4th Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK-Europe (ICBE) Consultation
17-20 May 2007
About BIBAK Ireland
By James Quintin
In the beginning, Igorots were dispersed all over Ireland. And then there was Carmen Malidom. One fateful winter’s day, she chanced upon a few Igorots - looking cold and lost in Dublin City Center. In this chance meeting, with a sense of camaraderie and feeling of belongingness, they agreed to have a Christmas Party. The Christmas party was held on the 24th of December 2001 in Galmoy, Co. Tipperary. It was fate indeed, as most if not all Igorots and friends present were celebrating their first Christmas in Ireland, and to some, their first away from home.
After a sumptuous meal, everybody was getting to know each other and the idea of an organization was pitched. There was some difference in opinion as to the actual title of the organization. Eventually, BIBAK Ireland was accepted. At this point, the first election was inevitable and the core officers were: President - Carmen Malidom, Vice President - Francis Manno, Secretary - Claire Alacyang, Treasurer - Juna Olaget, Press Relations Officer (PRO) - James Quintin, Elders - William Gatiwan, Joseph Pantalion, Placido Lutong, Dario Catte and Ben Calaydan. After a few weeks, other officers were added: Assistant Secretary - Judith Balangyao, Assistant Treasurer - James Banglayan, Auditor - Nieves Ruth Pilacan & Randy Romero, Business Managers - Mark Calawen & Jane Gavino, Peace Officers - Winifredo Castro, Angelo Lopez, Delfin Ico, Ruben Comilla, and Agapito Tawid, and Advisers - Arnel Kidpalos and Dave Aragones.
BIBAK Ireland is a non-profit, social and charitable organization. The aim is to foster relationship, understanding and cooperation among the peoples of the Cordillera residing in Ireland. The objectives of the group are to promote their cultural identity; encourage unity cooperation and better understanding among themselves irrespective of religious and political affiliation; extend support to our Filipino “kababayans” (fellowmen); and help in the implementation of laws, rules and regulations of the Republic of Ireland.
BIBAK Ireland continues to grow and lead in Filipino-Irish activities. It was instrumental in organizing the first Filipino Independence Day celebration in Ireland. Under the leadership of its President, Dave Aragones, BIBAK Ireland headed the Steering Committees of the first two celebrations. BIBAK Ireland delved into various charities. One such project is SARAH (Special Action for Rehabilitation and Advancement of the Handicapped) of Easter College, Baguio City. It also provided financial help for the tuition of four students attending the SPED (Special Education) centre situated within Easter School, Guisad, Baguio City. This school caters to children who are deaf, mentally challenged and visually impaired.
To date, the officers are:
President Dave Aragones
Vice President Judith Balangyao
Treasurer Brenia Calawen
Secretary Julia Aronchay
Assistant Secretary Agnes Abanag
P.R.O. Jane Gavino
Business Manager James Quintin
Advisers Carmen Malidom
Elders Ben Calaydan