Miriam Coronel Ferrer has an article on Igorotness which you might find interesting. You can read it here. But here’s a quote:
… those who proudly self-identify as Igorots are generating more and more “Igorot” cultural resources to reproduce, enrich and somehow transform Igorot identity. Jimmy Fong’s presentation featured photos of children wearing t-shirts emblazoned with “Igorotak” (“I am Igorot”) followed by a dictionary-like entry that goes “n.Bibakese* – a statement asserting ethnic identity.” Fong also sampled exchanges in blogs among Igorots about Igorots. A hot topic were pop stars Paolo of Starstruck and Marky Cielo, both of Igorot descent, and their “Igorotness.” Or, in the case of Paolo, his shameful disowning of his identity ala the infamous quip, “My parents are Igorot but I am not.”
I’m not quite sure whether Paolo really did disown his identity. He was hesitant to reveal that he is part Igorot but there have been no reports of him expressly stating “na parents lang niya ang Igorot”. Maybe he did, maybe not. Pero may mga PaKoLI (parents ko lang Igorots) sa Quezon City (sa may E. Rod hehe). Hah, we coined PaKoLI ha. You read it here first.
Anyway, let’s go back to Coronel’s piece.
Taking inspiration from a PLDT ad promoting the internet in the region, Fong concludes that the vibrant online discourse proves that the Igorot has now become e-gorot. Fong also looked into the robust local industry of music CD production of songs in the vernacular growing in towns like Buguias. Many of these songs talk about the challenge of coping with the demands of tradition and the modern world. One genre of songs is “kinnoboyan” from the Western word and world “cowboy” – a cultural resource that assimilated well into the Igorot physical and cultural setting. Yes, there is a vibrant Igorot pop culture being nurtured in the interstices of the highlands, and one can imagine, also in the Igorot diaspora.
Igorots have not only appropriated the internet and the CD technologies for Igorot cultural production, they are also seizing the video camera and generating their own indie films that are written, directed, acted and spoken in the vernacular by Igorots themselves.
Coronel attended the Conference on Cordillera Studies in Baguio where tons of researches on the region and its peoples are being presented. Read her full article here. Too bad we missed this conference, no.
Meanwhile Padma writes about the sessions she attended here. An interesting research by Michino Yoneno Reyes apparently found that “Ay ay Salidummay” is of fairly recent vintage. It is not as old as other Cordillera chants and, according to Yoneno-Reyes’s informants, only started gaining popularity during World War II. Visit Padma’s blog for more.