Friday, May 15, 2009

Ms. Pangilinan Declared An "Unwelcome Visitor"

I wasn't expecting this. In fact, I was ready to move on and forgive, but I was surprised to read this at the ABS-CBN News website. The city of Baguio declared Ms. Pangilinan as an "unwelcome visitor." Living outside the Philippines, this is the first publicized incident, that I know of, about a Filipino comedian delivering an offensive joke about Igorots. I mean, there are good and bad jokes. Ms. Pangilinan's joke was offensive and a really bad one. I have spoken to some friends back home, and apparently, some comedians have been making similar jokes for a long time, they just haven't been caught.

I honestly feel bad for her. On the other side of the coin, I feel empowered that the Igorots, as a community, and Baguio, as a city, have the power to convey a powerful message - putting down someone's ethnicity is not acceptable and is not tolerated. For the Igorot community has come a long way fighting and correcting the stereotypes and misnomer attached to their name. As a public figure, Ms. Pangilinan is responsible for her actions, which she has openly admitted and recognized. She is indeed commendable for admitting her mistake and apologizing publicly for her offense. I do hope that she will find peace within and find a way to bridge the gap with the people she hurt. As for me, I wish her well and I think the lesson has been learned.

Below is a reprint of the news article.


Despite her numerous apologies, Candy Pangilinan was declared an "unwelcome vis[i]tor" in Baguio City after she cracked a joke that implied that Igorots are not people.

In a special session held by the Baguio City council on Friday, Pangilinan was declared "persona non grata" by a majority vote. Councilor Tomas Balisong, currently the acting vice mayor, said that the declaration was in reaction to Pangilinan's "ethnic slur."

Pangilinan's joke, which was heard during her stand-up comedy act held in SM Baguio last Saturday, was: "Tao po ako, hindi po ako Igorot."

This drew strong criticisms from the Igorot community. "It is a slur, an insult to us Igorots," said Atty. Jose Molintas, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Almost all the Baguio Councilors approved the motion passed by Councilor Greg Bagbagen declaring the comedienne an unwanted visitor to the summer capital. This also banned Pangilinan's movies from being shown in the city's theaters. Only Councilor Galo Weygan, also an Igorot, abstained from voting.

Many Baguio locals supported the move, saying they were deeply insulted by Pangilinan's comment. "Dapat maramdaman niya ang maging isang Igorot para alam niya ang sinasabi niya," said Annie Domiguay, a Baguio resident.

The full article is here.


  1. though this may sound "over reaction" to some, they should just try replacing the term Igorot with, say any term referring to a group of people and they'd feel what we feel...

    it's true that she apologized and all, but dapat lang talaga...

    i also hope she finds peace within herself. though it will take time, still, time can heal wounds...

  2. jehan, i do agree. this incident will serve as an example to others.

  3. another example of how a simple incident, how an irresponsible slip of the tongue, can turn your life around.

    i guess the reaction of the igorots has something to do with how they have experienced "criticisms" and "discrimination" in the past, successfully destroyed these notions, and the fact that they are working hard, still, to maintain that respect we have for them.

    i haven't watched pangilinan yet, but my office mate told us that she was really distraught (which, my office mate told me, seemed real). i know that we all have our opinions, even among the igorots, but I believe that the turmoil she is going through is enough punishment. imagine having to carry that burden her whole life, especially that she knows she has done a mistake to her fellow Filipino. well, i pray she gets over it and learns her lesson (which I think she did).

  4. Wow! Lupet nun ah! Somehow I feel like this has blown so much that the Baguio municipality is taking all the frustrations bottled inside from years of criticisms to make C. Pangilinan an example for those who might ridicule them in the future. A heartfelt public apology is enough, I think. But that's just me. Naawa lang ako kay C. Pangilinan. I like her pa naman. Martin N. did something much worse.

  5. rico, i feel sad for her, but i also see where Baguio is coming from. maybe this incident has a better purpose.

  6. Hi,
    Would like to invite you here:
    Nice day,

  7., May 15, 2009 at 9:02:00 PM EDT

    inviting u here

  8. I take it as a good sign, the city council and the iGorot peoples' reaction (though I don't condone the extremes). It only means that after a century of discrimination and being looked-down upon by the colonized non-Igorots, the Igorots now are building their shattered self-esteem and are fighting back by not tolerating insensitive remarks about them.

    cheers Igorottes! :-)

  9. wow, there are online petitions too. anyways, two reactions here - individuals need to forgive and move on. it's for the best.

    on the other hand, let the baguio city council do its job and let candy pangilinan face the consequences. may it serve notice to everyone that negative actions have consequences. "igorot" bashing has been shrugged off for many, many years. let the world know that it's not to be taken lightly anymore.

  10. I think its going overboard. The fact that Pangilinan already made an apology on TV makes me think that she is sincere. She realized her mistake and is trying to make amends. I'm also skeptical anytime politicians get involved. hehe

  11. i didn't know this incident till now.. this is really sad.. i hope this should be a lesson to all those comedians in the philippines to be more careful/tactful in their is not funny insulting people and their backgrounds...

  12. freedom of speech doesn't give anyone the liberty to demean others. ^-^

    still, many people in manila react to people from the visayas and mindanao, "ay, bisaya" in a very condescending tone, which i don't like to be honest. when i was younger, i used to get offended, like what's wrong with being a bisaya. mindanao is a much liveable place than manila, and i'd pick it 1000x over manila.

    oops, sorry for the rant. ^-^
    i don't get offended now by the way, my friends and i even talk ala anabelle rama all the time!

  13. ms. pangilinan has already apologized for her regrettable conduct (and i expect she's already learned her lesson), so why is everybody still going for her throat? maybe it's time to let this thing rest so we can all move on

  14. i guess it's too bad for her that she was the first one to be given this punishment. on the other hand, it's really a strong message against such offensive remarks.

  15. I've seen the interview. I think she really feels really repentant. Sigh.