(Yvonne Belen and Cesar Taguba present)
(1) Accommodation at Hotel Roma Reial
Gil Catimo reserved certain rooms. The hotel management wanted a definite response by November 2012. However, nobody reserved. Towards the end of 2012, the prospective attendees said they will take care of their accommodation.
(2) Centro Aragones
2.1. It’s near the transport system.
2.2. For the Saturday sessions until the cultural night, the place is not too mabongga.
2.3. The covers on the seats gave a formal look for the cultural night. It was quite impressive.
2.4. For the Thursday evening session, the dining room is small. If we wanted to play the gongs, we are unable to.
(3) Coordination between ICBE and BIBAK Barcelona
3.1. General Program
Most communications were done online. A few times, the telephone was used. This worked out well although it required hours of communication per day or per week.
Gil responded to e-mails as soon as he could. A week is already a long time for him to respond.
3.2. On the Cultural Night
Some wanted to know what they were going to do, e.g., BIBAK Barcelona.
Consie Taguba-Lozano was taking pictures; Susan Kilakil was taking a video. We hope these could be shared.
(5) Lessons learned from being the host organization:
5.1. We developed confidence.
5.2. We also learned from the cultural night.
5.3. If there’s a conference, I will know what to do.
(6) Coordination between Gil and venue
Gil did an excellent job mediating between personnel at the venue and participants especially for the meals.
(7) Sightseeing tours
Although the request was already late, Gil was still able to reserve a bus for the city tour. The visit to parts of Barcelona is much appreciated and so is the presence of some BIBAK Barcelona members during the tour.
(8) Philippine delegates:
8.1. Gil did everything, i.e., send letter of invite, to enable the Ifugao State University/Cordillera Administrative Region (IFSU/CAR) delegation to attend.
8.2. ICBE or BIBAK Barcelona could not commit themselves to the Philippine delegates’ request for an apartment as their accommodation. There were no funds for this.
When nobody was registering by the end of February 2013, we were dismayed. Some BIBAK Barcelona members were even asking, “Matuloy ngata?” (Will the conference push through?)
(1) While much work has gone into looking for a venue and making reservation, the prospective participants’ decision to look for their own accommodation is to the benefit of the host organization. It lessens the burden on them. And for the participants, they decide when to arrive and depart.
(2) The conference became a place where participants met their relatives, schoolmates and classmates.
(3) Two countries were added to the ICBE network: Spain and Italy.
(4) Message of the consul general was short and inspirational.
(5) It’s time-saving to hold the sessions in one place.
(6) It’s good to have a financial report (even a partial one) before the conference ends.
(7) Impact on Gil’s family
During the cultural night, Mark (Gil and Julie’s son) saw different BIBAK/Igorot/Cordillera groups coming from countries in Europe. Gil was touched when Mark went to attend the cultural night and asked his father, “Is there still a vest that I can use?” Gil said there was and gave it to Mark, which he used during the evening. For Gil, if this is the fruit of their hosting the conference, he is already happy.
(8) For Yvonne, this conference is one where she was able to mentor a member of the host organization. If she was able to impart her skills on conference organizing, it’s an accomplishment.
III. Suggestions for future conferences
(1) Play the gongs during the first evening. (It would have been possible at another place however, it seemed holding the sessions in one venue was better. Otherwise, the big hall could have been rented, which meant adding an amount on the registration fee.)
(2) Consider having a crèche.
13 June 2013