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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Translocality and Cultural Differentiation: Challenges and Opportunities among Indigenous Ifugao Migrants

Felipe V. Nantes Jr., Kenneth L. Maslang, Samuel B. Damayon
World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2022, 8(1), 1-8. DOI: 10.12691/wjssh-8-1-1
Received November 01, 2021; Revised December 03, 2021; Accepted December 09, 2021

Abstract

Translocality and Cultural Differentiation are two of the many concepts surrounding realities of globalization. This study was conducted to look into the causes and effects of migration among indigenous Ifugao migrant settlers who were born from their place of origin. These migrants are farmers having their roots from Lagawe, Ifugao who, in the early 1960s, travelled in search for land. They were forced to move out from their place of origin due to the harshness of life brought about by the shortage of land. The lands that they have were either given as inheritance, it was sold or is not enough to sustain their families. The research locale provided their basic needs of shelter, food and education for their children but initially at the expense of social discrimination, continuous cultural challenges and abandonment of their native land. Thus, translocality does not work among indigenous Ifugao migrant settlers but cultural differentiation is a phenomenon at work between and among them.

1. Introduction

Speaking about the future of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines, James Eder claimed that there are factors that may make indigenous people unindigenated. While there are cohesive factors that may strengthen one’s indigenous identity, there are also what he calls “causes of differentiation.” He theorized that geographic mobility, socio-economic mobility, outgroup marriages and religious conversions as processes of “change that would create new economic, social and cultural differences between the individual members of indigenous ethnolinguistic groups that once were more homogenous, geographically and socially bounded than they are today.” 1 He made used as subjects of study some indigenous people from the island of Palawan and those from the Northern mountain provinces, particular Kiangan, Ifugao. If these were true, then surely, Ifugao migrants outside from their ancestral domain could be faced with so much of the causes of cultural differentiation.

The concept of translocality 2 could be observed in the local scene. 3 According to Ngidlo 4 some of the current scenario that endanger the rice terraces in the province of Ifugao is the vanishing culture. The management of the rice terraces were based from taboos and customs handed down from generation to another. However, due to Christianity and education, the Ifugaos were alienated from their cultural ways of life. In fact in the case of Hudhud chanting, the Department of Education has even created a program for young students to be able to learn to chant the Hudhud while in cultural practice this should have been handed down to the youth by the elders. 5 Another problem is the shift in economic activities and outmigration. “The lack of opportunities for income generation also led to the outmigration of many Ifugao’s to other places in search for better economic opportunities. 6 In terms of indigenous knowledge and education, the study of Enkiwe-Abayao 7, revealed that more and more indigenous youth are embracing western education to the extent that they could hardly trace back their ethnic identity. While tourism has improved in Ifugao, it was observed that the economic benefits are unevenly spread in the province especially among the farmers, thus indigenous people from their heritage cites has to find ways and means to make ends meet for the family even to the extent of considering migration. 8

This study was focused on ethnic identity and the effects of migration on Indigenous Ifugao migrant settlers. It sought to draw out the different reasons for their migration and their continued stay in their settlement especially the challenges and opportunities that beset their life in the new settlement. Some scholars pointed out that indigenous groups or any group of people still cohere with one another by several cohesive factors like ancestral domain, cultural practices and even technology even if they are geographically apart. However, there are also those who become culturally differentiated as they migrate or even those who do not but are now influenced by factors like socio-economic mobility, outgroup marriages, and religious conversions. The study aimed at an analysis of the migration narratives of these indigenous migrants (like in other counries) 9 with an end to determine whether or not the concept of translocality applies to them making them still cohere with their primal cultural origin or had they differentiated themselves to a new group of indigenous people through the challenges and opportunities that they had experience in their new settlement.

The respondents of the study were the elders of the Ifugao community of Pinya, Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya. The word Ifugao has its etymological origin from the word i-pugo (the “i” means from or of and “pugo” means earth or hill) means – from or of the earth. The key or primary informants were the twenty six (26) who were not born in the research locale. They were chosen purposively since they are the ones who knew the history of migration that took place in the research locale.

All of the respondents have come or originated from Lagawe, the capital of the province of Ifugao. The province of Ifugao is where the Banaue Rice terraces are located. The province of Ifugao is mountainous which mountains are part of the Cordillera mountain ranges. Faming is the main source of livelihood which is divided into wet and dry farming. In 1945, the province became the last place where the Japanese General Yamashita made their last stand against the American troops during the Second World War and ultimately surrendered to the same military forces. The growing population and needs of the family made life more difficult for most of them. The land they have could not support their families anymore.

2. Methodology

This research employed a qualitative method of gathering data. It made used of document scanning from available data to verify papers on the migration record in the locale of the study. Arm-chair and visual anthropology were also used in sourcing out the topic being studied from libraries internet and other literature sources. It also used the phenomenological method and life history method which utilized observations and structured interviews with indigenous migrant settlers. The actual gathering of data was conducted within two months excluding the preparation of the proposals and other necessary documents. The gathering of data was through a guided interview, individual and by pair, spread during the weekends when the respondents are free especially in the afternoon and towards the evening as the twenty six respondents were farmers.

3. Results and Discussions

1. Sketch of an Indigenous Ifugao Migrant

The indigenous migrants of Pinya, Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya are farmers who came from Lagawe, Ifugao and who started moving into the research locale in the early 1960’s up to the early 1990s. The indigenous migrants arrived in groups, the first group in the 1960’s were the pioneers, those who initiated the movement by being brought along by their parents or had to trail their families in the research locale in search for free lands to cultivate. The second group are the followers, those who arrived in the 1970’s who heard by words of mouth stories or news from the pioneers or those who were invited by their families, friends or even neighbors to help in the harvesting of products as well as exploitation of the untouched lands. The third and fourth groups were the new comers and the late new comers those who arrived in the 1980’s and 1990’s respectively after exploring other parts of Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya.

All of the pioneers and the followers migrated directly to the research locale while the new comers and latecomers have first migrated in other places of Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya before finally settling at the research locale. They arrived at the research locale either through the national highway or crossing the Magat River from the province of Ifugao. They were pushed by the difficulty of life in the place of origin brought about by the shortage of land and job opportunities. The indigenous migrants are people whose hands were tied with the earth since all of them are farmers. But farmers who have no lands, and if they have one, it is little and so it would not be enough to sustain or support the growing family. Others who owned lands either sold the property due to some vices or to support the education of their children. As several respondent narrated, the place of origin is getting crowded but the land is not expanding. And given the traditional Ifugao practice that it is usually the eldest that gets the piece of land as inheritance, the other siblings are left with nothing prompting their parents and the respondent indigenous migrants themselves to look for a free land for cultivation. One respondent confided that they were nine in the family, since their rice field was given to the eldest nothing was given to her. Her parents then have to search for other source of livelihood to sustain the family.

Their aspirations were provided for by the research locale, the basic needs of their families were satisfied. Some of them even got married in the research locale where they formed their homes and families. Most of them marry within the same cultural group while others married those outside the cultural group that has widened the social and cultural affiliations of their younger generations. The provisions that the research locale had provided and continuously providing them make them forever indebted and tied with the research locale, the place that made them survive life’s difficulties. The research locale had given them what they need in the past and at present. Now that they have raised their families, they would not want to go back anymore to their place of origin not because they do not want to but because they have found a land and constructed a house in it but they also found a home in the research locale which their ancestral land did not provide.

2. Cultural Differentiation: Influence of Migration on their Cultural Identity

Speaking about the future of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines, James Eder claimed that there are factors that may make indigenous people unindigenated. While there are cohesive factors that may strengthen one’s indigenous identity, there are also what he calls “causes of differentiation.” He concluded that geographic mobility, socio-economic mobility, outgroup marriages and religious conversions as processes of “change that would create new economic, social and cultural differences between the individual members of indigenous ethnolinguistic groups that once were more homogenous, geographically and socially bounded than they are today.” 10

In time, the indigenous migrants were able to establish themselves in the research locale. And slowly, the migration started where relatives, friends and even neighbors were invited to try to visit the place and cultivate any space they could. Many came, some have gone to other places and several have returned to their place of origin while many have stayed and made the place their own. Several of the pioneer migrant settlers claimed that the place was explored together with the Ilokanos. However, more of the latter have settled in the valley which later on became the center of the town. They recounted that at first, their migration was not that smooth. They felt that they were discriminated by the Ilokanos in the valley especially when they bring down their products for sale in the valley. The most unfortunate thing was that many of the pioneer migrant settlers could hardly speak directly the Ilokano language so there was a communication gap. But today, especially in the research locale, many of the Ilokanos could even speak fluently the Ifugao language and vice versa. Some of the new comer migrant settlers also narrated that when they were of school age they were often picked by their schoolmates or classmates due to their ethnicity but not anymore today.

At present, these indigenous migrants explained that it seems that the cultural gap has been leveled or normalized. In the research locale, there were migrant settlers and even their children who are married to non-Ifugaos from different provinces. But generally, the migrant settlers described that they have a peaceful relationship with their Ilokano neighbors. The perceived discrimination arose from their differences in beliefs and practices. According to them, the Ilokanos were at first suspicious about the Ifugao rituals that they have which is also the same with the Ifugaos on Ilokano rituals. But despite the differences when it comes to working together for special occasions or for the betterment of the community, everybody are very cooperative. In time, they both begin to accept and understand one another even to the extent of attending and accepting the other’s ritual practices. Another manifestation of a peaceful co-existence between these two cultural groups is the above mentioned cross-cultural marriages between and among them.

Asked if they still practice some of their Ifugao rituals, their answers were both yes and no. Some of the migrant settlers said that in the earlier times of their migration, they practice almost all of their traditional beliefs and practices like the baki (the ritual where the intercessions of the dead ancestors and the gods and goddesses are recited and implored) or the bogwa (the exhuming of a dead body for ritual purposes generally due to sickness in the family). But as time passed by they begin to seldom practice and others have said that they will not practice them anymore. One of the main reasons for the decline of practicing or even the non-practice of the old cultural traditions was due to the reality that those who knew how to do the rituals were dead without them passing their knowledge to the younger generation. Others said that it was due to their Christian belief. They believe that “baki” is a belief or ritual that is paganistic and not in accordance with the Bible so they try to forget it.

Other migrant settlers confirmed that they would do away with the baki ritual because of their religious belief. For them the baki is not in consonance with the Christian life. It must be noted that majority of the migrant settlers are Roman Catholics. It was observed that Catholics are more flexible than the non-Catholic respondents. The latter are very strong against their indigenous practices for the reason that they are not in line with the teachings in the Bible. For the Roman Catholics, they still practice several indigenous practices like honga where all family members are required to be present for the blessing for health and prosperity among the family members by the celebrant, who is usually an older member of the family, binogwa and others but they do not regularly perform baki anymore instead they do Christian prayer service like praying the Holy Rosary during special events.

The baki is, in the past, a central and indispensable ritual in the life of the migrant settlers. They perform the ritual during many occasions like harvest time, sickness in the family, during wakes or funerals of the dead, during bogwa and even honga. The migrant settlers recounted that they still practice several of their traditional rituals but they have to do away with baki and other traditional practices because of their pagan-related characters. Some of them also said that the ritual is itself an economic social burden since even if you do not have much in the pocket one is required or even forced to bring out the requirements for the said ritual. However, there are those migrant settlers who said that in case of illness in the family where doctors are unable to determine the illness or even cure the disease, they are still willing to perform the ritual even to the extent of looking for anyone who knows how to perform the ritual.

One important revelation from the migrant settlers who were married to non-Ifugao spouses were that their spouses are very understanding about their indigenous beliefs and practices. There is great respect on the different indigenous beliefs and practices from their spouses. But an observation that they revealed was that most of their children are disinterested in their beliefs and practices. Some of them even have difficulty or could not speak the Ifugao dialect. These migrant settlers fear then that sooner or later the indigenous system of beliefs and values may perish in their family since many of their children are also married to non-Ifugaos. They perceive that outgroup marriages could be a hindrance in the transfer of indigenous traditions even language-dialects to the next generations especially when the young generations are not exposed to the actual practice of their traditional beliefs.

While more than a majority of the migrant settlers were married to a spouse with the same cultural orientation, several of their children are not. Several of their children are married to Ilokanos, Tagalogs, Gaddangs, Isinays and even to Ilonggos and others. And so, aside from the death of the elders and religious conversion, the decline or even the non-performance of the Ifugao beliefs and practices among these migrant settlers are perceived to be due to the outgroup marriages among the migrant settlers and their children.

In fact, several respondents have commented that whether the young ones are children of outgroup marriages or not, they have a new and different interests which make them disinterested with any traditional concern, whether it involves culture and language. In the case of the respondent migrants, it is their traditional beliefs and practices that are in the danger of being forgotten by the younger generations. However, from the statements of some respondents it could be inferred that these indigenous Ifugao migrants have no commitment to transmit their cultural practices to the younger generation. Several respondents categorically said that these cultural practices must be forgotten because of their religious beliefs. And others relayed that those practices had become an economic burden for them. Thus cultural differentiation among these Ifugao migrants is not only at work through outside factors but even coming from these migrants’ cultural disposition which may have been a result of their migration into the research locale.

In spite of all of the above, all the respondents still are very proud that they were born as Ifugaos. Many of them while preferring to be called as i-Pinya not anymore as i-Lagawi, they say they are proud to shout out to the whole world that they are Ifugaos. They say that there is no way in which they could deny being an Ifugao for they were born as one. They would not even trade to anything their being born as Ifugaos even to the extent of being discriminated.

The respondents’ stories are testament to the reality that while they are in the land of the Ilokanos they never thought nor felt that they are inferior or less superior human beings. Even if they felt that there was little help from the government or that they were discriminated in one way or another by other cultural groups, they thought that it is because they are different, they have different systems of beliefs and practices which may be different from others. However, today they felt that there is no barrier anymore among their Ilokano neighbors and with everybody in general for cross-marriages are taking place and that Ilokanos could even now speak the Ifugao dialect and vice versa. In the research locale there is now social-political respect and equality as well as cultural openness between and among the Ifugao migrants and other cultural groups in the research locale.

3. Translocality: The Relationship of their Ancestral Land with their Current Domain

One very common characteristic of the Ifugao migrant settlers is that they are farmers. Two respondent-settlers however revealed that their fathers were carpenters. One respondent narrated that her father has to go to Zimbalist to find carpentry work in the mining industry and she has to work as housemaid in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya to be able to provide something for the family. This could be due to the fact that many of the respondents’ families do not own lands in the place of origin or if they do, it is not enough to feed the entire family. When she learned that some neighbors were going to look for lands to cultivate so she immediately asked permission from her employer to join them and so she became one of the pioneer migrants.

All of the respondents were born in the province of Ifugao, their parents being both Ifugaos. All of them recognizes, accepts and are proud to be an Ifugao. But they admitted that staying in their ancestral land would make their life more difficult since they do not own any piece of land and so they would always be at the mercy of the landowners in their place. They would remain as tenants. Several respondents said that “as children, they would wait for their parents’ share in the rice harvest to be able to share rice on the table but when the rice is consumed then they have to feed themselves with sweet potatoes.” And according to one respondent, even if there is meat on the table which one has to eat together with sweet potatoes one would not enjoy it unlike today when meat is regularly taken with rice.

Many if not all of the Ifugao migrants are grateful that they have migrated in this place since in here they are able to take a meal of rice three times a day unlike in their place of origin where sweet potatoes has become their staple food. This is understandable since many of the migrant settlers do not own any piece of land in the place of origin while the average number of children in the family is six. In the place of destination, they are able to own lands that could support their families and could even raise their own live stocks.

One very important benefit that they mentioned aside from having a land to cultivate was the availability of job opportunities. A part of the research locale was once a reforestation area for the Magat Dam watershed project which started in the late 1970’s and ended in the early 1990’s. Many of the male respondents and their families had benefited from the job opportunity created by the watershed project. Moreover, several of them could work in other’s farms or join construction works and earn extra income for the family unlike in the place of origin where very few job opportunities exist after the planting season.

Asked to compare whether or not the respondents see their life today as better than before they had migrated and their answers were affirmative. Several of them responded that they would not have the kind of home that they have now. They would not be living in concrete houses now but in an Ifugao native house if they stayed. And one thing that majority of the respondents were thankful was that they were able to send many of their children to school otherwise they would have difficulty finding a decent job. But they confessed that sending their children to school requires hard work in the farm. They revealed that whether one found something good in this place if one does not give a sweat, then life would not be different at all. For them one has to really make ones hands dirty by holding the earth and making it bear fruit.

Thus, all of them would not want to go back anymore to their place of origin. It must be noted that the respondents have their roots in Lagawe, Ifugao. While some respondent migrants came from Hingyon, the same place was once part of Lagawe before it was created into a separate town in 1982 and those coming from Lamut, Ifugao have their parents’ origin came from Lagawe, Ifugao. Their main reason for migrating was that they have no land to cultivate in their place of origin. If they have one, it was sold or was passed on to their siblings as inheritance. However, they said that they only go back to visit relatives or friends during special occasions like death of relatives, wedding, bogwa rituals or other events that requires their presence or upon invitation. But with the decline of the practice of their cultural beliefs and tradition their visits has also become irregular. The migrants do not even call themselves i-Lagawi meaning from Lagawe but i-Pinya which means they are now from the place of destination and not from the place of origin. Although, they would say and admit that their birth as Ifugaos is something that they will not deny but even treasure. These migrant settlers associate themselves with their current geographical location especially that when they migrated, they are with their parents or followed their parents or their relatives. And the place that they had migrated into has provided them their basic needs. These indigenous migrants had connected themselves with the place or the land that has sustained or provided a good life in them and among their families. Indeed they are i-pugo (the earth people), they find connections with the earth-world and where they can thrive is where their heart, mind and self are.

4. Current Challenges: Social-Political, Cultural and Economic Concerns

Migration can always have positive or negative consequences not only from the place of origin or to the place of destination. Many have recognized that “migration is one of the historical forces that have shaped the world.” 11 Indeed, even the United Nation Organization (UNO) is very serious about issues on migration. It has claimed that “there is a massive misallocation of resources.” 12 This would result to people from low income countries moving to higher income countries. But as pointed out by the UN Expert Group on International Migration and Development, another problem arises on how international migration help low-income countries. Another issue about migration is migration of the youth. 13 For them migration is usually an important step in reaching a sustainable life for their families and themselves. But they can also be vulnerable to many disadvantages.

The respondents admits that migration has provided them better life conditions and opportunities but it is not a secret that such better life was at the expense of social and political discrimination, cultural challenges and economic trials. These have been the testimonies of the migrant respondents.

1. Socio-Political Concerns

It must be noted that these migrants are indigenous people who came from a nearby province having their own cultural beliefs and practices and they came to live with and among people of different culture and of different language. But in terms of their cultural rights as Indigenous People through the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), these indigenous migrants seem not yet fully informed about their rights as Indigenous Peoples.

One great challenge the respondent migrants experience when they came to the research locale was peace and order. The presence of armed rebels, which became more critical during the time of Martial Law produced fear among the migrants. But aside from the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) were also bandits that added to the peace and order concerns of the migrant residents. Some of these migrants have to leave the research locale but little by little they began to return in the research locale. Today, those past concerns have gradually disappeared with the developments in our government and in the social-political situation in the research locale.

In terms of their social relations with other cultural groups, they admitted that at first, there were really discrimination of them being cultural minorities in the research locale. It seems then that, at first, the social relations with other migrant settlers in the research locale is quite unstable considering the differences in culture and even language. The problem could have been made worse by the difficulties in understanding one another due to the language barrier. But this is natural only to neighbors who just recently came to know each other. As testified by the respondents themselves that time had resolved the social gap between and among the respondent migrants and other cultural groups. Today, respondent migrants say that the social relationship has incredibly improved. For each and every one now understand one another. Ifugaos have learned the Ilokano language and there are also many Ilokanos who knows how to speak the Ifugao language.

In the political arena, there seems to be no more problem today. It was only during the first years of migration that there was really discrimination. In fact, the Barangay Captain of the place is an Ifugao and that there are also Ifugao political leaders in the municipal local government.

From the personal narratives of some of the respondents, there seems to be not much problem in the socio-political life of the respondent migrants in the research locale. They have found a place in the hearts of their neighbors. They could now live side by side with other people despite the fact that they are migrants in the research locale. One respondent even narrated that their migration has opened to her more social network as she is now married with an Ilokano.

2. Cultural Concerns

In terms of the cultural traditions of the respondent migrants, the concern could be summarized by saying that their cultural tradition is at the brink of oblivion. Some factors affecting the practice of some cultural traditions of the respondent migrants. One is modernization or the “new society” as described by one of the respondents. The young people of today, the new generation, had varying line of interests which leaves out any traditional concern from them. And for those beliefs and practices that were passed on through oral tradition are also slowly vanishing since the older members of the community have slowly perished but their knowledge were not transferred to the younger generations. Such was even amplified by the oral character of some traditions and the unwillingness or disinterestedness of the young to learn the tradition like the practice of baki. There are no books written for the ritual performances of these traditional beliefs and practices. But others would say that even if there is a book, no one will teach the disinterested young generations.

While these respondent migrants had been converted to Christianity, especially to Catholicism, many still would like to practice the traditional Ifugao cultural traditions. Several migrants, while considered as believers, would still practice their traditional practices if pushed by necessity like an illness could not be cured by medical practitioners. It also came out from the study that Catholic migrants are more tolerant in the practice of their cultural traditions than the other religious groups like the Evangelicals. But aside from the comparison of religious groups, a very interesting finding through the interviews was that between younger and older respondent migrants, the older ones has a greater inclination to practice some of the Ifugao practices than the younger ones. Many of the younger ones seem to have been influenced by their religious faith and others take economic reasons as basis for non-practice. Furthermore, the financially challenged young migrants think twice to practice their tradition since it would mean that one has to bring out the necessaries of the traditional ritual like pigs and others.

Other respondents really banked on the non-availability of knowledgeable mumbaki. Some respondent migrants want to go back to the tradition but there are no more individuals capable of doing the old practice and if there are they are not so knowledgeable. The death of the elders was also perceived to be one of the causes in the decline in practicing these traditional beliefs. As mentioned above, the younger generations were not taught in these realms. This is compounded by the oral character of the tradition. No books written about them and that even if there are books about them, the generation of today had a different orientation and interests compared from the earlier generations.

Another perceived challenged regarding the respondent migrants cultural practice and ethnic identity is outgroup marriage. Outgroup marriage effect is dependent upon the character of the respondent migrant. One could be open or assertive about their cultural practices. But from the statements of the respondent migrant themselves there is not much problem with their spouses. The real problem is with their children and grandchildren. Being married to a non-Ifugao is not a problem since their spouses are also usually open and understanding about their cultural practices. But their children usually have not much interest on Ifugao traditional beliefs and practices. From the interviews, the respondent migrants are wary about their children or grandchildren getting married outside the cultural circle. Their children could either appreciate the Ifugao tradition or totally forget them for it seems that environment play an important role in the transfer of traditions among the migrants’ younger generations. When an Ifugao marries someone outside the cultural group there is greater transference of cultural tradition including language if they stay within the cultural community but if they stay outside the cultural community transfer becomes more difficult.

But in the end, whether they are not practicing their traditions, whether the younger generation has been disinterested about traditional practices, whether they were converted to Christianity, they got married outside their cultural group, they say that they are proud to be an Ifugao. They claim that they could and they would shout to the whole world with dignity that they are Ifugaos even if at some point in their life they were discriminated. The respondents claimed that there could be a lot of changes in the lives of them as migrants to the place but they cannot and will not hide their cultural lineage. All of the respondents say that they are very proud to be an Ifugao since there is no way in which they are who they are than being born as an Ifugao. They admit that their ethnicity has been part of their life and character.

3. Economic Concerns

The very reasons why these indigenous people migrated has something to do with economics. It is either they have no lands in the place of origin and if they do have one it is either not enough for the family or was already given as inheritance or either it was sold or that they were mere tenants to land owners. Their situation makes life difficult for them. It is true that families grow but not the land they occupied. As population grows, space becomes smaller for the community. It was only when these people thought of migration that they may be able to escape the harshness of life. And in their migration they were able to find and settle at the research locale. All of the respondent migrants say that their life has improved after migration.

In migrating, they were able to have a land for themselves. They have now concrete houses and not anymore the native houses they were used to. They also raise live stocks and their children were able to attend school some of them finishing their studies. All of them admitted that it was really difficult in the place of origin. They seldom take rice in their meals. Their staple food is salt and sweet potatoes. They cannot taste meat if they do not have to really work for a daily wage.

While all of them are thankful for the opportunities of migration, many are also worried about their current condition. Many of them agree that at first, life indeed has improved since by their farming the needs of the family were sustained by the harvests that they have had. But in due time, as their family is growing the needs of the family also grows. And they are also faced with the same situation as with their parents in the past. They also have to distribute the land that they had cultivated. There is land for cultivation but the family is also growing such that even if all the lands are cultivated and the harvest is good it is not yet enough. Some of them even thought of the possibility of searching for other lands in other places but it seems most lands now are occupied. If there are available lands they are very far and they might not be free anymore. It is only when one has money to buy the lands that acquisition may be possible so many of them said that they will stick to this place which they did. Their hope now is with the new generation to add more to what they have invested.

The respondent migrants are indeed tied with the lands that they have cultivated and that their life is also dependent upon it. Such that if the harvest fails then their life may also be in peril. They have left their place of origin in search for a better place but in the end, the same place is not enough to give them the best life that they can have. Since their source of livelihood is the cultivation of the land that they have, there are also times that life becomes difficult especially when the harvest fails. If there is something in their harvest, it is enough to pay their loans. But if the harvest was good then life would be better for them but most of the time farming is like gambling for they are waging against the weather. Indeed, their source of livelihood is dependent upon the weather. If the weather cooperates then it is good. But we know today that there is what they call as climate change. With climate change farming has become a gamble especially since they would need so many necessities for them to be assured that they will have good harvest with what they have planted. In the end, more often than not, they could not get more or even from their harvest.

In the past, the respondent migrants’ parents could have been only concerned about the survival of their families but today the respondent migrants themselves are faced with more concerns and responsibilities. Many of them recounted that in their time it is enough if they have a piece of sweet potato in their bag in going to school. In fact one said that they even used banana leaves for writing and that was enough already. For them one just needs to finish elementary or at least finish a few years of elementary education. But today everything has changed. The children today has to go through high school and then pursue college studies if they want to have better job opportunities. Several respondent migrants confided that when they narrate their personal experiences to the young ones they just laugh at them.

Many of the respondents indeed are relying on the next generation. Their education is of utmost importance. Almost all of the respondent migrants thought that the solution to their economic woes is to send their children to school. Their education is the only thing they can give to them for later on even if they have a little land to give or no land at all they can work and buy a land for themselves. But many of their children have not finished their studies. Some of them got married earlier without finishing their studies. It is then a challenge for these respondent migrants’ children to work hard otherwise life would not be different at all. According to one respondent, there is always exhaustion for everything. They could not go further anymore especially that they have grown old now. They would give the chance to the younger generation to continue what they have started. At the end of the day one has to be thankful and contented with what one has.

Today, the respondent migrants are now faced with the very reason why they have migrated in the research locale, why they were brought along by their parents, why they have to follow their families and friends, which is in search for a better life.

Unlike the early years, when these migrant settlers are only much concerned about producing for the subsistence of their families, a small farm could already deliver the needed support. Moreover a growing family results also into more needs. But these migrant settlers depend much on farming so they have to increase the land area for cultivation otherwise the harvest would not meet the needs of the family. But farming in the research locale is much dependent on the weather and climate. The success of their farming depends on good weather and good climate. Aside from those mentioned earlier, good harvest is also associated with good farm implements which requires capital. And most often their capital comes from loans with high interest and so when the harvest is not good many of them would have not much after the harvest. One migrant settler said “aside from the unpredictable weather today, many are drowned into the sea of credit from the loan sharks.” Thus, many migrant settlers are hoping that education would help their children have a better life in the future.

4. Conclusions

From the results of the study, the following are concluded:

1. Cultural differentiation is indeed at work among the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Specifically among the Ifugaos, migration had a great impact on their ethnic identity. Migration among these Indigenous Ifugao migrants had affected the practice of their cultural beliefs and tradition. This study has confirmed the theory of James Eder that geographic and economic mobility, religious conversion outgroup marriage have an influence to the reality that Indigenous beliefs and practices are at the brink of being forgotten. Moreover, this study also revealed that the new line of interests among the young generation which leads to their disinterestedness about traditional beliefs and practices coupled by the non-commitment of indigenous people to impart their culture and tradition are also among the causes of cultural differentiation.

2. Translocality while it is a surfacing reality as product of globalization and transnational or translocal migration, it does not work among Indigenous Ifugao migrants. Translocality requires the interplay or basic relations of many processes or activities among the migrants and their original domain. In the case of the Indigenous Ifugao migrants, they now identify themselves with their new domain with no intention to go back unless it is for occasional visitation of relatives. They have cut any geographical, economic and cultural relation with their ancestral domain.

3. The Indigenous Ifugao migrants, while cultural differentiation is already immanent in them and that translocality does not apply to them, they still identify themselves as Ifugaos. They are still proud to be one. But with the declining practice of their cultural beliefs and traditions, brought about by the socio0economic condition that they are in, these Indigenous Ifugao migrants may have to reinvent themselves in the near future for the coming of a new paradigm brought about by cultural differentiation for them to be able to live a distinct ethnic identity.

References

[1]  Eder, James. “The Future of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines: Source of Cohesion, Forms of Difference”. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society. Vol., 41, No. ¾, p. 273-294, 2013.
In article      
 
[2]  Peth, Alexander. “Translocality”. Retrieved April 2016 from http://www.transre.org/en/blog/what-translocality.
In article      
 
[3]  McKay, Deirdre. “Rethinking Locality in Ifugao: Tribes, Domains, and Colonial Histories”. Philippine Studies. Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 459-489, 2005.
In article      
 
[4]  Ngidlo, Robert. “The Rice Terraces of Ifugao Province, Northern Philippines Current Scenario, Gaps, and Future Directions”. Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health sciences. Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 151-154, 2013.
In article      
 
[5]  Talavera, Renee. “The Role of the Schools for Living Tradition (SLT) in safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage in the Philippines: The case of Hudhud chants of the Ifugaos”, 2014.
In article      
 
[6]  Ngidlo, Robert. “The Rice Terraces of Ifugao Province, Northern Philippines Current Scenario, Gaps, and Future Directions”. Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health sciences. Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 151-154, 2013.
In article      
 
[7]  Enkiwe-Abayao, Lea. Ifugao Knowledge and Formal Education – Systems of Learning in the Philippines. Paper delivered during the UNESCO Conference on Intercultural Education in jyraskula, Finland, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2016 from https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/philippines/ifugao-knowledge-and-formal-education-systems-l.
In article      
 
[8]  Dulnuan, Eualalie. “The Ifugao Rice Terraces Tourism: Status, Problems, and Concerns.” IAMURE, Journal of Ecology and Conservation, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2014.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Celik, Gurkan and Ton Notten. “The Exodus from the Netherlands or Brain Circulation: Push and Pull Factors of Remigration among Highly Educated Turkish Dutch”. European Review, Vol. 22, No. 3, 403-412, 2014.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Eder, James. “The Future of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines: Source of Cohesion, Forms of Difference”. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society. Vol., 41, No. ¾, p. 273-294, 2013.
In article      
 
[11]  International Organization for Migration (IOM). Migration and History. Essentials of Migration Management, 2014.
In article      
 
[12]  Rosenzweig, Mark. “Consequences of Migration for developing Countries”. United Nations Expert Group Meeting on International Migration and Development. Population Division, UN Secretariat. New York, 2005.
In article      
 
[13]  “Global Migration Group”. Migration and Youth: Challenges and Opportunities. United Nation’s Children’s Fund, 2014.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2022 Felipe V. Nantes Jr., Kenneth L. Maslang and Samuel B. Damayon

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Normal Style
Felipe V. Nantes Jr., Kenneth L. Maslang, Samuel B. Damayon. Translocality and Cultural Differentiation: Challenges and Opportunities among Indigenous Ifugao Migrants. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2022, pp 1-8. http://pubs.sciepub.com/wjssh/8/1/1
MLA Style
Jr., Felipe V. Nantes, Kenneth L. Maslang, and Samuel B. Damayon. "Translocality and Cultural Differentiation: Challenges and Opportunities among Indigenous Ifugao Migrants." World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 8.1 (2022): 1-8.
APA Style
Jr., F. V. N. , Maslang, K. L. , & Damayon, S. B. (2022). Translocality and Cultural Differentiation: Challenges and Opportunities among Indigenous Ifugao Migrants. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 8(1), 1-8.
Chicago Style
Jr., Felipe V. Nantes, Kenneth L. Maslang, and Samuel B. Damayon. "Translocality and Cultural Differentiation: Challenges and Opportunities among Indigenous Ifugao Migrants." World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 8, no. 1 (2022): 1-8.
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[1]  Eder, James. “The Future of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines: Source of Cohesion, Forms of Difference”. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society. Vol., 41, No. ¾, p. 273-294, 2013.
In article      
 
[2]  Peth, Alexander. “Translocality”. Retrieved April 2016 from http://www.transre.org/en/blog/what-translocality.
In article      
 
[3]  McKay, Deirdre. “Rethinking Locality in Ifugao: Tribes, Domains, and Colonial Histories”. Philippine Studies. Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 459-489, 2005.
In article      
 
[4]  Ngidlo, Robert. “The Rice Terraces of Ifugao Province, Northern Philippines Current Scenario, Gaps, and Future Directions”. Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health sciences. Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 151-154, 2013.
In article      
 
[5]  Talavera, Renee. “The Role of the Schools for Living Tradition (SLT) in safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage in the Philippines: The case of Hudhud chants of the Ifugaos”, 2014.
In article      
 
[6]  Ngidlo, Robert. “The Rice Terraces of Ifugao Province, Northern Philippines Current Scenario, Gaps, and Future Directions”. Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health sciences. Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 151-154, 2013.
In article      
 
[7]  Enkiwe-Abayao, Lea. Ifugao Knowledge and Formal Education – Systems of Learning in the Philippines. Paper delivered during the UNESCO Conference on Intercultural Education in jyraskula, Finland, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2016 from https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/philippines/ifugao-knowledge-and-formal-education-systems-l.
In article      
 
[8]  Dulnuan, Eualalie. “The Ifugao Rice Terraces Tourism: Status, Problems, and Concerns.” IAMURE, Journal of Ecology and Conservation, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2014.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Celik, Gurkan and Ton Notten. “The Exodus from the Netherlands or Brain Circulation: Push and Pull Factors of Remigration among Highly Educated Turkish Dutch”. European Review, Vol. 22, No. 3, 403-412, 2014.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Eder, James. “The Future of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines: Source of Cohesion, Forms of Difference”. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society. Vol., 41, No. ¾, p. 273-294, 2013.
In article      
 
[11]  International Organization for Migration (IOM). Migration and History. Essentials of Migration Management, 2014.
In article      
 
[12]  Rosenzweig, Mark. “Consequences of Migration for developing Countries”. United Nations Expert Group Meeting on International Migration and Development. Population Division, UN Secretariat. New York, 2005.
In article      
 
[13]  “Global Migration Group”. Migration and Youth: Challenges and Opportunities. United Nation’s Children’s Fund, 2014.
In article