Let’s Have Fun!

Thanks to Wil and Nats for identifying that restaurant which has the statue of this peeing Igorot man. It is the Barrio Fiesta Restaurant. According to Nats you pass by it when you go to Teacher’s Camp. Kayni will go take out the statue when she visits Baguio this year so she has a mission cut out for her. Advance welcome back to the Philippines, Kayni.

In the meantime, let’s have fun. I have no delusions that blogs and bloggers will somehow have any effect on anything. I think the effect of our blogging is that we feel good because we are able to express ourselves and communicate with like-minded people. So this exercise may be an exercise in futility. But heck, what harm does it do us if we do it, no? If nothing comes out of this then let’s call it “The Silence of the Lambs” and Kayni will really have to go to Baguio to remove that offensive statue.

Anyways, I’ve written a letter to two government officials expressing my concern about the Igorot peeing man. Initially, this letter was sent to officials of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) which is the proper agency for concerns such as this. I would also like to send the letter to Baguio Congressman Mauricio Domogan and city officials of Baguio but I don’t have their email addresses. I may have to call up the Congressman’s office here in Manila if I can’t find his email. In the meantime I sent a copy of the letter below to the webmaster@baguio.gov.ph. I’m still trying to get the contact addresses for Barrio Fiesta Restaurant. Hope I can somehow get in touch with them.

Feel free to copy the letter below and forward it to said government officials if you agree that we are raising valid concerns. Or you might want to write a letter of your own.

Dear Sir,
Warm greetings. I am a blogger and I would like to raise my concern about a restaurant in Baguio, the Barrio Fiesta restaurant which has a statue of an Igorot man peeing in public. I came across a picture of this statue while I was surfing the internet. As an Igorot I am insulted by this statue and I am wondering whether your good office can do something about it.

I am attaching a picture of said Igorot peeing man and a blog post which I wrote expressing concern about this statue.

Thanks.
Bill Bilig
An Igorot Blogger
From the Boondocks


P.S.
By the way, I am also posting a copy of this letter in my blog.

The letter was sent to :
1. eainsigne@ncip.gov.ph
Atty. Eugenio A. Insigne
NCIP Commissioner for CAR and Region I

2. cpbuasenjr@ncip.gov.ph
Carlos P. Buasen, Jr.
Director IV
NCIP Office on Education, Culture & Health

3. webmaster@baguio.gov.ph

I’m still looking for contact information for Barrio Fiesta, Congressman Domogan, and Baguio City officials.

As I said, this may turn out to be an exercise in futility but its going to be fun. William Todcor has a post on deaf computers about how his emails to government offices never got any response. Lets see how responsive indigenous officials are to simple concerns such as this. So friends join in the fun, send your letters to our officials and blog about it 🙂

RELATED POST: Man Oh Man. IMAGE SOURCE: collectiblefun.com

21 thoughts on “Let’s Have Fun!”

  1. I actually think the statue of of the peeing Igorot is funny and not offensive at all.

    If you walk up or down the Barrio Fiesta steps, you would notice that the statues are a snapshot of Philippine culture and history. Plus, you even see two dogs fucking.

    Candor should not be punished. I never considered it as slapstick.

    OK humor is a matter of taste, but I won’t join your cause this time.

    Tee hee!

  2. The Igorot statues at Barrio Fiesta look nasty to me because:

    1. they all look hideous! The face of the giant statue in front of the resto has large, flat nose, and protruding, thick lips. Bakit ba laging pangit ang depiction sa mga Igorot?

    2. they make fun of us. Obviously, ginawa talagang pangit mukha nila para maging katawa-tawa. Yung peeing Igoy guy, in a g-string at that, is part of the resto’s distasteful Igorot theme.

    Pati tuloy SM gumaya sa Barrio Fiesta when they placed several giant statues representing Cordi ethnic groups along the stairs leading to Harrison Road.

    It would be good to bring this to the attention of Mr. Rodolfo Ongpauco, owner of Barrio Fiesta. What about a “Don’t-eat-at-Barrio-Fiesta” email campaign?:-) Or a signature campaign to ask the management to replace those hideous-looking statues?

  3. Hi Sandati,
    Thanks for providing some context on this matter. I guess how one views this peeing Igorot depends on the context on where we viewed it. I have to admit that my view is shaped by the picture which I saw in Flickr and which was specifically labeled as a peeing Igorot. I didn’t see the humor because there were no accompanying photos of any fucking dogs.

    I really have to go to that restaurant just so I can make sure that I am not making a mountain out of a molehill.

    But if the statues present snapshots of Philippine history, is a peeing Igorot the best representation of our contribution to our history? So we have all these statues of great Filipino men and women and who do Igorots have to represent them? A peeing man?

    Also do they have statues of, say, a begging Badjao? A prostituted child-woman from the Visayas? A sneaky Kapampangan? A Manileño throwing garbage in the street? A war freak Caviteño? (Sorry Wil, di daw kasi umaatras sa laban ang taga Cavite eh. I’m bad, no.) Any such statues can also be carved to depict a humurous representation of our Filipino culture.

    But as you said, we each have our taste in humor. No problem about not joining, as you stated in your blog we all have to chose our battles.

    By the way, asking a restaurant to remove a statue which is deemed offensive by some is not punishment.

  4. Hi Ansi,
    Welcome to the blog. I posted my answer to Sandati before I read your comment. Thanks for sharing your views on this. I guess we are pretty much on the same wavelength. Maybe we should ask the restaurant owners first to do something about it before doing any “Don’t Eat Campaign”. I’m still looking for details on how they can be contacted. Thanks for the info on the owner.

  5. Flat lips and thick lips do not make one ugly.

    You have the barrel man, the peeing man, two dogs fucking, a security guard reading a newspaper (and they change the newspaper everyday, I think), women doing gisgisto (well, they were just sitting, actually), Cardinal Sin, Cory, Ramos, a warrior holding a head, a topless woman (the pre-hispanic way), a security guard caught sleeping while on duty, chickens everywhere..

    These are caricatures, not slapstick. A caricature is a simplification to drive to a point that you have to think about. A slapstick humor will make you laugh at someone because s/he is labeled by the mainstream culture as ugly, poor, dumb — in short it does not make you think.

    And no, I wouldn’t agree with the public official who wanted to ban the sale of the dick ashtrays and the barrel man.

    Here’s a video uploaded at google.

  6. Ah I am glad Bill that you thought of talking to the owners first before you go “do-not-eat-at-Barrio-Fiesta”.

    It’s always nice to attempt to do it in a diplomatic way first rather than being harsh. Walang na-aaccomplish pag we all think irrationally. Baka naman may reason nga yung artist to design it that way, who knows?

  7. i am apologizing for not joining in your complain campaign, bill. futile or not, you do seem to have some very valid reasons for launching it. my prayers are with you on that bolt of lightning, though. (kad dat men kakikimat tet-ewa nan restaurant ay de-ey.) he he.

    on the flat nose and thick lips not making a person ugly, come on… sure, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and a person’s worth shouldn’t be judged by his appearance alone, but there are generally accepted ideals of what constitutes beauty. and while at this, seldom might it happen (if it ever does) that a person will undergo plastic surgery to flatten her nose or really have her lips thickened just so she will be considered beatiful.:-)

  8. everybody has its own opinion and not everybody view the matter positively just like Sandati, But what is worst is it depicts such act as not funny to others, they will look also on the matter that they represents the statue as not ordinary men but it depicts a certain people by way of his costume..So it is just ok to say about a security guard caught on duty, fucking dogs, etc because they don’t represent a certain group of people..If the man peeing is just wearing an ordinary clothes then no one would be reacting but because he is wearing the bahag that represents the cordillerans it is not good at all because it is offensive to others..

  9. Beauty is a social construct.

    It’s up to you whether you consume (by way of accepting it as the default and mistake it as the correct way of thinking) and thereby co-propagate the idea of beauty as they peddle it on TV.

    But then again, the ideals of beauty change over the years, even what is shown on TV. So would it be easier for you to consider that beauty is a manufactured (and therefore changeable) concept if you watch this?

    They don’t have thick lips or flat noses, but the campaign shows that girls who aren’t Caucasian and blond are beautiful, so you get the picture. And the one on the website isn’t the best of their campaign ads.

    Conclusion: Watch more TV. You’re growing cobwebs on your head.

    So if you look at realistic Igorot statues who happen to have flat noses and thick lips and then call them hideous, who is the one claiming that Igorots are ugly?

    You are.

  10. Thick lips are definitely NOT ugly. Just look at Angelina Jolie. 😀 Not to mention the fact that some women here in the US pay surgeons to inject collagen into their lips. Wait a minute, is this post about Barrio Fiesta? 😉

  11. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for visiting. I agree that diplomacy seems to be the better approach in this one.

    Pagano,
    No need for apologies. I might regret asking Kabunyan about that bolt of lightning though. Malay mo mangyari at mapasubo tayo he he.

    I agree that there is a general idea of what is/is not beautiful. In the Philippines this idea of what is beautiful is shaped by our colonial past (that’s why mestizos/mestizas are admired) and by the prevalent mass media/movie/tv which mostly comes from the West. Certainly, in reality, flat noses and thick lips (of the Diego GMA comedian variety not the Angelina Jolie variety) are not part of this general view of what is beautiful. That is the reality.

    I agree with Sandati though that we should not allow mass media to define what is/is not beautiful for us.

    Nats,
    I agree. It is that bahag that makes it offensive.

    Sandati,
    I agree with your comment about beauty being a construct and that the idea of what is beautiful is different in different places and that it changes over time.

    Although we do not expect people to agree in blogs, please do not make unnecessary comments that do not add to the discussion. Telling people to “Watch more TV. You’re growing cobwebs on your head.” is unnecessary, totally unconnected to the discussion, and is a put down.

    Wil,
    I heart Angelina he he. I was about to change the title a la that Paulo post but our title here is “Let’s Have Fun” and it appears like we are having fun he he.

    Sandati,
    Thanks for the link. Lets agree to disagree on this.

  12. …exactly why i had to modify my comment on the concept of beauty. the other problem here is that such concept does not merely grow out of media’s conditioning. i read an article in the reader’s digest magazine about an experiment which was conducted regarding the appreciation of beauty. babies were shown pictures of amber valletta and some other faces which weren’t as beautiful as ms. valetta’s; the babies spent more time looking at ms. valletta’s face. i don’t know what other factors were taken into account but the conclusion was that there do seem to be GENERAL attributes of beauty which even babies are aware of.

    so i am a flat-nosed, thick-lipped bahag-wearing igorot. am i ashamed of it? certainly not. but i won’t brag about it either. and i don’t like people to use my image for a purpose that’s not so flattering and which certainly, as bill says, only reinforces the negative stereotypes that others have of me.

  13. Sayang Bill, I just read your blogs today. I saw Cong. Domogan at the Baguio Country Club last Sunday. He came to say hello to us Scrabblers. Naitanong ko sana ang email address…hehehe

    Re the peeing Igorotman sa Barrio Fiesta, pangit talaga! If they’re really trying to depict the Pinoy culture as someone claims, eh di dapat bihisan na lang nila araw-araw. Ok, inuna nila ang bahag, dapat, bukas, nakabarong naman yan, then sa isang bukas naka-dlaho ( a costume of one tribe in mindanao), tapos sa next day, nakakumbong (yung parang malaking scarf na nilalagay sa ulo ni Abu Sabaya dati), etc. etc. Di ba??? Yun ang kultura!

  14. Pero ang problema ko, kapakipakinabang ba naman sa imahen ng bansa nating Pinas ang “kultura na pag-ihi sa pader?” Oo nga’t yun ang katotohanan, pero kultura ba yon?

    Kaya guys, wag na kayo umihi sa pader ! hehe

  15. >>babies were shown pictures of amber valletta and some other faces which weren’t as beautiful as ms. valetta’s; the babies spent more time looking at ms. valletta’s face.

    Man, I would’ve loved to be a researcher for that project. How do I even write a grant proposal for that?

    “Purpose of Research: to determine what babies think of beauty by placing photos in front of them. Yeah, it’s not that scientific, but still, I need to write a dissertation.” 😀

    Meanwhile, there’s still no cure for cancer. oh, I guess I’m off-topic again. 😉

  16. Hi Pagano,
    I remember reading a similar article (maybe its the same) about that experiment. So yes, I think you have a point that the general concept of beauty may not all be shaped by mass media.

    Ferri,
    Yes he is but he has a different take on this matter which he has a right to. Oy buti ka pa you met Cong. Domogan, sayang nga about that email address, we will send him sana our love letter about this peeing Igorot.

    You have a very good suggestion about changing the clothes everyday to reflect the country’s different ethnic backgrounds. Let’s see if the other ethnic groups will not be offended. I second your motion din about us guys not making ihi in the pader (ginagaya ko lang yung Kris Aquino kolehiyala language he he). Off topic: Congrats on beating that second seeded player!

    Hi Wil,
    I guess that’s what makes researchers interesting people too. They ain’t just geeks he he. You might have come across this cool blog, Manila Vanilla (katipunan.blogspot.com yata), by a guy who got a Fulbright scholarship simply to do a research on basketball-Philippine version. Parang, duh the US government is paying you to do this? But his blog is fun and maybe I should apply for a Fulbright to study Canadian curling, no?

  17. maybe i should say sorry for the ‘straying-off from the title of the post thing’. it’s just that such ‘fault’ often develops from the natural progression of the discussion as we continue posting comments, and i also thought that we could make remarks on the other parts of the article. i think it’s what makes the blogs more fun,too. we are able to explore other aspects of the main topic and have an open discussion. i don’t know though… maybe we should ask bill.:-)

  18. Hi Pagano,
    No need to apologize, I don’t think you were straying. Comments need not stick to the title of the post but they should be relevant to the discussion, i.e., what was discussed in the write-up as well as in the comments section. As you’ve said, the discussion becomes more fun and richer that way.

    What I discourage is saying something from out of the blue particularly if the comment tends to denigrate someone else’s view or tends to imply that one’s view is superior. Telling someone that s/he is growing cobwebs in his/her head is a good example.

    Yun lang naman 🙂

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