Souvenir Book: The Journey

Written by Yvonne Belen on .

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10th Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

July 26-29, 2019

Souvenir Book: The Journey

Yvonne Belen
Many people dream of writing a book. It could be fiction or nonfiction. It could be a novel, a technical book, memoir or coffee table book. Or people dream of editing a book, which could be an anthology. Writing or editing a book is a journey and such is this book. I will best describe that journey with a quotation from Greg Reid:

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal,
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan,
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.

The Dream and Goal

I had a dream. I had a dream that one day we, in ICBE, will be able to publish some speeches from our conferences. At first, my dream was a journal with text only. Later on, my dream was a coffee table book with text and images. Then came along the 10th ICBE conference in July 2019. Voila! The book would be an ICBE Souvenir Book and July 26, 2019 is the goal to launch it. 

The Plan

The first step was to write the concept and send it to the ICBE Souvenir Book Committee (Book Committee), which is also the 10th ICBE conference Preparatory Committee. I sent the concept in November 2017. Ric Cuyob of Cordi-Bel replied in December. He said,  

“...I have read the concept but without the experience of involving in making a souvenir book, I feel incapable of giving feedbacks. I know we don’t lack contents but on the ‘how,’ I think those groups from Vienna and UK would be able to give more inputs. Let’s go with this. It is the 10th ICBE gathering. 

We reached this stage without expecting and the future will tell when will be the next souvenir book making…”

In consultation with the Book Committee, we wanted to feature the keynote addresses or main speeches of each ICBE conference. Since our focus is on Igorot Cordillera culture, we included the keynote address, “Who are the Igorots: Shadows of the Past Falling onto the Present and Reaching into the Future” by Kate Chollipas Botengan.

The second step is how to make the speeches interesting. We thought of putting photos with the text and requested for pictures. Some sent photos; we provided the other images. 

Thirdly, how do we finance the book’s publication? Soliciting advertisements from businesses in the Netherlands would have been the best source. We thought of an alternative---soliciting from Igorot/Cordillera/BIBAK organizations and individuals in Europe and outside the continent. The photos and/or articles from individuals could be to honor their parents or relatives. It could also be to feature themselves or advertise their business. Another alternative was to reach out to friends or classmates. 

The Action 

From each conference, we chose the speeches that will be published. We wrote the authors or their next of kin and asked permission to have their talk(s) published. We requested for images to be included in their speech(es), a 300-word biodata and their favorite photo.

From the Souvenir Book’s contents, Myra Colis made a brochure. We sent it to the forum of ICBE and Igorot Global Organization (IGO), and posted in the ICBE website.  

The brochure was also an invitation for the organizations or individuals to reserve or sponsor a page. The deadline for submission was July 30, 2018. The first to respond in July 2018 was BIMAAK Sweden. I informed my classmates in medical school about our conference in July 2019 and our plan for a Souvenir Book. 

We distributed the brochures during the Philippine Independence Day celebrations in Amsterdam and The Hague in June 2018. By August 2018, we received few responses. I asked myself, “What kind of Souvenir Book is this? There are only a few Igorot/Cordillera/BIBAK organizations in Europe that have replied.” I felt disappointed and decided to do something about the invitation.

During the third quarter of 2018, I wrote the Igorot/Cordillera/BIBAK organizations in Europe and requested each to feature their group in a page or two. The personal invitation did it. Many responded and attached a photo with or without a text. Aside from them, other organizations in Europe replied.  

In the meantime, a few Philippine-based businesses offered to advertise. My classmate in the US and another in the Philippines wanted to sponsor a page. And some US-based IGO members also wanted to sponsor a page. 

From time to time, we updated the Souvenir Book Committee and requested for their comments. We also sent the “Working Contents of the Souvenir Book” to the ICBE forum.

We worked on the programmes: overall, for participants under 18 years old and the Cultural Night. For the different parts, we included participants who have indicated they will attend. 

After collecting all the articles, editing them and choosing relevant photos for some, we sent them to Myra Colis. Hers would be the job of layouting, designing the book and taking care of the printing.

The Dream Comes True

Such is the journey of the ICBE Souvenir Book. On the whole, we the Souvenir Book Committee members are happy to have been part of the journey. We hope you, your children and grandchildren will enjoy looking at the pictures. More importantly, we hope you will find the speeches interesting and worthwhile reading.  


Delivered at the ICBE Souvenir Book launch on July 26, 2019 during the 10th ICBE conference held at Nassaukerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

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