The Igorot Resistance

Attempts to Christianize the Igorots were led by the Spanish friars--the Augustinians from the Ilocos, and the Dominicans from Cagayan--and a few secular priests from Abra. While Christianization was the major concern of the religious orders, the conquistadores and crown officials mainly concentrated on occupying the Igorot gold mines. 

During the first fifty years of Spanish rule the crown sent numerous and costly expeditions to the Cordillera but all were failures. While the Cordillera terrain worked lasted for ten years. 

For instance, in the Trinidad Valley north of Baguio, the Spaniards successfully deflected every Igorot defense including rocks thrown from above, bamboo "ground-spears," and sharpened stakes hidden in the grass and camouflage pits. When the Spaniards finally reached the valley, they burned 180 Igorot houses. 

In fact, Spanish raids left a pattern ofdestruction and desertion. Starting in the mid-nineteenth century, the Cordillera was constituted into a series of comandancias politico-militares or political-military districts. 

Spanish military expeditions crisscrossed the Cordillera to establish Spanish authority, curtail the tobacco smuggling, and collect tribute. The Spanish military control of the Cordillera allowed Spanish missionaries and even foreign travelers to roam the region. 

New agricultural crops were introduced like coffee, cacao, and citrus fruits as well as new technologies such as wheelbarrows, the potter's wheel, and coffee-husking machines. Hundreds of Igorots became literate and about 8,000 became Christians. 

Yet, the occupation also resulted in untold devastation: houses were burned down, crops destroyed, and livestock seized or slaughtered. The military raids also left a trail ofdead Igorots while many other Igorots succumbed to smallpox, which the Spaniards had introduced. 

The Igorots who survived for the first time lived under a colonial order symbolized by tributes and forced labor. The Spanish domination of the Cordillera was short-lived because the Philippine Revolution of 1896 ended its colonial rule.

1 comment:

  1. dont speak about things you dont know bru...better read your history again and not put some half assed history then call it history