INVITATION to Write Stories of Your Philippine Cordillera Childhood

Written by Yvonne Belen on .

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We Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE), a network of Igorot Cordillera organizations and individuals in Europe, are still constructing our website: There are some boxes available and one subject that has come up is writing stories of our childhood in the Philippine Cordillera.

The objective is to share our childhood stories not only to our children and grandchildren but also to a wider audience. 

Having said the above, we are inviting all who spent their childhood in the Philippine Cordillera, northern Luzon, Philippines to write their story or stories, which will be posted in the box “My Cordillera Childhood” in the ICBE website.


You can write on one subject or more. The more subjects you write on and the more specific, the better it is for readers to gain insight into how life was then. By sharing your experiences of long ago, you make the characters and places come alive. You are the best storyteller because you write about what you know. The length of your story doesn’t matter. What’s important is to be concrete and put in as many details as possible. Aside from using the sense of sight, include the senses of hearing, smell, taste and touch.

You could portray your parents, grandparents, favorite aunt or uncle. You could describe your birthplace and the town or village where you grew up. You could feature a kanyaw. What was it like during the festival? Did you attend a wake? You may like to write more about it. Among the wedding ceremonies you attended, which is the most unforgettable? What are your memorable experiences when you were in grade school or in secondary school? Did you have a favorite teacher? Tell us more about him or her. These are only a few suggestions. 

At the end of your story, include a 150-word Bio. 

It’s said that if you find the story interesting, others will find it also interesting; if the story makes you laugh, your readers will also laugh.


It would be wise to copyright your article. There are websites on how to make the copyright sign. And you may like to put the copyright sign at the end of your article.


For uniformity, use 1 spacing, Times New Roman and font size 12 pts. In between paragraphs, 2 spacing would be advisable.

Please send your articles to me as attachment and ready for posting. My e-mail address is: yvonnekbelen(@)


The time frame is from June 1, 2014 until May 30, 2017.


Kindly address all inquiries to me. I'll refer your question(s) to the ICBE forum before replying.


Please feel free to disseminate this invitation to other Igorot, Cordillera or BIBAK forum. You may also send it to your relatives and friends.


Thank you.

Yvonne Belen

(On behalf of ICBE)


YVONNE KAY-AN BELEN is a Bontok Igorot, who spent her childhood in Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines. She was a physician and teacher in the Philippines before her family immigrated to the Netherlands in 1985. Unable to practice her medical profession because she couldn’t master the Dutch language, she turned to English and honed her writing skills. She contributed an article, “Flavors from my Bontoc Igorot Roots” in a book, A Taste of Home, edited by Edgar Maranan and Len Maranan-Goldstein. As one of the editors of the Igorot Global Organization book, Igorot by Heart, she also edited the past seven Proceedings of the Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultations. Presently, she assists in organizing ICBE consultations and edits the Proceedings. She also helps with posting articles in the ICBE website ( Yvonne has three children and three grandchildren. She lives with her husband in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.


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