Uploaded by powsamon


The "Inayan" Concept among Igorots
We can solve Graft and Corruption by having the Inayan concept!
So lucky that I was doctrined with the Inayan concept of the Igorot culture.
Inayan signifies fear to the perceived Supreme Being. Thus, this sense of Inayan prevent one
person from doing unpleasant doings. Inayan has a religious overtone as it cites a moral from the Ten
Commandments, illustrates the popular significance of inayan as a warning or caution in the conduct of
things and uses inayanas an exclamation to express disappointment or annoyance.
Culture must not be forgotten. This was the advocacy of senior citizens who sat as official-for-aday in Benguet on Monday, October 1. Customary laws are legislative by Council of Elders with attached
moral or spiritual aspects found out later to be parallel to Biblical laws as subsumed in the Igorot sense
of inayan, lawlawa baw, mangisiw, ngaag, and madmadi.
Even the word value means has many different meanings, and placing Igorot to quality it, would
only further complicate its meaning. Values could also have either good or bad implication.
There are also Igorot attributes that are either good or bad depending on how it is taken or
applied. The ba-in (meaning shame but perhaps best interpreted as shyness or dishonorable) of the
modern-day Igorot could be a hindrance to his/her from showing his/her full professional development
and advancement if it keeps him/her from showing his/her full potential.
Similarly the inayan value could play for or against his/her day-to-day endeavors. Because
of inayan (be careful attitude and fear of the unknown) one tends to avoid taking risks, but on the other
hand it also keeps one from engaging in some bad or unwanted deeds. The spirituality of the Igorots in
general is encompassed in their strong belief on the power of the Almighty referred as Kabunyan,
Alawagan, Lumauig or sometimes termed as Adikaila, Nintootongdo or Manakaalin. With such belief, the
core values of inayan, laaton, may kasiyana, lawlawa baw etc. are their guiding philosophies in their
everyday living.
Inayan according to Solang is a community value similar to the popularly known karma or the
concept of “you reap what you sow”. This value he said cautions as individual against violating cultural
norms or taboos. He said this is a cultural value that instills discipline, order and harmony among
individuals within families and clans, within the village or tribe, and with the environment. In other
tribes, inayan is calledpaniyew or paniyaw.
Inayan is a lexicon in the Kankanaey language, which is spoken mainly by the Kankanaey
ethnologies group inhabiting the western part of the Mountain Province covering the municipalities
of Bauko, Besao, Sagada, and Tadian. Kankanaeys are also found in the found in the northern Benguet
province area spanning theMankayan, Buguias, Kibungan, Kapangan and Guidzadan municipalities.
Inayan means to hold back or to prevent from doing from doing something unpleasant. It is also
a mild expression like “shucks”. This two meaning present the word as an ordinary verb and an
exclamation. However, a deeper investigation of the presence of the word in the Kankanaey language
culture, namely the fear of a Supreme Deity called Kabunian (God), forewarns or dissuades one from doing
anything harmful to others. The concept of Inayan deeply rooted in the culture specifically of the Sagada
and Besao Kankanaey tribes, as claimed by informants from these places. To them, inayanembodies all
virtues and morals of tribal members – humility, truthfulness, fidelity, honesty, and commitment, among
In so far as these informants from Sagada and Besao are concerned, the Inayan belief recognizes
utang na loob (the ‘I owe you a favor’Filipino concept) which in this political context, the Kankanaey
native regards as “goodness” and “kindness” coming from the giver, hence, requires a commensurate
return the favor commitment.
The Kankanaey people claim that they have a word, lawa which generically used to mean “bad”.
They also recognize that lawa does not signify a cultural value as intense as the Inayan concept.
These are some old spiritual and ethical Igorot values which are worth keeping for like the concept
of Inayan. This fear of the perceived Supreme Being affects one’s conscience , according to “Power
from the Mountains”, a book by the Bakun Indigenous Tribes Organization or BITO, a people’s
organization of the Kankanaey and Bago tribes of Bakun, Benguet. The perceived someone may not
impose any sanction, but the offender’s conscience hurts him most, and this may mean sleepless nights
for the person concerned. Another is the paniyew or fear of the unseen or the creator of humankind.
A breach of the paniyew law could spell an eternal suffering for the offender, says BITO. One also
is bain. This literally means shame. “The kankanaey and Bago society is a reproachful community. To live
in such a community upon conviction of a crime is intolerable because of bain. Bain can be too heavy for
a person to take so much so that it becomes enough punishment in itself.”
These inayan, lawa, and pamiyew concept carry a threat: if you cheat during your married life, this
will have a devastating effect in the family in the future. The worst thing is that it is considered a curse,
the misfortune does not affect the husband or wife, but the curse may pass through the innocent
victims-the children or grandchildren.
Melchora Calang-ad Chin, the composer of the “Onward IGO!” the anthem of the Igorot
Global Organization said that “Real Igorots are those who learned the ways of their ancestors, who
taught us to be honest and trustworthy, implementing the virtue of inayan.
Here are some of the instances where inayan is applied: Inayan nan adi mangpati is ina nay a ama
na, Ay no inchismis da sika, ichismis mo es daida? Inayan, Inayan di mangibubukod si gawis, Inayan sa,
Madi man ongonga ay isnan dap-ay nu obaya tay inayan kanan nan am-ama and Pakay maid paylang
chi? Inayan sa.
A Northern Benguet tribe member, the informant associates the word with a more intense
apprehension of the possible consequences as she relates inayan means scary.