9th Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation
April 28 – May 1, 2017
The 9th ICBE consultation held in Rome, Italy from April 28-May 1, 2017 is my third time to attend ICBE consultation and the 2ndtime outside my Europe residence. Shortly before I started my journey to the consultation, I was in an exceptional state of condition: all the time I am sleepy, feeling very tired and absent minded; am really unprepared. I doubt if it would make sense to join. On second thought, I already paid my registration fees, would be unending sorry and my purpose would remain unfulfilled. Despite my doubts, I booked my flight and did attend.
The Consultation is holistic because every aspect of the Igorot Cordillera life in the Philippines and in Europe are taken through the delivered information, workshops, cultural performances and individual as well as group exchange communications and practices. Besides, the social, cultural, political, beliefs, rituals and traditions of Igorot Cordillera are covered. This time, the themes are more concentrated (/ specialized) in Ibaloi- Benguet. Incidentally, the host is the Cordi –Rome whose members are mostly from Benguet and led by them. I observed and appreciatively experienced here again the characteristics of the Benguet people I know during my school and college life in Benguet. They are very friendly, understanding, caring, have patience and peaceful - loving (maybe the reason is, they do not have tribal war history?).
The participants are generally Igorot- Cordillerans coming from different countries in Europe, composing of three generations and every Cordillera province (BIMAAK) is completely represented by them. Each generation accepts and enjoys the participation of the other. The seniors and adults are happy and proud to see the children and teenagers share and practice their inspiring talents, creativeness and Igorot modern life. During cultural activities and meals I imagined I am in the Ili attending a traditional party accompanied by gong plays.
In Italy (the host country) its people seemed to be observant and help especially ignorant and indigenous people find their ways correctly. I, belonging to a native tribe got the opportunity to observe and experience the following: From the Airport to Termini and back, I rode on a public bus. Every time, I slept during the trip and my co-Italian passengers woke me up every time I reached my destination. Co Igorot Cordillerans living and working in Italy also shared only positive treatment of Italians to them. This must be their response to their positive common attitude and description being honest, hard –working yet assertive in working and living with them. During the tour to historical hills of Rome, our tourist guide, Yvonne, had to ask directionsfrom young guards. In spite of their dangerous armed outlook, they were very kind and politely answered her questions. Apropos, in one of the hills we found and stepped on Vatican Palace grounds and at the water fountain, Trevi, we threw some coins and made wishes. The buildings of Rome are amazing, look mighty and imperishable.
I will not regret or feel sorry for having attended the consultation. On the contrary, I found it valuable: my Igorot-Cordillera life was enriched, I got updated and enjoyed the sharing and company. Now, I look forward for the next ICBE. THANK YOU & LONG LIVE !!!