Out of curiosity as to how my ethnic group is described in the web, I Googled the word Igorot and here’s what I got in Wikipedia:
Igorot (pronounced [iga’rot]) is the general name for the people of the Cordillera region, in the Philippines island of Luzon. The Igorot form two subgroups: the larger group lives in the south, central and western areas, and is very adept at rice-terrace farming; the smaller group lives in the east and north. Igorot groups formerly practiced headhunting.
Cordillerano, or Cordilleran, is an unofficial and relatively recent term for the people of the hill tribes of Luzon, Philippines, who are residing in the Cordillera and Caraballo mountains. This term is an attempt at political correctness, since a current term, Igorot, has caused controversy due to its perceived negative stigma, which is incorrectly connected to backwardness and inferiority. Among the people in the Cordilleras, not all Kalinga and Ifugao accept the designation of Igorot.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that they got it correctly. When I was younger, I heard all sorts of stories of misconceptions about us, Igorots hehe. But despite that, I grew up to be proud of being one. Though we were described in the History books as one of the minority groups in the Philippines, we have a rich culture that even other people in all parts of the world became interested and took time to really learn it.
When I was in elementary, almost all of the students in our school were Igorots. We learned and practiced our different traditions and cultures. I had fun learning and performing our different dances and rituals. Each ethnic group has its own dance and rituals, different from the other groups. When we have visitors, we would usually perform for them. And it warms the heart that they really appreciate it and they were really amazed by it.
Hay, there’s so much to write about being an Igorot. One of my goals is to document the traditions and practices that my parents know. I did this before in High School but unfortunately, I cannot find my report. Sigh. I’ll just do it again.