Impressions by Alice P. Cuyob

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 I would like to thank and congratulate the Pooten family for their warm welcome and hospitality as well as their efforts for the success of the 6th ICBE.

During the 1st day of the consultation, I was a bit surprised to see few Igorots from London who helped in the registration of delegates and who participated on the night when the delegates introduced themselves. Compared to previous ICBE consultations, participants in the host country are bigger in number than those who come from different countries. It was the same familiar faces introducing themselves to one another and the delegates from the Philippines, who travelled miles to attend the 6th ICBE consultation. Nevertheless, even with few participants, we managed to entertain ourselves by dancing and singing.

On the second day, it was the “Gotad ad London” where the Ifugao delegates performed Ifugao dances and chants. Some Ifugaos from London came to witness and participated in the dancing. But what impressed me most during this second day was that I was seated behind my fellow Ifugaos when Dr. Serafin Ngohayon was delivering his speech, and what came across about the Igorots, in general, was the Ifugaos are Igorots too. I overheard my fellow Ifugaos saying among themselves, “adwani ahik inilaon an Igorot da di Ifugaos” (It's only now I realize that Ifugaos are Igorots.) In his sharing that the future progress and development of Cordillera depends on the kind of educational attainment the Cordillera youth of today could reach, it captured the hearts of some participants to share their blessings to support deserving students back home.

The 3rd day is the workshop and open forum. I attended the discussion on the Cordillera issues. The topic was interesting but time was limited. There was not much time to discuss the issues in the Cordillera substantially. The Gala Night was very colorful and demonstrative of the presence of the whole Cordillera in London through the participation and show of dances and attires of the different provinces in the Cordillera by the migrants themselves. Everybody enjoyed and it was really a night to remember.

Hopefully, in the future ICBE consultations, more Cordillerans or Igorots will come together to rekindle their cultural roots by discussing together their situation, their culture and issues in the Cordillera and to act together to attain a progressive and a beautiful Cordillera.


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