Posts

American Judge Paid Lifelong Tribute to the Igorots’ Bravery during World War II

Image
  American Forces in Luzon during World War 2. In my continuing quest to help reshape public perception on the true nature and identity of the Igorots, I have been writing about chronicled accounts of Igorot patriotism and gallantry that were somehow left out of mainstream literature. It is so disheartening to learn that while highly respected personalities around the world have high praises and respect for our culture and its significant contributions in many aspects of our growth as a nation, many of our countrymen still harbor disparaging notions when referring to our ethnicity. With these stories I attempt to retell in my humble little way, I hope that our role in history will be justly put in place and our heritage be proudly cherished not only in our own backyards but by the entire Filipino people. In an article by Louise Steinman (Repaying a Debt Never Forgotten) published by the Los Angeles Times on January 2, 1997, the Igorots’ stunning audacity during World War II was said

The Cariño Doctrine: An Igorot Legacy for All the Indigenous Peoples of the World

Image
Much of Baguio as we know today belonged to an Ibaloi herdsman by the name of Mateo Cariño. This includes the areas covering John Hay, Rizal Park, and other domains inside the current Central Business district and some in the City’s outskirts.   The land was a Rancheria known as “Kafagway” which served as the residence of the Cariño clan and the rest of the Ibaloi community. Shortly after the Treaty of Paris which ended Spain’s dominion over the Philippines, the Americans came up to Baguio and took possession of land disregarding any claim of ownership from its settlers. Among the properties taken were those belonging to Cariño as a form of retaliation for providing refuge to Emilio Aguinaldo as he was being pursued by the Americans. On the 23d of June 1903, Cariño filed a petition in the Court of Land Registration praying that there be granted to him title to a vast tract of land consisting of 146 hectares situated in the town of Baguio, Province of Benguet, together with a house

Overtourism and Aggressive Development: Baguio’s Imminent Fall from Glory

Image
      Tourist trash at Burnham Park, Baguio City Baguio has always been one of the country’s top tourist destinations for its unique climate and picturesque landscape. The invigorating scent of pine and crisp morning chill make visitors feel they are on foreign lands if they are to compare such an awe-inspiring ambiance to the rest of the country’s tourism spots. Baguio was established as a hill station by the United States in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as  Kafagway . It was the United States' only hill station in Asia. Hence, the link between America's country music and the igorots' affection towards it. During the pre-Spanish era, Baguio used to be a vast mountain zone with lush highland forests, teeming with various wildlife such as the indigenous deer, cloud rats, Philippine eagles, Philippine warty pigs, and numerous species of flora. The area was a hunting ground of the indigenous peoples, notably the Ibalois and other Igorot ethnic groups. When the

Stories of Cordilleran Heroism That Were Left Out Of Philippine History Books

Image
With the never-ending stigma attributed to the Igorots in terms of appearance and cultural uniqueness, one has to assume that the general population knows little about this extraordinary people and how their daring exploits helped shape the Philippines as it is today. Far from the common notion that they have tails, ignorant, barbaric, and indecorous; the Igorots are a fascinating lot admired by various international writers, historians, and travelers. Being an Igorot myself, I am taken aback and utterly disappointed by the insensitive display of ignorance by some of our countrymen. Recently, there were a number of social media posts and comments unjustly maligning the Igorots which I will not even consider quoting in this article for their sheer ridiculousness. What is more bothering is the fact that these vilifications are coming from within our own nation when we should be the first to be proud of this distinctive heritage had our history books been forthcoming with the truth. I

The Igorot Brand of Leadership and Good Governance

Image
Long before the introduction of democratic principles by foreign invaders, the Igorots of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines have already been espousing consultative and participatory governance which are considered essential features of democracy. Though the different tribes have leaders of their own, it has been a common practice to consult the “umili” or the people of the tribe before deciding on important matters that affect the community. For hundreds of years, this practice has greatly contributed to the solid foundation on which modern leadership in the region is anchored upon and throughout the history of the Igorots, there was never a tribal leader who was widely reviled for his dictatorial rule and authoritarian approach to governance.  The Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact in 2013 recognized Cordilleran governance as one hinged on the following principles: 1) Sovereignty and self-rule, 2) collective identity, collective rights and collective leadership, 3) self-determinati

Why Online Live Selling Thrives in the Philippines Amid the Pandemic.

Image
Photo from shuterstock Compared to the rest of the world, Filipinos have a peculiar way of dealing with the pandemic, at least when it comes to making sure there is enough food on the table. While people in other countries struggle to cope with the loss of livelihood, the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit kept many afloat and most of them turned to social media with Facebook live leading the bandwagon. The business model is simple. One just needs to go live on Facebook and showcase their products while viewers can comment in real time to make a purchase. It is more like an auction type of thing but the first one to comment “mine” plus the seller’s item code gets the deal. The goods then are delivered through errand services, a designated “dropping area”, or by scheduled pick up. What makes online live selling more appealable to many of the Philippines’ netizens in contrast with the equally popular e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, and other online market places? Let’s have a

Why Baguio People are Overly Dismayed by the Apparent Selective Application of Health Protocols

Image
  With the looming re-imposition of General Community Quarantine over the Cordilleras, residents of this mountain resort city woke up to social media posts showing pictures of the Mayor partying with celebrities at the Camp John Hay Manor. What earned the ire of Baguio folks is the manifest breach of protocols as guests are seen without facemasks and ditching social distancing conventions. Within an hour of posting, hundreds of comments were noted and local news social media pages went on an exposé spree. Disappointment, anger, and the feeling of betrayal are the common tenor among these comments. The obvious consensus is that protocols do not apply to the elite. The Mayor, a.k.a Contact Tracing Czar, seemed to have forgotten his own recent rhetoric on protocol violations and his non-hesitation to have violators arrested. To the outside world, perhaps this type of public outcry is a bit harsh considering that the Mayor has already issued a statement admitting his lapse in judgment. Wel