Outside Cordi: Igorots in Rizal

Over the years, some of our kailiyans settled in Cainta, Rizal and named their settlement the Igorot Village. Apparently, this village is now being listed as a tourist attraction. Nothing wrong with that really. And it’s good that the contributions of the Igorots in their community are getting recognized. But here’s a description written by someone with pre-conceived notions about Igorots. From Philtravelcenter:

Igorot Village
The Village covers one and a half hectares and is situated within the residential area of Valley Golf which is sloping downward the hill. There are several clusters of semi-modern houses covered by iron roofs which house Igorot families who settled in the area turned it into a traditional Igorot Village with the support of the local government. An authentic Igorot Village within the heart of Cainta provides tourists a glimpse of the culture and lifeways of the Cordillera people.

Valley Golf 4, Barangay San Juan, Cainta
How to get there: Valley Golf can be reached by jeepneys bound for Antipolo or Angono and from the main road, tricycles are available to service passengers to the village.

Travel time: 15 minutes from main road.

Is that description somewhat condescending? Or are we being overly sensitive/critical? The writer of the quoted paragraph did not obviously mean to offend but there’s something about the description that is just not quite right.

What exactly are semi-modern houses? And why would “houses with iron roofs” be remarkable enough to emphasize? Aren’t such houses as common as jeepneys in Manila? What was the writer expecting? That the Igorots will be living in caves? Or perhaps in underground holes like hobbits? [Although, truth be told, we would love to have a hobbit hole like Bilbo’s/Frodo’s.]

SOMEWHAT RELATED POST: Igorots in Bukidnon. PHOTO CREDIT (of Igorot kids in Rizal’s Igorot Village): Langfia Ayeona.

16 thoughts on “Outside Cordi: Igorots in Rizal”

  1. Note: Comment by the anonymous commenter on Sinai Hamada was moved to the blog entry where it belongs. Thanks.

  2. hahaha! can’t help but chuckle at your ‘are they expecting us to live in caves’ line there. I saw one in discovery channel (in Australia if I’m not mistaken) where people actually live underground. It was amazing, they have all the amenities of modern living down under there…. really really cozy homes.

    Not critical, just sensitive! I would think that if a true Igorot reads this, s/he’ll feel the same way you did. It does sound a bit strange. Although the author’s purpose for the emphasis might be to point out to the reader that Igorots are a unique people with a unique culture different from the rest of the Cainta settlers. (Pero pwede nga naman niyang sabihin yun ng diretso! Bakit nga ba niya pinagtuunan pa ng pansin ang bubong nila?) ano ba yun? 🙂

  3. These non-Cordillera writers needs to be reminded that Education is the process of moving from cocksure to thoughtful uncertainties. Most of them are consistently bungling their write ups about the hinterlands. Maybe Cordillera 101 should be implemented as a crash course in college. Cheers…

  4. sirs ferricardia & trueblu,

    could be that “these non-cordillera writers”, as you call them, got awed at the uncommon yet humble and elegant sight of the roofs such that they described them thus or it could be that the description has some condescending streak. Have you ever been to the Igorot Village in Cainta? How else could you have described/misdescribed the houses? and..curious me… sir ferri…what do you mean by “true Igorot”? is there such a thing as “false Igorot”? what makes one a “true Igorot”? kindly enlighten the Igorot reader, apo! Many thanks and more power..Igorotes power!

  5. I think the description could have been worded better. I agree, the writer probably did not mean to offend. I would have been interested in hearing more about how this village came about than the roofs.

  6. Anonymous 9:54 – maybe you have a “unique way” of describing such village, it would enlighten me also, as I’ve never been there and don’t intend to see it.
    My two cents on “false igorot”, in this blog, go to Politics category and scroll down to “More Elections 2007” (coin toss), click on the comments. That’s a false igorot right there.
    When asked, a true igorot admits his identity point blank without hesitation! Even if you’re 50/50 like Mark Cielo, the kid who won some contest in Philippine Showbiz. He won coz he didn’t stammer and say, ah ah ah, hindi ako igorot, parents ko lang, which most kids nowadays are doing. Genuine ka ba??? Cheers!!

  7. Hi Ferri,
    Thanks. Eh, I would like to live in those underground Australian houses 🙂

    Hi Trublue,
    Aha, Cordillera 101 is a good idea.
    Some common mistakes: Banaue daw is in Mt. Province, or Mt. Province is in Ifugao, or we pray daw to anitos, at marami pang iba.

    Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for dropping by and your comment. Correction ko lang po, eh si Ferri po ay ma’am not sir 🙂

    Anyway, I’ve been to the Igorot village. Hmm, I guess the houses there could be described as like the houses in ili. And, on hindsight, I think the outer walls have galvanized iron sheets which would make it uncommon and, thus, remarkable in a lowland setting.

    But the writer focused on the Igorot houses having iron (GI) roofs which is not remarkable at all because practically every house in the lowlands have iron roofs. Thanks again 🙂

    Hi JMom,
    Thanks. I hope to eventually do a story on how that village started 🙂

    Hi Trublue,
    Hmmm, “false Igorot” and “true Igorot” very hard to define ano? Hehe 🙂

  8. Another misleading entry by the author was the last paragraph and I quote “An authentic Igorot Village within the heart of Cainta, provides tourists a glimpse of the culture and lifeways of the cordillera people.”
    So a tourist from Tawi-Tawi spends a good two hours at the Village, do we really expect this tourist to come out well-oriented of our ways?? No way Jose!! I’m not even sure if the six provinces of CAR is represented in that village. Cheers.

  9. nyahaha! sir ba naman! Malay mo nga naman Bill, sir pala ako! hahaha!

    True Igorot? Look at me. lolz
    Meron pong false Igorot, yung katulad ng kapitbahay ng kaibigan ng kamag-anak ng kakilala ko na mabilis umaming igorot siya kapag may pumupuri sa mga igorots pero halos mag180 degrees ang leeg sa kaka-oonga pag may omookray sa mga Igorot.

    Wala kang kakilalang gay-on? Swerte nyo!

    Mabuhay po!

  10. Hi Trublue,
    Hehe, in fairness to the writer, sinabi niya it will provide just a “glimpse” so it is unlikely that whoever goes there will be well-oriented of our ways in a short visit.

    I think most of the people there are from Mt. Province (Sagada, Bauko, Besao yata) so the entire CAR is not represented. Cheers.

    Hi Anonymous,
    No, it doesn’t look like that 🙂 I’ll visit nga again doon and take a picture so we will all see what it looks like. Thanks.

    Hi Ferri,
    Hehe may mga tao talagang ganyan. I remember attending a contest, tapos nanalo ang mga taga Mt. Province bago sinabi ng isa sa mga contest organizers (who was snobbish at first) na siya ay Igorot. (And she wasn’t one of the judges which would have justified her ignoring us during the contest period.) Ayyayyay.

  11. Igorot is Spanish corruption of IGulod (tagalog gulod and Igolot) to mean someone from the hills or mountains.

    When a foreigner is born and grew up in the US , they claim to be Americans with such and such heritage.

    Since I am Ilocano by heritage but being born and raised in Baguio , what am I ?

    Igorot is a foreign term so to speak , so is Filipino . But since we have accepted those terms I for one strictly speaking is an Igorot. I was born and grew up in the mountains.

    I may not be an Ibaloi or Kankanaey but I fall in the category of Igorot , being a person of the Northern mountains.

    Ilocano culture is almost alien to me although I speak the language. I may not be accepted as an Igorot by my native friends and neighbors , but deep inside me I am an Igorot.

    I don’t know of any other culture but the uniquely 60’s to the 80’s Baguio.

  12. Very old post! Houses have been changing as time passes, As an Igorot born in Igorot Village, Cainta Rizal. I am proud to be one. Modernization doesn’t stop in this place. But our theme never change, which is Keeping the CULTURE and TRADITION. As we always celebrate our anniversary every 3rd week of February. Everyone is proud to wear their WANIS n GATENG.

  13. Strict po ba ang pagpapasok ng outsider sa place na ‘to? gusto ko po kasi sanang itong i-docu ang igorot village as a project requirement to our subject =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *