Did we, Igorot Cordillerans in Europe, ever imagine that we will have around one million visitors on our Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK-Europe (ICBE) website when it was set up in 2007? Or, to put it in another way, what are the reasons that we reached a million visitors (and increasing) on our ICBE website?
According to Ric Cuyob of the Cordillera Community in Belgium (Cordi-Bel), he says:
I have a very personal anwer. I visit the website probably more than a hundred times already and I believe I will continue visiting it as long as I can read because it has become a “Source.” I find it like a water source where I have to come many times to draw water. The million visitors are actually a thousand or more but they (probably like me) are those who discovered the source and thereby keep coming back. I visit the ICBE website because I may have read one or two articles and hit some but after sometime I forget, so when occasion permits I go back to it. When among our ranks (as Igorot people) pitch in more and more contributions to sort of replenish the source, visitors could grow bigger because the source is not drying up. In this case, I think statistics does not say much but let us just keep the website alive.
And according to Jane Klee-Morgens of Germany, she says:
I have three reasons why we amazingly got more than a million visitors on the ICBE website.
Nowadays, most people spend more of their time on computers (online /Internet/ screens) especially as Coronavirus became a pandemic. Those who unexpectedly landed on the ICBE website found the content interesting and informative so that they repeatedly visit it. Besides, they chat about it with their friends and these friends also visit the Website.
Second, there are people who specialize in research, study and or as a hobby for knowing the life, culture, beliefs and traditions of ethnic societies, and got good information from the ICBE website, so they visit it again and again. Furthermore, they found out that the ICBE website is owned by Igorots in the Cordillera who are living in Europe. So they are also informed or will be informed of their activities through the website and how they are doing in foreign countries with different cultures and traditions.
Expats from the Cordillera find the ICBE website contents refreshing. They are updated of events they encountered or participated in while in the “Ili.” Others find it enjoyable and entertaining while forgetting the feeling of homesickness.
I agree with Ric and Jane that the ICBE website has become a place where we could get information from topics that concern our Igorot Cordillera culture. With the different subjects we were able to gather and post on the website, these are materials that some readers could use in their studies, in their cultural performances or in their speeches.
From the website, these are what I gathered:
(1) It is where we ask questions, like Atashi Kiminashi, who wanted to know if the authors of the Igorot folktales are Igorots themselves.
My reply is: They are not. However, the authors may have lived in our Cordillera for many years.
(2) It is a platform where we give compliments, like Patrick McDonough, who said, “Great website.”
My reply: Many thanks, Patrick.
(3) It is a platform where classmates of long ago, like Dr. B de Asis, who was looking for yours truly.
My reply: I have since joined our UERM Medicine Class 76 Viber group.
(4) It is a platform where we ask how we could join a BIBAK organization like, Aracili Mcnulty, who wanted to join BIBAK Ireland.
My reply: Hopefully, Aracili was able to join BIBAK Ireland.
And the reply of Julia Aronchay of BIBAK Ireland: Yes we have added Aracili in our BIBAK Ireland group six years ago and she is in occasional contact with our group and some members although we have yet to meet her in person.
Before I go further, it would be useful to trace how the Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK-Europe (ICBE) website began from those who thought about it, and were responsible in setting it up and administering it. I will also give the number of visitors, focus on the articles most visited, note their feedback and give acknowledgments.
When the first assembly of Igorot Cordillerans in Europe was held in Gent, Belgium in April 2002, one of our objectives was to publish the Proceedings. Why? We wanted to have a souvenir. We wanted to relive the gathering through the greetings, speeches, songs, impressions and photos. For those who were unable to attend, we wanted them to read the Proceedings and imagine they were at the event. And finally, we wanted to have a material for posterity.
For the Proceedings of the succeeding gatherings or consultations, the next step was to collate documents available and sort them out so as to follow the gathering’s schedule. Although the process took some time, we were able to gather a substantial number of documents. We were able to publish hard copies of the Proceedings from the first assembly in Gent, Belgium until the fourth consultation in Dublin, Ireland.
According to Juerg Hafner of BIBuAK Switzerland, he integrated some parts of the 3rd ICBE Consultation held in Aeschi, Switzerland in May 2005 on the BIBAK Switzerland website. Later on, he suggested opening a special website for ICBE only, which he did in October 2007. He would have wanted to use www.icbe.org however, someone had already used it. So, he reserved the URL: www.icbe.eu. He said the website will look like the website of BIBAK Switzerland: http://www.bibak.ch/ICBE.html; it would be a rough draft, no final format yet, no logo etc. and not yet the final URL. A week later, Juerg wrote that the URL www.icbe.eu was open. He administered the website until May 2013 when he requested if someone could take over its maintenance. In the meantime, Juerg said he would take care of the fees, which he did until 2018. Afterwards, ICBE took care of the payment of the domain fee and web hosting.
Going back to the Proceedings---for the six succeeding consultations, these were posted online.
From Juerg, Glenn Olat Amora of Igorot Austria volunteered to take over as website administrator. In a letter he sent on 13 June 2013, he said,
Hi! Thanks for trusting me the site! Just starting to grab the contents, I see you did a huge work on that! Beginning, also to really appreciate how important ICBE is!...
Number of Visitors
From the time there was a visitor’s counter in 2013, the number of visitors as of 31 March 2021 is now more than one million. To be precise, it is 1,293,737.
As mentioned earlier, some visitors keep coming back so they are all counted.
Articles Most Visited
There are several articles on the website. However, there are those that are most visited. Below are the articles with the number of visitors as of 14 March 2021. As an acknowledgment, the author’s name and visitor’s feedback have been included.
Ethnic Dances in the Mountain Province
April Manullog Guita said, “Salamat unay isnan amin ai baru ai kaamuan sina.” Matago-tago tako amin. (Thank you very much for the new knowledge here. Long may we live.)
Michael Capua Nacional said, “Thank you so much for the great lesson I learned because of the new technology. There are many young people who do not yet know what is our culture and what’s the importance of our dance noon - at ngayon. (...dance before-and now.)”
Loincloth (G-string, Bahag)
Alvin Jove said, “Thanks a lot I finally found a website teaching me how to tie my Kuval, though I have tied it many times back then. This is done only by instinct, but sometimes instinct would be faulty if you are out of your mind due to stress. Haballe higato ni hayay nga inhulat to diman.” *
Cañao: Heart of the Cordilleran Culture
Loraine Kate Flores said, “Ang dami.” (So many.)
Airamae Catimon said, “Ang dami naman yan hindi ko kaya? (It is very many I can’t bear it?)
Rolaine Yssa Vil Tejan said, “Sobra sobra na ito para sa research ko ah. Hahahaha.” (This is already too much for my research.)
Cañao: Glancing into an Ancient Filipino Tradition
Sahil John Drake said, “Wowwwww!”
What is Kanyaw
The Igorot Quarterly (the then publication of the Igorot Global Organization)
On the 3rd of June 2013, we wrote:
Through this forum, I would like to thank Juerg Hafner of BIBAK Switzerland for building the ICBE website in 2003 and administering it until this year. That’s 10 years of volunteer work for the Igorot Cordillerans in Europe. Juerg has also been paying the website’s annual dues.
...Thank you again Juerg, and we wish you and Lolit all the best.
We would also like to thank Glenn for his time and effort in administering the website.
Finally, we in ICBE would like to especially thank Claus Nabert of Canada for his articles in the section: Getting to Know the Igorots. We would also like to thank the late Caridad Fiar-od nee Bomas-ang for her articles. We believe that were she alive, she would still be contributing articles on our website. Finally, we would like to thank ALL who contributed articles and ALL those who made our website possible through their assistance in various ways.
Matago-tago tako am-in! (Long may we live!)ykb31.03.2021
31 March 2021
* There were direct translations from Kalanguya to English.
From the Facebook friends of Julia Aronchay (BIBAK Ireland), this is their translation: This is different from what he wrote there.
The translation of Rhino Oblas (Germany Cordillera Organization and Solibao Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany) is: She/He is not the one who wrote it there.
Ric Cuyob wrote: For me, I see the context as this---Alin Jove was grateful to have found a website that explains how to tie a kuval although he admits doing it before but doing it by instinct could be sometimes faulty on top of other factors. With this context in mind, I would think that the equivalent of the phrase (not translation) is, “it is much better now that there is this written guide (instruction) to follow.”