WORKSHOP GROUP #2
(Saturday morning, 11 May 2013)
Facilitator: Julio Allidem
Secretary & Reporter: Laura Michelle Agnaonao Baeyens
Marivonne Pumihic Cuyob
Violie Gacao Doguil
Gemma Culaling Wanawan
Group #2 Report on:
Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon’s Keynote Address: “Appreciating the Similarities and Differences of the Cordillera Ethnic Groups”
Question #2: “WHAT IS CORDILLERA WITHOUT THE VARIETY OF CULTURE AND THE CULTURAL VALUES?”
The Cordillera region was formerly referred to as BIBAK, which was an acronym for what used to be the five provinces that composed the region: Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao, and Kalinga. Today, the Cordillera could have an acronym such as BIMAAK: Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Abra, Apayao, and Kalinga. Despite the different provinces, WE all call ourselves IGOROTS. It is our identity, it is who we are. It follows us wherever we go. We should cherish this gift of being an Igorot that Kabunyan and our ancestors has given us.
As the honorable Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon said: Our similarities, as well as our differences, make our Cordillera colorful and attractive. Beauty can truly be seen amidst complexity. Without the variety of culture and cultural values in our region, there will simply be no Cordillera. The Cordillera is all about the different regions, the different people, the different cultures, the different ethnic groups, the different dialects, the different costumes, the different customs, the different values and attitudes, the different stories of creation and origin, the different histories, the different triumphs and the different struggles, that come into one. The Cordillera is Cordillera because of its key characteristic as being THE MELTING POT OF CULTURES in Northern Luzon, Philippines.
Without our cultural values, the preservation of our culture is not ensured. The latter generations of Cordillerans will not be properly encultured. The pressures put upon our shoulders by modernization will surely deplete our very rich cultures that we have treasured for centuries. It is the job of the elders, the older generation to pass the precious knowledge, values, and customs they have to their children so that culture appreciation could be highlighted to the Cordilleran youth who are greatly exposed to Westernization.
The continuation of conferences such as the ICBE Consultation and the encouragement of the Cordilleran youths, especially those who grew up outside the Philippines, to attend such events is the best, most integrating recommendation we could give you.
Written and Reported by: Laura Michelle Agnaonao Baeyens
Cordillera Community in Belgium (Cordi-Bel)