" as a synonym. Try it!


(1) THE BONTOC IGOROT. A.E. Jenks, Manila, 1905.

(2) THE WORD IGOROT. William Henry Scott, New Day Publishers, Quezon City.


Post Script: I tried doing the trick with Microsoft Word and it doesn't work now. I think it was a developer's prank at the time to put "I'll drink to that" to any phrase that started with "I'd rather be..."


Google AdSense

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A friend gave me the idea to put Google AdSense in my site to see if my current site traffic can generate additional income. I'd never thought that it would take this hard - been spending hours checking out how to use AdSense, looking out at successful case studies, and finally, doing the dirty work in incorporating the ads into my site. It's not yet done - will not be done in the next month or so, but it's coming along. Didn't realize that there were that many people around the world googling "SAGADA" and "IGOROT".