The Cordillera region includes the provinces of Kalinga- Apayao, Bontoc, Ifugao and Benguet. In the old days, indigenous people had difficulty adapting to the urban life and are therefore treated as naive and ignorant by people in the cities. Oftentimes, they are employed as household help, laborers or gofers.
This changed however when more and more natives earned proper education from the neighboring towns. Alongside with this, progress came through accessible roads and establishment of more educational facilities.
The construction of roads led to an increased exchange of commercial products and also more interaction between villages and towns. Natives learned more of the city life and had brought this knowledge home with them.
The proper education had allowed their active participation in a more national scope. At present, there are popular and famous natives who occupy key positions in local and national government. One can no longer differentiate accurately a native from the city dwellers. Those who still think of indigenous people as ignorant and naive are frowned upon.
Although the physical features are one indication that the person is from the indigenous tribes, this does not indicate that the native is less intelligent. At times, they're even more gifted than their city counterparts.Generally, the Kalinga-Apayaos are usually tall, lanky and dark; the Benguets - sturdy and fair-skinned; the Ifugaos - darker and smaller in built.
The towns and villages also became populated with city people as intermarriages occurred. The children have now inherited both genes and are a new generation of people. The thin line between the indigenous tribes and the people from the lowlands had finally merged into a unique entity.
These children borne of these types of marriages have lost some of the physical traits of their forefathers. You would never guess that a person has a native blood unless he/she reveals it.
Today, indigenous tribes are treated with respect and dignity. They are looked up to in several categories. In fact, even educational institutions recognize the brilliance of the brains of the indigenous tribes. One very good example is St Louis University in Baguio City, which is now considered a center for academic excellence, even better than most schools in the National Capitol Region (NCR). The school has produced graduates who had made it to the top ten of their specific professional licensure examinations.
Although Baguio City is no longer officially a part of Benguet Province, it is still an active participant of the Cordillera's affairs and will continue to be considered its prime city.
The Cordillera indigenous people have come a long way and are now considered as productive members of the Filipino society.