Speak out: Politics among Igorots of Baguio-Benguet

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


By Agapito P. Delmas

FIRST of all, this writer is an Ibaloy tribe and a genuine Igorot of Benguet, who prefers to be called an Igorot rather than a Filipino. Secondly, not all people living in Benguet are Igorots, particularly Baguio, which is a cosmopolitan city, together with the municipality of La Trinidad having welcomed different ethnic groups with cultural diversity.

Third, that the aborigine of Baguio City were the Ibaloys and the indigenous people of Benguet were the Ibaloys, Kankana-eys and the Kalanguya tribes, who are therefore the original or the genuine Igorots of Baguio-Benguet.

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The usual politics among Igorots in Benguet had been a friendly sportsmanship competition between Ibaloy-Kankana-ey candidates, for either the Liberal Party or the Nacionalista Party. With the inception of various immigrants and with the cultural belief that, political parties should be patterned from a triangular stove for stability, an “Independent Party” emerged to strengthen the party system, just for political gimmick, but not to generate political foes.

Speaking on the elements for success in politics, it has been generally accepted that the Igorots are materialistic in nature. Wealth, proven honesty and demonstrated industry are the more vital considerations for an ideal public servant. That if a candidate honestly earned his wealth through industry; this could be an assurance of honest governance. In contrast, a candidate maybe volatile speaker, but could not prove his ideals with worthy examples for emulation, this kind of candidate would be a sure loser.

As to solidarity, unity and cooperation, the Kankana-ey tribe is more united than the Ibaloy ethnic group with the individualistic attitudes. It has been proven that the Kanakana-ey flock together in favor of their tribal candidates, while the Ibaloys dispersed away from their compatriots for obvious reasons. 

The third political force from the non-indigenous Igorot of Benguet may even win the sympathy of the original Igorots, depending on the versatility with enticing realistic credibility to magnify the electorates.

Speak out politics among igorots baguio benguet

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