7th ICBE Consultation, an Adivay
Report on the Opening Ceremony
9 May 2013
Igorots – by blood and by heart – gather every two years in various countries in Europe to not only commemorate and celebrate their rich and colorful history, culture and struggles but also to share and appreciate each and everyone’s traditional practices, learn from each other’s experiences back home and abroad as well as to inspire the young generation of Igorots to keep the Igorot culture and traditions alive.
Now on its 7th consultation, the 3-day Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) affair was held in Centro Aragones, Barcelona, Spain, from May 9 – 12, 2013 and hosted by the local organization, BIBAK-Barcelona. This year’s theme was about “Appreciating the Similarities and Differences of Cordillera Ethnic groups.”
Following a sumptuous Spanish dinner was the opening ceremony. Mr. Gil Tiban Catimo, president of BIBAK-Barcelona, led together with his fellow Ibalois the Adivay, an Ibaloi word which means “coming together”, where they sang chants for the gathering and the welcoming of people from various places.
After this, Ms. Conchita Pooten of Igorot – UK, the previous host country and organization of the 6th ICBE Consultation, passed on the responsibilities and leadership of the 7th ICBE to Mr. Catimo in a turn-over ritual. Consequently, BIBAK-Barcelona’s vice-president, Mrs. Evelyn Castro gave her welcoming remarks signaling the official start of the consultation.
Ms. Pooten was again back on the floor to give the participants a glimpse of the 6th ICBE Consultation in London in 2011. Then, a round of introduction of delegates per country and/or per organization ensued. The following were the organizations present during the introduction: Igorot Austria-Cordillera, Igorot Organization-Austria; Cordillera Community in Belgium or Cordi-Bel; Cordillerans in Italy of Bologna and Modena, Italy; BIBAK-Barcelona; BIBAK-Switzerland and Igorot-UK. There were also individual delegates from Canada, Italy (Como), the Netherlands, and the United States.
Lasting for a little bit more than two hours, Ms. Alice Belino of BIBAK-Barcelona rounded up the introduction and called on Dr. Yvonne Belen to give a 10-minute briefing on the consultation. Dr. Belen guided everyone through their consultation kits and program sheets. She also announced that due to illness, Ms. Maria Cristina Antero Apolinar-Abeya, who would present the Igorot Global Organization (IGO), was not able to come. Despite Ms. Apolinar-Abeya’s absence, Ms. Laura Michelle Agnaonao Baeyens of Cordi-Bel still proceeded to introduce her. Dr. Belen did Ms. Apolinar-Abeya’s presentation, which was mainly about the IGO-scholarship in which she pointed out that the decision to donate or support a scholar was for those organizations attending the ICBE Consultation to make.
The final part of the program was scrapped. Instead of laying down the house rules, the delegates were to practice the songs for the next days. Before finally rounding up the night, Dr. Belen again announced that there were no delegates coming from the Philippines as their visas were denied and Dr. Serafin Ngohayon’s speech would probably be in her mailbox by Friday, 10 May 2013.
Though it was already half past ten, the place was still filled with zest and energy. Delegates gamely and enthusiastically joined and followed Ms. Cristabel Bounggick’s (Igorot Austria-Cordillera) fervent instructions on how to do the Digdigwi properly. Even when it was time to go and everyone was saying goodbye, the happiness and excitement in the adivay of kakailians was lingering in the air, giving a positive sense of the next days to come.