Impressions: 2nd Grand Cañao, Rome, Italy

Written by Yvonne Belen on .

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   2nd Grand Cañao

                                                Rome, Italy

                                                1 June 2014



By Yvonne Belen 

“Successful!” That’s the word to describe the 2nd Grand Cañao. 


There are two organizations, ULNOS di Mountain Province and United Cordillera Workers in Rome Italy (UCWRI) that hosted and organized the activity. For a first-time activity, I say it’s well-organized. 

Many times, we hear that the Ibaloys are shy. However, in this event where I saw the performance of many Ibaloys (especially from UCWRI) during the program, I won’t say they are. 

All the six BIBAK/Cordillera/Igorot organizations of Italy are represented. They are:      

  • Cordillerans in Italy of Bologna and Modena, Italy;
  • Cordillera Migrant Workers Association (CMWA) of Milan and Como, Italy;
  • Cordillerans in Modena;
  • ULNOS di Mountain Province in Rome, Italy;
  • United Cordillera Workers in Rome Italy (UCWRI) and 
  • United Igorot Association Naples Italy. 

With each of the above-mentioned organization performing, their presentations are varied and represent the various ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippine Cordillera. The ladies are in complete costume with accessories such as head dress and beads. The men are in their G-string. An introduction before the presentation is helpful and provides a background on the ethnolinguistic group and the province they come from in the Cordillera. 

The second-generation’s cultural performances are fantastic. As second-generation, they are already experts. The future is bright in terms of passing on our cultural heritage. 

The presence of other Filipinos like Tagalog, Visayans is worth noting. And I assume they learned more about our culture.

This is the first Cañao in Europe I attended and I think it’s the first where there are guests from several countries. They came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the USA. 

The venue is large enough to accommodate a good number of people. At the height of the event, there must have been 300 persons. 

There’s enough food. Among other menus served, there’s pinikpikan and I was able to get a chicken wing. It’s a taste of home. 

As the Master of Ceremonies, Rosmar Smith of UCWRI, is cool and systematic. In one instance before the cultural performances began, she called on different groups to have a picture-taking with officials of the Philippine Embassy in Rome. It’s an orderly manner of having pictures taken and something that other BIBAK/Cordillera/Igorot organizations could learn from. 

It’s a wise idea to post the invitation in the Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) website: The event is advertised and when Cordillerans/Igorots the world over are on holiday in the continent, they could plan to attend the activity. 

Meanwhile, there’s room for improvement on other matters. I’ll leave these to the organizers. 

Congratulations again to ULNOS di Mountain Province and United Cordillera Workers in Rome Italy (UCWRI)! Well done.


Copyright©YvonneBelen7June2014 (Updated 20 August 2014)


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