As I understand, Mr. Romulo issued the infamous statement, "Igorots are not Filipinos", as counteraction to the portrayal of American media of Filipinos as natives and backward people. (I think he did a very bad job on this one. Click here to read more about Carlos P. Romulo's statement.)
What I don't understand is why some fellow Igorots, after what all our ascendants have done to trample Carlos P. Romulo's bigotry, are now patronizing and giving justice to the man's claim. Yes, he was right in saying that originally, Filipino refers to Spaniards born in the Philippines and indios who become subjects of the King but not citizens of Spain. Nevertheless, he was still very wrong because the term "Filipino" when he wrote the book was defined as to what we mean it today - citizens of the Philippines. So why would some Igorots ever think that they are not Filipinos?
To those who think Igorot are not Filipinos, consider these:
- Fact remains that Carlos P. Romulo issued that statement but never in his capacity as a Philippine government official. Ergo, it's his opinion and his alone.
- Fact remains that Filipino is the nationality of people born in the Philippines and/or of Filipino descents. Igorots, Ilocanos, Pangasinenses, Kapampangan, Visayan, Hiligaynons, Bicolanos, Tagalog and the likes are just cultural divisions of this nationality.
- Fact remains that the mountain ranges of the Cordillera is in the Philippines. Igorots' forefathers were born in the Philippines too. Therefore, Cordillerans or Igorots are Filipinos. That's logic. Any contradiction is illogical.
After reading the posts in the above mentioned profile, it made me wonder what the creator of the profile is trying to achieve. I tried hard to be as objective as possible when analyzing it but in the end, the impression that prevailed was that, it is divisive and biased (in other Filipino term, masyadong makasarili at makitid ang mga pananaw). Not only that the site profile is calling for the seclusion of the Igorot people, some statements there are coming out with the "I'm an Igorot thus I'm better than you" attitude. If it aims to promote the Igorot culture, it is achieving the opposite. If it is to show pride of being an Igorot, it speaks more of arrogance.
Claiming to be an Igorot but not a Filipino does not make one "Igoroter" (more Igorot). All the more, such claim does not speaks well of the Igorot community as a whole. (We can not even pass Cordillera's autonomy, how much more of establishing another nationality?) Rather than separating ourselves, let us instead know what and where we really are and what we can contribute as Igorots for the betterment not just of our community but for the country and to the whole world.