3rd Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation
5-8 May 2005
By Caridad Fiar-od
If culture is dynamic as affected by migration, education, religion, etc., one day the Igorot Culture shall have lost its identity unless this generation makes effort to pass some aspects of the Igorot culture to the next generation.
As such, foremost, the identifiable spirituality of the Igorots should be passed on. The spirituality of the Igorots manifested in different ways, in different places and different times in accordance with its applicability in terms of specific ethnic beliefs is what matters. Spirituality as practiced by the older generation of Igorots is acknowledging the Supernatural Being or Creator with or without performing a ritual at any time yet giving due respect to whatever religious affiliation he belongs to. The Creator is referred as God, the Almighty, the Powerful, the source of life, the Creator of all things termed in different local/ethnic names likeKabunian/Lumauig, Alawaganto theIsnags, Nintotongchoto the Bontocs,Adikaila to the Kankanaeys, Apo Dios, Manakabalin, Allah, etc. Being spiritual or believing in the value of spirituality, redounds to respect of land, bodies of water or the environment in general which is anchored on the belief that a spirit or spiritual deity present in every living creature controls its life per se. The belief in the presence of spirits by the power of a Supernatural Being is a manifestation that there is God.
Secondly, on matters of the Igorot as a social being, the next generation for identity should make effort to learn and understand Igorot rituals expressed in cultural dances, songs, chants, traditional choreography, literary arts, etc. with the proper instrument/gadgets, costumes as well as their meanings, origin, and what each color, design/icons symbolize or represent. The originality and uniqueness of every ethnic culture in the Igorot communities should further be learned and understood parallel to other cultures where they are immersed, before the original Igorot Culture gets lost. Being knowledgeable on all those mentioned above would avoid misinterpretation or negative impact and instead would lead to the voluntary appreciation of the Igorot culture.
Another identity of the Igorots which should be passed on to the next generation is whatever applicable indigenous knowledge and appropriate technologies relevant to making the most of whatever least resources for healthy living, or long life.
As a whole, the second generation before making the necessary innovation/adjustment, should understand first what it means to be an Igorot defined by culture, what it means to be a Christian Igorot defined by one's spiritual beliefs and unique traditions, and what it means to be a successful social being defined by one's ideology acceptable in a global society anywhere around the world.