Resolution Calling for the Commemoration of the 1887 Madrid Exposition

Written by Cesar T. Taguba on .

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Whereas,  Spain brought more than 50 Filipinos, of which eight to 20 were Igorots, to be displayed and exhibited in a “Human Zoo” as “savage” and “uncivilized” people to justify its colonial rule in the Philippines;

Whereas, one among those exhibited died while others got sick;

Whereas, Spain displayed Filipino in other international expositions in London (1851), Paris (1855,1867), Vienna (1873), Philadelphia,USA (1876) Amsterdam (1883) and Chicago (1893).

Whereas, Jose P. Rizal and other eminent Filipinos denounced the display of Filipinos at the Madrid Exposition as inhuman;

Whereas, there is a need to rectify historical injustice and on the other hand to highlight the current struggle of the Igorots for dignity, justice, self-determination and peace.

Whereas, the authorities and people of Ghent, Belgium took concrete step to honor Timicheg, an Igorot who died during the 1913 Ghent International Exhibition, by designating a road tunnel in Ghent as “Timicheg Tunnel.” The Cordillera Community in Belgium is to be congratulated for issuing a statement on the commemoration of the “Timicheg Tunnel.”

Whereas, activities to commemorate the 1904 St. Louis Exhibition and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition were held in the USA upon the initiative of the Igorot Global Organization and BIBAK Pacific Northwest, respectively.

Be it resolved, that  the governments of Spain and the Philippines and Spanish and Philippine civil society and peoples organizations commemorate in an appropriate way the 1887 Madrid Exposition towards the recognition of those exhibited, honoring the person who died, rendering justice, re-think history and to bring about a satisfactory closure of the event;

Be it further resolved, that a part of the commemorative activity will enable the Igorots/Cordillerans to speak for themselves on their identity, struggle and aspirations 125 years after the Madrid Exposition. This way, the past will find relevance in the present.

Finally, be it resolved that ICBE takes part in the commemorative activity.

Approved by the delegates to the 7th ICBE Consultation, 12 May 2013, Barcelona.    

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