Guess I don't have to elaborate what Candy Pangilinan uttered in her recent show at SM-Baguio that compelled the city government to declare her an "unwanted visitor". It's a hit in the showbiz television shows, in the papers and in the net a few days ago. (For those who missed the news, click here.)
But, what did the city government of Baguio in particular, or the Igorot community in general gained from slapping such punishment when Candy apologized from what she did? Will this really teach Candy when she already learned the lesson even before our local politicians came into the picture?
There are lots of negative misconceptions about Igorots and being alluded to as not human at all is one of the worst. It is nothing but human when hundreds sounded their horns upon learning that somebody blurted "Tao ako, hindi ako Igorot" as comedy line infront of the Igorot audience and in an Igorot territory! Igorots, then and now, are always prejudiced by some foreigners and even by fellow Filipinos. It is but normal that many stand and acted to protest this new slur for we already have too much. The reactions are understandable and applaudable.
With Candy's case though, I do believe it is best for everyone hurt to forgive. The pain will not be erased or healed by hurting more people. First, the line was meant as a joke. Others have issued grievous statements purely out of ignorance or to intentionally hurt. Second, Candy realized her mistake and she sincerely asked for forgiveness not just in writing but in national television shows. Third, as we have already shown to others that we have high regard of our ethnicity and will always defend it, we should also tell the world that Igorots are more human because we know when to forgive.