When we talk about Igorot identity and culture, we also have to consider the time. My point is that: what I am going to share in this article concerning the Igorot culture might not be the same practiced by the Igorots of today. It has made variations by the passing of time, which is also normally happening to many other cultures, but the main core of respect and reverence to ancestors and to those who had just passed is still there.
The Igorot culture that I like to share is about our practices and beliefs during the "time of Death".
Death is part of the cycle of life. Igorots practice this part of life cycle with a great meaning and importance. Before the advent of Christianity in the Igorotlandia, the Igorots or the people of the Cordilleran region in the Philippines were animist or pagans. Our reverence or the importance of giving honor to our ancestors is a part of our daily activities. We consider our ancestors still to be with us, only that they exist in another world or dimension. Whenever we have some special feasts (e.g., occasions during death, wedding, family gathering, etc.), when we undertake something special (like going somewhere to look for a job or during thanksgiving), we perform some special offer. We call this "Menpalti/ Menkanyaw", an act of butchering and offering animals. During these times we call them in our prayers to join us in spirit. We do this also to ask for help and/or ask for guidance, etc. The prayers are usually performed by an elderly person of the town (called "pangamaen" for a man and "Panginaen" for a woman; however an elderly man has preference to be "the prayer renderer" when we have the choice).
By the way and to reiterate, our practices of revering are not a form of IDOLATRY. We believe in life after death. We believe, that our ancestors are just in another world, but still among us... in the form of spirits.