3 Funny Ancient Misconceptions about the Igorots

With the advent of technology and the abundance of information on the Internet. It is  funny to still encounter some people who believe on these ancient misconceptions.

There are a lot of misconceptions about us, people in the highland, but here are 3 of the most common ones that I encounter while living in the Metro.

1. Igorots have tails

It’s hilarious to know that some still believe that Igorots have tails. This misconception probably originated from the G-String that men used to wear in the past as a daily outfit.Though it is still being worn on special occasions like feasts, weddings etc.

We all know that Homo Sapiens don’t have tails. If someone is born with a tail, it would have been trending in all types of media.

Yes, we are descendants of warriors but we do not have any relation with Goku or any Super Saiyan from Planet Vegeta who have tails. They won’t be happy to know that they have human counterparts.

2. Igorots are small, dark and with kinky hair

Friend, seems like you are referring to the Aetas. With all due respect, we do have our own identity and they have theirs. The Aetas do deserve respect like anyone else. They would not want to be mistaken as Igorots nor do we want to be mistaken as Aetas.

Igorots are naturally muscularly built (sometimes even women because of our  mountainous landscape ) and have different complexions like any other Filipinos. We have dark, brown and fair complexion like any anyone does.

3. Igorots are ignorant

Our Ancient Engineering like that of the Rice Terraces of Banaue is a world marvel equally amazing with that of the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt. Ignorant? Think again.

Though Formal Education reached the mountains later than our lowland brothers, we value education a lot and the current generation of highlanders are highly educated.

Like everybody else, we are Farmers, Builders, Truckers, Teachers, Lawyers, Engineers, Nurses, Doctors, Actors, Singers, Politicians and everything else.

This article is just written for our enjoyment and not suppose to stir up anything.

Hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer, the writer is a proud Igorot himself and his views do not reflect Baguio Local Eye as a whole.
This is based on personal encounters and may not be true to everyone.

Image source: Tam-awan facebook page:


  • Rebecca C.
    February 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    It is annoying sometimes. Ignorance….ignorance

  • Anne
    November 18, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I have heard all of these, and some others, in Manila.
    Some people dont even believe me when I say I am an Igorota because of my fair skin and rosy cheeks. I told them, I have fair skin and rosy cheeks because I am an Igorota!

  • esther c. champ
    November 14, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Many years ago, also in UPLB, one fine young man about 7 years younger than I, approached me in a lobby at the College of Forestry maybe had a crush on me..With smiles, he said, “Oh, you must be an Ilocana! May I know you?”. But, I replied -“Oh, you must be mistaken, cz. I am a pure-blooded Igorot with roots from Benguet and Tinok, Ifugao.”) & with a sense of pride. But, yet he replied, “Hmm, you are an Ilocana!” ; With that last comment because I left him, after learning an implied discrimination, I told him, “Oh, excuse me but I have to go!” 🙂

  • esther c. champ
    November 14, 2015 at 6:43 am

    We are so grateful to our Loving Creator for our Unique identities as Igorots. This is our priceless heritage and sovereign beginning, and we can jumpstart from the fact that GOD created all of us equal in our rights and privileges together with the majority; being proud & confident of GOD’s special purposes for our heritage as well. Yes, I go with these clarifications stated to help the public understand the truth about us.:-) Please we do not throw back to them negative/foul comments, but, instead we should, “Oh, yes. We are also educated and of good personality just like you. The thing is we thrive and enjoy living in the mountains looking after you; taking good care of all resources GOD has entrusted to us there so that the lowland settlers will not be devastated through our good stewardship of these watershed resources. But, if calamities unprecedented happen we should not be blamed either because these are beyond our control..Equally, while you do stewardship of lowland resources then we can just enjoy, as citizens of one country, altogether a happy and fruitful Philippines.

  • gichin
    November 13, 2015 at 10:57 am

    It is true, when we had our field trip at UPLB Laguna, some of their collage students seems mesmerized and had asked us how many times this question “Are you an igorot?” and we answered “Yes also for a couple of times”. My classmates are from Sagada, Bauko, Bontoc where most of us are tall and have fair complexion. I really don’t understand why were they seem curious why we igorots are handsome, gorgeous, beautiful, tall, etc. They don’t even know Mt. Province and when we said Baguio then that is the time they say ” ay ganun ba”…… What do they think and know about igorots really?????? So who is ignorant????????? WE OR THEM????????

  • allen aligo
    November 13, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Igorots to have tails – is not totally a misconception if the term Igorot is used as a collective word. But if it is used as a term for the male gender then it is not a misconception but true. I am an Igorot (male) and I am very proud to have a tail. The only thing is I have it in front. How would that be termed “ front tail?”. How about the other human male species, do the have tails too, like mine? Eh –heh eh- heh eh-heh !!!!

Add a comment