Have you experienced being criticized by other people because of your culture, the way you wear clothes, or your feature? Well, generally as an Igorot, we are being criticized for no reason or should I say we are criticized by illiterate individuals. In social media, there are many people who talked about us unknowingly what they are taking about.
Anyways, Igorot is one of the Filipino tribes located in the Northern part of Luzon particularly in the Cordillera. In addition, Cordillera is composed of 13 provinces. Igorots are subdivided into many dialects like Kankanaey, Ibaloi, Kalanguya, and others. Many Igorots have rosy cheeks especially women from Benguet. Going back to history the descendants of the first Igorots are Indonesians before the other foreign descendants like Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish. By the way, as to what I have read, some people are saying that Igorots are Aita’s. Well, actually we, Igorots are not Aita. Aita is another Filipino tribe and they have their own characteristics, way of clothing, and way of living. They have curly hair; they have dark skins, and are shorter. Although, Igorots who are living in the Province of Kalinga have light dark skin but they do not have curly hair, and they are tall.
Have you heard of the other people’s judgment about us, Igorots? They said that we have tails. Oh! Such an ignorant people who talked about us without even knowing if it is true or not? Actually, we never get hurt about that kind of criticism because it’s nonsense, instead, we laugh at those who are saying such words. We even feel pity for them for they are too ignorant and disrespectful. Actually, they base their judgment on our costume, particularly the men’s costume (we called it “BAHAG”).
They also said that Igorots are ignorant. Really? Do you think we are ignorant? First, I want to say that we are not what you think we are. Yes, some of our ancestors may not be educated because they focus in working at the farm. Yes, some of our great grandparents do not know how to read, but you know what? If you speak with them in English, they will definitely answer you fluently and without hesitation. Not being arrogant but I am proud that most of our parents are professionals because of the efforts of our grandparents. And also, most of today’s’ generation are all educated. Some people are also basing their criticism on how our parents wear clothes. Some of our parents probably do not wear trendy clothing. They prefer being the old fashion one or something that is not expensive but is comfortable to wear. However, do you know what? Behind those old fashion clothes of our parents, they can provide luxurious life to their children. If you can only observe most of the men here in our place even those farmers, they wear branded pants, t-shirt, and jackets like levis, jag, lee, and other known brand but they still don’t have to talk about how branded or how expensive their clothes are. Parents can give anything that their children needs, from shelter, to foods, to education, and even those material things. Some parents can even provide land to each of their children as their own property. The only thing is, we grow up not to be showy. Igorots grow up as humble people.
There are many things that I want to talk about who I am and where I came from but I will write it some other time. Though, my only point on my discussion above is that never criticize other people without knowing what is behind those ways of living, ways of wearing clothes, or their culture. Sometimes, what you see is just simply the opposite of it. Respect is very important if you want to live in a peaceful world.