ENVY, DESIRE, AND ECONOMIC
ENGAGEMENT AMONG THE
BUGKALOT (ILONGOT) OF
NORTHERN LUZON, PHILIPPINES
Shu-Yuan Yang
ABSTRACT
P...
perceive the acquisition of new knowledge and technology as initiated by
themselves. Envy and desire are identified by the ...
actually inhabits social life. In order to loosen the hold of the naturalized
hegemony of the capitalist economic discours...
the pursuit of a capitalist economy as a process initiated by themselves, and
understand it as being driven by emotional f...
daughter, (c) parents with two married daughters, (d) two married sisters
(R. Rosaldo, 1970; M. Rosaldo, 1972). The househ...
The availability of land and the relative autonomy of the relations of
production contributed to the maintenance of self-s...
grows through the heart’s reflections on the successes of an ‘‘equal’’ and
‘‘clutching’’ as it notes that one has less than...
and headhunting was in decline.7
The extraction of timber came from the
Nueva Vizcaya side. The logging route originated i...
answered when I inquired about the reason for their return: deg’in (land).8
Free housing provided by the DAR for all Gingi...
their land security. Some Bugkalot applied for land titles, but many did not
see the usefulness of a piece of paper that c...
National Livelihood Support Fund, which was later renamed National
Livelihood Development Corporation. Rofoldo’s success i...
presenting themselves as bearers of civilization and progress. While the
Bugkalot think Igorot and Ifugao settlers have mo...
know how to secure money. Why didn’t Topdek harvest his ginger and
galiang himself and sell them in Bambang? He would have...
large-scale coffee plantation, to be ‘‘the bridge between farmers and
capitalists,’’ and find a market for locally produced...
of all barangay officials. He refused to admit that their coffee project was ill-
conceived in the first place, and held on ...
in Gingin was Apun Tino, a Tagalog missionary for the New Tribes Mission
who moved here in 1959. In the late 1970s, when t...
autonomy. When the Bugkalot interpret the acquisition of new technology
and their engagement with capitalism as a process ...
The emotion of envy is usually modeled as costs in the context of the
Ultimate Game (Elster, 1998), since the standard vie...
self-examination, not to be a burden to their kin. Christianity is deployed
‘‘to foster an individual locus of agency and ...
world, and emotional idioms always acquire meaning with reference to their
social use and situation. Thus, the individuali...
imaginary of modernization (Rojas & Kindornay, forthcoming, p. 13,
quoted from Escobar, 2012, p. xvi). The Bugkalot are aw...
NOTES
1. The original meaning of barangay in Tagalog is boat. It is the smallest
administrative unit in the Philippines.
2...
Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica. I thank the Institute of Philippine
Culture, Ateneo de Manila University, for ass...
Douw, L., Huang, C., & Godley, M. R. (Eds.). (1999). Qiaoxiang ties: Interdisciplinary
approaches to ‘‘cultural capitalism...
Keesing, F. M. (1962). The ethnohistory of Northern Luzon. Stanford, CA: Stanford University
Press.
Kwiatkowski, L. (2008)...
Rosaldo, M. Z. (1991). Words that are moving: Social meanings of Ilongot verbal art. In
D. Brenneis & F. R. Myers (Eds.), ...
Yang, S.-Y. (2011a). Decentering the state in the uplands: Boundary dispute and electoral
politics among the Bugkalot (Ilo...
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  1. 1. ENVY, DESIRE, AND ECONOMIC ENGAGEMENT AMONG THE BUGKALOT (ILONGOT) OF NORTHERN LUZON, PHILIPPINES Shu-Yuan Yang ABSTRACT Purpose – This chapter aims to understand how the Bugkalot, or the Ilongot, as they are known in the previous anthropological literature, engage with capitalism in ways that are deeply shaped by their indigenous idioms of personhood and emotion. Methodology/approach – Long-term intensive fieldwork including five weeks of pilot visits to Bugkalot land in 2004 and 2005, and fifteen months of residence from 2006 to 2008. Findings – The development of capitalism in the Bugkalot area is closely linked with the arrival of extractive industry and the entry of Igorot, Ilocano, and Ifugao settlers. Settlers claim that they have played a centrally important role in developing and ‘‘uplifting’’ the Bugkalot, and that before their arrival the Bugkalot were uncivilized and didn’ t know how to plant (irrigated) rice and cash crops. However, the Bugkalot deny that they are at the receiving end of the settlers’ tutelage. Rather, they Engaging with Capitalism: Cases from Oceania Research in Economic Anthropology, Volume 33, 199–225 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0190-1281/doi:10.1108/S0190-1281(2013)0000033010 199
  2. 2. perceive the acquisition of new knowledge and technology as initiated by themselves. Envy and desire are identified by the Bugkalot as the driving force behind their pursuit of a capitalist economy. While the continuing significance of emotional idioms is conducive to the reproduction of a traditional concept of personhood, in the Bugkalot’s responses to capitalism a new notion of self also emerges. Originality/value of chapter – Different notions of personhood are intertwined with local ideas of kinship and economic rationality. The Bugkalot’ s attempt to counter the politics of development with their own interpretation of economic change highlights the importance of indigenous agency. Keywords: The Bugkalot (Ilongot); development; economic change; emotional idioms; personhood In the past two decades, the notion that capitalism is natural or inevitable has come under sustained criticism in the social sciences (Curry, 1999, 2003; Emigh, 2004; Gibson-Graham, 2006a, 2006b; Hart & Hann, 2009; Hefner, 1998). These critiques have challenged the discourse of the structural imperatives of a hegemonic capitalism in which noncapitalist alternatives are destroyed or subsumed in a dependent relationship with capitalism. In contrast with theories of growing capitalist homogeneity, economic development is no longer projected as a linear trajectory toward capitalism, and the direction of change is perceived to be uncertain, dynamic, and diverse. Even when transitions to capitalism occur, historical and ethno- graphic studies have highlighted each case’ s historically and culturally specific characteristics (Douw, Huang, & Godley, 1999; Hann & Hart, 2011; Yang, 2000), or pointed to the structural role of difference in the mobilization of capital and labor (Tsing, 2009). Therefore, some scholars (Hefner, 1998; Smart, 1999) propose to speak of ‘‘capitalisms’’ as plural because of the term’s value in connoting local variations. The long-standing and seemingly natural tendency for capitalism to occupy the economy, according to Gibson-Graham (2006a), is partly an artifact of the discourses and habits of thought fostered by academic theories of political economy in fields such as Marxism, development studies, and globalization studies. In other words, our theories themselves endow capitalism with so much dominance and ability to ‘‘penetrate’’ that it becomes impossible for us to see the range of economic difference that SHU-YUAN YANG200
  3. 3. actually inhabits social life. In order to loosen the hold of the naturalized hegemony of the capitalist economic discourse, advocates of a post- development approach have called for the rejection of development and the construction of different economic imaginings (Escobar, 2001, 2007, 2012; Rahnema & Bawtree, 1997). Development, critical anthropologists like Ferguson (1994) and Escobar (2012) suggest, is a hypocritical claim to moral superiority on the part of the rich that obscures the economic realities of our world; or, as Patterson and Macintyre (2011, p. 10) poignantly put it, is ‘‘yet another semantic escape to meaningfully colonise the postcolony.’’ Although the reductionism, universalism, and emphasis on Western concepts of rationality characteristic of modernization theory and market- dominated assumptions of development have been heavily criticized in the academy, these tendencies can still be easily found in practice. In my fieldsite Gingin, a Bugkalot village described by the provincial government as ‘‘one of the most farflung and depressed barangay [smallest administrative unit in the Filipino government] of Dupax del Norte Municipality’’ (Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Government, 1996), older forms of modernization theory still reign supreme and a capitalist market economy is held by government agencies and the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as the model for development.1 The perceived primitiveness and irrationality of Bugkalot culture is commonly seen by the Igorot, Ifugao, and Ilocano settlers and government officials as a prime explanation for their poverty and as a hindrance to development. The missionaries of the New Tribes Mission (NTM), the dominant church in the Bugkalot area, also comment on the Bugkalot’s ‘‘irrational consumption caused by their ‘ridiculous cultural tendency’.’’2 The pervasiveness of such a discourse indicates a language of power, which operates by presenting economic conflicts and competition for land and other natural resources as matters of culture and worldview (cf. Dove, 1999). This chapter will show how these processes unfold in a so-called ‘‘transitional’’ society where a capitalist market economy is emerging. I will first give a description of the Bugkalot’s traditional subsistence economy, and briefly explain the importance of emotional idioms such as anger and envy in this egalitarian society. Then I will show how the arrival of extractive industries and labor migration brought the Bugkalot into the orbit of capitalism. The arrival of settlers has been followed by more state attempts at incorporation and development. The encroachment of settlers and state appropriation are justified within the discourses of civilization and development, which attribute negative cultural differences to the Bugkalot and view them as development deficits. The Bugkalot, however, perceive Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 201
  4. 4. the pursuit of a capitalist economy as a process initiated by themselves, and understand it as being driven by emotional factors, in continuity with their pre-capitalist economy. In their attempt to accord themselves capacities to shape economic change, market imperatives are often subordinated to the social imperatives. As pointed out by Dilley (1992, p. 2), representations of exchange are predicated on the recognition of particular forms of personhood and types of social agency. This chapter attempts to show how different notions of personhood are intertwined with local ideas of kinship and economic rationality to form a culturally specific form of modernity. TRADITIONAL SUBSISTENCE ECONOMY The Bugkalot live at the headwaters of the Cagayan River in Northern Luzon, the area where the Sierra Madre mountain range meets the Caraballo Sur. Since the sixteenth century, the name Ilongot has been used in the colonial and ethnographic literatures to designate this Austronesian- speaking people. They have also been known by various names given to them by other peoples: ‘‘Italon’’ by the Gaddang; ‘‘Ibilao’’ by the Isinai; and ‘‘Abaca,’’ derived from the name of the mountain river system where they were encountered (R. Rosaldo, 2003 [1978]; Worcester, 1906).3 All these names entered documentary records, and only at the beginning of American colonial rule was the official classification of Ilongot instituted. However, these people call themselves and their language Bugkalot.4 Traditional Bugkalot subsistence is based on shifting cultivation and hunting, supplemented by fishing and gathering of forest products. Rice is the main crop and has important social values. It is regarded as the quintessential food, as the Bugkalot use the term ‘‘cooked rice’’ (ekanen) to refer to food in general. Sweet potato, cassava, corn, millet, beans, tobacco, banana, sugar cane and a variety of vegetables are the major subsidiary crops. Neither irrigation nor draft animals were traditionally used in cultivation. The Bugkalot traditionally reside in dispersal local clusters with a population of some 65 persons divided among about 10 houses. Marriage is monogamous and post-marital residence is uxorilocal. A household may include one to three family units, living under a single roof in an unpartitioned structure, each with its own hearth and sleeping area. The domestic cycle is simple: sons marry out and daughters stay home, leaving the parental household when younger daughters marry, hence each household may be comprised of (a) a single family (the spouse set along with offspring and/or adopted children), (b) parents with one married SHU-YUAN YANG202
  5. 5. daughter, (c) parents with two married daughters, (d) two married sisters (R. Rosaldo, 1970; M. Rosaldo, 1972). The household is the dominant unit of labor in Bugkalot horticulture. In horticultural labor, cooperation between households is occasional, specific to a particular task, and must be sought out through requests of kin and neighbors (R. Rosaldo, 1979, p. 30). The household is also the unit of food consumption. While co-resident women often work the same gardens, such cooperation is not obligatory. More important than joint labor is their more or less equal contribution to the household economy. Food is served in equal portions to all individuals present at a meal (M. Rosaldo, 1972, p. 15). Local communities or settlements are united through close ties of bilateral kinship among men and women of the senior generation. Socially, the community functions as the unit of meat production and distribution. While men may hunt individually, most men join in communal hunts once or twice a week. The catch is usually butchered in a single household; part of it is cooked and consumed immediately, and the rest is divided into shares. These shares are distributed by allotting roughly an equal amount to each of the married couples in a number of households. Over time, the recruitment of workers and the pattern of distribution for collective hunts has been a major constituent of local-level politics (R. Rosaldo, 1979, p. 38). Traditionally, land was freely available and rights to it were short-term. The general principle in claiming land rights among the Bugkalot is to be the first person to occupy the land by clearing it through the slash-and-burn method. Before the intrusion of settlers into the Bugkalot territory, land was in abundant supply, and the Bugkalot did not recognize among themselves exclusive ownership right to land (M. Rosaldo, 1980, p. 4). Like many shifting cultivators in the Philippine uplands, usufruct is more important than ownership of land (Gibson, 2011; Zialcita, 2001). Because population density in their territory was low and virgin land was always available, the Bugkalot did not bequeath land.5 The usual sexual division of labor is that men hunt, fish, forage, and clear first-year swiddens while women do most of the routine gardening. Men clear the forest, pollard and chop down trees, and burn the clearing. Women’s agricultural activities include weeding, scraping the earth (to control weed growth), planting (dibbling and dropping the seed), shooing birds, and harvesting. Conceptions of gender are both reflected and defined in subsistence practices. The symmetry and complementarity of male and female activities, along with a marked symbolic parallelism between the male and female domains, are elaborated metaphorically in Bugkalot magical spells (M. Rosaldo, 1975; M. Rosaldo & Atkinson, 1975). Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 203
  6. 6. The availability of land and the relative autonomy of the relations of production contributed to the maintenance of self-sufficiency. However, the Bugkalot have long traded in the lowlands. They exchanged forest products such as dried meat, beewax, and wild honey for cloth, salt, cooking pots, knives, brass wire, beads, and other valuables. It is also recorded that as early as the eighteenth century they traded tobacco for cloth and metal objects (Perez, 1904, p. 63, quoted from R. Rosaldo, 1970, p. 3). Trade relations were tense and uneasy, with the Bugkalot feeling cheated and resentful. There was a great deal of outspoken dissatisfaction with the lowland Christian traders (Jones, 1907–1909, book V, pp. 32–33). Men held a monopoly on ta-g’at (trade, barter, exchange), which involved dangerous travel across hostile terrains as headhunting violence knew no bounds, the Bugkalot even targeted each other. The lowlanders killed the Bugkalot, too. Thus, only very brave Bugkalot men traded in the lowlands. Trade relations did not become ‘‘trade partnerships’’ or result in any kind of ‘‘peaceful symbiosis’’ (R. Rosaldo, 1970, p. 2). In fact, the Bugkalot stand out among comparable shifting cultivators of the Philippines in that they never entered into symbiotic relationships or debt-bondage with wet-rice farmers in the nearby lowland (R. Rosaldo, 1979; R. Rosaldo & M. Rosaldo, 1972). The Bugkalot’s determination to avoid debt-bondage and hierarchical relationship of any kind, including colonial incorporation (Yang, 2011a), is closely related to their egalitarianism. The Bugkalot uphold strong egalitarian norms and values. The idea of a hierarchy based on wealth, spiritual power, headhunting bravery, or knowledge and wisdom, is cultu- rally alien and suppressed. All humans are said to be the ‘‘same’’ (anog’ot); none stand out above the others, and no one can command another what to do. This sense of ‘‘sameness’’ and autonomy of one’s fellow human beings has led to a social life that is governed by persuasion and negotiation rather than by coercion and dominance (M. Rosaldo, 1973, 1980, 1991; R. Rosaldo, 1980). The necessity of equality and cooperation is epitomized in a distribution system that is indifferent to age, sex, or any other attributes of status. The notion of debt was nonexistent, and sharing did not entail an obligation to return. Maintaining the autonomous and egalitarian world of the Bugkalot is a constant and competitive process; equality is not ascribed but achieved. Concern for reputation and equality leads men and women to strive and desire for things that other people have. In local cultural idioms, the concept of liget (anger/energy/passion) is of central importance. Liget suggests the passionate energy that leads young men to labor hard, to kill, marry, and reproduce (M. Rosaldo, 1980, p. 27). Typically born of envy (apet), liget SHU-YUAN YANG204
  7. 7. grows through the heart’s reflections on the successes of an ‘‘equal’’ and ‘‘clutching’’ as it notes that one has less than the other person (ibid., p. 46). In horticulture, it is envy that stimulates industry and spurs people on to labor. Some Bugkalot say that when two women of the same household work separately they clear a larger area for planting and reap a greater yield of rice than if they were to work together (R. Rosaldo, 1979, p. 31). As a motivational force in work, envy plays an important role in the processes of economic change, which will be discussed in what follows. LOGGING, MIGRATION AND THE ORBIT OF CAPITALISM The transition from traditional subsistence economy to a market economy and emergent rural capitalism in Gingin started to take place in the 1970s. The earliest manifestations of incorporation into capitalism were the arrival of extractive industry and labor migration. A large-scale migration of settlers to the Bugkalot area began in the late 1950s. The original impetus for migration was state-supported relocation projects for Ibaloi, Kankanai, Kallahan, and Ifugao peoples directly impacted by the construction of the Ambuklao Dam (1956) and the Binga Dam (1960) in the Province of Benguet.6 The well-known bounty of the Sierra Madre and the availability of patches of land in the mountain range were attractive to the people of the Cordillera. Although officially only a few were entitled to be resettled with government support, many of the disenfranchised migrated with the others on their own (Aquino, 2004, p. 177). Because of the encroachment of settlers, the Bugkalot started to lay claims to previously cleared areas and to parcel their common land into individual shares as an attempt to resist these settlers more efficiently (M. Rosaldo, 1980, p. 4, 1991, p. 157; R. Rosaldo, 1980, p. 277). However, this incipient notion of private land ownership did not provide an efficient defense mechanism. In fact, it might even have facilitated the loss of their land to the subsequent settlers. Because the Bugkalot did not perceive land as scarce or think of it as something permanently ‘‘owned,’’ they easily exchanged tracts of land for radios, guns, dogs, blankets, salt, sugar, cloth, cooking utensils, etc. At my fieldsite Gingin, a settlement located at the center of the Bugkalot area, the Igorot, Ifugao, Ilocano, Bicol, and Visayan settlers started to arrive in the 1970s with the logging boom. By this time, most people of Gingin had already converted to Christianity after more than one decade of evangelism, Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 205
  8. 8. and headhunting was in decline.7 The extraction of timber came from the Nueva Vizcaya side. The logging route originated in the highway town of Bambang, going through Malasin, Dupax, Belance´ , Binnuangan, Giayan, before reaching Gingin. Skilled loggers from as far away as the Bicol region and the Visayas were brought in by the logging companies. Some loggers, road builders, and drivers stayed in Gingin after their jobs at the logging companies were finished. Several of them courted Bugkalot women, married, and acquired land from their affines. However, a majority of them, like settlers in other frontier societies in the Philippines (Li, 2002; Lopez, 1987), tended to regard indigenous land as state land, and treated it as open access. The arrival of settlers, the ‘‘territorial spearhead of the state’’ (de Koninck, 1996), was soon followed by state attempts at incorporation of the Bugkalot. In 1976, the first elementary school was established in Gingin. But in the first year, no lowland teacher dared to come because of the notorious reputation of the Bugkalot as headhunters. From 1978 to the mid-1980s, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) launched several development projects in Gingin, including (re)settlement projects, irrigation, and wet-rice cultivation aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in the uplands. These development projects were related to the green revolution in the lowlands, and they were also driven by the government’s persistent desire to involve the Bugkalot in sedentary agriculture in order to make them more controllable. Shifting cultivation is regarded by the government as not merely inferior to the system of irrigated rice cultivation, but explicitly as something bad – irrational, destructive, unenvironmental, and uncontrollable (cf. Dove, 1985). These ideas persist among government officials despite much evidence to the contrary (Conklin, 1957; Thrup, Hecht, & Browder, 1997). The settlement project was originally intended for the Igorot and the Ifugao displaced by the construction of the Ambuklao and the Binga Dam in the Cordillera. Gingin was chosen as a settlement site because the government regarded it as state land, basically treating the Bugkalot as squatters. The indigenous residents of Gingin found the DAR’s project, which aimed at bringing in more settlers, troubling. As one DAR official who had lived in Gingin for eight months at the beginning of the project told me, the Bugkalot were highly suspicious of the settlers, and they were afraid that the settlers would poison the water to kill them all and get their land. Thus, they asked their relatives, who had migrated to Lipuga, Pelaway, and Cawayan during World War II in order to flee from the Japanese soldiers invading the area, to move back to Gingin as a strategy of defending their territory against the settlers. As an elderly woman Apun Maria succinctly SHU-YUAN YANG206
  9. 9. answered when I inquired about the reason for their return: deg’in (land).8 Free housing provided by the DAR for all Gingin residents was not the most important incentive. They decided to move back to Gingin because the lands here were ‘‘fat’’ (oabe, fertile) and beautiful (okedeng). Extractive industry brought the first opportunities for wage labor employ- ment in Gingin. Some Bugkalot men began to work as day laborers in road construction or sawmills, but the wage was low and the employment was too unstable to provide a dependable livelihood. Shifting cultivation was still the base of the household economy, but sedentarization and population growth have shortened the fallowing period considerably. Although some Bugkalot spoke with nostalgia for the aesthetic beauty of work exemplified in pollarding, chainsaws, a time-saver and one of the emblems of modernity, were favored over axes and machetes in cutting down the trees. The impact of development and economic change was gendered. Men were more associated with wage-earning, the acquisition of commodities, and the introduction of wet-rice cultivation. The construction of irrigation system and rice paddies was men’s aspiration and responsibility. Men diverted some of their time and energy to agricultural development from hunting, which had diminished due to the depletion of game as a result of logging. However, the scale of wet-rice cultivation among the Bugkalot was much smaller compared to that of the Igorot, Ifugao, and Ilocano settlers because Bugkalot men traditionally had little to do with the production of rice. In the mid-1980s, the DAR left Gingin in fear of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, who burnt the DAR’s office in Belance´ in 1986 and terrorized the region. Although it was not uncommon to see the NPA interacting and forming reciprocal relationships with local people in the remote mountainous areas of the Philippines (Kwiatkowski, 2008; Shimizu, 2011, p. 6), the Bugkalot had violent encounters with the NPA and even perceived them to be assisting the land grabbers (Yang, 2011b). After peace and order were restored in the area, the DAR returned in the early 1990s to surveying and titling the land, all part of the ongoing resettlement project. The legal foundation of land titling was provided by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (Republic Act No. 6657). The DAR did not have enough staff or resources to survey the whole area of Gingin, so those who wanted land titles had to take the initiative themselves and apply. Land titles acquired under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 are different from those under other schemes based on communal tenures (Brown, 1994); they are private properties, which are alienable. Settlers were very keen on obtaining land titles, which they considered a guarantee of Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 207
  10. 10. their land security. Some Bugkalot applied for land titles, but many did not see the usefulness of a piece of paper that carried an obligation to pay taxes to the government and, as a result, did not apply for land titles.9 In the 1980s, the nearest lowland town, Bambang, became the main trading center of commercial vegetable gardening in the Cagayan Valley (Sajor, 1999, p. 107). However, the cultivation of cash crops did not spread to Gingin until the turn of this century due to transportation barriers and the lack of capital. The first person to plant cash crops was an Igorot from Baguio, whose sister married a local Bugkalot man. From 1997 to 2002, he borrowed his brother-in- law’s land in Ganipa, about one hour’s hike from Gingin proper, to grow string beans, pepper, and tomatoes. At that time, jeepneys did not come to Gingin but to Ganipa only. Also, the schedule was not regular. Frequently, he had to use carabao (water buffalo) to haul his products to Giayan for transportation to the market. In 1999, a man of mixed Ilocano and Igorot descent, newly married to a Bugkalot girl, moved to Gingin and started to plant sweet beans in Manog’atog’, a sitio (local cluster, settlement) of Gingin about one hour’s hike from the main settlement. In 2003, Ilocano and Igorot settlers started to plant cash crops in gardens near Gingin proper. In 2005 and 2006, more Bugkalot joined them to produce cash crops. The cultivation of cash crops is labor and capital intensive. Labor is not a problem, but getting the capital to obtain seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural tools to start commercial vegetable gardening is a highly challenging task for the people of Gingin. Few of them, mostly barangay officials, were able to get development funds from the DAR or the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the form of interest-free loans. The purpose of providing interest-free loans to the Bugkalot, as a DAR official explained to me, is ‘‘to bring them closer to the government.’’10 However, the majority of aspiring commercial gardeners were not beneficiaries of these interest-free loans, and they had to improvise and use kinship and other social ties. Some settlers had relatives in the Cordillera or the lowland working abroad and acquired remittance as their capital.11 The Bugkalot, however, had to sell their carabaos or pawn (sangla) their lands or guns to the settlers to get start-up funds. The scale of cash crop cultivation has therefore typically been small. In their attempts to obtain capital to start commercial vegetable gardening, the people of Gingin began to use their land titles as collateral to apply for bank loans. In 2004, Rofoldo, an Ilocano settler who married a local Bugkalot woman, used one of their land titles to apply successfully for a loan of 30,000 pesos (around USD530) from the Cooperative Bank of Nueva Vizcaya located in Solano. The loan came from the government’s SHU-YUAN YANG208
  11. 11. National Livelihood Support Fund, which was later renamed National Livelihood Development Corporation. Rofoldo’s success in getting a bank loan caused quite a stir in Gingin. Despite the fact that the interest charged by the bank was unreasonably high, at the annual rate of 16%, soon many people made inquiries to him about the process of applying for bank loans.12 Later in 2004, a young Bugkalot woman who married an Ilocano used her carabao as collateral to get a loan of 10,000 pesos, and with this capital, she was able to open a small grocery store. In 2005, at least 11 Bugkalot were successful in getting bank loans. In concurrence with this sudden and sharp increase of cash in their daily lives, land grabbing among the Bugkalot themselves began to happen and caused an increase in social tensions in Gingin (Yang, 2012). The apparent embrace of the market economy is reflected in the Bugkalot’s enthusiasm for cash cropping. Because of their desire to obtain pecuniary benefits from capitalist ventures, however, they are exposed to the risks and opportunities of market participation. Some people failed to repay their bank loans and as a result lost their land. At first, those Bugkalot who failed to repay their bank loans sold their lands to fellow Gingin residents, either settlers or Bugkalot who had owned land in Pelaway or Lipuga and had received large sums of compensation after the building of the Casecnan Dam, and then used the money to repay their bank loans. However, more and more people chose to ignore the repayment of their bank loans simply because they couldn’t find the money. The bank decided not to grant new loans to Gingin residents in 2008, but at this time, the number of loans had grown to 38 and the total amount reached 1 million pesos (about USD19,000). Today, residents of the Bugkalot area earn their livelihood by various means. These include shifting cultivation on newly clearly forest land; production of cash crops; gathering and selling of forest products, such as rattan; tree crop holdings, usually small in scale; and wage labor in extractive industries. As in other parts of the Southeast Asian uplands (Li 1999a, p. xviii), these systems of production and the livelihoods they provide are more often found in combination than as separate pure forms. DISCOURSES OF CIVILIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT On the Bugkalot’s road to incorporation within the global economy, the arrival of extractive industries and settlers played a key role. The settlers justify their encroachment into the ancestral domain of the Bugkalot by Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 209
  12. 12. presenting themselves as bearers of civilization and progress. While the Bugkalot think Igorot and Ifugao settlers have more in common with them than the lowlanders, and point to shared cultural practices such as chewing betel nut, wearing a g-string, and dancing with outstretched arms, the settlers consider the Bugkalot to be more ‘‘primitive’’ and ‘‘less industrious’’ than themselves (cf. R. Rosaldo, 1970, p. 14). It is very common to hear sentiments such as the following: ‘‘Before the Igorot came here, the Bugkalot were not civilized. The Igorot are the ones who teach them how to plant rice, how to garden.’’ ‘‘The Bugkalot are lazy. They only like hunting. They have no rice field, no garden.’’ The notion that wet-rice cultivation is more ‘‘advanced’’ and shifting cultivation more ‘‘primitive’’ has a long history in the Philippines. It is one of the criteria for the colonial classification of ethnic groups. These classificatory systems lent themselves to policy regimes based on a perceived hierarchy of civilization. Dean Worcester, the Secretary of the Interior (1901–1913) who set up the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, praised the Ifugao and the Igorot for being very skillful in raising rice, which they grow on ‘‘wonderful’’ terraces with strong retaining walls, while the Ilongot ‘‘cultivate forest clearings in a haphazard sort of way’’ (Worcester, 1909, p. 1209). The Igorot and the Ifugao were incorporated into the colonial state much earlier than the Bugkalot, as they became Christians and gave up headhunting during the American colonial period. Although they were also subjected to the discourse of evolutionary civilization under colonial rule, they now see themselves as more progressive than and superior to the Bugkalot. Even after the adoption of irrigated rice and cash crop cultivation by the Bugkalot, the perception that the Bugkalot are ‘‘lagging behind’’ remains strong among the settlers. The alleged laziness and the irrationality the settlers consider inherent in Bugkalot culture are commonly seen as the reasons for Bugkalot underdevelopment. For example, when Topdek needed to find some money for his son who was studying in the lowland, he tried to borrow from an Igorot woman who lived in Manog’atog’. She said that she had no money to lend him, but offered to harvest Topdek’s ginger and galiang (a kind of taro) for sale to Bambang. She paid 800 pesos for the whole lot of ginger and 8 or 10 pesos per piece for galiang, depending on the size. Topdek received nearly 1,500 pesos in total. However, after gathering two sacks of galiang and three sacks of ginger and selling them to her cousin, who owned a vegetable buying station in Bambang, she made a profit of roughly the same amount. She told me that she was able to use the opportunity and make a profit because: ‘‘The Bugkalot are lazy. They don’t SHU-YUAN YANG210
  13. 13. know how to secure money. Why didn’t Topdek harvest his ginger and galiang himself and sell them in Bambang? He would have gotten much more money that way.’’ I protested against the Bugkalot’s alleged laziness, since I knew the reason why Topdek’s family were not able to harvest ginger and galiang themselves was because they were busy harvesting upland rice. She laughed and added: ‘‘That’s because they are irrational. Why do they harvest rice one by one (one stalk at a time)? It’s so inefficient.’’ Working in swiddens is devalued by the settlers. In their opinions, it lacks intensity and does not constitute industry or diligence. The Bugkalot’s culturally specific way of harvesting rice one stalk at a time (denseyet) with a finger knife (lasab) is often mocked by the settlers and said to typify their inefficiency and irrationality. The settlers criticize the Bugkalot for their irrationality not only in production but also in consumption. Both the ways in which the Bugkalot divide food in equal portions to everyone present at a meal, from toddlers to the elderly, and their tolerance of frequent uninvited visitors who turn up expected to be fed is regarded as evidence of Bugkalot’s irrationality. Igorot, Ifugao, and Ilocano women who married Bugkalot men lament how difficult it was for them to persuade their mother-in-laws not to give the same amount of food to small children, and how annoyed they were by the Bugkalot’s habit of turning up uninvited for a meal and making importunate demands to share what they have. ‘‘In this way nobody can become rich,’’ they complained, ‘‘if the relatives keep coming and asking for things.’’ Mundane commensality in everyday life is a culturally deep expression of egalitarianism among the Bugkalot (Yang, 2011c). However, for the settlers sharing is an onerous cultural habit that needs to be remedied because it constitutes a hindrance to wealth accumulation and economic development. The settlers admit that they also share, but they emphasize ‘‘not to such an extent.’’ According to the settlers, the extremeness of sharing among the Bugkalot is an economic drag that impedes rational planning for the future. This is also the perspective of the NGOs that come to teach the Bugkalot ‘‘how to plan for the future’’ and ‘‘how to help themselves so they don’t become a burden to others.’’13 The Cordillera-Caraballo Mission is an NGO with Christian background and support. It operates mainly in the Cordillera and is run by the Igorot. In 2007, it started to expand to the Sierra Madre region and sent four people to Gingin to explore the possibility of promoting coffee cultivation here. Some settlers and Bugkalot already planted a small amount of coffee trees in the area, but mainly for self-consumption. This NGO intends to promote Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 211
  14. 14. large-scale coffee plantation, to be ‘‘the bridge between farmers and capitalists,’’ and find a market for locally produced coffee beans. ‘‘The Bugkalot have a lot of catching up to do,’’ according to Gary Tindaan, the leader of the Cordillera-Caraballo Mission, ‘‘so they are in need of our help in adapting to the modern world.’’14 In his view, the source of the Bugkalot’s poverty and underdevelopment is their deficiency in self- interested calculation and making optimal economic decisions. Parts of their cultural ethos such as demand sharing are detrimental to accumulation and result in apparent difficulties regarding the funding of cash crop production. They also need to improve in areas of time management and planning for the future. Gary said that he thought the Bugkalot were ‘‘existentialists’’ because ‘‘they live for the present only; they don’t think about tomorrow.’’ He observed that Bugkalot women pounded rice before lunch and they usually only pounded for one meal, indicating that they ‘‘live for the present’’ and don’t store for the future or plan ahead. Another clear example of their ‘‘living for the present,’’ he added, was the Bugkalot’s conspicuous consumption. The Bugkalot frequently sold their land to the settlers in order to acquire modern things like televisions or generators, he said, and when some Bugkalot made a profit from cash crops, they did not think about how to invest wisely in future production, but spent their hard-earned money on televisions, cell phones, and even motorbikes. Gary asked me, in a village without electricity and cellular service, ‘‘don’t you think the Bugkalot are crazy to waste their money on these things? They need to learn how to secure money and save for the future. They must change their attitude in order to join the mainstream.’’ The myth of the lazy native (Alatas, 1977) and the myth of the profligate native (Drayton, 2000) have been used to justify dispossession in the colonial period. These ideologies of colonial capitalism are hard to dispel among government agencies and the NGOs promoting agricultural development because they now feed into Filipino middle class assumptions about the working class. Class discourse continues to constitute a kind of racial ‘‘othering’’ when negative cultural differences are attributed to the Bugkalot and identified as hindrances to development. Development programs often do not achieve their intended goals. The Cordillera-Caraballo Mission’s coffee cultivation project was short-lived; it was abandoned (‘‘suspended’’) in less than six months. In 2008, however, the NGO began another project. They attempted to lobby Smart and Globe, the two largest cellular service providers in the Philippines, to build a communication tower in Gingin. Gary persuaded a local Bugkalot to offer a piece of his titled land as the construction site and acquired the approval SHU-YUAN YANG212
  15. 15. of all barangay officials. He refused to admit that their coffee project was ill- conceived in the first place, and held on to his paternalistic claims that their intervention will improve the Bugkalot’s economic sense and help them to join the mainstream. My Bugkalot friend who worked for the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) commented that ‘‘almost every development project has failed.’’15 However, ‘‘development’’ involves a self-confirming logic: to the extent that livelihoods are not improved, projects fail to produce, services are poor, and people recalcitrant, these only prove that more ‘‘development’’ is needed (Ferguson, 1994; Li, 1999b, 2007). The Bugkalot of Gingin are not unaware of the reductionism and paternalism inherent in these discourses of development, and they counter the claim to expertise in optimizing the lives of others contained in these discourses with their own view of how they acquire new knowledge and technology in the processes of economic change. THE ACQUISITION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY AS AN EMOTIONAL PROCESS: A COUNTER-DISCOURSE The Igorot, Ifugao, and Ilocano settlers claim that they have played a centrally important role in developing and ‘‘uplifting’’ the Bugkalot, and that before their arrival the Bugkalot were uncivilized and didn’t know how to plant (irrigated) rice and cash crops. Local government officials and NGOs workers, who are predominantly Igorot, Ifugao, and Ilocano, share this view. However, the Bugkalot characterize the settlers’ attitude toward them as one of enbebengen or en-aamit (devaluing, belittling, discriminating), an attitude that intends to make the recipient enbetang (ashamed). There are a lot of outspoken dissatisfactions about this. The Bugkalot do not see the settlers as the agents of civilization and modernity, and deny that they are at the receiving end of the settlers’ tutelage. Rather, they perceive the acqui- sition of new knowledge and technology as a process initiated by themselves for emotional reasons. Envy (apet, apig’) and desire (g’amak) are identified by the Bugkalot as the driving forces behind their pursuit of a capitalist economy. I have described above how, among the Bugkalot, it is envy that stimulates industry and spurs people on to labor. They also use the emo- tional idiom of envy to explain how they have obtained new technologies of irrigated rice and cash crop cultivation. The first person to open rice paddies Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 213
  16. 16. in Gingin was Apun Tino, a Tagalog missionary for the New Tribes Mission who moved here in 1959. In the late 1970s, when the DAR brought development programs in Gingin and supplied agricultural tools, seeds, and fertilizers to promote irrigated rice cultivation in order to increase agricultural productivity in the uplands, Apun Tino was the first person to respond to the opportunity and opened his rice paddies. He described how the Bugkalot treated his endeavor with suspicion and even mockery at the beginning, but became envious after they saw his first harvest and followed his example, building their own rice paddies: When I opened my rice paddies, I had no carabao to plough the land and haul the stones for constructing the walls of the rice terraces. I had to build them with my bare hands. The Bugkalot did not believe that I could build rice terraces in this way, and they often laughed at me when they passed by my land. I was determined to prove to them that it could be done. I worked terribly hard and often until late at night. When the moonlight was good, I went home after 10 o’clock. It took me several months to finish the job. The Bugkalot’s attitude changed when they saw my first harvest from rice paddies. Sangpol and Siklab’s father Tobeng were so impressed by the bounty of my harvest; they became envious (meaapet) and built their own rice paddies. I wondered how could technological acquisition be so straightforward and seemingly effortless? And Apun Tino answered that the Bugkalot were horticulturalists, so it was not difficult for them to learn new agricultural knowledge.16 The same applied to cash crop cultivation. When I enquired about how the Bugkalot began to plant cash crops, envy was given as the motivating reason. The first person to plant sweet beans in Gingin was Joe, a man of mixed Ilocano and Igorot descent who married a Bugkalot woman. He acquired capital from his Igorot mother, who was working abroad and sent back remittances. In 1999, he planted sweet beans in Manog’atog’, and kept his first harvest as seeds for planting future crops. In 2006, the market price for sweet beans was high and he made very good profits. His Bugkalot wife Linda explained to me that other Bugkalot then followed her husband’s example to plant sweet beans in this way: ‘‘When other people saw Joe’s sweet beans, they became envious (meaapet). They wanted to have their own sweet beans, so they followed Joe’s example to plant sweet beans.’’17 The Bugkalot have long recognized angry envy as a motivating force in work (M. Rosaldo, 1980, p. 44). Anger is the product of envy, and envy is created when the ideals of sameness and equality are breached (M. Rosaldo, 1991, p. 154). Envy and the striving to eliminate difference or inequality lead to the formulation of a certain kind of agency and personhood: what the Bugkalot call equal humans (anog’otsin too), each with the same worth and SHU-YUAN YANG214
  17. 17. autonomy. When the Bugkalot interpret the acquisition of new technology and their engagement with capitalism as a process initiated by themselves for emotional reasons, rather than by the settlers who encroach into their territory, they accord themselves capacities to shape social formations and assert themselves as agents contributing to the making of change. In the Bugkalot’s engagement with capitalism, motivation is more important than the technical process. The impulse to re-establish equality is more important than gaining more money or learning to be modern per se. Their culturally formed desires and wants are reflected in their patterns of production and consumption, as well as in land disputes. I have discussed elsewhere (Yang, 2012) in detail the issue of land conflict in Gingin, and suggested that land grabbing among the Bugkalot themselves must be understood in the context of the expansion of capitalism and the commoditization of land. However, this does not mean that utilitarian reasons or economic needs should be prioritized in explaining land disputes. The Bugkalot consider envy (apet, apig’) the most important motivation for land grabbing. It is said that when the Pasigians of Yamu, ‘‘the number one land grabber in Gingin’’ (ibid., p. 92), saw others with things they did not have, such as chainsaws, televisions, and generators, they become envious (meaapet, en-apig’), so they grabbed other peoples’ lands in order to sell them to the unknowing settlers, satisfying their desires for these things. Again, when the Pasigians saw other people able to get big loans from the bank with their land titles, while they themselves had no land title, they were envious, so they grabbed other peoples’ land. We can also see the continuing significance of emotional idioms in the land dispute between Lisa and Dengpag. After Gading-an died, Lisa started to till one of his parcels of land in Yamu. The land was steep and stony and was not considered good land, but Lisa liked it because of its close location to Gingin that would save her a lot of time hiking to oma (swidden) every morning. She hoped to acquire the land by clearing and cultivating it, as the Bugkalot had done before. Nobody objected when she opened her oma there. However, after Lisa reaped a bumper harvest, Dengpag told her that Gading-an had given the land to him before his death, and he demanded its return. He did not cultivate it or sell it but left it fallow, and he was said to be ‘‘just envious of Lisa’s good harvest.’’ Most economic work on the emotions focuses on the role of the emotions in sustaining or preventing cooperative interactions (Elster, 1996). Although economists occasionally use emotional terms such as envy, shame, or guilt, their interests usually lie in the interconnection between emotions and material self-interest, and in formulating a cost–benefit model of emotions. Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 215
  18. 18. The emotion of envy is usually modeled as costs in the context of the Ultimate Game (Elster, 1998), since the standard view of the relations between rationality and emotion is that emotions interfere with rationality (Elster, 1996, p. 1394, 2004). However, the role of emotions cannot be reduced to that of shaping the reward parameters for rational choice (Elster, 1998, p. 73). In the Bugkalot’s case, envy motivates and shapes choices, including choices that may be considered ‘‘rational’’ because they lead to the generation of wealth. It is closely linked to the culturally grounded notion of personhood, and acquires meanings through its association with social interaction and activity in daily life. While the continuing significance of emotional idioms is conducive to the reproduction of traditional concept of personhood, in the Bugkalot’s engagement with capitalism a new notion of self also emerges. RELATIONAL PERSONHOOD AND THE MODERN INDIVIDUAL The Philippine government and local NGOs see development as ‘‘joining the mainstream,’’ as progress along the linear trajectory of modern forms of economic rationality and self-interested calculation. Most development practices are powered by market forces and models (Gudeman, 2001, p. 158), and the notion of the modern individual – the rational, self-interested maximizer – is implied in these models. The idea that Bugkalot culture, especially the habit of demand sharing and a distribution system that is indifferent to age, sex, or any other attributes of status, constitutes an obstacle to development and rational planning for the future, is derived from such models. The settlers or better-off Bugkalot often complain about their Bugkalot relatives who make a demand to share what they have, saying: ‘‘they just want to be given, rather than to earn themselves.’’ Demand sharing is criticized as dependency and considered by the ‘‘progressive’’ individuals to be a Bugkalot cultural custom that needs to be changed, like headhunting. In order to circumvent the demands of kin, a new notion of ‘‘abusive relatives’’ was created by church leaders. Kinship obligations of mutual assistance and reciprocity are still recognized as positive values; however, if demand sharing occurs too frequently, it is labeled as abusive (abuso, adopted from Tagalog). The missionaries and church elders often advise the congregation to be economically in- dependent and, through the Christian moral ethos of self-discipline and SHU-YUAN YANG216
  19. 19. self-examination, not to be a burden to their kin. Christianity is deployed ‘‘to foster an individual locus of agency and responsibility’’ (Tomlinson, 2011, p. 155). So far, however, this doesn’t seem to have been very effective. Grocery stores owned by the Bugkalot often become insolvent because relatives do not pay their debts. It is also quite common to see people demand to share food or resources when they could feasibly provide these for themselves. For example, Elsa was wealthy enough to own a TV, but she went to her uncle’s house twice a week to do her family’s laundry and stayed for lunch because her house was not equipped with water hose. Again, on the evening Edward bought a motorbike and caused quite a stir in the village, his mother went to her neighbor’s house to ask for salt. It is difficult to circumvent the demands of kin. Those who refuse to share are easily labeled as selfish and stingy (besi, demut). The Bugkalot have an expression, ‘‘money is not your relative’’ (awana katan-agimo ma pilak), which means that money is for spending and not holding on to. This saying is not anti-commoditization or condemning of profit-oriented motives, but it does express a feeling that market imperatives should be subordinated to social norms. In the past, patterns of food distribution defined and altered social units, and refusal to share was considered a denial of social relationships, which operated in terms of shame and insult. The consequence of not sharing was anger and revenge (M. Rosaldo, 1980, pp. 77–78). Anger and indignation spring from a relational model of personhood in which people are understood to have a range of legitimate claims on others for support (cf. Wardlow, 2005). These emotional idioms still find resonance in the contemporary context of social change, and the Bugkalot are careful not to arouse anger in others. There have been cases of sabotage caused by anger at material disparity and the desire to re-establish equality. In Bugkalot traditional concept of the person, individuality is recognized. Of central importance to their notion of personhood is g’inawa (heart). Heart is at once a physical organ, a source of action and awareness, and a locus of vitality and will. It provides a ground that links thought, feeling, and physical well-being, and ties natural and social processes to the development of the self (M. Rosaldo, 1980, p. 36, her spelling: rinawa). The Bugkalot acknowledge continuities between the person and its experienced milieu, which means that all peoples are potentially the same, differing primarily according to differences in their social situations (ibid., p. 225). People’s hearts differ according to age, sex, character, experience, and knowledge; as a result, no two hearts are the same. However, Bugkalot talk of hearts is less concerned with the ‘‘inner self’’ than with the affective quality of the social Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 217
  20. 20. world, and emotional idioms always acquire meaning with reference to their social use and situation. Thus, the individuality recognized by the Bugkalot can be described as ‘‘socially embedded individuality’’ (Errington & Gewertz, 1995, p. 117), which should be understood as very different from that characteristic of the recent West wherein individuality was marked, at least ideologically, by the sense of self-sufficiency that allowed a person to remove himself or herself from social contexts (ibid.). Modernity emphasizes progress and renewal through identification with the triumphs of Western-style economics, politics, material culture, science, and aesthetics (Berman, 1992, p. 33). In the capitalist-centered development discourse, each person should be independent, self-sufficient, and autono- mous, take responsibility for himself or herself, and accumulate wealth for the future. This is a concept of essentially atomized individuals who pursue self-interest with calculation and means-to-ends reasoning, which differs from the Bugkalot’s concept of relational personhood. While we still cannot find among the Bugkalot Macpherson’s image of the individual who is ‘‘essentially the proprietor of his own person and capacities, owing nothing to society’’ (Macpherson, 1962, p. 3), in the process of their engagement with capitalism, something like possessive individualism is emerging. The Bugkalot are now familiar with the notion of the rational maximizer who aims at accumulation assumed in the development discourse, and their attempt to constrain sharing and relationality is reflected in the newly created concept of ‘‘abusive relatives.’’ The negotiation of these notions is indicative of the emergence of the possessive individual. It is highly contested and has been slow to take strong hold among the Bugkalot. As Sykes (2007, p. 213) points out, ‘‘possessive individualism advances by outlining the terms of its own critique.’’ However, the recognition that there is more than one way to constitute a person in a contemporary context shows that ‘‘possessive individualism can root itself in relational soil without draining it of the nutrients by which it feeds ‘‘traditional’’ social forms’’ (Robbins, 2007, p. 304). CONCLUSION Economic change, as Hefner (1990, p. 2) observes, is never just a matter of technological diffusion, market rationalization, or ‘‘capitalist penetration.’’ Deep down, it is also a matter of community, morality, and power. I have shown how development continues to play a role in strategies of cultural and social domination because development still ultimately embodies a global SHU-YUAN YANG218
  21. 21. imaginary of modernization (Rojas & Kindornay, forthcoming, p. 13, quoted from Escobar, 2012, p. xvi). The Bugkalot are aware that the claim to expertise in optimizing the lives of others inherent to development regimes is a claim to power (Li, 2007, p. 5), and they counter the politics of development with their own interpretation of how they acquired new knowledge and technologies in the processes of economic change. They deny that they are passive recipients or beneficiaries of development programs, and assert themselves as the agents contributing to the making of change. Envy and desire, emotional idioms central to Bugkalot traditional concept of personhood, are identified by the Bugkalot as the driving force behind their pursuit of capitalist economy. The primacy of emotional idioms as interpretative frameworks of economic change has contributed to the reproduction of traditional forms of personhood and sociality. The Bugkalot’s apparent embrace of capitalist economy has not led to a ‘‘break in embeddedness’’ (Granovetter, 1985, p. 482). The economy is still very much entangled with the social and the cultural; it has not become a separate, differentiated sphere. The Bugkalot saying ‘‘money is not your relatives’’ (awana katan-agimo ma pilak) expresses the subordination of market imperatives to kinship and social norms, and the inseparability of the moral and the material. Building on the foundation of a relational concept of the economy (Curry & Koczberski, 2009), the Bugkalot have created a localized capitalism with vestiges and transferences of tradition. Their engagement with capitalism has followed a path of what Sahlins (2005) calls ‘‘develop-man’’: capitalism has been indigenized to enrich the local culture. Among the Bugkalot, the relationship between capitalist and noncapital- ist systems and practices cannot be seen as a sharp divide, replacement, or a seamless integration. It is a more of a relationship of co-existence, with variable interplay or articulation. For most of the time the former is subordinated to the latter. However, the juggle between capitalist and noncapitalist practices and values also creates new predicaments. Land grabbing among the Bugkalot themselves is an obvious violation of kinship norms. Sharing is also increasingly regarded as a burden by some Bugkalot, especially those aspire to expand their capitalist ventures (Yang, 2011c). More alarming is their exposure to what Li (2010, p. 388) calls ‘‘mechanisms of dispossession’’: they have debt, the interest the bank charges is too high, the price fetched by their commodities is too low, the cost of inputs exceeds outputs, they cannot make ends meet. These dispossessory effects of the capitalist processes emerging ‘‘from below’’ (ibid., p. 396) are entrenching the Bugkalot at a disadvantaged position within the global economy. Economic Engagement Among the Bugkalot 219
  22. 22. NOTES 1. The original meaning of barangay in Tagalog is boat. It is the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines. 2. Interview with Pastor Tino took place in Gingin on November 3, 2007. However, other missionaries such as Pastor Romy also made similar comments. 3. Keesing (1962, p. 70) considered ‘‘Italon’’ and ‘‘Ibilao’’ also local names derived from the mountain river system in which the Ilongot were encountered. 4. Because Bugkalot is an endonym, I will use Bugkalot. But when I quote previous studies or what people have said, I will keep the name Ilongot. 5. The population density in the Bugkalot area, according to R. Rosaldo’s estimate (1979, p. 29), is less than 1.6 persons per square kilometer. 6. The Bugkalot do not distinguish between Ibaloi, Kankanai, and Kallahan, and refer to them as Igorot (‘‘golot’’). 7. The first non-Bugkalot to settle in Gingin was Florentino Santos, a Tagalog missionary for the New Tribes Mission. He was one of the earliest missionaries to evangelize the Bugkalot. In 1954, he arrived at Taang (now Pelaway) to spread the gospel. In 1959, he married a Bugkalot woman and they moved to Gingin at the end of the year. Because of his special status as a missionary and the fact that he gained permission to move there from one of Gingin’s beg’angat (big one, elder), Dangsal Gumiad, he was perceived differently from other settlers. The missionaries brought airstrips and mission stations which became ‘‘trading centers’’ for the Bugkalot. 8. In order to protect the Bugkalot’s privacy, most names mentioned in this article are pseudonyms. 9. In fact, those who obtained land titles did not bother to pay taxes either, that is, until they wanted to use land titles as collateral to apply for bank loans. 10. Like the Lihirians (Bainton & Macintyre, 2013), the Bugkalot also have a tendency to see interest-free loans as gifts. 11. McKay (2003, 2005) discussed how remittance changed land-use patterns and local landscape among the Ifugao of Cordillera. 12. Such a high interest rate, according to the bank manager, is justified because the bank has to pay 9.5% interest to the National Livelihood Development Corporation. 13. Gary Tindaan, the leader of the Cordillera-Caraballo Mission, and his fellow NGO workers explained their purpose of coming to Gingin to me on May 8, 2007. 14. Interview with Gary was conducted in Gingin on May 8, 2007. 15. Interview with Lasin took place in Belance´ on April 2, 2008. 16. This reminded me of Worcester’s remarks that contrary to his expectation, Ilongot children have proved to be bright, learning to speak English and to do industrial work quickly in two American schools established for them (1909, p. 1209). 17. I often worked with Linda’s family in their swiddens during my fieldwork, and she made such a comment to me several times. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The fieldwork among the Bugkalot on which this chapter is based was generously funded by the National Science Council of Taiwan and the SHU-YUAN YANG220
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