July 5, 2011

Football and the “Wanes”[Kankana-ey term for the G-string or bahag]

I ask you this question: “What will go through your mind if you see young people wearing our traditional 'wanes' while playing football in a football field?” Your answer will of course largely depend on whether you are an Igorot or not. If you are a non-Igorot, you will surely be amused. You will probably laugh at the g-stringed young guns going at the ball like silly barbarians. If you are an Igorot, the scene could bring out either of two reactions from you. You either get amused or you get insulted. I can't speak for all Igorots out there but for me, I was insulted.

A month-long football tournament called the First Mauricio Domogan Cup is currently being played at the Melvin Jones Football Grounds in Baguio City. And in this tournament, players are told to wear the traditional “wanes” while on the field. According to a news article on the Philippine Daily Inquirer, only 4 out of the 23 teams on the tournament were willing to don the “wanes”.

Whoever organized this tournament either doesn't know what he's doing or he's got no respect for Igorot traditions. You can't just go around telling football teams to wear the g-string. So what's next? A basketball tournament with players wearing g-strings?

Our traditional attires are becoming fodder for circus acts and stunts. It's sad but it's true.

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