8thIgorot Cordillera BIMAAKEurope(ICBE) Consultation
13-16 August 2015
The 8thICBE Consultation held inVienna,Austriaon 13-16 August 2015 was a resounding success.
It brought together Igorots/Cordillerans from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada, U.S. and the Philippines under the theme, “Appreciating Ifugao (People, Land and Culture) in the Philippine Cordillera and Highlighting Experiences on Integration in Europe.” There were around 70 participants including children during the three-day conference, which became around 150 during the "Igorot Cordillera European Cultural Night." Participants from Ifugao complemented the papers that were presented without the authors from Ifugao State University (IFSU) who, due to travel document problem, failed to arrive.
The workshop on Integration inEuropebrought together 1stand 2ndgeneration in a lively discussion and arrived at recommendations to strengthen their cultural identity.
During a plenary session, the participants adopted a resolution on maximizing the overseas absentee voting law as an instrument for Filipinos abroad to impact on good governance and democracy in thePhilippines. The petition urging the Philippine Congress to repeal the Republic Act 7942 or Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and enact a patriotic, pro-indigenous peoples, pro-environment and responsible mining bill was presented to the group.
Cultural workshops were held culminating in an evening of cultural festival of songs and dances. The event was graced with the presence of Ambassador Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson, who gave a much appreciated inspirational talk.
The participants welcomed the announcement that the 9thICBE Consultation will be held in Rome, Italy to be hosted by Cordillerans in Rome and tentatively set in August 2017. They also welcomed the invitation to join the Grand Cañao in theUnited Kingdomon 19thSeptember 2015 and inMilan,Italyon the 24thof April 2016; and the 11thIgorot International Consultation in Bontoc,Mountain Province,Philippineson 5-9 April 2016. Finally, there is also an invite to a conference on “Landgrabbing, Large scale Mining and Impact on Food Security, Climate Change and Human Rights in the Philippines” to be held in Gent, Belgium on 10 October 2015. Sponsors of the conference are Solidagro, Cordi-Bel and Province of Gent.
Some participants had an evening tour ofViennaon August 14thenabling them to have a feel of the land, people and history ofAustria.
ICBE conference participants expressed gratitude to the host organization, Igorot Austria-Cordillera, and to ICBE for its commendable work resulting in a successful 8thICBE consultation. They also expressed gratitude to Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon, President of IFSU, and IFSU delegates for their inputs and for giving them much pride in being a part of the great achievement of the Ifugaos.
The 8thICBE Consultation ended with hope for the growth in strength and unity of the Igorots/Cordillerans inEurope.
By the Participants of the 8thICBE Consultation, Hotel Ibis Wien Mariahilf, Vienna, Austria, 16 August 2015.