MANANG Mely Carino, widow of cousin Sonny, who served as Camp 7 Barangay Captain for many years when this neck of the woods was literally the woods, stands proud as she documents on Facebook the achievements of her children, all of them. Her boys turned to men with stellar military careers, her lovely lasses grown into strong, beautiful, accomplished women (somehow all married to military men, too). Lately, she has used the hashtag #proudigorotchallenge.
Johnny Mondiguing, who was also Camp 7 Barangay Captain in the long ago and far away, has lately posted pictures with the same hashtag, whilst calling the attention of the Deped to the ridiculous passages in public school books that misrepresent and demean Igorots.
On Facebook, Councilor Philian Weygan lately posted the image of a page found in one of those ridiculous passages in said idiot books that is best seen and in Tagalog describes a "bahay ng Igorot" and then asks if said Igorot house is - choose one - a) the house of an ant (translated), b) the house of a duck (likewise translated), or c) "mandala ng palay", which - sorry - I cannot be bothered to try to translate, Google notwithstanding.
And of course, the good councilor posts beside the picture of that offensive page a picture of her house. I figure that for ducks to live there, they would have to very large ducks. As in huuuuge ducks, each as big or bigger than a car.
Jhen Palacsa-Baltazar, who owns and runs Agetyeng Tours, is another among the many who have "accepted the challenge" and posted that she is a proud Igorot. Jhen has my nod for touristic matters because, even if I'm among those who discourage senseless and unbridled tourism into Baguio (another story for another day), Jhen manages to weave substance into her tours, i.e., her historical tour actually contains historiographical notes.
Even dear Gaby (Keith) came out of his, uh, "invisibility" to be a proud Igorot.
An FB search for #proudigorotchallenge unlocks names and pages of proud Igorots. I note that many are from Abra. Others are from the provinces of the entire Cordillera region, Benguet and thus Baguio included, and from the world. Many are also Igorot by choice, having lived for a long time in these mountains that they now call home; they consider themselves natives. I have many such native friends, some quite dear to me.
On February 8, our Baguio City Council passed a resolution censuring DepEd modules with aforementioned ridiculous passages. On the same day, a version of House Bill 1552 was published, it being authored by Kalinga Congressman Allen Jesse Capuyan Mangaoang, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples, Caretaker Benguet Congressman Eric Go Yap, Mountain Province Congressman Maximo Dalog Jr., Ifugao Congressman Solomon Chungalao, and Apayao Congressman Elias Bulut Jr. (To be continued)