3 New Igorot Blogs

Monday, September 20, 2010

Found 3 new blogs by 2 Igorot bloggers that sprouted in the web recently.

1. Spirited Thoughts - a blog from a fellow i-Sagada and neighbor Gary Pekas. Gary is a regular contributor to a Baguio-based publication and describes himself as a loose cannon, iconoclast, freeloader, and outlaw. Sure enough, the first blog post was titled "SHIT" and had me blushing and laughing out loud at the same time.

2. Writings by An American Igorot - by Igorot author, Rex Delson. The Chicago-based blogger plans to write on "a wide range of inspirational topics relating with ethnic identity, assimilation, purpose, character and much more". One of his posts has already attracted dozens of comments due to a negative comment by a Filipino poster that targeted the Igorot people.

3. Igorots of Character - also by Rex Delson. This blog will be recognizing outstanding individuals and groups through the TIM TEBOW RECOGNITION AWARD and the U2 RECOGNITION AWARD, respectively. The Chicagoland Coalition for Asian Disaster Relief (CCADR) was the first recipient of the group award while the search for the first individual award is still on-going.


UP Pep Squad wins 2010 UAAP Cheerdance Competition.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

University of the Philippines' Pep Squad has been dominating the UAAP cheerdance competition in the past 4 years winning the title in 2007, 2008, and 2010 and finishing runner-up in the 2009 edition. This year's performance by the premier state university blew away the competition with their original moves, furious transitions, and unmatched energy. As usual, they incorporated ethnic Pinoy elements into their routine. I observed singkil drums and Cordillera nose flute in their music. Their adaption of the Ati-atihan dance was breath-taking. Their performance reminded me of Kim Yu-Na in the 2010 Winter Olympics. UP's Pep Squad dominated the event, no one could even come close.

Now, if only the men's basketball team can win just one game. I guess that's asking for too much. Watch the video of the Pep Squad's winning performance below.


Anti-Igorot sentiments from a “true” (?) Filipino

Friday, September 17, 2010

I’m being lured out of my longest blogging hiatus by an anonymous poster in a recent Igorot blog. In his blog, Writings by an American Igorot, author Rex Delson had a post regarding his first novel titled “IGOROTAK: The Warrior Within”. A poster with alias “A True Proud Filipino” went off-topic and belittled the Igorot people. I’m fine with fellow Pinoys being ignorant about the Igorots. The proper response is to provide information. What I can’t stand are people who flaunt their ignorance and look down on others. This post, my first in more than six months is my response to that poster’s comments (in red text and quoted). To respond to such a post, I’d gone down, way down, but heck, I had fun writing it. Hope this little post will start to motivate me to update my blog more often, as I did in the past.

“Go ahead and teach your own people about your heritage, but if this book is attempting to portray igorots as equals to real filipinos I think this is a stupid thing.”

Igorots are not real Filipinos? So, majority of the folks in the CORDILLERA REGION of NORTHERN PHILIPPINES are not Filipinos? This would include Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines whose mayor is an Igorot. The fact is, Igorots are real Filipinos, whether or not some misguided, uneducated, anonymous online poster who obviously has deep insecurities say otherwise. You’re the stupid one.

“There is a reason why igorots are barely covered in our educational books in schools in the philippines. It's because they are not worthy of the filipino name.”

Not true. My eldest was homeschooled as a first grader in the Philippines. He was using a Filipino textbook for his Social Studies class and yes, I remember that it had a section on who is a Filipino or not. Among the groups mentioned are Igorots, Muslims, and Tagalogs. Go back and get an education, start with first grade.

“You pride yourselves as not being conquered by Spain, but I pride myself as being conquered by Spain because without them my ancestors would have stayed uneducated and uncivilized and there would be a nation of people still running around in loin clothes today.”

This is laughable. Thailand was never conquered by any country. It’s in a much better state than the Philippines. Read Rizal’s major works, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo so you could get an idea on what it was like during the Spanish rule. Women were raped, majority of the locals were oppressed including children, and people were kept uneducated. The Spaniards referred to the colonized people as “Indio”. Please go and research on how derogatory a term that was.

My professor at UP-Diliman stated that a lot of social problems in the Philippines today are a direct result of Spanish colonization. Our society’s addiction to showbiz? It’s a manner of escape. Generations of your ancestors would have gone through their lives under almost 400 years of Spanish rule having little or no hope at all. The manyana habit? Why strive today when there’s not much to strive for. Why do we have a lot of showbiz personalities elected? We, Filipinos, are continually looking for a hero ala Bong Revilla / Lito Lapid to liberate us from our dire circumstances. Here’s a thought – I’m 100% sure your ancestors would have opted for anything other than being conquered by Spain.

“But thanks to Spain, we are now educated, smart, civilized and even better looking today.”

No, you’re not.

Better looking? Intermarriage between Spaniards and the locals were not very common. Rape was.

“You don't see igorots on the popular filipino shows today do you? When it comes to great minds like Rizal or big achievers like Pacquiao, you won't find Igorots.”

Popular Filipino shows? Ummm – let’s not get there. There are some showbiz personalities with Igorot ancestry but what has being in a popular show have something to with being a true Filipino? Let’s not be shallow shall we? Filipina heroine Gabriela Silang was part Igorot. It would be impossible to have an Igorot Rizal because again, the Igorots were not conquered by the Spaniards. Rizal’s works were a product of the Spanish oppression of our country. However, Igorots, my grandfather included, helped Americans liberate the Philippines from Japan. See General MacArthur praised Igorot Soldiers during WW2.

“I rest my case.”

You never had one to begin with.