Skip to main content »

From the Igorots to the World: The Power of Culture, Balance, and Sustainability

Let's take a page from the Igorots' book (AKA our elders' wisdom & oral stories) and work to create a world that values sustainability and balance.

 |  3 min read

As an Igorot, I'm proud to be a part of a culture that values balance, sustainability, and respect for all life. These values have allowed us to thrive for thousands of years, and many Igorots still live to be over 100 years old, remaining productive and active well into old age.

One of the keys to our success has been our understanding of the importance of living in harmony with the environment. We know that our survival is tied to the health of our planet, so we work to preserve and protect it. You know what they say: "take care of the earth, and it'll take care of you." And that's a lesson our ancestors have learned well.

For instance, Macliing Dulag and his peers (along with other Cordillera communities in the past and present) have consistently pushed back against developments that could lead to detrimental environmental degradation and the potential displacement of indigenous peoples.

In addition to our respect for the environment, we also place a high value on culture, art, history, and language. These things are an important part of who we are as a people, and we work to preserve and pass them down through the generations.

In contrast, many heavily Euro-influenced societies have a tendency to prioritize monetary and material wealth over other values, such as survival and harmony with the environment. But as we've seen, this way of life is not sustainable in the long run. It can lead to overconsumption and depletion of natural resources, as well as social and environmental problems.

Now, I'm not saying that Euro-influences don't have their own strengths and contributions. There's no denying that they have brought many conveniences and comforts to our modern world. But when it comes to sustainability and the long-term well-being of the planet, I think it's worth considering a different approach.

One of the best alternative approach is the one offered by the Igorots (and other indigenous groups worldwide) which give value to the following:

  1. Respect the environment

Take the time to understand the importance of preserving and protecting the natural world, and make an effort to reduce your impact on the environment. This could involve things like conserving energy, reducing waste, and supporting sustainable practices.

  1. Value culture, art, history, and language

These things are an important part of who we are as a people. Take the time to learn about and appreciate them, and work to preserve them for future generations. This could involve supporting local artists, attending cultural events, and participating in traditional activities. Additionally, value the work of researchers, authors, and others who document our indigenous knowledge and practices. Their work helps to preserve and share our culture and traditions, and keeps our history alive.

  1. Prioritize balance and sustainability

Rather than just focusing on short-term gain or accumulating material wealth, consider the long-term well-being of the planet and all its creatures. This might involve making more mindful and sustainable choices in our everyday lives, such as choosing eco-friendly products or supporting local businesses that do the same.

By adopting these values and practices, we can create a more balanced, sustainable, and fulfilling way of life for ourselves and future generations.

Ibaloi-Kankana-ey hybrid.

Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.

Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.


Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under Opinion — or jump to a random article!

Opinion Surprise me

10 Ways Tourists are Killing the Igorot Culture (and How to Stop Them)

Discover the top 10 ways tourism is harming the Igorot culture and what you can do to help prevent it.

Nov 4 · 17 min read

The Commercialization of Igorot Culture: A Threat to Cultural Heritage

The commercialization of Igorot culture is a growing concern. Learn how to protect Igorot culture from exploitation and loss of cultural knowledge.

Jul 12 · 8 min read

Why Igorot MMA Legend Eduard Folayang Should Retire

Igorot MMA Legend Eduard Folayang just turned 40, here's a comprehensive article on why the Filipino pride should consider hanging up the gloves.

Nov 22 · 17 min read

The Real Cost of Living in the Cordillera (PHP 1000 Minimum Wage)

The minimum wage in the Cordillera is not enough to cover the rising cost of living. I propose raising the minimum wage to PHP 1,000 per day.

Nov 17 · 8 min read

Azurin's Ordeal: Canada's Use of Intelligence in Domestic Enforcement and Global Reputation-Keeping

The stance of Canadian authorities on human rights issues is worthy, but Filipinos' constant scrutiny based on unverified allegations is concerning.

Oct 2 · 5 min read

Was Carlos P. Romulo Right When He Said Igorot Is Not Filipino?

Understanding the context behind Carlos P. Romulo's statement that "the Igorot is not Filipino" and its implications for Filipino identity.

Sep 9 · 20 min read

Maura's Story Isn't Just About Her; It's About Us, the Igorot People

If, in time, Maura's story is proven true, dismissing it would be a disservice to her and us.

Sep 9 · 2 min read

Why Getting a Tattoo from Apo Whang-od May Not Be Appropriate

Explore the reasons why getting a tattoo from Apo Whang-od, the legendary "Mambabatok" Kalinga tattoo artist, may not be appropriate.

Sep 5 · 13 min read

Smithsonian Vows Repatriation Amidst Indigenous Remains Controversy

Smithsonian apologizes, vows indigenous remains' repatriation; Pinoy researcher rejects, alleging deception

Sep 3 · 3 min read

Igorot Maura may NOT be a Real Person: 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Maura, the Igorot woman from Suyoc, may have been exhibited at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, but there is no evidence to support her existence.

Sep 2 · 14 min read