The Ilocanos are known for being hardworking, appreciative, simple and determined. However, they are also known as stingy or “kuripot”. Of course, the Ilocanos being called stingy and cheap is just treated as a joke or pun among Filipinos and not as a negative regional stereotype. It is a regional characteristic that their Filipino brethren have grown to understand.
The Ilocanos being thrifty
The Ilocos Region is situated in between the barren lands of the Cordillera mountain ranges and the South China Sea. Although their rich land is blessed with agricultural benefits, making a living in Ilocos is very difficult.
With a growing population, the Ilocandia is absolutely not enough to provide for every resident. This harsh environment has made the Ilocano become a fighter and a survivor. His attitudes and behavior are focused towards living a better life.
Unlike the Manileños, it is harder for Ilocanos to make money since they are very far from the center of trade and industry. It would take long travel hours (by land) to send their products (mostly fruits and vegetables) in Manila. By the time it arrives, these fruits and vegetables are no longer fresh.
The Ilocanos value money so much that most people see them as stingy when in fact they are just pennywise. They want to spend their earnings wisely.
Like all Filipinos, the Ilocanos have a strong family tie. They follow the Filipino norm when it comes to family structure wherein the father is the head of the family. The mother, on the other hand, is the “light of the home” who disciplines the children and manages the house finances. The Ilocanos have high respects to their parents, which is very evident in their marriage traditions.
Before even planning for marriage, Ilocano children seek first the approval of both sets of parents. The parents are to decide if they would agree to let their child marry or not. The young man (groom) asks for his parents’ consent. His parents will pay the dowry and finance the wedding.
Then, the young man formally announces (panagpudno) his intentions of marrying the young woman to her parents. The groom’s parents visit the bride’s parents, in which they set the date of the wedding. In setting the date, both parents go to a planetario to learn what dates are the good-luck days.
Another meeting is set for the wedding (palalian or ringpas) wherein the groom and his relatives to the bride’s house to finalize the wedding arrangements. The families set the choice of sponsors, the dowry, sagut (wedding dress and accessories which will be provided by the groom), and the parawad (cash that given by the groom to the bride’s mother as a reward for raising his bride).
Ilocanos’ value for education
The Ilocanos are not only industrious in the fields but also in schools. Most Ilocanos are literate (can read and can right). Parents are very passionate in giving their children proper education and will give it to them at all cost.
By having formal education, the Ilocanos believe that their children will have better opportunities aside from farming. The Ilocano parents want to ensure that their kids will have better future and live a better way of life.