Webwatch: More On the “Igorot Princess” or Igorots as Objects of Fun

Several days ago I blogged about a woman dressed in Igorot indigenous attire who was posing in ways that was very insulting to me as an Igorot. Well, see the pictures for yourself. I copied them from this site and posted it here to prove that I’m not being critical for nothing.




Captions from original site (left to right): 1. Igorot princess, 2) Don’t mess with the princess, 3)
Princess resting with her handmade backpack, 4) Looking for a big bird or a boar.

As I suspected, this so-called Igorot princess is no Igorot at all but a member of a dance troupe. It also appears that I wasn’t the only one offended by the photos as evidenced by this remark from “Igoy” in the comments section : “She can be whatever she wants, perhaps, a princess..but she don’t look like Igorota to me…Just someone fantasizing/wearing the tribal garbs. It just don’t look like it nor does it feel right.”

In response, the one who posted the pictures had this to say: “The model is a Filipina dancer who has belonged to several dance troops, some of which have performed internationally. Her former group used to have 10 or more costume changes to represent major regions of the country and historical periods. The comments and labels applied to the images are strictly my own, and I think it’s clear from the captions that they are made in jest.”

Oh, in jest! The person posted those photos and made those captions in jest. And his/her sense of humor is such that he/she also posted the following pictures of old Igorot men and women with quotes of what they supposedly said about the “princess”.

Photo captions at original site (from left to right).
1. “The Princess cooks a great buko pie.”
2. “I knew her when she was just a baby.”
3. “The Princess is my fourth cousin.”
4. “
The Princess is not that special.”

Now here’s message to whoever posted those photos. You can have fun without making fun of others. You can have fun without making Igorots as your fun objects and demeaning us as a people. To me, those pictures didn’t come across as funny. It came across as a mockery of my culture. Naturally, I wasn’t entertained but was instead very offended. If you want to have fun, use the war mongering George W. Bush as your object of fun. He deserves it more than anyone else for his blatant invasion of Iraq.

Oh by the way, what would you feel if I took a picture of your grandparents, attribute mocking statements to them and posted them in the Internet for people to laugh at. Would that still be fun?

For the longest time, Igorots have been used as objects of fun (St. Louis exposition, Lucy Torres’ statement in a TV sitcom, Starstruck’s Bugz Daigo, etc.) and sadly this woman in the pictures, the one who took them, and the one who posted them and wrote those captions are continuing this awful practice. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones.

One of the reasons why I decided to start this blog is to counter the misrepresentation and the outright mockery of Igorots in the Internet. It seems like I’m going to be very busy till Armageddon arrives. In YouTube for instance there was this video of young school girls prancing around, maybe they were trying to dance an indigenous Igorot dance, while someone off-camera was shouting, “Igorot, Igorot”. I had no choice but to flag the video as offensive. I’m sure other people did the same thing because the video was eventually taken down.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with school girls having fun. But they can have fun without being disrespectful of other people. Similarly, the woman in the picture, the person who took her pictures, and the one who posted them and made those captions have the right to have fun but they can do so without making fun of us.

4 thoughts on “Webwatch: More On the “Igorot Princess” or Igorots as Objects of Fun”

  1. Igorots shown in their uniqueness must be portrayed to show them as a people you are proud of,their beauty in the context of the igorot perspective not their own egocentric interpretations of who are the igorots.Let them be aware that we are not odjects to be displayed but humans with the utmost dignity.

  2. Igorots shown in their uniqueness must be portrayed to show them as a people you are proud of,their beauty in the context of the igorot perspective not their own egocentric interpretations of who are the igorots.Let them be aware that we are not odjects to be displayed but humans with the utmost dignity.

  3. Hi Peden,
    Welcome to the blog and I very much agree with your points. Let’s all work together to make this happen. Thanks.

  4. Hello there. I am a Filipina looking to know more about the proper way to wear Cordillera clothing. Do you have a blog talking about this instead? What is happening with this blog where you have thoroughly made the point that this woman and the poster are very wrong is that it is what shows up in my search for the proper way. I understand people do it wrong but I would rather read about the right way than the wrong way. Instead of anger, please educate and help the world understand the people of the Cordillera more.

Leave a Comment

*