10th Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
July 26-29, 2019
Ambassador Victor Ledda, Consul Shirley Banquiaso, Cultural Attache Elea Perez, Members of the Igorot Cordillera organizations or foundation in Europe, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
After watching the video, ICBE Through the Years, it must have given you an idea of how our network has evolved since we started our gatherings in 2002.
Fortunately, I was able to attend the consultations since the beginning. And so did Conchita Pooten, whom you already heard. Many others among us here were also present during the first Igorot gathering in Gent, Belgium in 2002. They are: Ric Cuyob, Alice Pumihic-Cuyob, Susan Kilakil, Peter Agnaonao, Rhino Oblas, Cesar Taguba. The second-generation then were Cristobal Agnaonao, Marivonne Cuyob and Chico Taguba. For the second generation then, we now see them as adult participants in this consultation. How time has flown.
So, how did we come this far? And maybe how do we go forward in the coming years?
For me, it is passion. A passion to be identified as Igorots the "people of the mountains;" a passion to promote a cultural heritage we have preserved and want to to the forthcoming generation; a passion to share my skills in organizing a conference from the beginning until its end.
Many of the things I would like to say more. However, by the time I finish you might be snoring. Besides, I have already written about this passion in an article and it is included in the Souvenir Book. So,
After 17 years and nine ICBE Consultations with its outcomes, I would like to pass this passion to the next generation. I believe that we as first generation have done my part. I look to the future with optimism that the forthcoming generation will carry on from where the first-generation have begun.
And as the Igorots say, "Matago-tago tako am-in." Long may we live!