TV talks on ‘Carrot Man’ gets flak from Igorots

>> Sunday, March 13, 2016

By Roger Sacyaten

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Igorot netizens vented their displeasure at insinuations of an interviewee of a respected personality in a giant television network which they said, tended to degrade the cultural minority group.
The Igorots are now in the limelight, thanks to the good-looking Jeyrick Sigmaton, dubbed “Carrot Man” from Barlig town of this province, a sensation now circulating in social media.
He was photographed carrying a sack of carrots and posted in the internet which went viral.
He said with this, people are now interested in Mountain Province and the Igorots.
In the segment of the “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” show where Sigmaton was featured last week, the derided statement attributed the handsome face of the Igorots to effects of multi-racial involvements of foreigners who forayed into  Igorotlandia’s history as missionaries.
Dr. Jimmuel Naval’s reference that the aquiline nose of “Carrot Man” could be due to the intermarriage of Caucasian missionaries/colonialists with Cordilleran people, resulting to “improvement of the race” was accordingly uncalled for, Igorots said  in internet posts.
“At this very moment, it is highly likely that we are not alone in writing about this blunder. We are more than willing to join the fray. “Improvement of the race” is just so wrong in so many levels”, read a statement from the Habi Collective posted in the internet. 
A known regional journalist posted comments referring to the segment statement as quite disturbing as insinuating that good-looking Igorot men are products of Caucasian missionaries who spread Christianity in the Cordillera.
He castigated the television anchor for “the poorly researched story that has deeper repercussions with the Igorots”.
Another netizen referred to the claim as downright discriminatory to the Igorots even wanting to know if the Igorots are a lesser race before the coming of the missionaries.
There were other comments on social media all referring to the statement of Dr. Naval as “shocking” for the historian.
Another said the historian should go back to school and learn more about the Igorot ancestry.
One netizen challenged the Kapuso mo, Jessica Soho guests and researcher online by presenting the photos of Igorots in the periods before the estimated arrival of the foreigners as showing the physical features of the people as evidenced by the good looks.
The common comments of netizens share that the researchers and resource persons should have talked to Cordillera elders or more knowledgeable people rather than referring to someone not proficient on Igorot culture and history.
But while growing interest of the public is centered on Sigmaton, some quarters are calling the media to shift its attention more on the economic and political realities plaguing the Cordillera people especially the young and out of school youths in the likes of Sigmaton. 
Also, even the agricultural sector where Sigmaton works is beset with problems needing immediate attention from the media and government leadership especially with the onset of the ASEAN Integration.
“There are many issues the Cordillera youth are facing just like the rest of the Filipino youth, they also have a hard time in accessing the commercialized education of the country where the tuition fees rise steadily”, reads a statement posted in the face book.
Meanwhile, in an interview during his visit to the provincial capitol last Wednesday, Jeyrick Sigmaton confirmed that he is not a certified Kapuso as he has not signed any contract. 
Reports, though, say the expectation is high that he will be a Kapuso in the near future.
Willie Revillame of television show Wowowee had also guested Sigmaton in his show with females swooning and shrieking over him.
Revillame said he was giving Sigmaton scholarship so he could finish his studies in Baguio City.

The “Carrot Man” and his father thanked the TV host for his offer. 


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