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11th Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK-Europe (ICBE) Conference 

May 18-20, 2023

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Did they give you the opportunity to appreciate and learn the dances and hymns of other Cordillera provinces? What additional things would you have wanted to learn?

Yes I was given the chance to learn the Cordillera Hymns and dances. During the workshop, I observed that only Mt Province and Benguet had a detailed explanation of their dance/dance movement. I find it better if all the provinces also have a copy/explanations of their own dances.

In Austria, we have what we call a Vorlesung . It is usually done during Christmas (example an adult reads a short story among the children) .Since we are talking about the Igorot culture, maybe we can also insert a little Igorot Literature. We can ask somebody with a nice voice to read a very short story about the Igorots. Incase that it is not possible because of time constraint, maybe we can just provide a hard copy to read (I find it important because I am not popular with the Cordillera Literature)

  • Honeyleen Lucero-Meyer

We must learn more to dance and beat the gongs, especially the Ifugao rhythm because when we  dance, the sound of the rhythm of the gongs is felt.

  • Henry Foken

And what I’m expecting again is an informative one on our traditional differences and similarities, learning and consulting new styles on how to perform each tradition. I felt a higher confidence to perform and to teach cultural identity in every province within the Cordillera. 

  • Glenn Palangdan Yamoyam

The cultural workshop was nice, the same with the cultural night everybody enjoyed it.

  • Susan Kilakil

At the cultural workshops, I think we missed sharing our complete Benguet dance since we were incomplete to play the instruments, although we tried our best to show how to play our kimbal and solibaw (drum) and how they sound. We also showed how our gongs are played. We didn’t play the beautiful Kalinga gongs and I would have liked to learn more of the Ifugao dance. 

  • Gil Tiban Catimo

It is in ICBE or BIMAAK gatherings that I enjoyed much time to learn and dance the Cordilleran dances. Whenever I go home to Mountain Province, I don’t have the time and not even the chance to dance the different Cordilleran dances. 

The outnumbered men had all the energy in beating the gongs so that we could learn and dance the different Cordilleran dances. In Bontoc dialect:  Napnek ak ay nanagni. (I was satisfied dancing.)


For us from Mountain Province, it would be nice if we can distinguish the Central, Eastern, and Western dances. Sometimes I feel that our steps are mixed. Although it is not a big deal for me, it is also nice to learn the dances, especially from the eastern Mountain Province.


It was also nice and inspiring talking with fellow Cordillerans coming from other parts of Europe. 

  • Airen Kalley-Ruettimann


YES, it was not shocking for me to hear during the workshop that many if not all just learned or danced our dances when we arrived to our host countries; it's not that we did not want it while we were back home but when we are here abroad we have all the sense of pride that we are Igorots. I was impressed by the enthusiasm of Mng Gil and Glenn teaching the Benguet dance. Applause to them!

  • Marjorie Akistoy

It was fun to dance and just follow the leaders. Unfortunately I couldn’t follow all the explanations of the dances because like said before the language barrier. Looking into the future it would be great to speak one language so everyone feels included.

Venus and I danced and were able to motivate Jasmin from Switzerland to dance too. We explained to her the dances and it would be great to get info sheets about the dances to bring with us and show them to our group in our home City.

  • Marilyn Velasco Magoo


It was an emotional moment to sing the Benguet Hymn,and until now it's one of my prayers everyday.


I suggest that we should sing the Cordillera Hymn better for the next ICBE Conference.

  • Annie Hruska


How beautiful to see those graceful mamanangs (older sisters) and mamanongs (older brothers) imparting their knowledge of their province‘s way of dancing. 

  • Claire Bucher

I am very thankful to have joined the Cultural Workshop from 14:00-17:00 hours. It was nice, and good seeing everybody's interest during the workshop! I observed that the Ballangbang was participated in by everybody. All the lady dancers have done their best with their steps, body and hand movements following the Gong players that went well to the rhythm of the gong music! It was indeed a happy hour for everyone!

The Bendian dance was introduced, the names of the different positions were illustrated too. A short & good story was also shared about this Benguet dance. 

Thanks a lot to all who have shared their experiences & knowledge about the old & existing Cultural dances in the Cordillera Region. 

The famous Boogie-Boogie dance of Bontoc, Mountain Province and the popular Takik dance were "missing in action".

Thank you so much to the gong music players! They are the best! 

  • Lydia Soliba (Solibao NRW-North-Rhine Westfalia) - Germany

Regarding grouping by provinces, provide a time for members to discuss before their presentation. 

- Julia Geston 


The cultural workshops were top-notch! I have ¼ Igorot bloodline in me, but I have always felt like I am 100% since I was a kid. Growing up, I used to participate in cultural activities like Canao and community dances in Baguio, but I never truly understood the differences. The workshops showed me how diverse our culture is, yet so similar in some ways. Learning the hymns and dances from different Cordillera provinces felt like "home." It was a 10/10 experience. Perhaps we can incorporate traditional clothing and highlight the distinctions between each province. 

  • Kirsty Zachoval 

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