Baguio congressional candidate, Mark Go, drew a lot of criticism and ire from netizens recently due to an open letter that went viral on Facebook. The letter, addressed to Mark Go, questioned the use of the word “Igorotak” as a campaign slogan.
“It was sent to us via email Monday evening and the sender requested for its publication under the name ‘Baguio Chinita,’” said the administrator of the “No To Mark Go” Facebook Page, who spoke under the condition of anonymity. The admin said the letter has garnered almost 40,000 views, 500 likes, and 100 shares in less than three hours of being posted. It has then been reposted and can now be seen at facebook.com/AntiMarkGoMovement or at notomarkgo2016.blogspot.com, the admin added.
According to the letter, the author felt “sad and angry” when she saw one of Mark Go’s banners along Trancoville that edited the term “Igorotak” to “iGOrotak” to conveniently insert the candidate’s name into a term that has long been associated to Cordilleran pride and identity. This paper’s staff have also seen the iGOrotak posters in some vehicles plying around the city.
“I think Mr. Mark Go will not understand what I feel because he does not know about my people and culture,” said Baguio Chinita, who described herself as a ”Chinese-Igorota born and raised in Baguio.”
“I think that is irresponsible campaigning and very disrespectful because I know that Mr. Mark Go is not an IGOROT. It is very insulting. We IGOROTS are very proud of our heritage. The name of my people is not a punchline or a slogan for your politics!” Baguio Chinita further stated regarding the corrupted Igorotak word.
Netizens who read the post were also quick to criticize Go saying he was desperate to garner the “Igorot votes” to win the elections, even if it would compromise and bastardize the cultural integrity of the indigenous peoples in Baguio.
The letter sender also said she “cannot trust anyone who is not proud of his own heritage and origins. Are you ashamed of being the kababayan of Noynoy Aquino that’s why you are forcing yourself to be one of us?” The question was in obvious reference to Go’s and the President’s provincial roots which can be traced to the province of Tarlac.
Baguio Chinita then challenged the congressional candidate to take down his “iGOrotak” banners, and ended with “IGOROTAK is not the same with “iGOrotak” go back to your politics and propaganda but do not use us or the IGOROT name again. Please do not insult us again.”
Go was mum on his own Facebook Page regarding the issue. However, a video of him speaking at the “Baguio Leaders Forum” surfaced over the weekend where he explained he is not Chinese but a natural-born Filipino. He further denied his Chinese heritage in the video by saying the family name “Go” is not Chinese but English. This video is also currently posted at Facebook.com/AntiMarkGoMovement, the page admin disclosed.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org/The Junction News Team