“Tao po ako, hindi po ako Igorot.”
This joke uttered by Candy Pangilinan during her May 9 show in Baguio City drew strong condemnations from the Igorot community, prompting the comedienne to issue a public apology.
Pangilinan, who is now being accused of “racial murder” by message board posters, admitted that it was “irresponsible” and “careless” of her to make fun of “our Igorot brothers and sisters.”
“I am truly sorry because I uttered an insensitive statement during the event. I did not mean to hurt anyone, especially, our Igorot brothers and sisters. It was a careless remark, and for that, I am truly sorry. The harm was done, and regardless of my explanation and whatever my intention was when I uttered such words, any defense would not matter at this point. It was wrong,” Pangilinan wrote in her blog being hosted by Philippine Entertainment Portal, an entertainment Web site.
Lack of sleep
She said she delivered the line incorrectly due to lack of sleep and rest. She confessed that she was not able to prepare for her Baguio City show since she just got back from Guam.
She said while doing the show, she also realized her blunder.
“If you were there and had finished the show, you would have heard me acknowledge my blunder. I apologized and explained myself. I even went on to uplift the Benguet/Igorot community,” she said.
She added: “I am very proud of their contribution to the society. I, as a person and a Filipino, would never intentionally discriminate nor disrespect my roots, my ancestors, and my fellow Filipinos.”
'Rip out her tongue'
However, her comments triggered strong responses from the Igorot community.
"I heard the news about [Pangilinan] discriminating us. We want to rip her tongue out," said Jason Bainan,18, in a statement sent to abs-cbnNEWS.com. Bainan is an Igorot from Sagada who grew up in Baguio City.
Baguio Rep. Mauricio Domogan, meanwhile, also expressed disappointment over the incident, saying that jokes should not be done at the expense of the people from the Cordillera region.
Domogan accepted Pangilinan’s apology but said that it is no longer within his control if the others decide to file a complaint against her.