On Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultations and the 7th ICBE Consultation in Barcelona, Spain on 9-12 May 2013

Written by Yvonne Belen on .

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The ICBE Consultation (conference) is an activity of ICBE and an Igorot/BIBAK/Cordillera organization in Europe is requested to host it. The successes and shortcomings of the host are also the successes and shortcomings of ICBE.

Preparation for an ICBE Consultation

In hosting previous ICBE consultations, these items were usually considered:   

(1) Some members of the host organization have attended an ICBE conference. This enables them to have an insight into the conference’s content and process.

(2) The consultation subsidizes itself mainly through registration fees. The budget is itemized so the participants know what they’re paying for. If the host is able to raise funds that will lessen the registration fee, this is much appreciated.

(3) The host should never have a deficit. So, there’s a 5-10 per cent contingency on the budget.

(4) The host makes a partial financial report during the closing session. The final report could come a month or two after the conference. The delegates could suggest where the balance will be spent for.  

(5) The host looks for a venue. The ideal arrangement is to have a venue where the delegates could also be accommodated.

(6) The participants take care of their travel expenses to and from the conference.

(7) The ICBE conference participants decide on the general program. The draft program is presented to the ICBE forum so others could give their feedback and make suggestions.

(8) The host implements the program, either on its own or with the help of ICBE.

(9) The host decides on the program for the cultural night. One suggestion is to include a presentation from each organization or country group attending the conference.

7th ICBE Consultation in Barcelona

The case of BIBAK Barcelona as host of the 7th ICBE Consultation is an exception to many of what has been mentioned above.

First, the members never attended an ICBE consultation. So, some ICBE members went to Barcelona to meet with officers and members of BIBAK Barcelona and ask a favor for them to host the 7th ICBE Consultation. ICBE explained the history of the request, replied to questions and clarified some items, most importantly, the financial aspect. After the discussion, BIBAK Barcelona headed by Gil Tiban Catimo, other officers and members agreed to host the conference.

Second, since BIBAK Barcelona has no experience in hosting a conference on a European level, we in ICBE volunteered to help with the general program and program for the cultural night.

Third, while Gil was able to find a hotel (Market Hotel), the prospective participants found it too soon to decide and send their payment before the 1st of September 2012. Members of organizations were still going to meet and decide who would attend. When the deadline came and nobody was responding, Gil and I decided to cancel the reservation with Market Hotel. (Twenty five rooms were blocked for ICBE until the 1st of September 2012.) In the end, the participants decided to take care of their accommodation.

The 7th ICBE consultation is the first conference where the participants took care of their accommodation. This scenario didn’t cross my (our) mind before. However, now that we did it, we knew it could be done. With hindsight, if we knew earlier that this was going to be the case, BIBAK Barcelona (Gil Catimo and Annette Banya-ao) would not have spent time looking for the participants’ accommodation. Some advantages are: with the prospective attendees taking care of their accommodation, they could decide on their arrival and departure; the host has more time to attend to other aspects of the conference.     

Fourth, for the general program, ICBE failed to mention that some wanted to play the gongs during first evening. This item could have been considered in looking for the venue. (The only time I recall we played the gongs on the first evening was during the 3rd ICBE consultation in Switzerland in 2005.)

Outcome of the 7th ICBE Consultation

On the whole, the conference is a success.

First, for an organization that knew little of ICBE consultations, we saw the positive attitude of BIBAK Barcelona in accepting the responsibility of hosting the conference and carrying out many of the assignments until the end.

Second, we were able to have participants from two other countries in Europe: Spain and Italy.  

Third, the conference became a learning experience on using information technology to prepare for the conference.

Fourth, this conference is also the first where mentoring was used as a technique in the preparation. For ICBE, it was a “transfer of conference organizing skills” and for BIBAK Barcelona, it was a “learning experience.”    

Finally, ICBE was able to hold another conference and that’s an accomplishment for the network. Members of other organizations helped with various aspects of the conference.   


In this conference, we participants enjoyed the camaraderie, we made friends and met relatives, we renewed friendship, we benefitted from the listening and talking sessions, we celebrated during the cultural night, and we enjoyed the city tour and trip to Montserrat.  

For Gil Catimo, who led BIBAK Barcelona, it’s an achievement of their organization to host a conference on a European level and with some participants coming from Canada and the USA.

To BIBAK Barcelona (and their families), thank you again for hosting the 7th ICBE Consultation and making our stay in Barcelona memorable.

We look forward to coming back in 10, 12 or 14 years, perhaps for a Grand Cañao? It will be another reunion.


27 May 2013

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